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Caravan handover tips for picking up your new Caravan

Caravan hand over tips from The blonde Nomads

We just picked up our brand new shiny home on wheels – A custom built Jayco Starcraft caravan! It was an exciting day and a little nerve-racking for Rob with the thought of towing this 22ft beauty back through the busy streets of Sydney once we had picked it up. But all went well and we are now living very comfortably full-time in our caravan and towing it wherever our hearts desire!

We didn’t know what to expect for our hand-over day so we thought we would compile our top tips to ensure you are well prepared to pick up your rig when the time comes.

1. Ensure your tow vehicle is fully prepared

hand over tips

Before the day:
You will need to ensure your caravan and tow vehicle are within all the towing weight regulations so you can legally and safely tow your caravan. Electric brakes are required by law for towing most caravans, so your vehicle will need to be fitted with an electric brake controller (on or before your handover day).

You could also talk to an expert about a suspension upgrade or a weight distribution hitch to ensure you’re towing safely and with ease. You will also need to check the appropriate trailer connection plug is fitted to your vehicle and that it is actually connected/working (as our 12 pin plug was not).

Towing mirrors are a must for towing most caravans so you will need to have these with you on the day, you may also want to have a full tank of fuel as you DO NOT want to have to worry about navigating a petrol station while towing a van just yet!

On the day:
Have a ‘dummy run’ – We went for a test drive on the day with a dealership representative who talked us through a ‘start to finish’ hook up of our van to our adventure truck, as well as how to use and adjust the electric brakes when towing our rig.

Towing your new van home

2 . Insurance 

Arrange your insurance or cover note before you pick up your van or drive it anywhere!! You may also be able to do this in-house at the caravan dealership.

3. Leave the kids at home 

If you can, don’t bring your little ones with you as you will both need to be involved to listen to all the details of ‘what button does what’ and ‘how this connects to that’ etc.. If you do need to bring the kids (like we did), ensure you pack loads of snacks and activities to keep them happy as 2 pairs of ears listening to how to turn the fridge on are better than one!

kids snacks for travel with kids snacks with The Blonde Nomads handover tips from The Blonde nomads

4. Have a check list

Bring along a print out of all the extras and items you have ordered for your new van. Take some time to check these off to ensure they have been installed/delivered. You should also look closely for any damage or scratches etc. and have the dealership rectify or acknowledge these before you drive away. sharing caravan hand over tips

5. Set up/Set down know how

Jayco provided us with a laminated ‘Caravan Set up and Set Down Checklist’ which is super handy. Whether you are just starting out or have had a caravan in the past – each van is different so it is great to ensure you are familiar with the ins and outs of what is required from the start. If your caravan dealer doesn’t provide you with one – you may want to ask for one.

We were also provided with a list of all the ‘how to’ YouTube video demonstrations which is a super handy resource.

6. Taking your new home… home

Make sure you know which route is best to take when driving it home, e.g. steer clear of tight streets and hard to turn corners in busy built up areas. Plan where you are going to park your new rig once you get it home – have a well thought out plan so you don’t have to worry about where your new rig is going to be stored when it is not in use.

If you want some added confidence you could also book into a caravan towing course for towing and parking tips so you are all set to hit the road for your next exciting adVANture!

the blonde nomads

Once you have your new caravan you are sure to have some questions. There are some great online Facebook caravan pages with plenty of friendly caravanners happy to share their knowledge – we recommend joining these. A few that we use are:

  • Everything Caravan and Camping –
  • Caravan and Camping Australia –
  • Aussie Big Lappers –
  • Caravan and camping Tips and Tricks –
  • Jayco Starcraft –

Is there anything we have missed? Please let us know in the comments below.

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5 Responses to Caravan handover tips for picking up your new Caravan

  1. Pete and Des 18, October, 2017 at 9:15 pm #

    Very helpful hints on picking up your caravan. We picked ours up from Jayco Sydney 10 days ago and stayed at Emu Plains as it was the closest site. Then Narrabeen where we were parked beside you. We have never towed a caravan before. Looking forward to sharing your travels and hope you’re having fun. Pete and Des from Malvern, UK.

    • Tracy Morris 26, November, 2017 at 9:53 pm #

      Thanks guys! Great to meet you and thanks so much for following along. Hope the weather is not too cold in the UK Tx

  2. Dennis Fowler 18, October, 2017 at 10:01 pm #

    You need to go over your new caravan with a fine tooth comb as any thing you miss may be rejected as a waranty claim because you did not mention it on delivery day. This was my experience with a Crusader Caravan purchased August 2017 when we reported scratched bench top 1 day after pickup.Other items were also rejected by Crusader Caravans. My advice is to take a very close look all over including underneath and have the sales rep make a list.

    • Tracy Morris 26, November, 2017 at 9:52 pm #

      Thanks for the great tip Dennis.

  3. Adrian Anchor 18, October, 2017 at 10:10 pm #

    Well written you may want to add get it weighed on the day so you know what it is not what the plate says it is

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