The camping industry has gained an incredible number of new vacationers for years. In Germany, there are almost 3,000 open campsites with around 223,600 available spaces. But where should it go? Many beginners have only been camping once in their childhood, but the desire to connect with nature in such a stressful city life is developing more and more. The question arises, what do I have to think about as a beginner? Driving off directly in the motorhome is not the best idea if you have little experience. It is important to know the basics like electrical, plumbing, or gas. Precise preparation, be it the packing list, the route, or the cost planning, are necessary for a smooth holiday.
Types of Camping: Tents, Van & Lamps
Probably the most important question: the question of accommodation. Whether it’s a package tour on Mallorca or a camping holiday on Lake Constance, the accommodation makes more than you want to admit. Many travelers say to themselves that the accommodation is only my place to sleep, so I don’t need luxury. But that is exactly where the mistake lies because good sleep is not only essential, it also has a major impact on our energy, our mood, and our general well-being. That is why you should think about in advance whether classic camping, camping in a van, or lighting is the right thing for you, or you might even want to buy a roof tent.
The origin of camping
Camping is probably the most classic and simplest variant of camping. This is most suitable for a short trip that is not too far away. You don’t have to pay too much attention to this and you can choose any campsite where you can spend a good time with your family or friends.
This allows you to be flexible in the location of your vacation and still be in the fresh air. You can just pitch your tent spontaneously in a place you like and move on the next day if you feel like it. In addition, this is also one of the cheapest options for camping, as you don’t have to pay a lot.
- The most classic and simplest variant
- Well suited for short trips
- Flexibility and spontaneity are possible
- Favorable price-performance ratio
However, there are different types of tents between which you must and can decide:
- Trekking tent – This tent is extremely compact but very robust.
- Litter tent – A litter tent is compact and quick to set up.
- Dome tent – A dome tent takes up little space and can be set up quickly and easily.
- Roof tent – This makes it easy to camp anywhere and these tents have particularly good insulation.
- Tunnel tent – A tunnel tent offers a lot of space and often even a headroom.
- Family tent – This tent offers plenty of space for the whole family.
- Inflatable tent – erected without a lot of work and time.
- Ridge Tent – Ridge tents are light and open and perfect for an Indian adventure.
- Geodesic tent – The geodesic tent holds up even on rocky ground, on steep slopes, or in thickly overgrown sections.
- Pyramid tent – These tents are extremely stable and can withstand strong winds.
- Rear tent – A rear tent offers a large living area with numerous uses.
- Awning – Expandable space for any use.
- Tarp tent – As a shelter for in between.
- Bivouac tent – in case you have to take a break due to weather conditions or tiredness on the way.
Roof tent: luxury and comfort when camping
As a passionate camper, you are often out and about for several weeks in a wide variety of regions and on different campsites and know that sleeping in a classic tent is a good solution for a short trip or in between, but not the most optimal option in the long term. A roof tent is, therefore, the perfect solution to sleep even more comfortably and easily and to be able to enjoy the time on the road even more intensively. No other place to sleep is so close to the stars! The roof tent is simply mounted on your small car and is almost immediately ready to sleep in it after long, eventful days. All you have to do is unfold the tent with a wave of your hand and you can climb straight up.
Read more about models, roof load, price, and advantages here: Roof tent!
- Convenient and comfortable
- Large sleeping and lying area
- Can be flexibly installed on almost any car
- No unnecessary transportation
- Doesn’t take up storage space
- Easy and quick assembly
- Robust and waterproof
- Mosquito net window
Van and mobile home: the mobile house on wheels
The big dream: Your own vacation home on wheels! Pure freedom, travel from place to place, the cozy holiday nest always with you. You can travel flexibly with the motorhome and still have a certain level of comfort: a comfortable bed, a kitchenette, a seating area, and usually your own toilet. A motorhome is perfect for campers who like to get around, want to see a lot, and also spontaneously travel for a weekend without much planning.
Driving a motorhome takes some practice, but is not particularly difficult. Depending on the size of the motorhome, you can drive as fast as you would with a car, so long journeys are not a problem either. In addition, you are agile with the mobile home and can drive into the mountains, which is often not possible with the mobile home. As a tip for parking is nevertheless a mover and levelers are highly recommended!
- Well suited for long-term campers
- Vacation home on wheels
- Luxury versus camping
- But needs practice in terms of driving etc.
