It can feel like there’s a never-ending list of things to buy for a new caravan. There are things to buy inside and outside your new van when you set up for the first time.

We’ve compiled a list of popular, practical and basic must-have caravan items that you’ll need to make caravanning life easy and enjoyable. It’s good to be organised before you set out on your big adventure travelling Australia, a short road trip or a holiday.

Your ‘must-have’ items may differ from ours. E.g. we are not coffee addicts so you won’t see a coffee machine on this list. You’ll find it’s a list of practical caravanning essentials, a basic list that will suit all caravanners, e.g. water hoses and pots and pans.

To make the list easier to read and organise we’ve separated inside items from outside items. Remember weight when you are looking at things to buy for a new caravan. Weights are a critical consideration when you are decking out your caravan.

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Things to Buy For A New Caravan – Inside

Things to buy for a new caravan

Items such as a fire extinguisher, washing machine, 12 volt caravan fridge, should be included at hand over when you buy a caravan so we won’t touch on those items.

The following are the most popular caravan accessories for inside your new caravan. There are a few things that might not make this list that could make your list. However, as there are so many gadgets we have to draw the line somewhere and we are always looking to save space and weight.

Caravan Bedding

Caravan beddingIt’s best to have a combination of pillows, sheets, bath towels that are comfortable and not too heavy. Remember your space is limited, so anything bulky or heavy will take up valuable storage space.

Remember extras of smaller things like lightweight blankets, tea towels and hand towels.

Bedding stores such as Adairs, Pillow Talk, Bed Bath N Table and even Myer have a great selection of bedding for your new caravan. Plus, you can research and shop online and watch for sales. I got a great deal on a new doona cover from Adairs (80%off)! I was thrilled because I’d been searching for months and it was perfect. It was totally worth shopping online.

A couple of other bedding items to consider are a caravan mattress protector and a caravan mattress topper.

Aero Mesh Underlay

Aero mesh underlay for caravansCaravaners speak highly of the Aero Mesh mattress underlay. It’s one of the most popular caravan accessories as it helps keep mould at bay from underneath the mattress.

The moisture beneath the mattress will cause mould to develop, stains on your mattress, and unpleasant odours. It will also cause the wooden bed base to rot or corrode the metal bed base.

Click here for more information and pricing for Aero-Mesh

Ecosa Mattress Topper

Ecosa mattress topper for caravansThe caravan Ecosa mattress topper is fantastic for those with sore or bad backs.

The gentle gel memory foam softens and moulds to your body, making you more comfortable. It also minimizes disturbance to your partner by 50 per cent, allowing you both to sleep undisturbed and wake refreshed.

Click here for more information and pricing for Ecosa Mattress Topper

Cooking Utensils and Stackable Cookware Pots and Pans

Smartspace stackable pots and lidsThe Smartspace Pots and Lids are a game-changing new way to prepare food on the go. The Camec-branded pots, which have been carefully created to give campers with the most compact cooking experience feasible, are ideal for RV camping!

These stackable SmartSpace pots are the ideal camping addition for even the most enthusiastic cook. They come with a high-quality Teflon surface and a square shape that fits better on an RV stove.

The detachable handle may be effortlessly switched out, allowing each vessel to fit inside the other for ideal on-the-road storage.

Click here for more information and prices for Stackable cookware

Food Storage Containers

Food storage containers for caravansTo save room in your caravan cupboards, utilise nesting and stacking containers and lids. Half-filled boxes in the pantry take up valuable vertical space and can simply be shifted to smarter storage solutions.

Buy the same shape and design containers for transferring packaged food into storage. Instead of the cumbersome and unevenly shaped and sized packages and packaging, keep essentials like staples and ingredients in your new containers.

Click here for more information and pricing on food storage containers

Caravan Crockery

Caravan crockeryEven the most modest comforts are useful when travelling and camping in your caravan. You want to prepare your own meals, but single-use plastic isn’t great for the environment and you don’t want to chance packing your finest china. The answer is reusable tableware. Here are a few with a caravan theme.

If there are just the two of you take 4 of everything. Even tho you might have a BBQ or meal at your camp and your fellow campers bring their own, you can use a couple of sets throughout the day and only have to wash up once. Y0u’ll save some water which is crucial if you are doing to camp off-grid.

Click here for more information and pricing on crockery

Caravan Kitchen Incidentals

Caravan accessoriesGone are the luxuries of dishwashers in your caravan, although I have seen posts on Facebook where van owners have had one installed. I know right?

