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7 Tips for Smarter Packing

As we enter Spring and hopefully exit lockdown (for some of us) we thought it was a great time to share our top tips for smarter (and safer) packing.

If you’re anything like us, when you finally pull up to your campsite you’re just itching to get set up and settled in, drink and nibbles at the ready. But if you’re anything like some of us, the excitement of hitting the road might have you packing all the gear in the van with a “she’ll be right” attitude only to realise she won’t be right when you get to the other end.

Packing isn’t exactly fun, (especially if you can’t decide what to pack) but if it’s done right, it saves you from a damaged van, strewn belongings, unwanted veggie mash, and most importantly it gets you set up in no time.

So, what work should you do upfront to avoid heartache when you reach your destination?

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Tip 1 – If In Doubt, Chuck It Out

Manufacturers don’t specify aggregate trailer masses for fun. They do it so campers can safely remain within the correct loading weights. Many sensible travellers get their packed van weighed to avoid accidents and potential insurance issues and follow the ‘less is more’ rule to pack. It’s a tendency for newbies to over-the-top pack, meaning everything and the kitchen sink goes in the van (one should be enough). The most practical tip we can offer is: if in doubt, chuck it out! You’ll find most of what you need at the local shops along the way.

Tip 2 – Balance The Load

When packing, work out the location of your water tanks. Spread any heavy loads low down and balance it from left to right, then front to back. Also, take into account the weight of a full fridge and its location. If the van and car still aren’t sitting evenly, then a weight-distribution hitch is critical to balancing the load of the van and car as a package. It will restore steering and braking for safer towing.

Tip 3 – Slide control

Anti-slip matting is indispensable for the inside of drawers and cupboards, and on benches to stop items sliding about. This matting also protects the van’s surfaces, which is useful when considering a re-sale.

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Tip 4 – Think containers!

Consider where, and for how long you are traveling. Bulk buy and vacuum seal foods, bust out the good Tupperware to avoid breakages, consider packing cubes for your clothes and carry the appropriate tools.

Tip 5 – A Full Fridge Is A COOL Fridge

The best way to run a fridge economically is to keep it full. When food or drink is removed, replace it. This stops food from rolling around and being damaged. Why not keep a couple of spare beers handy to fill the space?

Tip 6 – Avoid Veggie Mash

Secure heavy vegetables at the bottom of your storage and lighter vegetables and fruit on top, but make sure they’re packed tight so they can’t roll around leaving you with a bruised mess to serve for dinner. Consider using your empty rubbish bags or a spare pair of trackies to fill any excess space.

Tip 7 – Keep The Chocolate Close

Caravans offer a multitude of storage areas which is great until you forget the excellent spot you decided on 3 months ago to keep an extra stash of toilet paper. A practical tip is to keep things you use often in locations that are easy to access by everyone on the trip. Avoid frantic searches for toilet paper, the first aid kit, and especially the chocolate stash!

Picked up your own tips?

What are you waiting for? Share them with your fellow travellers in the comments below…

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  1. Thank you for your insight experience and know how much appreciated. have towed a caravan before back in the day and loved it. a 23FT from Proserpine to Hervey Bay for xmas holidays. Loved it a home away from home. misses was loving being able to potter around her own home away from home. I am looking forward to buying again as my wife and I are travelling preachers and we just finished 3 states 3 weeks and 7 thousand k’s…..we would of loved a mobile home as some of the places we stayed in had been a bit rough on the misses, me also just quietly.. We are looking at the Lotus Off Grid 4wd… love it!! will suit the Prado nicely. We are travelling Preachers and are called to the remotest parts of Australia, we are both First Nations People, {of Aboriginal Descent}
    Robyn and I are keen to seek sponsorship with the Lotus if you know of anyone/Company that is pro Church and Churchy People, who are in a position to give a Van with their logo’s we will gladly tow it around the outback and beyond.
    well have a great day. God Bless..
    Anthony. 0432735340

  2. Thank you for your insight experience and know how much appreciated. have towed a caravan before back in the day and loved it. a 23FT from Proserpine to Hervey Bay for xmas holidays. Loved it a home away from home. misses was loving being able to potter around her own home away from home. I am looking forward to buying again as my wife and I are travelling preachers and we just finished 3 states 3 weeks and 7 thousand k’s…..we would of loved a mobile home as some of the places we stayed in had been a bit rough on the misses, me also just quietly.. We are looking at the Lotus Off Grid 4wd… love it!! will suit the Prado nicely. We are travelling Preachers and are called to the remotest parts of Australia, we are both First Nations People, {of Aboriginal Descent}
    Robyn and I are keen to seek sponsorship with the Lotus if you know of anyone/Company that is pro Church and Churchy People, who are in a position to give a Van with their logo’s we will gladly tow it around the outback and beyond.
    well have a great day. God Bless..
    Anthony. 0432735340

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