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All the essentials you'll need for your first caravan trip

With the prospect of having to self isolate for 2 weeks after going abroad due to COVID-19, 2020 is set to be the year of the UK caravan holiday with increasing numbers of people considering staycations. As there are more people than ever looking to go caravanning, we’ve compiled a list of essentials that you need to know about...

Clare Kelly

Words by: Clare Kelly

Auto Trader

Additional words by: Auto Trader

Last updated on 27 May 2020 | 0 min read

1. Water carrier

At campsites up and down the land, there’s always a sorry-looking child being asked to go and fetch the water. But hey, there’s always a chance to make new friends at the site tap. This one holds 40 litres so it should keep you going for a while.
We recommend: Aquaroll Water Carrier, £49.95 Find this water carrier online.

2. Gas and regulator

Even if you’re using the campsite electricity, you’ll likely still want to use the gas for your heating and cooking. There’s two types of gas you can choose from – butane (in blue bottles) and propane (in red bottles). Most caravanners who tour in the UK opt for propane because it’s better suited to all-year touring. Always talk to your dealer when collecting your caravan as they will be able to advise on what’s best for you and how to stay safe.
We recommend: 6kg Propane Calor Gas Bottle, £62.84 Find this gas bottle online.
6kg Propane Calor Gas Bottle
6kg Propane Calor Gas Bottle

3. Steady winder

You cannot caravan without a steady winder. Some people use a drill with an attachment but we favour the traditional approach when it comes to setting up your caravan. As an added bonus, it does wonders for your biceps.
We recommend: Kampa Corner Steady Winder, £6.99 Find a steady winder online.
Kampa Corner Steady Winder
Kampa Corner Steady Winder

4. Gas spanner

You should always turn the gas off before you hitch up and tow away, but sometimes, it can be really tricky to turn the nut in either direction. This is where a gas spanner comes in handy – it makes the job easier and minimises the risk of injury. Buy the best one you can and you’ll have it (and your knuckles) forever.
We recommend: Heavy Duty Spanner, £4.99 Find a gas spanner online.
Heavy Duty Spanner
Heavy Duty Spanner

5. Toilet chemicals

It’s not the most exciting purchase you’ll ever make but if you’re using your on-board facilities, you’ll need these. Put simply, the blue fluid helps to break down waste and keep your washroom smelling fresh and the pink fluid keeps your loo flushing as it should. Glam, huh?
We recommend: Thetford Aquakem and Aqua Rinse Twin Pack, £10.75 Find toilet chemicals online.
Thetford Aquakem and Aqua Rinse Twin Pack
Thetford Aquakem and Aqua Rinse Twin Pack

6. Caravan main lead

More commonly referred to as the hook-up lead, this 16 amp orange cable connects directly from the electric source at the campsite to your caravan. It can be frustrating to untangle it in the rain so put it away neatly and you’ll thank me later.
We recommend: 16 Amp Caravan Mains Leads, £29.50 Find a caravan main lead online.
16 Amp Caravan Mains Leads
16 Amp Caravan Mains Leads

7. Hitchlock

There’s lots of security measures you should consider investing in, but a hitchlock is a good place to start and will deter thieves looking to tow your caravan away. Make sure you choose the right one to fit your caravan as8§ it’s not a case of one-size-fits-all.
We recommend: Fullstop Saracen AL-KO Hitchlock, £49.94 Find a hitchlock online.
Fullstop Saracen AL-KO Hitchlock
Fullstop Saracen AL-KO Hitchlock

8. First aid kit

We’re not trying to put you off caravanning at all but it’s always prudent to have a first aid kit that includes the usual suspects plus stuff like insect bite cream – this is especially important if you’re camping next to water or in some areas of the UK where mosquitos are rife. After sun lotion is also a must.
We recommend: MediSpor Mini First Aid Kit, £24.16 Find a first aid kit online.

9. Step

Unless you’ve got really long legs, a step is a necessity to get into – and out of – your caravan. There are a fair few on the market and when not in use, it can double up as a stool, something you’ll appreciate if you’re putting an awning up.
We recommend: Caravan Step, £19.99 Find a caravan step online.
Caravan Step
Caravan Step

10. Kitchen Kit

Rather than packing up everything but the kitchen sink when you leave for your caravan adventure, buy new lightweight products that will save on space and add a little personality to your home on wheels. The Outwell Collaps range includes kettles, washing up bowls and colanders and, as the name suggests, they all collapse for easy storage.
We recommend: Outwell Collaps Kettle 2.5l, £46.99 Find a collaps kettle online.
Outwell Collaps Kettle 2.5l
Outwell Collaps Kettle 2.5l

11. Fire extinguisher

A compact fire extinguisher doesn’t take up much space and will give you some peace of mind when you’re away in your caravan. Especially if your fry-ups are famous for the wrong reasons…while you’re at it, also get a fire blanket and a smoke alarm.
We recommend: Fire Extinguisher 950g, £12.95 Find a fire extinguisher online.
Fire Extinguisher 950g
Fire Extinguisher 950g

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