Essential Tips for First Time Caravanners - Caravan Holidays & Breaks | UK & Wales - Allens Caravans
Allens Caravans

Caravans and mobile homes are incredibly versatile ways of travelling and holidaying with loved ones or alone. However, learning exactly how to start caravanning properly can feel like a challenge with a steep learning curve. As with all things, the key to becoming a comfortable caravanner is practise, research and experience – there's nothing better than getting out there and giving a few things a try to become comfortable.

At Allens Caravans, we have spent the last 50 years running touring caravan sites as well as holiday and residential caravan parks, working with new and seasoned caravanners across the UK to create the best experience possible. Using this knowledge, we have put together a set of tips and guidelines for you to keep in mind if you're looking to start trying out the caravan lifestyle.

Whether you're trying to set up your touring caravan for the first time or moving into a residential site and want to know the rules, these hints and suggestions should help. Consider bookmarking this page so that you can come back to it when you need to.

Check Your License

First things first, if you are thinking of towing a caravan behind your car or driving a mobile home, make sure that you check your driving license. Different licenses allow you to drive or tow different vehicles of different weights, investigate the details of your new caravan acquisition and check it against what you are legally allowed to drive or travel with. Nobody wants to cause an accident whilst towing their caravan or realise they are breaking the law after being stopped by the authorities.

Setting Up Your Caravan for the First Time Will Take A While

If you're using a touring caravan and you're wanting to go on a road trip or take an extended break, always learn how to set up your caravan properly before you leave. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of your new purchase, setting off straight away, only to realise that you've forgotten a lot of things that you might need. Here are some steps you should follow once you arrive at the caravan site and want to pitch your mobile home:

  1. Select a pitching site – it may sound obvious but it's an important step. Consider how close you want to be to local amenities such as toilets, shops and social venues. Additionally, there are different types of pitches available, varying from site-to-site. Some pitches have their own water outlets whilst others don't and similarly, some have space for awnings and others won't. Research the site you are visiting to get a better idea of what you'll need.
  2. Reverse your caravan into your pitch of choice – this can be challenging if you have never done it before. Consider investing in additional mirrors to help the reversing process.
  3. Check that your caravan is level – once your caravan is in place, check that it is level using a spirit level. If the ground isn't flat and your caravan is not level, consider using a levelling block or ramp to help balance it along the width and adjusting the jockey-wheel at the front to balance the length.
  4. Move your tow car now that your caravan is standing freely
  5. Wind down the corner steadies – these will stabilise the caravan further.
  6. Plug in your electrical supply – make sure to plug the cable into the caravan first and then the supply to ensure you aren't carrying a live cable at any point.
  7. Set up your water supply – if you have a dedicated water supply, utilise it; otherwise, travel to the communal water source and collect the water you need.
  8. Connect the wastewater collector for the sink or shower
  9. Turn on the gas inside your caravan
  10. Power up your caravan by pressing the relevant button
  11. Turn on the water pump
  12. Open the hot tap until you achieve a steady flow – this will indicate that the water pump is working correctly, cleaned out and ready to use.
  13. Turn on the water heater inside your caravan
  14. Turn on or apply the toilet chemicals – the exact steps for this will vary from caravan-to-caravan.

Following these steps, you should find setting up your caravan for the first time as easy as possible.

Start Somewhere Easy

Now that you know you're allowed to leave and you have an idea of how to set up your caravan once you arrive at your site of choice, it's time to decide where you're going. If it's your first time, we strongly advise that you select a location fairly close to home. We operate caravan parks across England and Wales, so there is sure to be a site or park nearby which will work for you.

This is recommended to increase your confidence and help ensure that you arrive at the caravan site during daylight, which will make all the difference during the setup process.

Speak to Your Neighbours

Caravan sites are complex communities. Everyone speaks to everyone and everyone helps each other to settle in, get comfortable and look after one another. With this in mind, it's worth taking some time out to chat to your neighbours after arriving. Not only will they help you learn what the park has to offer and where everything is, but they will probably have recommendations on what to do and see in the local area too. It's the perfect opportunity to create friendships and become embedded in the friendliness of caravan culture.

Learn Caravan Etiquette from Those Around You

Caravan parks have their own distinct etiquette. There are a few unwritten rules surrounding what you should do and how you should behave which can seem a little unusual to first-timers. Most caravan etiquette can be learnt through observation; however, it's important to recognise when people mention or do something you don't quite understand. In these situations, be sure to ask for clarification so that you can quickly pick up the details and bond with the rest of the community. This applies to all types of caravan destinations whether it's a touring site or a holiday park.

Brush Up on the Caravan Site Rules

Finally, every caravan site is different and features different amenities whether it's dedicated security or an on-site lake. Due to this, each site its own rules that need to be followed. Sometimes this can involve curfews for young children or opening times for certain attractions; regardless, learning these rules is an essential part of making sure that you get the most out of your journey away. Consider doing your research before you leave and once arriving, contact the park authorities if you have any questions or queries that the neighbours can't answer.

With these tips in mind, you should be perfectly placed to have the best first-time caravan experience possible.

At Allens Caravans, we strive to create the most engaging environments possible for our residents. Whether you want a beachfront experience along the Welsh Coast or a quaint holiday home not too far from the Cotswolds, our caravan parks are the perfect starting point for newcomers to the culture.

Learn more by getting in touch today or explore what our parks have to offer here.

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