26 February 2020, By Endeavour Lotteries
What You’ll Need for The Ultimate Caravan Adventure
8 min read
The open road is whispering your name. There’s a vast country waiting to be explored. But first, there’s one teeny-tiny detail you’ll need to attend to. What on earth to pack?
Pack too much and you’ll be literally, and figuratively, weighed down by all of your stuff. Pack too little and you might be caught short when you find yourself in a spot of trouble and you really need that [insert random thingy name here that you didn’t bother putting in].
For those used to hitching up their van and heading off to explore, you’ve probably got this packing thing down to a fine art. Although, you of all people will know that there is no such thing as the definitive packing list. Every time you go away, you’re sure to think of something that could be added (or subtracted) for next time. Yes, the elusive holy grail of the ‘perfect packing list’ is something to aspire to, if never to attain. But of course, you would also know that perfecting your set up is half the fun of camping.
On the other hand, you might be only just starting to think about your first caravan holiday. The first step could be to snag the spectacular AT-5 from Kedron Caravans in our latest Ultimate Life changer Lottery.
This mighty off-road van is all rugged and hard-edged on the outside, but don’t be fooled – on the inside it’s all marshmellowy-soft luxury and game-changing, high-tech gadgetry.
If you are indeed lucky enough to be setting off with this rig for your first escape, you will have certainly struck the jackpot.
But what to pack for a caravan adventure?
When it’s time to pack your new van for the first time, you may find yourself as blank as a footy fanatic in the hot seat when Eddie asks, “Who wrote the music to Swan Lake?” (The answer is ‘Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’ for those playing along by the way.)
But don’t stress, we’re here to throw you a lifeline in the form of a couple of handy check-lists to make sure you’re ready when you hit the road.
What’s on your list is also going to depend on whether you’re heading to a caravan park by the beach with a powered site and all the mod cons, or, setting up camp in the middle of nowhere with no power, no water and nobody within coo’ee.
There’s actually a plethora of detailed caravan check-lists on the internet, but, if we’re honest, they can tend to be a bit overwhelming. So, rather than overloading you with too much info at the start, we’ll skip listing the dish detergent and toiletries and focus on some of the big stuff that can make or break your journey.
‘Off-road essentials’ caravan packing list
Here are a few obvious and not-so-obvious things that might help you when you’re travelling in the great unknown:
- Portable solar panels
With these in your kit you can be truly self-sufficient and environmentally-friendly to boot. When the sun’s out, you can top up your batteries, ensuring you won’t be sitting in the dark after sunset.
- First aid kit
Obvious we know, but absolutely essential. If you’re planning on being away from civilisation for a while, you’ll need to have a good one including bandages for snake bites.
- Satellite phone
If you’re going off the beaten track there’s a good chance you will also be out of mobile range. While this may in many ways be a plus if you’re looking to unplug for a while, it can be good to have a satellite phone on hand to stay in touch with loved ones or in case of emergency.
- Fire extinguisher and fire blanket
Again, obvious, but essential. Don’t leave home without them.
- Drinking water storage
Having around 80-litres on hand is a good idea if you are planning to be self-sufficient from time to time. Make sure you remember to add the weight of a full load of water to your overall weight tally.
- Tyre-deflator and air-compressor
You’ll need the tyre-deflator to lower the tyre pressure when you’re driving off-road on sand, through mud or over rocky surfaces. Then you’ll need the air-compressor to pump your tyres back up when you’re heading back onto the bitumen.
- Recovery tracks
These lifesavers are essential to your kit if you’re going any place where you might get bogged. If you find yourself up to your axles in sand or mud, dig down and tuck them in front of your tyres, then simply drive yourself out. There are lots of instructional videos online which show you in more detail how they work. Of course, they may not always get you out of trouble, but you’ll be surprised how many seemingly dire situations can be turned around with these awesome inventions. Having a pair is the minimum (generally used for the front tyres) but having two pairs is even better so you have one for each wheel.
- Snatch straps/winch
Again, these will help you get out of trouble if things get a bot boggy. To use your snatch straps, you’ll need a willing helper on hand with the capacity to pull you out. On the other hand, with a winch can sort yourself out, with the help of a friendly tree or some other agreeable fixed object.
- Tool box/bag
Fill it with all the basics like screwdrivers, spanners and wrenches plus essentials like a tyre lever and hammer. Don’t forget the grease gun (and grease) and include extras like a cordless drill and a magical roll of duct tape. For more ideas, check out some of the caravan tool check-lists you can source online.
With one of these you’ll be able to enjoy all of the mod cons wherever you are. However, there’s one small negative – the noise. Ah, the serenity.
The ‘What to know, before you go’ caravan check-list
1. How much can you tow?
Before you start packing, you need to know your towing capability and the weight limit for your caravan. After all, it’s nice to know what you’re working with before you start loading up. When you do start packing, weigh everything, write it down and keep a running total. This might seem extreme but it’s really the only way to really know how much you are carrying, and you’d be surprised how quickly it adds up. Underestimate and you could be putting yourselves and others on the road at risk.
2. Plan your trip
While you might prefer to be more of a ‘wing-it’ style of traveller, it really does help to have an idea of where you’ll be going so you can work out what you’ll need. You don’t have to have a to-the-minute itinerary worked out, but just think about the sorts of places you’ll be going, what challenges you might face, and what you’ll need to be comfortable and enjoy the experience. Obviously, a couple of weeks by the beach in a caravan park will have very different needs to a trip to Cape York or the red centre.
3. Book ahead for the best caravan parks and campsites
For the more popular locations, particularly caravan parks in beachside locations, you will most likely need to book well ahead to secure a good site. Unless you’re prepared to book months (in some places even years) ahead, travelling off-peak is the only way to go. Even then, you will still need to lock in a site at the popular caravan parks well before you turn up.
4. Start with the necessities
Sort out the ‘must haves’ like jumper leads and spare tyres before you start gathering up the ‘nice-to-haves’. That way you’ll be sure you have room for all the essentials before you pack the coffee machine. (Although for some that may well be on the ‘must have’ list, so perhaps not the best example?)
5. Check your rig is mechanically-sound and everything is in working order
This includes checking that you’ve got plenty of tread on your tyres, batteries are in good condition and pumps or chargers are working. Much better find out something’s not working now than when you’re half way to nowhere
Win the caravan you’ll need to get off the beaten track
If you’d love to pack up and take the road less-travelled, you’re going to need an off-road caravan like Kedron Caravan’s AT-5.
Your new AT-5 will come kitted out with a full ensuite including shower and toilet (camping luxury in anyone’s book), 3 x high performance 150w solar panels, a 2-door 240/12volt compressor fridge, 4-burner hotplates, grill and oven, plus a deluxe reverse-cycle roof air-conditioner.
Check out Kedron Caravans:
For your chance to win this amazing caravan pulled by a brand-new Toyota Landscuiser Sahara, not to mention a tidy $208,351 in gold bullion, you’ll need to grab a ticket in our Ultimate Life changer Lottery.
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