Some of the following may come with your tourer. Check before you rush out and buy!

MUST HAVE'S

Battery

Unless you intend to only use sites with mains hook-up, a 12v leisure battery will power your 12v lighting and any other 12v outlets when not hooked up to the car. Of course, there's always that unexpected power cut!

Gas cylinder

Again, this may not be necessary if you only intend to use sites with electric hook-up, as modern vans give the option of heating and hot water powered by mains or gas. However, most caravans only offer a gas cooker and hob, so unless you can manage with only a microwave to cook food, you may need to keep a bottled gas supply.

Mains lead

In most new caravans this is supplied with the van. If not, you get buy one, at least 25m long with the standard appropriate blue connectors either end.

Security

Apart it being a wise precaution to use some form of wheel-lock or hitch-lock, it may even be a requirement of your insurance company.

Step

Considering the amount of wear and tear a caravan step will endure in its life, make sure yours is strong and durable. Caravans made in the UK since September 1998 will have a purpose-built step provided when new.

Towing mirrors

No matter how small your caravan, it will always impede your rear view through your door mirrors. Your interior rear-view mirror is likely to be useless with the caravan on the back, so it is important to always fit extension door mirrors. These can be simple strap on extensions, or door/wing mounted models.

Water containers

You will need at least one clean water container and one for waste. Usually the clean one is light coloured or clear, while the waste is black or grey. Some come complete with wheels to save back problems. Your caravan should come complete with all pipes and pump required. You may need to but a short hose for filling the fresh water container at the site's stand pipe.

WOULD BE HANDY

Awning

An awning can double the size of a caravan's useful living area. See our Awnings section.

Levelling ramps

These may not be needed if you intend to use hard standings but in most other situations they are useful even on a slightly sloping pitch.

Stabiliser

There are various models and mechanisms to help control the swaying of a caravan being towed behind a car. Some would argue that a correctly balanced outfit does not need a stabiliser.

TV Aerial

As in any situation, reception will vary from place to place. Some parks offer TV aerial connections alongside the electric point, and will hire you a long aerial cable for a few dollars per day. There are several purpose made aerials, which have varying degrees of success.

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