May 20 2014

8 Travel Tips for a Holiday Weekend Road Trip – The Garage Plan Shop

Post By: Curtis Cadenhead

Category: Driving Safety,Road Trips

Paper Map

With the holiday weekend just days away, many people are planning their first weekend road trip of the summer. And while a spur of the moment road trip might seem like a great idea, a little advanced planning will get you to your destination on time and in a safe manner. Below are eight driving safety tips to help you plan a successful road trip.

  1. Find cheap gas – Gas money can take up a significant amount of your road trip budget so plan ahead. With today’s technology, there are plenty of smart phone apps that can tell you where gas is least expensive. Download an app like GasBuddy to help you find the least expensive gas. If you don’t have a smart phone, figure out your gas budget ahead of time by using one of the many online fuel cost calculators to help you find the cheapest gas stations along your route.
  2. Pack a basic repair kit – Create your own basic repair kit by packing a few basics in a small box or duffle bag. Include items like a flashlight, roll of duct tape, pliers, and a variety of screwdrivers. Check online for roadside survival guides for other suggestions.
  3. Choose companions wisely – When you’re cramped in a car for a long amount of time, you can get to know someone really well. And if you and your companions know each other really well, time and distance will fly by you and you arrive at your destination in what seems like no time. But if you make poor choice in your travel companion(s), a long rind may have you wishing your traveled by yourself. Think carefully about the people you take with you. Make sure you can get along with them for however long the distance you’ll be traveling. Nothing can ruin a good friendship like a bad road trip.
  4. Break up the drive – If you’ll be on the road for many hours, don’t try to be a super hero and drive straight through. You won’t be as alert at 9:00pm as you were at 6:30am. Plan several restroom, stretch and snack breaks along your route. A 15-20 minute break every few hours will be good for your mind and body. If you have multiple licensed drivers traveling with you, take turns driving every couple hours.
  5. Know the law – While you may be excited to get to your destination, a hefty speeding fine or another moving violation can drain your travel budget in a hurry. Additionally, speeding can be a danger to you and to other motorists on the road. Obey the speed limit and use that cruise control to keep a steady pace on the interstate. Also, if you are passing through multiple states, be aware of cell phone and texting laws. It is best to avoid distracted driving all together, but if you must use your phone, know the laws. Some states do not allow the use of phones in construction zones, school zones, etc. Use your stretch breaks for non-emergency phone calls and texting. Do not text while behind the wheel.
  6. Pay attention to the dash – Besides minding the speed limit, your dash can alert you to any potential problems with your vehicle. If something goes wrong, a warning light on your dash may tip you off before it is too late.
  7. Bring a paper map – With today’s technology, it might seem silly to bring a paper road map on your trip. But what will you do if your GPS malfunctions where you’re in the middle of nowhere? A paper map makes the perfect backup and you can use it as a travel log too. Write notes about your trip on the map and make it personal. You’ll enjoy looking at it when you dig it out of a box 10 years from now.
  8. Bring your mother-in-law – Even though we warned you to choose your travel companions wisely, what can we say? If you bring your mother-in-law, you’re trip is sure to be one to remember for one reasons or another!

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May 07 2014

More Ideas to Enjoy the Great Outdoors – The Garage Plan Shop

Post By: Curtis Cadenhead

Category: Activities,Seasonal

Enjoy the Great OutdoorsThe Garage Plan Shop made a New Year’s resolution to enjoy the great outdoors in 2014, and we invited you to do the same. In January we posted a list of ideas for fun and interesting things to do outdoors. Below is another list of ideas to help you renew your commitment to getting outside and enjoying everything around you.

  • Catch lightning bugs with your kids on a summer night.
  • Take your kids for a nighttime walk around your neighborhood with flashlights.
  • Visit local outdoor attractions such as the zoo, a botanical garden, or a natural area.
  • Visit a local park you haven’t been to before.
  • Plan a road trip and stop at national monuments, historic sites and other points of interest along the way.
  • Visit a Civil War battle field.
  • Drive one of America’s scenic highways or byways.
  • Visit a nearby park several times throughout the year and observe how it changes as the seasons change.
  • Learn to identify native trees, flowers and shrubs.
  • Learn to identify native birds and those that migrate and only visit your area seasonally.
  • Plan a weekend camping trip with your kids or friends to a new campground.
  • Schedule a weekly outing with other friends and take your kids to the park for a picnic and to play on the playground.
  • Fly a kite.
  • Stargaze on a clear night and learn to identify some of the constellations.
  • Take a boating safety class.
  • Take a class to learn about a new outdoor recreational activity like rock climbing, archery or scuba diving.
  • Take your kids apple picking, strawberry picking, to the pumpkin patch, etc.
  • Take in Mother Nature’s display of fall colors in a city, state, or town you’ve never visited.
  • Enjoy winter sports with your kids like skiing, sledding and ice skating.
  • Take your kids horseback riding.
  • Hike a new trail once a month.
  • Teach a child about an outdoor sport you love.
  • Participate in a charity event or fundraiser such as a walk or fun run.
  • Get involved in a neighborhood beautification project such as picking up litter along roadways or planting flowers at a community garden.

