Caravanning travel tips so you can see all the beauty & wonder of our lovely land
If you're like our team, you love the idea of caravanning around Australia and seeing all the amazing things our country has to offer. But when it comes time for planning your trip, you may find yourself a little overwhelmed. How do you know where to go? What are the best routes? And what if something goes wrong along the road? Never fear – We are here to help!
In this post, we will share some of our top tips for safe caravanning travel, so that you can relax and enjoy every moment of your journey. Happy travels!
Our top 9 tips for caravanning travel bliss:
- Have a checklist for departure and arrival/setup
- Research your route and plan your stops ahead of time if possible
- Make sure you have the right equipment for the trip
- Pack wisely - think about what you'll need and what can be left behind
- Check for road closures and be prepared for unfavourable weather
- Be aware of other drivers on the road - give them plenty of space
- Stop regularly to enjoy the scenery and get out for a walk
- Keep an eye on your fuel levels and make sure you have enough food and water
- Enjoy the journey! Take time to relax and explore the areas you're travelling through
Have a checklist for departure and arrival/setup
Too often you see vans in transit with a hatch still up or step hanging down, or maybe even the jockey wheel still in situ. A checklist is a must for ensuring you don’t have that scraping sound happening as you leave your free camp overnighter.
Here are a couple of great checklists from RV Daily, that will help you prepare for your trip.
Another great idea is to have a packing checklist to help you remember those essentials for a comfortable trip like the wine, cheese and crackers or more seriously the binoculars. A setup checklist enables you to sit down and relax more quickly.
Research your route and plan your stops ahead of time if possible
It is surprising how many backroads and alternative routes get you to where you want to go but are just so much more pleasant travelling than the main highways and far less busy too. It is important to be aware at times that you might need to prebook online into a tourist park or national park for that matter, but it is the exception rather than the rule depending of course on the time of year. Don’t over plan though because part of the enjoyment of caravanning is the chance to discover of new places and spectacular scenery. If you’re in too much of a hurry you will miss the best bits just so that you can get there quicker. An early start and having down days are vital to making your journey more relaxing and stress-free. It’s not a race. Also, apps like wikicamps or google maps are useful tools in transit.
Make sure you have the right equipment for the trip
This means having a reasonable amount of tools and equipment for eventualities that may occur. For instance, a reliable tyre compressor and tyre gauge and some basic tools just make good sense. It is important though to not overdo it. We often take too many tools which of course means excess weight so just cover the necessities without going over the top. You can’t cover every situation which is why it’s good to have a reliable caravan repairer’s details in your glove box. Keep your $1 and $2 coins in there too for the laundromat ;)
Pack wisely - think about what you'll need and what can be left behind
This calls for maximum restraint on your or your partner’s behalf. If you don’t think you’ll use it then leave it at home. There are usually shops where you’re going so you can get it if it’s absolutely necessary. Keep it light and think very carefully about how your van and vehicle are loaded. This is where incorrect loading can cause van sway and more serious consequences at times.
Caravanner Insider tip: put a spare caravan key in your tow vehicle in case you lock yourself out of the van.
Check for road closures and be prepared for unfavourable weather
This year our beautiful land has had bountiful rain which means of course there can be road closures due to flooding in addition to some roads being in a flood-affected state of repair.
Keep in mind “if it’s flooded, forget it!”
Be prepared to adjust your travel schedule to avoid being stuck somewhere for days or weeks. Part of the beauty of this land of ours is the “drought and flooding rains” bit but it calls for caution when travelling with your van. The roadside can be a dangerous place for your van and vehicle after rain, as it can be very soft and potentially boggy too.
Be aware of other drivers on the road - give them plenty of space
Because we are towing a caravan with that additional weight and are usually travelling at a slower pace we should be enabling other traffic to overtake us frequently. It is just the courteous thing to do. It is so good to get that hand wave or toot from a truckie because you have made the timely choice to let them pass safely. Keep in mind that they are probably carrying your next load of groceries to a town that just might be your next destination. If you’re doing more than the speed limit with a van on you’re taking a risk with your rig and yourselves anyway. Take it slow and careful so that you get there safely.
Stop regularly to enjoy the scenery and get out for a walk
The great thing about having your van on the back is that you can pull up anywhere and make a cuppa and enjoy the beauty that surrounds you. If you speak to regular caravaners they will easily remember many places where they have just stopped, sat for a while and enjoyed the great outdoors before travelling on. Often a casual stop can end up being a free camping overnighter if it is an especially beautiful spot. It’s also just a good idea to have a break from travelling to refresh your own being. Too long on the road without a break affects your concentration adversely too.
Keep an eye on your fuel levels and make sure you have enough food and water
It’s not an unreasonable proposition to carry a couple of extra fuel cans if you’re travelling to more remote areas as getting caught short can be a very inconvenient situation, particularly if your vehicle is diesel. It’s wise to refill at your quarter or half mark on your fuel gauge to ensure that you have enough to make your destination. Overall though, driving more conservatively to aid fuel consumption makes good sense.
Water reserves in your van are another thing to keep an eye on, especially if you are free camping or travelling in remote areas of course. Don’t forget an inline water filter too. Food, well there aren’t too many of us who couldn’t do with a little less at times. We usually all ensure we have enough food along and we live in a country where food is not in short supply.
Carvavaner Insider tip: Keep an eye on roadside stalls as you can very often end up with some great fresh fruit, veggies or even jams and pickles at very reasonable prices.
Enjoy the journey! Take time to relax and explore the areas you're travelling through
This is by far the best part of the journey. Travelling to new places, seeing beautiful scenery, listening to birdsong, watching the wildlife, enjoying a glass of wine, cheese and crackers as the sun sets and having a bit of comradeship around a campfire is just the best. We have been blessed with an amazing and beautiful country and what better way to enjoy it than taking to the open road with your van on the back. Take your time as the journey is always as much of an adventure as arriving at the destination.
In conclusion - Hitch up and happy travelling
So, there you have it - our top tips for a stress-free caravanning holiday. If you’re feeling inspired and would like some more first-hand advice, our team are happy to chat. If you are in need of any caravan advice, repairs or even caravan insurance repairs get in touch. Caravanning can be a great way to see Australia and we hope that these tips will help make your experience as wonderful as possible. Safe travels!