A couple of weeks ago, I started giving you guys some tips on holiday travel by car. My friend, Cindy, wrote in about a trip that she and her family are taking from Indianapolis to Florida over Christmas, and she wanted to know what she should be doing car-wise to prepare for the trek. If you haven’t checked that blog out yet, click here. You don’t want to miss anything.
The last thing I mentioned was checking your tires: the tread, tire pressure and alignment, but don’t stop there with your tire-care preparation! Check that spare as well! Make sure that your spare is in good condition and check the pressure. Look for signs of dry rot (just in case—it’s better to be safe) such as cracks on the surface of the tire and less flexibility in the rubber. It won’t help you much in a flat-tire emergency if your spare is flat or otherwise unusable. Do your due diligence and give your spare the once-over!
Along the same lines, make sure you have everything you need to change a flat if you need to. There’s nothing worse than being stranded on the side of the road feeling helpless and foolish because you have no way to help yourself. Here’s what you should make sure you have with you: a jack, a lug wrench with a socket on one end and a pry bar on the other, and a spare tire. If you’re a girl (or boy!) who cares about her clothes, her general cleanliness and staying alive, there are a few more things to think about, for example: a rain poncho, a flashlight with extra batteries, gloves or hand wipes, a smock, old shirt, etc. to save your wardrobe, a tarp or mat to kneel on (wardrobe again, and knees), a 12X12 inch piece of plywood to stabilize the jack if the ground is soft, some road flares or reflective triangles so other drivers know you’re there and don’t run over you, and a tire pressure gauge (which I mentioned in my previous blog and should ALWAYS be in your car—ALWAYS!).
The other thing you should always have–a back-up plan. I recommend a cell phone, a couple of chargers and a roadside-assistance phone number. RNR offers a roadside assisitance plan if you get your new tires from us and you fill them up with nitrogen, so add that to your list of things to remember when you need new tires. In the meantime, figure out who’s going to save you from yourself if all of your best tire efforts fail. Keep your phone charged and on red alert, just in case, and don’t forget your charger. I mentioned bringing a couple of chargers—can you tell I’m a little Type A? Make sure you have one for the car at least, but know that if you smile and ask nicely, most restaurant hostesses will seat you buy an outlet. If you have your regular charger, you’re golden!
I hope this list helps you and my friend, Cindy, have a safe, happy holiday vacay! Do a little maintenance before you leave and save yourself the headache on the road—you’ll thank me when your road trip is completely drama-free! Drive safely!