Here’s a list of things to buy for a new caravan when you’re stocking it for the first time:

They’re the ‘must have’ caravan accessories that won’t come as standard when you buy a van

In fact:

Most of these are things you should buy BEFORE you bring the van home

[You’ll need them before you even set up in your driveway]

Here we go:

1. Caravan towing mirrors

Why do these top the list of things to buy for a new caravan?

Because you need tow mirrors to be safe (and legal) just to get your van home

If you want clip ons?

Get Milenco Aero 3: these are the best caravan towing mirrors all round when you consider cost vs. function

Milenco Aero 3 - The Best Caravan Towing Mirrors

Want a more permanent solution?

Then it’s Clear View…

Clear View Extendable Towing Mirrors

…but to be honest BettaView Towing Mirrors or Adventure Extendable Towing Mirrors are cheaper (and have better user ratings)

You can read a review of each of them here: The Best Caravan Towing Mirrors in Australia [2019 Review]

2. Heavy duty (15A) power extension cord

Here’s the deal:

Caravans draw 15A of power while standard extension cords are only rated to 10A

What does that mean?

If you use a normal extension cord it’ll heat up and you’re risking it catching fire

[And voiding your home and van insurance]

Things to buy for a new caravan - Heavy duty 15A power extension cord

Also:

Some caravan park staff go around and make sure you’re using the right cord

So if you don’t already have a heavy duty extension cord this is one of the first things to buy for a new caravan

Heavy duty (15A) power extension cord: Best place to buy is Bunnings (or they’re a bit cheaper here on eBay)

3. Ampfibian 15A to 10A adaptor

So you’ve got your heavy duty 15A extension cord?

Good.

The problem is:

15A leads don’t fit in your standard home 10A outlets

So you have 3 options:

  1. Get an electrician to install a special 15A powerpoint at home
  2. Modify your extension cord to create an illegal, insurance-voiding, fire hazard ‘death lead’, OR
  3. Buy a 15A to 10A adaptor for your new caravan

Ampfibian 15A 10A Adaptor Most Popular Caravan Safety Accessory

Now, we were lucky enough to have a 15A powerpoint in our garage…

…but we’ve still needed our Ampfibian travelling around Australia

[because not everywhere you stay will have a 15A outlet]

Ampfibian 15A to 10A Adaptors: Best place to get is from CampSmart via eBay (over 2,000 sold and a 5.0 star rating)

4. Levelling ramps

If your driveway (or campsite) is just a little uneven then:

  • Your sink won’t drain properly
  • The fridge door can fly against the wall, and
  • Your caravan door can slam shut

[Almost trapping little fingers]

And even if your driveway is dead flat…

…you’ll definitely need them sooner or later.

Make sure you get levelling ramps that come with wheel chocks

And, don’t make the same mistake I did:

Caravan Levelling Devices - single axle vs dual axle levelling ramps

There’s a difference between levelling ramps for a single-axle caravan and levelling ramps for a dual-axle caravan

Levelling ramps: The best place for a dual-axle caravan is AutoBox (4.5 stars), and for a single-axle caravan check TRA Australia (100% positive feedback)

5. Spirit level (or electronic levelling device)

A levelling device is one of the things to buy for a new caravan because you need to know:

  1. How many steps to drive up the levelling ramps, and then
  2. High high (or low) to wind your jockey wheel

The cheap option: Stick a mini T-spirit level to your drawbar (less than $5 here on eBay)

T Spirit Level

The best option: Electronic levelling devices like the SavvyLevel (it tells you when your van is level while you’re still in your car)

SavvyLevel Precision Caravan Levelling System - Phone App

Why are these better?

  • Safer than your partner walking next to the drawbar when you’re moving
  • No need for shouting
  • Much easier if you’re travelling solo
  • Maybe you just like gadgets!

ReadCaravan Levelling Devices: 6 Items You Need To Level Your Van

6. Wheel chocks

Wheel chocks should be put in place before you un-hitch

[Even if you didn’t bother with levelling ramps because the ground seems pretty flat]

Caravan Levelling Devices - Wheel chocks keep your caravan level and you safe

There’s still a risk that when you un-hitch:

  • Your van can jump forward a few inches and bash into the back of your car, or
  • The hitch can swing out to one side and bang your shins

Wheel chocks: If they didn’t come with your levelling ramps then get some pretty cheap here from Caravan Bits and Bobs (they have 100% feedback)

7. Jockey wheel chock pad

These are one of the things to buy for a new caravan because they stop your jockey wheel from sinking in soft ground

That’s a bad thing because:

  • It can make it hard to hitch up
  • The strain it puts on your stabilisers

Things to buy for a new caravan - jockey wheel chock pad

You don’t use these all the time (they split pretty easily when you’re on hard ground.

But when you’re on sandy or muddy ground? Perfect. They’re like $15 from eBay with free postage here [totally worth it]

8. Caravan stabiliser pads

These stop your stabiliser pads from sinking into soft ground

Things to buy for a new caravan - caravan stabiliser pads

Not as critical as a jockey wheel chock pad…

…because your stabilisers should not be used as a levelling device…

…but they’re great because they help stop annoying wobbling and squeaking

Stabiliser plates: Best place to get them is from eBay ($20 – $30 with free postage)

9. Hydraulic caravan jack

Here’s something interesting we found out when we interviewed an RAA mechanic:

“A really common reason for roadside assistance call outs is that factory-standard jacks don’t give enough clearance to get your wheel off”

Wow.

