How To Set Up A Caravan On Site

Sharing this content

Importance Of Setting Up A Caravan Correctly On Site

In this article we will advise you on how to set up a caravan on site correctly ensuring a comfortable, safe, and enjoyable stay.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Read More

It involves several essential steps, including researching the site, arriving at the site, getting the caravan on the pitch, positioning the caravan, levelling it, connecting utilities, securing the caravan, managing space and storage, maintaining cleanliness and hygiene, and dealing with waste disposal.

Let’s explore how to set up a caravan on site in more detail:

Research The Site Before Setting Off

One of the best ways to make your caravan trip easier is to research the caravan site before your arrival. By utilising tools such as Google Maps Satellite and Street View, you can get a good idea of the layout of the site and the facilities available.

Use Google Street View To Help You To find The side

Satellite images from Google maps can show available parking by the booking in office

You can also check out photographs on the caravan site’s website to see what the pitches look like and the amenities that are on offers or if its a caravan club site you may be able to get more info at visit the caravan clubs website

Images from the caravan parks website can also help to get a picture of whats there.

Arrival At The Site

When you arrive at the caravan site, it’s important to position your car in a way that doesn’t obstruct other vehicles or cause any inconvenience. Ideally, you should park your car in a designated parking area, if available, or in a location that is not obstructing other traffic.

It’s also important to avoid parking in a spot where you may need to reverse your caravan, as this can be difficult and time-consuming, especially if other vehicles are in the way.

Additionally, try to avoid parking your car in a way that blocks your access to the office or reception area, as you will need to visit these areas to check in and receive any instructions or information about the site.

By being considerate and thoughtful about where you park your car, you can ensure a smooth and hassle-free arrival at the caravan site.

Once you have checked in at the reception, the site will either provide you with the details on a map telling you where not just your pitch is, but also toilet blocks, washing facilities and shops or direct you to follow a staff member or another caravan to your pitch.

Getting It On The Pitch

Once you arrive at your pitch, you’ll need to get your caravan onto the pitch. This can be done either by reversing the caravan or by using a motor mover or a jockey wheel motor mover.

If you’re not experienced in reversing a caravan, it can be nerve-wracking, but it’s important to stay calm and take your time. Remember, onlookers are generally happy to offer assistance and won’t judge you if you get it wrong.

To make it easier, it’s a good idea to ask any passengers to get out of the car and act as banksmen, watching your progress as you reverse the caravan onto the pitch. Banksmen can guide you and alert you to any potential hazards, ensuring that you don’t collide with anything.

If you have a motor mover, this can be a great help in maneuvering your caravan into position.

Whichever method you use, take your time, and make sure you’re happy with the position of your caravan before you put the legs down.

With a little patience and practice, you’ll soon be a pro at getting your caravan onto the pitch.

Uncoupling Your Caravan From Your Car

Unhitching a caravan from the car can be a fairly straightforward process, but it is important to follow the correct steps to ensure it is done safely and efficiently.

First, make sure the handbrake is securely applied on the caravan and the car is parked on level ground. Then, disconnect any electrical connections between the caravan and the car.

Release the towing hitch by using the jockey wheel to lift the tow hitch off the tow ball, and then retract the jockey wheel. Remember to disconnect the emergency breakaway cable before you drive away.

When unhitching a caravan from a car, it is crucial to prioritise safety at all times. In addition to following the necessary steps above to disconnect the caravan from the car, it’s also important to take extra precautions to ensure that nobody enters the caravan until the process is complete.

This is because the act of unhitching the caravan can cause it to become unstable and tip over if someone were to move around inside.

To prevent this from happening, make sure to clearly communicate to others that they should not enter the caravan until the unhitching process is finished and the caravan is securely parked, or simply lock the door!

By being aware and taking these extra measures, you can help ensure that everyone stays safe during the unhitching process.

Positioning The Caravan On The Pitch

The first stage in setting up your caravan on site is to position it correctly on the pitch. The site will usually provide you with instructions on where to position your caravan, especially if you’re on a hard-standing pitch.

Typically, the pitch will be on a concrete pad, and you’ll be asked to position your caravan to the left of this pad. This will allow you to peg your awning into the soft ground next to the pad.

Once you caravan is in roughly the correct position, its time to level the caravan.

Levelling the caravan

Level Your Caravan Front To Back Then Left To Right

Once you caravan is in roughly the correct position, its time to get the caravan level from side to side using a spirit level.

2 x Two Way T Shape Mini Leveller Bubble Spirit Level for Profession and DIY Measuring Normal Usage-Excellent for Mounting TV-Pictures- Caravan Camper Van Camp
  • 2 x T Shape Bubble Spirit Level for Professional Measuring DIY Usage-
  • Shell Material: ABS Bubble Colour: Green-Size:43*57.5*13mm
  • For: TV Rack Photo Frame Goods Shelf- Electrical Sockets etc
  • Ideal for measuring the level of a caravan or motor home
  • 2 pre-drilled holes for easy permanent installation

This should be placed just inside the door of the caravan. If one side is much lower than the other use a levelling remp to correct the discrepancy. If you have a wheel clamp that has to be screwed into a port on the chassis then make sure that the wheel wont be in the way of the port. It can be a tricky balance.

