16 Jul 2020
Updated May 2022
Whether you’re a seasoned caravanner or brand new to the caravan and camping lifestyle, packing for a safe trip can seem like a journey of its own.
With precious space (and weight) to be considered, your pre-departure routine can be a fine balance between ensuring you’ve packed everything you need (including the kids) and wondering if you’re overloaded.
A heavier caravan is a surefire way to increase your fuel consumption, and an overweight vehicle is undesirable from a safety point of view, even on the shortest trips. Meanwhile, do you really need that second set of bike wheels, and are you going to use that giant inflatable hammer?
You guessed it, packing the van is all about priorities. What’s going to give you the most value while you’re away, and what do you think you can do without - or pick up along the way?
If this already seems a little overwhelming - especially if it’s the first time you’ve thought about it - use this handy list to take some of the stress out of packing up your caravan.
You’ll thank yourself later for not leaving it until the last minute, making it more likely that you’ll feel relaxed and prepared before you embark on your first epic trip!
How to Pack your Caravan for a Safe Road Trip
ALL THE ESSENTIALS
There are several items that you should never leave home without, and we don’t mean your wallet, phone and keys. When it comes to hitting the road on a caravan adventure, the old saying definitely applies; ‘everything you need and nothing you don’t.’
Here are what we consider must-haves when it comes to a safe road trip!
Well stocked First-aid kit
This is common sense. Always double-check your first-aid kit before every trip to ensure all items have been restocked, and that your emergency medication is up to date.
Face-masks and Hand sanitisers
While requirements around this are changing, it's always a good idea to have some disposable face masks and hand sanitiser available should the need ever arise.
A reliable fire extinguisher and fire blanket
Fire safety is not a joke so if you don’t have both of these items you need to purchase them before you set off. Enquire at your nearest hardware or office supplies store, where a member of staff will be able to advise on their maintenance and installation.
Communication and power devices
As much as a good ol’ fashioned road map is useful, it’s not cheating to be connected to the world wide web to help you find your way! This means all your devices being charged up as much as possible, whether it's the phone, sat-nav or satellite phone depending on how remote you’ll be.
A reliable flashlight and batteries
You’ll thank yourself for having both of these items handy when the need inevitably arises. Apart from finding your way around whatever campsite you’ve booked into, candles inside any caravan are an obvious safety risk. Don’t do it!
Australia is an amazing country, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be alone. Flies, mosquitoes and all manner of spicy bugs love this great brown land of ours too - best be prepared for their presence!
Printed road maps
Like we just said, being charged up device-wise is going to make your navigation that much easier, but there’s no substitute for a reliable road map if you find yourself out of power!
If you’re hoping to connect items like car fridges or external sources of light or heat while you’re on the road, do yourself a favour and pack one or two extension cords to take advantage of that powered site you’ve just paid for!
If there’s one thing that’ll bring your trip to a premature end, it's the sun!
Be sure to pack more suncream than you think you’ll need, and use your common sense to stay protected at all times. Think long sleeves, lip balm, sunscreen and a hat! You won’t regret staying sun smart!