Pack Up and Hit the Highway

By Jennifer LeClaire

June 04, 2009

Pack Up and Hit the Highway Pack Up and Hit the Highway

The highways and byways are congested with overloaded hatchbacks and rental trucks making their way to State U this time of year.

Whether your ride back to college is a Buick you inherited from gramps or one of those orange-and-white moving trucks from the corner gas station, you’ve got the same challenge: maximizing the space and arriving without damaging the vehicle – or yourself.

“The key to maximizing packing space in a car is to utilize the areas that people generally don’t think of using,” says Jeff Warde, marketing manager for Case Logic. “For example, the areas underneath seats, on the back of seats and on top of the roof of the car offer additional room for organizing and storing gear.”

Containerizing your car

Companies like Case Logic make caddies designed to strap to seats and help maximize space in the car. The nooks and crannies in SUVs make good hideaways for small items you need to keep handy.

Roof racks are convenient for bicycles, luggage or other bulky items that may not fit inside. And don’t forget about the often-overlooked space under the car seats and the spare tire.

Collapsible crates and coolers designed to fold up when you are not using them can help make the most of your space. Or try compression bags, they can slash 50 percent of your cargo volume. You can even use stackable Rubbermaid containers on the road that make for great storage at the dorm.

SUV safety

For many college-aged Americans, August means jumping into the family SUV, packed tight with their belongings, to make the long drive back to school.

Don’t forget the cardinal rules of SUV driving safety – handling, loading, tire pressure, and seat belts. Neglecting these issues make you more prone to accidents that result in injuries or death.

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