Plan early for your caravanning or camping adventure

Customers facing long waiting times for new or customised caravans, sometimes up to a year, can spend that time planning their trip. Or, buy something ready-made off the showroom floor. Photo: Shutterstock
Customers facing long waiting times for new or customised caravans, sometimes up to a year, can spend that time planning their trip. Or, buy something ready-made off the showroom floor. Photo: Shutterstock

If you're seeking adventure in a caravan, join the queue. You could be waiting up to 12 months for your wheels, according to Greg Templeton, sales executive at the Australian Caravan Centre.

"Pre COVID, the waiting time for a new caravan was typically about three months," Greg says.

"But because of the lockdowns, caravan manufacturers are playing catch-up with orders, and if you're seeking a customised caravan, you may be facing a 12-month wait."

He advises placing an order as soon as possible, or you could find the right wheels on the showroom floor. But once you have your van in tow, you're ready for your big adventure.

Since COVID and lockdowns, we are taking to the road in droves, mostly visiting regional areas.

According to data just published by the Caravan Industry Association of Australia, travellers are spending more weekends away, taking day trips or short jaunts, often for activities such as bushwalking, going to the beach and sightseeing.

And while many people believe it's the grey nomads who are hogging the road, data from Tourism Research Australia shows travellers aged 30-54 make up most (48 per cent) of the 11.80 million domestic camping and caravanning trips in Australia.

Planning is essential when taking a trip by caravan, especially if you want to tow off-road.

Since much of our country is considered remote, it is worth completing a first aid course before beginning your journey.

Pack a satellite phone when planning a trip to a remote location and stock up on essential spare parts (tyres, fan-belts). It's also worth taking a short course on basic mechanics before your journey.

When planning your budget, factor in the varying costs of fuel, which tends to be more expensive in remote areas.

An increasing number of single women are packing their caravans and embarking on their dream trip across Australia.

Our country is a relatively safe place in which to travel, with most residents friendly and obliging.

Some women take their pets for company, as well as security. If this is the case, plan your trip to stay in pet-friendly camping sites.

Bundle up your van for comfort

Here's a list of essential items to pack before starting your caravan holiday.

The idea is to make your caravan a "home away from home"; everyday goods stowed in convenient places will make it easy to maintain the space as such. Also on the list are safety items that should be part of every trip. Install a fire alarm in your van.

  • Mini vacuum
  • Detergent
  • Shoe rack
  • Board games
  • Laptop
  • Satellite phone
  • Umbrella
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Kettle
  • Toiletries
  • Towels (beach + bath)
  • Extension cord
  • Fire blanket
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