The reality is you’ll need kitchen dishwashing liquid, dishcloth, rubber gloves and a dish brush. A foldable bucket will come in very handy and pack down to reduce space. Tea tree oil will come in very handy to kill mould in the shower, should you need it.

Draw items might include cling wrap, beeswax wraps, ziplock bags, baking paper and tin foil.

First Aid Kit

First aid kit for campingA first aid kit is handy inside your van. I’d also have a first aid kit in the car.

One of the first aid kits could double up for your backpack when you go hiking. We think the kit is excellent as it comes with small separated bags dedicated to a particular problem – BCF

Click here for more information and price for this first aid kit

Fire Blanket

Fire blanket for campingLet’s hope we never need to use one, however it is a great idea to have one when you need one. For the low cost, it is totally worth the money.

Cooking oils and fats are highly combustible, making burning out of control a very real possibility. The worrying thing is that they might occur on any stove, even the one in your van or slideout kitchen.

As a result, it’s a smart idea to keep a fire blanket on hand for emergency usage. This fireproof fibreglass blanket will swiftly extinguish any fire, and it includes a rapid release sheath so you may use it as soon as you need it.

Click here for more information and price for this fire blanket

Safety Box

caravan safety boxIf you are travelling with valuables how do you keep them safe and away from prying eyes? Especially when you are away from your caravan?

Most safes are heavy. But not this one! The military lock is un-pickable and you can hide it away in a drawer or anywhere else in your caravan or car. The docking station lets you move your safe whenever you need to change its location. Travelling with kids

Click here for more information and pricing for this safety box

What Is The Best Torch For Caravanning?

best torch for campingA great flashlight for any camping or emergency kit will always come in handy. It can be used for navigating around the campsite at night or even to help out if you are trying to find something in your car.

LED bulbs are brighter than other flashlights and they also last a lot longer as well as being shockproof and waterproof.

The MH25GT is now available with a CREE XP-L HI V3 LED, generating a strong 1000 lumens of light. The elongated reflector allows this light to shine with an excellent beam distance of up to 450 meters.

This flashlight comes with a high-capacity 18650 battery and onboard USB charging, making it both powerful and convenient. It also has extended battery life.

Click here more more information and price for this torch or here for a handy head torch

Toilet Chemicals and Toilet Paper Rolls

Toilet chemicals for campingBoring right? However, they are a necessity if you are buying a new caravan for most caravanners.

Think about what and where you will dump your waste. You can only dump your caravan cassette at designated dump points around the country.

To maintain the “good bacteria” in the waste system it’s important to use the correct eco-friendly toilet chemical. Napisan, although a popular alternative to the correct toilet chemicals isn’t good for the sewage system.

This is due to the bleaching aspect of the compound and other chemicals contained in the product. Help our environment and use eco-friendly chemicals for your toilet.

Carry spare rolls of toilet paper. For a couple, 4 should be enough.

Click here for more information and prices for toilet chemicals

Personal Care Items

Bathroom caddy for caravanAs you would expect, personal care product favourites vary from person to person. But there are a few items that everyone can use – toothpaste, toothbrushes, shaver and shaving cream.

Hygiene is important to most people so I’ve included some of the best toiletries for personal care – shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and body lotion for the list.

Insect repellent – this is essential in the summer months especially up north with a lot of insects! Sunscreen – winter or summer, always protect your skin from harmful rays.

Click here for personal care products and here for the dispenser

Board Games and Card Games

Board and card games for campingBoard games are the perfect item to buy for a new caravan, allowing you to play with your friends and family.

Especially if it’s a rainy day and especially if you travel with kids and want to Every good board game is different in terms of how it plays out, what its objectives are, and even the way it’s presented to players.

Click here for more information and pricing for board and card games

The 4th Drawer

4th kitchen drawerJust like you have in your home the 4th kitchen draw is a perfect place for all the bits and pieces.

It’s super handy to have a few popular tools in this drawer such as a Stanley knife, a couple of different screwdrivers and pliers. This will save you tripping back and forth to your mail toolbox.

Click here for more information and prices for tools

Things To Buy For A New Caravan – Outside

things to buy for a caravan

As with the inside caravan essentials, we won’t include the obvious caravan accessories that are in the caravan on handover. Items such as reversing camera, jockey wheel, solar panels for free camping, gas bottles, etc.

