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Old 11th March 2010, 13:34   #1
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Question Driving through Rajasthan in the thick of summer

Dear fellow BHP-ians,

I'm asking for some advice on tackling the Indian summer on the road.

I'm planning a (return) road trip I'm planning for May - June 2010, a Mumbai - Delhi - Mumbai. I've driven the route a number of time before but never during the peak of the Indian summer. I intend to travel with the wife and daughter, so I thought about throwing some questions I've had to the forum for some practical / lesser known / Why-haven't-I-thought-of-that response. The choice of cars is either the family Safari (which has been to Delhi twice since 2007) or the trusty 5-year 40,000 km Wagon R retrofitted with LPG, so there would have to be a carrier to haul the luggage. Mumbai Delhi would be in the first week of May, and Delhi Mumbai in the first week of June.

Irrespective of the choice of vehicle, please share whatever you can think of in terms of general "best practices" while driving through Gujarat / Rajasthan in the thick of summer with the objective of (a) not getting roasted, and (b) maybe making a pleasant experience of it as well. All thoughts, comments, suggestions and experiences are keenly awaited.
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Old 13th March 2010, 12:11   #2
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Here are a few things that I can think of, off hand.

1. try to do most of the driving, starting early mornings and late evening when the temperatures are relatively less hotter. But the down side is that all the truckies follow this practise to expect more traffic on road.

2. If you driving through the day (which can be done if the ac is effective) please do not take any breaks in between, as subjecting to your self to outside heat directly from the comforts from ac environment, can cause health issues. If you have to stop, do turn off the air-con in advance so that your body is not subjected to extreme temperatures.

3. "Loo conditions" or heat storms are very much prevalant in this part of the world so make sure you cover yourself from head to toe with light colour clothings, this is one of the main reasons village men always wear a head gear in the heat. Also have sun glases on, apart from saving you from the sun, they also help in case of dust storms. Another common ocuurences in may.

4. In may the temperatures can reach upto 50 degrees celsius so make sure you carry lots of water/ salts/ ORS/ lime water etc etc to rehydrate yourself continuously. If you carry a big cool pot or something in the car it will always help.

5. Always park your car in shade. Apart from the car keeping cool while parked there are some cases when presurised cans, cig lighters have exploded due to excess of heat.

6. Keep your tyre pressure a few points less than the suggested level and keep checking it often.

7. Mirages often appear on roads, they can be a of some disturbance if you are tired and you can loose track of the road. So make sure you fresh whilst you drive ( well this point should be applicable whenever you drive actually)

Regards
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Old 14th March 2010, 02:04   #3
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Very well written Deky. Appreciate it.
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Old 14th March 2010, 02:18   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WanderNomad View Post
Very well written Deky. Appreciate it.
I agree..Have a good time Dhruv.
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Old 14th March 2010, 15:19   #5
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good points deky. i hope to be driving through there in april and will be challenged on my bullet.
thinking jaisselmir but that me change if i get toasted on route!
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Old 17th January 2011, 23:49   #6
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Default Re: Driving through Rajasthan in the thick of summer

Many thanks guys!
Sorry for this better-late-than-never reply to this thread, but the family completely veteoed the trip and I ended up (against my will) contributing to the horrendous profits of the "budget" airlines.

I did drive up in October end, and drove back in the middle of November - there was a monsoon on in Rajasthan with visibility of barely 50m. Almost avoided hitting a cow near Bhilwara, which thankfully got up and walked off, and the Safari too just shrugged off the incident with just a minor crack on the front grille. Other than that, awesome trip in awesome weather!
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Old 18th January 2011, 16:09   #7
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Default Re: Driving through Rajasthan in the thick of summer

Excellent stuff Deky. My two cents

a) Check and make sure that your AC is in very good condition. Which ever car has the best and trust worthy AC, take it.
b) I would again reiterate two things which Deky said - Mirages and Loos. Be careful while driving. If confused, stop for second, recover your view and drive on.

Have sufferred these while driving in Deserts in peak summers while in fauj
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Old 12th May 2011, 14:30   #8
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Default Re: Driving through Rajasthan in the thick of summer

Quote:
Originally Posted by deky View Post
6. Keep your tyre pressure a few points less than the suggested level and keep checking it often.
For most cars 30 PSI is the recommended pressure. And from what I know most manufacturers recommend keeping it at that level as under inflation causes more heat in sidewalls and can lead to premature tire failure.
However, for extreme heat conditions like > 45deg C, do we need to deviate from this thumb-rule as mentioned above or is it a myth?
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Old 14th May 2011, 12:12   #9
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Default Re: Driving through Rajasthan in the thick of summer

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Originally Posted by ST7677 View Post
For most cars 30 PSI is the recommended pressure. And from what I know most manufacturers recommend keeping it at that level as under inflation causes more heat in sidewalls and can lead to premature tire failure.
However, for extreme heat conditions like > 45deg C, do we need to deviate from this thumb-rule as mentioned above or is it a myth?
I usually find the tyre pressure go up by 3-4 points in my car after a long drive. I use normal air.

Hence I mentioned, that when the ambient temperature itself is around 45 degrees and the road surface temperature might be much more, so there IMO if we reduce the pressure in the tyre by a couple of points it will save the tyre from bursting. Specially in case of tube tyres.
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Old 14th May 2011, 12:29   #10
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Default Re: Driving through Rajasthan in the thick of summer

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Originally Posted by deky View Post
I usually find the tyre pressure go up by 3-4 points in my car after a long drive. I use normal air.
I agree and would add a point, above 45 degree long drive increases tyre pressure to 3-4 points and high speed driving is also a factor affecting tyre pressure.
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Old 14th May 2011, 15:16   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ST7677 View Post
For most cars 30 PSI is the recommended pressure. And from what I know most manufacturers recommend keeping it at that level as under inflation causes more heat in sidewalls and can lead to premature tire failure.
However, for extreme heat conditions like > 45deg C, do we need to deviate from this thumb-rule as mentioned above or is it a myth?
I don't think so. I read on bridgestone's web site that for high speed driving (highways) the tyre pressure should to be increased by 5psi.
Tyre care, Tyre maintenance, Basics of tyre care, Guide to tyre care, Care radial tyres.
(click on tips for hi speed driving)
This is contradictory to what Deky has suggested. Under inflation could be fatal in sustained high speed driving due to more flexing of the tyre walls.
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Old 14th May 2011, 15:42   #12
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Default Re: Driving through Rajasthan in the thick of summer

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Originally Posted by raihan View Post
I don't think so. I read on bridgestone's web site that for high speed driving (highways) the tyre pressure should to be increased by 5psi.
Tyre care, Tyre maintenance, Basics of tyre care, Guide to tyre care, Care radial tyres.
(click on tips for hi speed driving)
This is contradictory to what Deky has suggested. Under inflation could be fatal in sustained high speed driving due to more flexing of the tyre walls.
I agree. Never drive with under inflated tires. Its very risky.
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