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Essential Tips for New UK Caravan Owners

  • Essential Tips for New UK Caravan Owners

Owning a caravan can be a fun and rewarding experience, allowing you to travel and have mini holidays whenever you want. However, there are some key things new owners should know to ensure smooth caravanning trips. Follow these top tips to get the most out of your new caravan purchase.


Do Your Research on Sites and Routes

The UK has an abundance of excellent caravan sites, but it’s important to research your options thoroughly for each trip. Check reviews and facilities of sites in your desired destination to pick the best one for your trip. Plan your route ahead of time accounting for narrow roads, low bridges and tight turns that your caravan may struggle with. Mapping apps and sites like caravanroutes.co.uk are invaluable when routing for a caravan.



Practice Reversing and Manoeuvring  

One of the biggest challenges owners face is reversing and manoeuvring large caravans into tight spaces. When you collect your new caravan, you may want to take it to a large empty car park and spend time getting used to how it handles, turns and reverses. Adjust your wing mirrors properly to maximise rear visibility. Top tip: set up cones in the space to practice aligning and reversing into. Mastering control of your caravan takes practice but gives you confidence on the road and when pitching on-site.


Consider a Motor Mover

A motor mover takes the stress out of handling your tourer by powering the wheels electronically so you can easily park without relying on a vehicle. They are a worthwhile investment, especially for heavy or long caravans that are trickier to reverse. You simply steer with the wireless remote whilst motor movers drive the wheels for you. DIY kits start around £800 like the X-Treme XK-55, while dealers can also fit them before collecting your new purchase.



Check Weights and Load Capacity  

You must check the MTPLM rating of your new caravan ‚Äď that‚Äôs its Maximum Technically Permissible Laden Mass. This tells you the total maximum weight your caravan can legally be while attached to a car, including the tourer itself, contents, food and water etc. As a rule, aim for your caravan to be around 85% full on a trip, allowing you extra capacity. Overloading risks serious safety issues plus invalidates your warranty. Weigh individual items and tally as you load to stay legal and safe.¬†¬†


Charge Up Fridge and Check Gas

Before hitching up your caravan, always make sure the fridge is switched on and fully charged. Run it on gas or electric 12v a good half hour minimum ahead of a trip so it adequately cools. Make certain all your gas valves function properly and check you have an adequate gas supply in the cylinders for the duration of trips ‚Äď you don‚Äôt want to run out mid-holiday with no working hob!¬†


Plan Your Packing Wisely  

Packing efficiently is key to keeping within your caravan’s payload whilst having everything you need. Make a list of essentials then tick items off as you load your caravan, grouping categories of items together that you use most in specific rooms. Pack lightweight, multipurpose clothing and remember outdoor chairs, windbreaks and portable bbqs if space allows. Only carry what you really need and make use of exterior lockers to evenly distribute weight.


Consider a Caravan Leveller 

One item that’ll instantly improve your caravan trips is a leveller. Caravan sites often have uneven pitches. Levelling your tourer corrects sloping and eliminates strain on doors, walls and appliances for more comfortable camping. We recommend the Milenco Quattro levelling ramps - they adjust easily in increments up to 15 degrees to stabilise your caravan on all kinds of terrain. For the best caravan warranty protection, keep your receipt as proof of purchase. 


Stay Safe and Legal on Roads

Adhere closely to speed limits for towing on roads and motorways, allowing extra stopping distance between you and vehicles ahead. Remember maximum speeds: 50mph on single carriageways, 60mph on dual carriageways and motorways. Ensure your caravan’s well-balanced with 10% of its weight pushing down on the car tow ball at around 50-60kg. And don’t forget, after driving just a few miles, always pull over in a safe spot to check your caravan wheel hubs have not overheated.  


Join Caravan Clubs

Enjoy member benefits and support by joining The Caravan and Motorhome Club which has hundreds of UK sites. The Camping & Caravanning Club is also recommended with glamping sites, holiday parks and temporary holiday sites called ‚Äėpop-up sites‚Äô. Club members can reserve pitches at many sites and access members-only rally events for meet-ups with other community members to exchange tips.¬†¬†¬†


Check Security and Store Safely  

Protect your precious caravan asset from opportune thieves by fitting a wheel lock or hitch lock when stored. An alarm siren box with battery backup is also wise if leaving your caravan vacant for long spells. Ensure you have an insurance-approved location at home to store your caravan or rent secure storage at your local caravan dealer. Be vigilant about checking nothing has been interfered with each time before heading out on trips for total peace of mind.


Regularly maintain your new investment so it lasts you well for years of happy holidays to come! Following these handy tips will help you make the most out of caravan ownership.