Planning Your Caravan Holiday
A caravanning holiday offers you control over your well earned time off. You decide when you get up, when you eat, where you go and what you do when you get there.
Here, you can find out how to ensure that you are fully prepared for your caravan holiday, including everything from choosing your caravan site to making sure that you are a safe and confident tower.
Choosing a caravan
Looking for your perfect caravan can be as exciting as looking for your perfect house. Your caravan will be your home away from home on every journey you take, providing you with all the comforts you are used to whilst allowing you the freedom to get away and put all the worries of daily life to the back of your mind.
The type of caravan you choose depends on your individual needs. Take a look at our buying a caravan guide for lots of useful advice on how to buy safely.
Don’t forget your caravan awning – an awning is a great source of space and there are loads of different types to choose from.
Why not take a look at The Camping and Caravanning Club magazine or other specialist caravan magazines or online. There are many new and used caravans advertised in the classified adverts sections, so whatever you're looking for, you're bound to find something to suit you.
Location is key - to choosing your caravan site…
Finding your ideal caravan site depends on what you are hoping to get out of your holiday. Caravan sites vary in both size and facilities and offer many different features. The most basic will simply have a fresh water point and somewhere to dispose of your waste but many will have mod cons such as Wi-Fi and battery charging facilities. The style and location of the caravan site is up to you.
You may want to relax at a peaceful caravan site near a Loch in Scotland, or stay on the doorstep of some of the stunning scenery and walks in the Lake District. Use The Club’s caravan site search engine, SiteSeeker, to search caravan sites all over the UK, by specific facility, location or site type.
Some caravan sites are larger and may have a swimming pool, laundry facilities, a TV room or recreation hall. Others are smaller, quieter and have fewer facilities. This type of caravan site would suit you if you are looking for a more secluded holiday, or if you plan on spending little time in your caravan, returning only to sleep after a long day out sightseeing.
The Club boasts a number of small Certificated Sites that offer a more private and intimate caravanning experience as well as unbeatably low prices.
Finding the right route
When you start travelling with a caravan, it can be a challenge to find the best route to your campsite. Satnav systems have their place, but they can give a false sense of security if you’re towing. Always check whether your chosen campsite suggests a particular route to site and stick to it, even if it doesn’t match your satnav’s advice.
Many campsite guides include ‘caravan-friendly’ directions. For Camping and Caravanning Club Sites, for example, you will find maps on the site’s information pages.
Choosing a pitch
Once you’ve arrived on site you may be shown to your pitch, but if you have a choice it’s worth taking time to decide where you’d like to stay.
- Near the loos or far away?
Do you want to be near the amenity block or other facilities? It could be convenient for night-time trips to the loo and speedy washing up, but can also lead to more people walking around or across your pitch.
- Play areas are great fun
If your children are small you may want to be close to the children’s play area so you can keep an eye on them from your caravan. However, remember that other youngsters may still be playing enthusiastically when your little ones should be asleep. Or when you should be...
- Find shelter
Hedges and other units can form great windbreaks on an exposed site.
- Beware of trees
It can look appealing to pitch in the shade of a tree, but the grass is often poor because it’s protected from the rain, trees can drip sap and birds have a habit of roosting and leaving little presents on your lovely caravan beneath. Rain will also drip from trees long after a storm has passed.
- Choose flat ground
… if at all possible. It will mean you don’t need to use a ramp under a wheel or extend your jockey wheel and steadies uncomfortably high.
- Check surrounding water
Rainwater has to go somewhere, so try to make sure it won’t travel under the path out of your caravan on its way. This is particularly important if you are using an awning , because you don’t want water flowing through or under it.
Get the lowdown on being a confident tower
An important part of a caravanning holiday involves towing your caravan to your desired location. If you haven’t towed before, take a look at our articles towing and the law, what can I tow and confident towing for everything you will need to know about towing your caravan legally and safely.
There are places where you can practise towing before you buy a caravan. If you become a member of the Club, you can take full advantage of our Caravan and Motorhome Manoeuvring Courses, to help you feel more confident about setting off on your caravan holiday.
Watch our video on how to reverse a caravan for some more useful tips.
Choosing breakdown cover – don’t leave home without it
With the open road ahead of you, your trip needs to be remembered for the right reasons and not for being stuck at the side of a road, so make sure your investment is serviced regularly to avoid problems and have good breakdown cover if things do go wrong. A flat tyre, flat battery, running out of fuel or even putting in the wrong kind can stop you in your tracks, not a good start when all you want to do is be at your campsite enjoying your holiday.
The are many types of breakdown cover but the Club has put together unique ‘Arrival’ from RAC which is exclusive cover for you as a Camping and Caravanning Club member. You’ll get breakdown cover for you, your caravan and car – and even when you’re a passenger in someone else’s vehicle. There is a variety of different cover options, enabling you to tailor to your every need.
One top tip from The Club and RAC, check the restrictions on large caravans as some organisations have a size limit or don’t cover damaged or non-towable caravans. Find out more about Arrival.