Whether you are planning a personal road trip in your commercial van or are looking for ideas on how to prepare your vehicle for longer work journeys, you will find everything you need to know in this helpful guide. Join us as we discuss how to get your van ready for extended trips across the UK (or further afield). We’ll cover practical issues like maintenance and breakdown cover, as well as some potential personal concerns, such as how to make your van more comfortable and how to ensure that boredom does not become an issue.
Getting Your Van Ready for a Long Trip
To minimise the chances of encountering any unexpected difficulties and to maximise your enjoyment, follow the suggestions below when preparing for a long trip in your van:
- Perform a Full Vehicle Inspection – It’s always a good idea to ensure your van is roadworthy, no matter the length of the trip you are about to embark on. However, if you are planning an extra-long journey, it’s even more important to complete a ‘pre-flight’ inspection before you depart. Among other things, you should check the condition of the tyres as well as the air (or nitrogen) pressure in each one. You should also check the brake fluid and engine oil level and make sure that all your lights are working properly.
- Consider Comfort Upgrades – If you are going to be spending hours in the driving seat, you may wish to invest in a new seat cover or perhaps some ergonomic cushions to make sure that you have decent back support while behind the wheel. If your air conditioning sometimes struggles, consider having it serviced or installing a small, portable fan that you can use on particularly warm days.
- Prepare for Emergencies – Even with the best preparations, you may still encounter problems on the road, such as an unexpected breakdown or collision. By ensuring you are well prepared, you will be much better able to deal with these kinds of emergencies. Put a well-stocked first aid box in your vehicle before you set off, and don’t forget to confirm that your breakdown cover is still valid (and can be used at any point during the journey if required).
- Think About Your Entertainment Options – On longer trips, boredom can become a problem. With this in mind, we recommend that you think about how to keep yourself entertained while on the road. In addition to ensuring that you can play all your favourite tunes at any time during the trip, you may wish to install a discreet screen that you can use to watch videos whenever you park up for a rest.
- Put Together a Toolbox for On-the-Road Maintenance – Even if you have comprehensive breakdown cover, it is worth putting together a toolbox for your journey so you can deal with any basic problems yourself. If, for example, you have a flat tyre, you will be able to change the wheel in less than half an hour if you take the right tools. On the other hand, you could end up having to wait several hours for help to arrive if you rely solely on your breakdown cover to keep you on the road.
- Include Plenty of Rest Stops in Your Itinerary – If you often take long journeys in your van, you probably already have a very good idea of how many hours you can safely drive each day. However, if this is to be your first really long trip, we suggest that you include plenty of rest stops when preparing your itinerary to avoid any issues with fatigue.
- Book Your Overnight Stops in Advance – The idea of finding somewhere to stay when you arrive at each rest stop can be appealing, especially to those who enjoy being spontaneous. The problem is, that the best places are often fully booked many weeks in advance, so we recommend making your reservations as early as possible. If not, you may find yourself having to stay in less convenient hotels with unsuitable rooms.
- Follow a Healthy Diet for the Duration of Your Journey – It is a good idea to follow a healthy diet at all times, but it is especially important to do so when on a long road trip. If you eat well, you will be more alert and ready to deal with any and all eventualities.
- Plan Your Route Carefully – Long road trips can be great fun, but not if you get lost and start to fall behind schedule. Make sure you know exactly where you are going at all times, by planning your route carefully and going over it several times before you leave.
- Make Sure You Are Fully Legal – Problems with the law are never welcome and this goes double for anyone embarking on a long road trip in a commercial van. Check your vehicle insurance, along with any other documentation you may need (if, for example, you are travelling overseas) just to be safe.
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