The caravan holiday, has in recent years, seen an astronomical boom in popularity. So much so, around 550,000 Brits each year set off in a caravan or campervans in search of the perfect place to pitch up and relax. Whether it be a ‘staycation’ or travelling further afield, the trend for caravan holidays is on the rise. With the option to stop at multiple locations, stay in areas close to natural beauty or simply enjoy the thrill of the open road, caravanning allows for a multitude of holiday options, whilst often saving hundreds of pounds on expensive flights and hotels.
Whether you’re a newcomer to the caravanning community or a seasoned pro, one of the main things you’ll want to consider before your holiday is how to prepare your caravan for the trip ahead – particularly in terms of your energy supply. With the right preparations in place, you’ll feel safe in the knowledge that your caravan is ‘summer holiday ready’, no matter what the eventuality.
In this article we talk you through the essential caravan preparation schedule.
1. Dodge the damp
After a long cold winter of hibernation, one the most common issues people find when revisiting their caravan is that areas of damp have appeared. If left untreated, damp can cause long-term water damage, so it’s important to pin-point and treat it as soon as possible. Often materials and soft furnishings are the first areas to show signs, but you should always check windows and doors for any cracks or broken seals to identify possible leaks and ensure your caravan is kept water tight. It’s a good idea to properly air your caravan before setting off too, to get rid of any musty smells that have accumulated over the winter period. If you’re short on time, you can use a dehumidifier to speed up the drying process.
2. Check your tyres
If you’re setting off on a trip, checking your tyres is essential. Getting onto the open road and then suffering a flat or even a blowout can be a dangerous and costly experience, and can shorten the time you get to spend relaxing. One way to avoid this is to rotate the wheels of your caravan periodically across the year, particularly if it’s been kept static for long phases – that way the weight of the vehicle isn’t concentrated on one specific area of the tyre for too long. This can help prevent any warping, cracking, or bulging.
Checking your tyres’ air pressure is also highly recommended. This will not only help identify any slow punctures, it can also save you fuel. Be sure to leave some time to make necessary repairs, as last-minute changes can not only impede on your holiday, but can also prove to be expensive.
3. Get gas-ready
Most caravans rely on bottled gas (or LPG cylinders) for refrigerating, heating and cooking, so for any successful summer holiday trip, it’s crucial you have an ample supply available. One particular benefit of LPG (liquid petroleum gas) for caravans is that it’s so versatile – powering a variety of appliances on the move. What’s more, it’s affordable and provides a lot of energy from a small volume of liquid, making it the ideal choice for your summer caravanning break. It’s also a more efficient, reliable and cleaner energy supply than electric systems.
When it comes to gas bottles for caravans, knowing how much to take with you can be a challenge. Take too much, and you’ll be carrying unnecessary weight. Take too little and you could find yourself without gas when you need it most.
Particularly if your caravan has been stowed away during the winter months, a general service is absolutely crucial. Wearable parts, that are often invisible to the untrained eye, will be examined during a caravan service. Mechanics will examine brake pads and breakaway cables alike, ensuring the utmost safety within the caravan is maintained. However, don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a simple once over — more than 100 components will be examined thoroughly.
5. Final preparations
Lastly, before you hit the road, it’s always a good idea to make sure that everything is correctly packed and stowed away to avoid any damage to your belongings. This includes making sure that all windows, doors and cupboards are closed and locked. Staying safe should always be a priority, so don’t forget to check your towbar connection and re-position your car’s side mirrors too – to give you as much visibility of your caravan as possible.