What do you need to make a great caravan trip?
Going on a caravan journey is a very exciting prospect. It’s a great way to see the world, both near and far, as you spend your days on the road and your nights in a completely new location.
But it’s not all fun and games and packing properly for such an adventure is a must. You don’t want to find yourself caught short without a necessity — so make sure you check off this list of necessary items.
Before you leave for the great outdoors, you’ll want to ensure you are prepared to tackle any and all emergencies. Make sure you know where your medicine cabinet is in the caravan. Make sure that it’s stocked with the essentials for emergencies on the road.
One often overlooked thing is the presence of a fire extinguisher. Having a fire extinguisher to hand may one day save your life. Make sure your caravan has one that’s been inspected and is within easy reach, should the worst happen.
Maps, compasses, and GPS
We rely on our cars’ GPS system to get us to where we need to go most of the time. But if you’re in a caravan, there’s a chance you’ll want to get off the beaten path.
If so, you’ll need some sort of backcountry map — either digital or paper and you’ll want to know how to read it. You’ll also want to familiarize yourself with a compass. These simple, “primitive” tools could be your main method of survival if something goes wrong.
Extra necessary fluids
It’s often overlooked the necessity to carry extra fuel your tow vehicle and caravan will need. This includes gasoline/petrol, extra transmission fluid, and extra motor oil. If your transmission suddenly springs a leak, you will need the extra fluid while you tiptoe your way (hopefully) to the nearest garage.
Similarly, the last thing you want is for your motor oil to run dry and risk seizing your engine in your vehicle. You should also carry other mechanical lubricants to allow you to oil your tow hitches from time to time, particularly if they’ve been rained on consistently. Again, this will allow them to move freely.
While not necessarily common, the carrying of extra brake fluid is always a good practice. Whether you have electric brakes or mechanical ones, the importance of maintaining a good level of brake fluid cannot be understated. Without sufficient brake fluid, your vehicle’s brakes won’t function properly and could be the key to averting disaster. Make sure you keep the fluid topped up.
A cabin fan
There’s no doubt that things can get hot and humid inside the giant metal box that is your caravan. Whether you’re living in it or just traveling, the sun beating down on it all day will generate a huge amount of heat. Enough to make it up to 30+℃ inside. One way to try and mitigate the heat factor is to install a cabin fan. Depending on your voltage, this oscillating fan provides enough air circulation to keep your cabin somewhat cool, beating the heat and saving you from walking into an oven.
Do away with the smaller, clip-on fans that are about as much use as a damp squib, make an investment in keeping your space cool, particularly during the hotter. Also, this should go without saying – but never leave your pets in your caravan, whether stationary or traveling. If you’re bringing pets along, actually bring them along. Hot, enclosed spaces can be deadly for most animals.
One of the most innovative pieces of camping equipment over the last 20 years has been the evolution of foldable. First, it was just your tent and lawn chair, nowadays, almost everything has been innovatively designed to be compact, so you can take it with you wherever you go. Everything from firepits to stovetops can now be folded and flattened to take up less space. And in the tight quarters of a caravan, that space-saving is worth its weight in gold.
There’s no need to be anxious about your first caravan trip. Make sure you’ve got the essentials to hand and just enjoy the ride. Things change and things happen, and as long as you’ve got the essentials, you can handle whatever the road throws your way. Abandon anxiety and embrace what could be a fantastic opportunity to see the world differently.