Planning a Big Lap or just a weekend getaway? Distance doesn’t matter, but getting there safely and being prepared does!
You’ve arrived at your destination and set up camp only to realise that that spare battery or extra tarp are still sitting in the garage at home, or the vehicle is well overdue for its service. It’s not always easy to predict what will get thrown your way on your travels, but you can prepare for it to minimise impact.
Our travels have taken us all around Australia, from Fraser Island to Kakadu to Broome and beyond, and (admittedly) we’ve made some mistakes along the way. To help you save some time and frustration when preparing for your next trip, we’ve compiled a checklist of EzyAnchor’s 29 top tips for a successful camping or caravanning getaway.
- Have the car service up to date.
- Check the tyre pressures on your vehicle and trailer are at the correct pressure.
- Ensure tyres are no older than six years and have roadworthy tread for the proposed trip.
- Check brakes and ensure that they are safe and working well.
- Check caravan or camper trailer wheel bearings for excessive sideways movement. If this is happening get the bearings replaced.
- Check your house batteries for charge and if low place on a suitable charger at least 24 hours prior to leaving. If the battery/s are not holding charge you need to replace it or them. Battery life I have found is generally 3 to 4 years and older batteries tend to fail in cold weather.
- Carry spare fuses for all 12 volt and 240 volt appliances including tubular fuses for your 12 volt appliance plugs.
- Ensure all electrics are working and in a safe condition.
- Caravan Hot Water System anodes (where applicable) should be changed at least annually. It is a good idea to rinse out the HWS fully when changing an anode and if you are not mechanically minded please have a service man undertake this work to prevent scalding or mishaps.
- Empty and flush the water tanks and refill with fresh water. I like to keep my tanks full at all times and particularly when the van is stored to prevent mould and algae.
- It’s a good idea to filter all water being placed in your water tanks and particularly any to be used for human consumption. I use a BEST charcoal silver water filter and find them very good.
Tips for Caravanners
- Ensure all internal doors are locked in position, cupboards closed and latched, fridge doors latched closed and all storage hatches latched and locked prior to travel.
- Ensure the TV is in a travel safe place.
- Check your TV aerial is lowered and locked and all roof hatches closed.
- Ensure all external storage hatches are locked and latched.
- Switch electrical mains switch from 240 volt AC to driving (12volt) where applicable.
Tips for Hitching up
- Ensure car tow hitch is directly aligned with the A Frame hitch.
- Raise stabiliser legs and store in position.
- Lower A frame down with the jockey wheel to locate hitch on ball or pin.
- Ensure that you have locked the trailer down on the hitch correctly and that it is secured.
- Attach the safety chains and if possible connect them diagonally from the trailer to the vehicle so as if the hitch gives way the trailer Drawbar will land on the chains rather than the road.
- Attach the safety brake breakaway cable to the car and ensure that it is working correctly.
- Attach any weight distribution hitches and lock in position with the pins or chains as supplied with them.
- Store the lever handle in a safe place for travel.
- Plug your 7 pin round or flat plug in and test all lights are working.
- Plug in your Anderson plug where applicable.
- Disconnect any power lead that may be connected.
- Start your engine and move off slowly.
- Apply and check your trailer brakes are working correctly and are properly adjusted.
No matter how menial or small the task, it’s worth taking the time to ensure all of your equipment is up to scratch in preparation for your trip. It’ll save you time, money and effort in the long run, leaving you with more time to enjoy the journey and the destination.
We’ve created a PDF download of this list for you to print and check off before each trip. Hit the button below to grab your copy!