Grey nomad tips: How to pack your caravan properly

Source: Getty

Heading off on the open road for a caravanning holiday is a rite of passage for many baby boomers. But unlike other holidays where you are travelling by plane and only have to worry about which clothes to pack, caravanning takes a little more organisation to plan.

There’s a lot to pack into a small space – pots, pans, cleaning products and food, just to name a few — and the last thing you want is to feel claustrophobic in your home on wheels. Before you head off on your next adventure Starts at 60 spoke to Heather Gibson, the director of lifestyle management company Finer Details, to get her expert advice for efficient caravan packing.

Understanding caravan weight distribution.

According to Heather, one of the most common mistakes made by those new to life on the road is the tendency to overpack. Caravans have certain weight requirements that need to be met in order to ensure that both your car and caravan are stable.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be well-prepared, but overpacking can cause your caravan to wobble on the road and potentially become a road hazard.

When packing your caravan Heather says heavy items should go in your car or on the floor in the middle of the caravan over the axle.

The rule of thumb when it comes to packing a caravan properly is to have heavy stuff at the bottom and light stuff stored at the top.

Source: Getty

Nifty caravan storage and packing hacks.

Storing items properly in your van is paramount to decreasing damage and mess. Here are a few handy hacks to make the most out of your new living space.

  • Velcro- Velcro is the perfect thing to use to make sure all your items stay in place. You can use them for sticking remotes on the wall or for making sure things like curtains and shower screens are kept in place.
  • Rolling towels– you may not think it, but rolling your towels significantly takes up less space than having them folded up. Not only that, but it also means your towels are more securely kept.
  • Stackable storage– having pots, pans and storage containers that are collapsable or stackable is also a big space saver. This also ensures that nothing moves around and things have their own dedicated space.
  • Wall suction storage solutions– there’s only so much space you can use on your floor, where possible consider using wall suction storage to help free up space. This is especially useful for freeing up your kitchen worktop and is a practical storage solution for soaps, shampoos, and brushes.
  • Stubby holders – you’ll likely be bringing a few stubbies with you during your travels on the road. When you aren’t using them to hold your ice-cold beverage, they’re great for storing glassware. This prevents your glasses from banging around your caravan and breaking.
  • Drawer liners/ suction mat– if you’re concerned about things moving around your cupboards, consider using drawer liners. This will help ensure minimal item movement happens.

Keeping food fresh on the road.

Making sure your food is stored correctly can save waste, so it is worth thinking about the best ways to store your food while you travel.

  • Airtight and clear containers– Clear pantry containers are an excellent storage solution for dry goods kept in your caravan kitchen. Using clear containers with airtight lids also means that things like flour, pasta and sugar are kept fresh for longer.
  • Vac lock for freezer space– when keeping things like poultry or other food that is meant to be kept chilled, use vacuum seal locks or zip locks to individually store items to ensure that you’re only taking out as much as you need without risking spoiling the other frozen goods.

Other essentials items to pack.

  • First aid kit – You never know what accidents you might end up getting into during your travels, so ensuring you have a first aid kit packed is an absolute must. This way you can handle emergencies as quickly as possible.
  • Headlamp- If you’re an outdoor enthusiast it’s key to be prepared for any situation and always have good lighting with you. While flashlights are great, headlamps allow you to put your hands to better use.
  • SPF – whether you’re on the road or not planning on travelling interstate, SPF is something you should constantly have with you. Quality SPF will help you prevent sunburns and minimises the damaging effects of UV rays on maturing skin.
  • Extra prescription medication- If you’re thinking about visiting outback locations you may want to consider packing a few extra supplies of your medication. You never know when you’ll need more and the nearest GP or chemist might be in another town over.
  • A sense of humour-  Though your new life on the road is no doubt going to be one big adventure, you’re bound to face a few hiccups every now and again. It’s important to try and see the brighter side of the situation.

Are you planning a caravanning holiday? What tips do you have for packing your caravan properly?

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