Couple Caravanning

ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR FIRST-TIME CARAVANNERS

If you’re new to caravanning, you might find packing and preparing for it a little overwhelming and daunting. You can easily get lost in the list of things to bring, from the essentials, food and drinks to gadgets. To help you get through the initial stages of camping, take note of tips for first-time caravanners. These will ensure you bring only the essentials and make your first caravan experience a memorable one.

MAKE A CHECKLIST

Making a list makes things a whole lot simpler and easier, especially if what you’re about to do is your first time. A checklist ensures you don’t pack unnecessary things and only the essentials. Consider the following items when creating your own checklist:

• food (limit it to the basics)
• general safety (fire extinguisher, spare tyre, wheel jack, brake-controller, etc.)
• medicinal (first-aid kit, medications, mosquito repellent, etc.)
• resources (gas bottles, batteries, water, etc.)
• cookware (cups, plates, pots, pans, kitchen, cutlery, etc.)
• toiletries (toilet paper, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush)

Don’t stress too much about what to pack. Just make sure you have enough water, food and emergency supplies.

MAKE SURE YOUR VAN IS SAFE AND SECURE

One of the important tips for first-time caravanners is to make sure your van is safe. It’s also a good idea to make a checklist on what to check — engine, brake, tyres, etc. — before you head out.

Other important things to check include the towing aid is properly fitted, windows and doors are locked, as well as drawers are secure. Don’t forget to check the lights of the caravan and vehicle if they’re working well.

TAKE IT EASY

Driving a caravan for the first time will either be a slow one or a fast one. Towing something big takes getting used to, and if you’re a little nervous, you might end up driving slowly. Try to maintain a safe speed because moving too slow will irritate motorists behind you.

However, there are first-time caravanners who get carried away by the thrill and excitement. Be careful not to end up driving faster than they should. Aside from safety, driving at high speed drains your vehicle’s fuel faster, even more so when you’re towing a caravan.

START EARLY

In line with the previous tip, it’s best to rise and leave early. This not only gets you to your destination earlier, but it also lets you drive at peace with a less-crowded road. This is especially important for first-time caravan drivers. Less crowd on the road means less pressure and distraction.

PRACTICE YOUR ROUTINE

Among the helpful tips for first-time caravanners is to practice setting up the caravan and do other routines. Not all caravans are the same, so even if you’ve been 4WD camping before, it may be different from driving your own caravan.

Practice setting up the caravan — get to know how to unhitch it, put on the handbrake and clear the vehicle away. The last thing you want to do is spend hours setting up your site instead of enjoying other activities. This also lets you check if there are any adjustments your caravan needs before you depart.

There’s a lot to think about and consider when caravanning, what more if it’s your first time. While it may be a little challenging and daunting, follow tips for first-time caravanners can make a big difference. This also spares you from leaving important things behind and ensuring your safety. Also, keep in mind that caravanning is about making memories and enjoying the experience. So, don’t stress too much about not packing everything; instead, enjoy the ride, the destination and all the laughter and challenges in between.

 


 

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John Steele
johnsteele@dinga.com.au

John loves cooking at home and outdoors, travelling, fishing and discovering a new life. He's got loads of experience he wants to share while he adventures through retirement.