Caravan accessories

What equipment do you need for a caravan? Buying Your First Caravan 06

Caravan accessoriesHere we are at post number 6 of the “Buying Your First Caravan” series. When you buy a caravan you will need a few extra bits and pieces before you can go away on your first trip, and that’s what we’re going to cover in today’s post.

Ready? Good.

What is the must have caravan equipment?

There a certain items of equipment that you will need to go with your caravan for it to be fully functional. This is what I refer to as the basic equipment or the must have’s, without it you would be pretty stuck. You may be lucky enough to get the equipment thrown in when you buy a caravan, but it’s still worth knowing what you need. The best way for me to approach this is to list them out detailing what they are, what they’re for and roughly how much they cost:

Fresh water carrier

The fresh water carrier is used to store your fresh water and lives outside of your caravan. Typically, the rolling fresh water containers (as pictured) hold 40 litres of water. Your water pump will connect to the outside of your caravan and dangle into the water carrier and draw water as required. This water feeds your taps and shower.

Approximate cost = £40.00 - £50.00

Buy one here >>
Waste water carrier

The waste water carrier is used to store your waste water (or grey water as it is sometimes known), this is the waste water collected from your sinks and shower (not toilet). Most waste carriers share the same flat design enabling them to be stored underneath the caravan while in use. As pictured, they are on wheels which makes life a lot easier when the waste water dump point is a 5 minute walk from your pitch! The average storage capacity of wheeled waste carriers is 45-50 litres.

Approximate cost = £40.00 – £50.00

Buy one here >>
12 VLeisure Battery

The leisure battery in a caravan is used to power various different things, its main job is to power the fridge (while in 12V mode) and the 12V lighting. It is important to understand that a leisure battery is different from a car battery. Using a battery that hasn’t been designed specifically for use on a caravan could potentially damage your 12V system. Leisure batteries for caravans typically come in two sizes; 85ah and 110ah. People would normally opt for the larger battery if; they have a large caravan, they go away for long periods of time or they have a caravan mover fitted.

Approximate cost = £60.00 – 120.00

Buy one here >>
Caravan Gas Bottle
Gas bottle

In most caravans you will in fact have enough space to carry 2 gas bottles. The gas gives power to several of the main functions of a caravan; fridge (when in gas mode), heating system (when in gas mode), hob, oven and grill. Also make sure that you have the correct fittings for your bottle (most caravans are complete with these but be sure to check the gas type; propane or butane).
Mains lead

The mains lead connects to the mains point on site and plugs into your caravan through the mains connection socket (usually located in the battery locker), this is what is know as being “hooked up”. This provides your caravan with 240V mains electric. Inside your caravan there may be some 240V sockets that you can plug appliances into, besides these, you can you use mains to run your heating system.

Approximate cost = £30.00

Buy one here >>

The entrance to a caravan can be quite a way up which for most people would prove a challenge without some kind of step.

Approximate cost = £15.00 – £30.00

Buy one here >>
Hitch lock / Wheel lock

Security is imperative (as we discovered in yesterday’s post about caravan insurance) and so you will need either a hitch lock or a wheel lock or both. A hitch lock is a device that is locked onto the hitch head of a caravan to prevent anyone else from hitching it up, and a wheel lock in its many forms, locks the wheel into place which also prevents the caravan from being towed away. When buying a hitch lock, be sure to buy the one that fits your particular hitch head, there are different types. When buying a wheel lock make sure you buy a wheel lock that is suitable for either alloy or steel wheels and is the right size for the dimensions of your wheels.

Approximate cost of hitch lock = £70 – £100
Approximate cost of wheel lock = £80 – £120

Buy a hitch lock here >>

Buy a wheel lock here >>
Corner steady jack

The corner steady jack is used to raise and lower the corner steady legs.

Approximate cost = £10.00

Buy one here >>
Water pump

The water pump plugs into the side of your caravan and dangles into the fresh water container to supply the caravan with fresh water to the taps and shower. Most caravans should come with pumps as there are 10′s of different ones depending on the age and make of the caravan. Seek advice from your local dealer before buying one of these.

Approximate cost £40.00 – £60.00

Buy one here >
Toilet chemicals

The cassette toilet in a caravan uses 2 types of chemical in its operation. The bring chemical is diluted and used to flush the toilet and the blue chemical is used the in the holding cassette and is designed to break down waste and to help eliminate odours.

Approximate cost = £20.00

Buy them here >>

So that’s it for the “must have’s”. Now what other equipment should you consider with a new caravan that is not necessary but is very handy?

Caravan bedding

Believe it or not you can actually buy fitted sheets, shaped duvets and memory foam mattress topper specially designed for caravan beds.

