caravan in field

Caravan Essentials Checklist

Planning your first caravanning trip is an exciting time, luckily nowadays, holidaymakers are spoilt for choice with the many different campsites to visit both locally and overseas. Although you may be eager to set off, there are key pieces of equipment you must invest into and keep on board to not only guarantee comfort, but also to remain safe throughout your travels.

To take the weight of researching and compiling your own list off your shoulders, we have devised the ultimate caravan essentials checklist to give you an insight into what your first purchases should be.

Caravan Essentials Checklist: What Do I Need To Pack?

For many, a caravan is a home from home, perfectly equipped with furniture, decorations and utilities to create a welcoming, comfortable environment to spend the holidays.

If you have recently purchased your first caravan, it may come as a shock the extensive of equipment required just for one trip. There is a long list of essentials that must be packed before you can consider homely finishing touches, the most important of which we have included below.

Water Pump

Water is vital for everyday living, whether this may be for drinking, cooking or washing, so you want there to be an easily accessible water source while travelling in your caravan. Most caravans come with a pump which can be connected to your water container, how always check just in case.

The flow rate of your water pump will depend on whether you have a shower on board or not. If you have a shower, you will need a high flow rate, but if not, a lower flow rate will be sufficient.

If your caravan does not come with a water pump, not to worry, take a look at this handy guide to help to find the best option for you.

hand running under water

Fire Extinguisher

Fire safety is vital no matter where you are; all passengers must be safe at all times while travelling, so a fire extinguisher should be one of your first purchases. In many cases, companies will not insure you if you cannot prove you have the correct fire safety equipment on board.

It is critical to ensure that you have the correct type of fire extinguisher on board. Although a dry powder fire extinguisher is effective for extinguishing all types of fires, it is not safe to use in a confined space, therefore cannot be used in a caravan. Instead, aim to purchase an AFFF foam fire extinguisher.

In the event of a fire, make sure that everyone on board is safely outside the caravan before you attempt to tackle the flames or save possessions.

fire extinguisher

Towing Mirrors

Adding towing mirrors to your caravan is a legal requirement to ensure that you need visibility standards and minimise blind spots. Your mirrors must allow you to see a minimum of 4 metres wide from the side of your caravan and 20 metres behind the driver’s seat.

Towing mirrors are easy to install and attach to your vehicle’s existing exterior mirrors, usually through a clamp that can be tightened until secure.

First Aid Kit

Spending your holiday’s camping in the wilderness will mean that a few extra additions will need to be made to your basic first aid kit. Although you may look super over-prepared, you will be thankful if you end up needing first aid equipment.

Along with the basics such as plasters, bandages, sterile wipes and gauze pads, you’ll also want to add things like:

  • Aftersun if you’re camping in the Summer or abroad
  • Hydrocortisone cream for insect bites, stings and heat rashes
  • Eyedrops for those who suffer from pollen allergies
  • Triple antibiotic ointment to stop infections in cuts or scrapes

first aid kit

Gas Cylinders & Regulators

Both a gas cylinder and regulator will be required to cook and also to heat your caravan. When chosing a gas cylinder, you will be given a choice between propane or butane. If you want to be energy efficient, aim to use butane in colder weather conditions and propane in the warmer months. However, if you opt for buying cylinders in bulk, propane is the most popular choice as it can be used all year round.

A regulator is used to reduce the gas pressure to make sure that only the exact amount of gas required to fuel the appliance is pumped through from the cylinder.

Wheel Clamp

Fitting a caravan wheel clamp will not only add extra security to your vehicle, but also stop the caravan from rolling on uneven surfaces while you are parked stationary. You are also likely to benefit from a reduction on your insurance through purchasing and fitting a wheel clamp.

Kitchen Essentials

If you plan to use your caravan regularly, it may pay to invest in kitchen utensils you can keep in your motorhome at all times. Start with essentials such as cutlery, a dinner set, kettle, chopping board, pots and pans. Once you’ve got yourself comfortable, you can then consider purchasing decorative items.

Basic sets of kitchen essentials can be purchased at a low price from popular retailers such as IKEA and The Range.

woman cooking in caravan

Hitch Lock

A hitch lock is mainly used as a visible theft deterrent and will eliminate the risk of your caravan being unhooked and stolen. The type of hitch lock you purchase will depend on the caravan model and the weight you wish to tow. Many caravanners take along their hitch when on the search for a lock to test out different sizes to find the best fit.


If you simply cannot live without the comfort of electricity during your stay, then ensuring that you have the correct equipment to use appliances is vital. When it comes to caravan electricity, you have two options; use your own power pack or hook up to the sites mains.

Using your own power pack would be the best option if you have set up camp away from any form of mains connection and are not on a commercial campsite. Your power pack will come in the form of a leisure battery, which is capable of power devices up to 12 volts.

On the other hand, staying on a commercial campsite means that you can book a pitch that has electrical hook-ups. Most campsites provide a supply of up to 230 volts, which is relatively the same as your electricity at home. You must purchase an electric hook-up kit, which will include everything required to power your caravan.

mains connected to caravan

Follow Our Guide To Caravan Essentials

Following our guide to the basic caravan essentials will help to guarantee maximum safety during your trip and also mean you can enjoy a luxury experience without any electrical or water-related issues.

If you are yet to take gain your B+E licence and eager to get behind the wheel, we have many different caravan training courses tailored to you. Contact Pure Driving to get booked in!

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