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Top 10 useful caravan accessories

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A caravan is like your home away from home. You want it to have all the creature comforts you’ve come to expect, so here’s our top 10 caravan accessories that are bound to make your on-road life so much easier.

1. Slide outs

Space an issue? With the press of a button, you can have extra space in your caravan thanks to a slide out. Caravan designs can include slide-out living, dining or bed areas, or some owners opt for a slide-out kitchen or barbecue. This gives you more room to relax and enjoy your holiday, especially if you’re travelling with kids.

2. Power mover jockey wheels

Designed to make moving your caravan easy, power mover jockey wheels are an easy and convenient way to move any caravan or trailer without back-breaking effort. Featuring a ratchet drive mechanism, a power mover jockey wheel is strong enough to move the caravan even up very small inclines. It can also be used to aid movement in both the forward and backward direction.

3. Weight distribution devices

Attached to the coupling of a caravan, weight distribution devices help reduce sway while improving the tow vehicle’s steering and braking capabilities. Due to ball weight, they lift the rear of the tow vehicle. When combined with electronic stability control, you have the ultimate in towing safety for both general sway and in an emergency.

4. Washing machines and clothes lines

Manufacturers have designed a range of caravan accessories including washing machines that are lightweight, affordable and portable, and range from hand-powered versions to electric machines. There are also portable or expanding clothes lines, which are also reasonably priced.

5. Satellite dishes

If you can’t miss your favourite TV shows while travelling remote areas, then a satellite dish offers you the greatest flexibility. Newer satellite systems can automatically position themselves, meaning they’re simple to operate for newcomers to the caravanning experience.

6. Portable fans and heaters

Weather worries? Look into an air-conditioning unit or portable fan or heater that you can use to help keep the van at a temperature that’s right for you year round, so you don’t have to swelter – or freeze – when the weather turns.

7. Caravan corner steadies

These products can help stabilise your caravan when it’s stationary. Not to be confused with a jack, these corner steadies help keep the van steady – even on soft ground.

8. Awnings and annexes

Adding a new dimension to outdoor living while on holiday, caravan awnings and annexes are fantastic options for creating a living space out of the weather, protecting you from the elements and adding privacy.

9. Reversing cameras

A purpose-designed reversing camera system (fitted to the tow vehicle) can assist when reversing your van without the help of your travel companion. It gives you ‘eyes in the back of your head’ and can alleviate the stress and hassles of getting the van in the right position.

10. Solar panels

Embrace the sunshine and install portable solar panels, which can generate up to 600 watts a day, which can power low-wattage lights for half an hour, an energy-efficient fridge for 24 hours and TV and DVD player for about three hours. It’s smart energy saving.

Before you head out on the road, have a look at the caravan accessories that will save you time, money and add comfort.

Accessories are a great way to improve your time caravanning, but there are also simple ways to upgrade your van, and before you leave for your holiday destination, it’s important you perform a safety check on your van.

Image: Brett Goldsmith

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