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Road trips can make for an amazing adventure, even if it’s only for a short amount of time. But have you ever wondered if your truck is actually ok for your next adventure?

Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway in the mountains, or spontaneously hitting the open road, it’s important to be well-prepared for the many unexpected things can happen on the road.

So before you load up your truck, make sure have the following in check for your road trip ahead.

How to Prepare Your Truck for Your Next Travel Adventure

How to prepare your truck for a road trip

Checking and Preparing the Tires

Your tires are without a doubt one of the most important components on your truck, as they are the only things actually touching the road.

As such, it’s imperative to make sure that your treads are adequate enough to provide the right amount of traction. If your treads are low there is always a chance that you could skid out on a slick surface, in a tight turn, or even experience a blowout.

Along with checking the treads, you should also always check the tire pressure. Keep in mind that the number on the side of the tries is not the amount of pressure that you need to have in your tires; it is basically just the maximum amount of pressure that your tires can hold.

Always avoid over-inflating tires, otherwise it can cause a blow out or an accident.

Preparing for the Unexpected

It’s always nice to stay in a hotel where you have access to central heating, air, and warm water. However, this might not always be viable on a road trip, as anything can happen.

If you ever get stranded in a remote area, products like a high-quality truck bed tent with air mattresses are good to have just in case.

You can simply pop the tent up in the bed of the truck and stretch out for a good night’s rest, rather than being all cramped up in the cab of the truck.

Iceland is the perfect destination for solo travelers.

Photo by Moyan Brenn

Checking the Fluids

When it comes to fluids you have to think of your truck like the human body. You need a certain amount of fluids in order to make it through the day.

Well, your truck works on almost the same concept, expect it needs a lot more fluids. You need to make sure that you are always checking the oil, transmission fluid, anti-freeze, brake fluid, washer fluid, and power steering fluid.

It helps have extra canisters of the fluids available in the event that you run low on the road or experience an emergency, especially motor oil.

Checking and Cleaning the Air Filter

Any vehicle’s engine needs clean air in order to operate properly. The job of the air filter is to ensure the engine is getting good, clean air.

However, over time the filter will get dirty from doing its job, so it is imperative to make sure that it is clean and free of debris. At any time if the filter gets too clogged it can affect the amount of air that your engine receives.


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Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; a website dedicated to opening your eyes to the wild & natural world.

Committed to bringing you the best in adventure travel from all around the globe, there is no mountain too high, and no fete too extreme! They haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on their list.

If you enjoy getting social, you can follow their journey on FacebookTwitterYouTubePinterest and Instagram.


  1. Hi Meg,

    This is really helpful :) I don’t get to drive on my own every travel and usually rely on other people on this. But I like the idea of being ready and to bring a tent with you all the time as it would really be helpful to camp out and may be more enjoyable :)

    • Thanks Nathalie, glad the post was helpful for you! If you do end up taking a road trip with friends, having a handy tent is great – I’ve had to pull out some spontaneous camping once or twice in my time!

  2. Super helpful tips, Megan! While road trips are incredibly fun, there are certainly a lot of things to consider.. Especially on the vehicle capability. Our road trips are usually limited to a maximum of 3-4 hours drive (from point A to point B) but we find it very necessary to check out the tires and fluids among others and of course ensure that the car is sent out to the service center for PM (preventive maintenance) at least twice a year.. On a side note, we probably should bring other stuff for unexpected incidents..

    • Thanks Marvi! Yes, fun is the main priority, but safety should always come first. We aim for very similar drives on our road trips – 3-4 hours a day seems to be a really good balance. Sometimes there’s no helping a longer drive if there are no stops along the way, but that’s when it pays to be prepared for the unexpected!

      Glad to hear you’re on top of checking the tires and fluids regularly. Happy travels on the road!

  3. Road trips are our favorite way of exploring but just like you said, it’s very important to check properly your car before to go! We didn’t think of bringing a truck bed tent with air mattresses with us but we’ll do so next time: great idea!

    • Awesome Dany! Yes, our favorite too :) But safety always comes first. Glad we could set you up with a couple of ideas for your next trip – love having an air mattresses with me in case of spontaneous overnights. Much more comfy than sleeping in the car seats!

