What Are The Realities On Owning A Used Caravan?

Whilst many first time used caravan buyers know enough to do some thorough research about the brands and models out there before buying, there are still a number of areas that they do not become aware of until after the purchase has already taken place. If the buyer is not prepared to take on these…

Whilst many first time used caravan buyers know enough to do some thorough research about the brands and models out there before buying, there are still a number of areas that they do not become aware of until after the purchase has already taken place. If the buyer is not prepared to take on these other realities, it is much too late to go back now. Use this guide to help you fully understand all the little things that come with caravan ownership.

  • Towing: If you have never tended a used caravan before (and, if you are a first time buyer, it's likely that you have not), you will need to learn how to safely tow with your vehicle. This may mean that you need to buy a new car that has a tow ball, as well as undertake lessons on how to properly tow and reverse your caravan. Both of these things can be quite a financial strain, especially if you have just forked out a few hundred or a few thousand dollars for a van.
  • Insurance: Like our cars and our homes, it is highly important that we insure our used caravans against issues like accidents and theft. Make sure that you do your research to find the best value policy for your needs, and make sure that you carefully read the terms and conditions for any loopholes. Whilst most people choose not to bother with insurance that will cover the contents of their caravan, this can be a good idea if you frequently stay in popular areas.
  • Parking: Once you get your used caravan home, you need to be able to store it in a way that keeps it secure and out of reach for thieves. When people do not have all that much room on their property for parking an extra vehicle, they will begin to look at street parking. This can be a very bad idea, however, as it is illegal in many areas and is dangerous or annoying for neighbors in others. In these circumstances, you will need to look at off-site storage in a secure lockup.

Then there is the final reality of the services and repairs that a used caravan may need over the years that you own it but, fortunately, many buyers are well aware that these are additional costs that they will have to wear. To make sure that your caravan is well looked after and is ready for getaways with your family, you will need to make sure that you have taken into account the above realities of ownership – towing, insurance and parking.

Why You Need To Do Your Homework Before Buying A Caravan For Sale

Regardless of whether you have bought and sold vans for a number of years or this will be your very first purchase, it is highly important that you do your homework before buying a caravan for sale. The same goes for whether you are buying a brand new van or whether you are buying a…

Regardless of whether you have bought and sold vans for a number of years or this will be your very first purchase, it is highly important that you do your homework before buying a caravan for sale. The same goes for whether you are buying a brand new van or whether you are buying a second hand one, buying from a caravans dealer or buying privately. There are a number of reasons why doing your homework is important, and some of them are outlined below:

  • Depreciation: First, you need to understand that caravans depreciate at quite a fast rate, much faster than your home or your family car. And the newer vans are actually known to depreciate even faster. If you believe that a seller is asking far too much for their van considering its age and depreciation rates, tell them so and keep looking.
  • Manufacturer's Guarantee: In most cases, a caravan that is less than three years old will come with a manufacturer's guarantee in case something should go wrong. To ensure that this guarantee remains valid, make sure that the original owner passes on all relevant information, including manuals and receipts.
  • Extras: These days, a lot of caravans for sale have had the equipment added that may not be standard to that particular brand or model. This could include an alarm, awning kits, television aerial system, generator, spare batteries, fly ties or so on. Whilst this equipment can add value to the van, its addition will not really increase its sale price.
  • Owners: Many people will spend plenty of time and money improving their caravan to make their holidays more enjoyable. These people will tend to treat their van like a second home, keeping it clean and well maintained. When shopping for a used van, you should always look out for owners who show them care, as you can get a good quality van.

By doing your homework before shopping for a caravan for sale, you can ensure that you purchase one that is of the best quality and offers you great value for money. Keep in mind the rates at which caravans depreciate and do not allow yourself to be tricked into purchasing a van for a price that is well above what it is currently worth. Remember that extras do not automatically mean that the seller can ask for more when reselling. And good luck with your search!

Leisure Batteries: What Are Leisure Batteries and What Are They Used for?

