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The key to a truly relaxing campervan trip is preparation. Being spontaneous and setting off without a care in the world might feel good at the time but if you haven’t prepared properly you’ll have a rocky ride sooner or later.

Maximise your fun and minimise the panic by planning and packing for your trip well in advance. To help you, we’ve put together this checklist for getting set-up in record time.

If you want to avoid any stress along the way then invest in the best insurance for campervans before you hit the road. A bit of effort now is well worth the sacrifice for future smooth sailing.


Pack for success

A successful and speedy camp set-up begins well before you reach the campsite in your packing choices. If you’re the type of camper who packs all your worldly possessions for a weekend away, then you’ll soon find setting up and shifting clutter a lengthy chore.

Instead, work to find an ideal balance between luxury and simplicity and make sure you have just the right amount for the perfect trip.

When packing take the following into account:

  • Comfort – Never cut back on things to ensure a restful night’s sleep. Being cold or uncomfortable will leave you counting down the hours until home. So, pack a quality mattress, sleeping bag, blankets and other items suitable for the season.
  • Safety – First aid kits and other safety essentials to ensure light and warmth should never be skimped on. A quick set-up should never compromise on safety!
  • Space – Cluttering up your already limited campervan space will mean your campsite set-up will last much longer than it needs to.
  • Essentials – However, don’t fall into the trap of leaving too much behind. You’ll then have to spend extra time shopping, compromising or improvising items -– leaving less time for rest and relaxation.

You’ll hopefully spend most of your time outdoors in the open air. But with our unpredictable climate there may well be days when you simply can’t venture out. Packing one or two little luxuries will leave your camp ready for any eventuality.

Books, art materials, board games and cards and whatever else brings a bit of joy and excitement is well worth bringing along.

A man packing equipment and belongings into the back of a campervan

Setting up camp

Once you’ve packed all your gear and have arrived at your camping site it’s time to get set up.

In an ideal world you would have already scoped out the best pitch beforehand and can drive straight to it.

But this isn't always possible. So when you first turn up you might have to spend a bit of time choosing your pitch. Things you will need to take into account include:

  • Closeness to bathrooms and amenities.
  • Do you want easy access to other facilities such as children’s play areas or swimming pools?
  • Is there adequate drainage if the weather turns wet?
  • In both hot or cold weather, shelter from the elements is important to consider.
  • Level ground is vital for a restful night’s sleep and an easy life. Remember, even on a slight incline to put chocks under the wheels if you want to stay in one place!

Once you’ve chosen the perfect spot then you can start setting up your campervan ready to use. Do the following:

  • First fill up with fresh water before you reach your pitch.
  • At the pitch make sure your campervan is level and you’ve parked in the very best position for a restful night’s sleep.
  • Connect the mains power cable to the campervan and onto the hook-up point.
  • Check the waste water collector or hose is correctly connected.
  • If you have a portable toilet then add toilet fluids/chemicals.
  • Turn on the gas for any appliances.
  • Check your Carbon Monoxide and smoke detectors are working. Is your fire extinguisher or fire blanket in an accessible place?
  • Turn on the fridge. Only transfer food items from a cool box when the fridge has reached the correct temperature.
  • Fill and turn on the water heater if you have one.
  • Whether wind-out or drive away, you’ll want to get your awning set up ready for relaxing. Be mindful of where the sun will be during the day to make the most of your awning.
  • Install draught skirts or inflatable barriers to cut out any draughts under your campervan.
  • Set up your TVs, satellite, BBQ, chairs, tables and any other camp accessories.
  • Lay out any bedding such as mattresses, sleeping bags, blankets and pillows so everything has time to air before bedtime.
  • Check lighting is working. You don’t want to be looking for things in the dark!
  • Make sure food is stored in a safe place where you can keep it in sight and away from animals.
  • If you’ve brought along bikes or other expensive outdoors equipment then check they are stored somewhere securely ready for use.
  • If you have a fire pit then get it set up and safe before it gets dark.
  • Check around your pitch, have you picked up and re-organised everything used during set-up? You don’t want to leave an important piece of kit lying around.

It’s common to take expensive items such as cameras and binoculars with us on campervan holidays.

Be sure to check with your campervan insurance provider that all your kit is covered by your policy. It’s surprising how it all adds up!

A family setting up their motorhome on a pitch at a campsite

Campervan insurance for your home on wheels

However well prepared you are for life on the open road, it pays to get the right campervan insurance for your needs.

Whether you’ve an eye-catching classic VW split-screen camper or a modern conversion, call the specialist team at Motorhome Protect to find the best policy suited to your particular circumstances and budget.

Quality campervan insurance policies arranged through Motorhome Protect can include the following benefits:

  • Unlimited cover across all the countries that are part of the European Union
  • Cover of camping personal effects for up to £3,500
  • Up to 6 months to complete a self-build conversion
  • Cover for campervans with a value up to £150,000

Call Motorhome Protect today on 01865 818341 to protect your cherished camper.

Policy benefits and features offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.