Going on a road trip is always something to look forward to. An important factor during these excursions is what will keep you safe during the long haul. Whether it’s a rental or a newly bought van, it is vital to be on top of its safety guidelines.
Vans are ideal utility vehicles especially for families or big groups of people because of the seating capacity and spacious interior. Driving a van on long distance drives can be unnerving, but here are some tips that will assure you of a safe and comfortable ride no matter the distance and destination.
Inspect Your Van Inside and Out
First off, make sure that your van is in perfect condition before hitting the road. Here are some pointers:
- Brakes – It is ideal for you to test drive your van before the trip. This gives you the opportunity to check on the pedals, especially the brakes. Make sure that your brakes aren’t worn out, as this may result in skidding. Faulty brakes pose serious hazards, so it’s best to consult a professional for brake repairs or replacements.
- Lights and Mirrors – Visibility is important especially when driving in the dark or pulling up into tight spaces. Check if all of your lights work and that the bulbs are not burned out. Vans are typically bulky, so there may be more blind spots. During your test drive, adjust all the mirrors to your preference for maximum visibility.
- Engine Oil – Oil keeps the engine and its internal parts cool and lubricated in order for it to run smoothly. Check your engine oil by using a dipstick and examining the consistency, color, and level. Further instructions can be found in your vehicle’s operations manual.
- Battery – When checking your battery, also consider the cables and exterior parts of it and look for any signs of corrosion. This can easily be fixed by wiping or replacing the parts. Usually, batteries have a voltmeter where you can check its voltage. But the safer way to check this is by having it done professionally. Typically, an auto store near you will test your battery for free.
- Tires – Using worn out tires is dangerous especially when you’re going for a long drive. Have loose and soft tires replaced before your trip and make sure to invest in a spare tire. Sure, gas stations and stopover locations provide air hoses, but it pays to be prepared for anything that can happen. These filling stations can also get packed especially during peak seasons, so it’s ideal to take preventive measures, beforehand – and always bring your own replacement tire.
- Fuel – Don’t forget to fuel up before the long day. You wouldn’t want the inconvenience of being stuck in the middle of nowhere due to an empty tank!
This can be a handful for you to check alone. If you find some of these pointers difficult to deal with, bring your van to your trusted auto shop for them to take care of your vehicle. In Utah, Sprinter’s repair shop offers a complimentary 27-point inspection with every service so that customers leave the shop feeling confident about the safety of their van.
Make Enough Room
Always anticipate that your return trip may be heavier than when you left. So be sure to pack smart and light and make room for more things that you may bring on your way back home. Vans often have little nooks and crannies in which you can stow smaller objects, so make sure to maximize these on your road trip.
It pays to be prepared and detail-oriented when it comes to getting ready for a long distance trip. A comfortable and safe ride equates to a hassle-free and fun trip that is unforgettable for you and your group.