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.

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