Caravans - Getting out and about
When you first start caravanning there seems to be an incredible number of things to remember.
On this page you’ll find more about finding the right route and choosing a pitch. For more information on the practical things to do before you travel, look at our Useful checklists page.
Finding the right route
When you start travelling with a caravan, it can be a challenge to find the best route to your campsite.
Satnav systems have their place, but they can give a false sense of security if you’re towing. Always check whether your chosen campsite suggests a particular route to site and stick to it, even if it doesn’t match your satnav’s advice.
Be wary of relying on a satnav’s postcode facility to direct you to site. Postcodes can cover large areas in rural districts and you could find yourself on the wrong side of a valley – or even a river – with no way of getting across to the site.
Many campsite guides include ‘caravan-friendly’ directions. For Camping and Caravanning Club Sites, for example, you will find maps in the members’ publication SiteSeeker and on the site’s pages in our online campsite directory.
Choosing a pitch
Once you’ve arrived on site you may be shown to your pitch, but if you have a choice it’s worth taking time to decide where you’d like to stay.
1. Near the loos or far away?
Do you want to be near the amenity block or other facilities? It could be convenient for night-time trips to the loo and speedy washing up, but can also lead to more people walking around or across your pitch.
2. Play areas are great fun
If your children are small you may want to be close to the children’s play area so you can keep an eye on them from your caravan. However, remember that other youngsters may still be playing enthusiastically when your little ones should be asleep. Or when you should be...
3. Find shelter
Hedges and other units can form great windbreaks on an exposed site.
4. Beware of trees
It can look appealing to pitch in the shade of a tree, but the grass is often poor because it’s protected from the rain, trees can drip sap and birds have a habit of roosting and leaving little presents on your lovely caravan beneath. Rain will also drip from trees long after a storm has passed.
5. Choose flat ground
… if at all possible. It will mean you don’t need to use a ramp under a wheel or extend your jockey wheel and steadies uncomfortably high.
6. Check surrounding water
Rainwater has to go somewhere, so try to make sure it won’t travel under the path out of your caravan on its way. This is particularly important if you are using an awning
, because you don’t want water flowing through or under it.
Choosing breakdown cover – don’t leave home without it
With the open road ahead of you, your trip needs to be remembered for the right reasons and not for being stuck at the side of a road. A flat tyre, flat battery, running out of fuel or even putting in the wrong kind can stop you in your tracks, not a good start when all you want to do is be at your campsite enjoying your holiday.
The are many types of breakdown cover but the Club has put together unique ‘Arrival’ from RAC which is exclusive cover for you as a Camping and Caravanning Club member. You’ll get breakdown cover for you, your caravan and car – and even when you’re a passenger in someone else’s vehicle. There is a variety of different cover options, enabling you to tailor to your every need.
One top tip from The Club and RAC, check the restrictions on large caravans as some organisations have a size limit or don’t cover damaged or non-towable caravans.
Find out more about Arrival
A final note
Before you set off on your caravan holiday, why not print out the relevant parts of our Useful checklists to make sure you don’t miss anything important?