By: Melanie Droz
Since summer temperatures have arrived in Phoenix, it is finally time for the camping season to begin. Our first camping trip kicked off near Payson at the Houston Mesa campgrounds. Slim (my English Bulldog puppy) and I made the 90-mile drive in the 2010 Nissan Maxima SV, which was conducive to the hot and cold weather.
While leaving Phoenix, I kept the rear window sunshade up to block the sun from beaming in on Slim in the backseat. After all, English Bulldogs are extremely susceptible to heat stroke. I also pointed the rear-seat air conditioning in Slim’s face as he panted from the walk from our front door to the car.
In order to protect myself from the heat, I kept the dual sun visors with extenders down and the cooled climate-controlled driver’s seat on. In addition to that, it was easy to be “cool” in the Maxima because of the 2 GB music box and XM satellite radio. Slim and I jammed to campground favorites like O, Susannah and Kum Ba Yah. Okay, so maybe we aren’t that cool.
Once we got close to the destination I had plugged in the Navigation System with 7.0” VGA touch-screen monitor, the temperature had dropped about 20 degrees. I turned off the air conditioning and opened the dual panel moonroof with power retractable sunshades. I also put down the rear door windows with one-touch auto-up/down so Slim could stick his head out the window and enjoy the fresh, pine air. He loved it.
The first night sleeping in our tent wasn’t the serene experience we were hoping for. The temperature had dropped another 20 degrees and despite Slim trying to keep me warm by curling up by my side, we were freezing. Luckily, we had the Maxima to keep us warm.
In the middle of night, Slim and I jumped in the lushleather appointed seats, turned on the heated front seats and let the heated outside mirrors and heated steering wheel keep us toasty. It was not like we were cheating the camping experience, because the Maxima comes with eucalyptus wood-tone trim, which is just like being out in the wilderness
Needless to say, we headed home early. The comfort of the 2010 Nissan Maxima SV was unbeatable, and Slim will attest to that. I put the back seats down in the back to turn the rear-seat trunk pass-through into a bed for Slim; however, he was much happier sleeping on the floor mat in front of the passenger seat.
Even though I was tired as well, I drove comfortable in the $36,640, V-6 engine Maxima using the cruise control most of the way. The best part – I didn’t have to stop for gas even once. With 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway, the 2010 Nissan Maxima SV Premium is the perfect car for short camping trips this summe;r especially if you take your puppy with you.
Well it turns out I’m not the only pet that gets to test drive cars with their automotive journalist owners. Meet Loki and Pepper my new boxer friends in Arizona. Their owner is Chris Poole, the Editor-at-Large for Consumer Guide Automotive and the President of the Phoenix Automotive Press Association. These two very attractive boxers came from the Boxer Luv Rescue group. Just like many wonderful animal organizations, Boxer Luv Rescue would appreciate any help you can offer them.
To learn more about this group, go to www.boxerluv.org.
Till next time, Peace Out
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