7 Non-Negotiable Caravan Essentials for Caravanning Families


Many families would agree that there is nothing more rewarding than a family caravanning trip across the country. In fact, according to research, over 35% of families are planning a road trip in the next year.

Going on a road trip provides many family bonding opportunities, you can sing along, play games, and take many pictures together. However, without the right caravan essentials, you could be in for a long and frustrating ride.

If you don’t have the right essentials, your kids will be stuck in the back with nothing to do, and you may be stuck dealing with them fighting the entire way.

So what are the right caravan essentials to bring along so you can ensure the best family road trip experience?

Thankfully, we covered the research for you. Keep on reading to learn how to pack for the most memorable family caravanning experience.

a family enjoying their caravan holiday on the beach

1. Know Which Type of Caravan You Need

Before you set out on your road trip, you need to figure out if the caravan or motorhome you have is suitable for the whole family. If it is not, you may have to sell it or trade it in for something that is more applicable to your type of adventure.

If you have younger children, you need to make sure that their beds are designed for their age group. For example, if you have bunk beds, they should have covers or railings that will prevent them from falling.

An awning is another important feature that your caravan or motorhome should have. If you are experiencing rainy weather, the last thing you and your family want is to be stuck inside the small space because you have no cover from the rain outside.

A large awning will allow your family to enjoy dinners, games, and social time outside of the caravan.

One more important feature is storage. If you do not have the storage space for the whole family, games, sports equipment, and safety equipment, do not purchase the caravan!

2. Safety First

There are many safety concerns that you need to be on top of when planning a family caravan trip. Unfortunately, many families overlook certain safety risks such as carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation.

Make sure all fire and carbon monoxide alarms have been updated and their batteries are working properly. With smoke and fire, you may have a chance to escape, however, carbon monoxide you cannot smell, see, or taste it. This leads to many deaths because this “silent killer” is undetected.

Create a safety checklist before you start packing, including essentials such as safety blankets, matches, extra water, extra batteries, and a fire extinguisher.

Before you get on the road, check that:

  • Towing aid is fitted and secure
  • Wheel chocks and jockey wheel are secured and in place
  • Tires are inflated properly
  • You have inspected the interior for pests and insects
  • You have cleaned and removed any mildew or mould.

Having this checklist is an essential component of safe caravanning. You can never be too prepared when preparing for a family road trip!

3. Entertainment

Entertaining your family during long road trips is a caravan essential in order to enjoy yourselves as a family, as well as keeping your sanity. These fun activities and games are something you could bring along and enjoy as a family.

  • A deck of cards
  • Small, travel-sized board games such as scrabble, snakes and ladders, banana grams, etc.
  • Toys, stuffed animals
  • Sports equipment, soccer balls, volleyball, swimming gear, gloves and baseballs, football, frisbee.
  • Books
  • Entertainment system such as an iPad, for those emergency moments.

Packing some of these fun caravan essentials could make the difference between boring family experiences and a fun, memorable journey.

4. Research Your Destination

When planning the location of your caravan camping spots, understand that there is a difference between caravan friendly and caravan and children friendly.

Some camping locations can be quite dangerous for children, they may have steep drop-offs or a higher risk for dangerous wildlife.

Besides the dangers, children-friendly caravan parks provide fun activities for your children to partake in. Some parks offer bird watching, public games, sports activities, lifeguards on duty, babysitting, wildlife spotting, nature education, homesteading, and more!

To prepare for your trip, have a checklist and pen out on the dining room table, and ask your family to add things to it which they feel will help them to enjoy the road trip.

This provides a chance for your children to voice their opinion, and do their own research on destinations, games, etc.

At the end of the week, set aside a time for your family to review this list together after dinner, you will be amazed at how fun this is for the whole family!

5. Have the Right Tools

In the case of a roadside emergency, there are some tools you need to bring with you that will help you avoid any major malfunctions.

Most caravanning parks will have tools, however, it is smart to bring them just in case you have a problem outside of the park and there is no repair shop in sight.

Pack a roadside repair kit with tools including:

  • Socket set
  • Electrical tape
  • Hammer and rubber mallet
  • Scissors
  • Tie Cables
  • Tire Pressure Gauge
  • Spanner set
  • Stanley Knife
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Spare radiator hoses and fan belt
  • Small level to make sure the caravan is properly levelled
  • Spare fuses
  • Spare tires

Pack everything in a large Tupperware container with a label that says “Roadside Emergency” and keep it in a place that is easy to access.

6. Extra Caravan Accessories

There are many unique caravan accessories out there that will make a world of a difference in your road trip experience.

Outside Shower

Rinse off your muddy children before they get into the caravan, and have nice outdoor showers on a hot day.

Bike Racks

Bringing your bicycles along will allow your family to set out and explore the areas that your caravan cannot access. Get a strong bike rack that will support all of your bicycles.

External Electrical Outlets

There are many aftermarket external electrical outlets to purchase, and they make a huge difference when your family wants to spread out and do activities outside of the caravan as well as inside.

7. Have Fun!

While this feels like an absurd amount of planning, remember that failing to plan is planning to fail when you are going on a family vacation. If you forget anything, just take note of it so that your next road trip will be even more fun!

Learn More About the Caravan Essentials

Remember that you will learn as you go, you are not expected to provide a “perfect” experience for your family. However, this list will help you make sure it is as close to perfect as you can get.

If you want to learn more about the right caravan essentials to bring, feel free to contact us at any time.

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