Camping and caravan: Common mistakes to avoid on the road – ‘don’t leave without it!’

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Camping trips are becoming more popular than ever, especially with travel restrictions still in place. A camping or caravan trip can be the best option for those seeking to explore the great British outdoors with friends and family.

But before heading into nature, Britons should take into consideration some important tips to ensure a successful and safe road trip.

Vehicle expert and Wessex Fleet Director, Simon Naylor, shared the most common mistakes people make when planning their upcoming camping trip, especially those who are going for the first time.

He stressed the importance of taking enough time to prepare your car before you head off in order to avoid “a whole world of holiday hassle”.

“Organisation is key! Allow plenty of time for preparation and packing (and don’t forget your caravan or camper needs servicing, just as your car does).

“It’s especially important to make sure your car (or camper) is in top notch condition if you’re loaded up for a trip.

“You don’t want to unpack everything beside the road so you can get to the tool kit or spare tyre just because you failed to do a few simple checks before you left home.

“Your family won’t thank you for the oversight!”

According to the expert, the weight of your caravan is very important and you should aim for even weight distribution when you’re packing so you maintain stability on the road.

“Plus, remember that caravans have a legal load limit. Go over it and your insurance will be invalid,” he said.

Caravans are very heavy vehicles, that’s why paying attention to the tyres is crucial.

“You’ll probably have your nearest and dearest on board – so pay particular attention to the tyres, checking the tread and looking for bulges.

“Older vans often drink oil, so check fluid levels and carry some spare.

He continued: “Don’t leave home without a full size or space saver tyre and make room for a few essentials (like headlight bulbs and fuses) so you can make a quick and easy fix if it’s needed.”

Going on a camping trip is exciting but Simon warned it’s very easy to get distracted while driving your caravan.

“Manage distractions,” the expert added.

“Vans are great fun, but it can be really distracting for the driver if the family are playing games or messing about in the back.”

He also advised taking some time to familiarise yourself with the road before heading off.

“Take some time to look at the route in advance, rather than just punching a postcode into the sat nav as you set off.

“Think about how many breaks you’ll need to take, factoring in how many drivers there are, as well as the ages and needs of your passengers.

“It’s not always easy to follow sat nav directions on unfamiliar roads at the end of a long journey, when everyone’s tired and the kids are bored and fractious,” he explained.

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