Glamping: pure luxury in nature
Glamping stands for “glamorous camping”, in other words for glamorous and luxurious camping. It is particularly popular with people who do not want to forego a certain standard on their vacation and still pay attention to the environment. It is relatively new, but it has a lot of followers and a foothold in the tourist industry. The accommodations are by no means reminiscent of tent camps. These are rather spacious motorhomes or tents that are equipped with comfortable beds, private bathrooms, and high-quality designer furniture. There are also unusual accommodations such as Indian tipis or tree houses.
One advantage to normal camping is that you don’t have to bring your own tent. Your accommodation is on-site. This type of camping is particularly popular at festivals. The accommodations are also more than handsome from the outside and are mostly located in a beautiful setting. Glamping is, therefore, the perfect option for those who want to sleep under the starry sky and want to experience nature up close.
In addition, glamping offers a good start for camping beginners, as you don’t have to do without the usual standards and still get to know life in the countryside and on the campsite.
- Luxury variant of the motorhome
- High standard
- High quality designer furniture
- Comfortable beds
- Elaborated sanitary facilities
- Particularly popular at festivals and camping beginners
Wild camping: rules & prohibitions
In principle, wild camping is prohibited in Germany and this applies to both forest and nature reserves.
However, it is not forbidden to stay and relax in open landscapes, on streets and paths as well as on unused areas. Because the so-called right of entry means that forests and corridors, whether private or not, maybe entered for the purpose of recreation, as long as one does not violate the general rules of behavior of nature conservation. So it is not clearly regulated by law that sleep for the purpose of recreation is forbidden. So if you fall asleep in an open landscape, you are allowed, but you shouldn’t stay there for a long time. Lingering longer is again forbidden. When “shorter” ends and “longer” begins remains a legal gray area. Staying overnight, not camping !, in the great outdoors is neither forbidden nor allowed.
Another danger is the recognition of private property. This is not necessarily strongly marked in Germany. So it can easily happen that you are on private property, which is strictly prohibited where longer stays without the permission of the private individual.
- Wild camping is actually prohibited
- Right of entry allowed for the purpose of recreation
- Sleep is relaxation
- It is forbidden to stay longer
- On private property without permission is also prohibited
Packing list: documents, clothes & utensils
A packing list is essential before every trip, even more, important when camping, because if you forget something about the home here, you can’t just ask at reception. The campers in nature also have another way to the nearest supermarket. As with every trip, the documents, as well as the cash or the EC card, are essential. Nevertheless, you should check all the kitchen utensils again before leaving. A camping trip without a sharp knife or gas stove quickly becomes a sad affair while preparing the meal.
Here we have a detailed overview of the most important things for your camping holiday:
Documents: ID cards, papers & finances
Very important: In Germany, identification is required and anyone who leaves Germany must have an identity card or passport with them one way or another. Otherwise, you will be in the police station after the next check. The health insurance, the EC card, and the most important documents relating to the booking are also important.
All in all, you should have all of the following documents with you:
- Child ID card
- Passports / ID cards
- driver’s license
- Copies of the most important documents
- Travel documents / booking documents
- Travel guide/maps
- Pitch and camping guide
- Health insurance card/health insurance abroad
- Cash / EC card / credit card
- Emergency telephone numbers (e.g. bank, ADAC)
Clothes: waterproof and mosquito-proof
A vacation in the open air, near wooded places, has a small disadvantage, which makes you stay up all night with its buzzing and flying around: the mosquito. The best protection besides all the insect sprays is mosquito-proof shirts and pants, which can be found cheaply on the Internet. It is also important to check the temperature for the coming week in the respective holiday destination before leaving.
So that you are prepared for everything on your trip, you should get the right outdoor clothing at the beginning. A suitable jacket and trousers are particularly important in order to be able to enjoy a relaxed but eventful vacation. No matter what time of year, you should always have an outdoor jacket and pants with you to protect yourself from rain, wind, and cold.
These things should also be on your packing list:
- Swimwear for men & Swimwear for women
- Fleece pullover/jacket
- Functional underwear
- Pants / Shorts / Jeans
- Beanie / caps / hats
- Shirt/blouse, mosquito-proof
- Rain jacket/rain cape
- Trekking pants, mosquito-proof
- Hiking / functional socks
- Sturdy shoes
The basics: tent, camping chair, tools & Co.
