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Our Ultimate Caravan Checklist: Packing & Pre-Trip Essentials

Here at The Caravan Guys we know that, when making tracks on a new adventure through the Sunshine State and beyond, there’s a checklist of Van Life fundamentals you should always tick off before even buckling in.

No matter how long you’ve been at it though, it’s easy to let some services and repairs slip your mind in the hustle and bustle of a fresh expedition. And when packing a caravan for the first or the fiftieth time, there’s always a risk of something being left behind—we’re dead set on that never happening again!

That’s why our team has put together the essential checklist for both beginners and experienced van owners alike. This is the ultimate checklist for you to return to every time you’re embarking on a new journey. There’s no need for unexpected repairs to pop up along your way or for you to get caught with your pants down in the middle of the Simpson Desert.

So before heading off, pull out this handy checklist to make sure your trip, and your beloved caravan along with it, goes as smoothly as possible.  

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Caravan Must Haves For Every Occasion

What you need to bring along with you when packing for a holiday can change depending on when and where you’re planning to go. No matter what your plans are though, your caravan packing list should always put your wellbeing and enjoyment first, doing its best to keep any unforeseen roadside emergencies to a minimum!

Packing For Your First Trip

When packing a caravan for the first time, it can be overwhelming to decide what things you need in a caravan, especially when coming from a decent sized house to an, often, itty bitty living space. Once you’ve packed for your first trip though, you can keep your base caravan essentials packed away inside so they’re on-hand for all your upcoming adventures.

  • Tool kit
  • First aid and fire safety (extinguisher and fire blanket)
  • Tyre pressure gauge, screwdriver, electrical tape, hammer, spanner set, cable ties, utility knife, puncture repair kit, scissors
  • Water storage containers
  • Levelling blocks and wheel chocks
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Bedding
  • Kettle and toaster
  • Kitchen cutlery and dishware
  • Clothesline and laundry bag

What You Need In Your Caravan For Any Season

When it comes to items that you use all the time at home, you can’t always leave them in your van for the next big trip. But when it comes to reinforcing your safety on the road, keeping yourself sun smart, or making sure you’re kitted out for a drive up to the beach or the lake, these things are the essential caravan must haves you can’t go without.

  • Table and folding chairs
  • Torches and firelighters
  • Snacks and dry pantry items
  • Refrigerated items (for those with refrigerators)
  • Drinks
  • Clothes
  • Toiletries
  • Towels
  • Insect repellent and sunscreen
  • Gas bottles
  • BBQ
  • Bin liners
  • Umbrellas
  • Carrier bags (like backpacks or shopping bags)
  • Spares
    • Fuel, tyres, fuses, chargers, extension cords, batteries
  • Activities
    • Fishing gear, sporting equipment, camera, water toys, beach items, board and card games

The Essential Checklist For Maintaining Your Van

At The Caravan Guys we’re sticklers for a well-maintained caravan and, as the Gold Coast’s caravan professionals, we want nothing more than to see the Van Life thrive far and wide. Following these handy tricks will not only set you up for a successful trip, but also for a lifetime of good habits and Van Life comfort.

1. Check Your Tyres

Though it might seem obvious, the importance of your caravan tyres is paramount to the safety and comfort of you and yours, and can help with problem van problems like caravan sway. Keep an eye out for any signs of wear and damage, and ensure your tyres are properly inflated, storing a spare on board just in case.

2. Book Your Van In For A Service

Just like any vehicle, regular caravan services are a must to keep your van in good nick. We recommend you go at least once a year for a thorough service, or more if you’re a permanent resident of the caravan life. And lucky for Gold Coasters, The Caravan Guys provide the best service on this side of the Brisbane River, so if you’re in the area, you can stop in for all your Van Life needs, general services, repairs, accessories and more!

3. Make Sure Your Battery Is Fully Charged

Without a working caravan battery, all your lights and appliances are useless! So make sure that your battery is charged and in working order before heading on your way. Investing in portable solar panels can make your life easier, allowing you to live off grid and giving you a constant source of power, especially when soaking up the rays of the Gold Coast sun.

4. Keep An Eye On Your Heating

Especially for the winter months and Queensland’s tropical nightly cold spells, it’s crucial to check that your heating system is not faulty, keeping you warm and comfy for the length of your journey.

Get Your Next Service From The Caravan Guys

As van lovers ourselves, we know how important it is that your caravan is in the best shape possible when heading out onto the road. That’s why we pride ourselves on being the best when it comes to all aspects of caravan repair and maintenance, from general servicing and repairs to major insurance repairs.

So when it comes to checks and services you can’t do yourself, our highly experienced and skilled technicians can keep your caravan maintained in a smooth and hassle-free way. We also provide parts and accessories. Whether you need a new awning, a solar panel, or a fridge, contact us to make sure you’re ready for your next big adventure and for whatever comes next.