6 Tips for an Enjoyable Caravan Road Trip
Caravan road trips are for those of us who enjoy adventure and freedom. Depending on your appetites, this may be a good way to have a budget holiday. However, if you are your own trip planner there is a number of things that can go wrong. I have learned that the following can help avoid trouble with any aspect of the caravan trip.
Invest in planning
Plan your trip carefully. Start with the route and the weather. Choose the departure times when moving from a place to a place so to avoid busy traffic. See what camping parks you have available on the way and whether the conditions available suit you and your vehicle. Have a GPS device ready or at least a good road map and a capable co-pilot to assist you.
Learn instructions by heart
Whether it is your first time out in your caravan or you have been using it for years, it won’t hurt to have a rehearsal prior to setting off. Double check whether you know how to tow the trailer, how to install and plug in everything required. Once done, put everything into its place again and secure it for the trip.
You will need both a to-do list and a list of things to take with you. Lists will help you stay organized, not forget anything and you will not have to remember other people’s wishes. Sit down together with everyone else and create a mutual list. Make sure you tick the things off once they are packed or done. You should generally treat it like a second house and have all the basic things in already, like toiletries, cleaning up products, plates, silverware etc.
Be practical when packing
Consider the space you have when packing. Try to make use of any space left in your caravan. Below the bed, under the table etc. a good way of saving space instead of using shelves and boxes are door pockets so hang them wherever you get a chance. Bags of all kinds and sizes are containers of your choice as they take up less space than suitcases or boxes. Don’t forget the folding garden furniture.
Be kind to your pocket, as you normally would in your household. Saving wherever you can, could potentially buy you a couple of extra days or kilometers. You can organize your meals for the trip, at least some of them and plan to bring food. Making your own food instead of eating out will end up costing you much less. Bring your coffee machine or a kettle so you can have your tea or coffee ready whenever you need it. You know where to get the cheapest petrol in your area so fill up the tank there. Try to find out the same for the places along the way.
Check the caravan
Start with the obvious, check the car and the trailer, or your motorhome. You need a mechanic to inspect the vehicle to make sure it is, in fact, safe to travel and there will be no unplanned stops on the way. Be sure to pack the emergency equipment as you would with any car travel. Have a repair kit, a torch, a shovel, a warning triangle and reflective vests, etc. You also need a specialized mechanic to have a look at your caravan as you do not want any leaks and you want to be able to connect your gas and electricity. Make sure you have a hose and one of those caravan hose reels to help you with your water supply.
To finish off, as with every trip it will be wise to get some kind of insurance for both you and your companions, as well as your caravan. Make copies of your documents and your vehicle’s paperwork. Have someone take care of the things for you at home, water your plants and check on the house regularly. Don’t forget to pay your bills and organize for someone to collect your mail. If you are going away for a longer period of time, find a place where you could receive your mail and time to inform everyone about the temporary change.
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