An outdoor activity is best enjoyed when planned well. It takes careful planning to determine all the things to bring from food supplies to emergency kits to appliances. But although it is not possible to get as comfortable as you would at home when in an outdoor trip, leisure batteries can allow you to make…

An outdoor activity is best enjoyed when planned well. It takes careful planning to determine all the things to bring from food supplies to emergency kits to appliances. But although it is not possible to get as comfortable as you would at home when in an outdoor trip, leisure batteries can allow you to make use of certain appliances to make life in the rough more bearable. This type of battery is considered as one of the most important tools for people who love to camp, caravan, or cruise.

A leisure battery is used to store power for use over a long period of time, better than a car battery does. It acts as the source of power when access to main source is not possible. Leisure batteries most typically power up 12v appliances and other low-power electrical machines in tents or motor homes. Through the use of two crocodile clips, an appliance can be hooked up to a battery and obtain power from it. Leisure batteries are also sometimes used to power engine spark-plugs in boats, and in golf carts and motorized wheelchairs.

There are many types of these batteries. It is advised to choose the correct one to make sure that there will be enough power for the whole duration of your outdoor activity. You should consider the types of appliances to connect to the leisure battery, and how often they will be used. The battery with the longest cycle can be your best option. A cycle is the estimated at which leisure batteries are operational, for the time they are in their fully charged state to when then need recharging. There are 3 basic types of leisure batteries, and these are discussed below.

Flooded deep cycle . These are the cheapest of all 3 types, but require maintenance. Flooded deep cycle batteries are available in 75ah and 100ah, and come with a 1-year warranty.

Maintenance free deep cycle . As the name suggests, this type of battery is sealed, hence no maintenance is required. You can choose between 75ah and 105ah varieties. They are also bought with a 12-month warranty.

AGM deep cycle . AGM deep cycle batteries can last up to 3 times longer than the other two types, but have the highest price. These are fully sealed, and so will not leak however they are positioned. This type is available in 85ah, 110ah, and 140ah, so can support almost any power range requirement.

Why Not Plan a Camping Trip?

Planning a Camping Trip Camping has become even more popular in recent years as a result of the current economic climate, but also as equipment has become better, campsites more luxurious and camping itself a more trendy activity. All over the UK and Europe, families set off on a summer holiday in a camper van,…

Planning a Camping Trip

Camping has become even more popular in recent years as a result of the current economic climate, but also as equipment has become better, campsites more luxurious and camping itself a more trendy activity. All over the UK and Europe, families set off on a summer holiday in a camper van, caravan or a car with a tent in the back to enjoy the great outdoors and getting back to nature. Some hardy types will pack a rucksack and cycle as far as they can, or even go wild camping where they can walk.

Camping is usually much cheaper than staying in a hotel with a family, but it does not feel like roughing it anymore. The rise of glamorous camping, or 'glamping', shows that staying under canvas, or its modern equivalent, is not just for those who can forego their home comforts for a week. Staying in one of the top 'glamping' sites will mean arriving to find your tent already pitched, with proper beds and bedcovers, cooking facilities and even a private bathroom waiting for you. There will be an electrical hook-up on your pitch as well as outdoor space for a barbeque or for the children to play. The tent could even be a tipi or a treehouse.

Those families who want to take their own equipment can still find a touch of luxury on a good quality campsite. Many large sites have a huge range of activities, a swimming pool and even as spa as well as clean, spacious sanitation facilities, communal freezers, washing machines and cookers. There will be a kids clubs to keep little ones entertained and often several restaurants, take-aways and shops. You can enjoy being closer to nature without having to be too far away from everyday necessities.

Camping equipment has come a long way since the days of leaky canvas, lumpy roll mats and cold sleeping bags. Inflatable mattresses are very comfortable and help keep you warm at night off the ground and camp beds are a good choice for children. Sleeping bags are lightweight as well as warm and sleeping bag liners can be made of fleece (for winter), cotton, or even silk. Having an electrical hook-up means that a portable DVD player can be used for film evenings, mobile phones can be recharged and teens kept happy with their favorite portable games consoles.

