Planning your trip…
blog / advice / new caravans / pre-owned caravans / motorhomes
If you’re new to caravanning / motorhoming, you may be unsure of the best way to go about planning trips away, so we’re here to give you a few tips to make trip preparation a breeze!
Even if you’re a seasoned caravanner, our tips may be of help to you too, and give you a fresh perspective! You’ve probably been planning your trips the same way for years, but there may be some improvements you could make to enhance your holidays further…
The first thing to remember is that the world is your oyster! Wherever you fancy going - UK or abroad - it’s possible in your caravan or motorhome! It really comes down to time and if you have that in abundance, you can venture anywhere you like.
DECIDE WHERE YOU’RE GOING
First things first. Where do you want to visit? If you’re just starting out on your leisure vehicle journey you may have somewhere in mind that you’ve always dreamed of visiting. Or maybe you’ve been camping for years and would love to return to one of your favourite spots in your new caravan or motorhome and enjoy that great place with more creature comforts around you.
If it’s your first time towing, it’s a good idea not to venture too far for your first trip; up to a couple of hours’ drive would be ideal to break yourself in. Towing takes a little bit of getting used to so knowing you’re not going too far and perhaps even being familiar with the route may make you feel more at ease about the journey. As you gain confidence, you can go a bit further afield and feel more relaxed towing for longer periods.
DECIDE WHEN YOU'RE GOING
Next you need to work out when you can go. If you work, you’ll need to book time off. If you have children, you’ll be tied to the school holidays so be sure to book your pitch in advance to avoid disappointment - caravan sites can get busy during the school holidays!
You might also ask yourself - is there a better time of year to take your first trip? What are the pros and cons of each season? It would be nice to go in summer when the weather is more likely to be warmer, allowing you to enjoy mild evenings outdoors and a bit of al fresco dining. Failing that, autumn and spring are good times to go too, just be sure you have all you need to be comfortable during these seasons, such as jackets and jumpers and warmer bedding.
Whenever you decide to go, consider booking your pitch so that you know you have a spot when you arrive. As you get more trips under your belt you may decide to find sites as you go, and maybe travel around a bit, hopping from site to site, but why not book somewhere this time to give you peace of mind on your pilot trip?
You’ll want to go for long enough to make it worthwhile, but not too long that you're itching to get home! It’s nice to reflect on your first few trips and learn from them to make future trips easier. Three or four nights would be ideal; it’ll give you enough time to get a real feel for caravan / motorhome life.
Experienced caravanners / motorhomers often take trips for a week, two weeks or even more if they have the time! Many holiday makers who are not tied to work spend weeks enjoying the outdoor lifestyle and getting back to nature - and with a fully equipped caravan or motorhome by your side, providing you with all your creature comforts, why wouldn’t you?
ON GRID OR OFF GRID?
Would you prefer to go to a site that offers electrical hook-up or are you happy to go without? If you have a leisure battery, that can provide you with up to 11 hours of power until you have to recharge, enabling you to use your lights and appliances off grid.
Remember though that it’s best not to let your battery go under 50% charge or it could take a long while to recharge. Most campsites have charging stations, so once you’re ready for bed you could go and plug it in ready for the morning. Alternatively, if you’re going out for the day, plug it in before you go and it’ll be charged by the time you return.
Also - let’s not forget that many leisure vehicles now come with solar panels - or the option to install one! These are great as they can charge your leisure battery without electrical hook-up, giving you even more freedom when it comes to location. Although the UK may not be the sunniest of places, solar panels can still collect up to 34% charge even on cloudy days!
You might also want to think about whether you'd prefer to park your caravan on a hardstanding or if you’re happy with grass. Hard standings will offer benefits such as firmer ground and less chance of mud and grass getting walked into the caravan, but they will probably cost a little more and may offer less space and privacy.
TOP 10 ACCESSORIES TO TAKE WITH YOU
These are ideal for sites without electric hook-up. Designed to power 12V appliances, these batteries will power your lights, TV, kettle, oven and similar appliances.
Electrical hook-up extension cable
An extension cable is vital for stays at sites where electrical hook-up is available. It will allow you to make use of your electrical creature comforts as and when you need them.
For al fresco dining and simply relaxing in the sunshine, outdoor chairs are a must! You can get folding chairs that are pretty comfy and take up minimal space when stored.
A caravanning must-have, a barbeque can provide you with endless meal options with minimal fuss. Our on-site and online accessory shops stock a range of portable barbeques so pop in for a look or shop online. And don’t forget the utensils!
Water is heavy so you’ll want to avoid towing water around in tanks while your caravan is on the move. Handy containers will enable you to drain the tanks before transit and then easily refill them using your separate fresh water and waste water containers when you arrive at your destination!
A fire extinguisher is a must-have in a caravan. It could make all the difference if the worst happens - but of course, only use it if the fire is small and it is safe to do so - don’t put yourself or anyone else at risk.
Any stray bits of the outdoors or food crumbs can be cleaned up in a flash to keep everything looking neat and tidy. If you don’t have a compact vacuum, a dustpan and brush can work wonders as well!
Bedding and towels
Pack a range of towels - bath, hand and tea as well as a shower mat to avoid slippery floors. Have a think about what bedding you’d prefer - fitted sheets and duvets or sleeping bags? Make sure you have spares, especially if travelling with kids!
When choosing items for your caravan kitchen, consider melamine crockery, high quality plastic glasses - there are some pretty good ones available - and don’t forget the chopping board, measuring jug, tin opener and bottle opener!
An awning can provide invaluable extra space - especially on wet days - with some even doubling your footprint! Check out our awnings and get in touch to find out which ones will work best with your vehicle.
Pop in and see us!
Come in and explore the fantastic new 2024 caravan ranges from Bailey and Swift as well as our pre-owned caravan and motorhomes! Don’t forget our fantastic accessory shop which stocks over 5,000 products in-store and is staffed by our friendly and knowledgeable team! You can also shop with us online and take advantage of 5% off all awnings and accessories right now…
‹ All press releases
Keep in touch
Book your service
We will look after your caravan or motorhome just as much as you do. Protect your investment today by booking a service with our workshop staff.Book for a service ›
Get a free caravan valuation
Looking to sell? Need a quote for insurance purposes? Interested in a part-exchange? We can help, so contact us today.Book a valuation ›
Sign up to our newsletter
Do you have any questions?
Get in touch with Winchester Caravans & Motorhomes today.Ask a question ›