Whether you’re going camping in balmy Cheshire or more rugged Scotland, one thing is certain: your means of transportation staying in good condition is vital to your enjoyment of the break. We asked the experts for their best advice to anyone who is about to set off on a camping trip. This is what they had to say…
Just think about how awful it would to be in the heart of historic Cheshire, close to North Wales, encompassing the Wirral, Roman Chester and many more historical and beautiful sites, or Scotland, teeming as it is with lochs and castles and (mythical) monsters, and to be unable to visit any of the fabulous places in the environs because your car has broken down. Or worse, because your tyres have failed on you, leaving you with a perfectly functioning car, but no way to move around!
All tyres come with a weight rating that is seldom approached with regular commuting – after all, four people, with school bags and briefcases or handbags don’t weigh all that much, and most cars can handle this sort of load with ease.
However, when you load up your car for camping, with bulky things like sleeping bags and tents as well as weighty items like water and groceries (often tins) for the holiday, along with everyone’s clothes and some leisure items (books, games, and so on), the limit of your tyre’s maximum weight load could be closer than you realise.
Team this with an unaccustomed long drive to get to the campsite and it becomes easier to realise that a surprising number of people get to their campsite and then have to spend a lot of their leisure time trying to source a mechanic to come and return their vehicle to a roadworthy status by repairing or replacing the beleaguered tyres.
While you might live in a temperate area without much rapid fluctuation in the air temperature, this can change as you travel across the country to reach your camping destination. Sudden increases or decreases in temperature can make your tyre inflation react: the pressure dropping as it becomes warmer or increasing as it gets colder – as it often does in Scotland!
Carry a portable inflation checker with you on your travels, and as soon as you notice your tyres beginning to struggle, pressure-wise, you can take action by finding a service station where you can top up, or even perhaps releasing a little of the excess pressure.
If your tyres really can’t handle the fluctuation in temperatures, you can now book an appointment with Fife Autocentre and get tyres in Dundee at competitive prices. And don’t forget: as soon as you can, however, return your pressure to the right levels for your home climate so that you don’t then suffer issues on your regular commute!
Know Your Speed
Not your speed, but your tyres’ top speed recommendation. Just as tyres come with a maximum weight warning, so too do they come with a maximum speed warning. If you exceed this top recommended speed – which would usually be illegal – your tyres may fail and any warranty or manufacturers’ assurances become null and void.
The combination of subjecting your tyres to excess speed and being overweight could be very dangerous, so make sure you know your limits.
Good Maintenance for the Win
In general, you should have a good maintenance regimen for your car and tyres, during which you check the tyres for tread depth, inflation, signs of wear and damage and so on.
This simple process, which doesn’t need to take more than fifteen minutes every week or so, can be invaluable in keeping your car in great condition and reliably on the road for longer – even when you’re camping!