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Planning your first caravan trip is an exciting time but you would be forgiven for feeling a little bit nervous too. Once you have been away once or twice in your caravan, you know exactly what to expect, how to prepare and what essentials you need to take with you.
On that first trip out, you might be worried about how to make sure everything goes smoothly, so you can concentrate on enjoying your trip.
Fortunately, we have been caravanning for decades and have been supplying the caravan community with their caravan trip essentials for many years too. So, we are in a great position to share with you the tips that will ensure that your first caravan adventure is the perfect getaway you have been looking forward to.
These are our top 10 tips:
1. Choose a highly rated site with good facilities
For your first trip in your caravan, it will make everything easier if you have a site with helpful staff, good facilities and one that has a nearby shop, in case you need to buy something you forgot. Take a look at the online reviews for the different sites, as you will find that you might need some advice and help from the site staff while you get used to everything.
2. Watch videos on coupling your car and caravan
This is the part that a lot of new caravanners get nervous about, making sure that the coupling is done correctly and safely. You should be able to find a few videos on YouTube from experts for the type of caravan you have.
3. Make a checklist
Writing out a checklist of all the items you need to take will help to make sure you do not forget anything important. Essential items include:
- Towing mirrors
- Water carrier
- Wastewater carrier
- Electric hook-up lead
- Gas bottle
- Rear number plate
- Hitch lock and wheel clamp
- Caravan step
- Wheel chocks and blocks
- Fire extinguisher
- First aid kit
- Tool kit
Once you have been on your first caravan adventure, you might find you need to add some more items to your checklist for future trips.
4. Carefully plan your journey and rest stops
If you are driving a far distance to your chosen site, make sure you have mapped out your journey, preferably using live traffic data to show if there are any current roadworks or diversions. On the day of your journey, map it out again to see if any problems require you to find an alternative route. Reversing a caravan is a niche skill, so it is better to make sure you do not go down any wrong turnings! You should also plan out regular rests from driving at service stations.
5. Check your tyres
Before going on any long journeys, you should check your car tyres and it is even more important to check your caravan tyres too.
6. Pack items securely
Remember if you are carrying items like plates and glasses, you should pack them safely and secure them, so they are not sliding backwards and forwards. Heavy items should be loaded low down and be placed directly above the axle.
7. Practice manoeuvring your caravan
In the weeks leading up to your trip, take your caravan out for some practice drives, so you can get more used to manoeuvring. An empty car park is a good place to get some practice in.
8. Practice putting your awning up
Another action you might want to try before you set off on your adventures is putting your awning up, so you get the hang of it. Otherwise, you might spend a large part of your first day battling with your awning instead of enjoying your holiday.
9. Check the weather forecast
It is always a good idea to check the weather forecast before your trip, so you can pack the appropriate types of clothing, but it is also important to expect the unexpected! Even if the weather is forecast as warm and sunny, pack some warm clothes and waterproofs just in case
10. Use a towing jacket
A good towing jacket will ensure that the front of your caravan is protected from stones and dirt on your journey, so you can arrive at the site with your clean new caravan.
Pro-Tec is the top choice for caravan covers and towing jackets and we are also here to provide any advice and guidance you need from keeping your caravan in top condition, to the best sites to choose for your next adventure.
Shop Pro-Tec towing jackets here.
Since our HQ and factory is based in Bradford, it is only right that we share some great caravan sites in Yorkshire with you all! Yorkshire is filled with rural beauty and picturesque sights, so it will make an excellent destination for exploring the UK this summer.
Allow us to proudly introduce you to some brilliant caravan sites based in Yorkshire…
Bolton Abbey Caravan Park, Skipton, North Yorkshire
Located in an open glade decorated with woodland and the Yorkshire Dales, this site attracts a lot of wildlife so it’s also great for the nature lovers. Expect to see ducks, pheasants and squirrels joining you on your trip! The local town of Skipton is nearby, so you can explore the historic town for days you feel like venturing out. There’s plenty of options for food, drink and shopping within close proximity.