Anti-Flap Kit

Caravan awning anti-flap kitYou finally secured your caravan awning into place and you notice that it’s still flapping in the wind. It’s not just annoying either: strong winds can put more stress on your awnings and make life difficult so you need to find some way to stop it from moving back and forth.

Introducing the anti-flap kit! This semi-permanent fixture attaches to the bottom of your van with clamps, grips onto one end of an unobstructed roll out awning via vertical bars. While putting minimal pressure on the vinyl surface – perfect for protecting against both rainwater penetration as well as sun damage too.

Some kits also include awning poles and some have sail tracks so you can attach a privacy screen. They help strengthen your awning and reduce the flap!

Click here for more information and price for this anti-flap kit

Water Hose(s)

water hose for caravanA high-quality drinking water hose is designed to provide a safe and fresh supply of water for drinking and cooking while enjoying time in your caravan.

Whether you are using the hose to connect with your own water tank or any other water supply, a water hose will ensure that the water you drink tastes good as it should.

Made from durable food-safe materials that resist leaks and kinks, it’s perfect to use on the road, wherever you need a reliable source of fresh-tasting cold drinking quality H2O on tap.

Click here for more information and price for water hoses for caravans

Water Tank Filler

Quick fill water tankFill your water tanks with less stress, thanks to the all-new Stand At Ease Quick Fill caravan water tank filler. Simply attach, insert and fill.

The valve on this unit can be used for starting or stopping the flow of water according to what you need at that moment without having to leave the pump alone. This also works as an air release valve so no more worries about bubbles clinging during filling or lack of space for your hand in the tank anymore! The long flexible tube is designed for directing straight into the tank while still allowing air out.

Who would have thought that filling up those water tanks could be so easy? The Quick Fill Caravan Water Tank Filler minimises the effort and mess of top-ups.

No more sprinting to turn off the tap or switch tanks, as this water tank filler has an on/off valve as well as a flexible tube for directing the flow straight into your van’s tank.

Click here for more information for the water tank filler

Water Filter

B.E.S.T inline water filterThe B.E.S.T inline water filter is designed specifically for caravaners and campers to give them access to freshwater that is free from harmful bacteria like e Coli, salmonella and fecal coliforms.

Just hook up any standard water drinking hose (does not take long) and the system does the rest, removing lead, fluoride and other contaminants through its naturally occurring silver particles – making it 100% safe to drink!

Best of all, this system includes a whopping 3-year warranty on the primary filter plus an absolute lifetime on our silver treatment component! So enjoy your travels without getting sick from drinking bad water again!

For the cleanest water, you can get on the go, get B.E.S.T water filter with maximum filtration quality and minimal fuss.

Click here for more information and price for the best water filter for caravans

Levelling Blocks – Levelling Ramps and Wheel Chocks

Levelling blocks and wheel chocks for caravanYou’ll need these for outside your van to help stabilise and secure.

Wheel chocks are especially important if you’re on grass or gravel because they’ll prevent your caravan from moving around. You should always put wheel chocks in before you unhitch your car for maximum safety. Levelling blocks will create a solid level surface that your caravan will sit on.

Click here for more information and prices for levelling blocks and chocks for caravans

Spirit Level

spirit level for caravanThis is levelling device will be really useful when you’re putting together things to buy for a new caravan. You need to find out if it is level once parked up. It can give a good indication of whether your van is perfectly balanced or not, so that doors don’t slide and you are sleeping on level ground.

There are two degrees to consider – the front to back level, which may be adjusted on a caravan using the jockey wheel, and the side to side degree, often known as lateral level. In reality, correcting a lateral tilt takes longer than fixing a caravan from front to back.

Camping Chairs

Camping chairs for campingIf you want to soak up the sun and go on your big lap or camping trip, make sure you have all of the right gear.

Camping chairs are often underappreciated, not only do they give a warm, comfortable location to relax while parked up but they may also be carried on day trips and beach days.

Whether you want a luxury reclining chair or simply prefer a basic deck chair, these choices are sure to please. These foldable camping chairs are a must-have for any camper, from headrests to footstools and tray tables that can be adjusted.

Click here for more information and prices for camping chairs

Camping Tables

Camping table for campingOne of the best pieces of any camping essential is a sturdy table. It can be used in a variety of ways – from reading on a sunny afternoon to playing card games with the whole family.

A camping table serves as a perfect place for families to share meals while enjoying the beautiful outdoors. It’s an important part of being able to relax, have fun, and cherish memories that will last a lifetime.

With a spacious surface and an easy to store design, camping tables are perfect for camping and caravanning.