The only caravan jack I recommend is the Trail-A-Mate:

Things to buy for a new caravan - caravan hydraulic jack and jockey wheel

It’s a jockey wheel that doubles as a hydraulic jack

[great customer service too when we needed a replacement part]

Trail-A-Mate Caravan Hydraulic Jockey Wheel and Jack: Best place to get is online from Award RV Superstore, VIC (they’ve sold hundreds and have a 5.0 star rating)

10. Caravan coupling hitch lock / tow ball lock

This is one of the things to buy if you want to KEEP your new caravan

And to be honest:

It’s not so much about leaving your van and going for a day trip while you’re free camping…

…most caravan thefts happen from home

No lock is 100% but you do you want to make it as hard (and as noisy) as possible

The top pick is the: Kovix Alarmed Trailer Lock KTR-18

Things to buy for a new caravan - Kovix Alarmed Trailer Lock KTR-18

Closely followed by the: Saracen Hitch Lock

Things to buy for a new caravan - Saracen Hitch Lock

Which ever one you choose:

Don’t just rely on a chain and padlock.

11. Drinking Water Hose

Apparently it’s SAFE to use a standard green hose… but the TASTE?

If you like the taste of rubber, stick with green. But be like a normal human and get a blue drinking water hose:

Pope Blue Dinking Water Hose for Caravan

We got ours from Aldi… and it’s awesome. I’ve checked everywhere online, and you know where the best places to get a good quality one is?

Blue Drinking Water Hose: Best place to buy is from Bunnings (About $23 for a 10 m… that’s cheaper than anywhere online!)

Next best option: Then it’s the Camec Drinking Water Hose online from Our Van RV, Victoria via eBay

12. Brass hose fittings

Buy well, buy once.

This applies to hose fittings even more when we’re talking caravanning

[the constant putting them on and taking them off wears them out pretty quick… and they will end up leaking pretty quickly]

The best ones to get are the Holman:

Holman Brass Hose Connectors for Caravan Drinking Water Hose

Holman Brass Hose Connector Set: Best place to get is here on eBay (cheaper than at Bunnings and with free delivery)

13. Portable folding clothesline

You don’t want to hang your washing on a caravan park’s clothesline

[for LOTS of reasons]

A portable folding clothesline is one of the things to buy for a new caravan

These ones are one of the most popular caravan accessories:

Most Popular Caravan Portable Folding Clothesline

Folds up small, lightweight, easy to set up, easy move into the sun or under cover.

These ones don’t blow over because you can peg them into the ground.

Portable Clothesline: We got ours at BCF but it’s cheaper to get the same one from Complete RV via eBay

14. Space saving pots and pans

Now, you may have some spare pots and pans kicking around the house…

…but you want to make the most of your limited storage space in your caravan

So you want decent pots and frying pans that don’t take up a lot of space

Camec SmartSpace Pots - The Most Popular Caravan Cooking Accessories

These ones are like the Russian Dolls of the pots-and-pans world

[They stack and the handles detach]

Camec SmartSpace Pots: The cheapest place to buy them from Award RV Superstore via eBay

15. First aid kit

A decent first aid kit is a no brainer

[especially since kitchen-related injuries happen more often in caravans because you’re working in a confined space]

Don’t skimp out on this:

Things to buy for a new caravan - First Aid Kit

St Johns First Aid Kit for Caravan & Camping: It’s hard to go past the one that’s shown in the picture from this seller on eBay (384 sold and 99.9% positive feedback)

Bonus: Caravan mover

Now, not everyone will need one of these:

But we are talking about things to buy for a new caravan

[so you might not be used to doing a lot of reversing with a trailer just yet]

The Alko Ratchet Power Mover is the best caravan mover to get if you don’t want to spend too much

Alko Power Mover - Best Caravan Mover on a Budget

[They’re between $130–$170 on eBay and are rated 4.6 stars]

With one of these you can:

  1. Use it as your jockey wheel
  2. Reverse your van into those tight spots
  3. Make it easier to hitch your caravan up to your car

Alko Power Mover: Best place to get is online from Award RV Superstore

[If you’ve got a heavier van then check out the Camec Trailer Valet Caravan Mover]

Summary: Things to buy for a new caravan

When you buy a new caravan the things you need include:

  1. Caravan towing mirrors
  2. Heavy duty (15A) power extension cord
  3. Ampfibian 15A to 10A adaptor
  4. Levelling ramps
  5. Spirit level (or electronic levelling device)
  6. Wheel chocks
  7. Jockey wheel chock pad
  8. Caravan stabiliser pads
  9. Hydraulic caravan jack
  10. Caravan coupling hitch lock / tow ball lock
  11. Drinking water hose
  12. Brass hose fittings
  13. Portable folding clothesline
  14. Space saving pots and pans
  15. First aid kit

Now, things like camping chairs or 12V fans aren’t listed:

Because they’re things you might already have (even if you don’t have a caravan)

Check out: 33 Most Popular Caravan Accessories for Travelling Australia [2019]

Otherwise comment below:

Is there anything else you need to buy for a new caravan? What are the other ‘must have’ accessories?

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