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Apr 22 2014

Featured RV Garage Plan with Drive-Thru Bay – The Garage Plan Shop

RV Garage Plan 008G-0005Check out this multi-purpose outbuilding plan. With its drive-thru garage bay, it is ideal for RV or boat storage and eliminates the hassle of backing your RV or boat and trailer out of the garage. The drive-thru features is convenient and safe while a vaulted 15’ ceiling and oversized garage door easily accommodate your needs. Two enclosed storage spaces provide plenty of room for storing camping and fishing gear as well as tools or lawn and garden supplies. Don’t miss the open shed area that delivers ample of room for storing large or bulky items that you need to protect from the elements. Add value to your property and that much needed storage space with this drive-thru, RV garage plan.

To view our entire collection of garage plans, please visit, TheGaragePlanShop.com.

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Apr 01 2014

Protect Pedestrians with Safe Driving – The Garage Plan Shop

Post By: M.K. Tenney

Category: Driving Safety,Miscellaneous,Pedestrian Tips,Safety

Protect Pedestrians with Safe DrivingSometimes we become so preoccupied at watching out for the other driver that we forget how many pedestrians are on the road. Whether walking, running or biking, they may not be immediately visible or may accidently step or fall into the street. April 4th is National Walk to Work day. A greater number of pedestrians are expected to be using our sidewalks, crosswalks and road on this special day. Below are some reminders for drivers to help keep pedestrians safe on April 4th and every other day of the year:

1. Be especially alert when driving anywhere there are groups of people moving about like residential areas, school zones, bus stops, or near parks.

2. Avoid distractions like using cell phones or tuning the radio.

3. Give pedestrians the right-of-way. They are assuming that you see them.

4. Slow down when entering and exiting driveways and alleys. Take an extra look when pulling out of a parking space whether it is on the street on in a parking lot.

5. Be prepared to stop when entering a crosswalk area.

6. Use extra caution when visibility is limited at night or when it’s raining.

7. Don’t pass vehicles that have stopped for pedestrians.

8. When passing disabled cars on the side of the road give them some space. If you are not stopping to help, move over into the next lane.

9. At intersections, wait for pedestrians to cross. Look them in the eye so they know that you have seen them but don’t wave them to cross in front of you. Drivers coming from the opposite direction or from behind you may not stop.

10. If you see a ball or toy suddenly roll into the street, be prepared to stop. There is often a youngster close behind it.

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Mar 25 2014

8 Boating Safety Tips – The Garage Plan Shop

Post By: M.K. Tenney

Category: Boating,Safety

Boating SafetyWith boating season quickly approaching, even the most experienced boater needs to keep safety in mind before hitting the water. So, before you head out to your favorite river, lake, bay, etc., review the eight boating safety tips below:

1. Be Weather-wise – Always check the forecast before departure to make sure conditions will be safe for you to be on the water. If you notice sudden changes in the wind or clouds or dropping temperatures while on the water, head back to shore.

2. Check and Double Check – Make a checklist to follow before every trip. Include items like checking fuel lines for leaks and hoses for connections. Make sure the battery is charged and the fuel tank is filled properly. Check that all safety devices like a first aid kit, drinking water, life jackets, and fire extinguisher are present and accounted for on your boat.

3. File a Float Plan – Write down your intended departure and return times, your intended route, a description of your vessel and its registration number, and the names and contact numbers of all of your passengers. Leave this information with a friend or family member or the local marina in case of an emergency.

4. Designate a Second in Command – Make sure at least one other person on board is familiar with the operation of the watercraft, location of the safety devices, and boating safety rules.

5.  Know the Rules – Every state has its own set of rules for boating safety and certification.  Don’t limit yourself to them. Take a boating safety course. Seventy percent of boating accidents are due to operator error.

6.  Learn to Swim – Of course you need to have proper life jackets for all your passengers, and they should be worn at all times when on the water. Eighty percent of fatalities on the water can be prevented by wearing life jackets. Being a good swimmer will make you more comfortable in the water and increase your odds for survival.

7.  Vessel Check – Consider having your boat professionally checked. The US Coast Guard Auxiliary provides a free safety check for your boat and provides safety tips and recommendations.

8.  No BUI – Boating under the influence is dangerous for both the skipper and the passengers. Not only does consuming alcohol accelerate impairment, but most people have less experience on water and that increases the danger of accidents.

When you head out on the water with family and friends this boating season, remember to follow safe boating practices

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