A caravan equipment guide for beginners

Published: 29th November 2011
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Before you set off on a camping expedition to explore the British Isles, there are a number of essential items that you will need. It is important that those that are new to caravanning know what is needed and this can sometimes be a frustrating process. Taking too many items will leave your caravan cluttered whilst taking too little could leave you in the middle of nowhere without a piece of vital equipment.

For first-timers, there are ďstarter kitsĒ, which many suppliers offer when your first caravan is purchased. However, this can be a problem if you are buying privately, as you will be short of items to place in your caravan.

To ensure that you remember to take the essential equipment, here is a list of ten items that you should not be without on your caravanning or camping holiday.

Leisure battery

Many well-equipped campsites will offer electric hook-ups, but this isnít always the case. An 110AH battery will enable you to travel in places where this is not available. The battery will provide you with enough power for the lights and pump and is essential.

There are several steps that you will need to take to ensure that your battery does not run out at times when you need it. Do not leave the battery inside when your caravan is parked in your drive in winter, make sure it is free of frost and always ensure that it is fully charged, even when it isnít in use. Keep the terminals clean and dry, coat them with petroleum jelly occasionally and always ensure that the electrolyte levels are topped up.

Power lead and reel

A long power lead is vital for campsites where there is a hook-up. A lead that is around 20m with a reel will be easier to coil up and connect to the hook-up point.

Full gas bottle

A full gas bottle should be provided with your caravan, but it is always best to ask. The majority of gas outlets carry stocks, so it is easy to get refills.

Toilet chemicals

Toilet chemicals are essential. Once you have filled the flush tank up with water, add a pink liquid to keep the water fresh. A blue liquid for the washwater tank is also needed as this will help to prevent bad smells. When using toilet chemicals, only stick to ones that are suitable for your caravanís toilet to avoid damage.

Dirty water carrier

You will need to take one of these to hold waste water. This will provide you with plenty of flexibility when travelling and will not limit you to which campsites you can stay at. Water carriers slide under the caravan beneath the waste water outlets and are available in a number of designs.

Water barrel and hose

This is a vital piece of equipment. Depending on how many people you are travelling with, anything from 29-40ltr should do. A mains water adapter will save you from having to fill your barrel every day and some offer taps and stands. A decent length hose, at least 7.5m, is also useful.

Fire extinguisher and smoke alarm

It is vital that you ensure that your caravan is equipped with these devices in case of a fire, especially as you may be away from any fire services whilst camping. A dry powder fire extinguisher with a capacity of between 600g-1kg is essential and you will need to fit a smoke alarm if you havenít already and keep a spare battery at hand.

First aid kit

Accidents can still occur whilst away from home, so it is vital that you have a first aid kit, along with a basic idea of how to use it. This should be stored in your caravan and equipped with safety pins, fabric dressings and plasters, scissors, woven bandages, aspirin and paracetamol. A basic care leaflet should also be included. First aid kits can be obtained from most outdoor pursuits shop.

Hitch cover

A hitch cover will help to protect your caravan from the weather and are often available with snaps or drawstrings to keep them secure.

Rear number plate

Your caravan should have a rear number plate. The rear number plate should have been included in the sale. If it wasnít, then it is vital that you have one before you travel in your caravan.

In addition to these items, there are smaller items that will be of use during your camping holiday, such as torches, cooking utensils and spare batteries.

To know more about what is caravan equipment visit clubcare insurance at http://www.clubcareinsurance.co.uk

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