Rod Shelffo
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6 Must-Have Summer Items for Your Car

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Summer means one thing: more time outside. Whether you’re hiking, going to the beach, or taking a trip with your dog, you’re likely to be spending a lot more time in your car to get to those places. Make sure you’re prepared for every situation with these six useful accessories.

Summer Road Trips: How to Prepare Your Car

Reusable Cooler


During the summer, your car is going to heat up like a greenhouse. If you load all of your groceries directly into a hot car, things may be thawed or melted by the time you get home. Keep a fold-up, reusable cooler in your trunk for frozen food items. It won’t take up too much space and you will have peace-of-mind that your grocery money won’t be wasted. The cooler will also come in handy on road trips, keeping your drinks and other food items cold until you are ready for them.


Beach Bag

Whether you pack for the beach or the pool, it’s a good idea to keep a bag with the essentials for those spontaneous trips to the water. Put together a small bag with a swimsuit, towel, sunscreen, a water bottle, and a good book. That way, when your friend calls you on your way home from work and invites you to throw a football at the beach or just lay by pool, you’re good to go. Ironically, being spontaneous can often take a little bit of planning.


Summer Biking

Bike Hitch

There’s no better way to celebrate summer than a morning bike ride with a loved one. But what happens when your car is too small to fit both of your bikes and your favorite bike trail is 20 miles away? Make sure you have a collapsible bike hitch for your car this summer. There are many different kinds, but the most common hook onto the back of your car and you can attach your bikes from there. That way, you’ll be able to drive to your favorite bike trail without taking two trips (or two cars). When you’re not using it, it will fold up nicely in your garage or slip into the trunk of your car with ease.

Sunglasses in Car

Photo: webandi


Sometimes being in a rush makes us forgetful. One of the most easily left-behind items are sunglasses. The summer sun makes sunglasses an important part of driving. If the sun is directly in your eyes, not only is your vision itself impaired, but it makes it much more difficult to focus on the road. Invest in an extra pair this summer to keep in your sunglasses holder or glove compartment. Your eyes will thank you next time you run out the door without them.


Dogs in Car

Pet Seat Cover

Summer means spending more time outside with your best friend. Whether you’re heading out for a hike, to the dog park, or just for a well-loved car ride, it’s important to protect your car. In addition to the mud and dirt on their paws, pet hair and dander can get deep into the cracks of your seats.

While blankets are fine, the dog will most likely shuffle around and push it off the seat. There are many seat covers made especially for dogs; the covers hook on the headrests and secure in place, creating a hammock-type area for your pet while you protect your seats.


Woman with Umbrella

Photo: MaxPixel


We’ve all been in that situation. You leave your house for work and the sun is shining, but by the time you get there, there is a torrential downpour. You sit in the parking lot for a few minutes and wait for the rain to stop but it just won’t quit. Keep a small umbrella in your car this summer, slipping it under one of the back seats or in the glove compartment. It will keep your work clothes dry and you’ll be grateful for it when the time comes.


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After four years in The Marine Corp, Rod formed a career at Hatfield Buick GMC that has spanned more than 25 years. He is married to Lori, has one daughter, Staci, and two grandkids, Kimberlyn and Kaden. He’s an avid golfer and past president and active member of the Redlands Optimist Club.