Well before you head off on your first summer road trip, you will need to take care of a few important tasks. With a little bit of preparation and some foresight, you and your loved ones can avoid a wide variety of problems that many people run into while out on the road.
The most important step in this process is making sure that your vehicle is running smoothly. A week or two before your trip, you should take your vehicle to a nearby mechanic to have it inspected. The mechanic will most likely suggest that you change the oil, top off the fluids, and rotate your tires. They are also going to take a closer look at the brake pads, windshield wiper blades, belts, and hoses.
In addition to carrying out some basic maintenance, you should also take care of any repairs that you have been putting off. For those who will be towing, trailer repairs need to be a priority as well. You want to be absolutely sure that your trailer’s wiring, lights, chassis, brakes, and tires are completely undamaged. You should also double-check your trailer’s registration if you haven’t towed it for a year or two. Towing an unregistered trailer could result in an expensive ticket or points on your license.
You need to have an emergency kit in your vehicle at all times, but you might want to upgrade that kit before you take off on a longer trip. A basic emergency kit should include oil, antifreeze, potable water, emergency blankets, reflective signals, and spare phone chargers. For longer trips, you might want to add some extra clothes and a little bit of non-perishable food to that kit. You can also put an old phone in your vehicle so that you can make emergency calls if your other phone dies.
Even if you spend weeks planning out your next road trip, mishaps can still occur at any time. While you might be able to carry out some basic repairs on your own, you should consider signing up for roadside assistance as well. Many companies now offer affordable roadside assistance for a few dollars a month, and those services are going to be invaluable if your car overheats or you run out of gas in the middle of nowhere.
No one wants to deal with unnecessary breakdowns and expensive repairs during their summer road trips. Luckily, most of those issues can easily be avoided as long as you plan ahead and carry out some preventative maintenance.