Camp Like a Pro with These Auto Additions

    Escaping city life, exploring the outdoors and toasting marshmallows around a campfire are the essence of the classic American vacation: camping.

    While the trip itself can be quite enjoyable, getting there can sometimes be a challenge. Through the use of special products and accessories, drivers can transform and enhance the functionality of their vehicles both on the way to and during their camping vacation.

    There are literally thousands of aftermarket parts and accessories available to upgrade your car, truck or SUV for a better and more enjoyable trip, according to the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA), a trade association representing the automotive customization industry. Whether you’re making room for supplies or just looking for more comfort, a few simple modifications is all it may take.

    *Start with the issue of space. Eliminate a jam-packed interior by utilizing a roof rack or cargo box. You can experience more comfort, space and convenience by storing your tent and other camping supplies on the roof of your vehicle. There are a number of different styles and brands of roof racks and cargo boxes available for you to choose from, allowing you to select the one that best fits your needs. If you’re looking for an alternative and know you’ll be staying more than a couple of days, consider towing a trailer. Aftermarket towing products such as trailer hitches and extensions are both affordable and easy to install.

    *Equip your vehicle with running boards. Made for trucks and SUVs, running boards can improve safety and comfort when entering and exiting your vehicle by providing a durable and secure platform to step on. This can be beneficial when loading and unloading your camping materials. Often lighter in weight than factory boards and proven to last in all-weather driving conditions, aftermarket running boards protect your vehicle from road debris, and make it easy to hop in and out.

    *Increase visibility and safety. To lighten up the ride, consider purchasing aftermarket headlights for your car, truck or SUV. These will provide a more powerful beam, improve visibility in fog and enhance the styling of your vehicle. Available in a number of different styles and colors, aftermarket headlights can give drivers a custom look as well as enhanced visibility in all-weather conditions.

    *Set up sleeping accommodations. Once you’ve arrived at your destination, you can completely transform the bed of your truck into your very own sleeping area. Aftermarket truck tents and mattresses are custom fitted to the bed of your truck, creating a more comfortable sleeping space off the ground and away from creepy crawlers. But tents aren’t made for just trucks. SUVs, mini vans and some sedans are equipped for a tent to be secured around the cargo area of the vehicle. This makes for more room to sleep, store items and easily access the inside of your car.

    The time and location of your camping trip will determine the types of products and accessories that will be most beneficial. Things such as portable stoves and ovens are available to plug in to your vehicle if you’re looking to make more than a hotdog over an open flame. If you’ll be by the beach, a rack for bikes or surfboards might be all that you need. Or, if you’re the really adventurous type, you might be looking for a new lift kit for your truck or SUV. These are mostly for those who will be hitting the off-road terrain.

    “Specialty aftermarket manufacturers are continually creating innovative products that personalize and enhance vehicles to fit one’s interests,” says Chris Kersting, SEMA president and CEO. “Outdoor enthusiasts today have a vast array of creative products and accessories to make their camping experience more enjoyable.” To learn more about the different types of auto-related products available to improve your camping experience, visit your local specialty automotive parts retailer. (bpt)


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