Fine and sunny! Hot tips for your summer caravanning break
Experienced caravanner and regular BIG4 guest blogger, Natalie Tuck, reveals some clever hacks for upping the enjoyment factor during a summertime van adventure.
As I write this, I’m breathing in the fresh sea breeze, the sun is warming my back, and the sound of the waves lapping along the shoreline is lolling me into a Zen-like stupor.
Out here, the vista is all sky and sea blues, sandy yellows, and forest greens.
I’m pretty much in paradise – well, my kind of paradise. This is summertime caravanning. It’s busy and hot, and there are other challenges that come with holidaying at this peak time. But above all that, it’s a whole lot of fun.
We’ve been doing this caravanning thing for a few summers now, but we are always refining our processes. You never know what conditions you may encounter.
This time, we’ve plonked ourselves at BIG4 Ingenia Holidays Phillip Island, and I’m in the zone.
So, with that in mind, I’ve put together this handy list of hacks to help make your summer caravanning adventure as enjoyable and comfortable as possible.
An annexe or a camping gazebo are essential for outside congregations, otherwise it’s tough to escape that summer sun.
While many BIG4 park sites have shade, this is not guaranteed. And if you camp with friends or family, like we do, you will likely find that you spend most of your time in a shared outside space. It’s much more fun to do so without roasting.
It pays to take Teflon tape with you. We seem to use this in most places to stop the hose connection from dripping.
The tape is critical in summer – and super handy every other time – as insects are attracted to water and go in search of it, particularly when it’s hot. Bonus tip: Gastite works well.
We always take our bikes with us when holidaying, especially in summer. And we also pack two bike locks as a precautionary measure. One is for locking up the bikes when we are out and about; the other is to secure the barbecue to the van.
Unfortunately, mozzies seem to love summer as much as us! But I’ve learnt my lesson this time. What I do now is cover up before dusk then spray the repellent all over my clothes, and it’s actually working.
Still, it’s inevitable that someone will get munched on at some stage, so I recommend packing antiseptic cream (SOOV is best as it has the combination of antiseptic and itch relief) and antihistamines.
Consider getting floor matting to place outside your van. The floor matting is fabulous to prevent dry summer dirt that might be flying around the campsite (less of an issue where artificial grass sites are in play).
We have a couple of mats: one we use for inside our annexe and the other just in case there is no grass on our site.
I know it might sound crazy, especially if you already have a fridge in your van. However, this is a worthwhile investment in summer, as fridges tend to get full very quickly. Eskies are wonderful inventions, but you still have to get ice regularly.
We bought a Mammoth fridge/freezer during the Boxing Day sales one year, and it’s probably paid for itself in the savings we’ve made from stocking up on Zooper Doopers for the kids.
We always struggled with keeping ours upright on windy days, even when it was pegged down. However, we’ve learnt a new hack from a fellow camper: use an ockie strap to balance it out.
When camping in summer with hot nights, even just a little breeze is most welcome. If you don’t have power, you can get cordless fans like our Makita one. It’s the best thing ever!
Try filling an empty spray bottle with water to use as a spritzer to cool down, and add a couple of drops of lavender oil to improve the smell and mood.
Summer is all about embracing the outdoors, so this is a no-brainer. We love to play Finksa and bocce on the beach. It’s so much fun, and that’s what we are on holidays for! Organising games is also a great way for the family to connect and spend time with each other.
Isn’t it time you enjoyed a caravanning adventure? Book your next BIG4 escape now.