The World of Caravanning.

Get started with the beginner's guide to touring.

Tow Thy Self...

Before considering what caravan best suits your needs, you need to understand towing weight restrictions. Simply put this is a way of understanding the towing capabilities of your car used to tow a caravan and don’t be fooled. You may think your car looks big but that doesn’t mean the engine size, weight or torque is enough to safely tow a caravan!

For example, modern-day small SUVs are very popular and, at a glance appear to be decent-sized vehicles. However, in most cases, the engine size may be only a 1.2 turbo for economic efficiency. As a standalone vehicle, it is perfect. However, its towing limits would be small, to potentially non-existent. Motor vehicles are always evolving so it is important to understand what you can safely tow.

Contact your local or preferred dealer to arrange a visit to discuss what your vehicle is suitable to tow (especially if you have a specific caravan in mind) to avoid disappointment and help you stay safe and legal.

If you would like to discuss your towing requirements with Broadlane, please pop into our dealership, alternatively use the contact form below.

Contact Us

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The Layout of the Land...

Caravans come with a huge array of layouts, and it is important to research and understand the layout that will suit your comfort and travel needs the best... So, let's dive into some examples of layouts, the jargon you are likely to hear as well as the pros and cons.
Examples of:

  • Transverse
  • Converse (In-line)
  • French Bed (Corner Bed)
  • Bunk Beds
  • Fold-out Bed (Sofa Bed)

Caravans with a standard bed will be referenced as “fixed” which refers to a real bed.

(Various models will have a range of positions regarding the Washroom, Kitchen and Lounge depending on the size of your caravan and personal preferences.

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See some examples of various layout options common within the industry...
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Converse (In-line) Fixed Bed
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Transverse Fixed Bed
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French Bed (Corner Bed)
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Fold-out Bed (Sofa-Bed)
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Bunk Beds & Fold-out Bed

Many Manufactures...

Like the car industry, there are plenty of manufacturers you can choose from when considering purchasing a caravan, as well as even more dealerships. It’s important to understand that not all dealerships sell all leisure vehicles, especially brand-new models. Dealers tend to have a select few preferred manufacturers they work closely with. For example, at Broadlane we proudly stock Swift, Coachman and Eriba caravans.

You may find other brands within a dealership, but these tend to be used (pre-loved) vehicles, where a customer has either part-exchanged or sold their vehicle to the dealership.

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Accessories & Essentials...

A caravan provides some great amenities, a home for home and just like a home you will need some essential equipment and tools as well as helpful and homely accessories for your convenience and comfort with some camping gear, especially if you’re planning on some adventures on your travels.

Broadlane on-site shop offers a range of camping, safety, and homely accessories to turn your leisure vehicle into a home on wheels. It’s a good idea when choosing a dealership to check if they have accessories and equipment available for purchase when you need it.

Visit The Shop

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Knowledge will Keep you Moving...

Your caravan will need to be maintained and cared for to ensure it remains in top shape as you travel, this also includes when you’re not using your leisure vehicle mainly during the colder months. It’s important to learn and understand the regular checks and maintenance undertaken as an owner. The information boxes below broken into three topics cover the general prep and care before, during and after travelling in your caravan.

  1. Before you set off.
  2. When you arrive.
  3. After you have returned.
Blog Towing
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Before You Set Off >

Comfortable Manoeuvring.

Before travelling you will need to ensure you are comfortable and can safely manoeuver your caravan including on the road and when parking. There are manoeuvring courses available from The Camping & Caravanning Club for newcomers or those wanting a refresher.

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Before You Set Off >

Tire Care.

Before each journey or after a period of storage you will need to properly check your tires for any damage, bulges and dents. Don't forget to also check the tire pressure to set the correct (PSI) or BAR pressure for your caravan before travelling. Driving/towing with deflated or damaged tires could cause a danger to you and others.

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Before You Set Off >

Corner Steadings.

