So you've done your research and you're close to buying yourself a little gem of a caravan. This is an exciting time for you and those lucky enough to be embarking on your travelling adventures with you. Whether you're planning a big trip or a smaller one, you can't just get behind the wheel and take off! There is planning that needs to be done to ensure your caravan holidays are memories you'll look back on for the right reasons.
If you're towing a brand spanking new caravan, then it may well be already be ready to hit the road. However it's important to understand what you need to do to prepare yourself for your caravan holidays, so you can make it part of your planning process for all the amazing trips you have in your future.
If you're heading off the grid on your caravan holiday, or even if you're staying connected with civilisation, it pays to invest in an accredited First Aid course so you are well prepared for any situation. Similarly, you dont know the level of mechanical expertise that will be available to you on route, so doing a quick car maintenance course might save you some angst and help you identify issues if they arise.
Prepare Your Car
It's all about the fluids. Let's start with fuel for your car. Fill her up, but also make sure you do some research on the milage you get out of each tank and plan your refill stops along your road trip route. Remember you'll be towing something quite heavy so it's prudent to assume you'll be going through fuel at a faster rate.
Remember to check your oil, water and brake fluid levels before you leave. These might not be readily available at all stops, especially at remote petrol stations, so best to get them topped up before leaving.
Check Your Caravan is Attached Securely
As your car needs to pull quite a weight potentially quite a distance, take a good look at your couplings and hitches and make sure they are secure. If this is your first trip, pop down to your nearest caravan dealer and have them give it a once over. Ensure your electrics are working, including rear lights.
Batten Down the Hatches
Nothing should be loose in your caravan. When prepping for caravan holidays, ensure that everything is secure in your vehicle. The journey can involve swerving, sudden stops and potentially a bit of turbulence, and you don't want to get a bonk on the head when you enter your caravan at your destination.
What Do We Bring?
It's the age old argument, what to pack for the holiday. The answer to this question will vary considerably (depending on whether you ask men or women!), but here is a bit of a list to get you started:
• Sufficient drinking water for all parties, and then some
• A first-aid kit
• An inverter to switch power voltage
• Your phone and charger (and a spare!)
• Warm clothes
• Emergency contact numbers
• Straps to help pull you out if you get bogged
• Tyre repair kit
• A jack
• Dual battery system
CAMPING ITEMS (FOR OVERNIGHT OFF-ROAD ADVENTURES)
• 2-burner stove
• Camp shower
• Portable toilet
• 12V lighting (bring a 12V power board to plug into cigarette lighter)
• Storage drawers
• Camp chairs and table
• Laundry bucket
Don't forget your books and music, and your roo whistles! A GPS is a wonderful invention and most would be lost without them, but remember they're not foolproof so a good old fashioned map is an important back up.
Be prepared for your caravan holidays so you can focus on making memories. A bit of planning goes a long way in ensuring you're safe, not stressed and really making the most of your caravan.