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Top caravan holiday tips

If you have never tried caravanning before or just bought your first one, you might be surprised by how smoothly, calmly and hassle-free the business of getting on the road, pitching up at your chosen caravan site and enjoying your holiday is likely to be.

Some people might get into a proper lather running around to pack all the gear at the last minute and worrying about whether everything has been properly and safely packed. You, on the other hand, may be able to avoid all that simply by following a few of our caravan holiday tips:

Getting organised

  • perhaps the biggest single key to hassle-free caravanning is simply being properly organised;
  • it needn’t be as dry and boring as it sounds – planning what to pack, where to go, and researching the sites to choose from for your holiday is all part of the fun and excitement, so you may soon learn to enjoy it;

Be prepared

  • of course you don’t want to start imagining all the things that might go wrong before you even leave home for your holidays, but there is still a lot to be said for being prepared;
  • that means making good if something does go wrong and you end up with the caravan damaged – or even stolen;

Towing courses

  • although you are likely to get the hang of towing a caravan fairly quickly, if you are new to the skills required, you might want to take a towing course;
  • practice in a controlled environment is likely to build your confidence when manoeuvring your caravan both on the road and when getting onto your pitch at the campsite – so taking any stress out of the experience;
  • if you passed your driving test before 1997, you might also want to consider taking the B+E stage of the current test – both for the practice and to enable you to tow a heavier caravan;

Listen to the experts

  • if you are new to caravanning, it’s at this early stage of planning that it might really pay to listen to the experts;
  • old hands often have innumerable tips, suggestions and pieces of advice, along with a sprinkling of – sometimes tall – stories to tell;

The master list

  • even when you have become a seasoned hand yourself, there is still much to be said for a master list of essential things and pieces of kit to remember to pack;
  • you might add or take away from it over time, of course, but such a list might reduce the number of times you are left kicking yourself for something you forgot and left at home;

Hitchlocks and wheel clamps

  • don’t forget to stow your hitchlock and wheel clamps – their use is likely to be a condition of your caravan insurance, both when you leave it unattended whilst still attached to your car (hitchlock and wheel clamps) and when it is unhitched and on your pitch at the campsite (wheel clamps alone);

First aid

  • first aid kits are important safety measures – not only for yourself but for the caravan too;
  • in the first case, you are likely to know already what first aid supplies you and your family may need – in the case of your caravan, the first aid kit might include items such as a torch (which you know works), an adjustable spanner, two screwdrivers (which might also be used as levers), spare fuses for the electrics and a can of WD40;

Overloading

  • one of the reasons for giving careful thought about what to pack and what not to pack is to avoid the temptation to overload your caravan;
  • as a rule of thumb, aim to make sure that the payload is no more than 85% of the weight of your towing vehicle – and never exceed the stated kerbweight of your car;
  • in the early days, of course, it might be difficult judging these payloads, so you might want to find your nearest public weighbridge to test them out a few times;

Wired to alarm

  • naturally, an intruder or anti-theft alarm is a helpful safety and security device to fit to your caravan – and your insurer will certainly thank you for it;

This list is in no way exhaustive, of course, and you are likely to add to it and put your own spin on it as you become more accustomed to holidays in your caravan.