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Preparing Your Car For A Road Trip Part 3

Published on August 7, 2012 under Humble Mechanic

Today we are rounding home on this 3 part road trip prepping series. I know what you are thinking, “Charles, my car is ready to go. How much dang prepping can one car get?” Wells friends, you can not over prepare.

It is now a day or two before the big trip. You got your car serviced, and running great. All your gadgets are ready to go. You have the route planed, and your tunes all set. Before you pack up the car, we have a couple of things left to do.

Clean the car

If you are like me, you hate riding around in a dirty car. Just think of how annoying it will be riding around in a dirty car for hours on end. I would also wax the car. It will make cleaning all the bug guts a little easier. I will also be throwing some glass cleaner and a rag in the trunk. When we stop for gas I can get the windshield clean.

I will most likely be taking my Passat to work today and getting it cleaned up.

Snacks

A MUST when taking long trips. In Prepping Your Car Part 1, Gezika suggested bringing a cooler with some drinks on ice. I totally agree with her. Pick your favorite snacks and load them into the cooler. If you want to keep everything from getting soaked from the melting ice, try dry ice. It will keep everything nice and cold, and dry. (shocking something called dry ice would do that) 😛

Make sure you have some drinks for yourself as well. I keep a few bottles of water in my car all the time. Both for drinking and for topping off coolant if needed. Don’t forget the coffee! A lot of coffee.

The final check

The night before a road trip, I do one final check. I recheck

  • All the lights~I found 2 lights that were out.
  • All the fluids
  • tire pressures
  • wiper blades
  • tool kit
  • first aid kit
  • car registration and other car documents
  • Spare tire~When I checked mine last week, I found it was flat. Glad I checked 😉

With all that done, you should be as ready to go as you can. There are countless things that can happen on a road trip. You might not be able to prep for all of them, but the better you prepare your car, the easier dealing with a problem will be.

One more thing. Make sure you have your bags properly checked. I have went on road trips before and realized I messed that up.

Me and a buddy drove to the beach a few years back. I picked him up from the airport, and we headed out. The trip was about 3 hours. We rolled into the hotel about 11pm. I opened the trunk to find that I forgot my bag. I only had the clothes I was wearing. I had to swing by Walmart and get a few things. Luckily we were only there for 2 nights.

There was also the time when my wife and I drove to Richmond, VA for a concert. My lovely wife told me to leave my stuff out, and she would pack it for me. I set out my stuff for her. She met me at work and we rolled out. We got checked in to the hotel. I opened the bag to find none of my stuff. Somehow she forgot half of both of our things. HA (sorry honey but it was really funny)

Moral of the stories, make sure you pack all your stuff, AND put it in the car!

Well, that pretty much wraps up the Prepping for a road trip series. I hope you all enjoyed, and can use some of the tips to plan your own really great trip. If you have not “liked” the Facebook page, or don’t follow on twitter, now is the time. I will be posted from the road over the next few days!

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