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A question for all you lovely people with touring caravans....

(80 Posts)
UpSideDownBrain Thu 26-Apr-18 13:04:21

Picking up our first ever tourer tomorrow. She's quite old but in great condition. Soooo excited.....
Just wondering what we should pack - got all the obvious stuff on the list - but what are your favourite must haves/gadgets/hacks/tricks that we should know about?
Particularity interested in any advice about BBQs.
Will be on our first site in North Wales by tea time tomorrow! Yay!!!

MaxPepsi Thu 26-Apr-18 13:37:26

Oh I love our caravan. You will have a blast!

Ours is old and I have to make the bed up each day which is a pita but we have a full awning which we sit in that makes life easier.

I filled ours with everything I thought we would need and found that we didn't need any of it, so took a lot out after the first year. And then took more out the following year etc.

I do have a few luxuries though, nice warm blankets. Lovely 'plastic' glasses for my wine, candles and I always have fresh flowers when we go away. DH's only insistence was a singing kettle, but I think that was from a practical point of view. Having to much plugged in can trip the electrics!!

We haven't bothered with a bbq yet. I plan to get one when we have a newer van and a half awning.

MaxPepsi Thu 26-Apr-18 13:40:44

Oh. If you are drinkers. You can never have to many bottle openers or ever pack to much booze. Nothing worse than settling down after a day in the fresh air and realising you've run out!!!

Ladyflip Thu 26-Apr-18 13:42:40

Put the ice in the freezer compartment before you leave, so that when you arrive it is frozen and you can put it straight in your G and T! gin

UpSideDownBrain Thu 26-Apr-18 13:44:14

So I need icecube bags - good idea! My DH said he thought you could put the fridge on to run off the car battery during the journey.

ADrabLittleCrab Thu 26-Apr-18 13:54:31

I read what I thought was a really good tip - to make the bed up each night a little easier, have a mattress topper with the fitted sheet already on it and then when seats are down, just throw your topper and duvet on. Saves all that climbing over the seats trying to persuade a fitted sheet to stay on. In the morning, just roll the topper up and stow under the seat.
I have to echo lots of lovely blankets and my particular favourite, hammam towels. Nice and big to wrap yourself in after a shower and light and easy to dry during the day.

Annwithnoe Thu 26-Apr-18 14:08:22

What do you want to know about bbqs?

Boring, practical stuff:

I only bring colored clothes (no blacks, no whites and no jeans) and microfiber towels so I can throw them all in a wash together. It’s useful whether you have to wash on a camp site or just to avoid having to sort stuff when you get home.

I have a fold up shopping tote for each family member which is used for showering/ swimming.

You can’t have too many rolls of that rubbery non slip mesh stuff

Freeze a bottle top of water and then put a penny on top. If the penny sinks down you’ll know that temp in freezer got too warm.

Carbon monoxide alarm is a must!

We have led stick on strip lighting under our presses for night time

UpSideDownBrain Thu 26-Apr-18 14:17:17

Carbon monoxide alarm - had forgotten that but it is a must.
Love the bottle top idea too.
Do you have a a tub outside for your shoes? We don't have an awning at the moment so need to store them somewhere.

Re BBQs - where do you store it when you are travelling? Do you have a little portable one or a full size?

UpSideDownBrain Thu 26-Apr-18 14:18:51

rubbery non slip mesh stuff - what do you use that for?
It has fitted cream carpet pieces on the floor - was going to take those out and store them and put something else down.

Annwithnoe Thu 26-Apr-18 14:21:46

We have a notebook folding grill, which folds flat and has a carry bag. It’s brilliant. Halfords do a cheap and flimsy imitation that’s not worth the money.

A decent windbreaker will make all difference to being comfortable sitting outdoors. But it’s another thing where you’ll get what you pay for.

Annwithnoe Thu 26-Apr-18 14:24:28

Oh and a mat for outside the door which gets very muddy

UpSideDownBrain Thu 26-Apr-18 14:24:43

We have a windbreaker in the garage so I can pack that - thanks.
Will check out notebook folding grills!

