Category Archives: Road Trips

Use Your Car For The Perfect Tailgate

Are you a sports fan? Do you enjoy a live concert? Have you attended the game or the show but have always been a little envious of the fans hanging out in the parking lots with their music, games and great food? Tailgating continues to grow in popularity and with that comes more and more gadgets, games and food ideas. Here are some ideas for the novice tailgater.

Tailgate Necessities

The Grill – There are many different options when it comes to tailgate grills. Buy something small and affordable to get started. There are various tabletop options as well as grills that fold up to slide easily into the trunk. Most of these use mini propane tanks. These types of grills can be purchased at most sporting goods stores as well as Walmart or from Amazon.

The Furniture – If you are starting out, folding chairs and a small folding table will do just fine. That way you can look around and get some other ideas. You are guaranteed to see a large variety of set-ups at your first tailgating experience!

The Coolers – Coolers are a necessity! If you have one on hand, start there. As you become a more advanced tailgate junkie, there are coolers with built in phone chargers, stereos and coolers that plug right into the car charger!

The Other Stuff – Put together a box with plates, utensils, grill tongs, spatula, paper towels, garbage bags and wipes. Feeling fancy? Throw in a tablecloth. Make sure to throw a couple blankets in the trunk for those chillier nights.

The Vehicle: You must arrive in style, so be sure to get pre-qualified with US Auto Sales before your next tailgate party!

Food and Drink

Anything goes! This is really preference. You will see food ranging from basic sandwiches to steak and lobster! Starting simple is your best bet, maybe burgers and dogs. Get more creative as you go. As far as drinks, being aware of open container laws and venue rules is important.

Tailgate Games

Ladder Toss – This is a fun, inexpensive game where you toss strings with golf balls on both ends at a ladder with colored rungs and earn points depending on the color of the rung. This can be played mano a mano or in teams.

Corn Hole – Another popular lawn game that can be played individually or in teams, Corn Hole has two slanted boards with a hole cut in the middle. Each person throws three bean bags each turn trying to get them to fall in the hole. You earn points for bean bags that fall in the hole or land on the board. First team to 21 wins.

Putter Ball – Putter Ball is essentially Beer Pong with golf clubs. The game consists of a long turf runway with 6 holes arranged in a triangle at each end, two clubs, and covers for each hole. Each person or team gets two putts per turn. If a putt goes in, the hole is covered. The first person or team to cover all the holes wins.

Again, these are great games to start with, but you are sure to get a lot of other ideas as you become more experienced with tailgating.

Need a car, truck, or SUV for your next tailgate party? Visit U.S. Auto Sales and search our inventory now!

How To Pet Proof Your Car

Dogs are man’s best friend, but man’s best friend comes with some unique challenges when you have them in the car. Whether you’re dropping them off at doggie daycare, driving them to the park, or cruisin’ with them on Sunday morning, make sure your US Auto Sales car is operating at the top standard for all the members of your family—even the four-legged ones.

We broke down a few simple problems you risk running into once Gizmo knows it’s time for a ride.

#1: Car surfing

As talented and athletic as your pooch is, make sure that car surfing is one skill they never learn. Having the dog jump back and forth between the front and back seats is not only dangerous for them, it’s dangerous for everyone else in the car as well. Thankfully, there are simple ways to solve the surfing problem. You can take removable mesh netting and fasten it over both headrests in the front and passenger’s side seats, or you can buy a “seatbelt” for your pup. Seatbelts are safe and cheap options to keep your pet tethered to the backseat, where they can lay down and enjoy the ride in peace.

#2:  Dealing with the fluff

We know, the groomer is never anyone’s favorite place. But we still have to contend with the remnants of your Husky so someone can’t guess the color of your dog simply by sitting in your car. An easy solution is putting down nylon or canvas covering over the backseat. Due to its easily removable nature, you can store it in your trunk and have it ready whenever you feel the need for a pup adventure on the road. It’ll save you so much time and effort from busting out the cordless Hoover every weekend!