There are long footpaths through the moors, woods and farmlands which will make the perfect setting for your strolls. Plus, there are some dog walks included so your furry friends can join in too.
Hawes Club Site, Hawes, North Yorkshire
This site is located in the beautiful Wensleydale and has brilliant views to offer (and yes, it is where the famous cheese has been made for almost a century!). Hawes had a redevelopment in 2017 and now offers an incredible stay with 10 serviced pitches.
Nearby is the market town of Hawes as well as the Yorkshire Dales National Park, so this is also a great option for anybody looking to explore the wonderful nature of the UK. The market town of Hawes offers cosy, traditional pubs galore where you can enjoy some tasty, warming food after a long day of exploring.
Scarborough West Ayton, Scarborough, North Yorkshire
This is a great option for families as the Scarborough West Ayton site offers great amenities for the little ones.
The site boasts great amenities and activities for families including walking and cycling paths, horse riding, a games pavilion, pool tables, table tennis and outdoor play facilities to name a few. There’s also dog walks on-site and nearby so all of the family can get involved!
Nearby is also some lovely pubs and restaurants which will be great for unwinding in after a day of activities. Not only that but you also have some great amenities within Scarborough, which is an easy distance from the site – including a sea life centre, funfair, and the RSPB reserve at Bempton Cliff.
Hebden Bride Site, Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire
This site has recently had a redevelopment which means visitors can experience the new features such as a new reception and more choice of all-weather pitches.
This is definitely more of a tranquil option compared to the other suggestions so far, with it being nestled neatly away from busy roads and dotted by a bordering stream. Nearby you can explore the Victorian style shops or for the artier types, you can visit the local craft centre.
You have easy access to the Haworth Parsonage, where the legendary Bronte sisters lived and worked. Not only that but there is also the Moors, the Pennine Way and Hardcastle Crags within close proximity.
Bridlington Caravan Site, Bridlington, East Riding
If you want a coastal stay this summer, look no further than Bridlington Caravan Site. Offering over 81 all-weather pitches this extended site has plenty to offer both on-site and nearby.
The site offers excellent facilities for dog walking, as well as keeping you in close proximity to the attractions of the surrounding area including a lovely farm shop nearby.
Just some of the attractions nearby included Sewerby Hall, Flamborough Head, North Bay and The Jorvik Viking Centre.
Wharfedale Caravan Site, Skipton, North Yorkshire
Perfect for families who want to leisurely explore the rural countryside Yorkshire has to offer. This site is set in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales and offers a real escape from everyday life, guarded by stately trees. On-site you will find numerous walking paths where you can take in the beautiful surrounding countryside.
Here, you are nearby Grassington which is one of the most picturesque villages situated in the Yorkshire Dales. With cobbled streets and a sweet selection of local shops, the destination is perfect for family days out.
The Alders Caravan Park, Alne, North Yorkshire
Set on a working farm in the village of Alne, you will find The Alders Caravan Park – the perfect retreat for a breath of fresh country air. The North Yorkshire countryside is surrounding which makes the site the perfect location for anyone wanting to stroll through glorious countryside.
On-site you can visit the farm shop which has a range of beef, lamb or free-range eggs and for those looking to bring a BBQ, they are welcome on site.
Old Station Caravan Park, Masham, North Yorkshire
This site offers some of Yorkshire’s heritage as it is run by a family on the former railway station in Masham! It’s conveniently located as it is only a 20-minute walk from the town centre, pubs and breweries – meaning there’s always an activity at hand.
On site, this rural caravan site includes a small shop, laundry room, well-maintained heated amenities block and a washing-up point.
Ash Keys Caravan Park, Eshton, North Yorkshire
If you’re looking to bring your dog on your holiday, Ash Keys is a great site as it boasts a large dog exercise area. 5 minutes in the car will land you at the local amenities including pubs, takeaways and small supermarkets in Gargrave. However, the outdoor activities at Ash Keys are endless – whether it’s walking or bike rides directly from the park to join major trails.
