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Road Trip! Help keep my bass safe

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by Masters2010, Aug 12, 2012.


  1. Masters2010

    Masters2010

    Jul 30, 2006
    Chepachet, RI
    Hi there, I am gearing up for a cross country road trip and I want to keep my double bass as safe as possible. Do you have any recommendations? The bass will be on top of some other things, on it's back, in the back of my truck with a cap cover. The space is not air conditioned - should I wrap it in a blanket for extra insulation? Should I open the side cap windows while I drive? I will certainly take the instrument into my hotel room at night. Please let me know if you have any advice.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

    Jul 7, 2004
    Chicago
    I'd be worried if the space gets into the >100ยบ range, especially if its not a ply.
     
  3. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    If you take it into a hotel at nights, it lives in its bag and needs to be hydrated. Hotels are notoriously dry and will suck the moisture out of your bass. Make sure it doesnt happen to yours.

    I dont think keeping it in the back of a truck sounds like a very good idea.
     
  4. DC Bass

    DC Bass

    Mar 28, 2010
    Washington DC
    Eric is right, you don't want the bass to get too hot, and you especially don't want to leave it in a hot area for an extended period of time. Even if it is not hot outside, the climate inside you cap can get pretty inhospitable in short order.

    I have a tonneau cover on my pickup, and I get pretty nervous if my bass stays back there for more than an hour. I have taken some extended road trips and found my bass to be a little warmer than I would have liked- but fortunately no damage occurred.

    Your profile says you live in Rhode Island, are you taking the northern route across or will you be going south? That could make a lot of difference.

    Best advice- travel when the sun is not high in the sky- avoid from 10 or 11(ish) am until 5 or 6 or so in the evening. Yeah, I know- prolly not feasible, but worth considering.

    If you find yourself driving under heavy sun for too long, pull over and find some shade.

    Rain is your friend, especially if your cap does not leak!

    Also, beware of thieves! You don't want to advertise that there might be something of value in your storage area- other wise a pit stop could be disastrous!

    Best of luck!

    Joe

    PS: DEFINITELY keep your rosin up in the cab with you!!!
    Trust me! lol!
     
  5. Masters2010

    Masters2010

    Jul 30, 2006
    Chepachet, RI
    Thanks for the input. I don't have an alternative to transporting it in the back of the truck, it is either that or leave it behind, and I really don't want to do that. Unfortunately I don't have the option of only driving early morning and late afternoon, either.

    My current plan is to wrap it a blanket, perhaps try to get a second bass case around it, travel with the side windows of the cap down, park in the shade, and take it in at night. Is there anything else I can do?
     
  6. Don't lay the bass on its back. Too much pressure on the scroll. I lay mine with the G side down on the passenger side of the truck bed with the back against the wheel well and tie it down around the endpin and below the scroll. Haven't had a problem yet.

    In terms of temperature, wrap the cover in a white sheet. You want to reflect as much heat as possible. One of those silver "space blankets" might provide even better thermal protection.
     
  7. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    I hate to say it, but if you dont have any gigs lined up, leave your bass at home. Take an electric if you can and let it ride up front.
     
  8. Masters2010

    Masters2010

    Jul 30, 2006
    Chepachet, RI
    Just to clarify, the bass will be sitting with its back on some soft bags and with the neck elevated, there will be no pressure on the scroll.
     
  9. Masters2010

    Masters2010

    Jul 30, 2006
    Chepachet, RI
    In response to Violen: I am moving across the country for at least the next couple of years and I would really like to have my double bass. Should I instead ship it? Or rent a flight case and fly with it back when I come east to visit? How much might that cost?
     
  10. gerry grable

    gerry grable Supporting Member

    Nov 9, 2010
    That's exactly how I've always carried my bass whether in a VW bug, a station wagon or a truck. Support most of the weight on its back. In my old '64 bug the scroll just fit on the passenger-side handle above the glove box with the back resting on the back and front seat tops. No head rests then :D
     
  11. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    You said Road Trip.

    I have never heard anyone use the words "Road Trip" for "Moving across country."

    Other people have given good advice for moving it. The best you can do is just check it frequently when you get gas. this isnt political, but get your conceal carry :p
     
  12. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Nah, you don't need a gun to move across the country. At least, not yet. :)
     
  13. Jake deVilliers

    Jake deVilliers Commercial User

    May 24, 2006
    Crescent Beach, BC
    Owner of The Bass Spa, String Repairman at Long & McQuade Vancouver
    Do your bass a favour and line the top of the canopy with foil/bubble/bubble/foil water heater insulation. That material does a GREAT job of rejecting heat when its properly applied. Do the whole canopy - stick it right on to the canopy with polyurethane caulk. That way, the ventilation from the side windows can have an effect.

    You might also get yourself a maximum/minimum thermometer (think greenhouse supply) so that you can get some real data as to what's going on back there.

    Good luck! ;)
     
  14. Nagrom

    Nagrom

    Mar 21, 2004
    Western Canada
    I once took my carved bass from Edmonton Ab (late March, early spring weather) in the back of a van, across rough roads in northern saskatchewan, onto a slow train to Churchill Manitoba on the shores of Hudson Bay (late winter,-30 degrees, arctic conditions) over a 72 hour period, stayed for a week, then came back. I had no problems with the bass whatsoever, then or now.

    That being said, the bubble wrap roof liner sounds like a great idea.

    And the bass travelled on the g-string side.
     
  15. Stan Smith

    Stan Smith

    Apr 10, 2010
    Why laying it down on the G side as opposed to the E side?
     
  16. Nagrom

    Nagrom

    Mar 21, 2004
    Western Canada
    Superstition, and that put the back to the rest of the stuff.
     
  17. Stan Smith

    Stan Smith

    Apr 10, 2010
    Hmm...
     
  18. Regarding a different type of bass safety, when you leave it alone in your hotel/motel room, you might want to put the Do Not Disturb sign on your door knob. (Don't let anyone see you doing it as you leave.) Might make a thief think you're inside sleeping. Can't hurt, I don't think.
     
  19. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Good idea! I do that frequently when I leave a room for a period and don't want anyone in there. It may also help to attach one of these to the bass bag:
    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSl59_TveenADGqQQLOD_mvGELOHYJzzYIfd9Da5AJW-Fee1z-i.
     
  20. MostlyBass

    MostlyBass Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2002
    Oak Park, IL
    What kind of bass is it? If it's plywood, don't worry about it. If it's carved the heat can damage the finish more than anything depending on how it's finished.

    At night - It's summer so I'd just leave it in my car (I would do this with my hand carved Solano without worrying) and in this time of year you don't need extra humidification - especially with heat.... That is how hyde glue comes undone (which is what your seams should be glued with).
     

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