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Crafty caravan tips

You might be feeling more than a little cheated. This year’s caravan season has been in danger of being over before it even got started. But keep a fair eye on the weather and you’re likely to discover that even in autumn and winter in the UK you can string more than a couple of days together that are still perfect for caravanning.

With those happy and carefree breaks in winter’s gloom ever-beckoning, then, let’s unveil a few of the craftier caravan tips that might otherwise have been kept locked away:

Welly warmers

  • you’ve enjoyed a bracing, if somewhat damp, walk across the fields and return to the caravan with sopping wet wellies to shake off, but don’t mess up indoors, simply store the wellies upside down on sticks outside your caravan – inside the boots will start to dry and be ready for the next day’s use;
  • the Caravan and Camping Club also suggests a way for keeping drying out any shoes that might have become water-logged – stuff newspaper inside them to soak up the moisture overnight;

Gas level

  • want to know the level of liquid gas remaining in the cylinder – and haven’t yet invested in one of the clever new high-tech gadgets that measure how much is left;
  • a tip from Break Free Holidays is to take the cylinder outside and pour some hot water over the side – where the metal becomes relatively warm, the cylinder is empty, where it still feels cold, it is because of the level of gas;

Zip it

  • another old-school trick from the same source reveals how you can fix one of those annoying leaks in the zip of the caravan awning – rub the affected area with a candle will transfer enough wax to repel the water;

Keys cased

  • a tip from our friends down-under is shared on the Australian camping website Escape and points out that more or less any old pencil case makes an ideal storage place for all your keys – it keeps them together in one place and is easily stowed away out of sight, rather than leaving precious keys just lying around;

Bob’s your uncle

  • next time you uncork a bottle of wine, slice a round off the cork and thread it onto your keyring – if you drop your keys into a stream, river or the sea, it should bob to the surface instead of your having to dive down to recover them;

Water two-in-one

  • instead of packing your cool box or bag with ice, use bottles of frozen water instead – you’ll find that they take a long time to thaw, so will keep things nice and cold for a long time, and then when they are done you have bottles of freshly-chilled water to drink;

Space-saving necessities

  • of course, you’ll want to be adequately stocked with sufficient toilet paper, but might be surprised at how much space they take up – in that case, remove the inner cardboard tube so they can be squashed flat, hold each one neatly rolled with a rubber band, and store inside individual plastic bags.

They’re none of them at all expensive, none rely on any state of the art gadgetry, and most will cost you nothing at all. But at some stage in your next caravan outing, you might thank your lucky stars for one or two of these crafty little tips and tricks.