Whilst this may not feel much like getting away from it all and returning to nature, keeping all family members happy is the key to an enjoyable holiday in any location.

Investing in good quality camping gear will mean many years of holidays out of doors. Large family tents have individual bedrooms, and the internal layout can be changed as your family grows. A camping stove will last well and you can even take your own saucepans if the weight of your kit is not an issue. A good investment is a coolbox to keep milk cold overnight for your early morning cup of coffee, and some thermal mugs to keep it warm while you enjoy the view from your pitch.

The one thing that never changes of course is the weather, which we are no nearer to controlling, so ensure before you go that you have waterproofs and plenty of clean clothes to change into. It is always better to embrace wet weather and go out in it anyway than it is to sit inside moping about it. The key is to ensure that wet things do not touch dry things and wet shoes are kept outside the tent. There is something special about lying in bed listening to the rain fall outside knowing that you are warm and dry. These are the moments you can not experience in a luxury hotel, and they tend to be the moments your children will look back on fondly, so why not start planning your next camping trip today?

San Francisco and Surrounds RV Adventures

'San Fran' is a popular city in the US, lauded for its liberal community, hills, victorian architecture, famous bridge and the diversity that it enjoys, ethnically and culturally. There is a lot to see, including the Golden Gate Bridge, the Painted Ladies, Alcatraz Prison and much more. Take the Cable Cars between Market Street and…

'San Fran' is a popular city in the US, lauded for its liberal community, hills, victorian architecture, famous bridge and the diversity that it enjoys, ethnically and culturally. There is a lot to see, including the Golden Gate Bridge, the Painted Ladies, Alcatraz Prison and much more. Take the Cable Cars between Market Street and the neighborhood of Fisherman's Wharf, or shop at the famous hippie district, Haight Ashbury. Walking through the different districts is another great way to see the city and its diversity- Chinatown, Telegraph Hill, Pacific Heights, Mission.

San Francisco city is centered on one small part of the peninsula that encloses San Francisco Bay, but the urban areas spread far past that. Across the Bay Bridge are Oakland and Berkeley, and across the Golden Gate Bridge are many small suburbs, and the larger area of ​​San Rafael. The suburbs spread right around the Bay- Haywood, Palo Alto and more. The culinary scene is alive and well in San Francisco, and there is a focus on farm-to-table style dining, with lots of seafood from the Bay of course!

The north of San Francisco is one of the most amazing places for a road trip, especially if one likes the finer things in life- namely, wine. There lies the Napa Valley and Sonoma County, where vineyards and redwoods cover the beautiful landscape. The cities of Napa and Sonoma are not far from San Francisco. Several wine country tours start there.

It is, however, the countryside that is the real drawcard in this area. It is dotted with over 200 wineries and many top-notch restaurants. Some winners among these are Beringer Vineyards, Grgich Hills Cellar, Robert Mondavi Winery, Kuleto Estate and the Beaulieu Vineyard. Aside from eating and drinking, there is entertainment to be had in the Valley. Biking and hiking are both popular pastimes and are made amazing by the beautiful countryside. Hot air balloons full of visitors to the region are also a common sight.

Further north and on the coastline in Humboldt is where you will find the majority of the famous redwoods. This whole area is full of forests and the small redwood trees, but there are a few favorite spots for tourists. The Avenue of Giants is a 33-mile stretch of Old Highway 101 which is flanked by giant redwoods. There is opportunity to explore the surrounding forests, and take a trip through the Drive-Thru tree if the RV will fit!

To the south of San Francisco is Monterey Bay, a dent in the coast that is home to a lot of sealife and the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and amazing and informative attraction. The city of Santa Cruz is on the shore of the bay, and has a beautiful coastline and oceanfront amusement park called the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

5 Things You Must Bring to a Camping Trip

Going on a camping trip may require that you bring a lot of things especially if it's a multi-day camp. However, this does not mean that you have to bring every item you feel like bringing. Travel light and smart by just bringing those things necessary for the trip. 1. Camping Gear Things like a…

Going on a camping trip may require that you bring a lot of things especially if it's a multi-day camp. However, this does not mean that you have to bring every item you feel like bringing. Travel light and smart by just bringing those things necessary for the trip.

