Caravanning for many is still seen as something where men drive, tow and park and the women sit back and read the map upside-down. In the minds of many, the whole image of caravanning is like something out of Terry and June or a “Carry on” movie but, actually, it is not.
Caravanning is for anyone, that is a given, but many of the important tasks - some safety, some hygienic and others just mucking in - are not as gender-specific as one might imagine.
Here are four caravanning tasks that female caravanners can do equally as well as men and, in many cases, better:
The very first thing that has to happen before heading off on the road with a caravan is to couple-up the “van” to the car. This has always been something men like to do; it is a kind of ritual that shows how good they are at reversing, lining up the tow bar and then lifting the heavy caravan a few centimetres before snapping it onto the car.
There is nothing macho about this at all; coupling up today is easier than ever before and, with many vehicles having cameras to aid reversing, one can bring the car into position for coupling with pinpoint accuracy. With the standard technology on the caravan, there is no need to lift the caravan, but merely turn a handle to raise it and lower it. Moreover, don’t be fooled by the lighting connections - there really is no rocket science to plugging in and checking lights. With a little practice, coupling up can be perfected and, when you do so, your man’s face will be a picture!
Towing a caravan, especially in modern vehicles, is now as easy and pleasant as driving without towing anything. Sticking to the speed limit, driving sensibly and allowing more time to brake is something anyone can do. Sure, towing does take a little getting used to, but it really is something anyone can do. Again, with a little practice, it can be perfected and, before long, it will be the man’s turn to find directions when the sat-nav has been left at home!
Parking really is where a man likes to show off; it is all about 'being a man' once again and reversing - as with parallel parking - is a joke that has gone past its sell by date. Reversing with a trailer or caravan is quite tricky, but is not impossible to master. Taking your time is the key to success and, with a little practice, even the most challenging of places become ideal spots to park off and enjoy. Today, reversing with a caravan or trailer can be made fool proof with vehicles such as VWs that have Trailer Park Assist - either a standard feature or optional extra on some models.
4. Road Checks
The final thing that men seem to think they know better is the Caravan Road Check. Pre-journey checks are vitally important for safety when caravanning, but they are not as complicated as many would make them out to be. If the checks could not be done with relative ease, caravanning would not be as popular as it is. Checking things like tyre pressure, stability devices and that the load is properly balanced are straight forward and, in many cases, just logical. A quick Google on the internet and you can soon find out all you need to know to make you look like a pro, checking over your caravan so you and your loved ones are safe and have any enjoyable break away.
Don’t be fooled into thinking you ladies can’t do half the stuff a man often does when caravanning, it is all very possible. However, ladies are just that little bit sneaky and maybe they just let their men think they are superior but, inside, they know the truth!