Why to choose to do a caravan trip?
Caravan trip holida is a very suitable way to travel for families with children. The Caravan is equipped with everything the family needed - a fully equipped kitchen, electricity, water, toilets, shower and beds. It is also suitable for strolling with babies and small children, providing them a sense of home, permanence and security, allowing babies and small children to sleep during the journey and to wake up refreshed when arriving at the destination. A trip with the caravan also saves many costs: hotel rooms, car rental, restaurants meals and more. This is applied on all destinations where you can rent a caravan: specially Europe, Scandinavia, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
How to get ready to a Caravan trip?
- Gathering information - The more you know about the trip: The route , the necessary preparations you need to make for you and your family needs, the easier and more enjoyable the caravan trip will be for you. You can ask friends, Consult professionals, collect information on the Internet and travel books. Check out every tip and piece of information and recommendations that fits your requirements.
- Planning a head – Plan the trip in the most detailed way, what you want to do and where to visit. Adjust the planning to your family's pace and level of difficulty you can perform. Share all the family planning, so everyone will feel part of the trip, both at the planning stage and on the trip itself. Take in to consideration that travelling with caravan might be much slower then in car, so road which seems to take 30 minutes on the map might take couple of hours when traveling by caravan.
- Book in advance – The world of caravan’s rentals is different from the world of vacation rentals. There are no last minute deals. The sooner you order, the more likely to get the model of caravan you want, at the pick-up station location which you chose, at the most appropriate time, and of course at a cheaper price. Keep in mind that in the caravan's world, booking two months in advance is already too late, especially during peak time periods.
- Cost calculation – when renting a caravan, we need take into consideration in the cost list also:
- RV park or campground – which beside the parking may offer additional services for extra cost, which some like dump services (of the RV wastewater) will assist improving the experience (it's a messy task which need to take place every time RV wastewater are above 50% full).
- During the pickup of the caravan, we'll need to put down a deposit upfront which depending the duration might be expensive (even get to thousands of dollars), and we must take in consideration that the deposit actually reduces our available credit in our credit card.
- Insurance, extra amenities cost, additional renting fees.
- Extra cost for unexpected occurrence.
What to take to this kind of trip?
- Map or even better, GPS application like: Waze, Google map or viamichelin
- In Caravan trips, there is a lot of free time while driving on the roads. So, don’t forget to bring along games, cards, books, creative sets, tablet, laptop (can assist for downloading photos from cameras although most of us might use our cellular camera and cloud service for photo storage) and movies. Most famillies will usually aim to go back to the box games and cards instead of tablets, but always having a tablet nearby can always help as plan B. Try to prepare for the young children presents and surprises that can be divided during the trip, such as coloring books, creative sets or small games.
- Don’t forget that the technology is part of the entertainment plan, make sure to have sufficient battery power for your journey. Choose electronics that offer rechargeable batteries or USB charging ports, Download new apps and games so your child will be excited about trying them out while you'll be touring with the caravan - And a must is making sure to bring headphones for some pease and quiet
- It is advisable to rent a Caravan which is equipped with a bunk bed to allow each child his private corner with their teddy bear, toys, books and decorations. This will increase the children’s sense of home during the trip.
- Bring along familiar items like a favorite stuffed animal, blanket, and pillow. The familiar blanket and pillow will likely help calm children that are upset or cranky.
- Children’s safety:
- For children who still need a barrier in the bed for preventing falling, it is recommended to ask the caravan Rental Company to install a barrier to the bed.
- Child’s car seats: In most of the caravan’s rentals you can also rent a baby safety seat or a child's booster.
- Baby coop: You can bring to the trip a folding coop, but make sure that the coop is sized to allow it to be opened inside the caravan.
- Before you go on a caravan trip in the United States, you should buy a toilet brush and a rag to the floor .It is also recommended to purchase aluminum foil for the hob.
Before hitting the roads:
What to order?
- It is recommended to order a caravan that is rated at one level higher than you think fit, according to the number of people and the arrangement of beds. At the basic level there is a bed for each person, but lacks space to move comfortably. The Family Plus level has bunk beds, a double bed above the cab and a dining area. High-class caravans are equipped with leather upholstery and two shower and toilet cubicles.
