Choosing your caravan
We spend most of our life saving enough money to buy an RV or caravan for the holidays, so we should buy one we will enjoy and last for years. Before buying anything, do your research and think about what you need. It is too late once you move in and find it is not what you want. The bed may not suit, or not enough cupboard space, means you will not be happy. No matter which design or style you choose they will all have shortcomings.
Pop tops: Great for towing and use less fuel. These will not be the best choice if you have a bad back as the top is heavy to lift.
Make sure caravan and vehicle are level before towing anywhere
Caravans: Once you park them you can have a cup of tea with no more stress. Although, harder to reverse for some people. If you break an axle or flat tire, a dual axle van is safer, although harder to park in small areas. Whereas a single axle small caravan when unhitched is easy to push into place, by hand.
Off road Caravans: If you intend to travel on outback and dirt roads then these are a good choice. Off-road means built stronger to cope with the corrugations and rough outback roads.
Mobile Homes: Good for security. If there is a problem where you park for the night, you jump behind the wheel and drive off. On the other hand, with a caravan if you have unhitched then you cannot escape so easy.
The Mobile ones offer less hassle when parking, although you should think about the size you buy. Many tow a car behind to go on trips and shopping, this is a problem when parking.
Renting:Before buying anything, why not rent one and see which best suits your situation. This will save you a lot of money and regrets if not happy.
With the decision made you now have to live with your choice and think about loading it up and finding ways to keep it looking brand new.
Loading your RV or Caravan
Always check the weights allowed with your caravan. Filling your gas bottles and water tanks take up most of your weight limit. If you overload your van, you could find yourself without insurance. Check this before travelling anywhere. Some states do roadworthy checks and if overloaded, you have to unload articles in street until back to legal weight. Not good.
Packing tips to save space
How to reduce weight and save space:
- Use plastic or melamine dinnerware these are lightweight and no breakage.
- Use square plastic containers for storage. These pack into cupboards and drawers with less wasted space.
- Pack what you need – If catering for four people never take six of everything.
- Clothing- Pack wash and wear polyester clothes where possible. Rinse out overnight.
- Shoes – Take a solid pair for bush walks and casual shoes
How to remove water stains from ceiling on Caravan or RV's
If you have ever had a leak in your van this information should help solve your problem. There is nothing more frustrating than qualified people not doing a proper job. If you have solar panels added then every hole made in the roof needs to be sealed otherwise you will suffer like we did when you least expect it and miles from help.
Look for reliable workers to repair the leaks before doing anything. Once repaired then you have to remove the dark mold growing on the ceiling plus the water stain. It will look awful and mold is a health hazard, so kill it quick.
How to kill the mold
You have to kill the mold with vinegar, before removing the stain. I would advise against using bleach, as many people believe that encourages growth.
- Spray or dab a small quantity of white vinegar on a piece of soft white cloth. Dab this onto the stain. Do not rub, as the surface of the caravan walls and ceiling is paper-thin.
- Make sure you treat all the affected area, taking care to add extra on the joins.
- Open windows and leave to dry. Repeat to make sure you have covered the area.
Note: To avoid mold forming in your caravan when not in use, leave adequate ventilation, by opening a window or vent. Place a tray of cat litter in van to soak up moisture or use a humidifier.
Removing the stain
You will need:
- Plastic sheeting
- Baking soda
- Hydrogen peroxide, buy from any supermarket or chemist
- Place plastic sheeting on the floor or bed under the water stained area in your RV.
- I had a small job so mixed 1-tablespoon baking soda with 1-tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide in a basin or dish. Use more quantities for larger jobs. Wear gloves, to keep your hands safe. (Mix smaller quantities as it does dry out)
- Stir the mixture into a thin paste. Dip a rag or white cloth into the paste. (Coloured cloth may stain) Add more peroxide to paste if it starts to dry out.
- Apply the paste to the water stain. Let the paste dry on the stain for at least 30 minutes, this may take longer in winter.
- Place enough hydrogen peroxide into a small spray bottle.
- You can spray the water stain with hydrogen peroxide, although I found it easier to spray on cloth and carefully dab the stain with the cloth. Remember the ceilings in caravans are not solid, more like cardboard so do not rub or you will damage the surface.
- Re-spray or dab the water stain area again with peroxide. Continue to treat stains until they disappears.
- Stubborn water stains, re-treat again. Wait two or three hours before re-doing.
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Tips for cleaning caravan
How to remove marks from Awning
I found the stains on our annexe awning very hard to remove at the beginning. We thought we had tried everything until we found the 30 second cleaner from Bunning’s or similar Hardware Stores.
Follow directions on container, although it is important not to leave on over a minute. Do half at a time, put it on then start at the beginning and rinse off with the hose.
I read on the net that you can use this to remove stubborn marks in your fridge. Although, I found that a normal kitchen eraser works best for me. Dampen the eraser; it even removes scratch marks on the outside of van.
I laughed when someone showed me how to use a magic eraser to remove stains. They definitely do work. No, not the school rubber, you buy these from any supermarket.
Protecting your Shower
If you have a shower in your caravan with a skylight then, beware of the UV rays. Some skylights do not have UV filters. My husband thought I was not cleaning the shower properly. I assured him that I was, as it turned out the walls went yellow from the excessive sunrays entering through the sunlight.
To prevent this; cover your skylight when parked in sun when not in use, or cut a piece of cardboard to insert inside the skylight to prevent sun entering. This also helps people who cannot sleep when lights or moon shines through at night.
Cleaning body fat from shower walls
Use an eraser and warm water to clean body fat from shower walls. No need to use any harmful chemicals.
Conclusion: If you need any other help please ask in the comments or add your suggestions or special tips to help others.
If you would rather go camping with a tent it would not be as expensive as buying a caravan which may suit you better. Although a tent would not be as warm in my opinion
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Thinking of buying a caravan?
No need to Iron Pleats in Curtains
For those people who hate ironing this may appeal to you. There is a much simpler way of having pleats pressed into your curtains.
How to press those pleats
Wash and dry curtains. Then fold curtains into pleats and lay on a cupboard or clean cloth on the floor. Cover with another cloth then stack books on top. Leave for two days and presto, your pleats are perfectly ironed.