Caravanning tips and tricks for newbies

Caravanning is a wonderful way to see our magnificent country and has attracted many new entrants since COVID in 2020, and continues to do so. If you’re new to caravanning, here’s six top tips to help you on your way. 

Get to know your van

If you’re new to caravanning and/or have just collected your new van, take it for a weekend outing at a caravan park not far from home. Maybe for the first night, don’t connect it to 240v so you can test the batteries and see how everything works ‘off-grid’. 

On the second or third day, hook it up to 240v and test all the 240v appliances such as the air conditioner, HWS, electric hot plates, fridge and any installed powerpoints.  And if it all goes pear-shaped, it’s only a short trip home.

Get down and dirty

Open every drawer and cupboard, check every switch, peer into every crevice and get down and dirty, crawl underneath your van. The more you know and understand your van, the better equipped you’ll be to remedy any issues that develop while you’re on the road.  Also consider buying a basic tool kit to leave in your van. 

Create checklists

Experience caravanners have checklists committed to memory but when you’re new to the experience, there’s a lot to remember. You might find it useful to create indoor and outdoor lists as well as for set-up and pack-up (yes, that’s four lists).  

For example, a set-up list for outdoors might include (but is not limited to):

  • level the van
  • chock the wheels
  • unplug the van from the car
  • unhitch the van from the car
  • remove the chains from the car
  • drop the stabiliser legs
  • connect the water and 240v power supply.

Getting your van level

It’s a good idea to drive forward onto your ramps/levellers, rather than reverse onto them. It’s all about preventing movement when your van is unhitched, and if it does move, making sure it moves away from your tow vehicle, rather than into it.

Always secure your awning

Sudden and unexpected wind gusts can ruin a holiday if the awning is flipped over the top of your caravan. Guy ropes or straps provide added security for your awning in the event of an unexpected gust, but if the forecast is for moderate to high winds, bring your awning in.  

And if rain is expected, drop one end of your awning down a ‘notch’ or two to ensure rainwater runs off the awning rather than pooling on the canvas, which can eventually damage or break the awning.

Check every cupboard door and drawer

Before heading off, check that every cupboard door and drawer is latched securely. 

Some caravan drawer and cupboard door latches can be a bit ‘sticky’ and don’t engage on the first try. If you miss one, it’ll likely open while you’re motoring along and empty its contents onto the floor of your caravan and may even break a hinge (or worse) in the process.

Caravanning really is a wonderful lifestyle choice and a brilliant way to see our magnificent country. Safe travels.

Do you have a fail-safe caravanning tip? Why not share it in the comments section below?

Also read: Five ways to save money on a camping trip

- Our Partners -


- Advertisment -
- Advertisment -