What to consider when going for a weekend caravan trip
3 February 2022
Dreaming of a weekend getaway in your caravan? It’s important to thoroughly prepare, even if you’re just heading off for a few short days. Here are some essential caravanning tips.
Do your research
Travelling with a caravan isn’t as simple as just hitching it to your car and hitting the road. You’ll have to know the weight your car can legally tow, and also understand the maneuverability, length and weight of the caravan. And there are a few other figures to know:
- Tare weight, which is the weight of your caravan when empty, including factory fitted options but excluding liquids.
- Payload, which is your caravan’s maximum carrying capacity.
- Aggregate trailer mass, which is the maximum your caravan can weigh on its own (ie, tare weight plus payload).
- Gross trailer mass, which is the maximum weight the caravan’s wheels can support when hitched.
Plan your itinerary
If you only have the weekend to explore, you don’t want to waste any time. Use an online trip planner to visualise your route, while leaving a bit of room for spontaneous detours.
Packing light and smart is the key to successful caravanning. Pack a few basic clothing items and choose multipurpose or collapsible equipment where you can. You might also want to buy a 3G/4G portable Wi-Fi modem to provide a connection to the outside world.
Get to grips with driving
If you’re not a caravanning veteran, it’s worth practicing your driving — perhaps even taking a course — before you embark on your adventure. Steering, braking and stability will all be completely different when you’re towing a trailer or caravan, so it’s important to feel confident.
A good caravan course should cover safety and maintenance checks, loading strategies, hitching and unhitching, driving and manoeuvring, and safe braking and reversing.
The great outdoors can be unpredictable. Do your best to prepare by getting your car serviced well ahead of time. If you own your caravan, make sure to have it looked over by a professional.
Caravan owners should also check whether their car insurance will cover their caravan. If not, consider Caravan Insurance, so you’ll have one less thing to worry about on the road.
- Car maintenance: how long does petrol last?
- What am I covered for when I’m off-road driving?
- What you need in your car's emergency kit
Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. The Target Market Determination is also available. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.
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.