My Caravanning Essentials: Karl Wray
Karl Wray, 24 is a joiner from Barmouth who tours with girlfriend Rhea in their Buccaneer Barracuda matched with a Land Rover Discovery. Here are some of their favourite bits of kit...
You’ll know only too well the frustration and panic felt when you follow a regular sat-nav instead of the campsite’s own instructions. The Avtex Tourer One Plus is uniquely designed for caravans and motorhomes and provides navigation for the easiest and safest routes for your caravan, avoiding tight and narrow country lanes.
We love music and always take our Bose Soundlink Mini speaker so we can play laid-back relaxing tunes while we sit around the campfire. The sound quality is great but, of course, we always keep the noise down after curfew! It’s an expensive bit of kit but it’s more than worth the money for the amount we use it.
Friends and family love to come and stay but we don’t always have enough bedding, so a sleeping bag is an essential piece of kit. When not in use, it can be rolled up into the bag and stored in one of the lockers. It’s also practical to keep it in the van in case of a breakdown.
When we arrive at a campsite late at night, the last thing we want when we’re trying to sort the caravan out is to be faffing about in the dark – that’s why a head torch is a great solution. Ours gets plenty of use, whether it’s for pitching up when the light has gone or walking back along country roads after an evening in a pub.
We have an obsession with our van smelling fantastic and love scented candles. Of course, you mustn’t leave them unattended! We keep a few in the van and always pack a citronella one, too, to keep the bugs away when we’re sitting outside in the evenings.
Before Instagram, there was Polaroid, and this compact camera is perfect to capture all of our caravanning moments. It’s a special way to remember all the fun things we’ve done and we can put the prints up around the van. Film is expensive, so we use it sparingly.
Opening the door of the van after a day out is made even better when you’re greeted with the smell of something delicious cooking. This cheap slow cooker makes meals on tour totally effortless and we get to use fresh meat from local farm shops or markets for dinner.
Starting the day with a breakfast of sausages and bacon is what caravanning is all about, so we can’t leave home without our Cadac Safari Chef 2. In the evening, we fire it up again and invite friends over for a barbecue. It’s lightweight and easy to take away with us because it fits neatly inside its own carry case. We wouldn't be without ours on any trip!
£90 (Go Outdoors members)
The Specialised Covers' Tow Pro Elite provides protection from scuffs, scratches and dents, and keeps the van very clean when in tow. It takes two seconds to clean and we wouldn’t go anywhere without it. It’s a must for all weathers, and means we spend less time cleaning bugs off the front window while we’re on site…
You always need an easy-to-slip-on shoe that is also waterproof to take the rubbish to the bins, fill the water up for the caravan or for when you are using the site’s facilities, such as the showers. Flip flops don’t have to be boring, either, there are loads of funky designs around and they cost next to nothing.