Level Your Caravan With Ramps

Next use the Jockey wheel to level the caravan for front to back. Once you are happy you can lower the corner steadies. Remember that the corner steadies are there to steady not level the caravan. Once level some like to lift the jockey wheel whilst other leave it on the ground.

KATSU Caravan Leveling Ramps, 5 Ton Capacity 2 PCs Heavy Duty 3 Step Plastic Caravan Camping Motorhome Ramps for Vehicles Garage Workshop Car Service 161912
  • Suitable to Level a Camper or Caravan.
  • Dimensions: 57cm x 20cm x 13cm
  • For heavy duty use, 5000kg load capacity per wheel
  • Sturdy durable UV resistant, easy to clean.
  • Safe and easy to use.

Should you apply the hand break whilst on site?

Should You Apply The Hand Break?

Some say no if you will be there for a long time as it can get stuck on. Others don’t agree. I don’t think that it matters a great deal as long as the caravan is secure.

Connecting Utilities (e.g. electricity, water, Waste)

Connecting the electricity, water, and waste to your caravan is an essential part of setting up your temporary home on a caravan site. These utilities are essential for making your stay comfortable and convenient, and getting them set up correctly can make a big difference to your overall experience.

In the next few paragraphs, we’ll walk you through the steps involved in connecting these utilities to your caravan.

Connecting The Electricity

Connect the Electricity

Connecting the mains electricity to your caravan is a relatively simple process that involves plugging into the electric supply post provided by the site.

To do this, you’ll need a suitable cable that can reach from your caravan to the mains electricity supply post, and a connector that fits the post usually 16 amp. Once you’ve connected the cable, you’ll need to check that the circuit breaker on the post is turned on, which is usually the up position.

This will provide power to your caravan and allow you to use any electrical appliances you’ve brought with you. It’s important to make sure the electric cable is fully unwound and not coiled, as coiled cables can become a fire risk due to overheating.

Connecting The Water

Connect the Water

Communal tap – If you are filling you aquaroll or water container at a communal water supply then you may need a tap accessory or a short length of hose, particularly if the tap is higher than the aquaroll.

Colapz Collapsible Water Aquaroll Fill Up Hose Caravan Accessory Extendable 1m
  • Collapsible Design - Perfect for Caravans, Motorhomes or when camping this Colapz fresh water trunk is compact and lightweight and extends from 50cm length to 1m and and connects to your site fresh water source with the large trunk opening and the adjustable silicon strap.
  • Foodgrade - All parts of the Colapz trunk are made from 100% foodgrade BPA free materiel suitable for filling all fresh drinking water containers with and opening bigger than 32mm. Coloured blue to differentiate from the Colapz grey waste pipes.
  • No More Mess - Now fill your water containers without leaks, spill or mess by directing water directly into your vessel. The genius trunk opeining and strap allow you to connect it to any sized tape or water source.
  • Carry Bag - The Colapz trunk ships with a Colapz nylon bag to keep your trunk clean and safe and all the parts together so they don't get lost.
  • Colapz - Colapz is a BRITISH brand designing high quality and innovative space saving Camping, Caravan and Camper van equipment and accessories. Search our full range of eco-friendly collapsible products including our brilliant buckets and colourful watering cans.

Your own Tap – If you are on a fully serviced pitch and are lucky enough to have your own tap then you will need a hose connected to your fresh water container or a direct kit to feed mains water into your caravan.

Connecting The Waste

Connecting the waste water system is as simple as connecting a grey pipe to the outlet on your caravan and into your waste water container, or a longer length direct into a drain if you have one on your pitch.

Setting Up The Gas

Your gas supply for the caravan is located in the cupboard on the caravan front in the form of a gas bottle. Remember that the bottle has a reverse thread meaning that you need to turn it anti clockwise to tighten. Some caravan sites sell gas if you run out but you would usually expect to pay a premium for gas if purchased on site.

Once you have connected up the services you may now wat to fill your caravan hot water system and turn on on the control panel. The hot water system usually takes about twenty minutes to heat up so you can be doing other things whilst waiting.

Setting Up The Toilet

Fill The Flush with Water & Chemical

If your caravan is equipped with a toilet, you’ll need to set it up properly before use. This typically involves adding blue chemical agents to the toilet’s waste cassette and pink chemical to the flush tank. The chemical added to the flush tank is designed to help break down and neutralise any unpleasant odours, while the chemical in the waste cassette helps to break down the waste from the toilet.

It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when adding these chemicals, as using too little or too much could affect the effectiveness of the toilet. Once the toilet is full, you’ll need to empty the waste cassette at a designated disposal point.

