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On the road again? How to find that perfect camp site

When you’re out on the open road there’s nothing like finding the perfect spot to set up camp. But what constitutes the ‘perfect spot’? When it comes to caravan travel, there’s more than meets the eye in a good campsite.

Caravan parks and camping grounds have your basic needs covered and are a great alternative for those who prefer some element of comfort. Whether your chosen path of caravan travel is on or off the beaten track, here are six things to look for in a caravan site.

The right fit

Get to know the dimensions of your caravan like the back of your hand. You’ll want to know that a potential spot is long and wide enough for your rig, with ample space around the outside.

Ground control

Survey the landscape and pay attention to sloping areas, rough surfaces, loose dirt and sandy patches, as these will affect your caravan’s stability. Even on level ground, corner steadies will prevent the caravan from tipping when you move around inside. If you’re setting up on uneven or sloping terrain, use landing legs to compensate and provide load-bearing support.

Privacy versus convenience

Caravan travel parks don’t usually offer the peace and quiet of a secluded billabong, but they have their perks, such as power and other amenities. Choosing a spot near the beach, water or amenities might seem ideal, but these areas often attract other campers, so you could be sacrificing privacy. If you’re looking to escape, choose a quiet corner spot away from the common area bustle. If you favour convenience, look for a site close to:

  • Barbeque areas.
  • Toilet blocks/amenities.
  • Beach/river/waterfronts.
  • Sporting grounds.
  • Common roads.

Clear and present danger

Shady spots and shelter are good, but do a thorough inspection of the surrounding trees. Droughts, storms and insects can weaken branches, which in turn can be hazardous for you and your vehicle.

Shelter and warmth

Campfires are great for preparing food and keeping warm, but because of our climate they can be illegal during certain times of the year. When off-road, set up camp near a water source or have a good store of water with you and check with local fire services for current conditions – they may require you to have a permit.

Pet-friendly accommodation

Some of us travel with our furry friends and while dogs (and even cats) can make wonderful on-road companions, they aren’t welcome at all sites. If you’re taking your pet along for the ride check for friendly camping grounds, parks and nature spots before setting out.

After a few weeks on the road, you’ll have a good idea of what constitutes the perfect parking spot for you. But possibly the best advice on good camping areas will come from your fellow campers, so don’t be afraid to ask and share experiences.

Wherever you choose to park your caravan, chances are you’ll have to reverse it into the spot. But don’t worry, because we have a guide for just that purpose.

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