Top tips on adding comfort to your caravanning experience
Caravans are a popular choice for those wanting to travel around Australia and take quick trips on short notice. Caravans (or motorhomes) offer a great number of benefits, including:
- Portable and free accommodation
If you’re looking to enjoy retirement or just take a late break as you get older, investing in a caravan makes great sense. However, there are a few things you can do to get the most out of the experience and be prepared for whatever comes up.
Tips for making a caravan more comfortable
Whether you’re travelling for three months or for three nights, planning ahead will make life on the road much easier. Depending on the season, campsites can book up fairly quickly, so before you arrive in a new town, be sure you have somewhere to stay.
Plan your time wisely too and remember to factor in the time it takes to really explore. The beauty of caravanning is that you can take all new routes to your favourite destinations and stop wherever you like on the way, so don’t be afraid to try something new.
Pack light and stay organised
If you’re travelling for an extended period, it’s important to stay organised and pack lightly. While motorhomes offer an abundance of clever storage options, you can quickly find yourself short on space as you collect souvenirs along the way. Look for smart ways to minimise the amount of room you take up, such as:
- keep similar items together
- keeping frequently used items nearby
- choose one spot for dirty or wet gear and keep a waterproof bin near the door for shoes
- stow top-heavy items with care
- have a ready supply of resealable plastic bags, Tupperware containers and garbage bags
- remove dry items from bulky boxes and store in smaller, sealable containers
- make use of all spaces, such as under the bed
- utilise over-the-door hooks
It’s amazing how luxurious you can make your caravan feel with just a few small additions. A large doona, fluffy pillows, a throw rug and some cushions for the sofa is all it takes to make your space feel a little more homely and personal.
The beauty of caravanning is in its quietness, but sometimes all that quiet can get a bit tiresome. To break up the extended periods of tranquillity, be sure to pack some cards, board games, puzzles, adult colouring books, or crosswords.
If your caravan fits an awning and you’re going away in summer, it’s a good idea to have one fitted. An awning allows you to set up a table and chairs outside, extending on your space to enjoy the outdoors.
Flip or pop-up table
Pop-up and flip tables will make eating dinner, playing cards or planning from the laptop easier on your back, and they can be tucked away when not in use. You’ll also want to bring along some foldable chairs to ensure you can set up wherever you go.
If things tend to slide around when you’re on the move, find solutions to keep things in place. Stick strips of Velcro to objects to hold them all together, or staple strips of elastic or garter in your bathroom wall for your toiletries.
Reminder flags are essential for those likely to forgot important things. Place a small, noticeable symbol on anything which requires attention before you start driving, such as checking that awnings are folded away.
Alternatively, you can create a checklist of all the critical details required before heading back on the road, such as checking tyre pressure, securing any trailers or loads, and making sure all compartment doors are sealed shut.
A doormat is a must if you’re in and out of your caravan all day, keeping the dirt and dust out. Just ensure to keep it clean and out of wet weather to stop it from adding more mess and clutter to your motorhome.
Invest in a portable hammock and you’ll have the most comfortable spot in the campsite. The great thing about a hammock is that it can be rolled up small and tucked away when there are no trees around, providing you with an easy and relaxing alternative to regular chairs or recliners.
If you need to leave valuables in your caravan, find ways to hide them somewhere it’s doubtful a thief would look. Condiment jars are a good one, as you wouldn’t think to rummage around something labelled “ketchup”. While you’re at it, invest in travel insurance for added security.
A doormat is a must if you’re in and out of your caravan all day, keeping the dirt and dust out. Just don’t forget to bring it inside in the rain and give it a good dust off every few days.
Invest in a portable hammock and you’ll have yourself the comfiest seat in the campsite. The great thing about a hammock is that it can be rolled up small and tucked away when there are no trees around, but do take care while getting in and out of it.
Make a DIY washing machine
If your caravan is not fitted with a washing machine, make your own using a large bucket and lid. Fill the bucket with water, add your clothing, pour in some detergent and use a plunger to mix and lather your items. This is a great portable way to wash clothing and save space in your caravan.
Portable clothes line
A portable or foldable clothes line is a must if you plan on washing while you’re away. You can also install an indoor clothesline for hanging personal or valuable items safely indoors. All you need is a sturdy wire (or rope) and a reliable knot.
However you plan to enjoy your caravanning adventure, it’s important to stay safe on your travels. Even a single unexpected incident can ruin your holiday plans and leave you out of pocket for large expenses. Organising travel insurance before departing is the best way to ensure you’re covered for any unexpected events.
5 Oct 2016