New to Caravanning: Essential Advice
Driving on the open road towing a caravan is an increasingly popular choice. It's a fun and easy way to to have a great holiday in the UK or abroad.
If you are new to caravanning, founder and director of award-winning caravan insurance provider, Comfort Insurance, Peter Cue offers his advice for making your trip fun, safe and enjoyable.
Create and print a checklist
There's a lot to remember before you set off on your caravan holiday. Having a checklist on everything that needs to be checked, closed, or switched turned off before you begin. That might include checking your satellite dish is down, closing lockers properly, or shutting hook-up flaps. It's easy to miss checking your caravan. A checklist on paper will help you set off smoothly and with confidence.
Commit your Caravan's Dimensions to Memory
How wide is your caravan in feet and metres? How long is your caravan? What is the total length of your outfit (the combined length of your caravan and tow car). How high is your caravan? It is surprising how many caravanners don't know their dimensions.
Why do you need to know your dimensions? Picture yourself driving along a road which has a low bridge or narrow gap. You see the restriction sign with the dimensions. If you don't know your outfit's dimensions, do you risk going through the gap?
Pack the manual
It's handy to have your caravan's manual to hand so you can quickly find the tyre pressures, or get some guidance on how to drain your tank. Until you know your caravan well, keep the manual handy so you can look up all the details when you need them.
Hide your valuables
You're heading off to the beach after breakfast. You've been online on your laptop to check the weather forecast. You've packed your bags and you're ready. But, you've left out your laptop in full view. You wouldn't leave it ion display in your parked car at home. It's the same in a caravan. Hide your valuables and don't tempt anyone to get their hands on them while you are out at the beach, for instance.
What's your Payload? Keep to it
Your payload is the amount of weight you can add to your caravan whilst keeping it under the maximum vehicle weight allowed. This includes everything from passengers to water waste, so it needs to be calculated carefully. Overloading can not only affect the smooth running of your vehicle but can also lead to a prosecution.
Roll Up Your Clothes to Keep them Wrinkle-Free
A great way to keep the wrinkles out of your clothes is to roll them up and pack them in a plastic bag or dry-cleaning bag. Rolling up your clothes will also save you from having to take an iron on holiday too. (Who want to do any ironing on holiday anyway?)
Take Several plug adaptors
How many devices do you have which need regular charging when you take them on holiday? Having just one international plug adaptor will soon become annoying when everyone needs a charge up to their smartphone. Take a handful of adaptors. It will save a lot hassle.
Use pill boxes to store ingredients
Use old pill boxes to store your salt, pepper and spices. It saves space and you don't need great bags of them in your caravan for a holiday. Also, it helps you get into the mentality of saving space and weight in your caravan!
Bring a torch
Be prepared - the Scout movement's motto is as true today as when it was founded. And, that includes bringing a torch. Being without light at important moments on site can be a pain. Plus, a great little trick to get extra light in your caravan (if you don't have hook up power) is to strap your torch to a jug of water to fill the entire room with an ambient light.
First Aid - Don't forget the kit!
Plasters, antiseptic, antihistamine, pain killers, berrocca - check. You never know when you might have an emergency or simply need a pick me up. Always pack and bring your first aid kit wherever you are travelling.
For more information about Comfort Insurance visit: www.comfort-insurance.co.uk