The Joy Of The Open Road
Maintenance Makes For Smooth Summer Travels
By Brenda Krause
We are planning a family road trip in August, and I’m determined it won’t go the way our cross-country move from Alberta to New Brunswick did 2 years ago. That long journey was full of pitfalls: we got a flat tire on the trailer that took two hours to fix in 32-degree heat. Then the trailer lights weren’t working, a repair that set us back half a day and made my husband grumpy. Without GPS, we got lost multiple times.
I want this summer’s trip to be a great family experience, so I’m ensuring our vehicle is safe and ready for the road. We don’t want time-consuming or costly accidents or repairs this time around.
Here’s what you should do to get ready for summer road trips:
Multi-point inspection: Get your fluids topped up, lights checked and tires looked over.
AC is working: This is the No. 1 cause of vehicle break-down on the road. Don’t get stranded.
Tires: If you’re headed somewhere remote, considering a replacement tire instead of the spare. Summer is camping season. Who knows where you will end up?
Towing: Summer is the time for boating, camping and trailer “glamping.” Make sure your trailer hitch is operational, tow lights working, you’re not towing above your vehicle’s capacity and your brakes are in good shape and able to handle the additional load.
Vehicle essentials: Pack a blanket, matches, water and granola bars, especially for remote camping or fishing trips.
Roadside assistance insurance: It can be a lifesaver for out-of-pocket expenses.
GPS: For the sake of your marriage, get one and use it!
I hope you’ve got some summer adventures planned. How do you prepare for road tripping?