If you're mounting a storage shell or towing a trailer, make sure your vehicle's in good condition. Verify that you have the fittings to attach your storage unit or trailer to your vehicle properly. Always check your tires' air pressure, especially if you're carrying extra weight.
- Consider whether you need to use low gears.
If you're in the mountains, switching into low gear can reduce wear on your vehicle's brake systems. Have your brake and transmission systems inspected by your automotive service professional before you set off on your trip.
- If you are going off-road, make sure your vehicle is up to the task.
As you should before any trip, check that your tires are properly inflated and aligned, and that they appear in good condition. Make sure that your spare tire is in tip-top shape -; after all, you'll need to make it back to the pavement if you have a flat tire. Finally, check the vehicle manual to make sure you know how to safely operate your vehicle's 4-wheel-drive system.
- Think about fuel use.
If you add a storage shell, tow a trailer or use 4-wheel drive, your fuel efficiency will drop. Since you'll be consuming fuel at a faster rate than you're used to, it's important to keep an eye on the gas gauge -; especially if you'll be in a remote or unfamiliar area.
- Prepare an emergency kit.
Keep a few emergency items handy. Include a flashlight, first aid kit, cell phone charger, water and non-perishable food, a properly inflated spare tire, jumper cables and your auto club membership. If you'll be in a very remote area, consider bringing a tent or other shelter.
Taking the time to plan and prepare for your summer adventures can help keep you and your family safe on the road.