Caravan holidays are exciting, relaxing and fun experiences, but to get the most out of them you have to do some preparation and planning. Our checklist below will ensure you have as few hiccups along the way as possible, so that you can have an enjoyable experience. Find the printable pdf version at the bottom of the this article.
What You’ll Need To Bring
- Gas– make sure the gas tanks are full and refill if necessary
- Gas Cooker– so you can cook up breakfast, lunch and dinners
- Folding camp table– perfect for cooking outside with
- Folding camp chairs– they always come in handy, particularly if guests arrive
- Bottle opener and can opener– just in case there isn’t one in the caravan, as there is nothing more frustrating
- Kitchen utensils, pots, cutlery and crockery– check what is in the caravan before you go so you can see if there is anything that you need, but don’t have. Keep a list of your things so you can remove them before giving the caravan back to the owner.
- Clothes for all occasions– including something warm/cool to sleep in and rainwear
- Toilet paper– keep a ready supply
- Wet wipes– because they come in handy in a whole range of situations
- First aid kit– for patching up bumps and scrapes
- Medicine – if you take medicine regularly make sure you have enough with you for the trip
- Toiletries– shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap, sunscreen, toothpaste and toothbrush!
- Torch– always comes in handy when caravanning
- Windbreakers– for privacy and protection when you are sitting outside your caravan
- Towels– for the caravan, the pool and the beach
- Things to do on rainy days– board games, card games, books, colouring in activities for children, etc
- Phone charger– they are easy to forget. Also remember to bring chargers for your other electrical items, like tablets, shavers, iPods, etc.
- Food!– unless you are going somewhere really remote you will be able to buy most of your food at your location. It is still a good idea to bring some with you though, particularly things like tea, coffee, sugar, salt, pepper, butter, etc – the essentials.
Your Car & the Caravan
- Engine– ideally your car should have gone through a service recently. Even if it has though, you should still check the oil level and the coolant level.
- Window washing fluid– make sure the fluid in your windscreen washer is full
- Tyres– make sure the pressures of your tyres are correct, including your spare tyre
- Lights– check that all your lights are working
- Mirrors– make sure you mirror extensions are fitted securely and that you can see clearly
Maintenance Equipment You Should Bring With You
- Spare wheels– for your car and caravan
- Oil– engine oil
- Insulating tape and duct tape– can temporarily fix many, many problems
- Jack and wheel changing tools– so you can replace your wheels if you get a flat
- Tyre gauge– so you can check pressures on the go
- Tool kit– for repairs on the go
The Caravan – Preparation For Departure
- Clear down– put all loose items away
- Close everything– close all windows, doors and hatches, as well as cupboard doors and drawers. The refrigerator door should also be locked.
- Steps– raise your steps
- Lights– check the lights are connected to your car and working properly
- Tyres– check the tyre pressures
- Chokes and brakes– make sure brakes are disengaged and any chokes are removed
- Jockey wheel– the jockey wheel needs removed or lifted
- Hitch– make sure the towing hitch is properly secured
- Gas– turn off the gas
- Leads and water hoses– make sure they are all disconnected, including the water and electrical leads.
Before You Hire a Caravan
- Compatibility– check the weight and couplings of the caravan to make sure you can tow it with your car
- Size– make sure the caravan is going to fit in the space you have rented
- Equipment and amenities– make sure the caravan has everything that you will need, from kitchen equipment to the number of beds to whether or not it has a toilet
- Paperwork– make sure you get insurance from the caravan owner
- When collecting– check that everything is working and in good order. For example, check the lights, tyre pressures, and the equipment inside the caravan.
Before Handing The Caravan Back To Its Owner
- Remove everything that’s yours– go through the cupboards, drawers and shelves in every room to locate and remove any items that are yours. In particular look out for clothing, toiletries and extra kitchen utensils, as these are often left behind.
- Tidy up– do a general clean of the caravan
- Check the caravan– do a walk around the caravan to check its condition, noting any damage that was caused, or any items that are not functioning properly