Summer is almost upon us and those of you planning a trip in the UK or across Europe, will need a bit of a helping hand or advice before you go. At Carracks we’ve thought of 5 handy tips to get you started. Our 5 key words before you get going are Plan, Space, Rack, Protect and Ride.
Have a look at the Carracks layout map below to give you a bit of inspiration and to see which countries you might have to travel through to get to your destination.
In our view you have great locations such as the Dordogne region of France, the Lakes in Italy, the Black Forest in Germany or even Snowdonia in Wales and the Lake District to choose from the UK.
Plan your journey first, make sure you know exactly where you want to go, maybe use our handy map above. It can be an adventure driving into Europe but also quite daunting, so make sure you take a map with you and just in case it would be wise to take one of the AA Travel kits we have available.
Travel Kit Contents include:
» 1 x pack of Beam Converters.
» 1 x Hazard Warning Triangle.
» 1 x Magnetic GB Plate.
» 1 x High Visibility Vest.
» 1 x First Aid Kit in a handy pouch.
» 1 x Driving in Europe guide book.
Give yourself plenty of space in the car, there is nothing worse than squeezing everything in around your legs. We’ve got so many fantastic space saving products, take a look at our range of roof boxes from Thule and Mont Blanc, towbar mounted cargo racks and storage bags.
Towbar Mounted Options in more detail…
The Thule 900 Backup Box was one of our featured products last year with its innovative and flexible design. The Thule 900 Box is simple to mount and easy to load, it’s actually quite compact for a box with such a large volume so storage after use isn’t an issue. Most people use the Backup 900 box for luggage, outdoor gear such as dirty boots, ski boots and canoe / kayak equipment so inevitably the box will get dirty. Cleaning the inside of the box is easiest when the box is still mounted to your towbar system and its nice to be able to sweep and wipe clean at waist height.
May 2013 Featured Roofbox
The Thule Motion Box is the pinnacle of design for Thule and has some great features that have evolved over time, a cross between the Thule Atlantic and the Thule Dynamic roof boxes. This great looking roof box is available in loads of different sizes to suit your needs over the Summer / Winter breaks. Our Thule Motion roof boxes are multi-purpose and they look great. The Motion roofbox can be used to carry general luggage and camping gear in the summer or to carry your ski’s and equipment to the slopes in the Winter.
If you’ve planned to canoe, kayak or surf one of the many beautiful valleys or coastlines across Europe by car, make sure that you’ve got your kayaks and surfboards securely strapped to the roof. We’ve got a range of roofbar systems individually designed for your vehicle, just use our vehicle selector to find the right one.
Our choice of racks for your canoe, kayak or surfboard can be found on a previous Canoe / Kayak blog post of ours and we’ve got a couple of recommendations below:
There are two main kayak racks in the Thule Kayak carrier range. The Thule 835-1 and the Thule 837 Kayak Rack. Find the description of these two great kayak racks below and find out which one suits you better.
Thule 835-1 Hull-A-Port Kayak / Canoe Carrier
The basic design of this kayak rack means that the kayak’s or canoes are carried on their side. The new Thule 835-1 Hull-a-port Rack is simple to install to either Thule rectangular or Aero style bars. It uses a system which mounts around the actual bar itself, which is incredibly secure when transporting large items such as Kayaks and Canoes. The Hull-a-Port has a lightweight design which makes it easy to fit, and remove after use, it has a galvanised / painted steel which is extremely weather proof.
The padded parts on the vertical and horizontal beams of the Thule 835-1 are kind to your Canoe or Kayak, the strapping system also has a rubberised finish which protects your boat. If you are unsure whether or not you can use this rack for your boat then why not have a look at one of our previous Canoe / Kayak blog posts.
The Thule 837 Pro Kayak Rack
The Thule 837 Kayak Rack has a simple to use mounting system which is compatible with both Thule Aero bars and rectangular Black bars. Your Canoe or Kayak is transported protected, on an angle, creating extra space for other gear to be loaded onto the car roof. New, improved pads and metal brackets make the product more stable. When you haven’t got your canoe or kayak on the roof, the 837 rack actually folds away enabling you to fit a bike rack or a roof box next to it.
There are a wide range of Kayak racks to choose from, but the Thule 837 Hull-A-Port Pro really stands out as being the most user friendly and has the best features. The protective strapping is similar to the Thule 835-1 Hull A Port, it is easy to strap your kayak to the rack and its rubber button protects your kayak to prevent any movement.
According to the Pet Food Manufacturers Association (PFMA), 48% of UK households own a pet but 23% of UK households own at least one dog. In our view that is an extremely large figure, one that reaches close to a population of 8 million dogs in the UK. A large amount of us will either send the dog to the kennel whilst we are away on holiday, however a large proportion of us will take our dogs with us. The perfect accessory for any vehicle in this situation is our fantastic range of dog guards.
Two things you can count on: It will rain on a bank holiday weekend / entire trip to Europe and your dog will head for the biggest puddles while out for a walk. This is likely to result in ushering man’s best friend into the boot in the hope that the walk has exhausted him and that he wont feel the need to ride up front with you! If you would like to keep your dog and the mud in the back, away from your nice clean upholstery then Mont Blanc have a great solution that will save those expensive valeting bills:
The Mont Blanc DogGuard Mesh Headrest (K9E) dog guard divides your boot from the rest of the car by securely attaching to the rear headrests, keeping the boot space free for a tired dog. However Mont Blanc cannot help you with stopping Fido from heading straight to your cream sofa when you get home.
For more information and to purchase please click the following link: Mont Blanc K9E Dog Guard
Another useful accessory to think about taking with you on holiday or even just keeping in your car is one of Carracks brilliant bootliners. Designed specifically for your vehicle the bootliner keeps your boot free from muddy paw marks and dog hairs.
If you are planning a cycling trip away with the family, then you are going to need to put your bikes either on the roofbars or onto the rear of your vehicle. The rear of the vehicle gives you two options; 1. Get a towbar fitted which allow you to fit a towbar mounted cycle carrier or 2. Use a rear mounted cycle rack which means that you won’t need a towbar. However rear mounted cycle carriers should always be consulted whilst reading your vehicles handbook, certain vehicle models are limited as to which rear mounted cycle carriers can be fitted to the vehicle.
Roof Mounted Cycle Carriers
Towbar Mounted Cycle Carriers
Rear Mounted Cycle Carriers
Inevitably you will forget something before you leave, so look out for our upcoming checklist of things that you need to take away. Carracks will make sure you have every item ticked off on the list.