When the holidays are approaching, making plans to pick out a Christmas tree is always exciting yet it can become hazardous during transport if it’s not properly secured to your vehicle. There are some variations in these steps depending on the type of vehicle you have and whether or not you have a roof rack.
The process of getting your tree atop your car may seem easy but there’s more to it than meets the eye.
Gather proper supplies and bring an appropriate vehicle
There’s much more to securing your Christmas tree than just setting it atop the roof of your car or in the bed of your truck. Getting the necessary supplies together beforehand will save you a lot of time.
A tarp or durable blanket to wrap under and around the tree is essential. The scratchy pine needles and any tree sap could damage your clearcoat otherwise. A net can be used to wrap trees to prevent needle loss during travel.
Other important items to have on hand include strong rope or ratchet straps to tie it down and an orange safety flag or ribbon for the ends of the tree. You’ll want the straps or bungee cords to be able to reach fully around the tree and from side to side of your vehicle. Gloves will also come in handy to protect your hands.
Prepare the Christmas tree for travel
You spend time picking out the perfect tree so keeping it in good shape during the trip home is important. Once you have your tree ready to load up, wrap it in twine or netting to keep all the branches secure and intact.
The trunk of the tree should point toward the front of the car to have minimal wind resistance. Once you have the tree ready, it’s time to load it up and secure it.
Securing a Christmas tree with and without a roof rack
If you have a roof rack it certainly can make the transport of the tree a bit easier. Start by setting your rope or ratchet straps in place then lay the tree on the rack, next bring the rope or straps across and over the tree and firmly secure together. Trees should be tied at the base, middle, and top for optimal support.
Without a roof rack, the process is the same, except you’ll have to secure it using your roof as the main support rather than the rack. Open the doors, don’t roll down the windows. This is extremely important as you want to avoid putting the pressure on the window frame and instead use the roof to support the tree. The doors should be able to close securely with the rope in place.
Be sure you have a clear view and don’t overdo it
Trees come in all sizes and you’ll want to be sure the one you’re bringing home will not block your view once you’ve got it secured on your vehicle.
It’s a good idea to measure the area on the vehicle where you’ll be putting the tree. Doing so will give you an idea of what size tree can realistically be placed in the space. You will want to ensure that the tree and the items used to keep it in place are not dangling loosely over the sides or in front or back distracting from a clear view of the road.
An SUV or pickup truck simplifies traveling with your tree
If you have an SUV or pickup truck consider using that vehicle for this outing. Securing your Christmas tree inside the SUV or in the bed of the truck is fairly easy although you’ll still want to secure it and prepare the tree to avoid damage to the tree and vehicle.
Clean the vehicle afterwards and remove any tree sap
Fresh trees can sometimes seep sap onto your vehicle’s paint even when following all the recommended precautions listed here. The longer the sap sits the more difficult it can become to remove. These pointers for sap removal from vehicle paint will come in handy.
Following these tips will help you to keep your car protected and get your Christmas tree home safely.
Flagstop Car Wash can help you keep your car clean year-round with our RVA Wash Club. Unlimited washes as often as you like at any of our convenient locations and you can even sign up online or give us a call today at (804) 782-9274