How we packed the caravan for the first time
Updated: Aug 6, 2019
Firstly, don't listen to our tips #shittips there are people out there who are skilled at organisation, listen to them.
We were surprised how much storage we had once we started putting things in our van. We created a daisy chain and in it went.
Secondly, my husband said I have 500kg of stuff, this excludes our gas and water tanks. If you think about when you travel on a plane, you have approx. 22kg per suitcase and how much you can pack into that, which is surprisingly a lot.
We bought the kids a foldable canvas box (the type you put in a kids bookshelf) each to bring whatever they wanted (with much guidance...) and this sits at the end of their beds, when/if it's empty it folds up easily and can go under a mattress. I dedicated a drawer to kids books, another one of craft / schooling, I have a small tub each of play dough toys / duplo / painting supplies stored under the bed in plastic tubs.
We packed beach / pool toys, balls, cards / games, a bike, scooters, boogies boards, probably (definitely, yes I can see you nodding) waaayyy too much! I didn't want to regret not bringing anything and the kids will have outgrown a lot of it by the time we get home in 12 months. As they grow there will be things that get donated / thrown out - books / clothes / toys. And our dog Ted is always chewing things, I often think my husband is encouraging the dog to chew things so he can throw them out haha!
I tried to Marie Kondo the kids clothes, didn’t last long, currently looks like this 💁🏼♀️
Our kitchen stuff stores away perfectly, I just missed an oven tray but will grab one at the supermarket when I remember next! Tip would be to think about what your kids like to eat and how you prepare it and have all the necessary things. We‘ve been eating the same as we do at home - taco night / pasta / BBQ's with salad or steamed veggies nothing fancy. We're just missing our roasts but looking to get a webber Q down the track. Many kitchen items are multipurpose or collapsible - we have pyrex containers which can be used in the oven for a potato bake or lasagne and also to store food / reheat food. I bought baskets / containers from Kmart to store things in small spaces and a Corelle dinnerware set from Big W, this is non breakable glass and nicer than eating off plastic. I even brought the Thermomix but so far I’ve only used it to boil eggs 🙊. Our coffee machine on the other hand is used daily. Each kid has a lunch box for long days travelling.
WHEN IN TRANSIT
We try to store loose things over the wheels when in transit - things that get brought out to the annex as soon as we arrive - duplo tub / table / chairs etc. Coffee machine goes under the table, wedged in with a towel.
A very wise person reminded me that if you forget something, you can always pop out and buy it, you will be near shops a lot of the time, so don't stress about getting it perfect!
We're far from experts, we are first time caravanners / campers winging it and we didn't even get an opportunity for a test run, time ran out! That last week when our stuff was going into storage and the van was getting filled was chaotic and unorganised.
We have filled a plastic tub of things to send back home that we brought and don't need already, get ready Nana its coming at you! So if anything we over-packed.
My advise is not to overthink it. You'll find once you start living in a caravan you'll be packing and repacking for the first week or two until you get things just right.