As you get more experienced and keep adding to your caravan set-up, you will accumulate a range of handy accessories. However, there are some ‘must-haves’ that you will need before you go anywhere.
Fresh Water Drinking Hose
For good quality drinking water, you need a good quality hose. Normal garden hoses aren’t suitable for supplying drinking water, you need a hose made from non-toxic materials and one that won’t give your water a ‘plastic’ taste.
Grey Water Hose
You will need a special hose for disposal of grey water. It is important that it is long enough to reach designated dump points in caravan parks or drains the water well away from your van if you are out in the bush. About 10 metres is enough in most locations. A good quality hose is also designed so that food particles don’t get stuck in it.
Note for beginners: Grey water is the sullage that drains from your sink, dishwasher and shower. The sewage from your toilet is often called ‘black water’ and has much stricter regulations on its disposal than grey water.
15 AMP Power Lead
Caravan park power outlets are 15 amp as opposed to a standard 10-amp domestic power point. This is because they need to power your whole set-up rather than just one or two appliances as would happen at home.
To connect to a 15-amp outlet you will need a specially designed lead which you will notice has a larger earth pin than a standard domestic extension lead.
You won’t want any unpleasant odours lingering in a confined space or bacteria floating in the air, so you will need some appropriate chemicals to treat your sewage between pump-outs.
It’s not unusual to find that the storage space available in your van or motorhome is not quite sufficient once you start collecting various items and accessories to help you enjoy life on the road.
The approaches to this problem are many and varied, but there is nothing as good as a purpose-built storage system that you know you will stay safe and secure while you are on the move. The last thing you want is a loose box becoming a projectile if you need to brake suddenly on the highway.
When you are only staying in one place for a night or two, or just stopping for a lunch break, it’s not going to be convenient to set up a complete annexe. That’s why most people opt for a shade screen that can be attached to your awning or to the front of your van. It’s not completely private but it is quite good for shade and being made from breathable material, it will also let the breeze through.
Traditional crockery doesn’t fare well in caravans. Apart from the potential danger of smashed plates, it is also heavy and adds unnecessary weight to your payload. Most people opt for melamine, plastic, or enamel coated metal dinnerware that is light, hard to break and not expensive to replace if need be.
Outside Table & Chairs
The point of hitting the road is to enjoy the great outdoors, right? You don’t want to eat all your meals inside when you can enjoy alfresco dining and few drinks by the beach, in the bush or wherever you may be. One of the most enjoyable things about the RV lifestyle is that the view changes all the time so be sure to make the most of it.
It is extremely unsafe relying on your vehicle’s standard mirrors when you need to change lanes and make turns. To ensure safe towing you need external caravan mirrors that are larger and extend further out so you can properly see everything around your vehicle and van. These can be clipped on and taken off as needed, or you can replace your standard mirrors with permanently fixed towing mirrors.
General Purpose Tool Kit
You will need a general-purpose tool kit for jobs such as changing batteries, wheels, and gas bottles and tightening all sorts of bits and pieces.
Over time you will build up your collection of tools and accessories, but to start off we recommend as a bare minimum having a basic tool set with:
- various size spanners including an adjustable spanner
- both phillips head and flat screwdrivers of a few different sizes
- utility knife
Also throw in some plumbing tape, duct tape, electrical tape, WD40 and some spare fuses and bulbs.
That is our top ten list of must-have accessories. Whatever you do, don’t leave home without making sure all these items are ticked off on your checklist. Naturally, at Searle’s RV Centre we can help you make sure you are equipped with everything you need, so if you need advice and help, just ask.