1. Camping Gear

Things like a tent, backpack and sleeping bag are the heaviest items a person will have to take on a camping trip. Consider the size of your tent. If you are to sleep alone in it, just bring a one-man-tent. If you have a tent good for 2 people of more, suggest sharing it with them. This is also your chance to lessen your load as you can suggest sharing the burden of carrying the tent with them.

Four season tents and sleeping bags may be optional depending on the weather.

2. Cooking Equipment and Tools

What makes camping more fun and enjoyable is the fact that you can prepare and eat your own food in the outdoors. Gas stoves, skewers, cooking utensils like pans and pots are necessary things you have to bring especially if your trip takes several days and you camp with a big group. You do not have to carry all these things by yourself but you can share it with other campers.

3. Emergency Kit

Be prepared for untoward accidents when you go camping. Cuts, blisters, abrasions and bug bites happened in camps. Bring band-aids, aspirin, laxatives, gauze pads, bug repellents and alcohol. Bring a working phone to camp to call for help when emergency happens, mountain radio, a probe and a snow shovel if applicable.

4. Food and Drinks

When bringing food to camp, the size of the group and the duration of the camp must be taken into consideration. Make sure that you bring enough food and drinking water especially when the campsite is away from convenience stores and clean water sources. Bring ziploc bags, flasks, thermos, drinking bottles, water filters or water purification tablets and food storage. Cool boxes are necessary to store food and to preserve them.

5. Personal Items

This is where you can adjust when it comes to bringing a few things to camp. For your clothing, you have to consider the season. Bring hiking books, hoodies, enough underwear, cotton shirts, pants and toiletries. Do not forget towel and your blanket or sleeping bag to keep you warm during the night.

Unnecessary things to bring are your MP3s, game console or other gadgets unless you use them for their GPS feature. You can enjoy the outdoors more if you get rid of distractions like these gadgets.

5 Tips to Make the Most Out of Your Camping Trip

We go on camping trips to enjoy and forget about work, school and other day to day stuff. If you want to enjoy your camping trip, preparation, among other things, is very important. So here are tips that you must consider to make the most out of your next camping trip. 1. Clear your schedule…

We go on camping trips to enjoy and forget about work, school and other day to day stuff. If you want to enjoy your camping trip, preparation, among other things, is very important. So here are tips that you must consider to make the most out of your next camping trip.

1. Clear your schedule

When you go camping, make sure all your reports at work are complete, you do not have upcoming exams or you do not have other appointments. Let the people concerned know that you are on a camping trip. Thinking about those things on your trip will definitely spoil the fun.

2. Bring the right things

A lot of people bring things with them which they never use on a trip. Bringing books is an example without if you are planning to just read a book when you get to the campsite. Camping most of the time is filled with outdoor activities.

If it's the rainy season, a book may come handy. If you have a phone or kindle to store ebooks, that would be a better alternative. An iPod or MP3 player is also good for people who find it hard to fall sleep in a tent.

The right things are emergency kits like a band-aid, alcohol or aspirin. Flashlights, maps, cameras / binoculars, cooking tools, lighter and a knife are necessary things you must not forget.

Bring your sleeping bag and tent if you plan to stay overnight. Carry with you a bottle of water all the time and limit the amount of food to what you just need for the entire trip.

3. Wear the right outfit

One main cause of discomfort during camping trips is the type of clothing people wear. Make sure that you wear loose clothing or those which you are comfortable with and you can just peel off easily when temperature changes.

Use the right shoes. Hiking boots are ideal. Think of protecting yourself from the elements of the outdoor environment (weather, plants and animals, allergies).

4. Do not be over adventurous

Some campers would like to show off especially if they are with their girlfriends or boyfriends. Choosing a different path, trying dangerous tricks and provoking other campers are common things that can turn a fun camping trip into an accident.

