Beginner’s Guide to Caravaning

Ok, so you want to go traveling by land and you just bought your Caravan. Now what? It can be a bit intimidating to go out on a caravanning adventure for the first time, especially if you are taking the kids along. But it doesn’t need to be a stressful experience, just take your time to plan, use common sense and have fun. Plus there are tons of cool places for caravaning.

Caravaning can be the best choice for traveling long distances with kids. One of the main reasons is that it allows you to bring more stuff to make them comfortable than you would if you were on a car or bus. Follow the travel tips below that apply to your needs.

13 Caravaning Tips for Beginners:

pink caravan dungeness

What to Do / Things to Bring

1. You have to stay safe, so the first thing that should be done after buying a caravan is to get insurance for it. It is always a great feeling to know that there is someone backing you up in case of an emergency. Make sure you check out The Caravan Club to get more information about insurance policies. There’s also other resources for your caravanning adventure on the site to, a good one to bookmark!

2. Be sure to have a fire extinguisher and give it a good shake at least once a week to prevent the powder from turning solid.

3. Carrying a LED head torch is always useful. There will be times when you will be on the side of the row and you might need to change a wheel or check something in the dark.

4. To get a second water carrier is very helpful. It allows you to carry around more water, the trip might get longer, you might get a guest, or maybe you just want a bit of a longer shower.

What Not to Do

1. Never store a cylinder of gas on its side. There must always be a gap between the LPG and the valve. This will avoid leaks and accidents.

2. A lot of people tend to think that first aid kits aren’t necessary, or that they won’t be useful in case of an emergency, but they are. Having one could save a life or get you out of a hard situation so NEVER go caravanning without one.

3. When it comes to connecting your car to the caravan never push the caravan, it will activate the breaks and you will be in big trouble. Move the car instead.

4. Don’t leave your map at home, even if the car has GPS. This is incredibly useful, but in small roads that are barely there, or away from the cities the device might not be able to guide you.

5. Don’t overload your towcar. Ideally your caravan shouldn’t weight more than 85% of your car’s kerb weight.

Driving and Maneuvering

1. Mirror maneuvers can be tricky! For example, if you need to correct the outfit when reversing you should look in your towing mirrors and turn the wheel towards the one where you can see the side of the caravan.

2. Always try to reverse your caravan to the right. This gives you a better view of where the unit is going through the driver’s window.

3. Most roads specify the speed limit so stick to it. You will be safe and your car will consume less gas.

4. Keep in mind that you will be driving with almost double of the weight that you are used to and a longer vehicle. So you have to take many more precautions when you drive and park. This is especially important if you are taking your kids because you get many more distractions. So go slow until you get used to it.

Now that you have more information it is time for your big adventure.

About Marina Villatoro

Marina Kuperman Villatoro CEO of, a travel resource site to inspire families to travel with kids of all ages. Marina has been an expat 20+ years in Central America raising 2 boys in a multicultural, trilingual household. She travels all over the world with her family to give first hand experiences of where to eat, stay and play with kids. Needless to say, it’s never boring! Join Marina on Facebook and Twitter for more unique and boutique family travel!

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