Are you ready for your first caravanning adventure? It’s a time of freedom, thrills and most importantly, amazing memories that will last you a lifetime. It’s easy enough to invest in your very first caravan, pack some bags and hit the open road without a care in the world. The freedom that comes with it is incomparable! But if you’re new to caravanning life, it always helps to have a few tips up your sleeve from seasoned travellers to help your journey go as smoothly as possible. From packing early to downloading the right apps, here’s 10 fabulous Aussie caravaning gems to help you enjoy the holiday of a lifetime (the first of many!).
1. Pack the essentials
While you might have your personal packing checklist sorted, have you stopped to think about what your caravan might need? Over time this will become second nature, but until then…make a list!
Some of the extras to consider include a fire extinguisher, caravan jack, towing mirror, extra coolant and oil and insulation tape.
2. Start early
If it’s your first time towing a caravan, it’s natural to feel a little apprehensive about hitting the road with other motorists around.
The best option: start the first leg of your journey nice and early.
It allows you to hit the road when not many cars are about yet, so you can build your confidence and settle in for the ride. Plus you get to your destination even earlier!
3. Prepare to be close!
The lure of caravanning life can be so idyllic that many don’t consider what it will actually be like in a confined space with their loved ones.
You are quite literally living on top of each other, and while this makes for a unique bonding experience, it can also be the cause of many arguments.
Make sure you all recognise that it’s OK to be a little testy with each other. When you feel the pressure rising, take some time out. Go for a walk and allow each other enough space. It’s to be expected on the road.
4. Set up a routine
You don’t want your caravan to get in the way of sightseeing and relaxing when you’re on your next trip.
It pays to have a routine in place, so when you arrive at your destination, everyone knows exactly what they need to do to have the caravan set up and ready to sleep in in no time.
From clearing to vehicle to setting up the gas and water systems and connecting the power, there’s plenty that needs to be done. But many hands make light work, so delegate! You’ll be able to settle with a drink in hand even faster.
5. Expect an early morning
If you’re dreaming of quiet mornings, waking late to the sounds of chirping birds, then it’s time for a reality check.
Most caravanners are up and hitting the road in the early hours of the morning. This means you can expect plenty of banging and clattering as they pack away, interrupting any hope of a sleep.
On the plus side, it means you can hit the road early too and get to your destination.
6. Expect to be watched
Caravanning is very much a community experience. You can expect to be on show from the minute you arrive in a park, with many travellers pitched outside their caravan and simply people watching.
It can feel a little uncomfortable on your first trip, but doesn’t take long to get used to. It helps to know it’s coming! You can always head over and introduce yourself to other caravanners, to break the ice. You never know what friendships you might come away with.
7. Wash at night
While no one wants to think about washing on the road, if you’re on a long trip it becomes an essential.
In caravan parks, it can be hard to find a free clothesline or dryer when you need it. Tip: wash at nighttime. Get in and hang your clothes before the sun hits in the morning.
8. Pack baking paper
Baking paper is one of the essentials you want to make sure is on your packing list each and every trip. You can pop it on the camp stove or barbecue to make cleaning up a breeze each and every time.
9. Download WikiCamps
Before you hit the road, make sure you download WikiCamps. While the app does cost, it gives you access to so much information it’s well worth it.
You can find out information about caravan parks and campgrounds, including their features, facilities, pricing and reviews. Look for dump points, portable water taps, find points of interest and use their trip planner feature.
10.Carry LED head torches
As much as we can plan, things don’t always go the way we hope. If you pull into a caravan park at night, you need to be prepared.
LED head torches are a must to help you can the caravan set up in the pitch black. Plus, you can also take off on night walks and explore the area. They are very versatile.
With these handy tips up your sleeve, you’re ready to venture out and start enjoying the perks of caravanning life. No doubt you will pick up your own handy hints along the way and will become a seasoned pro in no time. What’s not to love!