This is in conjunction with the handy guest post on what to pack when camping as a family – The Family Camping Checklist | Ultimate Essentials Packing List
I am posting a helpful list of essentials to pack in your caravan, especially for touring caravans. This includes a free printable which you can access by signing up to our monthly newsletter (or fortnightly depending on my organisational skills). The checklist below is available as a PDF which you can print out and check off at your leisure. You are free to unsubscribe from my newsletter at any time.
Just what is essential for a touring holiday in a caravan?
Maybe you are considering buying a touring caravan, or you own a caravan and are getting ready to take it out for the first time this year. When we bought our caravan we also budgeted for all the many accessories that you will need for a happy touring break away. I knew that I wanted to keep as much as I could in the caravan so that I wasn’t forever packing and unpacking it. One essential thing to remember is to pack as light as you can so try to buy ‘lighter’ versions of everything on our list. I’ve left a few spaces on the checklist for you to add anything that may be essential to yourselves.
While it was fun buying everything we needed the costs soon mounted up. Please allow for this. You certainly don’t need ‘doubles’ of everything such as bedding etc. But for us it’s easier to have everything in the caravan ready, that we can.
What are the absolute essentials that you must buy and keep in your caravan?
Toilet chemicals – We use Elsan pink liquid and Elsan blue sachets. Smell isn’t too offensive
Large water container – Aquaroll’s are great. So easy to get from A to B.
Water pump – Most caravans come with a pump to link your caravan to your water container. You must check you have one
Large waste container – you also need to fashion some pipes together to go from your waste water outlet into the container. We bought our waste water container with our Aquaroll. It has wheels and is easy to empty.
Gas Bottle – You will most likely need this for your cooker, hob, bbq and or heating.
Gas bottle regulator – You won’t have gas without one. Make sure you buy the right size for your bottle.
Fire Blanket and or extinguisher – Not only do they keep you safe but most insurance policies will require you to have them.
Hitch lock and cover – You will benefit from a reduction in caravan insurance if you have a hitch lock. It’s a good idea to cover your hitch from the rain.
Wheel clamps – As above you will benefit from a reduction in caravan insurance by having these in place. Please note twin axle caravans will need two on the same side for insurance purposes.
Spirit Level – Most sites aren’t level and the smaller your van the worse the slope may seem. You can pack levelling blocks however we always make do with what we can find onsite as if they have a major slope they will have bricks lying around.
Mains lead and adapter – You will need to buy a caravan hook up lead. If you want to plug into an electric socket in a house you will need to buy an adapter.
Large caravan battery – Vital if you are at a site without electric or you want to run a motor mover
Spare tyre and pump – We love the pumps that you can plug into your car electrics
Corner steady pads and winder – Pads are great to stop heavy vans sinking into the ground. We also have a drill with a winder adapter for winding the legs up and down
Outdoor table and chairs – Some caravans come with an outdoor table. We love camping chairs for outdoors
First ait kit – Make sure this includes medicine and plasters
Steps – so you can get in and out of your caravan
Instructions – because you never know when you might need them!
Bin – A lot of caravans come with one. We bought an extra one for our shower room
Less essential items, but you will probably need them!
Awning and accessories
Torch – if you have a mobile phone there’s some great free torch apps
Plastic plates, bowls, cups
Cutlery, cooking utensils, BBQ utensils
Disposable or small gas BBQ’s
Items that you can choose to have duplicates of like us, or remember to pack for each outing
Bedding – Duvets, duvet covers, pillowcases, pillows and blankets
Towels – Shower room, swimming pool, beach
Slip on shoes/slippers – great for nipping in and out especially if you have an awning
Washing up liquid, sponges, gloves
Disposable gloves – 100% essential for those that have to clean out the chemical loo
Soap – Shower room and kitchen area
Other toiletries – Shower gel, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, razors, sanitary products, toothbrushes, toothpaste, hairbrush
Fly repellent and after bite
Indoor and outdoor games
Bucket and Spade
Waterproofs including wellies
Wipes – antibacterial and for kids
Kitchen roll and tissues
Tool kit (screwdrivers, any gadget you may need)
Spare bulbs and fuses (we’ve never bothered as we have lots of lights and no fuses!)
Mini hoover or dustpan and brush
Music – we always have a collection of CDs at hand
Mini electric heater – just in case your other form of heating runs out or becomes temperamental.
Food bags or Tupperware
Upholstery cleaner – we have a small spray can in case of any unwanted spills
Corkscrew/beer bottle opener
And don’t forget your
Clothes and Shoes – Hangers if you have a wardrobe
Perishable goods – Tins, bread, milk, pop, juice, tea bags, coffee, fruit, bbq food, chocolate, sauce, cooking oil, snacks, alcohol, butter, jam, cereal. sugar.
Pen and paper
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