DownAtFraggleRock Thu 26-Apr-18 14:31:51

BBQ - we have a portable propane gas one on legs that folds up flat and goes into the storage compartment.

Coleman make them. I'm not in the UK so hopefully you get Coleman products there

SubtitlesOn Thu 26-Apr-18 14:33:56

We have a MH

But top tip from my CARAVANNING friends is to attach a cover over the front window when travelling for the dead flies that get splatted onto it

If you are not plastic avoiders, then use cling film

UpSideDownBrain Thu 26-Apr-18 14:39:56

There's a whole section on the Weber website called "grilling on the go"! I'm in heaven!

UpSideDownBrain Thu 26-Apr-18 14:41:19

I've seen those dead fly covers on caravans on the motorway - I was going to check them out in the shop when we pick up the caravan.

MaxPepsi Thu 26-Apr-18 14:43:36

Oh. A decent torch!

You forget how dark it gets when out in the open fields!! Make sure you take time out to lie down and look up at the stars if you get a clear night.

I also bought a cheap Ikea tool kit for our van. All neat and compact. DH pooh poohed it at that the time but he now admits it was an inspired buy!

And make up your own first aid tin and include bug spray/Avon oil.

SerendipityJane Thu 26-Apr-18 14:47:32

Before you get too excited is it too square to talk about safety ?

Have you ever towed before (and do you have the correct license(s)) ?

Are you au fait with weights and loading ?

Are you familiar with caravan safety and maneuvering ?

I'd try and make sure I could answer those questions before getting too carried away ...

UpSideDownBrain Thu 26-Apr-18 14:47:47

A torch!! Putting that in the bag right now!

UpSideDownBrain Thu 26-Apr-18 14:50:43

SerendipityJane - husband tows big equipment all the time and can reverse massive things into tiny spaces in 2 seconds. So he's got that covered, though I do want to get used to doing it so I can go away with my friends too. We are old so our license automatically covers towing.

MaxPepsi Thu 26-Apr-18 14:52:48

Upside.......may I ask. What type of fridge do you have? Shower etc?
And is it just the 2 of you? Any dogs??

averylongtimeasSpartacus Thu 26-Apr-18 14:52:48

Had a tourer for years. Get good quality pans with lids - that stack. Tefal do some I think. Cheap pans stick and you don't want to be scrubbing on your hols. Set of plastic mixing bowls with lids, they double up as storage and salad bowl, you can get attractive ones. Posh plastic glasses. Corkscrew, bottle and tin opener. Yes to plastic storage box for shoes, make sure the lid doesn't leak.
This is the Uk so: waterproofs and wellies.
I have a box with all my "essential" spices and herbs in in tiny jars. Tictac boxes are good.
Good quality door mat - the sort that are shown in the adverts soaking up all the mud as a large dog walks across them.
I wouldn't bother with a full size canvas awning again, you can get some very good lightweight ones, much easier to put up/down and no trying to dry heavy canvas when you get home, as they dry in minutes over a washing line.
I always take the first evening meal ready so it just needs heating up.
BBQ: we have a cadac but it's big, they do do smaller ones now though.
If you are not careful it is easy to overload the caravan- so weigh it on a public weigh bridge and work out how much you can put in.

I'm sure I'll think of something else....

averylongtimeasSpartacus Thu 26-Apr-18 14:54:35

My DH can do that too, op.
It's annoying, as I can't!

Do you have dogs, kids, plans to go abroad?

UpSideDownBrain Thu 26-Apr-18 14:56:14

My DH can do that too, op.
I find it very attractive..... winkwink

DGRossetti Thu 26-Apr-18 14:58:43

Second for an awning ? Essential with UK weather ... you can eat "outside" inside (and leave the BBQer in the rain smile )

Unless you are going to the ends of the earth, you don't need to take too much provisions. You can always buy locally (and check out farm shops etc).

When we toured we always took a simple meal (bolognese - just need to heat and add to pasta) for the first evening. It can be quite tiring towing and setting up (mind you we had DS then, which is more work).

An external mains/12V coolbox can be a godsend. Chilled beers and wine smile.

And a decent flask/coolbag makes sightseeing easier (and cheaper).

Enjoy !

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