The essentials of caravanning - to make your trip safe, well-organized and pleasant

Posted by Zoe Van Mill on

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Caravanning - an adventure or a way of life

We all know that caravanning has many faces: from weekend, through to individual and collective, all the way to extreme caravanning. Is it reasonable to refer to any of them as correct or true? Most likely not. Motorized tourism provides a variety of options, and each person chooses the one that best matches their needs and is within their budget. Some people like weekend travels outside of town, some people prefer weekly vacations abroad, while some people prefer caravanning journeys to places without roads or civilization. We can combine living in an apartment with traveling in a camper without having to pay for flights or lodging. We can stay in one spot for a long time or move every few days. For some, a camper trip will be an adventure of a lifetime, worth giving up on everyday "luxuries" and comforts. Because for them, freedom is more important than a home, a sofa and a TV set. However, there are also those for whom caravanning is a way of life. We can meet more and more full-timers, i.e. people who convert standard houses to mobile houses. People who adopt this lifestyle frequently make two arguments in support of it: lower living costs than in a house and a greater sense of independence and freedom. However, it is critical to ensure that our caravan is properly prepared for a journey.

Before you hit the road in your RV - essentials

Before you start your adventure with caravanning, you have to remember about a few important things, just to make sure your trip will be as safe as possible.

It seems obvious, but if you're just starting out in caravanning, take a test drive before you set off. Moving from a car to an RV can feel intimidating at first. This house on wheels is bigger in every sense of the word. When driving an RV, you need to keep its dimensions in mind at all times. In order to safely drive through a tunnel or under a bridge, it is critical to pay attention to signs indicating the maximum vehicle height. When driving over small roads or across bridges, keep in mind the RV's width. It is not possible to travel everywhere with an RV.You will also have to switch to using only the side mirrors, and their proper positioning will make it easier to drive the camper. Newer models have a rear-view camera, which makes reversing easier. When driving a campervan, you also need to bear in mind its weight, which has a significant impact on braking distances. Overtaking other vehicles also takes longer. You may get to know your campervan, get into a rhythm, and enjoy the ride after a few hours of driving.

You must also perform a technical inspection on your vehicle to ensure that everything is in working order. Valid insurance is another crucial aspect of getting your vehicle ready for a journey. A well-stocked first-aid kit, a toolkit, a drink water hose, a fire extinguisher, and a gas cylinder should also be included. Make sure the spare wheel is in good working order as well. Before you start the engine, it is worth spending a few moments and doing the so-called checklist. Are all items inside the RV secured? Have we closed all shelves and cabinets? Have we put all the chairs and tables in the trunk? Did we hide the awning? Are the bikes fastened properly? Have we removed and packed the leveling pads from under the wheels? Have we hidden a step by the front door? These things may seem self-evident, but you don't want to find out what happens if you forget any of them.

Packing up for a camper trip - how to save space

As you can imagine, depending on the type of RV you have, the space you will have will be more or less limited. Therefore, a minimalist philosophy of traveling by van is recommended because a free space in an RV is worth its weight in gold. Each of us has different demands, but we've compiled a list of travel basics for you. You'll be able to better arrange your travels and living in your camper if you have them. To keep your vehicle clean, you'll need the following items: a doormat, a trash can, a tiny broom and dustpan, paper towels, disposable gloves, disinfection liquid, dishwashing liquid, and special toilet paper and liquid. Kitchen equipment: plates, cups, cutlery, a set of pots, dish dryer, kettle, plastic containers (this is the best way to keep worms away from your food). Camping accessories and equipment: flashlight and a set of batteries for it, extension cord, leveling foundations, drink water hose (preferably at least 10 m), caravan hose reel (saves so much hassle, time and space), table and chairs, laundry dryer, cloth shopping bag (also useful for carrying laundry). It is also worth mentioning one more important issue. The RV has plenty of cabinets, lockers, and drawers to store your belongings. However, it is vital to instill the notion of returning items to their original, designated locations after use. Otherwise, you will grow irritated by our inability to locate what you require sooner rather than later.