Approximate cost = £20 - £50

Buy it here >>
Melamine dinner set

Keeping the weight down in a caravan can be a frustrating task, but nevertheless is a very important one. Saving weight on your essentials such as dining sets all helps. These melamine dinner sets are perfect for caravanning as they weigh next to nothing and if they fall out your cupboards while you travel they are not going to break and much less likely to put a hole in your work surface like a china one would inevitably do.

Estimated cost = £15.00 – £50.00

Buy a set here >>
Noseweight gauge

Tow cars have a recommended nose weight that you should or exceed. Therefore you need to be able to accurately measure the nose weight of a caravan, a noseweight gauge will help you make sure that you are within the limits.

Estimated cost = £30.00 – £50.00 (digital nose weight gauges can cost considerably more)

Buy one here >>
Spirit level

A small but important accessory, I probably should have listed this in the list of “must have’s”. You may have seen attached to a-frames of touring caravans in the past. It is important to ensure a caravan is level, firstly because the fridge won’t operate correctly on gas and secondly it’s surprising how uncomfortable it can be sleeping ‘on the wonk’.

Estimated cost = £2.00 – £5.00

Buy one here >>


This is by no means a complete list of caravanning accessories but it should certainly be enough to get you started. Let me know in the comments below if you have anything to add or have any questions about any of the equipment listed in this article.

Don’t forget to come back to the blog tomorrow for the post on caravanning clubs and organisations.

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13 thoughts on “What equipment do you need for a caravan? Buying Your First Caravan 06”

  1. Please I want to buy caravan car but it is like restaurant or cafeteria with umbrella. Also I want inside refrigerator ,oven ,same of cupboard and everything

    I want to know how much ?
    You can send to United Arab Emirates -Abu Dhabi. How many day you can send?
    There are car is ready like restaurant . If not how much the cost to make.

    Thank you


    1. Hi Alya,

      Are you referring to a motorhome? I do not deal with the sales of caravans & motorhomes. You would be better to perform a Google search for “motorhomes for sale” and contact the seller direct.

      Sorry I was not able to help you further.


  2. i think i maybe getting a caravan but is up to my mum and dad want one and my brother wants one so does my dad but my mum doesn’t now if she wants one i went on your website to see what i needed I’m hopping i can get one i will keep going on your website to see when you send back

  3. Hi cool site, we bought first caravan this year an adria 502 Up 4 berth fixed bed and we love it, we have only been on 2 trips here in Northern Ireland to get used to how the van works, so now we have decided to venture further and we have a tripped planned for next week to County Kerry in the Republic of Ireland, caravanning is a great way to see the scenery and enjoy the activities of the great outdoors and of course meet new people on the sites you dont get that when your in a hotel room lol.

    1. Hi Jonny,

      Thanks for your comment, I’m glad you like the website.

      Adria make a fantastic caravan, very well put together! I’m sure you will have many great trips in the future. Enjoy your time away in County Kerry!

      Love your point about not be able to meet new people in your hotel room hahaha!


  4. I want to connect to the water tap on site not going through the aqua roll just going directly into the caravan, I have a water tank in the caravan can you tell me what I would need and the best way of doing it.

    I already have a hose coming out of the tank going into the aqua roll and a pump and when I press a switch inside the caravan I know that the tank is full when water comes out of the hole.

    Do I just put the pump into the tank directly into the caravan from the hole outside and then connect the hose to the tap?

    I think I might be being daft but really don’t know where to start.

    1. Hi Glennis,

      If I’m understanding you correctly, you want to connect your caravan directly to mains water without going through your aquaroll? If so, what you need is a caravan mains water adapter (see this one here). You just need to make sure you get the right connection for your van.

      Hope this helps.


  5. we bought our very first caravan 2 years again off ebay, a Abby Septrum twin axel ,fixed bed ,we went to view it ,but new nothing about caravans so had no idea what we were looking for, I guess we were lucky, we loved it and spent 18 weeks in it the first year, going round Europe (my husband works all round Europe so we use it like home with a traverling office wifi is amazing) We are now on to our second van an adora 4 berth fixed single beds a little lighter and smaller to tow so we no longer need a 4×4.we love it never take a telly as there is always lots to do , if any body would have told me I would have a caravan I would have told them I would rather stick a needle in my eye. just goes to show don’t knock it till you try it.

    1. Hi Lynda and Rob.

      Great to hear you you have the “caravan bug”. It’s really nice to see someone utilising their caravan as more than just a holiday vehicle. It really is incredible how much simpler (and cheaper) life can be living out of a caravan.

      I hope you enjoy your new Adria Adora. They are a smashing caravan.

      Keep on spreading the love!


  6. I’d definitely like to throw a caravan awning into the mix of this discussion! It adds an extra room and gives you so much more space!

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