Camping in nature is now becoming more and more popular with young and old. However, the standards have grown accordingly. Most passionate campers no longer only want to travel with the most essential equipment, they also like to treat themselves to a certain amount of luxury! Instead of a 2-person tent, it is more convenient to travel in a comfortable roof tent and important outdoor equipment such as chairs, tables, and loungers should not be missing on the campsite. Is order the most important thing for you? There is also a practical solution for this when camping! So here you will find a checklist to have all the essentials with you on your camping holiday and to organize your time in the best possible way.
- Accommodation: family tent, roof tent or caravan, mobile or camper
- The basics: sleeping bag, mattress, and backpack
- Outdoor furniture: table, chairs, loungers
- Cabinets and boxes: for tidiness when camping
- Awning, rear tent, tarp
- Cooking utensils & camping kitchen: gas cooker, gas oven, espresso maker, grill & dishes
- Air conditioning or heating
- Camping shower, toilet & care products
- Durable food and cool box
- Cleaning and household products + emergency kit
- Mosquito repellent and mosquito net
- Tools and Swiss Army Knives
- Electricity: CEE plug and cable drum
- Outdoor clothing: pants, jacket, and shoes
- Camping games
Kitchen: Cooking utensils & food supplies
We all love to eat, but on the campsite, you don’t experience the same luxury as at home in your furnished 3000 euro kitchen with dishwasher, oven, stove, and microwave. Precisely for this reason, it is important to prepare properly so that you do not have to spend hungry afternoons at the campsite and have to break them with snacks.
Tip! If you do not yet have an integrated kitchen in your folding caravan or camper, a camping kitchen is an ideal equipment to conjure up a delicious meal for you and your loved ones.
Cooking utensils: dishes, pots & pans
Since you don’t necessarily want to eat from the ground and with your hands on your camping holiday, an important point on your camping packing list should definitely be outdoor dishes. Suitable plates, cutlery, and cups should all be kept compact and therefore easily fit into your camper. However, the dishes should also be as robust as possible, as they are always with you and, if necessary, also transported in a backpack.
You should have this outdoor equipment with you when camping:
- Knives, forks, spoons (alternative for minimalists: Spork)
- Wooden spoon
- Sharp kitchen knife
- Cutting board
- Colander and large bowl
- tin opener
BBQ utensils: grill accessories
However, every camping trip also includes a grill! Grilling together after a long, exhausting, and eventful day not only welds you together but also fills the stomachs of hungry campers. But which grill is the most suitable? Charcoal or gas grill?
- Grill, grate, and charcoal
- Barbecue tongs
- Lighter or matches
- Cleaning accessories
- Dishwashing liquid, sponge, tea towel
- Sink bowl (maybe a foldable one)
- Trash bags
- Salt pepper
- Oil, vinegar
- Pasta, rice
- Coffee, tea
- Some ready meals, sauces, pesto
- Jams, Nutella, cereals
For outdoor chefs
- Camping stove
Emergency set: first aid kit & Co.
Camping in nature sounds exciting and exciting. As soon as the bag is packed, you can start your next adventure. However, passionate campers know that you spend most of the time outdoors and are therefore not protected from mosquito bites, abrasions, sprains, and the like. It is therefore important to have an emergency kit with you on every trip so that you can enjoy your vacation carefree and relaxed. Read more about the emergency kit for camping here!
You should always have this with you:
- First aid kit
- travel pharmacy
- Medical thermometer/febrifuge
- Tick spray (including tick tweezers)
- Mosquito repellent
- Pepper spray (for wild animals like bears)
- Suntan lotion
- Swiss Army knife
Route planning & costs: fuel, sleep & fun
Proper preparation is a great challenge for many beginners, but a great advantage when traveling on your own. A trip without a plan is like a walk in the heaviest storm without an umbrella or jacket. Can be done, does not have to be. With the right preparation, you can avoid a lot of mistakes, save fuel costs and a lot of stress.
You can never plan the route 100% because you don’t know when exhaustion will overtake you and you have to stop early. Nevertheless, it is important to have a rough idea so that you know which places you have to see, where the tolls are and where you have to book fixed dates for the ferry
Petrol: The money swallower on long journeys
In addition to the type of engine, the consumption of motorhomes depends crucially on the size of the motorhome. It should be self-explanatory that a camper van uses significantly less gasoline than a campervan that weighs tons and is 32 feet long. In addition, there is a possibly very different load depending on the route and road conditions.
