How to Start Caravanning Like a Pro

ClickTravelTips 5 Min Read

When you first start off on your caravanning journey, you more than likely think there’s a million and one things to remember. This is true for the first few trips, but once you’ve taken those initial steps, the rest of it will come in no time! This post will give you a few helpful checklists, so you know you haven’t forgotten anything along the way:

Your Checklist for Hitching Up

Once you have your caravan from a reliable source why not print out this checklist and put it in a plastic wallet so you can take it with you? This will protect it in case of bad weather! You’ll also need to remember the points when it’s time to go.

  • Make sure the gas cylinder is switched off first.
  • Now start to empty the clean water containers before moving on to the waste container. Clean out the toilet cassette somewhere fellow campers won’t notice (you don’t want to stink the place up).
  • Check that the windows and rooflights are closed. Internal doors, including cupboards will also need to be closed. Your loads should be safely secure to avoid any accidents. Lock the outside door to avoid unexpected swinging.
  • Put the handbrake on the caravan and chock the wheels if you’re on an uneven surface to avoid rolling.
  • The jockey wheel should be lowered and locked in place.
  • Corner steadies should be lifted appropriately.
  • Check the caravans nose weight.
  • Alter the hitch height – this should be above the car’s tow ball, so be careful to do this right.
  • Go to the car’s tow ball and remove the cover.
  • Carefully reverse into the caravan using the car (you don’t want any dents).
  • The hitch attached to the tow ball needs to be safe and secure.
  • Use a jockey wheel to raise the car by a small amount, and check the link. This will make sure it’s matching properly.
  • Make sure the wheel is stowed away safely.
  • Connect all electrical plugs. Move on to the stabiliser system if you’ve had one installed. Make sure the cables won’t get caught or stuck as the car turns.
  • Fix on the breakaway cable. You can either do this or attach the secondary coupling.
  • Take off the handbrake of the caravan, and take away the chocks.
  • Check that your lights and indicators are coming on before you set off.
  • Pull off from your pitch and look around to make sure you haven’t left anything there.

Uncoupling the Caravan and Setting Up

When you’re at your destination, you need to do the reverse to your caravan – ‘unhitching’.

  • If you’ve got a stabiliser, release it.
  • Get your caravan into position on the pitch, and use a ramp under the wheels on one side if it needs to be levelled.
  • Apply the handbrake to your caravan.
  • If you’re on uneven ground, chock the wheels of the caravan.
  • Lower your jockey wheel into position and lock it.
  • Disconnect the electricals from your vehicle. Don’t forget the breakaway cable!
  • Pull up the hitch head lever. Using the jockey wheel, lift the caravan hitch from the tow ball.
  • You can now drive your tow car out of the way.
  • Put the cover back on the car’s tow ball.
  • Adjust the level of your caravan front and back using the jockey wheel that you stowed earlier.
  • Your corner steadies should be lowered.

You can now get in your caravan and enjoy your break away! There may be a few more things you need to do before you are able to relax, but this depends on the type of caravan you have.

Thanks for reading!

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