Are you a touring novice, or coming back to caravans after a few years away? There’s no need to splash out on expensive solutions to some of the common problems you will face – these old-school money-saving tips can save you a tidy sum.

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Check your breakaway cable

If you’ve hitched up your caravan and your breakaway cable is left trailing on the floor, it’s too long and will take a battering as you travel along. If it is long, secure it – loosely – with a plastic cable tie, allowing it to move freely but saving it from wearing on the road surface.

How much gas?

There are now hi-tech gizmos and gauges for gas cylinders, but if you’re happy with your old stuff (if it ain’t broke… etc), you can get a little more sophisticated than just sloshing the bottle around to check your gas level. Most gas cylinders show the empty weight of the cylinder on the metal disc around the valve. If you then weigh the cylinder you can subtract the empty weight and you’ve got the weight of remaining gas.

If you haven’t got weighing scales, don’t worry – we’ve got another low-tech solution: pour a stream of hot water down the side of the gas bottle (having first taken it outside, obviously). Now run a finger down the side of the bottle where you poured the hot water: where the metal is relatively warm the bottle is empty, the point where it feels cooler will be the gas level.

Have you got everything?

Our touring caravan holiday parks have loads of facilities, but you might want to check that you haven’t left behind fishing rods or golf clubs if that kind of activity is available. And don’t forget the stuff that the kids like: boardgames, footballs, boomerangs, spear-fishing guns etc (we’re just kidding about the boomerangs and spear guns).

Stop those pesky hangers falling off

When you’ve arrived somewhere the first thing you’ll probably find is all your hangers at the bottom of your wardrobe. A bit of foam pipe-insulation over the hanger rail will solve this.

Mind the upholstery

Cover your bunk cushions with a sheet or stretchy mattress cover at night to extend the life of your cushions, and keep them cleaner and keep the caravan smelling good after your holiday.

Caravanning and kids

Arriving late at a holiday park and then having to root around in a suitcase for the kids’ pyjamas can take the shine of your first night, so it’s easier if you pack them (and favourite cuddly toy) inside their pillow cases.

Awning zip

There’s nothing more annoying than a leak in your awning zip. Simply rubbing a candle on the teeth of the zip will fix it. It’s old school but it works!

Salt tips

There are expensive de-humidifying solutions for keeping the interior of your caravan dry when it is left empty for long periods, but another old-school trick is a small bowl of salt. It absorbs moisture and it’s environmentally friendly.

Reading the above, you’ve probably got an instant childhood vision of soggy caravan holidays with clogged salt pots. A few grains of rice in the salt pot will keep it free flowing.

Bins

Buy a couple of suction-cup hooks and stick them on the outside of your caravan, a few inches part. You can hang a plastic carrier bag between the hooks for an easy way to deal with your rubbish. Don’t forget to recycle, though.

Protect your tyres from sun damage

If your caravan is stored in the open, make cut-out plywood wheel protectors using the spare tyre as a template, or use thick bin liners for a quick fix, both held in place with bungies.

Alternatively, there are tyre-dressing products available in car-accessory shops which contain UV protection – these have the added benefits of giving your tyres that concours condition look. But then you might feel compelled to give the rest of the caravan a bit of a buff…

Raring to go? Find a touring holiday park.

Written by Dan at BreakFree Holidays

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