Caravanning hacks for your summer holidays

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has advised motorists on how to have a the perfect caravanning getaway

Last week it was reported nearly nine million motorists would be hitting the road over the first weekend of the summer holidays. Many of those may be caravan, camper and motorhome owners heading off on their summer break.

So, with so many fellow motorists hitting the tarmac how can you make sure your trip away runs smoothly?

Whether you’re holidaying with family or friends, the DVLA offers these great tips to help you out…

  1. Invest in extending towing mirrors Go big or go home! It’s pretty much a given that no-one has ever wished they’d bought smaller extending mirrors. Invest in a decent set to see you through. They’ll be a worthwhile investment.
  2. Don’t rely on man-power Picking up a decent adaptor for a hand-drill (should you need one) will mean you avoid the hard labour (and potential back injury) that goes with using a hand lever to lower the van legs.
  3. Go old-school and bring a map Technology is great… until you get stuck in a country lane near Aberystwyth with a two mile journey to reverse. Plan your journey and pack a map – ensuring the sat nav doesn’t ruin your plans.
  4. Awning erection survival kit If you’re camping properly – no matter how many times you put up the awning, it always proves to be a stressful situation. Head this off by packing a survival kit to occupy the kids – a large picnic and new colouring books often buys you some quiet time to set up.
  5. Let there be light Don’t let the longer summer evenings lull you into a false sense of security. Remember to pack a light if you’re using awning, so when the kids are tucked up in bed (finally) you can enjoy card games into the evening without worrying about making too much noise.
  6. Trug basket Muddy shoes + enclosed space = hours of cleaning up after yourself. Invest in a large enough basket to chuck all outdoor shoes into at the door and help maintain your high standards.
  7. The ‘know before you tow’ check If you’re towing, check the rules – as these depends heavily on when the driver passed their driving test. You can find the latest advice from DVLA on what you can tow, as well as guidance on towing safely and legally. Read Admiral’s top towing safety tips.
  8. Prepare for movie nights (or days!) Holidaying in the UK wouldn’t be the same without a few rainy days. Packing your laptop with films will be handy for the child or adult in your life who needs distracting. Don’t forget the charger and headphones!
  9. The trusty hot water bottle Always welcome, whatever the weather. Fill with cold water and freeze it – it will turn any sealed box lined with tinfoil into a cool box. Hot water bottles are always handy to take away with you!
  10. A flat hot plate will cook most things Indoor or outdoor cooking is made easier with one of these electrical essentials. Most meals can be cooked on it, it’s easy to clean and doesn’t take up much space.
  11. Baby wipes Not just for those with babies. These pocket-sized miracles will mop up spills, clean windscreens, remove oil from hands, clean shoes – a ‘must’ for life, not just for caravanning!

Ian Hewlett, technical manager of the Camping and Caravanning Club, said, “If you’re new to caravanning, check your driving licence covers the car and caravan combination you plan to tow.” Make sure you check out our camper and motorhome insurance guide for more information.

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