Documentation at the ready? Got a booking reference? The campsite will be expecting you, of course, but it always helps if you have any confirmation to hand. Checking in is easy... chances are they’ve already seen you coming!
ON ARRIVAL – A FRIENDLY WELCOME
Congratulations, you’re nearly there. Once you’re booked in, it’s those final few yards to your pitch.
First stop is the site’s reception. This should be clearly signposted and there should be plenty of space to park nearby.
Do note receptions aren’t necessarily manned 24/7, but there should be a contact number if nobody is immediately available.
Also, after a journey there’s every likelihood at least some one of your fellow travellers will want to find the nearest toilet. Everyone should get out and stretch their legs, get a bit of fresh air, anyway...
Missed the site’s closing time? Most operate to a deadline whereby vehicle movements around site are restricted. If you think you’re going to be late, don’t panic; just call ahead and let the site know. There will be a waiting zone for late arrivals.
Different parks have different methods of getting you to your pitch. Some like to escort your personally, others will point out your pitch number on a map (take time to make sure you know exactly where you’re going – your new surroundings may be unfamiliar!). Others will let you pitch wherever you want – but don’t forget to let them know where you are!
GO FOR GAS
Any caravanner or motorhomer will tell you there’s only one time the gas runs out – that’s when you least expect it!
Seriously, if there’s space in the locker, make sure you have a back-up, even if it’s smaller than your main cylinder. Most campsites do gas cylinder exchanges – swapping your empty one for a full-up version.
Gas level detecting devices, of varying degrees of sophistication, are available.
Your caravan or motorhome will doubtless have both 12V and 230V circuits on board. Be judicious with the use of appliances and you shouldn’t have any problems.
Just be sure the combined power draw of your appliances – kettles, microwaves and hair dryers are the biggest culprits – doesn’t exceed the supply. Typically, it’s 16amps, but occasionally it can be 10 or even less.
WATER – FETCH, CARRY OR JUST PIPE IT IN?
All campsites offer a fresh water supply. But, how do you get it to your vehicle? If you’ve a tank on board, make sure you fill it before you pitch... unless you’re lucky enough to have a superpitch with instant access to a tap as well as drainage.
If you have to go fetch water, why not delegate the job to your kids (or just keep a close eye on them as they go to get it) – it’s just the sort of task they’ll love!
DETAILS, DETAILS... THE FINISHING TOUCHES
You’re on site for a while, so now’s the time to unpack some of your treasured possessions. TV in its bracket? Glasses unwrapped? Fridge switched from 12V to gas or mains? Bikes off the rack and at the ready?
Fresh flowers in the lounge? Why not?
You didn’t really forget the corkscrew, did you? If so, it could be time to say hello to the neighbours.
And then there’s the awning...