The post is brought to you by The Home Depot.
The first time I ever had a flat tire, I was on winter break from college, in my small hometown. I wanted to run to the movie rental place just 5 minutes away (I’m aging myself here)…..when it happened: Thump…. thump…. thump…..
My wheel was sloshing around in slushy snow as I pulled into the shopping center, unsure of what to do. Clearly, it was a flat tire. I had no idea how to change a tire. It was cold. Cell phones were big, bulky things that only rich people had at that point. And somehow, I needed to figure out where and how to call AAA.
When suddenly, a man approached me and wanted to help. His legs were disabled, but he was mobile enough to be behind the wheel of a car. He approached me and wanted to help out, asking me to get my spare tire, jack, and (what I didn’t know was called) a lug wrench.
I remember the feeling of gratitude that this stranger helped me with a flat tire, which I had never encountered before (as a young driver), but I also remember never wanting to be in that position again where I was helpless and left unprepared for emergencies such as this. I peered over his shoulder and studied his step-by-steps to remove the old tire as he slid himself on the ground because he couldn’t support his weight without assistance.
That night I learned not just about the kindness of strangers, but I also learned how to change a tire. I learned that I should be prepared for life’s unexpected (but bound to happen) mishaps.
I’m excited to team up with the Home Depot and RYOBI tools to bring you this post with five battery-powered accessories from RYOBI that I feel are perfect for having in your home or car that will help tremendously when life’s little mishaps happen–especially during winter!
#1 – The RYOBI Spotlight
Imagine being stranded on the side of the road with no way to see what is going on. Maybe you need to wait outside of the car or walk a mile in the dark to the nearest exit or restaurant. The last thing you want to do is to be without light.
RYOBI sent me one of their battery-powered 18V LED Hi-Beam Spotlights to test out and my first thought was, “Where have you been all my life?!” I know it’s silly to get excited about a light, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed additional light when dealing with my car, working on a DIY project in a dark spot, or just wanting to light my path (hello–Halloween is coming!).
This spotlight was sitting on my counter when the installer guy came to install the new dishwasher and microwave oven for my kitchen makeover. As he opened up the cabinet under the sink, I asked if he wanted to use the spotlight. At first, he said he wouldn’t need it. So I found it hilarious when I walked back into the kitchen and found him like this:
Connecting those water hoses under the sink isn’t something he could do in a dark cabinet! And whether he had a flashlight of his own in his toolbox, it was clear that he wanted to use that spotlight!
The truth is that any dark place in your home or car–whether it’s under the cabinet, under the hood of your car, or you just want a powerful spotlight for going Trick ‘o Tricking, I’m digging the RYOBI Spotlight! Make sure you’ve got back-up batteries on hand, however, especially in the trunk of your car.
This 3/8″ impact wrench is actually a new tool from RYOBI. I’ll be honest that I had no idea what an “impact wrench” was. I have several impact drivers, but I didn’t know what I would use an impact wrench for until I asked my carpentry instructor. He had mentioned they’re pretty handy when tightening bolts when building a deck.
But in my research, I learned that they’re also handy when changing a tire that requires loosening of the wheel bolts. They’re often in the automotive industry, particularly for removing the lug nuts that hold a tire in place. But basically, any bolts that can be tightened or removed with a hand wrench and sockets can be easily removed with an impact wrench.
If you recall in one of my earlier posts about the Husky 200 piece set I had received from The Home Depot, I have a bunch of 1/2″ and 3/8″ sockets on hand. I pulled out the 3/8″ to see if I could find one that matched my minivan’s wheel nuts.
I found one of the sockets that fit and attached it to the impact wrench and then popped on one of the 18V batteries.
I tried it out. I’ll admit that I was nervous to mess with the wheel nuts on my van!
It’s not a big deal stopping off at the closest gas station when you’re out-and-about when your tire needs a little air. But imagine how inconvenient that can be, along with not possible, if you come outside and find your tire under-deflated since you pulled into the driveway the night before.
The problem could be a small pin-sized hole or it could be a larger nail or piece of debris. Or it can just be a little low to due colder temps. Whatever the reason, having an inflator in your trunk is beyond valuable.
We’ve been riding around with this RYOBI inflator for the past could of years. My passenger back wheel always tends to get lower than the rest (I think there is a pin-sized hole leak). Having the inflator available to fill it up in the comfort of my driveway is great. I’ve had to use the inflator while out running errands, too (when the low-tire pressure warning indicator popped up on the dashboard).
Of course, I’ll head to the dealership soon to make sure that my tires are in good condition and ready for winter. But in the meantime, I’ve got to make sure that I’ve got this inflator as backup! Be sure to check the battery every month or so to ensure there is enough power to use it when you need it. Fully charge the battery and keep and extra one on-hand.
Yeah, in a power outage or winter storm, you can always go sit in your car, turn on the ignition, and charge up your phone or other electronic devices. But that’s in a dire emergency. Last option, kinda thing. You shouldn’t have to brave the elements in a search for power. This little power inverter from RYOBI is perfect for charging your devices right from the coziness of your sofa, with the two USB ports. I have been known to simply carry this around the house from room to room when I charge my phone. It’s pretty handy!
Look a little closer: it also has an outlet! I mean, you might want to use a curling iron when your power is out and there is 12″ of snow on the ground. Why not? 😉
Joking aside, it’s so helpful to have the option to plug in lights or some other small appliances or lighting when you need it–whether there’s a power outage, or you’re into camping. I recommend getting one for inside the house and one that you can keep in your car with a fully charged battery, just in case!
I don’t own this particular generator, but I do have another RYOBI generator that I never pulled out of storage. I’ve heard that this is going to be a bad winter (don’t “they” always say that??). So it may be time to break it out from the garage. And while it doesn’t run on batteries like the other accessories and tools recommended, that’s okay. Sometimes you simply need a little gas power in your life!
What I like about this one is that you can use the adapter that comes with the generator and link two of them together. If you’re a camper, a contractor, or just need power, investing in a quality generator is always a great idea.
Are You Ready??
I’m one of those rare people that actually love the winter. I love snow, and I look forward to snow delays and cancellations. But I don’t look forward to being stranded somewhere in the cold due to car problems or power outages. (Have you ever had 3 kids roaming through the house moaning about not having their electronics due to a power outage?! Quite torturous…).
This winter is coming quickly (how can we already be towards the end of the year?!). My family is going to be ready! Will yours be, too?