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A first-timers’ guide to caravanning: what you need to know
Summer in Australia is approaching and it will soon be time to take the kids on an adventure! Caravans and holiday parks are a wonderful way to see more of the country, let the kids be kids and enjoy a trip away without breaking the budget. Perhaps it’s your first time to a holiday park or you’ve just bought your very first caravan, here’s AAMI’s must-read guide on what to expect for life on the open road.
Make a list, check it twice!
It’s mum’s old advice and it always works a treat – make a list and check it twice before you go. On top of all the usual holiday essentials such as clothes, bathers, towels, toiletries and sun cream, there are many other items that will come in handy for a caravan or road trip, too. For example, always try to carry a fire extinguisher in the event of an emergency, a suitable towing aid, wheel chocks, a caravan jack, a sway control device and towing mirrors. Once you’ve got everything ready, write a thorough list of everything you might need and check it every time you pack up camp to ensure you’re not leaving anything behind.
Plans are all well and good and, of course, very important to make! You need to know where you’re going and how much driving you will need to do in one day… but it’s also important to remember to be flexible, too. As parents will know, things don’t always go to plan. Flat tyres can happen, an upset child might request an unscheduled (but exciting) detour, the weather might not go as planned, but you’ll definitely have more fun if you go with the flow. Take your time and enjoy everything our beautiful country has to offer – regardless of whether it’s part of your plan or not.
When driving on the roads in a large vehicle or towing a caravan, it’s important to remember to drive slower than you usually would. The vehicle will be larger than what you’re used to and going slow will give both you and drivers around you that extra little bit of time to plan ahead – meaning you can enjoy your trip away without any nasty bumps or scratches to your car. Going slow also helps to conserve fuel and puts less strain on your vehicle. So take your time, do it right, and if you’re nervous about towing, do a course before you set out on your trip.
If you’ve got your heart set on a particular campsite, make sure you book in advance! Many caravanners will be planning a summer holiday trip at a similar time and campsites often get booked up early. Be sure to get a prime spot and call up your accommodation or holiday park early – you might even save some dollars by booking in advance.
Travel during daylight
Towing a caravan is more challenging than driving a car, so make sure you’re travelling during daylight when you’ll have optimal visibility. It’s no fun trying to set up camp in the dark either, so perhaps set an early alarm clock to make sure everyone is ready to leave on time and make the most of your glorious day.
Get Roadside Assistance
There’s nothing worse than being stuck in the middle of Woop-Woop with a broken down car… or caravan! Be prepared and make sure you have the right cover before setting off on your summertime caravanning adventure. If you’re planning a trip interstate, make sure your policy is covered Australia-wide too. Check out AAMI Roadside Assist for more information.
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