Caravanning around Australia: All you need to know

Whether you’re looking to join the grey nomads or simply enjoy an extended holiday, there’s much to love about caravanning. It gives you the freedom to explore far-flung destinations at your own pace and meet lots of interesting people along the way, but there’s also a lot to learn. If you’ve decided on which caravan to purchase you’ve already jumped the first hurdle – here are the next steps to get you on the road.

Caravanning essentials

To get set up, the first thing you may want to do is check the safety requirements for towing a caravan in your state. State government transport websites will often have a page that covers towing capacities, legal requirements and safe driving practices when driving with a caravan.

You should also ensure you’re equipped with the correct towing aid and electrical connections for your vehicle, have towing mirrors fitted, and check if you need a load equaliser or anti-sway device. Seek advice from the caravan’s retailer and your mechanic to make sure you’re properly set up.

Caravan packing checklist

What you’ll need to pack will greatly depend on where you’re going and the length of your journey – but there are a few must-haves for every trip. These include:

  • Fire extinguisher, fire blanket, and fitted smoke alarm
  • First-aid kit
  • Basic tool kit
  • Wheel chocks and jack
  • Torches and BBQ firelighters
  • Spare batteries
  • Cleaning products and equipment
  • Kitchen appliances and utensils
  • Entertainment: board games, tablets, books, Bluetooth speakers et
  • Clothing, linen, and bedding, as well as laundry detergent and a portable clothesline
  • Extension cords and device chargers
  • Folding table and chairs
  • Medications and toiletries (don’t forget insect repellent and sunscreen)
  • Non-perishable food and plenty of water

Don’t forget any hobby related equipment! This will be the perfect opportunity to brush up on your fishing technique, finish stitching that quilt, or master your digital photography skills. You’ll discover a range of caravan storage accessories on the market, from hanging baskets and magnetic strips to clear containers and clothing cubes. It’s a good idea to invest in a storage system that will make your set-up and pack-up time more efficient, as well as ensure that your belongings are secure when in motion.

Planning your journey

Once the basics are sorted, it’s time for the fun part – planning where to go! Australia’s best drives cover every state and territory, from outback adventures to coastal cruising. When planning your route, consider seasonality (you don’t want to be travelling around the Top End in the wet season, for example) and ways to avoid traffic. And before you set the GPS to a far-flung caravan park, it’s a good idea to do a trial trip closer to home. One or two nights is just enough for you to practice reversing and parking, run through your set-up and pack-down routine, and make sure you have everything you need for life on the road.

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Australian Pensioners Insurance Agency Pty Ltd (Apia) ABN 14 099 650 996 AR 239591 is an authorised representative of AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 (AAI), the issuer of Home, Landlord, Car, Caravan, Motorhome, Boat, Travel & Compulsory Third Party Personal Injury (CTP) Insurance.

The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.