Top 5 Essential Kit for Motorhome Holidays
Just a few short months ago I would never have been able to select the Top 5 Essential Kit for Motorhome Holidays. When the lovely people at Bailey of Bristol offered us the soon-to-be-christened Margot for an Italian Road Trip of a Lifetime – 4,000 miles in the lovely Baileys Approach Autograph 765 Motorhome, we’d never even set foot in a motorhome before, let alone packed for a month’s stay in one. I was clueless.
However, before going on our trip we genuinely didn’t have a clue what we should pack; what would be handy, what would be useless and what we should absolutely not leave home without.
Of course we packed some of each – thankfully managing to not forget any of the essential bits – and there were certainly a few items we simply couldn’t have managed without.
So, if you are thinking of taking a motorhome holiday, here is a list of 5 must-have’s that we have put together for you.
1. A great Sat Nav
Maps are good, obviously, but contrary to popular opinion we find having a satnav set correctly saves time, headaches and arguments with flustered map-rotaters and stressed drivers both at breaking point. We would absolutely recommend this Go Live Camper and Caravan Sat Nav by Tom Tom, it’s a simply wonderful gadget and a definite must have – not only does it do everything you’d expect, but it’s also got the camper/caravan bells and whistles which means you’ll not try and leave the Paris ring road on a height restricted slip road… *cough*.
We also found the TomTom by far the quickest of all the satnavs we’ve tried at re-routing if you miss your turning, or elect not to take the one suggested, meaning you don’t have a worrisome few minutes with no guidance at all as you wait for it to find a new route for you.
Avoid detours & surprises. A bridge too low. A road too narrow. It’s the last thing you want to come across when you’re driving a camper or caravan. The TomTom GO LIVE Camper & Caravan helps you adjust routes and arrival times to fit your vehicle, and special Points of Interest for campers and caravans make finding camping and camper locations a breeze.
Plus, with LIVE Services, you’re updated on traffic and weather and can check out the best places to eat, stay & have fun!
2. Melamine crockery
Yes I know what you are thinking, melamine crockery, really?
Well, it’s true I tell you. When you pack a motorhome even though the very clever people who designed it made sure that all the cupboards lock down tightly, it is still really surprising as to how much things can still move around when you are on the move. Still want to pack your best china? I think not. Even if you’ve got it crammed in so it can’t move, the NOISE inside a motorhome takes some getting used to. When you’re on the move, everything rattles. EVERYTHING.
You become obsessed about tightening windows because just one loose window nut will drive you mad for the next three hours on the autostrada.
Not to mention the fact that melamine is light (fuel saver alert!), easy to clean, and by and large not massively expensive either. Oh, and this set from Olpro is so darned CUTE!
We got this great set of melamine for our trip from the very fab people at Olpro check out some of their other lovely designs that they do as well.
3. The word is Chemicals!
I know, SO glamourous. And not exactly what you want to consider when you’re heading off to the sunshine. Chemicals for your loo.
Trust me – you really DO want to consider them quite seriously.
You are going to have to keep your onboard loo clean and stocked up and finding the right stuff abroad can be a little tricky (and probably more expensive too). Besides, when you are on your lovely holidays perusing the local markets, wandering along the sun-kissed white sands or soaking up a local historical wonder, the last thing you want to be doing is thinking about shopping for loo chemical, am I right?
So, get some before you go. But get the right stuff – some of the cheaper ranges have hideously nasty chemicals in. We don’t like those ones, no no no. Usually you’d have two bottles – one pink for the top flushing tank, and one blue for the… erm… ‘bottom tank’ (precisely).
But we also know that space is an issue when packing a motorhome so the less you have to carry the better (another fuel saver moment too!). We found this fab bottle of the lovely blue stuff again from the great people at Olpro that did all the necessary jobs in one go! Space and hassle saving – AND it only has people- and animal-friendly chemicals in too.
Take two bottles into the chemical waste disposal cubical? Not us – we just ‘Bottom and Top Plus toilet fluid and rinse‘ and go!
4. Safety Equipment
Okay, again not exactly glamorous but this is a definite makes-sense moment; a travel safety kit is simply a must-have. Break down in a foreign country and it can be a bit of a nightmare and potentially expensive too, and of course there are rules. In many cases in Europe you must have by law a high-vis vest for all occupants if you need to exit your vehicle on a road, a safety triangle is another legal requirement. France says you must carry breathaliser kits for example and then there are the light reflectors,… the list can go on. Do take some time to check out the laws of the countries you are travelling to/through, and make sure you have the legal requirements on board.
We also suggest some spare bulbs, a simple tool kit, a torch (or two), some spare fuses (of all types – you’re guaranteed to blow the one you don’t have a replacement for) and a good first aid kit. Make sure your first aid doesn’t just have plasters and bandages and antiseptic wipes – basic painkillers can be a pain to buy in Europe (they’re not available in supermarkets in France, for example), antiseptic liquid has a huge amount of uses, maybe rehydration powders. And absolutely make sure you have plenty of anti-mosquito spray (something we didn’t pack enough of…*scratches*).
This great little basic kit can be found down at your local Halfords for example.
5. Phrase book
This one although very simple is something an awful lot of people seem to forget. It’s fine if you are fluent in the local language, but if like us your knowledge is scant at the very best (French okay, Italian was pretty… erm…blank…although we know a fair bit now!) you will find these little books to be a total godsend.
As with most things in life, you will find it much easier if you make an effort – we found that wherever we went as long as we tried to communicate the locals were very forgiving of our disastrous accents and no doubt comical stringing-together of vaguely appropriate words.
We certainly found that the further down Italy we travelled, less people had even a few words of English, so a phrase book was an essential piece of kit; not only for international relations sake, but also helping top make our trip far more enjoyable. Ours quickly became dog-eared and worn with use, but I never left Margot without it!
Obviously Google translate is at your fingertips on your smartphone if you have signal – but of course that is not always as reliable as it is in the UK, especially when you are in a remote location. Sometimes nothing beats having an old fashioned phrase book in your back pocket.
Now you have your bare essentials…go pack!
Have a great trip :-)