Living in Denver means that you are just a few minutes away from incredible camping. Breathtaking mountains and widespread vistas await. The summer is almost upon us, meaning wanderlust is at an all-time high. We have almost made it to nights of smoking marshmallows over a fire. If you are already looking westward and planning your next trip, you should know how to protect your auto glass while camping.
Your vehicle’s glass and windshield are the last things you are worried about when heading off towards a nature-based vacation. Did you pack the sleeping bags? Did you put the hotdogs on ice? We get it. Glass can be a last, if not forgotten, priority.
At SLP, we worry about auto glass. It’s our expertise, after all. While camping mistakes bring us business, we still want to share preservation techniques. Here are five tips on how to protect your auto glass while camping.
1. Keep Your Distance
When traveling to your next camping destination, stay away from other cars on the road. This tip may ring true for many, but it must be noted. Keeping your distance from other vehicles every day can extend the lifecycle of your windshield, but doing so is impossible. City traffic will always call for close quarters amongst travelers.
Henceforth, this tip becomes extremely useful when traveling around those pesky mountain roads. If you are using a dirty, rocky, or unstable road when driving to your campsite, stay away from the vehicle in front of you. If rocks begin to fall from those wrathful cliffs, you want traffic to be able to stop on a dime. Leaving room between vehicles allows for more comfortability when avoiding falling debris.
Furthermore, this distance increases your chance of avoiding rocks and debris kicked up by leading vehicles. Things may bounce out of trucks. Rocks may sling from tires. Be prepared and far away.
2. Be Mindful of Falling Objects
As stated, falling objects can be tricky when traveling up mountain roads. The signs posted on the highway are not for show. Nature does find a way to astonish all of us. Don’t let that surprise be a tumbling rock from up high.
When driving up I-70, drivers are at risk of falling rocks and other debris that could potentially come toppling down the hills on the narrow stretches of roads. The same is true for many tight and narrow trails. Be mindful of your surroundings and stay alert for any falling objects that could damage your side windows, door windows, sunroofs and windshields.
We must note that attempting to avoid these objects may put you in even worse circumstances. Swerving hard for a small object may result in a more devastating outcome than just taking the object head-on. Use your discretion. While we strive to protect your auto glass, a busted windshield is much easier (and cheaper) to fix than other car injuries.
3. Avoid Parking Under Low Hanging Branches
Ah, the wonderful views of nature. Trees shaped by their willingness to reach toward the sun. Foliage clouding the air with thick scents of pine and lilac. Branches ready to destroy your windshield and windows.
Loose branches could spell danger for your vehicle and your auto glass. Avoid parking under low-hanging branches or those that look unstable. All it takes is one strong gust of wind to knock that branch loose and onto your windshield. Depending on the weight of the branch or the strength of the wind, this hit could mean a repair or even a windshield replacement.
Furthermore, if it’s extremely hot outside, avoid parking in direct sunlight. This direct ray of heat could potentially exacerbate windshield issues. If you already have a small chip in your glass, the excess heat and pressure can cause it to expand.
We may sound contradictory here. Let us explain. If it is sunny, park under the shade of trees, but nothing too close to the ground. If inclement weather appears, move your vehicle from any potential falling debris. A windshield sunshade can also help if you don’t want to park anywhere near trees.
4. Be Prepared for Inclement Weather
Piggybacking off the last tip, remember to be prepared for anything. The mountains are notorious for experiencing crazy summer storms that produce high winds, hard rain and even hail. Make sure your vehicle is prepared for all weather conditions while camping. Keep a tarp packed in your vehicle, which can help shield your auto glass during severe storms.
If you are planning on camping during the winter, make sure to have an ice scraper ready for any random snowstorms.
5. Mind That Sap
There are more to those vexing trees than beautiful greens and falling branches. Ever ventured to your car during the summer and found speckles on your windshield that were impossible to remove? That’s sap, a windshield’s worst nightmare.
Tree sap is one of the hardest substances to get rid of once it’s found its way onto the body of your vehicle or your auto glass. Not only that, it attracts dirt that can become stuck in the sap. All of this commotion and debris can obstruct your vision. When driving on mountain roads, you need to be able to see clearly.
When driving up tight trails with lush vegetation to get to your camping spot, be aware that sap can smear onto your vehicle. Don’t assume that the sticky substance will wear away over time, especially if it’s picked up dirt and other types of debris. Consequently, it can harden under the hot sun, making it even harder to remove.
To prevent getting stuck in a sticky situation (aha), bring along a car cover to protect your vehicle when it’s parked under trees. You will also want to remove any stuck-on sap immediately to prevent damage, so pack a cloth, rubbing alcohol, a glass-cleaning agent and a razor blade (to scrape off the sap) in your roadside kit for a quick sap removal.
Schedule a Windshield Replacement or Repair
Already notice a small chip or crack in your windshield? All of the auto glass dangers of the wild can make these marks even worse. How to protect your auto glass while camping starts with having healthy glass.
Before heading out on a camping adventure this summer, one of the best things you can do for your vehicle — and your safety — is to have damaged auto glass repaired or replaced. Doing so can help ensure the structural integrity of your windscreen and body of your vehicle. Also, having a clear windshield allows for a better line of site, so you can see what’s in front of you while driving down winding dirt roads to get to your camping spot.
If your auto glass is damaged, contact us to schedule a windshield replacement in Denver today! Be sure to ask about our mobile windshield replacement and repair services that can save you time and money. Happy trails!