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Packing up the caravan – our essentials checklist

http://acevisionnepal.com/trip/lumbini-tour/ What to pack when we’re going away in the caravan can sometimes make my head hurt, even though I’ve been packing up the van for a few years now.

http://philadelphiarealestatelistings.net/wordpress.org Our first trip was far from a disaster, but plenty of things I packed turned out to be useless, and a few things we did need were back at home, coffee, baby wipes. I could go on.

Albano Laziale Chatting to our vanning mates, we’re all experts at forgetting something. So next trip, determined to cut down the faffing, I managed to get my hands on a list carefully put together by my friends mum, crafted over many years of caravanning.

I’ve added a few bits of my own and it’s been really helpful. That said, we seem destined to forget things when we go away, the dog’s bowl and hand soap caught me out recently.

I hope this list of essentials will be helpful when you pack up your caravan.



All of this lives in the van, it gets replaced when it’s used up (or that’s the plan!)

  • Washing up liquid
  • Washing up bowl
  • Pan scourer
  • Paper towels
  • Hand Soap
  • Toilet paper
  • Cleaning wipes/spray
  • Laundry detergent and conditioner
  • Rubbish bags
  • Insect repellent
  • Fly / wasp swatter
  • Cling film and foil
  • Tissues
  • Toothpaste
  • Shower gel
  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Additional toiletries (adults and the kids)
  • Calpol
  • Sun cream
  • First Aid Kit
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches or lighter
  • Torch
  • First aid kit
  • Camping table & chairs



  • Cutlery
  • Plates
  • Bowls
  • Cups
  • Drinking glasses
  • Wine glasses
  • Peeler
  • Spatula
  • Pancake flipper
  • Tongs
  • Scissors
  • Sharp knives
  • Chopping board
  • Colander (we have a fold up one)
  • Pans – 1 large, 1 small
  • Frying pans – 1 large, 1 small
  • Serving spoons
  • Potato masher
  • Mixing bowls
  • Plastic containers
  • Food bags
  • Can opener
  • Bottle opener
  • Kettle
  • Toaster
  • Oven tray
  • Microwavable bowls –  1 large & 1 small
  • Hot plate or Cadac (We’ve got both and take whichever is best suited to our trip)
  • Mini BBQ
  • Dustpan/brush



We go away a lot so most of this stuff stays in the van and I just top it up.

  • Salt & pepper
  • Coffee, tea bags, sugar
  • Honey
  • Ketchup (and other fav’s)
  • Olive oil
  • Squash
  • Biscuits
  • Crisps
  • Crackers
  • Various snacks – lots of them
  • Microwave rice
  • Pasta



  • Butter
  • Milk
  • Fruit & Veg
  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Cheese
  • Mayo
  • Dips
  • Beer / Wine / Gin
  • Bread
  • Wraps
  • Crumpets / Scotch pancakes



  • Clothes Airer
  • Dirty laundry bag/basket
  • Bath towels
  • Beach towels
  • Flannel or sponges
  • Tea towels
  • Bedding



Check the weather before you go.

  • Various daytime shoes
  • Flip flops / crocs / Wellies
  • Costs and jackets
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Jeans / trousers / skirts
  • Tops & T-Shirts
  • Sweaters
  • Water proofs / Rain coats
  • Hats, scarfs
  • Night clothes (forgot mine a few times)



  • Toys, games, cards,
  • Colouring in stuff
  • Tennis racquets
  • Pool toys
  • Scooters, bikes and helmets
  • TV & DVD player (don’t forget the remote)
  • DVDs
  • Chargers



  • Large water container
  • Wastewater container
  • Gas bottle
  • Fire blanket
  • Hitch lock
  • Hitch cover
  • Wheel clamp
  • Spirit level
  • Toilet chemicals
  • Mains lead and adaptor
  • Winder (for the van legs)
  • Awning + accessories
  • Doormat
  • Table and chairs
  • Toolkits
  • Steps


That’s it. Happy camping!



Curious Campers is for families that love their caravan, just like us.

We hope to champion caravanning and shine a spotlight on beautiful and unusual places that we and our kids find fascinating and fun, sharing tips we’ve discovered along the way.

So when we go somewhere a bit special or find something we like, we write about it, because we want to share that joy with other people, just like you.

We are a family of four, travelling around the UK in our caravan. Seeking hidden gems and special places. Learning to be more eco-conscious along the way.

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