A Starter Kit For Beginners

We give our thoughts on what is needed for a first time trip
We give our thoughts on what is needed for a first time trip

Wednesday, 26, Jun 2019 10:42

By William Coleman

The leisure vehicle industry is going through another golden age and we are seeing a lot of new blood enter the motorhome and caravan world. We all remember starting but did we remember to pack everything on our first trip away?

When I first starting going on caravan holidays on my own as a young adult I was pretty confident I knew what I was doing and did not need any help, being young will make you think that. So naturally I learnt the hard way by arriving on site and having about 20% of what I actually needed. A tough but great lesson.

If I could turn back the clock I would have listened to all the advice I was given, that way I could have saved myself a bit of an ear bashing from all of my travelling companions, lets just say the "banter" lasted for quite a while after.

So for all of the newcomers to the caravan and motorhome world welcome and let us try and help with some advice and tips I totally ignored when I first started out.

Lists Save Lives

This may seem simple, if not painfully obvious, but a lot of people neglect how important the preparation list is. Fail to plan, plan to fail. It's a cliche because it's true and really does work.

I would start with separating the van into sections, this way you do not double pack or confuse what is needed and where.

The best way for this is as follows:

  • Living Room/Day Living
  • Kitchen
  • Bathroom
  • Bedroom/Night Living
  • Eating/Cooking/Food Prep
  • Outdoor Living
  • Tools and Set Up
  • Spares & Repairs
  • Entertainment
  • Cleaning

Once you have a list it will become a lot clearer what you actually need. This way you can then share who sorts out the kit for what space. If that leads to an argument then please feel free to blame me for that one.

The is a set list of must have items, not to be confused with the decorative items and bedding etc. These are more to do with what is needed to get set up and actually start you trip.

You need to sit down and try to think what you;d use at home if you were in for the weekend. As you'll be away for the weekend in a home away from home.

So here is a list that should never change and always be stored within the van:

  • Corner steady tool
  • Power cable
  • Waste water container
  • Aqua roll
  • Spirit level
  • Wheel clamps

The Finer Details

There are a ton of items that can go under the radar when packing and its these small details that can make a world of difference to your trip.

Some of these may sound really silly but they are the most commonly forgotten items that people really wish they'd stowed away on board.

  • Clothesline
  • Cups, plates and bowls
  • Washing up bowl
  • Scrubbing brush
  • Drying cloth
  • Cutlery
  • Pots and pans
  • Folding chairs and table
  • Steps (for getting in and out of the van)

One thing that I would suggest to anyone starting out is to take it easy with the purchases. I have seen some people spend a small fortune on their start up kit and what they bought never saw the light of day.

When I first started I used most of the things I had indoors and just took them with me. Once I got into the rhythm of things I slowly built up my caravan kit. Start slow with the essentials and then work your way up item by item. Before you know it you'll have awnings, BBQs and all the plastic kitchenware imaginable.

Comments - What do you think?
Related stories

To Cover Or Not To Cover

Is a cover worth the cost and effort

For some reason this is still a question we see being raised by people all over the country- "why do people bother with caravan covers?". I feel that the answer to this question is clear but there are still a lot of people who simply do not see the point. So I will list a few "pros and cons" so you can see both sides of the coin and decide for yourself. If you haven't already

Swindon Caravans Prize Give Away

Make the most of the offers and prize draws

Who doesn't love a good give away! This coming weekend marks the beginning of the 9 day extravaganza that is Swindon Caravan's Summer Show. From the 1st of June across all three of their branches you can take part in the festivities and enter their prize giveaways

Travelworld Add Windscreen Division To Their One Stop Shop

A new strong addition to the already impressive Erwin Hymer Centre

Back in February of this year I was invited to visit the grand opening of the brand new Erwin Hymer centre by Travelword. The new state of the art Travelword HQ is a one stop shop for the motorhome lover. Now following their latest addition they really do have everything all under one roof.

Reasons To Carry On Touring Through Autumn

Use autumn to tour more

You know the time is coming to start the winter prep when the leaves start to turn brown and the sun starts to become a bit shy. As the years go on the numbers of holiday makers who tour all through the colder months keep. It seems that the turn in weather is not deterring holiday makers.

Tow Cars Are Safer Yet Incidents Are On The Rise

Are you a safe touer

The caravanner and motorhome driver contribute a hell of a lot of miles to the roads all over the UK and take up a lot of the road, does this lead to more incidents? In my opinion we are some of the safest and most self aware drivers behind the wheel, yet car incidents are still in the tens of thousands.

The Leisure Industry War On Plastic

Are we harming our enviroment

All across the world the impact of mankind's carbon footprint is being seen, devastatingly so in some cases. But it seems that right here in the UK we are actually doing our best to change the dangerous path we are on, and this is clearly demonstrated in our leisure industry.

Towing Tips For The End Of Summer Trips

Do not let your habits slip at the end of summer

We have had quite a few good months of warm weather and record breaking temperatures to enjoy on site, but how long will it last? As we all start to gear up for our last few trips away we should not lose sight of good towing habits in the rush to get away before the winter arrives.