Hot Tips

8 Car Upgrades For Your Next Road Trip

Buckle up for comfort, safety, and style!

Not all car models are designed for off-road adventures and road trips, especially if you’re planning a lengthy ride. But that does not mean you should abandon your car and purchase a new one- not when you can modify it a little to suit your trip. That means adding elements to improve its performance and functionality on the road, or it could simply be about improving its aesthetics. Using a vehicle not equipped for this task can ruin your travel experience. Your car can break down easily, while you deal with features not attuned to a life on the road. If you’re planning a road trip and want to have the best experience of your life, the following car modifications are worth considering.

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Add shock absorbers to your car suspension

Your car’s suspension can significantly impact driving comfort and is a super important factor to consider if you’ll be sitting in your car for hours per day. You can improve it in many ways, but one of the most important upgrades is adding shock absorbers. This is particularly necessary if you expect rugged driving terrain or plan to go off-road. Shock absorbers, as the name suggests, will absorb the impact of potholes and bumps, making your off-roading experience in difficult driving terrains a lot easier. Different suspension modifications are available for different car models, so speak with your mechanic first to determine what will work for your vehicle.

Install new kit lifts

You’ll need more than shock absorbers to navigate difficult off-road driving terrains; you need to prepare your vehicle’s defenses in general. Upgrading your car with new kit lifts is one of the best ways to protect your vehicle when driving on difficult terrain. They allow you to raise your car or give it a bit more elevation and ground clearance. They also make it easier to install wider tires and protect the delicate components under your car. 

Aside from increasing your car’s height, installing new kit lifts also helps you to properly see beyond the road. You will notice obstacles ahead on the road with enough time to maneuver your vehicle away from them. That is particularly helpful when driving off-road.

A rooftop storage rack

Road tripping with family and friends with loads of activities planned? Then your car trunk will probably not have enough room for all your luggage. And the last thing you want to do is dedicate a portion of your backset space for luggage. A well-installed storage rack on your car’s roof will give you all the extra space you need for storage. You can load as many bags as necessary and secure them properly to create enough room in your car. Even if you’re driving alone, a rooftop storage rack can hold some equipment or travel gear like a kayak or bicycle. You can even find a specially designed storage rack for a paddle board if you plan surfing, fishing, or other water-related activities during your road trip.

Other storage additions

Your rooftop can hold extra luggage and gear, but you may need additional storage solutions for other supplies, from food to first aid. With your roof storage secure, consider expanding your vehicle storage in other ways. Of course, this tip will work better for some car models than others. For example, you can easily expand cabin storage in a pick-up truck or a 4×4, than you can in smaller car models. Consider modifying your vehicle to make space for a trunk bed and drawers to securely hold a few tools. You can also consider additions like a tank to hold food and water and a portable fridge to keep some food items chilled.

A skid plate

A skid plate is an abrasion-resistant material fixed to a vehicle’s underside to prevent damage from contact made with the ground. Sometimes, even with a lifted vehicle (modified with a kit lift), your vehicle’s underbelly can still come into contact with the ground, especially when you dip into a shallow hole or drive over a sizable object or boulder on the road. Installing a top-quality skid plate is essentially giving your vehicle’s underbelly a protective armor. It keeps your engine pan, radiator, and drive train safe in case of a potentially disaster-inducing impact. It also protects the heart of your vehicle (your engine) from mud and dirt. With sand and dust getting into delicate engine areas and the damaging effect of water ingress on car engines, installing a skid plate is an absolute must for off-road road trippers.

A dashcam

Dashcams have become regular additions for many drivers, and if you’re planning a road trip without one, you’ll be doing yourself a lot of disservice. While they don’t protect your vehicle in any way, a dashcam can enhance your travel experience, especially by recording every minute of your driving. This is especially helpful for capturing unexpected moments when you don’t have enough time to pull out your camera to record. 

A dashcam can also come in handy in case of a car accident that isn’t your fault. Its footage will prove useful when making a claim from your insurer or seeking damages in court. You can easily mount a dashcam on your dashboard or any ideal location on the car to capture other views.

Spruce up the aesthetics

Granted, making your car more aesthetically pleasing will not improve its performance, but the right additions can help in many ways. For example, you can tint your windows to create more privacy when you have to camp or sleep in your car. It can also help keep things a lot cooler inside. You can also customize your driver plates, change your car tires, install seat covers, or personalize your car in different ways. It’s also worth mentioning that choosing a brighter paint color for your car will make it more visible to other vehicles, especially when parked close to major roads. This can significantly reduce accidents.

Modify your headlights to improve visibility

If you expect to drive at night for long hours, then it’s worth considering whether to modify your headlights. Upgraded or modified headlights with fog lights can easily improve your driving experience, but you need to consider where you’ll be driving before making such upgrades. Different locations have different light requirements for vehicles, and in some places, tinting your light colors in any way is illegal.

That’s A Wrap!

As you gear up for your next road trip, these eight car upgrades are your ticket to a smoother, more enjoyable journey. From enhanced comfort to advanced tech features, each upgrade adds a touch of convenience and joy to your travel experience. So, hit the road with confidence, knowing that your car is equipped for the adventure ahead. Whether it’s the cozy interior, the latest gadgets, or safety enhancements, these upgrades ensure that every mile is a delight. Buckle up, embrace the open road, and let these enhancements turn your road trip into an unforgettable voyage.

Disclaimer: Links in this page are meant to help you find relevant information and book attractions easier by linking directly to specific pages on partner websites (i.e. TripAdvisor, Vegas.com). If you click a link, we may earn a small commission on transactions. This helps support the cost of running our website, and it adds absolutely no extra cost to you as the consumer. Thank you, we appreciate your support! You can read more on our disclosure policy.

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Author

I am a busy mama with 3 delicious babies and a serious itch for travel and writing (when I am not bartending, that is)! After graduating from Cal State San Marcos with a B.A. in Communications, I decided to start a family and pursue a career in freelance writing. I created HotMamaTravel as an outlet to do what I love while sharing useful travel tips and inspiration with others. Our mission is to show parents how to master travel with kids, while keeping your Saturday-night selves. We call it "Family travel...with a twist".

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