Are you finally hitting the road and having your first caravanning trip? This is an exciting time for you filled with fun, beauty, peace and freedom. While a caravan gives you a whole new world of things you haven’t yet experienced, it’s also a big step, especially if you’re a newbie. So, in order to have a smooth and comfortable caravanning trip, here are some tips to keep in mind.
Pack the essentials
While you’ll always have a roof over your head, you’ll still need to pack other things in order to be comfortable on your trip. You can’t even start your trip without getting proper towing aid. Other caravanning essentials include wheel chocks, a strong jack, sway control devices, towing mirrors, a few spare parts, insulation tape and extra oil and coolant. Like with any hobby, you can grab other things over time, but these essentials are a must even for total beginners.
Even with your essential in check, you still need to ensure extra safety when on the road. It’s best to create a list of safety features you need to check before you embark and go through it every time you’re about the hit the road. For instance, make sure your towing aid is fitted correctly, all your loose items are secured, doors and windows are locked and caravan steps are up. Inspect whether your vehicle and caravan lights are working and check tire pressure. In time, you’ll learn your safety list by heart.
Practice your setup
For beginners, setting up a campsite can take hours. So, don’t hit the road without having a practice run that will allow you to see what goes where and when. Naturally, each caravan is different, but you can count on some universal things like unhitching the caravan, putting on the handbrake and removing your vehicle. You also need to lower the four corner steadies, connect gas, water and power and check whether everything is working. Another thing you might consider getting is quality caravan privacy screens that offer sun protection, wind protection and nosy-neighbour protection. These provide a more comfortable and calmer experience, so make sure to grab your privacy screen and practice mounting it.
Do some meal planning
Imagine scrounging through your cooler late at night and finding nothing. Or imagine eating a bland sandwich for the third morning in a row. That doesn’t sound very relaxing! So, do some prep before you embark, figure out how many meals you’ll have on your trip and what you want to eat. You won’t have access to a huge fridge and freezer, but if you plan well, you’ll get to pack plenty of easy foods you can prepare over a fire (chilli, meat and veggie skewers, baked potatoes). Of course, you don’t have to plan your every meal to the T, but if you have all the ingredients in your van, you certainly won’t get too hungry.
Remember, your caravan has very limited space so you probably don’t need to pack that third swimsuit or that fourth pair of shoes. Pack everything that you know will up the quality of your trip and ditch everything else. Sifting through unnecessary things as you’re getting dressed in the morning will really rack your nerves.
Bring someone you’re comfortable with
No matter who much you try to give each other space, you’ll be confined to tight quarters during your trip. So no matter if you’re travelling with your partner, family or friends, be sure you get along. If you’re not comfortable together, those long rainy days on the road will be pretty awkward.
Don’t forget to enjoy the freedom
When you get a caravan, you also get a lot of benefits with your purchase. You’ll be more flexible and free than on any of your trips and vacations before. If you want to hit a new place in the morning, just pack your things, pop into the driver’s seat and you’re ready to travel. Or, if you want to check out that nearby hiking path, extend your stay for a day. Your caravan provides you with a lot of freedom so be sure to use it.
With these tips in mind, your trip will be comfortable and exciting in all the right ways. If you pack well and pay good attention to safety, you’ll never want to go back to traditional vacations—camping will become your way of life!