#3: Accidents

No, not the normal kind you think of in a car. We need to prepare for the “accidents” exclusive to pets unaccustomed to travel: i.e. upset stomach, vomit, unintended bathroom breaks, et cetera. This is all about prevention. Before a long trip, make sure you take Spot out for a long walk. Don’t over-indulge him during breakfast. It’s also never a bad idea to take along extra garbage bags, paper towels, and disinfectant that’s safe for the interior of the car.

You don’t have to cruise alone! Just make sure you’re providing a safe ride to every passenger, no matter what their species.

Road Trip Hacks

School’s out for the summer! Do you hear the road calling your name? Before you pack the family into your US Auto Sales minivan to visit that perfect hiking destination six hours away, there are a few things we can tell you that will take your travel know-how from fine to fantastic!

Don’t be a road trip newbie: these tips can help you travel in a much better way.

  1. Tunes

We know, the radio is free! But haven’t you ever driven that long stretch of road so remote that the only station you pick up seems to be playing the song “Static” featuring Random Bursts From Satellites? It’s not as good a jam as you may think! Maintain that vital link to music through thick and thin. Maybe you have satellite radio, a Bluetooth connection, Android Auto, or Apple CarPlay.  Maybe you go retro and pack some CDs full of early 2000s nostalgia. No way is wrong here! Just keep the music playing!

  1. Sunscreen

You know that moment three hours into your ride, when you’re enjoying the wind in your hair with your arm out the window? The last thing you want is to pull your arm back in and notice the telltale signs of sunburn.  Not on our watch! Put some sunscreen on (especially for that window arm!) and start your vacation on the right note (not a red one!)

  1. Prepare for Trouble

Problems don’t disappear during vacations! We know: how rude. It’s always best to plan ahead for emergencies. Keeping a first-aid kit in your trunk will be undoubtedly convenient in the future. A few other things you might want to pack include water bottles, batteries, and flashlights. Who knows what the elements might bring?

  1. Roadside Assistance

This ties in with the previous point. If you know you won’t be able to fix a tire in the middle of nowhere, someone is going to have to do it! If your insurance doesn’t offer roadside assistance, make sure you have access to programs like AAA to get you help when you need it most.

  1. Entertainment

Trust us, the kiddos are great and all, but we all need some downtime. Plan for group activities including car games and family chats, but also be prepared with books, tablets, and other games that will keep every member of the family happy. Pro tip for young kids: Go to your local dollar store. Buy a $1 toy for each hour of your drive. Every hour toss a new toy into those little hands. Between anticipation and actually playing with the new stuff, they’ll be amused the entire time.

Happy driving!

Bring Rover! Buying a Car for You and Your Dog.

Bring Rover! Buying a car for you and your dog.

Your dog loves to travel with you, right? So what cars are best for your dog?

First, let’s consider what your dog wants from a car – comfort, and security. An uncomfortable dog is unhappy, whiny, restless dog, and nobody has time for that when they’re driving. An unsecured dog is a risk to the driver and passengers and could be injured or killed in an accident. You also want something your dog fits in easily. Not a big deal for your Chihuahua, but if you have a giant breed like a Great Dane or a Saint Bernard, you’re gonna need a bigger car.

Also, consider ease of getting your dog in and out. Make sure that the doors open wide enough for the dog to access their seat. Sliding doors like those on minivans, or big hatches in some SUVs and hatchbacks make it easier. Floor height is important, too. A smaller dog may not be able to jump into that lifted Jeep, and you may not be able to lift a larger dog into the vehicle.

A bench seat is crucial, and preferably one that’s fairly flat, especially for your larger dog. If you’ve ever slept on a lumpy mattress, you know those semi-buckets in the back of that sports car aren’t going to be comfy for your dog.

Cloth seats may stay cooler in summer, but if you’ve ever tried to vacuum dog hair out of cloth seats, you know that vinyl or leather is better. If you’re concerned about the dog’s claws tearing up your leather seats, invest in a good set of seat covers.

For security, plan on picking up a pet harness that clips into the cars seat belt or child seat anchors. Before you choose which one, figure out if your car has child seat anchors, and how accessible they are. If you plan to put your dog in a crate in the car, make sure the crate is tied down. So when you’re shopping for the car for you and Rover, make sure there are tie-down points for the crate that you can find.