Nobody wants to be fumbling around in the dark because they forgot to check the Caravan (or 'House') batteries.
Batteries don't like sitting around doing nothing for extended periods of time, therefor it is always wise to keep idle batteries on an automatic/trickle charger whilst they are not inuse. The battery management or charging system in your Caravan may take care of this for you.
Before going away, get your batteries tested by a reputable workshop and ensure that your battery charging system is sufficient to your needs. Considerations such as 'on-road' charging and Solar should be taken into account as these features often aren't included when purchasing a Caravan.
Before even thinking about pulling out of the driveway, it is absolutley imperetive to check the tyres on your caravan (and your tow vehicle for that matter), and not just the pressures!
Given that some caravan's sit for months or even years at a time, it is important to check that your tyres have not perished.
Check for any visible cracks on the sidewall or between the tread on the tyres.
Just because a tyre has good tread depth doesen't mean that it is safe! If in doubt, get an opinion from your mechanic.
Most caravans are fitted with electric brakes paired up to an electric brake controller in your vehicle.
Functioning caravan brakes are both a legal and safety requirement. Without the assistance of electric brakes, the onus of pulling up that van is all on your vehicle!
In addition to this, there are a number of emergency situations that may occur that require the use of electric brakes; such as if the van gets into a sway or 'fishtailing effect'
With functioning brakes and an electronic brake controller, this situation is easly overcome, without the aid of a correctly functioning braking system, it can mean a serious accident.
The holiday periods are some of the busiest times on our roads so it is critical that your lights are in working order.
Hitch up your van and check that your indicators, tail lights, clearance lights, number plate lights, stop lights and reverse lights (if fitted) are all functioning correctly.
Unless your Caravan is fitted with LED lights, don't forget the spare globes! You never know when you may need them.
Look inside the trailer plug on your caravan aswell as the trailer base (or socket) on your vehicle.
Does it look dirty or are any of the pins loose? Can you see green/white corrosion inside the plugs? Does the plug rattle when you shake it? Are you having any intermittent problems with your lights or electrics on the caravan?
If the answer to any of these questions is yes, it's a good idea to take your caravan to your local automotive workshop who carries our Auto Electrical Services (You can find this information within a workshops directory listing)
It's always good to chill your fridge down overnight on mains power. Both to ensure that it is working correctly, but also to ensure your food and drinks don't get spoiled.
Some fridges can take a considerable time to "chill down" when running from a 12v power supply so remember to plug the van in the night before you leave.
This may seem like a silly question, but is your caravan actually registered?
You wouldn't be the first or the last person to accidently forget to make sure that their Caravan is registered.
Further to that point, is your insurance policy up-to-date? If anything were to happen (touch wood) you want to make sure you have all your bases covered.
Avoid the fines or inconvenience and check before you head off.
Whilst we hope you never have to use it, anybody hitting the road on a camping trip or otherwise should have with them a comprehensive and 'up-to-date' first aid kit. Sometimes, help can be a long way away. Don't get caught out.
Don't forget who is doing all the hard work on this trip. Not the navigator..the noble steed pulling your caravan across the countryside. Make sure your towing vehicle's service history is up-to-date because the last thing you want to be doing is calling roadside assist when you're trying to enjoy a holiday!
Don't forget to check over things like power cables, steps, stabiliser legs, hoses, antenna's etc
It's a good idea to do a dummy run and make a check list, ensuring you don't leave anything behind on future trips.
Going away on holiday is a great opportunity to bond with family and friends so make sure you make the most of it.
We all lead busy lives in this day and age, so make sure you take to time to relax and appreciate the little things.