Gone are the days when it was only the retired who owned a caravan. More and more people now turn to caravanning for their family holiday. There are so many places to adventure to, no matter whether you’re going for a short trip or for several months, and travelling in a van is just that much more enjoyable!

Whilst you might be excited to jump in your new van and head off, there are a few things you should plan before taking off. We’ve put together a checklist to help you not forget the important things and we’ve included a few hints and tips from the pros.

Checklist

Ensure you have a fire extinguisher and fire blanket on-board

Make sure you have a well equipped tool box including a mallet, screwdrivers, tent pegs and clothes pegs, a long power cord, a power board, guy ropes (they can be used a makeshift clothes line) and annexe matting

Citronella candles, mozzie repellent and sunscreen

12V chargers for any of your electrical items (don’t laugh, we’ve all forgotten them!)

Some vans don’t have a toilet and shower. If this is yours take a 12V shower (or Hot Water On Demand if you want the very best) and a portable toilet for when you’re in remote areas with no facilities

Clothing

No matter how warm the weather is, always take at least one tracksuit for those cooler nights or an unexpected change

Only take non-iron items

One good outfit for special occasions

Hat and beanie

Swimmers

Sandals, hikers, outdoor slippers, Crocs or a pair of thongs to wear to and from the shower

Kitchenware

Take some small sized containers and plastic wrap to keep leftovers and any open items in the fridge

A gauze toaster

If you love to cook over an open fire (when permitted) include a jaffle iron and camp oven

Gas lighter and matches

Torches and spare batteries

Take a spare portable stove or BBQ to cook outside; fish can be especially smelly to cook and if you cook it outside the smell won’t go through your bedding, clothes and linen

Food

(just a few items that sometimes get forgotten)

Salt and pepper

Sauces – tomato, BBQ, mayo etc.

Tea, coffee and sugar

Rice, pasta and oil

Canned food is great as space is limited when you have a small fridge. Try corn, peas and fruit

Long-life milk

Right before you go

It’s a good idea to have your vehicle serviced before you go, especially if you’ll be away for a long period of time

Check that your gas bottles full, are securely fastened and turned off

Make sure the fridge door is locked and don’t leave anything out on the benches or shelves as they will get thrown around during transit

Lower your TV antenna (if it’s not fixed in place)

Attach your caravan mirrors ensuring they are firmly secured and make sure you can see adequately before moving off

Ask someone to stand outside and check that the brake lights, indicators and headlights are all operational

Make sure all the windows and hatches are latched 

Handy hints and tips from the pros

Line your kitchen cupboards & drawers with non-stick rubber matting to stop cutlery and kitchenware from moving during travel

You can attach long thin pieces of plastic or wood along the cupboards and shelves to stop cans and cups sliding off in transit

Have a second set of everything that stays in the van so that all you need to pack for each trip is your food and clothes

Before you go transfer all your food items into plastic containers to save any broken glass in transit

Carry a second cast iron frying pan that can be put directly onto an open fire. This saves your good one

Keep a dirty clothes bag so you can carry your laundry to and from the laundry mat

Take a large plastic storage box with you for all your tent pegs, annexe matting, rope and chocks, as you may need to pack up when wet

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