The individual factors for high fuel consumption in mobile homes:
- Size of the motorhome
- Route and condition of the route
- Fuel prices
- Driving style
Accommodation: campsite or rest stop?
According to a study by the ADAC, prices are rising by around two percent across Europe. On average, two adults and one child pay 37.50 euros per day on a mid-range campsite. On the other hand, you only pay to go to the toilet at the rest stop and there are shower facilities at the newly built rest stops. For the campers with the motorhome, it is definitely an option to spend the night in between. This saves costs and is closer to the next destination thanks to the connection from the motorway.
- Average price: 37.50 euros
- Shower facilities at rest stops
- From time to time it is worth spending the night at rest stops
Costs of a camping trip
A camping trip can be a very cost effective way to spend time with family and friends. The average cost of a campsite is about $25 per night. This fee usually covers the cost of your campsite, firewood, and picnic table. Some campgrounds also charge a daily fee for use of their facilities, such as showers and laundry facilities. If you are planning to camp in an RV, the cost of your campsite will be higher, as most campgrounds charge a higher fee for RV sites.
The cost of food for a camping trip is relatively low, as you will not be eating out at restaurants. You can save money by cooking meals at your campsite. If you are camping with a group, you can also save money by cooking meals in bulk.
The cost of activities for a camping trip is also relatively low. There are many free or low-cost activities that you can do while camping, such as hiking, fishing, swimming, and exploring the local area.
In summary, a camping trip can be a very cost effective way to spend time with family and friends. The average cost of a campsite is about $25 per night. The cost of food for a camping trip is relatively low, as you will not be eating out at restaurants. The cost of activities for a camping trip is also relatively low. There are many free or low-cost activities that you can do while camping, such as hiking, fishing, swimming, and exploring the local area.
Activities Camping: Between the swimming pool and the climbing park
Do you get bored quickly outdoors? Are you kidding me? Are you serious when you say that! There are tons of general activities to do, plus location and weather-related ways to have fun. Climbing or bouldering on the numerous via Ferrata, swimming in lakes and sunbathing on the beach. The coolest water activities are found near bodies of water.
Here is a list of all the things you can do outdoors:
- Mini golf
- Ball games
- Sing around the campfire
- To stroll
- to ski
The basic knowledge for the first camping
As a beginner, it is difficult everywhere. This need not be! Especially when camping, it is important to have basic knowledge, otherwise, it can quickly become dangerous or uncomfortable. There are important rules to follow when handling gas or electricity! In this part of the article, we explain what is important and what you should pay special attention to as a beginner. Camping with a motorhome is more demanding than rolling out your sleeping bag. If you want to know how to empty the gray water tank,
Water tank: unloading, refilling & costs
The water tank is essential when camping. But the rules and prohibitions are just as important. It is forbidden to simply dispose of the wastewater tank in nature, but where to put it? We explain the basics to you, everything relating to gray water, wastewater, and freshwater.
Where can I unload and how much does it cost?
The top rule when filling and emptying your water tanks is: Always dump at designated disposal points, never in the great outdoors! The easiest way to do this is to stay on a fully occupied pitch at a campsite. That way you have everything you need to empty and you can do it quickly and easily on-site.
If the pitch does not have its own chemical disposal point, there is usually a disposal station in a central location on the campsite where you can empty your tank. Since this is a shared resource, you may have to wait a while, especially in high season. Since national parks, for example, do not offer any disposal options, we recommend that you empty your wastewater tank and refill your fresh water tank at every opportunity.
Gas stations can also have proper emptying facilities that can be used either free of charge or for a small fee. If you are traveling in Germany or other European countries, you will find a list of all motorhome filling stations here. (Attention, this text is only available in German)
- Never empty in the wild
- Campsites have disposal points
- Either a chemical disposal point or a central station (waiting time)
- National parks do not have an emptying station
- Petrol stations usually have emptying stations
How do I empty the gray water tank?
- Drive back the motorhome
- Open the tap
When you are at the disposal station, you should first find the appropriate opening on the floor, which is intended for the drainage of gray water. Drive the motorhome forward as far as necessary so that the tank is directly over the opening. To empty your tank, you now have to open the tap. Depending on the type of motorhome you have, the tap can be located inside, usually in the back of the vehicle, or outside. As soon as you have opened the tap, your gray water flows out of the spout and into the drain provided for it.
