How to Prepare Your Car Before Camping4/23/2018
Road safety is extremely important when heading to your camping spot, particularly when towing a camper or caravan. Simple checks and preparations can help assure your car is ready before you and your family use it for your outdoor adventures and simple day to day driving. Preparation helps keep your mind at ease and your family safe, additionally it can protect you from any preventable problems along the way. Follow this checklist prior to embarking on your next camping trip to help you avoid running into problems during your trip away.
- Check the Tyres - Your tyres should be pressured correctly for the type of terrain you are driving. As the owner, you should know what tyre pressure that your car should maintain for highway driving, if not you should consult your owner’s manual or placard inside the drivers door. Be sure that you check it before your camping trip. When you’re not camping, the tyres should be checked every two weeks. Use a good quality accurate gauge. If you don’t have one, you can find one at any service station.
Aside from tyre pressure, you should also check the tyre tread condition. There should be no cuts on the sidewalls. If you’ve been noticing that you’ve been doing lots of top-ups, this may indicate that there’s a puncture.
Don’t forget to bring a spare tyre on your camping trip, check that your spare is in good condition and ready to use in case you need it.
- Bring Your Toolkit -Your toolkit will save you from stress in case something goes wrong with your car along the road. The most basic tool that you should have for your car is a jack and a wheel removal kit. Other helpful tools are a “flat and Philips” screwdriver, pliers and an adjustable spanner.
- Change the Engine Oil - Engine oils should be checked weekly or when you fuel up and before your camping travels. If you need to change the oil and filter, do it before your trip to avoid problems during your holidays. If your car is consuming lots of oil there could be an engine problem, see your mechanic.
- Water - Make it sure that you check the coolant level and antifreeze concentration. Never open the radiator cap on a hot or running engine.
- Wipers– Wipers blades are a wear and tear part of your car just like the tyres. Ideally, you will replace them at least once a year.
- Screenwash – Check if the system works. You will find it hard to see through the bugs and road grime on off road camping activities. Use a screenwash additive that can work from summer to winter. Water alone is not enough to clear sticky road grime.
- Windscreen– Clean your windscreen so you would have a clear view and won’t be distracted while driving. It’s a must that you clean it a day before your camping trip. Check if there are small cracks or chips that may worsen your visibility.
- Lights– Your car’s lights are essential to your car. They’re the eyes of your vehicle. They will also come handy during your camping trip during setup or pack-down in low visibility. Ideally, you will check the lights weekly. This includes the brake lights, fog lights, and other indicators including those on your trailer when towing. You should also clean the lenses before a big trip.
- Power steering– Check the fluid reservoir. Use only the specific hydraulic fluid specified for your car. You can refer to the car’s handbook. Make sure that every time you bring your car to your trusted car service provider, hydraulic reservoirs are properly checked.
- Brakes – Make sure your brakes are in good condition and the pedal is firm when applied. A soft pedal can be a warning sign of brake wear or air in the line. Brake pads should not be worn below the indicator. If in doubt refer the problem to a qualified mechanic.
Just like preparation of your camping gear, vehicle prep is important to ensure a hassle free and safe trip for you and your loved ones. These simple steps can help avoid a disappointing or dangerous incident on your way to your campsite.