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Prepare Your Car for Black Friday Shopping

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By , dealnews staff writer

Black Friday is just around the corner, and while all of us at dealnews will say you're better off shopping online rather than in-store, there may be some deals that you think are worth trekking outside for, leaving the comfort of your home in the wee hours of the morning. So let's look at some ways to to optimize your Black Friday experience by prepping your car for the shopping madness.

Have a Battle Plan

First things first; you have to be smart about your Black Friday outing. You don't just want to run from store to store "shopping" for the hottest deal. You need a strategic plan to know where the bargains are. This is why you absolutely need the dealnews Black Friday app for iPhone and Android. This app will give you the latest news and inside info you'll need to come out on top this Black Friday. And it's free! See that? You've already scored your first bargain!

Additionally, you'll want to bookmark the dealnews Black Friday page; think of it as your battle strategy for optimizing your time spent on the Black Friday hunt. Find stores in your area and check out their deals. Then print out the page, circle the items you want, and get set to whiz by the unassuming crowds.

The War Machine

Next to printed Black Friday pages and a smartphone app, your car is the most important item to navigate the madness of Vendredi Noir, or Black Friday en français. To start, make sure your car is in tip top shape. Unless you're one of those people who wait until the exact mile marker on that little static sticker on the windshield, go get your oil changed. Pep Boys has a sale on a Do-It-Yourself Oil Change ($30 via printable coupon) complete with five quarts of synthetic oil and a new filter.

With the drive train taken care of, there are a few items you'll need to help you navigate the bargains. To get from store to store in record time, you need to know the fastest way to each location. We like the Garmin nüvi 1450LMT GPS from Cabela's ($139.99 with free shipping, price low by $8). Not only does this GPS show you the way to go, it also gives you lifetime traffic and map updates.

Since you probably have a "BF" checklist set up on your iPad, you'll want to keep it handy, but secure, while driving. The Vogels EMC 5000 DVDock ($29.99 with free shipping, a low by $4) is the way to go. (It also holds portable DVD players too.)

Haulin' the Spoils

Black Friday, or viernes negro, as they say en español, can be challenging for even the most seasoned shopper. As you're running out of the store, escaping with the last 4.5-gallon coffee maker for $2, you don't want to have to stop and find your keys to open the trunk of you car. For this reason, you'll want the AutoPage Remote Start with Keyless Entry Kit ($54.99 with free shipping, lowest by $6). Not only can you open the trunk with the remote, you can unlock the doors, and even remote start the engine (which will aid in a fast getaway from the angry mob of shoppers chasing you.)

Look, if you own a Prius or other compact car, you're not going to be able to stuff that 55" LCD TV in to the rear hatch. You're going to need extra room that your tiny car just doesn't have. We like the Haul Master 4X8 Utility Trailer ($399.99 with $104 s&h, a low by $121). Not only does it have enough room to strap down just about any size bargain you might find, but it's also DOT legal so you can use it to haul your vacation gear during the summer!

Tie Me Up, Tie Me Down

There will come a point during Black Friday, or Chernaya Pyatnitsa, as they say in Russian, when you've run out out interior space in your car. When this happens, it's time to look to the skies — or least as far as the roof — for a solution. We like the Universal Telescoping Roof Rails ($39.99 with $12 s&h, a low by $1). This rack mounts on just about any vehicle, and can handle a payload of up to 150 lbs. Plus it's removable, so you can restore the clean lines of your car on Saturday morning.

It will do you no good to stack stuff on the roof of your car if you don't have a way of securing it. In this instance, that old roll of duct tape you found in the trunk just won't cut it on Black Friday, or Hēisè xīngqí wǔ as they say in Chinese. To make sure your coveted purchases don't go flying off the roof as you're racing home, we recommend a Northwest River Supply Heavy Duty 1" 9-Foot Cam Strap ($5.30 each with free shipping, a low by $7) made of polypropylene. Buy two or three of these, and you're ready to secure any deal you find to the roof of your car!

Keep Your Motor Running

The most important thing to help you get the deals you want, is to ensure you have the energy to keep up with the frantic pace of the day. One our our staff's favorite ways to stay alert (other than five cups of coffee and a stack of waffles) is the 5-Hour Energy Drink 6-Pack ($13.99 with free shipping, a low by $2). Now if you are not a fan of energy drinks and like to get your morning jolt the old fashioned way, try the RoadPro 12-Volt Quick Cup Coffee Maker ($24.77 with free shipping via Prime). This mobile coffee brewing system will keep you in caffeine all through the madness.

Of course, these are just a few tips to help you navigate one of the best shopping days of the year: Black Friday. Remember, the best way to avoid those long lines and violent elderly people at the store is to do your shopping online ... and keep checking out dealnews throughout the day, for updated news and Black Friday information! Happy Shopping!

Front page photo credit: Sweet Disposition


Dan Leadbetter is a staff writer for dealnews. He's also been an automotive and mobile electronics journalist for more than 25 years, and one of the panel members on the dealnews podcast. He is also completely prepared for the upcoming Zombie Apocalypse, and really likes sushi. You can follow his misadventures on Twitter @danleadbetter.
Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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