When we started caravanning we really had no idea what to expect. We had a neighbour who was a keen caravanner, but we’d never had a caravan and never been on a caravan holiday. Well, not a touring one anyway, plenty of static caravan holidays. So, when we bought our first caravan we didn’t really know what to do. We’d done some research, caravanning YouTube hadn’t even been invented (it was that long ago)
The internet hadn’t been invented though! So, I was on there seeing what I needed to do and what I needed to buy. I’ve told the story previously of getting our first caravan. Needless to say the dealer had a shop and when I collected it, they gave me 20% off anything I needed to purchase and I needed to purchase A LOT! You’ll know this if you caravan yourself.
What You Need
If you think of a caravan as being a house, a caravan needs much of the stuff your house needs although it’s not (usually) “plumbed” into things. I don’t just mean electric. So, like a house your caravan needs electric, water and a place to get rid of waste water. Oh and of course a toilet. You’re going to need “consumables” too. But let’s keep it simple.
To get electricity, you’ll need an electric cable to plug it in. It’s sometimes called and electric hook up cable, it’s usually bright orange. This connects your caravan to an Electric Hookup Point (EHU)
We’ve always had a 25 meter cable, but they are available in different sizes.
- Brand New 25 metre heavy duty orange hook up cable
- Suitable for your caravan, camper or motorhome
- 240v 16Amp plug and coupler connectors
- High visibility Orange colour as approved by Caravan Sites
- 2.5mm² thick 100% Copper 3 Core Cable
Water and Waste
Your caravan won’t be plumbed in to mains water (not always true if you’re on a fully serviced pitch) so you’ll have to find some way of getting it into your caravan. Luckily people have already thought of this. We use something called an “Aquaroll” (there are other makes). This is a round drum like thing that you can roll to the water tap, fill it up and roll it back to your caravan.
- Market leading Aquaroll & Wastemaster bundle
- 40 Litre
- Despatched same day if ordered by 2 pm
Once you’ve washed up, the water will need to go somewhere. A waste container, commonly called a waste master, due to a name of a brand, is connected to your caravan and the waste water pours into it. Of course when it’s full it needs emptying. More on that later
The Dreaded Toilet
It isn’t too bad. You’ll need to use the loo when you’re on site and you can generally use the on site facilities, but if you need to, you’ll have a toilet. It’s basically a toilet that sits above a cassette. Your waste goes into this cassette, which, when full also needs emptying, again more on this later. Most use chemicals to make the toilet cassette smell nice, well, really to mask the undesirable pongs. There are lots to choose from. I personally use Thetford. Instructions are on the bottle and it’s dead easy.
- Duo pack containing a 780ml bottle of Aqua Kem Blue Lavender concentrate and a 750ml bottle of Aqua Rinse concentrate; Aqua Kem Blue; Powerful and easy to use toilet fluid for the waste holding tank; Outstanding odour control; Liquifies waste for easier tank emptying; Reduces gas build-up; Aqua Rinse Plus; Forms a protective layer to block build-up and bacteria; Highly effective for a smoother flush; Improved formula keeps flush water clean
So that’s the bulk of the gear you’ll need, at least to start with and for the purposes of this article.
What To Do When Arriving At A Caravan Site
Blimey, that’s some title.
When you arrive, you’ll need to park up before entering the site. There’s usually a big arrow telling you where to stop to book in and pay. Once you’ve gone into the office and paid, you’ll go to your pitch, unhook the car and get the caravan nicely positioned (or maybe the other way around!) where you want it and where you’re not breaking any specific rules the site might have.
Once the car is disconnected, the stays are down and the handbrake is on, it’s time to get connecting all the bits you’ve purchased from our affiliate links of course 🙂
We generally do things together. It doesn’t matter what order you do things in. But you’ll need to connect the caravan to the EHU (which is the place where you plug the electric cable into. It’s probably best practice to plug into your caravan first and don’t have the cable tightly coiled up.)
You may then need to switch the electric on from inside your caravan.
Decide who’s brave enough to roll the aquaroll to the service area. Don’t worry you get a handle to help you drag it. I always pull it, but I see some push. Roll it under the tap and fill it up. Once you’ve managed to man handle the rather unexpectedly heavy water back to your caravan connect it to the caravan using the pipe provided.
The only thing left now is to connect the waste water container, so that when you empty the sink, or use the shower the water has somewhere to go, except the pitch. Remember to keep checking how full this container is getting, as there’s no warning light on a caravan to tell you.
The water container connects to the caravan using something like what is detailed below. There are usually 2 water outlets, one for the sink and the other for the bathroom. You can get a 2 in 1 connector which allows you to use just one waste pipe.
- Adjustable – Fits standard double waste pipe outlets fitted on most modern caravans, but also very easy to cut the rubberised material to the required dimensions if size required is non standard. Has 6cm adjustment, so will fit most double waste outlets with 7cm to 13cm between centres.
- No Backwash – Designed with internal curves to allow free flowing water and prevents any potential backwash to the shower or basins. Rubberised design means it easily fit your caravan and create a watertight seal.
- Flexi Waste – Works seamlessly with the Colapz Flexi Waste Pipe system to create a whole compact grey waste system for your caravan.
- Kit Includes – This double adaptor Kit includes double adaptor, 15cm downpipe and storage bag to keep your system clean and togather.
- Colapz – Colapz is a BRITISH brand designing high quality and innovative space saving Camping, Caravan and Camper van equipment and accessories. Search our full range of eco-friendly collapsible products including our brilliant buckets and colourful watering cans.
- Compatible with inside diameter 28.5mm / outside diameter 34mm
- Easy to clean and easy to store
- Includes grey convoluted pipes to connect to your waste outlets and solid white pipe to ensure the adapter connects with the waste tank.
- Complies with BS5254
- An easy 2 drain to fit connector which converts two waste outlets into one.
- No more squeezing of two waste pipes into the one inlet in your waste container.
- For caravans with two 28.5mm waste outlets.
- 2-1 waste pipe comes with extra pipe to go into wastemaster.
When something is full, head back to the service point where you filled the water up from and there will be drains for you to empty the waste water. There will also be a seperate area to empty your toilet down. Now this is exceptionally unpleasant when there’s someone waiting behind you in the queue to empty there’s and you’ve had something that disagreed with you, it doesn’t matter how much chemical fluid you’ve poured down there, it is going to stink!
Finally. The best advice is to take your time, everyone was a beginner at some point, people are in the main very helpful and understanding and help is always at hand. Of course there’s more to caravanning than this, so be sure to check out of other articles.
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*Last update on 2024-02-24 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API