  4. Fantastic advice here and would do the proper checks once I do an adventure with a truck. Not much need for them in Europe :D

    • Thanks Danik, hope you have the chance to take off on an adventure in a truck at some point – so much fun!

  5. Can I add eatables to this wonderful list? I can do without anything but food and water on a road trip. In fact, I would say high energy foods like nuts that can keep you alive for a long time are the best.

    You have covered the technical aspects of preparing a car or a truck for a road trip perfectly. I thought of food when I read you talking about potential breakdowns that can strand you for a long time, sometimes overnight too.

    • Great tip on traveling with high energy foods – definitely need to keep yourself fit and alert when you’re driving long distances.

      And having extra reserves handy for potential breakdowns and overnight stops you didn’t plan on is a fabulous tip. Thanks for sharing!

  6. I don’t drive, but I still would share responsibility with my husband for travel safety so this is a great post and lots of great tips here, especially checking over the car (we do that on any long journey like with the oil and air in the tyres) but also having a air bed in the back! We don’t have a truck but if we did we would definitely pack an air bed just in case!

    • Glad the post was helpful for you Samantha – even if you’re not the driver in the family, still good value knowing the safety tips.

      If you ever upgrade to a truck, the air mattress is a great addition to the back! Happy travels :)

  7. Thanks for the practical info. We have a sports car instead of a truck since my husband hates having such a huge car. However, in certain terrains where we have our roadtrips, we don’t have a choice but to rent a truck. In any case, I’ll definitely have to bookmark this for future reference, some of the tips are really good and applicable to any kind of car anyway.

    • You’re welcome Jolina, glad the post was helpful for you. Hopefully will come in handy for your next road trip rental – feel free to reach out if you have any Q’s!

  8. I do enjoy road trips, so I’m acquainted with few things regarding the preparations. Love the fact that you’ve pointed out to the importance of tires. That’s a must when one plans to go for a longer ride.
    Have never taken a tent though. :) I try to stop by some B&B on the way, usually organize it all ahead etc. But you are right, if one goes on the road with a possibility to sleep in the car, the best option would be to have a tent.
    Your post made me think of hitting the road again. :D

    • Awesome Danijela (us too!). Glad to hear you’re already acquainted with the basics of preparation. Yes, tires are something I like to stress, because they’re so important to a safe and smooth trip.

      Glad we could inspire wanderlust for another road trip! Happy travels!

  9. Hey what a great article!! Lots of fantastic tips! :)

    • Glad you enjoyed it Alisa – happy travels :)

  10. I’d add a few more. Make sure you have two blankets- one in case you need some heat management; the other to use to augment traction over ice, oily surfaces, muddy surfaces, etc. Finally, carry a few bottles of water- for when either you or your vehicle run a little short.

    • Fantastic tips Roy, thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience. Having blankets and bottles of water on hand are great points.

      Happy travels!

  11. Road trips are fantastic and give a really immersive travel experience. But of course there is always a flip side and they have their own challenges. But then that is also part of the adventure. However it is always prudent to ensure your vehicle is perfectly fit for the journey. You have provided some really valuable pointers in this regard.Preparing for the unexpected is most important as inspite taking all precautions things may still go wrong.

    • Absolutely – we love road trips exactly for that immersive experience, and flexibility when traveling our route.

      Every form of travel will present their own unique challenges, but as you’ve said, all forms part of the overall adventure. Safety and prior planning are so essential though to making sure it’s not a misadventure!!

      Happy (& safe) travels on the road :) X

  12. Your first tip is bang on – for most issues on a road trip happen with a torn tire. The second important thing is to ensure that you don’t forget your tool kit. The last time we were on a road trip, our friend forgot the tool kit and we could not even repair the flat till we got some help. :(. Always best to be cross check before you set out.

    • Absolutely – so many people wouldn’t be able to change a tyre (and often don’t travel with a spare), but these are what cause mot issues. And a tool kit is a must for sure.

      Yikes, glad to hear you managed to find help on your last trip. If you’re traveling remotely that could have caused issues!!

  13. Nice article and good content its helpfull for who travel by self-driving

    • Thanks Faseehul, I’m glad the article was helpful for you :) Happy trucking!

  14. roadtrips can be made fun by taking good measures.thanks for the post

    • Absolutely Swetha, preparation is always key. So glad you enjoyed the post :)

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