Acoustic guitars in hot cars. Guidelines???

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by 985plowboy, Jul 16, 2018.

  1. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    My band has been traveling a lot for the last few weeks and it has been an absolute blast!
    However, I have some concerns regarding the safest way to transport my acoustic as I am aware that hot acoustic guitars can disassemble themselves in violent ways.
    So far I have been keeping my J-100 in the case on the back seat of the air conditioned car while traveling between shows and at night I bring it in the hotel room with me.
    We played in a city only a few hours away from home last night and I was able to bring my family. I stowed my guitar in the trunk with the luggage for a four hour ride there yesterday afternoon and then back to the farm this morning. I was a bit nervous about how hot it might get in the trunk. Am I being overcautious?

    What are the do's and don't's of acoustic guitars and summertime travel?
     
  2. haggardfan1

    haggardfan1 Friend of Leo's

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    Just leave the windows open a crack, and put out a dish of water. :D Just kidding.

    I was told by my Dad to never leave a guitar (in regards to extreme temperatures) anyplace you wouldn't leave a baby or a puppy.

    I was taught further by a college friend who toured with a band on weekends: if you happen to let a guitar get chilled or baked, give the guitar at least an entire day in the case-- after you bring it into room temp--before you get it out. (Just as we would nowadays if we ordered a new one to be shipped.)

    Both tips have served me well for forty years of playing and transporting guitars, and I've had no temp-related damage so far. YMMV, and you'll get about as many opinions as there are forum members. I doubt anyone here would steer you wrong, and you'll probably get lots more specific, and valuable, advice than mine. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2018
  3. teleaddicted

    teleaddicted Tele-Holic

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    All of the above plus slacken the strings.
     
  4. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    Slacken the strings for cold. No need to for heat. Cold tightens the strings and can cause your bridge to pop off. Heat loosens them.

    If your car is white or a light color, the trunk won't get nearly as hot as the interior. If it's in the seventies, it'll be fine. In a black or dark car, the trunk will warm up a lot more.

    If it's very hot or cold out, take the guitar with you. Stores and restaurants rarely mind.

    And yes, leaving it in the case to warm or cool slowly will reduce finish checking.
     
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  5. Stubee

    Stubee Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    What everyone else has said. My 2 cents:

    A trunk or wherever is OK when you’re driving. I’ve driven cross-country with good acoustics in the back seat/trunk/under a camper shell. It doesn’t get very hot in a trunk etc with high airflow.

    If you put it in the back of a hatchback, keep the sun off it. Bury it in your other stuff.

    If your parking somewhere to eat lunch or whatever and your guitar is a beater, the trunk in shade beats the interior in shade by a ton.

    If you’re doing the above with a guitar you love, take it to lunch with you and park where you can see your vehicle at all times.
     
  6. Charlie Bernstein

    Charlie Bernstein Poster Extraordinaire

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    Another reason not to leave a guitar in a car where it's visible is that thieves generally find guitars irresistable.
     
  7. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Afflicted

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    You might want insurance that’ll cover damage and theft. Or could have $2000 available for a quick replacement. If you carry a backup J100 then double likely to get stolen and they’d both get damaged by an extreme temperature excursion.
     
  8. FenderLover

    FenderLover Poster Extraordinaire

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    I generally agree with this, but have a short story:

    I went to school with a guy and we hit it off because we were both guitar players. He had a regular gig at a popular spot in town doing the same 50's show his band had done for many years. He was in school late in life to make a career change from a full-time musician, feed a 401K, etc.

    We talked a lot about equipment and I was lusting over the '68 gold top LP he always mentioned. Then he said, "You want to see it? It's in my trunk." He said that he had always kept it in his trunk so that it was always with him. For decades. Unbelievable I thought, but it played very well, so who's to say. (We're in Minnesota, so we see both extremes in temp and humidity.)

    An acoustic probably wouldn't fare as well.
     
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  9. newminglewoodblue

    newminglewoodblue Tele-Meister

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    ^^^^ Follow this & you'll never have a worry.
     
  10. teletimetx

    teletimetx Doctor of Teleocity

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    Can't recommend leaving an acoustic in the trunk in Gulf Coast heat- and especially never in summer.

    Good friend/songwriter type was reduced to living in his car. Sad story but compounded by leaving his Martin D-15 in the car.

    Bridge came unglued, belly swelled. Not so great. Fixable, but he didn't really have the money at the time.

    Heat is an enemy of acoustic guitars. My understanding is that the pull on an acoustic with steel strings is somewhere over 150lbs per sq in.

    Just my 2c. My acoustics do not ride in the trunk. If I lived up North, different story, but down here? J-100? Nope.
     
  11. HolyTele Tube

    HolyTele Tube TDPRI Member

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    I live in South Carolina. 100 degree days are not uncommon. The best preventive measure I ever took was to buy an insulated case cover. I think it was from Colorado Cases. About a month ago I had to go from a daytime gig to the movies with the family. The guitar was in the trunk of my black car in June. When we returned back home I opened the case and could feel that the guitar for warm but no damage was done.

    My ultimate hot weather guitar is a Godin 5th Avenue. With the archtop tailpiece I don’t have to worry about the bridge failing and it costs about 1/3 of my “good” guitar.
     
  12. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Anywhere a human being would be uncomfortable with regard to heat or cold is not a good environment for any guitar...especially an open box guitar. Any animal based glue joints are at risk even in a solidbody.
    It has been cooking here. The other day a young player brought in nice Hagstrom ES-335 type of guitar isn’t which I had installed some Seymour Duncan Alnico Pro’s. The wax potting was running out of the holes in top of the pickups due to the heat to which it had been exposed in the car.
    No extremes of temperature for any of my instruments.
     
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  13. thegreatshocka

    thegreatshocka Tele-Meister

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    Get some super illegal heat resistant tints too, really helps the temps.
     
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