Many of our customers buy a Land Rover for the purpose of getting away from it all and go traveling with their caravan, so whether you are a seasoned veteran of the caravanning world, or looking to just get started there are a few things that are worth remembering.
First off – regular maintenance.
Inexplicably the most important of all things to keep in mind, because your holiday is going to be much worse if you are stuck at the side of the road, bonnet up, kids screaming and the wife giving you the “I told you that you needed to…..” routine.
Our general rule of thumb is that 3-4 weeks before you plan to depart, get the Land Rover looked at by someone who knows what they are looking for, to make sure that everything is operating as intended, and that you won’t have a nasty surprise waiting for you 3-4 hours after departure.
While you are away, regularly check your own oil, coolant and tyre pressures as these will often be amongst the first signs if there is anything not quite how it should be. If you have no idea how, we are quite happy to show you.
Second – What to bring
This one can seem confusing at times, especially between the husband going “yep the beer’s in the car” and the wife going “did you remember the sink”. The inevitable argument as to how much stuff to bring has been going since the first trip there ever was.
Rule #1 here is to pack as much as you need, and no more. Travel as light as possible, because every extra kilo of weight you put in the vehicle, or caravan, is going to result in extra strain on the vehicle, and that means it will burn more fuel at a minimum.
Having said that, not bringing enough can put extra strain on your relationship…
There is no real way to figure this one out other than the old trial and effort method. Each time I head out my regular set up changes depending on how many people I have, how long we are going for, and what I can buy when I get there. Having said that there are a few must haves. These include the fridge, the camp chairs, my BBQ, and some form of shade.
Rule #2 is to make sure it is distributed correctly. If you have a caravan make sure the ball weight doesn’t exceed the maximums (generally around 250kg – please check in your owner’s manual for your Land Rovers specifications) but also make sure the centre of gravity isn’t too far back, as this can cause severe swaying issues if not taken into account.
This video below (not ours) explains it quite nicely.
Once this is all set up correctly you can move onto the next thing worth considering.
Make sure the vehicle can take whatever you are putting into it.
This doesn’t mean you need to go and spend a heap of money on heavy duty suspension just because you are going to be putting a weekends worth of gear in it once or twice a year.
Think more simple. If you are running a travel fridge like an Engel or similar, maybe think about a dual battery kit with some extra outlets in the rear of the vehicle. This will stop you from accidentally draining the primary battery if the kids leave the fridge open. And has the added benefit of letting the kids charge all of their gear and leave you some peace and quiet.
If you are towing a caravan, see if it has electric brakes fitted. If yes, you will need an electronic brake controller fitted to be able to use them effectively. If the caravan has extra batteries fitted, you might need an Anderson plug or similar fitted to be able to charge them on the go. And make sure you try to keep it out of top gear whilst the caravan is attached. If you have an auto, then you can either push the gear lever to the left whilst it is in drive to put it in sport/manual mode, then take it back to 4th or 5th for the 6 speed boxes, or feel free to use the paddle shifters if you have the 8 speed. After all, it’s what they are there for. Those of you with the older 4 speed boxes, just keep in in “3” instead of “D”
Other than that, go out, have fun and enjoy the whole experience.
If you are unsure about anything at all, have a chat to the team at Tickels Discovery Automotive, your local independent Land Rover specialist and I’m quite sure we will be able to help you out. (Contact details are in the “contact us” section at the top of the page.)