10 Caravanning tips from the experts
Thinking of hooking up a caravan to the 4WD and going exploring? Here is a quick guide to set the beginners up for the great Aussie adventure.
- Travel when it’s quiet
You know what is worse than being stuck in traffic on the way to work? Being stuck in traffic while on a holiday. While the summer is beautiful, the coastal regions are also crowded around Christmas and Easter. Do a little research to avoid major camping spots. If travelling during school holidays, ensure that you book the caravan or holiday parks well in advance.
- Drive to the condition
Pulling a caravan is quite different from just driving a car and it might be a little daunting for beginners. Ensure that you have practised turning corners, reversing and parking a few times before you set off.
While on the road, easy does it. Remember that your 4WD will behave differently due to the weight and the length behind it. Anticipate it when accelerating, braking and overtaking.
Take your time but keep an eye on the traffic behind you. Be courteous and help them overtake when safe.
- Get a shut eye
As mentioned above, your body will also perform differently when driving with a caravan. Due to the tiring nature of driving with a caravan, experts suggest not driving more than 200 kilometres a day. Many grey nomads leave early in the morning and get to their destinations by afternoon, leaving rest of the day to explore.
- Be strategic with the supplies
Depending on where you travel, the climate can range from cold and wet to hot and dry. While you don’t want to carry excess weight around, you need between three to five litres of water per person per day. You will come across roadhouses to replenish the food and water all over Australia, however, the distance between towns can sometimes be vast.
- Be safety smart
Tell somebody about your plans and know ways to reach help if needed. Don’t wander into the bush by yourself of.
You will come across many protected animals and plants, and some of them can be dangerous. Cary the first aid kit with you and don’t forget the sunscreen or insect repellent.
- Plan for when things go wrong because they will
Tires blow, mechanical issues arise, the weather turns, and people get sick, it happens. Be flexible and be prepared.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help
The locals know road conditions better than Google and you will come across campers who have been doing this for decades. Most people will be more than happy to offer tips, ideas and even help you when you get bogged.
- Learn to smile/nod/ignore
Let’s face it, you will attract sufficient attention at the caravan parks trying to reverse your caravan and setting up your site. Not only that, opinions will fly in your direction from which accessories you should have bought, to which café you must visit. If it isn’t helpful just smile, nod, and ignore.
- Leave the caravan behind
You can always leave the caravan behind at one of the caravans parks for a small fee. There is no point towing it behind on corrugated roads where just a small tent will suffice or doing day trips.
- Make it yours
In the end, each caravanning trip is a unique experience that will give you freedom and flexibility; own it and make it yours.