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Road Trip Tips and Tricks

Road tripping checklists to make your next trip great

Holiday season is nearly upon us, and for many, the excitement starts with the road trip to your vacation destination. Road tripping is fun… however, if you are unprepared, they can take a nasty turn for the worst.

In reality, a road trip needs careful planning with a number of things taken into consideration. Check out this road trip checklist from Imperial Auto!

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First things first………

  1. Do a pre-travel car check

It’s a good idea to do a few quick checks to make sure your car is road trip ready.  It will only take a few minutes but could save you a lot of trouble.  Here’s what you need to check:

  • Fluids (oil, break-fluid, water and coolant) – this is an under-the-bonnet check
  • Leaks – following the under-the-bonnet checks of the fluid levels, it is a good idea to check for any leaks from various components and hoses underneath your car
  • Lights – check all globes, including break lights
  • Wipers – ensure the wipers are clearing the water from the windscreen
  • Wheels and tyres – check the tread and the pressure. Also check the steering to see if the vehicle pulls to one side
  • Spare wheel – make sure you have one and that it is properly inflated.  Also ensure you have a jack, and spanner and while you are at it add in jumper cables
  • Brake pads – the composite inner part needs to be above 5mm thick. Also make sure your handbrake is working correctly
  • Ensure vehicle registration is up to date

If you have no idea how to check these things – or if you know your vehicle is needing a bit of a service rather book it in to your nearest reputable service centre.

  1. Eliminate towing troubles

If you are towing a caravan or trailer be sure to tow the line with these checks:

  • Ensure compatibility between your vehicle and the trailer or caravan you’re towing
  • Make sure it is roadworthy and that you have the correct license
  • Ensure that all the necessary components are in place and that they are in good working order. These components include: the tongue, the hitch, the coupler, safety chains and brake and lights systems
  • Driving with a trailer or caravan generally requires increased concentration. Ensure you have enough space to overtake and remember that making turns are more difficult
  1. Have a plan

Although throwing caution to the wind and driving off into the sunset spontaneously sounds romantic and fun… planning things out is a much safer option. Here are some things to consider:

  • Decide what route you are going to take and work out estimated travel time. Make sure you know the directions
  • Plan what time of day would work better for you to travel
  • Plot rest stops and decide if you need to sleep overnight somewhere to break up the trip
  • Pre-book overnight accommodation
  1. Don’t forget to remember

When you are making your list of what clothes and holiday essentials to pack – make a separate list of these important road trip travel necessities:

  • Valid driver’s licence
  • Valid vehicle registration
  • Money for toll gates
  • Petrol card
  • Music
  • Cell phone charger
  • Items to entertain the kids
  • Refreshments
  • Extra water
  • First aid kit

For more useful car tips  the blog and join the conversation on Facebook – https://web.facebook.com/imperialauto.co.za/

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