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Traveling with Mobile Technology

Is having a cell phone enough for traveling the byways of California?

The short answer is most likely not. Although with current smartphone technology you will usually have access to maps, directions and even traffic information. This way of navigating will only work of course if you're able to save your route on your phone (just in case if you lose the data signal).

GPS navigational systems works well, the maps are preloaded and can be updated, and even some vehicles thankfully have NAV-GPS systems installed. You may purchase a portable GPS unit without too much fuss. Just be aware that dense forests, deep valleys/canyons and for that matter dense cities scapes can interfere with GPS signals. In anycase 'old' tech, yup paper maps are still available.

Lets chat about CB Radios. Yes they're still in use today and most professional drivers of trucks and even some tour buses drivers rely on them. Why? Its a great way to communiticate short distances. It's relatively inexpensive and has saved numberous lives when there's no cell service available. Pick one up that has a magentic mount antenna and your ready to roll.

If you have what it takes get a HAM licence (Amateur Radio) it will pay dividends with the poetental of reaching out, it's amazing the distances your signal can cover by using radio repeaters a top of hills and mountains.

Of course there is the SAT phone (Satellite phone) option, prices have dropped, just as GPS though you'll need a clear view of the sky to get your signal out.

Traveling the California byways is a wonderful experience, we wish you safe travels.

Vechicle Check List

First of all Check the Oil

The oil in your car is it's life blood. If you're planning a long trip, it's best to just get an oil change before you leave. Keep in mind if you're driving in the mountains or for very long distances, give the oil a quick check when you fill up at a gas stations.


Tire pressure is very important, since a well pressurized tire can also save money on fuel. You will find the correct tire pressures generally on the tires themselves, or their may be a stick on the driver's side door that will tell you correct tire pressures. Check the tire/stem for leaks. A trip to the tire shop for a tire check up is always a great idea.

Check Spare Tire

Chances of a blowout are slim if your tires are well kept and have the proper amount of tread. But in the event of a flat tire, you'll want to make sure that your spare tire is inflated and present in the car. If you have special rims and locking lug nuts make sure you have the key to the lug nuts. Typically they are located in your glove box. Know where your car jack is located.


Your battery might be new, but it's good idea to bring alternate power in the event of a dead battery. It's more common that you might think. Especially if you leave some type of electronic plugged in. It's great to have a backup battery jump system in case you end up with a dead battery.

Extra Set of Keys

How many times have you realized, I just locked myself out. It can spoil a vacation in seconds, as you try and find someone to help. Avoid these situations by getting a spare key perhaps with a hide a key system.

Safety Check

You should consider to have your trusted mechanic do a complete saftey check. Not only will it ease your worries, it may even save your life and your love ones.

Rest Areas of Nearby States

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511 uses an automated voice response system for area Traffic, Weather, Road Construction and Amber Alerts.

Tire Traction Devices
Tire Traction Devices

What are tire traction devices? What are A.T.D.'s? and are they legal in California? Are chains required on the inside 'duals' on 2-axle vehicles (trucks, buses, RVs, etc.)?

Travel Tech Ideas
Road Travel Tech

What on the road travel technologies can help you have a safer trip? Is two way radio communications still an option?