Tips for first time caravan travellers

Caravan travel is a lot of fun. Not only do you get to visit beautiful parts of Australia, but you get to do it in complete comfort. It's one of the reasons caravan enthusiasts are so passionate about travelling this way.

Today, newer caravans are designed for ease of set up and every comfort in mind. In fact, they’re so well designed, that the most difficult task is picking the perfect campsite! Set up is designed to be simple, beds are comfortable, fridges are generous, and vans come with all the latest electrics and connectivity. They also have toilets and even showers on board. If you’re new to caravanning, there are a few things to learn, that will make travelling even better. Read on to discover our tips for travelling in a caravan.

The basics​

There are always variations between different models of caravan and there are some basic processes you’ll need to learn when you first hire a caravan. The great thing is, when you hire from us, we take you through everything. We’ll cover off the proper process for hitching up and setting up your van onsite, and also take you through connecting to utilities and using the awning on your caravan.  By the time you set out on your holiday, you’ll feel confident about what you need to do. Plus, we provide detailed instructions in each caravan if you need help.

At your induction we take you through:

  • Choosing a site
  • Hitching up
  • Levelling the van
  • Lowering stabiliser legs
  • Connecting to site services
  • Setting up the awning

Tips for when you're on the road

When you hire one of our caravans, all you need to pack is clothing, food and bedding. Because all our vans come with pots, pans, cutlery and dishes, packing is simple.

Before you hit the road, you’ll need to consider where you want to stay.There are lots of options, depending on your family or group needs and the types of facilities you want.

Staying in National Parks

Australia is lucky to have so many protected national parks to enjoy. Staying in a national park allows you to experience nature up close in some of Australia’s most unspoilt wilderness, and still have all your luxuries close at hand. The facilities in national parks vary, based on the size and popularity of the park. Major parks in popular holiday destinations all provide good facilities. Search for specific national parks and details at Parks Victoria, or National Parks NSW.

Fires: There’s nothing quite like staring into the flickering flames of a fire in the outdoors. If you stay in national parks, taking firewood from the surrounding area is illegal. If you want a fire, you will need to plan ahead and bring your own firewood.

Rubbish: In many national parks, including any free camping locations, there are no rubbish bins. Any rubbish you bring in, you will need to take with you when you depart. Because plans can change, it’s a good idea to always have a good supply of rubbish bags, just in case. Look for products with less packaging and make sure to clean out any empty containers to keep rubbish smells to a minimum.

Staying in Holiday Parks

These days, some of the large private holiday parks like Big4, Discovery Parks and Top Parks are more like small resorts. Most have great facilities and cater to different ages. Some parks are family oriented, with fully equipped playgrounds, with pools and trampolines as well as all sorts of scheduled activities to keep children entertained. And it’s not just families that are catered for. Retirees love traveling and many parks have fantastic facilities for older travellers.

With a range of high quality facilities large parks are perfect for longer stays. Many also offer very attractive loyalty programs, which provide good value for money and discounted rates for members.

Everyday Living

When you hire a van with us, everyday living is easy. All our vans are equipped with good sized kitchens and all the essential equipment for cooking each day. They also come with air conditioning and heating to keep you cool in summer and snuggly warm in winter, and you’ll find all the power outlets you need for charging devices. After selecting a site and connecting services, there’s nothing more to do. Find a favourite spot, put your feet up…you’ve arrived!

Below you’ll find a few helpful everyday tips to make you caravan holiday even better.

Awning Safety: Most of the time when you’re away camping, you’ll have your awning out. Awnings are fragile and can be easily damaged by strong wind and storms. They are also quite expensive to repair or replace. When it comes to protecting your awning, there are a few precautions. Always wind up your awning at night. Even if the weather is fine when you go to bed, there is always a chance of a change of conditions during the night. Keep an eye on the weather forecast and always wind up the awning if a storm is forecast. Finally, if you are planning on being away from you caravan for an extended period of time, we also recommend playing it safe and retracting your awning.

Saving Water: When you’re on the road, you will inevitably become aware of maintaining an adequate water supply – particularly if you are off grid. All our caravans provide enough water storage for two to three days away from a supply. If you are going for longer, we can provide extra storage containers.

You may be surprised by how much water you use in a day. As a general guide, each person needs around 2 litres per day. A shower uses about 20 litres and washing up and cooking another 5 – 7 litres. The good news is that there are lots of ways to save water.

Most sinks in caravans are generously sized these days. To save water, avoid filling the sink to the top. Fill it only a third or half full, or fill a smaller container inside the sink. You can also catch the shower water that is normally wasted and just goes down the drain, just before it heats up. Mix it with some extra hot water from the kettle when you need it for washing and cleaning.

Like at home, having shorter showers will cut down on water use. For extra savings, think about whether or not you actually need to shower every day – particularly in cooler weather.

Need More Water? All caravans at Victorian Caravan Hire have a 164 litre water capacity. If you plan on being away from a water source for long periods, we also provide additional 20 litre storage containers.


Managing your power usage when you’re travelling in a caravan is important. If you’re staying at holiday parks, you’ll always have 240 volt power, but sometimes you may want to go off grid.

If you’re looking to save power, the biggest power use will come from the air conditioner, heater and microwave. In fact, if you’re off grid and using solar, you won’t be able to run these, or any extra fridge or a C-Pop machine. For extra power, you can supplement your power with a generator. A helpful tip to get the maximum performance from your battery is to keep it charged at 75%.

All caravans at Victorian Caravan Hire come with fixed solar panels on the roof, ready for off grid travelling.

Going Off Grid?Victorian Caravan Hire can set you up with everything you need if you want to be off grid, including solar, extra water storage or a generator.

Make a checklist

A great tip for packing up when you’re caravanning is to create a checklist. Everything has its place when you’re travelling in a caravan and a checklist will help ensure you don’t miss anything. We recommend including absolutely everything on the list at first, and you can edit as your routine develops.

Do your research

There’s plenty of ways to find and review the best holiday parks and camping locations when you’re travelling around Australia. You’ll also learn about great locations from the people you meet. WikiCamps Australia is a useful app to download. It allows you to search for holiday parks, toilets, showers, water taps and  read reviews – even when you’re offline.

Pitch in and help

Tidying your caravan is easy and you’ll discover a place for everything. Cooperation and working as a team is important. Try giving the kids some daily chores to complete each day – even if it’s just making beds, putting their clothes away or keeping their devices and activities within their own area of the van. If you follow a pack up checklist, you can allocate tasks and encourage everyone to participate.

Need something else? At Victorian Caravan Hire you can add extra accessories and little luxuries to your caravan hire. Choose from a generator, extra water bottles, bike racks, chairs and tables – even a coffee machine.

Ready to book a holiday?

Are you ready to book your next adventure? At Victorian Caravan Hire we have a wide choice of Jayco and Avan caravans to suit couples and families or groups up to six people. We have poptops and full sized caravans, with a range of layouts and sleeping options, and all the latest amenities.  Ask us about our optional add-ons that allow you to customise your adventure.

We are conveniently located at 865 Springvale Road Braeside, close to Dandenong, Berwick, Pakenham, Glen Waverley, and Ferntree Gully. Our regular customers come from all across Melbourne and regional Victoria to hire our caravans. Browse our range of caravans for hire.

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