Monday, February 28, 2011

Looking Back: Our Best Ideas for the Road

Are few of our best ideas. Stuff that’s made the trip a little easier and we’d recommend to anyone thinking about getting gone.

Going Low Pro Driving a vehicle that doesn’t get a lot of attention. We’ve been particularly happy not to have been given a second look by cops or anyone else as we’re driving around. It’s already easy to a feel a little “exposed” far away from home in a different country. It doesn’t take much to feel pretty darn flashy down here and sometimes it’s nice to just blend in.
Staying Flexible There’s gonna be ups and downs on a trip this long. Keep the schedule and communication with your travel partner open. Everyone’s going to have different levels of comfort and your needs are going to change as the trip progresses. On one level, you’ll feel more comfortable everyday as you get used to the constant sight of guns and fireworks going off all around you. But there will be times when you just need to shut yourself in a decent hotel and watch reruns of Friends in Spanish.
Installing a Kill Switch Go to your dealer or a junk yard and find a basic on/off switch, best if it’s for an accessory you don’t have in your model but a duplicate works. Think defogger or rear windshield wiper. Have someone (or do it yourself) wire it to the fuel pump relay. When off, the fuel pump won’t get power and it’ll seem like the car’s out of gas. We never worry if our truck will be there when we get back.
Bringing a long extension cord At most campsites, even parking lots or hotels, you can run power to your truck. Particularly great with a fridge that will override DC when it has access to AC. Also nice for “Saved by the Bell” marathons on DVD.
Bringing a spare set of sheets Whether its cleanliness or comfort, there are times when having your own sheets is well worth it.
Installing a window break sensor Surprisingly few alarms have them these days, they can often be added. Get one with a calibration that allows you to control sensitivity. The alarm is pretty much useless without it.
Securing everything It doesn’t have to be Fort Knox, just make sure everything you don’t want to walk off is behind at least two levels of security. If it’s on the roof, lock it on. If it’s inside the car, put it in an Action Packer with a padlock through a chain around the seat post. All it takes is a window to be smashed and your backpack’s gone. Add at least one more step for the bad guys and you’ll have a little more confidence when you have to leave your vehicle.