Tips and tricks for caravanning –

As time goes by and we learn new things we’ll be adding those tips and tricks for the caravanning world on this page. If you have any good tips to share feel free to add to the comments and we can add them to the page .

Please note : A lot of these tips and tricks may relate more to someone who aims to free camp more so than caravan parks on power sites with endless water.

  • Use your microwave as a breadbox, good way to not take up space in your fridge with loafs of bread and also seems to make them last longer.

  • Wrap meat, You’ll gain so much more space in the freezer if you  un package meat bought from the store and wrap it into sizeable portions with Glad wrap.

    tips for storing meat in your freezer

    Remove packaging

  • Weigh your van, Don’t just load your van and drive. Get it weighed and do it properly not only does it make you legal and safe but also reduces the strain you put on vehicle components.

  • Low power fans – Even though they are pricey ( around $140) Caframo Sirroco fans are very good. They have three speed settings, very quiet , have a timer functions and best of all they draw something tiny like 0.2amps

  • Jayco spares. By yourself a extra carefree awning black knob (you’ll know the one i mean when you put your awning up next) as your bound to forget to do it up one day and lose it like we did. Also a spare brake away brake cable and pin in case someone decides to steal it one day ( if you remove it the relay in the caravan constantly cycles so your best to leave it in and have a spare in case it goes walking.

  • Place TV under the sheets on the bed surrounded by pillows when travelling. If you don’t one day the wall bracket will fall off the wall and take the TV with it.

  • Start a expenses spreadsheet when travelling it’s interesting to see how quickly we spend money on junk. I have a auto calculating spreadsheet i’ve made up but not yet finished, will publish it once i’m happy.

  • When showering in your van get wet, turn off shower , soap up, turn water on and wash off. once you’ve done it a few times you’ll notice how much water we waste in daily life by having it running for 5 or 10 minutes when we are just standing there.

  • Get a inverter (unless you plan to only be in caravan parks), A inverter is a unit that draws 12volts DC from your batteries and turns it into 240volt AC. So basically makes your 12volt batteries act like a household wall socket for running normal 3 pin appliances like laptop chargers and toasters and hair dryers. DO some research on what size will suit you but as a tip… a 300watt inverter is usually adequate to charge phones and laptops and run a 240v TV if that’s what you choose to do. To run toasters and coffee machines and microwaves i’d suggest a 2000watt inverter.

  • Beer, Buy cans instead of bottles. Saves on space when disposing and you can squeeze more cans into some random storage spaces.

  • Grease your balls – OK that probably come out wrong but…. put a little bit of grease on your towball before hooking up, reduces wear on the ball and helps it pivot and reduces squeaking.

  •  WikiCamps – The best $7 or $8 you’ll ever spend is getting the wikicamps app from google play store. It marks out all the paid and free camp sites around Oz with user reviews and pricing and hints and tips. Well worth it.

  • Levelling blocks – DO get yourself some levelling blocks and a level spirit. Most places you stay aren’t perfectly level and the idea is to make your van sit level so your three way fridge works properly if you have one and also so that sinks drain properly and when doing dishes the run off water doesn’t head off down the back of the bench top. Our Drawbar is hard to find a consistent smooth place for the spirit level (bubble gauge)  to read properly so we base it on how level the sink top is.

  • Gas fitting – If you have a option to get a gas bayonet fitted to your van before purchase then do so, it’s a convenient option for plugging in the BBQ for the snags and steak.

