Embarking on a road trip or heading out for an extended vacation often means bringing along a substantial amount of luggage. Efficiently packing your car is an art that can make your journey more enjoyable and stress-free.
According to Forbes, most cars can carry loads of up to 100 pounds. However, if you can utilize your car roof and put a car rack on it, the vehicle can carry up to 600 pounds. This, of course, depends on the car’s build as well as the type of rack you’re using.
The point is that carrying a lot of luggage or load in your car is possible. You just need to know how to make the most of your vehicle’s space safely and effectively.
All that being said, here are a few tips for boosting your car’s luggage space before heading out on a long road trip.
#1 Prioritize and Plan Ahead
Before you start filling your car with bags and suitcases, take some time to assess your needs. Determine the essentials and prioritize items based on their importance. This strategic approach ensures that crucial items are easily accessible and that you make the most of your available space.
Start by creating a list of all the items you need to bring, separating them into categories such as clothes, electronics, toiletries, and snacks. Consider the duration of your trip and the climate at your destination to pack accordingly. Once you have a clear understanding of your requirements, you can plan the layout of your luggage within the car.
#2 Invest in Space-Saving Solutions
Maximizing space is crucial when carrying a lot of luggage, and investing in space-saving solutions can significantly enhance your packing efficiency.
Consider using compression bags for clothing to minimize the space they occupy. According to Travel + Leisure, these bags will cost you between $20 and $35. The more expensive ones are a little above $60. Vacuum-sealed storage bags can also be useful for items like blankets or bulky jackets.
Explore storage organizers and compartmentalized containers as well to keep your belongings neatly arranged. Collapsible storage bins are excellent for keeping smaller items in place, preventing them from rolling around during the journey.
#3 Utilize Roof Racks and Cargo Carriers
When faced with a significant amount of luggage, your car’s interior space might not be enough. In such cases, roof racks and cargo carriers become invaluable assets to boost your vehicle’s luggage space. These external storage solutions provide additional space for larger items, such as suitcases, sports equipment, or camping gear.
Before installing roof racks or cargo carriers, ensure that they are compatible with your vehicle and properly secured. Remember to properly distribute the weight evenly on your car’s roof. Otherwise, it’ll become difficult to maintain stability while driving. While roof storage is excellent for items that are not needed frequently, be mindful of the increased aerodynamic drag, which can impact fuel efficiency.
You can also use rooftop cargo tie-down hook straps instead of adding extra racks to hold the top cargo. These cargo hooks can work with almost all types of car models. Besides, you can easily install and remove these hooks from your car whenever you want. This makes these hooks more convenient and practical than car racks.
According to RoofPax, these roof hooks are made of polyester, silk, steel, and nylon. These materials enable them to provide a safe and waterproof solution for tying down the mounted luggage or load.
#4 Pack Strategically for Accessibility
Efficient packing goes beyond simply fitting everything into your car. It also involves considering accessibility during the journey.
Think about the items you might need while on the road, and pack them in easily reachable locations. This includes essentials like snacks, water, a first aid kit, and entertainment for passengers.
Place frequently used items in a designated area, such as the glove compartment or a small bag within arm’s reach. This way, you won’t have to rummage through your entire luggage every time you need something.
A well-organized and strategically packed car ensures a smoother travel experience, allowing you to focus on the road rather than searching for misplaced items.
#5 Mindful Weight Distribution
According to The AA, carrying a lot of luggage can impact your vehicle’s weight distribution and can potentially affect its handling and stability. It’s essential to distribute the weight evenly to maintain optimal balance, especially if you’re carrying heavy items. The goal is to prevent the car from becoming tail-heavy, which could lead to difficulties in steering and braking.
Place heavier items on the bottom and towards the center of the car to keep the weight closer to the vehicle’s axis. This helps maintain stability and reduces the risk of swaying or tilting during turns.
Be mindful of the car’s load capacity, as exceeding it can have safety implications. Consult your vehicle’s manual to determine the recommended weight limits and adhere to them for a safer and more controlled journey.
No matter where you’re going or for how long, if you follow these tips, you can efficiently boost your car’s luggage space. This will enable you to carry all your luggage for a long road trip.
Most importantly, you can load up the car without having to worry about affecting its stability or driving quality. Thus, with these tips in mind, you never have to worry about packing lightly for a road trip ever again.