The top 5 things

CARAVANNERS FORGET TO CHECK

before driving off!

GUIDE Caravan Tips

They may seem obvious when they’re written down – and that’s our point: to help you avoid these mistakes! Check out our top tips for a pre-trip checklist

PLUS download the lists we’ve compiled, print them out and use them so they become second nature – happy travels. (See end of article.)

WORDS TIM SCOTT, IMAGES STU GRANT, CHECKLISTS MARTY LEDWICH

2
1

RETRACT THE ENTRY STEP
We’ve all done it. Maybe you’ve done the inside check and you’re satisfied that it’s all okay to head off. You use the step to exit the van, close the door and walk to the vehicle to drive away and the step just sits there, invitingly, in anticipation of snagging or dragging over something, especially if you’re off-road somewhere. It’s possibly an expensive oversight. Make sure you retract the step!


TURN OFF THE GAS
This is a big one, especially if you’ve a three-way fridge on board. It’s a big no-no to travel with the gas on. You carry a pilot light in there somewhere and that’s the last thing you need, a naked flame in the van, unattended, particularly at the servo when there’s fuel vapour around. Make sure all your gas cylinders are off at the bottle and any inline taps are closed too.

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4
3

REMOVE CHOCKS AND LEVELLING RAMPS
Is the hitching operation not going to plan? Sluggish movement of the whole rig? Or perhaps you’re driving off and feel a sudden bump from back there? “I don’t recall speed humps here,” you mutter. Maybe you’ve just driven off the levelling ramps! Or your chocks are conspiring against your efforts to leave your site. Like the stabilising legs, make sure you remember to check underneath … everywhere. Oh, and when you have hitched up and moved forward, re-check to make sure you haven’t left a chock or two for the next occupant of your site.


LIFT THE STABILISER LEGS
If you’re someone who doesn’t use these very often, they’re more likely to be forgotten. Or if you’re used to quick overnighters and then stopover somewhere for a few days and drop the legs to steady the van. The last thing you need is that scraping sound and a spark shower as you leave the caravan park (never mind broken welds) and your neighbours will certainly be aware of your early departure because you’ve a ‘long drive ahead’.

  
5

DOWNLOADABLE CHECKLISTS
Click the links below to download the lists we’ve compiled, print them out and use them so they become second nature – happy travels.


CLOSE ALL HATCHES
Are other travellers passing you and pointing to the roof of your van, arms waving and them mouthing warnings you can’t understand? It’s likely you’ve forgotten to close your roof hatch or hatches. They’re standing up there, shaking in the breeze, waiting to be ripped off or to let dust and rain pour into your pristine interior. If you opened the hatch last night for ventilation but closed the blind, then this is easy to do; same in the bathroom if you’d had a shower. Make the roof level part of your visual sweep before you head off to the next destination, so you’re equipped with hatches when you get there!

GUIDE Caravan Tips

The top 5 things

CARAVANNERS FORGET TO CHECK

before driving off!

The may seem obvious when they’re written down – and that’s our point: to help you avoid these mistakes! Check out our top tips for a pre-trip checklist

PLUS download the lists we’ve compiled, print them out and use them so they become second nature – happy travels. (See end of article.)

TURN OFF THE GAS
This is a big one, especially if you’ve a three-way fridge on board. It’s a big no-no to travel with the gas on. You carry a pilot light in there somewhere and that’s the last thing you need, a naked flame in the van, unattended, particularly at the servo when there’s fuel vapour around. Make sure all your gas cylinders are off at the bottle and any inline taps are closed too.

1
2

RETRACT THE ENTRY STEP
We’ve all done it. Maybe you’ve done the inside check and you’re satisfied that it’s all okay to head off. You use the step to exit the van, close the door and walk to the vehicle to drive away and the step just sits there, invitingly, in anticipation of snagging or dragging over something, especially if you’re off-road somewhere. It’s possibly an expensive oversight. Make sure you retract the step!


ADVERTISEMENT
SCROLL TO CONTINUE

LIFT THE STABILISER LEGS
If you’re someone who doesn’t use these very often, they’re more likely to be forgotten. Or if you’re used to quick overnighters and then stopover somewhere for a few days and drop the legs to steady the van. The last thing you need is that scraping sound and a spark shower as you leave the caravan park (never mind broken welds) and your neighbours will certainly be aware of your early departure because you’ve a ‘long drive ahead’.

3
4

REMOVE CHOCKS AND LEVELLING RAMPS
Is the hitching operation not going to plan? Sluggish movement of the whole rig? Or perhaps you’re driving off and feel a sudden bump from back there? “I don’t recall speed humps here,” you mutter. Maybe you’ve just driven off the levelling ramps! Or your chocks are conspiring against your efforts to leave your site. Like the stabilising legs, make sure you remember to check underneath … everywhere. Oh, and when you have hitched up and moved forward, re-check to make sure you haven’t left a chock or two for the next occupant of your site.


CLOSE ALL HATCHES
Are other travellers passing you and pointing to the roof of your van, arms waving and them mouthing warnings you can’t understand? It’s likely you’ve forgotten to close your roof hatch or hatches. They’re standing up there, shaking in the breeze, waiting to be ripped off or to let dust and rain pour into your pristine interior. If you opened the hatch last night for ventilation but closed the blind, then this is easy to do; same in the bathroom if you’d had a shower. Make the roof level part of your visual sweep before you head off to the next destination, so you’re equipped with hatches when you get there!

5
  

DOWNLOADABLE CHECKLISTS
Click the links below to download the lists we’ve compiled, print them out and use them so they become second nature – happy travels.


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