10 Gadgets for Your Next Road Trip


Power Inverter

One of the most useful gadgets you can take along on your car trip is the one that lets you power up all the other gadgets. An inverter changes the 12-volt direct current from your car's battery into the 115-volt alternating current used by most appliances. You can operate a small television, a laptop computer, a toaster or a coffee maker with that.

Inverters come in a variety of sizes. Smaller ones, like the Kensington K38037US, fit into the glove box and plug into the lighter/power outlet. In addition to giving you AC power, it lets you charge your smart phone or iPod through a USB cable. Larger inverters can be wired directly to the battery. A model from Power Line looks exactly like a coffee cup. Plug it in and you have two AC outlets in your cup holder.

Keep in mind that the power in your battery is limited. You'll have to look at the maximum load of any inverter you use. You may need to turn on and run your engine periodically to make sure you're not draining your battery.

Related Articles


  • Aervo. LED Road Flare. (July 1, 2011) http://www.aervoe.com/paints_coatings/LED-Road-Flare-single.html
  • Amazon.com. "Kensington K38037US Auto/Air Power Inverter." (July 1, 2011) http://www.amazon.com/Kensington-K38037US-Power-Inverter-Ports/dp/B002DUD1RE
  • Amazon.com. "Powerline By Original Power 0900-66 200-Watt Coffee Cup Inverter." (July 1, 2011) http://www.amazon.com/Powerline-Original-Power-0900-66-200-Watt/dp/B000QFISDK/ref=sr_1_44?ie=UTF8&qid=1309388947&sr=8-44
  • Autonet Mobile. "Buckle up because this is a whole new way to experience the Internet." (July 1, 2011) http://www.autonetmobile.com/service
  • CarMD.com. "What is the CarMD Vehicle Health System?" (July 1, 2011) http://www.carmd.com/72.4.0/Article/What-Is-It
  • CarToys.com. "In-Car Theater." (July 1, 2011) http://www.cartoys.com/cartoys/webpage.cfm/WebPage_ID/101/action/Incartheater
  • DirecTV. "Sat-Go." (July 1, 2011) http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/content/equipment/satgo
  • Governors Highway Safety Association. "Cell Phone and Texting Laws," July 2011. (July 1, 2011) http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/cellphone_laws.html
  • McEvoy, Aoife M. "How to Buy a Bluetooth Headset or Car Speakerphone." PC World, March 2, 2011. (July 1, 2011) http://www.pcworld.com/article/155222/how_to_buy_a_bluetooth_headset_or_car_speakerphone.html
  • Nationwide. "Driving While Distracted: Statistics To Know." (July 1, 2011) http://www.nationwide.com/newsroom/dwd-facts-figures.jsp
  • Rubin, Ross. :Switched On: E-readers drive to digital distraction," Engadget.com, June 19, 2011. (July 1, 2011) http://www.engadget.com/2011/06/19/switched-on-e-readers-drive-to-digital-distraction
  • SatelliteInsight.com. "Satellite Phone Tips and TricksTo Maximize Your Service." (July 1, 2011) http://www.satelliteinsight.com/satellite-phone-tips.html#service
  • Slime. Quick Spair. (July 1, 2011) http://www.slime.com/product/871/Quick-Spair.html?utm_source=slime.com&utm_medium=Banner&utm_term=Quick%2BSpair&utm_campaign=Featured%2BProducts
  • Steripen.com. "Traveler." (July 1, 2011) http://www.steripen.com/traveler
  • Sub5Zero.com. "CarMD: Health Care Reform for Your Vehicle?" (July 1, 2011) http://www.sub5zero.com/gadgets/carmd-handheld-vehicle-diagnostic-tool-review


See the Swirling Glory of Britain's 7-Circle Magic Roundabout

See the Swirling Glory of Britain's 7-Circle Magic Roundabout

How does Swindon's Magic Roundabout traffic circle work? Learn more in this HowStuffWorks Now article.