5. Just have fun

Enjoy every moment of the camping trip. Stay away from bad company that may spoil your trip. Be appreciative of what you experience in the outdoors like the sound of birds and the sights you see or even the bland food you prepared and the sleeping discomfort. Document your trip with a snap using your camera.

5 Recipes to Try While Camping

Camping is fun, but to most people it also means they have to get out of their comfort zone. If you have not prepared well for a camping trip, you may experience discomfort and even dehydration and starvation due to lack of water or food. It's necessary that you prepare well before going on a…

Camping is fun, but to most people it also means they have to get out of their comfort zone. If you have not prepared well for a camping trip, you may experience discomfort and even dehydration and starvation due to lack of water or food.

It's necessary that you prepare well before going on a multi-day camping trip.

You must know what food is suitable for a hiking trip or overnight camping. These foods must be easy to prepare and only require few ingredients. But this does not mean that you have to sacrifice your diet. There are a lot of healthy and easy to prepare camping recipes you can try. Here are 5 recipes you can do on your next camping trip.

1. Grilled Shrimp with Garlic and Lime

Grilling is among the easiest and most common ways of cooking when camping. What you need to bring are good grills and metal skewers. Make sure that the shrimp is marinated with soy sauce, salt and pepper, lime and garlic. Add necessary flavors according to your taste. Soak the peeled shrimp on the marinade for 30 minutes.

This recipe is good for dinner. What you need to bring are the marinated shrimps which you can store in a ziploc and the necessary tools for cooking. This recipe may only be good for a single day camping trip as shrimp is perishable.

2. Scrambled Eggs and Toast

This recipe is so easy that even kids can do it. What you need to bring are non-stick pan and a camping stove. Ingredients will only include eggs and butter plus pre-made toasts.

Cook the bean eggs on a heated pan with melted butter. Wait until the sides of the eggs settle. Serve hungry stomachs this delicious treat for brunch. This recipe is best for car camping or a single day camp.

3. Chicken and Vegetable Foil Pack

This easy recipe can be prepared from home and only need a campfire for cooking. Ingredients include cubed boneless breast chicken, mushrooms, cubed potatoes, olive oil, garlic, juiced lemon and thinly sliced ​​bell pepper. All you need to do is combine all these ingredients in a Ziploc bag or directly put them in an aluminum foil. Keep them frozen until ready to cook. Cook it over the hot coals from your campfire for 30-40 minutes or until chicken and potatoes are tender.

Be careful in opening the foil as you might get burned from the hot vapor. Make sure that the foil is strong and you have enough olive oil to avoid burning the food.

4. Campfire Baked Apples

This recipe is good for dessert and can be enjoyed by kids. What you need are apples (one per person), brown sugar, cinnamon candy and butter.

Core out the fruit on its top half and place brown sugar, butter and the cinnamon candy on top of each other. Wrap in aluminum foils and cook over a campfire for 15-20 minutes.

5. Hot Chocolate

This is an effortless way of treating the kids and campers to a hot chocolate on a cold morning at the camp. Mix powdered milk, chocolate powder of your choice and sugar. Keep the mix in a container and bring to camp. What you only need is hot water.

Kids’ Sleeping Bag

Kids' sleeping bags are fun to use for the occasional sleepover at the grandparents', the best friends' or at slumber parties. Children love to bring their own special bag to sleepover parties. Children also love camping and if you are planning a family camping holiday then kids' bags are essential to keep your children warm,…

Kids' sleeping bags are fun to use for the occasional sleepover at the grandparents', the best friends' or at slumber parties. Children love to bring their own special bag to sleepover parties.

Children also love camping and if you are planning a family camping holiday then kids' bags are essential to keep your children warm, dry and comfortable!

There are many varieties of kids' bags in the market and their designs are a lot simpler than the ones for adults.

Kids' bags come in an assortment of colors and designs: some with floral prints, others sporting figures and animals or other images from favorite fairy tales -eg princesses, dragons, super-heroes and so on.

These smaller lightweight bags have many uses. Most of all, in a new surrounding, your child will feel more comfortable and secure in their own sleeping bags.

