Caravanning can be a fantastic way to travel. It combines independence, flexibility and low costs for a memorable trip, and it is enjoyable for families, couples or singles of any age. These five tips will help you plan a caravan holiday that is safe and fun.
Caravanning can mean travelling long distances in remote locations. While weighing down the caravan with too many items in order to prepare for any contingency is a mistake, no one should go caravanning without sufficient emergency supplies. Water is the most important, and you should have at least a couple of extra litres per person. Extra food, two spare tyres, a first aid kid, a paper map and an emergency tool kit should all be included as well.
A caravan is a small space, and organisation will make travel and camping more pleasant. Removable hooks, stick-on Velcro and containers that fit inside cupboards can be a good way to keep items organised. Everything should have a designated spot inside the caravan, and the area should be tidied regularly. Organisation extends to planning as well. You should plan ahead for travels in remote areas and ensure that you have enough food and fuel. Lists ensure that nothing is forgotten.
It is important to understand the basics of how to safely and effectively tow a caravan. First, you need to be sure your vehicle is capable of doing so. While driving, you need to keep the length and the weight of the caravan in mind. The length means that you need more room while parking, reversing and entering traffic. The weight means swaying can be a problem, and crosswinds can exacerbate that problem. Installing a weight distribution hitch will keep the drawbar level and will even out the load distribution. Finally, don’t attempt to drive if you are tired or conditions are otherwise unsafe.
Checklists can help ensure that nothing is forgotten. Check oil, water, brake and other fluid levels before setting out. Checks should be done inside as well. Cupboards should be safely latched, and windows and doors should be shut. The coupling between the caravan and the vehicle should be secure as should the safety chains. The gas valve must be checked to ensure that it is closed.
Be a Good Camper
Make sure you put out fires thoroughly, be cognisant of burn bans and only light fires in designated areas. Clean up after yourself. Don’t make noise that disturbs other caravanners, but be sociable and tolerant. Camp in designated caravan parks; attempting to save money by parking your vehicle elsewhere may get you a request to move on or a ticket from police. You’ll also miss out on meeting other travellers. On that note, be prepared. Caravanners love to offer advice, and they aren’t always tactful about it. Don’t be afraid to ask a neighbour for help if you need it.
With these tips in mind, even first-time caravanners can enjoy this mode of travel.
This story has been written by David Evans, who offers finance for caravans at www.caravanloans.com.au. A keen caravanner himself, Dave has just recently returned from circumnavigating the East Coast of Australia over the last 18 months.