Click here for more information and prices on camping tables

Awning Mat

Awning mat for caravanMats for out the front of your caravan are an essential bit of kit. Caravan mats are the perfect floor covering when you’ve parked up for the night, or the week.

An awning mat help to reduce dirt, dust and grime. Plus, they look fabulous and they provide extra instant seating for family and friends. These all-weather caravan mats are just one of those little things that help to make every trip hassle-free.

Make sure your mat is grass-friendly allowing the grass to breathe underneath. Plus, you’ll want the sand to disappear through your mat so you are not tacking sand and dirt inside your van.

Some caravan parks insist you have one of these mats, otherwise, you can not ay one on top of the grass.

Click here for more information and price for camping mats

Privacy Screens

Caravan privacy screen caravan awningYou know how it goes: you’re in the middle of a gorgeous, pristine wilderness and then suddenly in the distance you see someone’s car parked at the side of the road with people lounging around drinking their morning coffee. It’s an unfortunate reality when we choose to explore natural wonders that will never be fully our own again. That is why caravan shade walls exist so that we don’t have to contend with stickybeaks.

Caravan privacy screens are specially designed for caravanners and campers, providing maximum shade and privacy without too much installation effort on your behalf. They come in high water-resistant models just like you would want if were camping outside year-round – or even short periods during winter months and long hot summers.

Click here for more information and prices on privacy screens

Power Leads

caravan power leadCaravans have two independent power systems: one for the majority of the lights and some 12V appliances, and another for appliances. They also feature 240V circuits comparable to your home’s outlets.

The 240V is not the same as at home since it is not permanently hardwired. Every circuit in your house begins at your fuse box. Because the wires running through your walls have a limited capacity, each circuit has a limited capacity.

The limit for your RV begins where your power cable is connected to the power source, such as at a caravan park. A 15amp extension cord is required to provide power to your RV. A single cord feeds electricity to one circuit within your RV. In many situations, 15amp outlets will not be sufficient, thus a second and sometimes even a third circuit is required.

Click here for more information and prices for 15A power cord

Power Adaptor

15amp to 10amp adaptor for caravansAt times such as when you are parked up at home or a friend’s home, you won’t have access to a 15amp PowerPoint. In the past, some people have done their own modifications, however, these dangerous practices are not only illegal but will also void any insurance policies if there was a fire due to the mods.

There is a device on the market that allows you to connect a 15amp power cord to a standard 10amp power outlet. The device is equipped with a circuit breaker to prevent more than 10 amps from being transmitted via the supply connection. The Ampfibian ® RV-PLUS is weatherproof, lockable, made to Australian Safety Standards and specially made for the RV market

The Ampfibian® RV-PLUS is your ideal power adapter for caravans. It’s designed to shut off power through the appliance if you are drawing too much amperage and features everything you need to set up in a caravan park with peace of mind.

Click here for information and price for this power adaptor

Washing Line

Clothes line for caravanIf you have a washing machine in your van then you’ll need somewhere to hang your clothes to dry.

There are all sorts of ideas from lines that slide in the track in your awning to a mini version of the old Hills Hoist. This type is the most popular as it’s lightweight, folds down in seconds, easy to store and doesn’t take much room.

Of course, you will also need pegs. I’ve been using stainless steel pegs for two years and we live on the coast. I find them easy to use, keeps clothes on the line and do not rust. They last a lifetime and you won’t have to buy pegs again!

Click here for more information and price for this clothes line for camping

Fire Pit

best fire pit for campingCamping just isn’t the same without a campfire.

If you are off-grid or bush camping then it’s easy to have a campfire. Collect a few rocks or dig a shallow trench and build a fire. However, if there is a fire restriction or if you are in a caravan park and don’t have a fire pit you’ll miss out.

With so many fire-pits on the market now we are spoilt for choice. Which one do we recommend? We recommend the Fireside Portable Pop-Up Fire Pit.

Easily set up your campfire with this clever Fireside Pop-up Fire Pit. It has a weighted base for stability and is easy to transport, with a carrying case that measures just 68x12x12cm when packed up! With room enough to keep the whole party warm, it sets up in 60 secs without any tools needed.

Click here for more information and price for the Fireside fire pit

Caravan Accessories and 4x4ing

4wd on a beach

There are also caravan essentials and caravan accessories that we need in the tow vehicle. The most popular accessories are

Car Fridge

Bushman FridgeThe best camping fridge will serve a minimum of three purposes when you are caravanning or camping.

