The must-have items for your next caravan trip

I am so jealous of two friends of mine who decided to do the great Aussie road trip this year.

They could not have timed the trip better, leaving Melbourne in March when we were not in lockdown and then getting to enjoy the freedoms on offer in South Australia, West Australia and the Northern Territory.

They have also run into relatively few hurdles, which is surprising seeing as this is their first major caravanning trip (although they did suffer a flat tyre 80km out from Darwin the last time I spoke to them).

Read: The ultimate Pilbara road trip

Their adventures have certainly whet my appetite for making a similar road trip at some stage next year, which got me to thinking about the must-have items if we were to hit the road.

Here are some of the must-have accessories, according to

Portable fan
My friends say they were a little unprepared for exactly how hot it was going to be across the Top End and even though they have an air-conditioner in their van, it is usually quite noisy and pulls a lot of power. From their experience, I reckon I’d look at taking a rechargeable 12V portable fan, which would allow for some cooling options both inside and outside the van, while also being much cheaper to run.

Read: Best of Yukon road trips

Wheel chocks and levelling ramps
According to RV Daily, these are two essential items if you want to sleep well and keep your fridge working. These items will help keep your van level and will also ensure that your sink drains properly. It is possible to find wood to do this job, but plastic items (some of which are available from ALDI when they have a sale) are shaped perfectly for the job and are easier to pack away.

A reversing camera
Before embarking on their journey, my friends went and did a course in driving, parking and manoeuvring their van and taking the role as spotter. It sounded pretty intense, but from what I’ve heard they haven’t had too many incidents, so it was definitely worth it. The alternative to this is to fork out for a high-quality reversing camera to obviate the need for a spotter and all the arguments that can ensue as a result. I reckon this is an option we will be taking.

Read: Take a road trip to discover Iceland

Outdoor camping furniture
Your van might be equipped with a table and chairs but that doesn’t provide you with the same experience of eating in some of the most beautiful spots around Australia, or socialising with other travellers you meet along the way. It might take up a little more room, but it will be well worth it.

First aid kit
This one is a given, but make sure it is up to date before you travel and doesn’t contain any out-of-date medications. As well as making sure that it contains everything you could possibly need, you should also make sure that you know exactly where it is packed and ensure that it can be accessed quickly if needed.

Towball scales
Your tow vehicle and caravan both had advisory weight limits and RV Daily stresses that it is important to stick by them. Having towball scales, which you can purchase from around $50-$100 allows you to set up your car and van to remain legal in terms of mandated limits and ensure optimum handling when driving. If your load is too heavy, your steering and braking will suffer and if it is too light the van can be difficult to tow.

What are the must-have items when you take a caravan holiday? What can you not do without when you are on the road? Why not share your thoughts in the comments section below?

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Written by Ben