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Get Road Trip Ready With These Caravan Travel Essentials

There are a million and one things to do and pack before a caravan trip. Depending on where you are travelling – and during what time of the year, you’ll find yourself needing different items on each trip. To ensure your holiday goes smoothly, the Novus team has put together an essential prep and pack list that includes safety precautions for your next cross-country caravan road trip.

Today’s post on getting road trip ready will answer the following questions:

  • What basic safety checks do you need to undertake on your car and caravan?
  • What should your basic road trip toolkit include?
  • Should you tint your car and caravan’s windows?
  • What do you pack in your caravan? What goes in the car?

Whilst road tripping used to be reserved for backpackers and retirees, it is now quickly becoming the key travel trend. In a post-pandemic world and due to the persisting restrictions on overseas travel, Aussies are looking for safe holiday destinations closer to home. Regional road trips and caravanning are filling a void and growing more and more popular amongst generations. This road trip renaissance is expected to last beyond mid-2022 and will likely remain a popular holiday option for Aussies across the nation.

Let’s suppose you’re new to this trend. A week-long road trip through Australia requires a much different approach to packing and preparation than a two-week all-inclusive family holiday at a beach resort in Cancun. So, what do you need to pack? And what can stay home? We’ll take the pressure of getting organised with this all-in-one pack and prep list for a successful caravan adventure.

Road Trip 101: Caravan & Car Safety Essentials

First things first! Safety should always be the first thing on your mind. Before you do anything else, make sure that both your car and caravan are in tip-top shape!

Caravan Safety Checklist Car Safety Checklist
Check the fire alarm and replace the battery if needed
Book your car in for a service if you’re due
Make sure to carry a fire extinguisher and fire blanket
Check you have roadside cover
Check the conditions of the tyres and the spare
If towing a trailer or caravan, make sure you know your vehicle’s towing capacity and don’t exceed it
Make sure that all chains, couplings, sway bars, shackles, and lights are functioning
Check your windscreen and side mirrors for damage – the team at Novus Autoglass services can assist
Ensure that any awnings and doors are locked in place
Clean your windscreen wipers and ensure washers are operating correctly
Fill up the gas bottle from the caravan, if it’s running low
Make sure all your lights and indicators are working
 
Make sure you carry enough fuel, oil and radiator coolant
 
Ensure the fuel gauge and temperature gauge are operating correctly

Tip: There’s nothing more annoying than misplacing your caravan car keys! So we recommend getting a copy made if you don’t already have one and taking it with you.

What to Pack in Your Car vs. Caravan

Like every other family holiday, it’s tempting to pack more than you need – just in case! Remember, you might not have to drag suitcases around busy airports, but a caravan stuffed to the brim with things you’ll never unpack is no fun either.

The number one tip we can give you is to pack as many of the things you take in the caravan as you can and leave the car space for your passengers. Of course, there is nothing worse than realising you can’t access something because you’ve packed it in the caravan, not the car. So here’s a list of items you should carry in the car versus carrying in the caravan.

Kitchen utensils including tongs, egg flip, potato peeler, chopping boards

Caravan Packing List Car Packing List
Carry dishwashing detergent, plug, sponges and tea towels
GPS – We recommend keeping your GPS in the car. We have an article dedicated to which GPS systems are the best navigation equipment on the market
Portable BBQ – what’s better than a roadtrip barbie?
Toaster and kettle
EPIRB – Planning to leave the road and explore remote areas? An EPIRB will ensure emergency services can always find you
Pack hand soap, wipes, hand sanitiser, hand towel and tissues
First aid kit – you never know when you might need a first aid kit, so it is best to keep it close by
Toiletries and bath towels
Baby wipes – Great for your kids’ sticky fingers and cleaning up after changing a tyre
Carry a mini vacuum or brush and pan set
Rubbish bags – Road trips usually accumulate a lot of small rubbish from food wrappers and receipts
Small bin and bin liners
Device charger – If you’re using a phone or iPad in the car
Bags for shopping and carrying clothes
Rubber backed rug – if you need to get under the car or van to change a tyre, you will need something to kneel on
Large bag for dirty clothes, pegs and washing powder, clothesline
Duct Tape – it comes in handy if something breaks and you need to hold it together
Pack mats for inside and outside the caravan
Rag/Old Towel –protect your hands if you need to open the bonnet
Container for holding shoes
Toolbox (see below)
Small table – if you like to prepare meals outside the van
Plenty of snacks
Folding chairs
 
Cards, board games, reading material, pens for entertainment
 
Camera
 
Sporting equipment and fishing gear
 
Umbrella, wet weather gear, sun protection, hats
 
Chargers for any devices you take
 
Extension cord/s – for car fridge and caravan on a powered site
 
Torches, firelighters
 

Your caravan doesn’t have the capacity of a genie bottle, so make sure you pack in accordance with the space you have available. It’s always good to keep asking yourself: Do I have something smaller I can take instead? If I take this, am I doubling up? Once you’ve finished packing, double-check to ensure you have secured every drawer and cupboard door to stop the contents from flying out while you are on the road.

Don’t Forget Essential Tools

Shovel
Torch
Tow ropes
Drop sheets
Battery charger
Adjustable wrenches
Screwdrivers
Wooden jack base
Jack and pump
Tyre repair outfit, including valve key
Wheel brace and tyre levers
Socket set
Electrical tape
Suitable fuses and vehicle light globes

Why You Should Consider Caravan Window Tinting

Are you planning a summer roadtrip? The interior of a caravan can heat up significantly over a few hours on the road – particularly under the scorching hot Australian sun.

Tinted caravan windows and windscreens can help regulate the heat and reduce glare, which is why many caravan owners swear by tinted caravan windows.

The benefits of tinted caravan windows and windscreen

  • Tinted windows will filter out some of the summer heat and keep the inside of your caravan a little cooler.
  • UV rays can fade fabrics and delicate surface finishes in your caravan, which can be costly to repair or replace. Tinted windows prevent UV rays from entering the caravan.
  • Tinted windscreens reduce dangerous glare, so drivers can see better and concentrate on the road.
  • Window tint helps minimise the risks involved in shattering glass. If glass breaks, small fragments adhere to the tint film, protecting you and your passengers from lacerations and injuries.
  • Window tint can also help to keep your possessions safe by adding privacy and concealing your valuables from the eyes of thieves.

If tinted windows are something you’re interested in or your caravan windscreens require attention before you can take off on your big adventure, contact the Novus Autoglass team for help.