Clearing out your vehicle
Tips and tricks for the start of the season
Things will be back to normal at some point, that’s for sure. The meadows are already lush, green and smelling wonderful. The sunshine is luring T-shirts out of our wardrobes. Shall we sit in our camping chairs? Yeah, why not?! There’s not much going on at campsites this spring, especially as people prefer to travel in summer. It’s the perfect way to shake off the winter with ease. Even if we have to stay at home right now, having your own vehicle makes it so much easier to go on last-minute trips and short breaks, as you have the luxury of full flexibility.
Just get in and drive off? Admittedly, it’s not that simple. Clearing out and spring cleaning is the order of the day for millions of caravan and motorhome owners this spring. If you want to spend the whole year travelling without a care in the world, you need to complete the in-depth Dethleffs Spring Clean Checklist before your first camping holiday.
Right now it’s all about feeding your wanderlust. After all, when your motorhome or caravan rolls out of your garage and the door to your vehicle opens, you just want one thing: To go on holiday. Do you still remember: The days by the sea? The trip to the mountains? The nights by the lake? Glorious!
Our tips and tricks will help you have a safe and relaxing trip… maybe even this year (fingers crossed)! Whether you prefer glamping or camping in nature, Dethleffs motorhomes or Dethleffs caravans, the coast or the mountains – once you’ve completed your checks and done a spring clean, you can treat yourself to a lovely cup of coffee or a cold beer in the cosy seating lounge. With your favourite people and great travel ideas for the upcoming season.
Let’s start on the outside: If you love your vehicle, you’ll first rid it of everything that harms it. This includes salt on the underslung from winter trips. We give important pointers when cleaning the wheels, seals and roof – including a special tip for all motorhome owners – here.
Preparing for summer camping trips
Being attentive when maintaining your vehicle might pay off in the long run. Stone chips and damage to the paintwork can sometimes lead to more serious damage. If you check and maintain your vehicle properly, you’ll spare yourself expensive follow-up repairs later. The best way to get your checks done is at the dealership, as they’ll spot even the tiniest of cracks and hidden damage.
Sleek on the outside, reeks on the inside? If a strange smell has been lingering in the vehicle for quite a while, vinegar can help. The old household remedy helps to combat germs and mould and drives out nasty smells. So you can soon be rid of the musty winter smell and make way for the fragrance of freshly brewed coffee.
Experienced campers know that the fresh water system and all its supply pipes are vital. We have compiled our top tips on getting rid of unwanted deposits and bacteria here. After all, a thorough spring clean is well worth it given rising temperatures and camping in the summer heat.
Even if it’s annoying and requires care, it is vital that the technology has a thorough check. To stop campers from being totally in the dark on their first trip or freezing in the night, you should check the heating, boiler and electrics. There is a detailed how-to here. You should work in pairs on anything that needs to be checked on the exterior of a Dethleffs motorhome or Dethleffs caravan, for example lights, tyres, paperwork and mandatory tests
The awning is also important for well-being on spring and summer camping trips. Free of dirt and dust, the thin material protects against sunshine and rain. By the way, mild detergent is an insider tip among campers. Find out how to use it and how a dust cloth can help under How to clean your awning properly.
You can’t tidy properly without decluttering. Planning on camping by Lake Constance? Packing an inflatable dinghy is a must. It can stay at home when you travel to the mountains, though. Depending on the facilities and services at the campsites you use, having the right camping equipment can often be useful. If your favourite spot is spacious or steep like the camping often is at Lake Garda in Italy, an electric scooter can significantly reduce your stress and increase your freedom.
Does the vehicle suit your preferences?
Depending on your holiday destination and driving experience, a test drive in your motorhome or towing vehicle with the caravan attached could help to get your camping holiday off to a stress-free start. Driving around the block and practising parking is a great way to increase everyone’s safety. You should also check whether the vehicle still suits your needs.
You may have travelled with your children in the past but it’s just the two of you now. Sometimes you might tack a spontaneous city break on to a three-week beach holiday. No matter whether you’re looking into buying a motorhome, already own a camper or google ‘used motorhomes’ every day, you should test out the vehicle you’ll be driving to your holiday destination.
A list of preferences can make your decision so much easier: cultural lover or sports enthusiast? Sociable group or seeking solitude? Your campsite requirements may also change. It’s worth thinking things over in spring: Do I want more comfort in future?
Glamping is bang on trend
For all lovers of luxury camping, Europe has many destinations for ‘glamping’ – a portmanteau of ‘glamorous’ and ‘camping’. No matter whether you want a sunny spot in spring, summer camping with shade or a snowy winter sports destination, mobile travellers are in for a treat: From spas to fine dining restaurants, glamping sites have it all. If you want to cook for yourself, you can. If you don’t, you can take advantage of the luxurious services on offer.
Important: If you have a favourite campsite in mind, you should book it in advance in spring. The most popular places to visit in peak season are often fully booked well in advance. So get your research done in good time: Are your family coming? Have the grandparents got time? Is it just the two of you? Do you need some alone time?
Loyal companions in Dethleffs caravans
Many campsites also offer extras for dog owners. And so do we at Dethleffs: All our vehicles, from the excellent-value Dethleffs caravan right through to the fully equipped Dethleffs motorhome, can be fitted with the 4 Paws package. Our developers have come up with the perfect deal, because we know your loyal four-legged friend is a member of the family and camping is the perfect holiday type for the whole gang.