Castle Howard Lakeside Park, Coneysthorpe, North Yorkshire
The view over Castle Howard’s Great Lake is enough to entice you to stay at this site but to share some of the other great amenities here; you are a 15-minute walk to Castle Howard and have access to fishing and dog-walking areas on site, as well as being close to a café and farm shop.
Nearby, there are cycle paths, bridleways and hiking trails – so it’s perfect for any outdoor lover!
If you are planning a trip to our lovely hometown of Yorkshire, be sure to bring your towing jacket to keep your vehicle safe on the way. If you don’t have a towing jacket, you run the risk of damaging your caravan. Shop all towing jacket options here.
The end is in site and lockdown is almost over… but have you started planning your post-lockdown getaway yet? Just in case you’re struggling for ideas, we’ve picked out our top 5 coastal sites for the perfect summer staycation!
Pentewen Sands – St Austell, Cornwall…
If you’re looking for the perfect picturesque location, then look no further than Pentewen Sands. Situated on its own private beach in the Mevagissey Bay, this 5-Star holiday park boasts stunning views and crystal-clear waters! With live entertainment in the Seahorse Bar and an indoor water park, Pentewen is ideal for families. And for all the thrill seekers out there, check out the paddle board and water sports area down on the beach!
With motorhome and caravan pitches just a three-minute walk to the sea, you can have the perfect Cornish costal getaway.
Craig Tara – Ayrshire, Scotland…
Are you in need of an action-packed break with plenty of activities to keep the kids occupied? Craig Tara touring park is the place to be this summer! Situated on the Ayrshire coastline, Craig Tara boasts stunning views and direct access to the beach. Being a Haven site, there is always something to do – whether it’s traversing the Lighthouse Harbour Adventure or taking a swim in the multi-level pool complex!
With its range of facilities and holiday packages to suit all budgets, it’s never been easier to escape to the beautiful Scottish coast.
Wheal Rodney – Mount’s Bay, Cornwall…
Do you consider yourself a history buff? Then the Wheal Rodney site is the perfect place for you and your family. Set behind Cornwall’s oldest town, Marazion, Wheal Rodney is just a 20-minute walk to St Michael’s Mount Castle. With a range of shops and stunning scenery, Marazion is the ideal location for hikers and tourists alike!
Did we mention that the site has an indoor, heated pool too?
Penrhyn Bay Caravan Park – Llandudno, Wales…
Awaken your inner explorer on the stunning coastline that is Penrhyn Bay! Recognised as one of the few geoparks in the world, Anglesey boasts a many castles, stately homes and Celtic monuments for you and your family to visit. The site itself has a play area and games room for the kids, as well as a heated indoor swimming pool and outdoor tennis court! For the more seasoned explorers, the park also has a private slipway to sail along the coast.
Brighton Caravan Club – Brighton, England…
Just a short walk from the beautiful town of Brighton, the Brighton Caravan Club is the perfect destination for couples and families alike. The town itself boasts a range of attractions including Brighton Pier, the Royal Pavilion, Electrical Railway and plenty of quirky boutiques – it’s the classic seaside resort that we all know and love!
Our stunning coastlines are the perfect destinations for your summer staycations! Make sure your caravan is protected with the Pro-Tec Towing Jacket. With breathable materials and a soft inner lining, your caravan will be protected against dangerous elements…
Keep your caravan safe with Pro-Tec.
(*but were afraid to ask)
Here at Pro-tec we missed the interaction we get at the NEC caravan and motorhome show and getting to meet our customers old and new, so to help give you that NEC show feeling we have managed to get the boss himself Keith Proctor to take a few minutes out of his busy schedule to answer the most asked questions we receive at the show, some of his answers surprised even us!
Click the link below