The boys and I go on more than our fair share of road trips. In fact, we are sitting in a tent in a campground in Tennessee as part of a road trip as I type this post. To say we have learned a lot over the years about how to prepare our vehicle for a road trip would be an understatement. The first time we took a road trip across the country, we forgot to check the essentials when it comes to preparing our van, and we loaded it down with way more than we would ever need. Now, having gained years of road tripping experience, I thought I would share some of our top ways to prepare your vehicle before heading out on the road.
Check Your Tires
I know it sounds obvious, but you would be surprised how many people head out on the road without checking both the tread of their tires and their pressure. Tire care is essential to having a hassle free road trip. A blow out on fast interstates could possibly lead to a totaled car and the end of your road tripping adventures.
Check the Fluids
Many people remember to check their vehicle’s oil before a road trip, but they forget other liquids that are also important for a smooth long term drive. Transmission fluid, your water or antifreeze level, brake fluid and windshield washing liquid can be just as important as your vehicle’s oil level. Do you know how many bugs your windshield picks up driving thousands of miles?
Organize it Well
This is something we did not do efficiently our first time out on a road trip. First, make a list of everything you need, and then try to cut it in half. I promise, you will not use half of the items you think you will, especially if you are camping.
After you’ve made a list, put all the items together and start doing a dry run packing them into your vehicle. Play to your vehicle’s strengths. Our van has storage under the second row of seats, so we use that to stow away our five bulky sleeping bags, freeing up tons of space in the trunk and cab. Having everything neatly organized and easy to get to is essential for a stress free trip.
Give it a Thorough Cleaning
Another rookie mistake we made when leaving on our first road trip was to not completely clean and detail our van before heading out on a 50 day trip. By not having a clean base to start with, it only got worse, and it was so bad when we got home. Now, before I head off on a road trip, I completely detail the van from top to bottom, including cleaning the carpets.
My ultimate tool for cleaning the upholstery in my van is a Rug Doctor deep-cleaning system rental. With 40,000 convenient rental locations, you can always find a rental location near you. You can even purchase a Rug Doctor Deep Carpet Cleaner or Portable Spot Cleaner to maintain your carpets and upholstery at home through retailers like RugDoctor.com and Amazon.com.
The rental price is affordable at just $29.99 for a 24 hour period, and they also have an upholstery tool that makes cleaning the van a snap. So much cheaper than paying someone to detail my car, and I can go ahead and clean the furniture and mattresses in my home while I’m at it. Like me, 98% of Rug Doctor customers are happy with their carpet cleaning experience.
The whole Rug Doctor process from rental to use is super simple. No crazy directions needed, just plug in and go. Filling and emptying the water tank is simple with a front loading design, and Rug Doctor offers a full line of cleaning products including stain remover spray in a pet stain remover formula, which I am in love with. It erases any sign of our dogs from our furniture in the house.