Tips and Tricks to Owning Your First Camper Trailer
Camping for beginners
Taking a step onto your back porch, inhaling the deepest breath you can and calling it a day isn’t quite what we call “camping”.
Neither is running into the wilderness with just a knife and a hat … we’re looking at you Bear Grylls.
But don’t think that those are your only two options when it comes to camping. When braving the elements do it in style with a camper trailer. It’s the best camping companion for any outdoor adventure.
It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a quiet retreat by yourself or taking the family, a camper trailer is big enough to fit everyone in.
But just like any beloved item, child or small animal, your trailer is going to need love, care and most of all, affection, constant unadulterated affection.
Treat it with love and care and it’ll do the same when you’re out on the road.
Planning, preparing and packing
Chucking a few slices of fairy bread, some honey joys and a few cans of soup isn’t exactly what we call packing appropriately for a camping trip. The bare-minimums, right? Nope.
Going camping is one big game of forgetting something important and realising you didn’t need that seventh set of cutlery which you rationalised with “just in case”.
When embarking on any camping trip, remember the three important ‘P’s: planning, preparing and packing.
Any camping trip is going to be filled with many “D’oh™”, but don’t you think that’s kind of the fun part? Realising what you need and improving upon it next time you go out.
One handy tip, and we’ll go into this later in the blog, is always keeping a little journal or notepad with you to write down notes. It doesn’t have to be a daily diary, but things you forgot or would need, perhaps even things that worked as well.
This is a great way to make sure you’re tracking all the things that go wrong but things that go right as well. Because when you get home after a long weekend of camping, you’re not going to remember the small things that worked or didn’t work.
One camping tip for beginners that we advocate is having a dedicated camping essentials kit. These are your bare-essentials that you’ll always need for every camping adventure: food, water, clothing and sleeping.
Some of these items you might ransack from your own home but having a second set of these that you always keep in the camper trailer is a sure-fire way of never ever forgetting them.
One of our favourite camping tips is investing in a label maker for a fiesta of white sticky labels throughout your camper trailer.
While label makers almost exclusively exist for passive aggressive labels that you want to leave for your co-workers, in the camper trailer it serves as a non-aggressive reminder of where things go.
Camping is an inherently messy affair full of lots of little things in places you can never find, but it doesn’t have to be like that. Put your labels on any surface where the inside or surrounding storage area isn’t see-through.
That way, you or anyone else will be able to look at a glance around the camper trailer and quickly identify where anything and everything is.
There are a couple of little tricks you can utilise when packing your camper trailer. We suggest buying and using as many non-perishable foods as possible when going away.
Using canned food, rice, beans, soups and whatever else takes your fancy is a fantastic way of always having enough to eat. It’s also an economical option since these items are cheaper and will last you years — so no waste.
Many people think about what to bring, but not how to bring it. Sounds weird right. Packing a camper trailer is liking playing Jenga in a moving car. As soon as you slam on the breaks or hit the accelerator everything will go flying.
Shoving boxes willy-nilly is both inefficient and potentially dangerous. Have you ever been on a flight and they say, “watch out the overhead luggage may have moved during the flight”? It’s the very same for camper trailer packing.
Always remember that heavy items should be stored as low as possible and towards the front of the camper trailer.
Power, heating, cooling and water
Owning a brand new camper trailer comes with an encyclopedia of instructions that no one ever actually reads.
It’s a tough sell asking someone to even pretend to read it, but don’t worry we have covered in this next section.
If your camper trailer has a battery installed, not all the electrical components will be powered by that battery. It’s a concept that isn’t explicitly conveyed and many campers never fully realise this.
Your camper trailer aircon will be one of many installed features that don’t run off the battery. You’ll need to plug it into a power outlet or generator but be careful because the voltage capacity may be different for your appliances and the power source.
The power source you have will dictate what you can and can’t use. If you’re using a generator, you’ll be limited to the appliances you can use but if you’re plugged into a power outlet go bananas.
A camping tip for beginners we suggest is going to a caravan park with your brand new camper trailer. You’ll be still learning the ins and outs of your camper trailer and if anything goes wrong there’s power, water and other campers nearby.
Heating and cooling
We discussed aircons in the previous section; they can be run off generators or power stations at campsites, but what about fridges?
Most camper trailer fridges will run off gas or electricity. Many people prefer to run of gas when on the move and switch to electricity when they arrive at the campsite.
Your camper trailer lights, heater, vents and other small electrical devices will run off the battery. It’s a handy power source but it doesn’t last very long if you’re constantly using the resource.
The water tanks you have installed in your camper trailer may vary in number and capacity. Most camper trailers will have one water tank installed with two and three becoming more prevalent depending on the type of camper trailer.
There are some handy little tricks you can use to save water and get the most out of your water tank. If you’ve got yourself a brand new camper trailer with a water tank, you think about flushing the tanks before going away on your first trip.
The tanks will be safe to use and store water in but you’ll have this weird plastic taste. It’s often advised to bring your own drinking water and use the tank as backup.
Post-trip checklist clean-up
Camping trips can be a weekend endeavour or a multi-week adventure, but regardless of however long it was, getting home and cleaning isn’t everyone’s first priority.
We get that, but at some point, the next day or soon after you’ll need to start thinking about the post-clean-up checklist.
Flush water tank
The water tanks installed into your camper trailer can be the worst breeding ground for bacteria. Storing drinking water for long periods of time isn’t recommended no matter the quality of the tanks.
Flush all of the water tanks when you get home and give them a run through a few times to clear and clean them fully.
Wash the trailer
Cleaning the inside of the camper trailer is always a good idea but the outside needs some love as well. Often, after a long trip, the canvas and camper trailer will be covered in animal droppings, mud, plant matter that can all degrade the camper trailer if left unchecked.
A camper trailer is your perfect companion for any camping adventure. Choosing your first camper trailer is the right step towards a long-lasting relationship. Check out our range of camper trailers to find one that suits you. Contact Mars Campers for any questions or inquiries.