There are a heap of things to think about before heading off on your caravanning adventure especially if you are going to be on the road for a long time or over a long distance. It is particularly confronting if it is your first time caravanning or your first time heading to an area you are unfamiliar with. You may be unsure on what to take, whether it is suitable for the area, what to leave behind, and what to do if you encounter issues on the road.
We have put together a quick list of things to consider before departing on your next adventure that may save you some time and grief once you are on the road!
- If you are looking to utilise public amenities (BBQs, fire pits etc) at caravan parks, it is wise to bring baking paper or trays to use rather than relying on clean facilities. This way you will always be ready for a cook-up.
- Tyres: How they look on the outside is not necessarily how they look on the inside. Happy looking tyres today may well be a blowout waiting to happen.
- Always carry a fire extinguisher with you onboard even on short trips. This should be the first thing packed!
- Air-conditioning and heating: Most places in Australia are either very hot or very cold! Making sure your creature-comforts are going to last your trip is essential.
- Consider joining a caravan club or network in the area you are heading to that may be able to act as a support network if required. If you are the social type, it may help you meet a few new interesting people.
- If your towing vehicle has an automatic transmission, consider looking into a new oil cooler. It is not uncommon for people to run into problems just hours into their trip by overloading their gearbox
- Make sure the heaviest items are packed on the bottom of the van, in the middle of the floor, and above the wheels. Lighter items should be stored on the top, across the length of the caravan and tied down where possible.
- Sneaky leaks and waterproofing: Nothing is more certain than rain during a holiday! Making sure your van and awnings keep you dry is often overlooked!
- When deciding on your towing load, keep in mind that water, food, camping gear etc will add approximately 300-400kg to the weight of the empty caravan.
- Spare plugs: Bring some. Many a traveller has discovered the nuisance of losing a plug to their sink.
- Running mod-cons on limited battery supply: While the idea of “disconnecting” works for some, for others a phone or laptop is essential. Draining a battery to catch-up up Netflix will quickly dampen a holiday.
- Make sure your towbar will handle your caravan plus the loaded weight.
- Packing a few blocks of wood is a good idea in case your site is on uneven ground. No promise that your location will have anything suitable.
- Plumbing systems: It goes without saying that a compromised plumbing system will turn your holiday into a real stinker.
These are just a few pitfalls to consider that are often overlooked on camping and caravanning journeys. Give yourself the time to prepare properly and do your due diligence and it should be smooth sailing.