Road Trip - Cars
One of the most important aspects of Road Tripping is to choose and
maintain a good, reliable car for your adventures. It's
also very important to have a comfortable car, since you'll be driving
long distances, and if you're like me, sleeping in the car. Usually bucket
seats that can be reclined are the best, as you can just kick the seat back
and sleep forever. Gas mileage is also an important factor, since its
necessary to work with a budget on long trips. Personally, I prefer the
Chrysler 2.2L turbo cars, because they are fairly easy to work on, have good
power for passing and city driving, are very comfortable, have nice features
like drink holders and electric mirrors, and get pretty good gas mileage.
Alas, my poor Shadow felt its final stages of life on a trip to
Rocky Mountain National Park during the fall of
1996. So during the Christmas break of 1996, I reworked the transmission and
completely rebuilt the engine. Now my car is extremely reliable and fun to
drive. You don't have to know the inner workings of the engine in order to
Road Trip, but it's important to have a good knowledge of basic maintenance
procedures, such as changing the lights, oil, etc. It's also helpful to have
a good understanding of the engine in order to troubleshoot common
problems when you're 1000 miles from home.
I keep a lot of stuff in my car for Road Trips, and any serious Road
Tripper should keep most of these items in his/her car:
- Fuses - in case one blows on the road.
- Heet - or some similar product in case of vapor lock. This is also
helpful if you run out of gas. A can of Heet won't get you far, but you
might make it to a nearby gas station.
- Tools - Ratchet wrench, socket extensions, 13-15mm sockets, open end/closed
end wrenches, crescent wrench, vise grips, pliers, screwdrivers, torx drivers.
In case you need to make a repair on the road.
- Various materials - rope, duct tape, etc. Just in case.
- Road flares - You can get these babies at a Total gas station just
east of Sterling, Colorado. They will last for 30 minutes, and even burn
underwater. I've never used one, but if you needed to alert other drivers
of a road hazard, get someone's attention, or just throw it at someone
who's pissing you off, it might come in handy.
- Stun gun - 130,000 volts of ass-kicking power. Helps personal security
when you're sleeping at a rest stop.
- Toll-change dispenser and toll money - For toll roads.
- Blankets - For sleeping, or if you get stranded in the winter.
- Oil - In case the car becomes low on oil while on a Road Trip
- Dust cloth - to keep the dash clean
- Radar detector - to drive fast without getting a huge fine
- Ice scraper - For the wintertime
- Hose clamps - Most engine failures in professional automobile races
are caused by stupid things like broken hose clamps, so these are cheap
and handy in case of a failure.
- WD40 - help lubricate the windows, door locks, whatever else.
- Jumper cables - if you kill the battery.
- Paper towels - For drink spills, or while you're eating on the road.
- QT cup - a huge 52 oz or 64 oz, for cheap soda refills at most gas
- Spare tire, jack - in case of a flat
- Sore throat spray - I bought this a long time ago and it's still
in my car. It has come in handy a few times.
- Aspirin, Tylenol, Advil, whatever - In case you get sick.
- Hat - I always wear a hat. My Colorado hat stays in the car, and I wear
it on Road Trips.
- Maps - Large maps of the nearby states. Cool states give these away
at the rest stops.
- Flashlight - For finding things in the car at night, in case of
mechanical trouble at night, or for nighttime exploration.
- Gloves - for driving during the wintertime
This may look like a lot of stuff, but it really doesn't take up much
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