The great simplicity about taking your caravan on a holiday comes through the ease of packing. At the furthest extreme, you might even be able to leave your caravan fully packed up with a whole stock of kitchenware, clothes and toiletries; all you need for a holiday without having to pack up at all. Even if you need to stock up with a few bits and bobs before you go, it’s still possible to leave a large amount in the caravan when it’s not in use.
However, before you leave home there are a few caravan accessories that may make your experience that much more pleasurable. Whilst caravans do come very well equipped these days some essential caravan accessories are not included normally in the purchase price. There is a possibility, of course, that you could try and negotiate some of these items during the purchase of your touring caravan.
For attaching to your existing car wing mirrors so that you can adequately see to the rear of your caravan when you are towing it. These are a legal requirement, but are frequently overlooked by many owners. The mirrors should enable the driver to see 20 metres back from the caravan and 4 metres out, on both sides of the caravan.
A recommended item to help you in and out of the caravan safely.
Fire extinguisher / blanket
Hopefully they will never be used. If you are purchasing a pre-loved touring caravan and it already has an extinguisher, check to see if it has an expiry date, and if so, is it still in date.
Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors
Both vital caravan accessories – but don’t forget to check and change the batteries regularly.
Nothing complicated, but a good idea if you don’t want to sleep at an angle or have your dinner slide off your plate. It will also help to make sure that you are not putting undue stress on the corner steadies.
Electric hook-up lead
Essential if you wish to watch television or use a microwave over a period of time. 25 meters would be an ideal length as it may not always be possible to park that close to the electric point.
A 12v battery will supply you with a reliable source of electricity should you be at a touring caravan site without electric hook-ups or if there is a power-cut, but don’t forget to make sure that it is fully charged before you leave home.
There are different varieties to choose from, but one that can be rolled or that is on wheels will save you the additional burden of having to carry a heavy container across site.
Waste water container
Similar to the above, but not as pleasant. Always make sure that you use the appropriate chemicals and that the contents are disposed of in the correct place. As each site will be different, always check with the site operator where their disposal point is located.
We have written another article that covers caravan security in more detail which can be found by clicking here. But we would recommend at the very least, purchasing a hitchlock and wheel clamp.
The great annoyance about taking your caravan on holiday is that, once at the campsite, you will invariably find yourself missing certain items. Frustratingly, whilst many campsites sell various necessities, you can often find yourself far away from towns which would sell what you need.
Working out the essential selection of caravan accessories to take with you is an important process. If you intend to leave your caravan stocked while not in use, this can make sure that you have happy holidays for many years to come, and avoid ever having to worry about ‘forgetting your toothbrush’.
So what are some of those additional essential items that you may well miss off your list when stocking up the caravan?
- Take along a good set of tools, repair kits and replacement parts for any breakables. Whether your touring caravan is new or old, something is bound to go wrong at some point, and you will regret not packing these essentials if you find yourself unable to make urgent repairs. A selection of spare fuses would be a good idea, but be aware that the fuses used in a caravan are often different to those used at home. Duct tape is fantastic for quick, cosmetic repairs. Obviously, all serious damage needs to be properly inspected and repaired by a professional, but having a ‘mechanical first response’ kit can be a huge help.
- A torch, and spare batteries. Electrical failures or necessary night time excursions are bound to crop up at some point. Make sure your torch is working, and keep it in an easy-to-find location (because you’ll probably need to find it in the dark.)
- Stock up on toiletries. You’ll always need things like toilet roll, toothpaste, deodorants and soaps, and you’ll be annoyed if you run out. It’s much easier to keep a full stock inside the caravan, rather than having to transfer everything each time you want to go away.
- Kitchen utensils can be bought in full sets from many supermarkets and large stores. Stocking up on a full set of crockery, cutlery and utensils makes sure that you know exactly what’s there, and you’ll be free to cook in comfort. Many people prefer to use melamine crockery as it is less likely to get broken or chipped whilst traveling and it will also be considerably lighter than china which is an important factor to remember when calculating the user payload.
- Use some lightweight storage boxes. Get stackable ones so that you can keep them with minimal impact on the space of the caravan. They will also stop items becoming loose in transit and rolling around inside the caravan. Boxes are handy for keeping everything clean and dry, taking food out on day trips, or even storing muddy clothes to keep them from messing up the interior.
- Dust-Buster mini vacuum cleaners are a great addition to any caravan. They take up minimal space, but allow you to clean the entire caravan quickly and easily. They are hand-held, and even allow you to reach tricky confined areas.
Check that your car breakdown cover also includes recovery for your touring caravan. It could be a disaster if your car broke down at the side of the road and you had to abandon your caravan because you weren’t fully covered. For a competitive breakdown policy that covers your car and caravan as standard, call Lifesure on 01480 402460.
A well-stocked caravan makes for a simple and enjoyable holiday. Whilst it may cost a bit to fill up the caravan to start with, it will save you time, money and aggravation in the future.
Have we missed anything off the list that you think is essential? Let us know by posting a comment below.
Of course, a fully-stocked caravan is one you want to keep safe and protected. Make sure that you’ve got adequate caravan insurance to keep your caravan and its contents protected. Call 01480 402460 to find out how Lifesure can help you.