  • Tissue box – Use a empty tissue box to store rolled up grocery bags. It’s tidy and compact and easily stored.

    tips on storing bags

    Store you plastic bags

  • Mirror bag – If you buy a set of Milenco extended mirrors ( which incidentally i recommend as they have a good strong mounting system, easy to look through and don’t shake like a naked eskimo) then use it to carry your 15amp, 20 metre long power cord in as it fits nicely 🙂

  • Oven temperatures

  • 140C = 275F = Gas Mark 1

  • 150C = 300F = Gas Mark 2

  • 160C = 325F = Gas Mark 3

  • 180C = 350F = Gas Mark 4

  • 190C = 375F = Gas Mark 5

  • 200C = 400F = Gas Mark 6

  • 210C = 425F = Gas Mark 7

  • 220C = 450F = Gas Mark 8

  • 240C = 475F = Gas Mark 9

  • Stabilizer legs – Try and aim to point your stabilizer legs towards the back of the van when travelling that way in the event that you haven’t locked them in place properly they are more likely to bounce off the road than dig into the road and catapult the van 🙂
  • Travel times – if like us you have no set itinerary, we like to travel no more than a average of 200km, any more and we find you miss too much of the country.
  • Power cord rubber band – Put a rubber band around your 15 amp power lead. Reason being is when it gets windy the flap that usually covers the power point when not plugged in starts bouncing on the power cord and bangs all night long. Putting a rubber band around the power cord allows you to stretch it over the flap to stop it knocking in the wind.
  • Water taps – For $10 at mitre ten or bunning,s in the plumbing section you can buy a 4 way tap key sometimes called a anti vandal tap. It has 4 different connection fittings to turn on and off some taps with no handles at various sites. Suggest putting on in your glovebox. 🙂
  • Fresh water tanks contaminated ? – Use “Milton” a baby bottle sanitiser found in grocery stores for around $6. One bottle will do about 80 litres of water ( which is a average van water tank size). Pour it into a full tank, then turn on your kitchen and bathroom tanks to circulate a bit of water through the lines then leave it for a hour or so. Drain all tanks and fill with fresh water. Cleans up the system pretty good. We had to do this once when algae was building up in the lines from using rain water tanks on a farm sit.

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    • LazLaz
    • March 19, 2017

    We also have a Q&A page now which has extra tips and hints, check it out here –>

    • Ray
    • August 20, 2017

    You have orange writing at the start of your comments which is hard to read, you need more contrast between the writing & the background.
    I have also found that bread will go off & get mouldy very quickly. If you keep you hands out of the packet, it will stay clean until it’s all gone, & you don’t have to freeze it. Just use tongs. This works at home as well as caravanning, too.

      • LazLaz
      • August 21, 2017

      Thanks Ray, we’ll give the tong and bread idea a go. In fact think i’ll make a toasted sandwich now just to try it out 🙂

  1. Reply

    What is the best way to “weigh” your van – about to head off in a couple of weeks and worried about weight distribution between car and van – although we have a very heavy generator in back of car – have a Isuzu D-Max..??
    Thanks for your help.

      • LazLaz
      • March 22, 2018

      Hi Cheryl, Weighing your van can simply be done by locating a local weighbridge in your area. However the trick is not to be overweight getting there so suggest loading with bare essentials first then weighing it and that will let you know how more you can put in.
      Weight distribution is something to look at once you know your van on its own is not over weight when loaded. We did a write up on weight distribution hitches and how to check if you need one. . Basically if you connect your van to your Isuzu and the back end drops more than say 20-25mm or the front end raises more than 20-25mm then you should look deeper into weight distribution or the reasons for it.

      Hope that helps

    • Brenda
    • June 30, 2018

    Any recommendations for Antennae – we are after a simple but effective way of picking up free to air tv.

      • SueSue
      • July 3, 2018

      Hi Brenda,
      Unfortunately we can’t help you with this. We use the antennae provided on our Jayco and it works great. I have put the question out on our Facebook page. Head over and see they can help.

    • Dennis
    • May 19, 2019

    Top Tips guys.
    Just refreshed myself with another read….
    Thanks again.

    • Pep
    • January 12, 2020

    What do people use to flush their RV toilets with??

    • Martin
    • February 15, 2020

    Just ordering our first new van ( big enough for touring ) and feeling a little overwhelmed, glad I found your site full of very useful information for a couple of novice caravaners .

      • LazLaz
      • February 15, 2020

      Your welcome, Exciting times ahead for you… hope to see you on the road one day

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