  1. Drinks fridge
  2. Freezer overflow storage if you are travelling to remote areas
  3. Fridge when you are out of a day trip or need to keep your lunch cool on travelling days

We’ve written an extensive guide for buying the best camping fridge here.

For a quick look at the recommended camping fridge click here and here.

Caravan Jack

Jockey-StandAt best and if you are fortunate your van will come with a fairly flimsy caravan jack. Enter the Trail-A-Mate!

It may be called Trail-A-Mate, but it’s really just your friend! It takes the heavy lifting so you don’t have to – all while being safe, too. Simply use the lever and this caravan jack will lift up anything from small trailers to large 3500kg vans. It comes with an extra converting wheel for when you need additional support or to use as a jockey wheel instead for parking up.

Click here for more information and price for Trail A Mate

Air Compressor

air compressors for 4x4When you travel off the blacktop you’ll need to air down the tyres on your rig and van. This includes sandy roads and tracks, corrugated roads, rocky roads and designated 4wd tracks.

Your wheels and tyres will thank you for investing in a 4WD air compressor and a tyre pressure gauge. Air compressors are the perfect 4×4 accessory to keep your tyres inflated on the side of dusty, off-road tracks or around town. They work wonders when it comes to punctures too.

There are a number of different air compressors available, ranging from portable air compressors to compressors that are permanently fixed in your rig. These are generally mounted in the back of your 4wd for easy storage and access.

Click here for more information and pricing for air compressors

Recovery Equipment

4wd recovery kitWhen you are travelling off-road then you will need a basic 4wd recovery kit at the very least. These consist of
• snatch straps
• tree protectors
• bow shackles
• heavy-duty gloves
• long-handled shovel

If you are having a bullbar fitted to your rig then also consider a winch. Winches can help you out if you are stuck and there is no other 4wd around to snatch you out.

You can always add to your 4wd recovery kit, depending on where you are going and the condition of the roads there. However, always carry a basic kit when you head off anywhere off-road.

Click here for more information and prices for recovery kits

Towing Mirrors

best towing mirrors AustraliaTowing mirrors are not only useful because they allow for better visibility while towing they are also mandatory on Australian roads when towing a caravan. They increase your field of view, help prevent accidents, and also makes parking easier.

They attach to your existing mirrors and give you more range than just using your regular mirrors. They help reduce blind spots and increase the field of vision.

There are also several manufacturers of after-market tow mirrors. They completely replace your existing mirrors.
Click here for more information and pricing for towing mirrors.

Click here for more information and prices for towing mirrors

Spare Parts

Caravan spare partsWhether you’re changing tyres, repairing leaks, or doing basic caravan maintenance on the road, having the proper equipment will make things a lot simpler.

Here are some of the most common tools that every caravan should have, regardless of where you’re going. Naturally, the list may be customized to meet your specific needs and not limited to;

  • tyre lever
  • air pressure gauge
  • wheel brace that fits the towing vehicle’s lug nuts
  • stabilising blocks for uneven or soft ground
  • socket wrench set -standard and metric
  • selection of spanners
  • flat and Phillip head screwdrivers in various sizes
  • standard & Channel-lock pliers in various sizes
  • metal and wood small drill bit set
  • cordless drill with spare batteries
  • claw hammer
  • pocket knife or Leatherman
  • wire cutters for cutting electrical wire
  • tape measure
  • mini hacksaw and extra blades
  • small 2 bubble spirit level to make sure your van is level
  • folding tree saw
  • tarzan grip or superglue for high strength repairs
  • 1000 mile an hour tape (to fix anything!)
  • vinyl adhesive for fixing fabric tears
  • thread locker glue for screws and bolts
  • silicon sealant
  • rubber gloves
  • gloves for the campfire
  • hi-Vis vests and breakdown warning triangles
  • one or more spare wheels to suit your vehicle and caravan
  • electrical wire and insulating tape
  • plumbing tape
  • engine oil, coolant, radiator hose and spare fan belt

Wrap Up

The list of things to buy for a new caravan seems never-ending, doesn’t it? As mentioned above this list is a good basic list of what you’ll most likely need as you head off around Australia, for those weekend getaways or camping holidays.

Happy trails and we hope to see you on the road!

Looking for other caravan accessories and products for caravanning and camping? Read our other complete guides for the best caravanning essentials best camping fridge, best 12v upright fridge best 4wd awning, best diesel caravan heater best solar blanket and best vacuum sealer Australia.

new caravan items
Buying for a new caravan

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