Where to stay overnight while caravanning?

Find a place where you intend to spend the night before night comes, especially if you intend to camp in the wild. If you are going camping, you need to find out what time the barrier closes. If you have not booked your seat online, you need to make sure that the campsite reception is still open when you get there and that there are vacancies. It's always a good idea to spend a couple of nights camping on a long journey. Whether it's for showering and bathing, loading water, or draining grey water and sullage. How to park the van is one of those tips that seems obvious but makes sense. The cockpit of the vehicle should face the exit while parked. The biggest argument is security; meaning you'll be able to leave quickly if something goes wrong (always leave your keys in the same place so you can find them quickly).

Drinking water supply to your RV

The camper is equipped with an indicator that will tell you how much water is in the clean and grey water tank. Following the indicator, you will have to refill your tanks on a regular basis. It is worthwhile to use the sanitary facilities at the campsites to reduce the frequency of this change. Freshwater intake, as well as grey and sullage outflow, are all available at campgrounds. In addition to campsites, you can also find them at larger gas stations. Remember that for freshwater intake you need good quality caravan water hose like the ones from Flat Out International that are specially designed for caravans, campers and motorhomes. If you are searching for the highest quality yet most compact drink water supply solution, this is what you need. These hoses have an abrasion resistant woven jacket, potable PVC lining and brass snap-on fittings. They meet requirements of AS4020. With a 19mm diameter the hoses boast a 1400 kPa pressure rating. Ten meters caravan water hose is usually sufficient at caravan parks.

How to set up your caravan water hose connection to your caravan- example on Flat Out International caravan water hose

The caravan water hoses work best with a downward connection, otherwise you may experience flow restriction. If you have a horizontal or upward BSP inlet, additional purchase of an elbow adaptor is recommended. In horizontal connections you need to attach the hose to the tap and unspool the full length of hose towards your van. You need to make a coil (about 0.7m diameter) under your water inlet with the excess length. Then connect to the van water inlet and turn on the tap to add pressure. Gently release any kinks that may initially form when pressurizing.

As the space in your RV is limited, the best solution is to store your caravan water hose neatly on a caravan hose reel that protects your caravan water hose, keeps it in order and clean and thus extends its lifespan. Caravan hose reel from Flat Out International is made of durable and impact-resistant plastics. Setup has never been this easy. As you re-wind, water remaining in your hose is forced out for drip-free, compact storage. During your vacation, this approach saves you time, effort, and space. Flat Out hoses can be delivered immediately on caravan hose reels, but both hoses and reels can be ordered separately, allowing you to select the arrangement that best suits your needs.

Quick instruction how to operate caravan hose reel by Flat Out International

Quick and easy instruction for winding and unwinding process of your caravan water hose on a caravan hose reel. How to wind up: align front petal opening with black guides and place hose end in the center, laying hose through the reel and out the exit guides. Then, holding the grey handle with your left hand, wind the knob clockwise with your right hand until the hose is completely enclosed. The end of the socket will be barely outside the aperture. Now for the unwinding: pull out some of the hose and secure it with something on the end. Then walk away while holding the grey handle, allowing the hose to naturally unspool. You need to remember to always remove it completely from the reel before use. For your convenience, Flat Out International also offers flat caravan drink water hoses or flat sullage hoses delivered directly on the reels.

How to get rid of sullage?

Emptying waste tanks is a delightful activity that everyone dreads. No surprise, sounds lousy, right? While greywater is quite simple, the toilet is a bit more difficult. However, we assure you - it's not as bad as you think! As for the water, you just need to find a suitable place with a drain grate and connect the caravan sullage hose. In some motorhomes, the hose may be superfluous, thanks to the location of the tap under the rear of the car. In RV toilets, there is a cassette that is taken from the outer concealing place. Do you recognize this small door? That's it! The entire procedure entails removing the cassette, unscrewing the tank, and dumping the contents into the appropriate location. This activity isn't as frightening as it may appear, thanks to sophisticated chemistry. The entire stumbling block is locating a clearly marked drop location, which may be found at campgrounds and large gas stations.

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