Sounds obvious but ensure before you prepare to set off double-check you have retracted the Corner Steads, on either side of the van. Also, remember the Corner Steadings are not created to support the weight of the van this is mostly done with the Jockey Wheel they are just to Steady the van to avoid unnecessary movement.

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Before You Set Off >

Hitching.

Hitching is the process of attaching the caravan to the tow ball that is attached to your car which secures the tow. The Hitch is completed by securing the hitch to the tow bar as well as fitting any connectors for lights etc. Watch Gary's guide to hitching.

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Before You Set Off >

Motor Mover.

A motor mover is a manual or 12V motorised device which is attached to your caravan, this device allows you to move the caravan in any direction using a controller. This is a popular device as it provides ease when manoeuvring the caravan onto driveways or when pitching up.

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Before You Set Off >

Everything is Secure.

Inside and Out... Have you checked everything is locked and secure before travelling, pack everything away that could be damaged during travel. Also check all windows and outside compartments are locked.

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When You Arrive >

Parking Up.

When you arrive you will be advised where your pitch is located, you will manoeuvre your caravan into position. If you are manually reversing your caravan into position be sure to take care and ask for help if you need it. If you have a motor mover you can manoeuvre your caravan without needing to reverse it.

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When You Arrive >

Hook-Up.

Once you have positioned your caravan onto the pitch, you will be able to hook up, using your hook up cable this allows you to connect to gain access to the power supply and running water for the duration of your break. If your unsure of anything ask for help from the pitch site staff.

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When You Arrive >

Set-Up.

Now your caravan is parked-up and powered you can now unpack any items for inside your caravan as well as any camping gear including awnings, tables, chairs etc. If you campsite has an on-site shop maybe worth checking if you need any essentials! Your now all set to enjoy your holiday!

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When You Return Home >

Deep Clean.

Once you have returned, its a good idea to have a good clean of the inside of the caravan, especially cleaning away any food or rubbish. Good practice to empty the fridge and give it a clean, as well as the oven and hob and any other appliances, floors and worktops, keeping your van in tip top shape!

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When You Return Home >

Toilets.

It's important to empty your waste tanks and is advisable to rinse the cassette clean both outside and inside. There are also special products, which you can buy in camping shops most commonly a red and blue liquid, which can be placed in the cassette afterwards to reduce odours.

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When You Return Home >

Water System.

As your caravan may have a washroom as well as a sing in the kitchen area this means a water system (pipework), as with pipework at home you want to avoid any blockages or damage. You need to clean your pipework to maintain your pipes and keep everything running smoothly. See our Water System Cleaning Advise.

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When You Return Home >

Store & Secure.

There maybe times where you do not use your caravan, generally during the colder season, ensure you caravan is stored and secure. Ask your local dealership for any storage options if you don't have a large drive or garage, also protect your caravan from the elements using protective covers and locking everything up.

Pets On The Road...

With a vast majority of us loving taking our pets away with us, and plenty of camping sites with a pet friendly environment, it’s the perfect option avoid the expenses of animal kennels and keep your furry friend by your side. Best place for them!

Just as you would anyone, when taking a pet with you, ensure they can travel safely and have any equipment you need to care for your furry friend while you are away.

Consider a secure seat or carrier while travelling, walk your dog before you leave and for long journeys ensure regular breaks. When packing remember you’ll need additional space for your dogs’ things, toys, bed, food, treats, lead, bowls…

Remember your surrounding on holiday maybe widely different to at home. All dogs are different, and you’ll know your dog, consider most campsites will surround by wilderness or farmland which could excite your dog! You may need a kennel, basket, or harness when outside or for sleeping habits, depending on your dog personality and how they are around other animals and people.

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De-code that Jargon.

Ask us anything...

Whether its sales, service, after sales, accessories, awnings, spares or repairs and anything to do with caravans, motorhomes or campervans, we're here to help!

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