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Ein Stückchen Unabhängigkeit: Campingurlaub im Zelt, Bild: varuna / shutterstock

On the road with caravan and motorhome: what you absolutely have to take with you

If you move into the big wide world with your caravan or motorhome, you always have your little house with you. However, the emphasis is on small. On the one hand, you are much more flexible when travelling with a caravan or motorhome than when travelling with a suitcase or backpack and staying in hotels. On the other hand, you don’t want to carry cumbersome and useless things that you don’t use in the end. Many things can also be procured on the go if you have forgotten them at home. Other forgotten things inevitably force you to drive back home before the adventure has even begun. What is really important for a holiday with a caravan or motorhome, and should not be missing from the packing list, can be found here.

Rented or “home”?

To make the camping holiday perfect, you should think about some utensils in advance, Image: Andrey Armyagov / shutterstock

First of all, it is important to consider whether the caravan or motorhome is a rental vehicle or your own camper. If you rent a vehicle, you should definitely find out in advance how the motorhome is equipped, in detail. Gas cylinders are of particular relevance, without which there is neither hot water nor heating. You should definitely ask in advance whether the basic equipment includes a filled gas bottle, or whether you as a tenant have to take care of filling it yourself. In any case, it is recommended to always have an additional filled spare gas bottle with you, even if the rental caravan generally only contains one gas bottle. If there are already two filled gas bottles, you should refrain from adding another one so as not to increase the weight of the motorhome unnecessarily. This is because a higher weight increases fuel consumption. Furthermore, you should ask in advance what kitchen utensils are available for a rental car. It is also best to inquire about the number of plates, pots and cutlery. Especially if you want to travel with the whole family.

What you should not forget under any circumstances

What should not be missing depends on the one hand on the personal holiday plans, and on the other hand also on the destination country. If you travel abroad, you must not forget your identity papers, passport, any travel visas you may need and an internationally valid driver’s license. Since, if you are traveling in your own motorhome, you start directly from home, and do not head for the airport first to start your vacation, as is often the case, forgetting these documents is unfortunately a classic. At the latest at the first border you have to drive back and pick up the documents at home. By the way, it is always advisable to copy all documents and keep a bag with the copies separately, possibly hidden. Of course, you don’t want this, but motorhomes are occasionally broken into. It’s good if the thieves don’t steal all the documents. You should also think about credit and debit cards, cash and a foreign health insurance card. For example, if you are planning hiking tours, you should pack the appropriate hiking maps, hiking guides, hiking boots and other equipment. If you only move into your motorhome or caravan in the destination country, you should pack sparingly in advance. You then also limit yourself to clothing and documents. Things for daily use should be bought here on site.

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The basic equipment

In addition to the gas cylinders mentioned above, you need a drawbar lock for a caravan to be able to lock the car. Motorhomes are locked with keys. A cable drum and two adapter cables secure the power supply. For proper parking, you need four drive-on wedges or wooden boards each. For the water supply, you need a few water canisters with a capacity of ten to 20 litres, a water hose and tap connections in different sizes. The camping toilet requires toilet fluid and tabs. You will also need kitchen and barbecue utensils, camping table and chairs, outdoor lighting, dishwashing bowl and washing-up liquid, clothesline and washing powder as well as a small toolbox for repairs, duvets and pillows, leisure and swimwear and towels.

Our tip: It is also possible to consume beverages in a cultivated way on a camping holiday. The company silwy, based in the Bavarian Forest, has developed crystal glasses with built-in magnets in the glass base, which have been specially developed for travel in motorhomes, caravans and boat trips. Glasses are available for all kinds of drinks – from wine glasses to elegant whiskey glasses.

But how does it work to ensure that the lenses are not damaged during transport? silwy magnetic glasses find their perfectly matched counterpart in flexible, metallic NANO-PADS. Thanks to the special nano-coating, they adhere to almost any surface. This allows you to stow the glasses in the storage space to save space (e.g. upside down). These nanopads are easy to clean with water, so that everything is also hygienically perfect.

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Silwy also offers clever, easy-to-release magnetic hooks . Easily detachable and ideal for attaching useful hooks for kitchen utensils such as towels or kitchen utensils.

Of course, personal belongings should not be missing: for example, a smartphone with a charging cable, books or e-readers, games and sports equipment such as bicycles, badminton games or an inflatable boat. Under no circumstances should the warning triangle and first aid kit be forgotten. For this purpose, a medicine cabinet with painkillers, tablets for diarrhea, sun and mosquito protection is recommended.

The food

Opinions differ on the subject of food. Some holidaymakers like to shop at home and start their holiday with their usual types of sausage and cheese. Others prefer to equip themselves on the road. This also depends a little on where the journey leads. For example, if you travel to Scandinavian countries, shopping for food locally is very cost-intensive. Then it is advisable to take at least a basic set of food such as coffee, tea, milk and vacuum-packed meat, sausage and cheese with you. Alcohol is also very expensive there and can be imported up to a certain amount. Fresh food is best bought locally. If you travel to the south, you will usually find cheaper food there and shop better in the holiday country. Then it is sufficient to take food with you for the journey. However, what can already be bought well at home are spices, salt, oil, vinegar, ketchup or mustard.

Save weight

The more weight you carry around, the more fuel you need. That’s why you shouldn’t necessarily take the silverware with you on your motorhome holiday. Professionals recommend camping tableware made of plastic or enamel and plastic cups instead of glasses and cups. Bowls should also be made of plastic. Clothes can be washed on the go instead of packing fresh clothes for four weeks.