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First caravan what do I need to know?

(11 Posts)
Earbudbitter Tue 26-Apr-16 21:10:09

So today we bought a caravan grin
Never before been on a caravan holiday so firstly what do we need to buy? (got water barrel /waste one too , toilet chemicals and electric hook as part of deal)
Are there any essential things we should know??
I'm so excited hoping to have our first trip away the night we collect locally just to try it out.
Looked for previous thread but couldn't find it.

ChopOrNot Tue 26-Apr-16 21:32:10

Have you camped before? Some of that stuff will be transferable. If not you clearly need to kit your kitchen out - plates, wine glasses etc.

You'll need steps. Something to carry your washing up to the washing up point (we sometimes wash up in the van, sometimes we boot the children over to do it. They are slightly slack washer-uppers though so do sometimes come back with grubbier tea towels then if I had done it...but meh.)
Oh so yes - towels, tea towels, hand towel. We use the thin microfibre towels for showers etc as they dry so much quicker.

If you are planning on using the campsite showers have something to carry you toiletries/towel/clean clothes to the shower block (we use bag for life things <classy>)

If you have an awning and are short arses like us maybe a small step stool so you reach the top poles/tie ins - it depends on the awning too.

Chairs for sitting outside with.
I have a small hand held hoovery thing <sad emoticon>
Kettle, tea, coffee, sugar.

If you have to make your bed up from the sofas you may want to get some kind of memory foam topper or some such. As a warning working out how to put a sheet on such a bed is a PITA. You can get special mattress/duvet/caravan specific things. We used to fight with a sheet. Then I got a thin, summer weight cotton duvet and now we use that as our "bottom sheet" iyswim - just lay it out lie on that with another duvet over us. Far, far easier than the sheet fight.


Will come back if I remember other stuff.

Earbudbitter Tue 26-Apr-16 21:44:28

Thanks chop. Have camped in tent before but never gone all out with equipment etc. Good idea about sheets...was planning on using sleeping bags with sheets and duvets. Was planning on using shower ex on campsite so do need a new wash bag.
Don't currently have awning but it's something we are definitely hoping to get as I think it looks like it makes the van.

ChopOrNot Tue 26-Apr-16 22:25:22

Oh, and if you don't have one get a short length of hose (about 3-4 feet) with hose/tap attachment for filling up the aqua roll - saves lots of splash back.

We have 2 as the water taps are different at every campsite. One is normal garden hose with the hozelock screw on attachment - works at most sites. Also have one a bit like this or Double Tap Bath Shower Spray Hose Connector Attachment (Primero Single Tap Connector) but chopped off/without the shower head iyswim - so you can push it over the odd random non-screw taps you have at some sites. Just means you can put the end of the hose into the aquaroll and not get drenched.

Oh and remember to store your waste pipe in one place (we use front locker) and your water pump/hose attachment (ie your clean water stuff) in another (we put in clean/dettolled kitchen sink) when travelling. You do not want to get the van out for your second trip and realise you have had your clean water stuff bumping around in the same place as either grey water stuff or anywhere else grim.

Oh, and a watering can or old 4 pint milk carton is useful for filling up the cassette loo (though depends on the loo) - again, we just keep in the front locker away from any "clean" water stuff.

Earbudbitter Wed 27-Apr-16 07:50:37

Thanks chop some really good tips there. I have a small bit of house I was about to get rid of so will re purpose that.
So excited that we've got one, know we will probably make some mistakes but we will learn from then, that's why your tips are invaluable. smile

Berthatydfil Wed 27-Apr-16 08:13:41

Think about storage and what you use stuff for.
Things that don't take up much space, store easily and can have multiple uses are your friends eg
IKEA similar sports direct or class Olsen bags you can put your clothes in them to travel and then fold them up in the locker. They can be used to take stuff to from showers as laundry bags etc.
I didn't bother with sleeping bags and duvets as they take up too much space in the daytime . Caravans are much warmer than tents you will need just one or the other. I leave sleeping bags laid out in the mattresses and I bought fleece throws these double up as blankets in the nights and seat covers over the sleeping bags in the day, and if it's very warm we don't bother with sleeping bags at all just use the throws.
I don't use the hanging space in my wardrobe and bought one of those plastic drawer sets and put that in the wardrobe instead- which gives loads more storage.

AalyaSecura Fri 29-Apr-16 22:34:51

We've just been knitting out our first caravan, buying as and when we realise we need something by trial and error. I've been really happy with our crockery - these plates and bowls from IKEA - a cheaper version of Corelle - which stacks taking up v little space and is much stronger than normal plates. Next on the list is an awning (going to get a 3/4 size one), plus outside table and chairs, and awning carpet. I've had fun collecting some travel type games and keeping them in the van so that they stay a novelty for the DC.

AalyaSecura Fri 29-Apr-16 22:40:26

Oh, another thing to buy if you've not already - insurance, and some security. We've gone with the caravan club insurance (became members first for a discount); they weren't the cheapest, but they get great reviews for how well they look after you if something goes wrong. Security wise we got a hitchlock (essential), and a wheel lock. You might also want to think about a noseweight gauge - our car can't take a massive noseweight, so we use it to guide how we pack up the van.

Earbudbitter Sun 01-May-16 09:41:57

Thanks aalya. I definitely want an awning, it's on my wish list... of to Google nose weight gauge and locks!

Berthatydfil Sun 01-May-16 10:15:12

Nose Wright gauge - meh just weigh stuff as you put it in the van - so you don't overload it and put the very heavy stuff over the axle.
Also keep everything low to the floor as this stabilises it.
Awnings - small ones look on but they are as hard to put up and you don't get the seal down the sides like a big one so can be flappy in high winds.

Berthatydfil Sun 01-May-16 10:15:39

Look ok

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