So you’re heading off on a caravan holiday with the kids. Or perhaps it’s the big trip traveling around Australia that’s been in the pipeline for years. A little bit of preparation goes a long way to setting up a hazard-free, stress-free time on the road.
One of the most important things to do is to organise caravan servicing, several weeks or months before you leave. The safety of you and you family are your priority and even if your caravan has been stored for the last two years, taking it for a thorough maintenance check is the first step.
Basic caravan servicing will cover:
- wheel bearings
- checking the suspension
- looking at weight distribution
- checking the tyres.
Have a look for any leaks and dampness in the floor and walls and around the window seals. Don’t forget to check your awning for damage.
Talk to a reliable mechanic about where you will be traveling and your needs. An experienced caravan servicing centre will be able to provide advice on caravan modifications for the type of traveling you are planning. Some modifications are simple. Others, like caravan electrics can take more time. The earlier you have these discussions, the more likely you’ll be able to schedule the works well in advance of your leaving date.
Common caravan modifications include:
- Increasing water storage
- Replacing the fridge
- Installing an air conditioner or heater
- Solar panels
- 12 volt system caravan electrics
- Additional batteries.
Packing For Your Caravan & Camping Holiday
Good planning is necessary when you’re packing for a caravan holiday of several months. The best way to approach it is to be super practical when choosing what’s in and what’s out. Not only will this prevent overloading your caravan with too much weight (see our blog on towing weights), you’ll also discover the freedom that comes from not living in cramped quarters. And if you’re traveling with kids…well, let’s just say the less non essentials there are precariously perched on top of cupboards and stashed under tables, the more peaceful your life will be.
What you pack will depend on where you are traveling, what type of weather you are expecting, and the type of activities you plan on doing. This may seem obvious, but it’s surprisingly easy to overlook when packing in a hurry, and with kids. It’s a good idea to prepare a camping equipment list.
Consider prioritising items that have more than one purpose. If an item is not essential, consider leaving it out and asking whether it could be borrowed, or is available somewhere else on the road. When you’re staying on the road, sharing is a way of making connections with people. Just make sure you are are prepared to return the favour.
A useful starting list of camping necessities include:
- Steel mallet
- Buckets/tubs for washing
- Water containers
- brush or broom for sweeping
- Set of screw drivers
- First aid kit
- Satellite phone (if traveling in the outback)
- Ground mat for outside the caravan (to keep dirt outside)
- 1 doona, 1 cotton blanket and 2 sheets per person
- 1 towel per person for washing
- 1 beach towel per person
- a good supply of canned food when you are in out of the way locations
- electrical appliances for cooking that you absolutely cannot do without
Remember, everything must be secure inside the van when you are driving. If you have too many things that don’t easily fit in drawers and cupboards, packing up and securing your caravan will become too stressful and time consuming.
Toolkit For Caravan Servicing On The Road
When you are on the road, caravanning and camping for several months, it is likely that at some stage you may need to change a tyre or do some minor repairs. A few essential tools to have on board will provide you with the ability to fix most small repairs.
Basic caravan toolkit can include:
- Wheel brace or torque wrench
- Gaffa tape – an amazing, all purpose, emergency fixer-upperer
- electrical insulating tape
- Plumbing tape
- Cordless drill
- Caravan chocks
- Tyre pressure gauge
- String or rope
- Assortment of small screws
These essential caravan and camping accessories and tools, will mean that you can live day-to-day in relative ease, feeling confident that you can provide all the basic comforts, without overloading your caravan. You’ll also have the tools to fix most minor repairs you encounter.
Clothes and entertainment are next on the list and will need to be approached with the same practicality. If the answer to whether to include an item of clothing, form of entertainment or miscellaneous item is ‘I’ll include it just in case’, you may want to reconsider and leave it out.
Of course plenty of books (if you’re a reader) and a couple of games to play are great for rainy days and when there’s no internet.
We’d love to here what you include on your list of essentials for a caravan and camping holiday. let us know in the comments below.
For caravan servicing or caravan modifications to get you prepared for your next holiday, contact the experienced team at Emu Caravan Repairs. We’re located in Ferntree Gully in Melbourne’s eastern suburbs and do comprehensive servicing and caravan repairs for Melbourne.