They also come in handy when parents go on long road trips. The children can be snug and happy in their own sleeping bags rather than use the bed-sheets at highway lodges which are known to cause allergic reaction in some.

Some things to bear in mind when purchasing

It is important that you buy a comfortable, lightweight and warm sleeping bag for your child.

The size of the bag is important as one that is too big or too small will not be comfortable. The lightweight choice is best as they are easier to transport.

Kids' bags tend to be easier to manufacture than the adult ones as they are unkily to be used in extreme climates for most parents would not take children on such tours.

The lightweight bags are made of synthetic fibers; they require little maintenance and provide adequate warmth.

Compared to down-filled bags, the lightweight synthetic-fill bag provides much better insulation when wet.

Down-filled bags are a great deal costlier than the synthetic ones. Since children will soon outgrow their sleeping bags, the synthetic ones are better value.

Most of the kids' bags in the market are of non-rectangular shape and include a hood, a draft tube and draft collar. They zip up at the sides and at the bottom. Many will include a detachable pillow and the bags can easily fold up into a small small carrying bag.

The draft tubes in sleeping bags prevent heat generated by the child's body from escaping through the zipper. Dirt collars prevent heat from radiating above the shoulders and out of the bag.

As children enjoy family camping trips and exploring the great outdoors, make their trips more memorable by investing in a warm lighter weight sleeping bags that will keep them snug and dry. They will return from such trips with greater knowledge of the natural world and unforgivable memories.

It is easier to shop online as you can choose from a vast selection of models and brands at different prices. Some well-known brands that make kids' sleeping bags include Coleman, LL Bean, REI, Big Agnes and Integral Designs.

Campervanning in Christchurch New Zealand

Christchurch is real phoenix, and has risen remarkably from the ashes of the earthquake which devastated the city in 2011. Whilst the central city and some suburbs have suffered significant damage, the spirit of the city is alive and well, and most areas are open. Christchurch is the main pick-up point for those embarking on…

Christchurch is real phoenix, and has risen remarkably from the ashes of the earthquake which devastated the city in 2011. Whilst the central city and some suburbs have suffered significant damage, the spirit of the city is alive and well, and most areas are open.

Christchurch is the main pick-up point for those embarking on a South Island Campervan adventure. It is the Island's largest city and centrally located. In just a short drive from the city, you will find some of the scenery that this bottom half of New Zealand is famous for. The Port Hills are spectacular, and lie between the city and its port of Lyttleton. Banks Peninsula is another great place within an easy drive of the city. At the end you will find the charming Akaroa, where signs of the french settlers to New Zealand can be found in the street signs and cemeteries! The Rakaia River just south of the city is a great place for a picnic- it is a beautiful braided river.

The possibilities for heading further afield then Christchurch's surrounds are endless. To the north, there is the town of Kaikoura, where whales and dolphins form the base of the tourist industry. They are plentiful along this coast and there are many whalewatching tours available. Continuing up the coast, you will find the winemaking region of Marlborough, which is also worth a visit for the stunning Marlborough Sounds, and the cute town of Picton which is nestled in Queen Charlotte Sound.

To the south of Christchurch, there is the student city of Dunedin, and the very southerly city of Invercargill. The most memorable parts of the South Island, however, lies to the southwest where you will find the gorgeous region of mountains, lakes and fjords. Fiordland is quite remote but well worth a cruise if you get down there- there are many companies offering tours on the water. Queenstown and Wanaka are both stunning towns located on their respective lakes- Wakatipu and Wanaka. Queenstown especially is a popular year-round destination, with watersports, hiking, lugeing and more in summer, and snowsports in winter. The town is charming, full of eateries and bars with the lake on one side and mountains Rising above on the other.

Straight across from Christchurch and over Arthur's Pass and the Main Divide you will find the wild west coast, where the Tasman Sea meets the mountains. South, you will come across the Franz Josef and Fox glaciers and north the city of Greymouth and the incredible Punakaiki 'Pancake' Rocks' which are truly a sight to behold! Further north is Golden Bay, a sweeping bay of golden beaches and small towns, separated from Nelson by the road over the Takaka Hill.