A list of things we discovered we needed for every trip…
When we first started out, we really had no idea what we needed straight away. Wayne is a planner, methodical and likes to be prepared so he was in his element! We have a laugh when we remember our first trip in our van, we only went 30 minutes up the road to a local caravan park, and Wayne made about 5 trips to the local hardware store as he discovered little things that we needed to set up properly…
Aside from all the normal household items like plates, bowls, knives folks etc here is a little list of some of the things that we purchased early on and that we use every trip.
- A Small Thermometer for the fridge – our fridge did not have one, so this comes in super handy.
- Garden Hose fittings – we have a mix of different sizes. The first few parks we stayed at all had various sizes faucets which we saw was frustrating for other campers, but with a mix, we are always prepared.
- Extra-long extension lead (25m) & hose (10m) – we were surprised at some parks when our lead did not reach the plug…oops!!
- Tent Ropes for the awning – the noise and rattle in the wind some nights can be very loud, and for safety reasons, you should tie down the awning. These also came in handy as a clothes line, before we found these amazing pegless clotheslines.
- Camping chairs – we invested in some high quality ones that are comfortable and durable.
- A dish rack and large plastic container to wash dishes in, outside on a table – Sometimes it can get crowed in the caravan kitchen, and the weather is gorgeous outside…so why not do the dishes in the fresh air…the kids can also help out.
- Wheel Chocks and Levelling ramps – we found that sometimes the van would sit too high for the legs to hit the ground so these come in very handy.
- Large mat for outside – some vans come with an annex and you can use the floor, or there are some fabulous large caravan floor mats which will make outside your van more comfortable.
- Fold out trestle table – we have a 4ft one with adjustable height, we often use it at the coffee table height. Perfect to use for ‘happy hour’ and also for feet up. It folds in ½ and lives under the main bed.
- ThermaCell/Repellent – you don’t want to get stuck without something that works for your family. The bugs love our daughters and we found that this mix works the best for us, you can read more about them here.
- Colouring In books, paper, glue stick, scissors and textas. Our girls love to draw and colour in. A nice ‘wind down’ activity. A $5 ream of paper also stays in the van, great for cutting and pasting, paper planes, free drawing etc. This time is great for us to “chill out” and have a couple of beers at the end of a busy day exploring.
- Torches & spare batteries – once again, these stay in the van. We found if we took things like this out of the van, they sometimes would not make it back in.
- Butane Single Gas Burner – we love cooking outside, if a BBQ is not available at the campsite a single burner is plenty for us to cook our snags and bacon and eggs for breaky.
- Coupling Lock – this was the best $30 we ever spent: see more here.
A few other items we have purchased along the way:
- Head lamps for the kids – great fun and helpful getting around after dark.
- Soft glow awning lights – these hang off the awning and give off a much nicer light than the ones on the outside of the van. Pretty & peaceful.
- Awning, anti-flappers. – we were surprised at how much noise the awning can make when there is a windy night.
- Hose Bag – simply, clever invention that keeps all our hoses nice and neat.
- Pool noodles and large soft plastic ball – noodles for the pool, river, ocean and the soft plastic ball for simple games of ‘catch’. Have you ever played ‘catch’ with the awning? So much fun and laughter – check out this clip. You can also see some other nifty ideas for the humble pool noodle here.
- 2 new phone chargers to leave in the van.
- Solar Panels and/or generator to free camp.
Things we have updated in the home as time has passed and put the old things in the van.
- I love finding excuses to buy NEW things for the house, knowing that the older things will end up in the van.
- Towels, sheets
- Frying pans, pots & pans
- Beach towels
- Kitchen utencils
These are just a few things that popped up in the beginning of our adventures that we hope come in handy for you. We keep a little exercise book in the caravan that we jot down notes in, items that we add to our ‘wish list’ and items that we need to get ASAP. Every adventure is different, however the above things are a must for our travels…
Happy & safe travels everyone… Adele, Wayne, Ashlee & Kate
Have you seen our Travel Journals and Log Books? You can check them out here: