A caravan is for the great outdoors, for the people who love to drive and bask in the serenity of the outbacks. It is a mode of transportation as well as accommodation, serving dual purposes. You don’t just get to drive past the countryside but you actually get to camp almost anywhere, breathing in the beauty of nature while staying in your own mini home. Home! A caravan sure is a home away from home, which means you need to make it feel as close to one as possible.
There are two types of accessories that you will need for your caravan.
Essential: These are accessories that you will need for your journey and which you can’t do without.
Luxury: These are accessories that you like seeing around the caravan, after all, if it ought to feel like home then it should look like home.
Caravanning is a great way to travel but if the caravan does not have the latest accessories, it can become pretty uncomfortable and boring . Not all accessories are about being aesthetically pleasin
Buying a caravan is like buying a fully furnished house that you will soon be moving into. There are always things that you will need and which could enhance your caravanning experience. Here are the top 7 must have Caravan accessories
1. Let’s start at the very beginning: When you bought your home, your front door may have been at the same level as your garden, so you really didn’t need steps to enter. However, a caravan is always a couple of feet above the ground. Caravan steps, therefore are a must have, to ensure that stepping into the caravan is not difficult. Without them, you might have to clamber up into your caravan or jump down, not pretty at all! These steps could prevent a sprained ankle too.
2. Awnings: Awnings give you that extra space, more like a patio or a sit out that you may have at home. You can’t always step right into the sunny outside or sip a cooler staring into the sun. Awnings give you that much needed shade and space to sit out and enjoy a pleasant evening.
These caravan awnings and annexes not only protect you from the sun but also prevent you from getting wet in the rain. It will also give you additional space, to meet up with people, without having to bring them into your caravan.
3. Water! Supply of fresh water and disposal of waste water: When you are planning on setting out on a holiday in a caravan, you do realise that you need to cook, clean and drink, apart from the other fun holiday activities! This would mean that you need to have fresh water supply and plenty of storage space for it. Normally, you would get 20 litre containers for storing water, however, for use in a caravan, you need one with wheels.
Why would you need one with wheels? When you need to refill the container with water, you will have to bring it down from the caravan, haul it to the water source and then haul it back into the caravan. If it doesn’t have wheels, then it is a whole lot of carrying that you would have to do. Some of these have the capacity to carry nearly 80 litres of water, which could cost between 50 to 140$ in Australia.
Waste water disposal is equally important, otherwise you caravan could get pretty smelly. This container is similar to the fresh water container, the only difference being, it is present below the caravan. Waste water is emptied into this waste water container through pipes. When you stop at a service station, you could empty this waste water. A waste water container could cost between 80 to 120$ in Australia.
4. Bike Rack: Most Australians hold close to their heart memories of riding a bike around a caravan park, or into the outbacks, letting the wind brush through their hair and holding on to their handlebars dearly.
Relive those moments by biking around the camping site or give your kids the experiences that you enjoyed as a child. Hauling bikes around on your trip will give you something to look forward to when you are out camping.
Apart from the sheer joy of whizzing down in a cycle, there is this adventure that can be unearthed by setting out on bicycle treks. This will also help you explore the Australian heartlands a lot better, there are many interesting places that small dirt roads can lead up to.
There are plenty of choices for bike racks, there roof racks, towbar racks, draw bar racks, hitch racks and even spare tyre racks. Select the one that best suits your needs, like how many cycles you want it to hold and where it will be ideal to fix it.
5. Portable heaters and fans: A caravan, unlike a hotel room, can give you immense joy when travelling, but it is also exposed to the elements. This could make it very cold, sometimes, necessitating a portable heater during the night and a fan during the day. Though there are basic heating and cooling systems that are normally available in a caravan, they may not be sufficient.
Some of the popular heaters available for caravans in Australia are gas-powered heater, space heater, diesel powered heater and electric heater. Please remember that portable electric heaters need an electricity supply, so the caravan park that you may be camping at should support it. On the other hand, there are rechargeable electric heaters and fans at a cost of 100-150$ in Australia.
In case you do not camp at a caravan park, then a portable gas heater may be ideal. This uses on board gas supply of the caravan, instead of electricity.
Diesel heaters are efficient at heating larger areas but they are noisy and expensive, almost 2000$. These heaters and fans are must have accessories as they ensure that a caravan is comfortable to stay in.
6. Accessories for entertainment: A caravan trip is a great way to explore, travel, spend time together as a family and to seek adventure, however, there will be times when monotony could set in. There could also be the craving to watch certain TV shows that you have never given a miss. A satellite dish will let you watch MasterChef Australia or even deal or no deal, even if you didn't really care about it at home!
While choosing a satellite, it is important to consider a portable one, but the connectivity is poor when it is smaller than 80cm. They cost between 700 to 3000$, of course it needs a good long thinking before you buy, unless going without TV doesn’t bother you much.
7. Rear View Mirrors: Caravanning requires an understanding that you will now be taking additional space on the road. This has prompted many states to make it compulsory to fix a rear view mirror while towing a caravan. The driver should be able to see the entire vehicle and the traffic behind when looking into the rear view mirror. This will help in maneuvering the large caravan through the traffic.
The towing mirrors are fixed to the sides of the car so that it is possible to view the road and traffic behind the caravan. Another important tip while choosing a towing mirror is to choose one that has minimum vibration when the car is moving.
A towing mirror may be permanent or portable, and the type that’s best for you is the one that’s within your budget and the one that suits your needs. Portable towing mirrors are not very expensive and are ideal for people who do not travel too much. There are plenty of portable towing mirrors to choose from, but there are four basic types.
a. Customised clip-on portable mirrors: These are custom designed based on the model of the car and they slip into the side mirror.
b. Ratchet style: This type of a mirror is attached to the car door but it has the advantage of being a lot more secure.
c. Convex: This mirror is easy to install and is suctioned to an already fixed side mirror.
d. Universal clip-on: These mirrors are highly affordable and can be adjusted to suit many car models.
There are a lot of newer and better accessories that are available for caravans, over the past few years. The list here includes some of the most important, however, there are a lot more accessories which can be added to customize a caravan. It is just about how big your budget is and what you need. There are endless possibilities that can be used to ensure a comfortable ride on the road. Happy caravanning!