1. BIKE RACK
There’s nothing like the freedom of caravanning and camping – except being able to unhitch when you arrive at your destination and take off on two wheels under your own leg power! Bike racks are becoming increasingly popular additions to caravans, camper trailers and motorhomes – and not just for the kids!
Cycling is a great way to not only get enough exercise after a long day in the car but to explore your surroundings and cover a lot more ground than hiking or walking. You don’t have to be a hard-core mountain biker to enjoy scenic national park tracks or just a leisurely ride on the bitumen into town!
There are several options for caravan or camper trailer bike racks available, including a rear-wall mount, A-frame mount, towball-mount (on the tow vehicle) or a roof rack (more popular for camper trailers).
Many top-of-the-range new caravans and camper trailers, particularly offroad ones, now come complete with a slide-out external kitchen with a barbecue and/or a gas cooktop. However, for those of us that love barbecuing and eating outdoors, adding a barbecue to your existing RV is a pretty simple, and tasty, addition!
There are many different options available, from the Weber Baby Q – beloved by RVers everywhere – to a standard slide-out model or, even, a built-in rotisserie!
If you have the room, barbecues can be built into an existing storage hatch or, at worst, if you have an external gas bayonet fitted, can simply be hooked up at camp and removed before you hit the road!
With the huge push towards environmentally-friendly power, even when camping, generators have fallen somewhat out of favour with modern-day campers. However, with RV battery capacity and even solar power production limited, generators can still play an important role in a caravan or camper trailer’s power arsenal.
Some manufacturers, especially those who build genuine offroad RVs, offer them as standard features – or they can be added as an option at the time of the build, or afterwards.
If you know you’ll want a generator, it pays to have a generator slide included during the build to make life easier.
However, there’s no reason you can’t add a portable generator to your existing setup and simply store it in an external locker – provided you can lift it out when you need it!
4. WOOD RACK
We all know you can’t collect wood for your campfire within a national park, and pickings can be scarce at other locations as well, depending on where you park up. So the best option is to bring it into camp with you – whether its from home, a bagged bundle from a servo along the way, or a good old-fashioned roadside collection.
But you need somewhere to store the dirty wood so your caravan or camper doesn’t end up looking like a woodpile – enter, the wood rack!
Some new caravans come with a mesh A-frame rack perfect for the job but there are other DIY options available as well, such as a bag on the spare wheel, a roof-mounted rack on a camper trailer, using your front toolbox (if you have one) or even a specially-designed rack on top of your A-frame.
5. BOAT OR KAYAK
Boating and caravanning go hand-in-hand for many travellers. Many who love hitting the open road also love nothing more than getting out on the water – whether it’s an inland waterway or the open seas. But paying for charters or hire vessels will seriously eat into your travelling budget, so it may be more cost-effective to BYO!
Carrying a tinny, an inflatable boat, or a kayak or two on your caravan or camper is now a relatively common occurrence – just be sure you’re doing it safely and legally!
If you’re storing it up top on a boat or kayak rack, you need to mindful of the roof’s load-limit, and also ensure you don’t exceed your entire rig’s carrying capacity.
If you want to carry the kayaks or a boat motor on the A-frame, be careful of not breaking your towball download limit.
Sure, most (if not all) caravans these days have internal fridges and a second external fridge is still considered somewhat of a luxury. But it’s also a practical addition to any setup where your lifestyle sees you outdoors more than indoors.
An Esky will do the job, but there’s nothing like reaching over from the camp chair and pulling an ice-cold refreshment from the fridge right next to you!
Some caravan, and many camper trailer, builders offer fridges on slides as a standard feature but, like barbecues, they are an easy retro-fit as well.
MEET THE AUTHOR
An RV journalist working across Australia’s premier caravanning and camping magazines for the past five years, Laura is also a judge at the annual Best Aussie Vans awards. She has been camping in the great outdoors since the of two, when she was packed, by day, into a Toyota LiteAce van and, by night, into a brown canvas tent with her parents and two siblings for an extended trip around the vast playground that is northern Western Australia.