Miles of open road, you just can’t beat it. Road trips, camping, and exploring our neighbourly regions; it can be just what the doctor ordered. If you’re ready for an adventure and have your caravan at the ready, but need a little helping hand, we’ve got your back.
Our caravan tips and tricks
So, how can you ensure your caravanning experience runs smoothly? By reading through our top caravan tips and tricks, of course!
1. Know what to take
Checklists are a must-have for any successful mission. Before we go into anything, start with a checklist so you know what to take. So aside from the obvious ones, such as, enough petrol in the car and the tow bar, here’s what you should be checking for a caravan camping trip (some can be optional):
Insurance and breakdown cover, and check your awning.
Electrical hook-up leads – check the sites you’re going to.
Road map as well as a sat nav (in case technology hasn’t got your back).
An itinerary – do your planning ahead of time to see the best routes, what’s open, what needs tickets in advance, which campsites take caravan pitches, where is pet-friendly, etc.
Camp chairs and collapsible water carriers.
Hygiene products, toiletries (body wash kit), first aid kit.
Fire safety – portable fire extinguisher, smoke detector, fire blanket etc.
Kitchen necessities – plates and cutlery, etc.
Food for your caravan fridges/freezers or non-perishable foods, snacks etc.
Torches and batteries, chargers for phones and other electronics.
Entertainment, such as books, puzzles and board games if you want a digital detox, but if you want some tech fun, then game gadgets, tablets, and laptops can come along for the ride.
Bungee cords for drying clothes, simply use them as a washing line tied to trees or posts. You can also use them to hold up shower curtains and to keep things in place in the caravan.
2. Leisure or car battery for use in a caravan?
Caravans require batteries to supply only a few Amperes over several hours, so a leisure battery is suitable, rather than a car battery. Leisure batteries are designed to supply fewer Amps over longer periods of time, and to be discharged and recharged frequently. Car batteries are designed to supply a high current for a short period of time, in order to start the engine. The remainder of the time, they are either at rest or being charged by the vehicle alternator. So, car batteries are not suitable for supplying Amperes over several hours, which is what a caravan requires.
3. Mirror manoeuvres
The law requires that you have an adequate view down both sides of the outfit, so when towing a caravan, whether you have a 4×4 or not, it’ll be rare that you won’t need extension mirrors.
For correcting the outfit when reversing, make sure to look in the towing mirrors whilst turning the wheel towards the one where you can see the side of the caravan.
Turn off tilting wing mirrors when reversing a caravan, if it’s not already an automatic feature. Tilting wing mirrors can provide a better view of the kerb to avoid scraping alloys. However, they can also knock off the towing mirrors if they are clipped to the top of the wing mirrors, so take care when doing so.
4. Nose weight
It’s crucial that you have sufficient nose weight when your outfit is stationary. This is the downward force of your caravan’s coupling head on your car’s towball, so you should factor this in when choosing a tow bar. The right nose weight all depends on the caravan and car manufacturer. The general recommended nose weight for towing ability is 5-7% of the caravan’s actual laden weight, but do check your car manufacturer’s owner’s handbook.
5. Security alarm and tracking for your caravan
Have more peace of mind by tracking your caravan. For instance, this Phantom tracking system will help your caravan be recovered in the event of a vehicle theft. Phantom has even boasted that 99% of stolen vehicles fitted with its tracking system are recovered in less than 70 minutes, with 85% of those recoveries catching the thief en-route to their destination.
The alarm and tracking system combination for caravans will help keep your motorhome secure, alerting you of any intrusion, and allowing you to track its whereabouts if it does get stolen via an app or online portal. The system also offers battery monitoring, mileage records, and has a shield feature that can be enabled if your vehicle is parked, alerting you if the vehicle is moved.
Camping and caravanning tips and tricks
Sleeping in your caravan makes complete sense, but if you’re wanting to get closer to nature, camping is a great alternative.
We’ve put together some camping tips to ensure that your trip is a success:
Sloping pitch – If you are pitching on a slope, always park with the caravan facing down the slope to make it easier to pull off the pitch at the end of your stay.
Collapsible water carriers – These save storage and are great for keeping everything clean, the group hydrated, and dirty boots rinsed.
Caravan steps – To prevent the steps sinking into the ground at the door entrance, you could take a board of wood with you to place underneath.
Awning tip – Make sure to take down the awning the evening before leaving the site. Even on a summer’s morning, there’s still the risk of early morning dampness, which can damage the fabric if it’s packed away before fully drying. Spray the awning channel with a polish that contains silicone to make pulling it through easier. A garden gazebo is a good substitute.
Bungee cords – No camping trip is complete without them, and they’re very useful for caravan trips. Perfect as washing lines or for putting up a shower curtain in the motorhome. They can also be used for storage inside and wrapping up clothes, bin bags, mats, etc.
Caravan accessories – And don’t forget your handy caravan accessories: hitch covers, motor movers, caravan steps, stabilisers, levellers, noseweight gauge, TV/satellite, door curtains, stickers, and much more!
Recycle your waste – Separate your waste as best you can for recycling, especially if the campsite has recycling in place so you can easily transport/empty the right bins/bags.
Wherever you’re off on your caravan trip, make sure to take it easy driving and know your routes and campsites before you go. And make sure to keep the pitch as you found it – nobody likes a messy camper. For bungee cords and accessories to help your trip, contact us today!