With the launch of the exciting new Experience Freedom website; created by the Caravan Club, those who are considering entering into the wonderful world of caravanning need look no further for all the inspiration and advice needed to take the next step and begin enjoying all that life on the road with a caravan or motorhome has to offer.
Providing practical guidance on a wide range of subjects, from finding the right caravan or motorhome for you, to how to store your tourer over the winter months; as well as activity ideas to enjoy whilst away, events to add to your diary and towing advice to get you started - if you think caravanning might be for you this is the place to go.
And once you’re ready to hit the road? They’ve got that covered too, with details of a large range of motorhome and caravan sites available across the UK. If that wasn't enough, The National Caravan Council also provide all the information you need to get the most out of the caravanning lifestyle with their Freedom to Go campaign. Packed with stories from fellow caravanners, advice on which leisure vehicle is right for you and competitions and adventure galore, what more could you need? So what are you waiting for, get down to your nearest Broad Lane Leisure branch and let us help get you started!
In the meantime, why not take a look through some of our top tips for first time caravanners, provided by our very own team members here at Broad Lane Leisure:
Steve Monk, Service Manager at Broad Lane Alcester
Steve Monk, Service Manager at our Alcester branch suggests:
- A couple of weeks before taking your caravan out for the first time, following the winter months - turn on the gas, water and all the electrics to check that they are in full working order before sterilising the cold water system ready for your trip.
- Ensure that you keep the caravan battery charged all winter by plugging it into the mains or a solar panel which may be fitted to your caravan. If neither of these options are possible then you may wish to have a second battery charging at home & swap the batteries over approximately every month.
- In order to stop black algae from forming, sterilise the flush tank of your toilet at the beginning and end of each season.
- Always carry spare bulbs and fuses for your caravan - you never know when you might need them!
Alan Gladwin, Broad Lane Alcester
Alan Gladwin who works within our Sales department at our Alcester branch adds:
- Consider buying a mains connector for your caravan; this will allow you to plug your unit’s mains cable into a standard three pin socket when at home.
- When purchasing an Aquaroll water butt, bare in mind that the older 29 ltr version may not fit the external pump of your new caravan.
Tim Brookes, Sales Manager at Broad Lane Coventry
Our Coventry sales manager Tim Brookes has some great advice for ensuring that your holiday goes smoothly:
- Invest in a phone charger that can live in your Caravan for emergencies.
- A wind break takes up very little room but has a myriad of uses, so make sure you buy one of those!
- A Gas Wand style lighter is essential for barbecues.
- A sense of humour and some patience is very handy too; remember you are on holiday!
Kevin Brewster, Broad Lane Alcester
Kevin Brewster who is senior salesman at our Alcester branch advises that first time buyers should make sure they do their research at a branch before committing to a purchase:
- Ensure you get a professional to do a Towsafe check on your vehicle, as falling in love with a caravan you can’t tow is not nice.
- When considering your first purchase, layout is paramount. Make sure you look around and view and experience many caravans to decide which would meet your needs.
- Budget wisely and remember to consider useful extras, such as a Motormover, Tyron bands and Paintseal to ensure an easy moving, safety conscious, quality protected caravan.
Steve Brown, Broad Lane Managing Director
Finally, our managing director Steve Brown has some tips to ensure that first trip goes smoothly:
- Make sure the Alko wheel clamp receiver is lined up to take the lock correctly before you put the awning up. And yes… it happened to me!
- Take various lengths of BBQ hose with you, so that you can position the gas bbq away from wind / sun/ shade, etc.
- Always take big feet or blocks to wind the legs down onto as often the legs sink down into the soft grass, particularly in Spring.
- Invest in an LED awning strip light as the awning lights do not provide enough reading light.
- Get a decent quality air bed… in case you get kicked out into the awning for snoring!
At Broad Lane, we would encourage all first-time caravanners to buy from an NCC approved dealer such as Broad Lane. Anyone interested in starting caravanning, or getting back into caravanning after a break, is welcomed and encouraged to any of our dealerships - and no question is too small to ask!
We look forward to seeing you!