These are often called Elsan points, and can be found on most caravan sites. Be sure to familiarise yourself with the location of the nearest disposal point before wondering around with a heavy full cassette.

Putting Up The Awning

Putting up a caravan porch awning or full awning can be a daunting task for those who are new to caravan camping. It is important to stay calm and take the time to carefully follow the instructions provided with the awning.

In fact, it may be worth practicing the process of putting up the awning before going away on a trip, especially if you are not confident in your ability to do so. When deciding between a porch awning and a full awning, keep in mind that a porch awning is best for short stays as it provides a small amount of extra space for sitting outside or storing items.

A full awning, on the other hand, provides much more space and is ideal for longer stays. No matter which type of awning you choose, taking the time to properly set it up will help ensure a comfortable and enjoyable camping experience.

Windy conditions can make the process more difficult and increase the risk of damage to the awning or the caravan. To avoid this situation, it’s important to check the weather forecast before attempting to put up the awning. If high winds are expected, it may be best to delay the task until conditions improve.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to have a second person available to assist with the setup, as this can make the process safer and more efficient. Finally, it’s important to ensure that the awning is securely anchored to the ground, using appropriate weights or pegs, to prevent it from being blown away in the wind

Securing the caravan

Fitting security devices to your caravan is an essential step in protecting your investment and ensuring peace of mind during your stay on site.

There are several types of security devices available, including wheel clamps and caravan hitch locks, which are designed to prevent theft and unauthorised movement of your caravan.

It’s important to check with your insurance provider about their requirements for security devices, as some policies may not cover you if you don’t have adequate protection fitted whilst on site.

Managing space and storage

Finding a home for all of your bits and bobs and keeping your caravan tidy is essential for making the most of the limited space you have available.

Clutter can quickly build up in a caravan, and this can make it feel cramped and uncomfortable, so it’s important to keep on top of things. One way to do this is to create dedicated storage areas for different types of items, such as crockery, cutlery, and food supplies.

You may also want to consider using storage solutions such as under-bed drawers, hanging organisers, or shelving units to maximise your space. It’s also a good idea to store some items in your awning or in your vehicle if you’re short on space.

By keeping your caravan tidy and organised, you’ll be able to enjoy your time on site without feeling cluttered or cramped. You’ll also be able to find everything you need quickly and easily, which can help to reduce stress and make your stay more enjoyable overall.

Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene

Maintaining good hygiene in your caravan is crucial for keeping you and your family healthy during your stay on site. Since the kitchen is often at the heart of the caravan, it’s important to keep it clean and free from crumbs and food debris that can attract pests and bacteria.

Regularly caravan vacuuming and wiping down surfaces with an antibacterial cleaner can help to keep your caravan clean and hygienic. Additionally, it’s important to ensure that your caravan is well-ventilated, especially when cooking, to prevent the build-up of condensation and odours.

By keeping your caravan fresh and clean, you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your time on site without worrying about the spread of germs or unpleasant smells.

Many caravans are equipped with fly screens on windows and doors, which can be particularly useful when camping during the summer months.

These screens allow fresh air to circulate while keeping insects such as flies and mosquitoes out of your caravan.

When the lights are on at night, they can attract flies, which can be especially problematic if you’re preparing food inside your caravan. Using the fly screens can help prevent flies from landing on your food and potentially spreading bacteria

Dealing With Waste Disposal

In recent years, more and more caravan sites have begun to offer recycling facilities for their guests. These typically consist of designated bins for different types of waste, such as plastic, paper, and glass.

By separating your waste and recycling as much as possible, you can help to reduce the impact of your caravan holiday on the environment.

When you arrive at your caravan site, be sure to ask the staff where the nearest recycling point is located, and familiarise yourself with the different types of waste that can be recycled.

By taking a few simple steps to reduce your environmental impact, you can enjoy your caravan holiday with peace of mind, knowing that you’re doing your part to protect the planet.

Remember Your Towing Vehicle

Most craavan sites ask caravan owners to park the car next to or in front of their caravan. Somne ask you to take your car to the car park once you have finished setting up your caravan. Remember to put the hitch cover back on the car and to remove the towing mirrors.


In conclusion, setting up a caravan on site may seem like a daunting task, but with a little preparation and a clear plan, it can be a straightforward process.

By researching the site, positioning your caravan correctly, connecting utilities, securing your caravan, managing space and storage, maintaining cleanliness and hygiene, and dealing with waste disposal, you can make the most of your caravan holiday.

So, be sure to take the time to prepare before you set off on your trip, and you’ll be able to enjoy all the benefits of caravan living in comfort and style.



33 Aintree Way, Dudley, DY1 2SL

Phone 01384 660150

Hours of Operation

Sunday 8 am–8 pm
Monday 8 am–8 pm
Tuesday 8 am–8 pm
Wednesday 8 am–8 pm
Thursday 8 am–8 pm
Friday 8 am–8 pm
Saturday 8 am–8 pm