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Planning a caravan adventure


Top tips to help you hit the road and see the great outdoors.

Always wanted to see your own backyard? Well, don’t put it off any longer - the great outdoors is beckoning!

Here are a few handy tips and tricks for planning your big caravan adventure.

Choosing your wheels

With the dizzying array of sizes and models out there, choosing the right caravan can be an overwhelming experience.

Firstly, think about what sort of caravanning you want to do. Will it be an epic outback trek or something tamer? Are you escaping for the occasional weekend, or looking to embark on that ultimate ‘big lap’ around Australia? Are you after a humble pop-top, a beefed-up off-roader or a luxury home on wheels? Your plans, budget and tastes will determine your purchase.

Whatever you choose, there are some essential elements to consider, from size, weight and height of the van to a tow bar and towing mirrors for your vehicle. Generally, the smaller the van, the easier the towing. You'll also need to make sure your vehicle can handle the weight. Before you set off, it’s a good idea to practice reversing, and have a mechanic check your rig over.

Don’t wing it

You’ve got your wheels and are ready to roll. Make sure that you’ve got all the essentials covered, including relevant insurances. Have a checklist of items such as spare tires, a fire extinguisher, wheel chocks, a caravan jack, spare towing mirrors, extra coolant and oil, a spare fan belt, insulation tape and a proper first aid kit. Streamline your packing too – space is at a premium in a small caravan!

Be pennywise

Hitting the open road doesn’t have to cost a bomb. Budgeting can help you save a small fortune while you explore. A spreadsheet is vital when it comes to plotting those all-important essentials: how long you’re going to be away, fuel and food costs, camping park fees, insurance and more.

Staying in national parks and free camping areas instead of caravan parks can help the hip pocket. Many caravan parks also offer membership discounts as well as senior and pensioner concessions, so it’s worth checking these out.

Get tech-savvy

Technology can be your best friend on the road. GPS tracking technology can help protect your caravan from theft, provide details on speed and distance travelled and alert others if you’re in an accident or if your vehicle breaks down.

It’s important not to rely only on a mobile phone - coverage can be patchy even outside remote and remote areas. A satellite phone is a handy option.

Hitting the road

You’ve done all the hard work. Now it’s time for the fun part of planning your trip! Spectacular coastlines, lush wineries, dramatic desert ranges - there’s so much to explore in that great big country out there.

Make sure you spend time researching and organising your itinerary, right down to weather and road conditions. Investigate caravan park booking websites, and book ahead of time if possible. There are plenty of apps available to help with this.

Chat to seasoned caravanners about interesting attractions, favourite spots and handy camping hacks. Caravan shows, forums and blogs are also great sources of information about everything from the best pet-friendly sites to insider tips on that spectacular remote fishing spot or scenic bush camp.

This article is intended to provide general information of an educational nature only. This information has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Information in this article is current as at the date of publication.

Financial planning

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