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Whether you’re travelling with friends, children or animals, caravanning can be one of life’s great pleasures – but it’s not without its pitfalls.
With thousands of caravanners expected to head off on their travels this summer, here are some top hacks to make caravan holidaying easier:
1. Invest in extending towing mirrors
Go big or go home! It’s pretty much a given that no-one has ever wished they’d bought smaller extending mirrors. Invest in a decent set to see you through. They’ll be a worthwhile investment.
2. Don’t rely on man-power
Picking up a decent adaptor for a hand-drill means you avoid the hard labour (and potential back injury) that goes with using a hand lever to lower the van legs.
3. Go old-school and bring a map
Technology is great. Until you get stuck in a country lane near Aberystwyth with a 2 mile journey to reverse. Make it an adventure in the best possible way by planning your journey and packing a map – ensuring that the sat nav doesn’t ruin your plans.
4. Awning erection survival kit
No matter how many times you do it, putting up the awning can prove to be a stressful situation. Head this off by packing a survival kit to occupy the kids – a large picnic and new colouring books often buys you some quiet time to set up.
5. Porch light
Don’t let the longer summer evenings lull you into a false sense of security. Remember to pack a light for the awning so when the kids are tucked up in bed (finally) you can enjoy card games into the evening without worrying about making too much noise.
6. Trug basket
Muddy shoes + enclosed space = hours of cleaning up after yourself. Invest in a large enough basket to chuck all outdoor shoes into at the door and help maintain your high standards.
7. The ‘know before you tow’ check
Towing rules depend on when the driver passed their driving test. If you’re planning on taking a trailer or caravan on holiday this summer you can find the latest advice from DVLA on what you can tow as well as guidance on towing safely and legally.
8. Laptop with pre-loaded films
For those rainy day emergencies. Handy for the child or adult in your life who needs distracting. Don’t forget the charger and headphones.
9. Hot water bottle
Fill it with cold water and freeze it – it will turn any sealed box lined with tinfoil into a cool box.
10. A flat hot plate will cook most things
Indoor or outdoor cooking is made easier with one of these electrical essentials. Most meals can be cooked on it, it’s easy to clean and doesn’t take up much space.
11. Baby wipes
Not just for those with babies. These pocket-sized miracles will mop up spills, clean windscreens, remove oil from hands, clean shoes…. a ‘must’ for life, not just for caravanning.
Ian Hewlett, technical manager of the Camping and Caravanning Club, said: “Fitting additional towing mirrors will help you see behind your caravan, and if you’re new to caravanning check your driving licence covers the car and caravan combination you plan to tow.
“Caravanning is a perfectly safe and enjoyable pastime, and we at the club are committed to helping ensure caravanners feel confident and relaxed on their way to their holiday destination.”
More information is available at www.gov.uk/towing-with-car.