Think of buying a caravan as acquiring a ready furnished house. The beds, ‘bathroom’, kitchen and dining facilities are in situ, but there are still plenty of accessories needed to complete your touring caravan.
If you're still considering buying a caravan, read our guide on how to buy a caravan for tips and pitfalls to avoid.
Your home front door is probably level with the garden path or hallway. Not so your caravan door, which could be a good 2’ off the ground. You don’t want to be jumping down from, or clambering up into, your caravan, and there won’t always be an orange box to hand. Invest in a sturdy step (or two-rung set). No-one wants a sprained ankle on holiday.
Caravan water and waste containers
You shouldn’t carry unnecessary weight on the road, so water containers (and their waste equivalent) are a must. Plastic jerry cans are fine but if a site’s water supply is some way off from your pitch (and you want a lot of the stuff), then invest in a roller container, one each for fresh and waste water. Do not use one for both!
Caravan toilet chemicals
Obviously, a must. You could also consider a ‘toilet tent’ for use away from the caravan.
Read about towing mirrors.
Forget household china, it’s heavy, breaks or chips and doesn’t impress anyone. Buy a good caravan friendly set of ‘crockery’. A 16-piece Melamine set for around £30 should suffice. An ordinary cutlery set will do. And buy a Spork for when a fork or spoon goes missing.
You’ll regret it if you don’t have one. A hard, rubber-headed mallet, wrench, small crowbar, screwdriver and socket sets should be enough for common problems.
First aid kit
You should always have a first aid kit in your car, but buy one for the caravan, too, so it’s instantly to hand. Make sure everyone knows where it is. If you have to move it, put it back in its usual place when you’ve finished with it. Replace any item you’ve used as soon as possible.
Caravan leisure battery
No caravaner will leave home without a leisure battery. Around £60 for 70ah, £90 for 115ah. And keep it charged!
Read our guide to leisure batteries.
A dry powder fire extinguisher is essential. It will cope with small category B and C fires, including petrol, diesel, cooking fats and flammable gases, (including butane). It may save your caravan, or even your life.
Fitted to the side of a caravan, a full awning can more than double your living area. Canopy and porch awnings don’t offer the same living space, so it’s a matter of weighing cost against space required. And remember to buy an awning groundsheet. You wouldn’t go camping in a tent without one.
A coolbox is an obvious accessory for summer travelling. However, acquiring ice or freezing the coolbox tablets could be a problem. For around £80 you can buy a battery charged box. A good investment.
Bedding or sleeping bags
Duvets vs sleeping bags – the sleeping dilemma. You decide, but whichever you prefer, try to avoid using them for outside use. If they get damp you’re in for an uncomfortable night’s sleep.
Don't forget to consider the security of your caravan. Read our guide products that prevent caravan theft.
Once you're ready, check out the excellent cover offered by Saga Caravan Insurance.
Do you have a caravan accessory you never leave home without? Let us know in the comment section below.