Things to check in a new caravan before leaving for your first trip
Are you ready to plan your next vacation in your new caravan? A caravan trip with your family could be a great way to satiate your travel craving. But why choose a caravan instead of a van or car for a trip? A caravan gives you access to a kitchen, toilet, comfortable bed, seating, therefore, allowing you to travel, sleep, poop, cook without the need to stop. Besides, you can save a lot of funds by avoiding staying and eating food at expensive hotels.
But there are also some essential things to know before your first caravan trip. However, if you want your next trip to be a success, it is advisable to check the points listed below before setting off for your well-deserved break.
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Things to Consider
Plan your Route in Advance
So, you have just bought a caravan, the first thing to do is choose where you are going for your first caravan vacation and plan your route. Of course, it is always best to do your analysis ahead of time where you are going. For that, you need to read online guides to help you plan your route.
Safety comes First
Before heading out on the road for your first trip, make sure your caravan’s safety devices are working properly, including the fire extinguisher, carbon monoxide detector, smoke detector, and LP detector. Also, make sure you have a well-stocked first-aid kit with medications and prescription drugs. Finally, make sure to check the expiry dates of the safety devices.
If you are looking to take your caravan interstate, be sure to check the requirements of the state you are travelling to. They may vary for different regions especially around requirements of caravan towing mirrors. First, however, check that everything in the caravan is secure and safe.
Almost 4000+ cases of caravan theft are reported every year, plus there is always the risk of accidental damage. So, if you want to avoid these kinds of problems, check if your caravan registration and your camper trailer insurance is up to date.
Besides, having caravan insurance can be a wise investment to protect your motorhome in the event of an accident.
When planning a trip, it is important to know your vehicle’s towing specifications, regulations, and other caravan related formalities as advised in your state or territory and your destination.
And if you want to determine the trailer’s total weight, pack your van with your things and take it to a public weighbridge. Another way to make sure you don’t exceed the payload is to weigh whatever you plan to put inside.
Keep in mind that the weight of your tow car should be 30% less than the weight of your rig, so pack accordingly.
Inspect Water System
When you are on a road trip, you are dependent on a source of clean water for cooking, drinking, washing dishes, and taking a shower. It is therefore very important that the water tank of your caravan is full. Also, facilitate transport by emptying the grey and black water tanks before the trip. It is essential to check if you have enough water or coolant in the engine of your rig.
Check Electrical Systems
Most places in Australia are either very hot or very cold! If you want creature comforts, be sure to travel equipped with suitable charged batteries to easily use your lights, fridges, microwaves, hairdryers, and phone chargers. If you are on vacation for a “wilder” caravanning experience, invest in a good recreation battery to keep you going longer.
Evaluate the wheels & tyres
Wheels and tyres are essential for maintaining safety on the road. Therefore, visually inspect any cracks, cuts, bumps, or nails all over the tread and sidewall.
If you want a successful, hassle-free trip, you should check your caravan wheel and tires’ condition before each use. Be sure to check for any signs of warping, cracking, bulging, worn steps, or impaled objects. It will help avoid expensive or serious breakouts down the road. In addition, you must also maintain the pressure level of your tyres recommended by the manufacturer.
Brakes & Suspensions
Most caravans use inertia brakes in which a spring-loaded drawbar forces a lever to apply the caravan’s wheel brake. If the system activates independently on slopes or operates with a delay, you should seek professional help.
Also, make sure you have attached your trailer to the tow bar to level with your car or with its nose pointing slightly down.
Bring your clothes, toiletries, sun protection, and a camera for your vacation. Make sure you take in the essentials, including tea bags, coffee, sugar, and milk. The provisioning of the first evening and the breakfast the next morning will save you from shopping as soon as you arrive.
Of course, you can leave the food processor and the deep fryer at home. But it’s worth making sure your caravan is equipped with the essentials, including folding camping chairs and camping tables.
Don’t forget to board games in the caravan for your children. However, pack everything you need to make your caravan feel comfortable, but don’t overload your luggage.
Take a course
If you’re serious about caravanning, you should be doing it right! Although having a prerequisite course seems extreme, it will provide great theoretical and practical advice and boost your self-confidence. You can also ask a caravan specialist to check your rigging before you set off.
At the very least, give your caravan a try before starting an epic journey.
Go out and explore!
Life is more enjoyable when you have a vacation in sight! Take a minute to think about what went well and what could have gone better. Of course, no trip is perfect, but it all depends on how you handle those moments.
However, if you desire to make your first trip smoother and more enjoyable, keep the above checklist in mind to prepare for your caravan trip. Nothing better than going in a caravan, and you will realize it after taking your first trip!