For a first-time caravanner, the thought of hitting the open road can naturally feel both exciting and downright daunting! While there’s no substitute for experience when it comes to refining your processes and protocols, these quick tips will help get you started on what’s sure to be the first of many safe, organised, and exciting adventures!
Make sure you have tried and tested all the different features and functions of your caravan before you hit the road. Have a practice run of hooking and unhooking the tow, make sure all appliances are working including the stove, fridge, heating/cooling system, and take a couple of laps around the block to ensure you can adequately manoeuvre your vehicle—especially parking it! It’s far better to do the troubleshooting at home than on the open road miles from assistance if and when it’s needed.
When caravanning, space and weight allowances are in short supply, and thus, every item that comes along for the ride must earn its place onboard! First thing’s first: identify the absolute essentials—the correct towing aid for your vehicle, a fire extinguisher, wheel chocks, and towing mirrors are all first-time must haves. Some items are non-negotiables, others can be acquired over time, like that full range of Yeti eskies and drinkware! If your packed items can be of multiple uses, even better. That extra pair of sparkly hotpants… leave at home.
While driving off into the sunset with nary a care or backward glance might seem appealing, failing to adequately plan your trip can have dire consequences. A little bit of prep can go a long way on the road. Researching and pre-booking campsites, knowing the amenities you’ll have access to, and having back-up plans in place can all make for a far less stressful experience when things take a turn for the unexpected.
Caravans are big, bulky, and not particularly agile. Add high speed on top of that and you have a recipe for disaster in the event of an accident. It’s far better to irritate other motorists by being overly cautious than to engage in risky driving behaviour that could result in real injury and damage. Avoid swerving, be conscious of sway and side winds, and remember—the faster you go, the faster you’ll burn through your fuel! So, take it easy, tiger!
Lists, lists and more lists! Pack up, set-up, pack-down, safety check, grocery list, playlists! Many of these lists you’ll refine over time, but having a basic idea before you set off rather than totally winging it will make you feel more in control, and thus more relaxed.
The thrill of the open road is yours for the discovering! By incorporating these quick tips into your journey, you can feel safe, secure, and prepared… so all that’s left to do is have an amazing time with your family and friends!
Bonus Tip! A ticket in the current Mater Cars for Cancer lottery might just land you your very own fully kitted out 4WD, family caravan and a pile of gold. No better starting point than that! Come on… take a look!