Car camping can provide adventurous travelers with a convenient, cost-effective way to see the country — but if you simply jump into your vehicle and take off for parts unknown, you may find yourself wishing you'd booked a few motels instead. Take a look at four modifications that can turn your car or truck into a more comfortable temporary residence.
Window Tint - When you're sleeping or changing clothes in your car, vehicular privacy suddenly assumes a greater importance than before. But you don't necessarily want to go to the trouble of hanging curtains inside the windows, especially since the presence of curtains may actually call undue attention to the fact that there's someone "living" in the car. Window tint makes a smart alternative, and it offers numerous benefits all year round. A professional-grade tint not only makes it difficult for outsiders to see inside the rear portion of your car, but it also blocks harmful UV radiation and thermal energy (heat) as well. Be aware, however, that different states have different regulations as to how dark you can make your windows. Contact a company like SML Window Tint to learn more about window tint.
Rain Guards - Seal up your car when you go to sleep, and you're likely to awaken to a mass of condensation on the front windshield. The general stuffiness caused by a lack of ventilation is no way to enjoy the great outdoors, either. Cracking the windows can solve this problem — but what do you do when it rains? You can sidestep this potential complication by installing rain guards along the top sides of your window frames. These plastic strips adhere either to the outside or the inside of the frames, extending outward just far enough to let you crack your windows and get some fresh air even on rainy days.
Roof Vent Fan - Cracking your windows may help you breathe easier, but they may not play an active enough role in circulating the cabin air, especially if you're gobbling down a nice hot bowl of soup of other steam-producing food. For serious air movement, even when there's not even a whisper of a breeze, consider installing a roof vent fan. This device consists of a circulating fan set inside a squared-off frame, with a cap that can be lowered to cover it in foul weather. Cutting a hole in the roof to make room for the roof vent assembly may impact the resale value of your vehicle — unless you sell it as a feature to attract other car campers looking for a ready-made solution to their own needs.
Secondary Battery - If you camp in your car for any length of time, sooner or later you'll wish you had a steady source of electrical power to run such comforts of home as a cooler/fridge, cabin lighting, TV, or fan. But if you use adapters to plug such items into your car's 12-volt port, you'll run the risk of draining your starter battery to the point of no return relatively quickly. Instead, get a deep-cycle battery (such as a marine battery or golf-cart battery) which can safely be discharged down to about half of its capacity with no harm done. Connect the battery to an inverter that will accept various electric devices. Depending on the size/capacity of the battery you choose and the amount of electricity you need, you can enjoy several days of plentiful power while leaving your car's starter battery in optimal shape to do its job — namely, starting your car so you can reach your next exciting destination.
Window tint, proper ventilation, and a secondary source of electricity can all help you have a more comfortable journey. Embrace these smart modifications, and you'll be ready to embrace the world of car camping.
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