- It is recommended to find out how many rental rounds have passed the caravan
- Make sure to ask if there is an air conditioner- Specially on warm places like Australia, New Zealand, South Africa.
- Check what kind of gearbox the caravan has: In US it’s usually auto with gasoline and in Australia it’s manual and diesel based.
What to do when getting the caravan?
External testing: Tests of external walls, storage cells and their contents, stairs, tires, mirrors, flashlights and ext.
- when you get the trailer make sure all the systems are working properly: :kitchen systems like stove, microwave oven, oven, steam receptacle, refrigerator, sink, shower and toilet (hot and cold water, chemical), cabinets, windows, grids , DVD, switches and electrical system, water system, heating and air conditioningLearn how to operate everything. Spend enough time for tests and do not make shortcuts - it will save a lot of aggravation on the trip.
- Check and make sure that any damage in the caravan will be recorded in the appropriate form so that you will not find yourself paying for damages that you did not cause.
- Lease & Insurance: If there is another driver who can drive in the caravan, he/she also must sign the lease, even if they don’t intend to drive. This is in favor of insurance, since in times of distress this driver can replace the main driver, but if he did not sign the Lease, they will not be covered by the insurance company.
- Make sure you get the caravan license, insurance voucher and emergency number of roadside services.
How to deal with the family during the trip?
- If possible, stick to your normal routines while touring. Keep mealtimes, snacks, naps, and bedtimes consistent. While this may not be realistic on the road, maintaining some semblance of your normal schedule may help prevent grumps and temper tantrums.
- Teamwork - share roles among all members of the family, small and large. Anyone can help connect the electricity, open picnic chairs, wash dishes or prepare food. Take advantage of the trip in order to get some family consolidation and joint activities that will enhance your experience.
- Do not make long night trips, sleeping at gas stations or very long days. Enjoy the parking lots on the lakeshore or in the woods, take advantage of the parking facilities and playground facilities.
Handling the caravan during the trip:
In this section, there is no room for spontaneity, because lodging outside a designated parking lot can lead to a high fine. The parking lots in Europe are equipped with a common central facility where you can cook, wash and shower. Many of the sites are on the edge of lakes and have pools. In car parks in the United States, the trailer can be connected to the electricity grid, sewage system, water, internet and cable television.
There are 3 Connection Types at the parking lots:
- Full Hookup - power connection, water filling option and water discharge option.
- Semi Hookup - power connection, water filling option but no water discharge near the stand. Bailing takes place in a central place where everyone comes to Dump Station.
- No Hookup - no connection. Usually in parking lots located within national parks
Furthermore, there are all kind of services that you can get at the parking lot:
- Laundry services :Car parks have washing machines and dryers
- Wi-Fi - Most of the car parks have free Wi-Fi.
- Playgrounds / pools: In many parking lots you can find playgrounds and swimming pools during the summer season.
- Empty black and gray water: Black and gray water should be emptied if they are over 50% full.
- Shower: In addition to the option of taking shower in the caravan you can take shower at the parking lot.
Driving the caravan and safety measurements:
- Caravan fuel consumption is bad - Fuel consumption of the caravan is between 1 liter and 4 km to 1 liter to 7 km. The trailer requires unleaded gasoline.
- This is a long, high and wide vehicle, so take a safety factor:
- Backward driving: never going back without direction, standing by the rear of the caravan.
- Gas stations: Exit the gas station back on the road will be done with the help of aiming with extreme caution in order not to damage the rear part of the caravan.
- At the driveways, there are usually many trees. Be careful not to scratch the caravan from the tree branches.
- Allowed speed: The speed limit is according to speed signs. If there is a special restriction on the speed of a caravan, a sign will indicate this.
- While parking: Check that the windows are closed, the curtains are closed and all external compartments are locked.
Returning the Caravan:
- The trailer should be returned when:
- The caravan is clean and tidy: clean stove, clean floor, clean toilet and shower and empty cupboards.
- The Caravan should be returned fueled as received.
- Gas tank - must be returned with the quantity remaining (unless stated otherwise in the order).
- Water will be restored with the remaining quantity.
- Gray / black water - empty and try not to use the toilet once water was emptied on the last day.
- Take photos of the caravan form all sides inside and outside.
Enjoy the Ride!