Ever since our NY to LA drive, I have gotten a lot of inquiries on the proper equipment for a typical summer road trip. Even if you are not looking to set any records, this is a good place to start.
Your chances of a successful road trip can dwindle before you even set off. Here is a pre-flight checklist to prepare you and your car for the drive ahead.
- Check your oil and pack at least 2 liters depending on the length of your trip.
- Check your tire pressures and carry a tire pressure gauge with you. Make sure the tread depth remaining is sufficient.
- Clean your windshield and headlights and make sure your wiper blades are good and that all bulbs are working.
- Make sure that you have a valid insurance card, contacts for any roadside assistance programs, and the vehicle registration.
- Spend time packing. A nicely organized car makes any trip much more enjoyable.
So what about the equipment. We had a plethora of devices in the CL55 that we drove. What about for the regular trip to Grandma’s house? Here is what I recommend.
- Valentine 1 Radar Detector
- A smart phone running Waze
- A Garmin Navigation system
- Windshield mount for your phone
- 12V splitter to power everything
That minimalist setup will do everything that you need it to. The V1 will detect as accurately as any detector on the market. Waze will give you a good perspective on the road ahead, solid nav, and a more social element using a convenient windshield mount. The Garmin offers excellent data, an accurate speedometer, and predictable performance. Wire it all up and you are good to go.