When it comes to road trips, smartphones have replaced folding maps, car radios, books, and even games of “I Spy.”
The only problem? None of the old road trip tools and pastimes hogged power the way smartphones do today. And depending on how you charge them, you might find your battery near zero with half your trip to go.
There are three common problems when it comes to car charging: slow charging, a lack of USB ports, and clutter.
But don’t worry. We have the tools and tips you need to keep your phone charged from Acadia to Yellowstone.
Don’t use your car’s USB port to charge
If you (or your kids) are using multiple battery-draining apps at the same time, like GPS, streaming music, games, or video, your phone’s battery might deplete as you drive, even while it’s plugged in.
In most cars, USB ports only charge at 1 amp, and that’s a lot less than what most phones can handle. Use too many apps on a long drive, and you may end up arriving with less battery than when you left.
The solution is simple: Use a car charger that delivers more than 1 amp when plugged into your car’s 12-volt socket (formerly the cigarette lighter).
Passengers put a premium on charging ports
Two people in a lifeboat, eyeing the last bottle of water. That’s what it’s like when drivers have to share a single charging port on a long drive.
OK, maybe that’s a little extreme, but let’s face it, when you are sharing the car’s USB port, it’s a recipe for anxiety, because nobody gets a full charge. It’s a little less stressful when a charger with one USB port is involved, but not by much. If you are going on a long road trip, pick up a car charger with two USB ports, like Ventev’s dashport rq2300, which Rapid Charges phones and tablets and is Quick Charge 3.0 compatible. It has the power to keep a driver and a passenger charged up and relaxed.
And unlike lower quality chargers, Ventev dashports use split circuitry, meaning you will receive the same charging experience no matter what combination of devices you are charging. Low-quality chargers share the total power across two ports.
Charging cables spend a lot of their lifetime tangled up in knots or draped over stuff you need. It’s the same in the car. Cable clutter is a real problem, and it is more than a mere annoyance. It’s bad for the cables too. They get yanked out of bags. They get pulled on in frustration as people try to hastily unknot them. All of that can lead to fraying, or unseen damage. Ventev chargesync alloy cables are beefy cables that stay tangle free. They’re tough, designed to last the longest road trip.
Nobody likes to take their eyes off the road.
One of the easiest ways to keep your eyes where they need to be is to use a dashmount. It keeps the phone in place every time you drive. That means you don’t have to worry about balancing it on your lap while you look at directions, or falling in between the seats while cruising down the highway. If your phone is equipped for wireless charging, Ventev’s wirelesspro dock is the way to go, with spring-loaded clip arms for easy docking. Ventev’s minipro vent dashmount is an option for the non-wireless charging phones out there. This low-profile cradle clips to a car’s air vents.
Rapidly draining batteries make a long road trip even longer. Before you pack up and hit the open road, equip your car for every device you’ll need. You’ll keep the kids happy, avoid getting lost, and arrive with your battery at 100 percent. Happy travels!