Heading off on a caravanning holiday across our great state?
Outback adventures in your trusty caravan are one of the best ways to explore our vast country. There’s nothing like venturing into the Australia’s outback while still having the luxury of a kitchen, beds and a full bathroom to come back to.
However, without proper preparation and planning, the exciting trip you’ve been waiting months for could soon come to a halt. Malfunctioning vehicles, mechanical faults or lack of (forgetting) necessities are sure to top the list of trip ending issues. Luckily, with proper planning and a comprehensive checklist, you’ll be exploring the amazing outback of Australia, prepared for whatever the open road throws at you.
Tips for Your Next Caravan Holiday
Here are some tips to keep in mind while preparing and travelling Australia.
1. Understand your caravan’s features
It’s important to pay close attention to the features and benefits that come with your caravan. What is it capable of? What are some of the drawbacks? Can it handle rough off-road terrain? If you’re purchasing a new caravan, ask your dealer to take a test drive of the caravan to get a feeling of how to drive it attached to your vehicle on the road and learn how to park it before taking it on your trip.
2. Plan and prepare
Plan your trip and make notes of the fuel stations and towns along the way. Create a checklist and ensure your caravan is properly stocked with everything you require, including emergency equipment. Don’t forget to inform family and friends where you will be travelling, so they can check in with you to ensure your safe and well.
3. Packing your caravan for travel
Before leaving your starting location, and each location along the trip, ensure your caravan is properly packed for safe travel. The first step is to ensure all cords (such as the electrical cord to power mains) are disconnected from the caravan. Store all appliances in secured cupboards and secure your clothes and belongings.
If you have a pop-top caravan, lower and lock in the roof for travel. Turn off the gas, fill up your water containers and pack away external accessories such as caravan awnings and fold-down tables. Check the fluid levels of your vehicle including brake fluid, petrol and coolant.
Finally, do a walk around your caravan to ensure it is all secured for travel. Hook up the caravan to your vehicle, turn off the handbrake and remove chocks. Also, check that the jockey wheel has been removed or raised and secured.
4. Setting up on location
Once you get to each location, look for even ground to park your caravan. Put on the handbrake, lower the jockey wheel and place wheel chocks under each tyre to make sure the caravan is stable and secured. Dismount your vehicle from the caravan and connect your caravan to power mains (if available). If you have a pop-top caravan, raise the roof and secure it in place. Open your caravan awning and set up your equipment, tables and chairs.
Your caravan holiday checklist will usually become overly complicated due to the lengthy list of items you might need. One way you can help to keep it organised is to split it into categories, such as caravan, vehicle and personal checklists.
- Spare wheel
- Hydraulic jack for changing caravan tyres
- Wheel chocks to keep caravan stable when stationary
- Fire extinguisher
- Full spare water containers
- 25metre mains electrical extension lead
- Cooking equipment and appliances
- Full gas bottle
- Water hose
- Spare globe set for all vehicle lights (indicators, headlights, taillights etc.)
- Towing mirrors
- Spare coolant, oil and brake fluid
- Full tank of petrol and spare full jerry can (Australian Standards Approved)
- Spare wheel
- Printed maps and a GPS
- Comprehensive toolkit
- Torches and headlamps
- Ample food and water
- First aid kit
- Camping furniture such as fold up chairs and tables
- Sun protection (sun cream, hat, sunglasses, etc.)
- Any prescription medicines
- Electrical devices and charging cables
- List of important contact numbers when travelling
- Board games