I’m not saying I’m an expert of course, I’ve only been on the road for 50 days so far, but as this is our very first time EVER to travel in a camper, almost everything was new to us. I would have loved to read this post before we took off on our adventure 😬
So here we go: 10 ‘must-knows’
- We’ll start with the obvious: get the necessary apps on your phone before you begin with your great adventure. I’m thinking: Park4Night (our favorite for finding off grid spots to sleep at), Polarsteps (to track your trip), WordPress (because you want to keep a blog, don’t you?) and… Flush (you’ll see why, just download it).
- Be careful with the gps system/app you use: Waze is wonderful but tends to make a lot of shortcuts, think: narrow mountain roads with unsuspected tunnels or little villages: not a great combo with a 7 meter camper that has bikes attached to it…
- If you attach stuff to your camper, like a rope to dry your clothes or a windshield etc., take it off before you go to bed, and don’t leave your canopy open at night. You’ll know I’m right after the first night when you try to sleep and every little ‘tic tac toc’ is magnified to a thunderous noise 😱 In the same area: if you have a sattellite dish, close it before you go to bed!
- You probably didn’t know this, but camper drivers are like bikers: they greet each other on the road, so be polite and give a little wave when you pass one (or make a peace sign, like we do). ✌️
- Go to the toilet whenever you can, even if you don’t really need to go. Go for gas stations, bars, restaurants, museums, shops,… believe me: emptying the chemical toilet is not going to be your favorite passtime 💩💩💩 Extra tip: make a deal with your partner/kids/… that they have to do it because you do the dishes or whatever. Anything but cleaning the toilet.
- Bring a watering can. You probably thought about bringing a hose (we have an extendable one, very practical!), which is very handy for filling your watertank. But in a lot of places you won’t be able to attach your hose to the tap, filling a watering can 10 times and emptying it in your tank is the only solution then. It will give you great arm muscles as well.
- If you camp in the wild, you’ll use the gas a lot (fridge, hot water, cooking,…) and you might run 2 weeks with one big bottle (11 liters). Most European campers have room for 2 of them. Don’t forget that different countries have different systems, so when you run out of gas in Portugal, you might have a problem attaching a portuguese gas bottle to your system. Beter be prepared and buy a universal system before you leave (also something we didn’t do).
- Try to stay away from the city in the weekend, because you will have trouble sleeping. Go to the countryside or stay at a camping instead. Of course you brought your ear plugs, but they will not always help you.
- Get a solar panel on your roof!! Preferably one that also charges on artificial light, your battery will stay at 100% if you park under a street lantern! When it’s possible, you might want to use electricity (at a camping for instance), in that case: make sure you have an extra long power cord with you (+15 meters). You have no idea how far you need to go sometimes to plug it in.
- Last but not least: ladies & (some) gentlemen, if you’re not a fan of body hair: get a thorough wax before you leave. You can’t shave your legs or bikini area in the shower of your camper (where would the hair go?? Right…). I found out too late…😬
Enjoy your travels! 😜