There's a big difference between driving out of state for a long weekend and fully committing to a serious road trip. If you're planning the kind of cross-country trip where your car basically becomes your home for a few weeks, you're going to need some serious supplies. These are the items you can count on to make your road trip not just livable, but lovable.
1. An Air Compressor
When your tire pressure is low, it kills your gas mileage and can actually be pretty dangerous. The Breez Air Compressor runs on your car's 12 volt power, and can be used to inflate car tires, bike tires, and air mattresses. Along with a Tire Tackle repair kit, it's essential to keeping your car roadworthy for the entire trip.
2. A Portable Jump Starter
The other basic road issue you should be prepared for is battery failure. There's nothing worse than the sound of failed ignition on a late night in the middle of nowhere. You don't want to be dependent on another driver or AAA, and with this compact device from DBPOWER, you won't need to be. Just charge it in advance, and keep it in your glove compartment for emergencies. It even includes a flashlight for finding the connections in the dark, and doubles as a back-up battery for your USB-powered devices.
3. A Camp Stove
You don't want to live off fast food every day. With a camp stove you can cook a healthy meal for yourself at any rest stop or camp site. This classic option from Coleman comes with two burners and wind guards, and it runs off the one-pound bottles of propane you can find anywhere that sells camping supplies.
4. A Campfire Grill
If you're more of a fan of open-fire cooking, this folding grill from Amazon Basics turns any campfire into an instant cooking surface for your meats and veggies.
5. A Camp Table
Another essential for your road-kitchen is a good camp table. There are lot of more complicated options available, but this simple aluminum model from REDCAMP is easy to set up, compact enough to fit in your trunk, and it comes with seating for two.
6. A High-Performance Cooler
Old-school coolers go through ice way too quickly. If you want to cook regularly while you're on the road, the latest coolers are absolutely essential for keeping meats, dairy, and produce fresh longer. This affordable 30-liter model from EchoSmile has plenty of room for your groceries, and will keep things cool for up to a week with a full load of ice.
7. A Portable Shower Pump
When that road musk has set in, and you really want a quick rinse, you probably don't want to use a gas station bathroom. This battery-powered pump from Ivation is a cheap solution that lets you heat up a pot of water for an instant hot shower wherever you are. For the sake of privacy, you probably want to pair this with a pop-up tent.
8. A 4-Season Sleeping Bag
If you need to spend the night in your car, you don't want to wake up freezing. This 4-season sleeping bag from SOULOUT will keep you warm even if the temperature drops into the 30s.
9. A Car Bed
Speaking of sleeping rough, there are some solutions for making that experience a little more bearable. If your car has room for a full air bed or roll-out mattress, those are great options, but even a normal backseat can be greatly improved by this air mattress from HIRALIY maximizes your space, and can also double as an outdoor couch.
10. A Rechargeable Hand Warmer
Another trick for making a cold night more bearable is to warm yourself with one of these rechargeable hand warmers from BigBlue, which can also serve as another backup battery and flashlight. Alternatively, on a hot night, you can fall asleep easier with one of these cold packs from FlexiKold.