If you have recently purchased a caravan, you must be eagerly looking forward to hitting the open road in your caravan. There is nothing quite like exploring and travelling freely on your own terms.
However, while the travelling part seems exciting and fun, it does not mean you should venture out into the unknown without any preparation, particularly if it is your first time managing a big rig on the road.
From choosing a destination and making an itinerary to planning a budget and preparing your vehicle, there is quite a lot that goes into planning a caravan trip.
Read this article to learn a few helpful tips you can use to plan your caravan trips and routes and have a fun-filled and memorable tour. We have provided a step-by-step list you can follow for better management.
Where to Go- Choosing a Destination
The first obvious question you must ask yourself is where you want to go. Travelling in a caravan is like having a hotel on wheels as you are not dependent on external amenities like accommodation when you travel by car.
This gives you the freedom to go places you cannot consider otherwise, so you have broader choices.
Regardless, you must have a destination to plan the route accordingly. You must also keep in mind the budget you can use for your excursion and plan your travel according to your resources.
It is an important consideration since you must be prepared beforehand and have the requisite knowledge before you embark on the trip.
Which Route to Take- Mapping an Itinerary
Once you have a destination in mind, the next obvious step is to map an itinerary. The notion of venturing out towards places unknown in your vehicle with a vague plan and a map may seem adventurous, but it can be stressful, especially if you are travelling with family.
You must take into account various details like the driving time, stopovers, etc. Usually, the most direct routes are via the highway, but if you want the journey to be enjoyable and view the sights, consider taking the scenic routes.
While navigation apps like Google Maps can be very useful, you can also consider dedicated RV trip planning apps or websites like RV Trip Wizard or RV Plan that you can use for information on the routes, campgrounds along the way, etc.
Determine the non-negotiable places you want to visit and loosely map an itinerary around these spots. At the same time, we recommend being a little flexible when it comes to the planning part.
You may want to add a few stopovers as you travel to accommodate the places you had not earlier considered. Unexpected adventures can happen anytime, so do not get overly stressed about following a rigid timeline or sticking to a strict schedule.
Another important aspect you must consider when planning the itinerary is the season when you will travel. Your planned stops or layovers, packing, and all relevant aspects must include the weather you will encounter during the trip.
Gearing for the Trip- Preparing the Vehicle
Once you have mapped out your itinerary, scheduled your stops, and decided on a destination, you must focus your attention on getting your vehicle and yourself travel-ready. If you are unfamiliar with towing a vehicle, you must ensure you are prepared before you begin the journey.
Towing a vehicle requires knowledge, skill, and experience, and you must familiarize yourself with all the relevant aspects, so road management is easy.
There are dedicated courses for on and off-road towing, which you can consider, particularly if the planned trip is a long one. You can also take a few short trips for practice before taking a long trip.
Moreover, if you plan to visit remote places, getting some first-aid training will also be helpful.
The next step is to prepare your vehicle for the trip, as it will be working hard towing your caravan for an extended time period, and you do not want it to break down during the journey.
It can be quite a hassle if you are stuck somewhere in a remote location. Schedule your car for servicing, and if required, get your van serviced too. This may include checking the appliances, like the AC, fridge, stove, etc.
What to Take Along for the Trip
Lastly, you must consider what to pack for your trip. An important consideration in this regard is the legal weight limit of the caravan and the weight you can tow. For this purpose, you must consider the water capacity of the caravan as well as whether it is part of the payload.
Consider packing the bare minimum needed to function and stay comfortable. This will include clothing according to the weather, kitchen staples, and mess kits according to the number of people travelling.
Remember to pack a few books, toys, and board games while travelling with your family. Once packed, you can take your loaded caravan to a public weighbridge to ensure you are within the legal weight limit.
How Do I Plan a Caravan Trip for Beginners?
If it is your first time travelling in a caravan, you must pick a destination and your travel duration and plan your routes accordingly. You must also ensure you have the requisite skills for towing a caravan and that your vehicle is ready for towing.
Next, you must pack the essential clothing and grocery staples you will need according to your trip duration and the number of people travelling with you.
Can I Use Google Maps for Rv Travel?
You can use Google Maps, dedicated RV route planning apps, or travel websites. You can create an interactive road map to add stops and campsites, save it for your use, and make it available to the public.