How do I fill up the fresh water tank?
- Open the lid of the freshwater tank
- Clean the freshwater hose before use
- Let the water flow
- Turn off the drain cock
- Close the gas cap
- Leave the emptying station clean
While the gray water is draining off, you can take care of filling the fresh water tank. This tank is usually built into a heated area of the RV to prevent it from freezing. Most RVs are also equipped with a lockable filler neck, which is often located on the outside of the RV on the side where the tank is installed.
The first thing to do is to open the lid of the tank. At most motorhome service stations, you will find a special freshwater hose to fill the tank. Before you use it, you should always wipe it with a clean cloth so that your drinking water is not contaminated. Once you have inserted the freshwater hose into the opening of the tank, you can turn on the faucet and let the water run into the tank. Finally, turn off the drain cock inside the motorhome and close the lid of the freshwater tank. If gray water misses the drain, you can usually find a flushing hose near the freshwater hose that you can use to wash off the area around the drain.
Electrical: 3 tips for power supply
Without electricity, you are pretty thrown out on the trip. After all, he supplies all sockets and the refrigerator. It is also needed while driving to charge cell phones and other electronic devices.
Power supply via the blue CEE socket
Motorhomes usually have a blue CEE socket. In order to supply your motorhome with power from the mains, you plug the connection cable into the socket of your motorhome. You may need to use a reel to extend the plug before inserting the plug into the location’s electrical outlet. Now the sockets and the refrigerator in your motorhome are supplied with 220 / 230V. Note that the cable must not be longer than 25 meters and have a minimum width of 2.5 square millimeters.
- Motorhomes have a blue CEE socket
- Plug the connection cable into the socket for electricity
- Sockets and refrigerator are supplied with 220 / 230V
- Cable maximum length: 25 meters
- Minimum width: 2.5 square millimeters
Leisure battery for electricity on the go
The leisure battery comes into play when you’re on the go. It is usually located under the passenger seat and supplies your cell phone and all other electronic devices with 12V DC. The battery charges automatically when you drive, but it can also be charged via a generator or when connected to the mains. Solar panels on the roof of your vehicle can also charge the leisure battery.
The main battery switch secures the circuits at 12V and enables the battery to be disconnected from all consumers in order to protect it from discharging if your vehicle is not used for a long period of time. The red switch is usually on the outside of the battery and you can toggle it on and off as needed. To disconnect the leisure battery from the circuit, turn the switch to the left, i.e. counterclockwise.
- Leisure battery = for on the go
- Located under the passenger seat
- Supplies your cell phone and all other electronic devices with 12V DC
- Battery charges automatically when you drive
- The main battery switch secures the circuits at 12V
Keep the refrigerator cool
Experienced campers turn on their fridge the day before departure and fill it with chilled food. It’s important to keep the area in front of your refrigerator’s vents clear and clean.
If you have a freezer compartment in your absorption refrigerator, please note that this is only intended for the short-term storage of frozen goods. When using the refrigerator, only open the door for as long as necessary to save valuable energy. You should operate your refrigerator with 230V whenever possible to extend the life of your leisure battery.
- Switch off the refrigerator 1 day before departure
- Keep the area in front of the ventilation slots free/clean
- Hold the door open only as long as necessary (save energy)
- Operate the refrigerator with 230V
Tip! Appropriate lighting is also important when camping! Passionate campers know that camping involves spending a lot of time in nature and that you can quickly forget the time so that it gets dark faster than planned. While you can simply turn on the light in your own house, this is a little more difficult on the campsite. Therefore, both camping lights and headlamps are recommended to be able to enjoy a relaxed and carefree holiday!
Gas: 5 things you should know
Gas is not to be trifled with. You probably heard this sentence from your mother or grandma as a child. Most households do not have gas stoves, but gas is one of them when camping. There are different things that you should pay attention to or what you should generally know in relation to gas.
We explain the basic gas devices to you:
- Gas lockers
- Turn on the gas in four steps
- Gas shut-off valves
- Gas stoves
- Adapter for gas bottles abroad
Gas cabinets/gas lockers: safety when traveling
Some countries have safety regulations that require you to keep your gas bottles in a specific area inside the motorhome. This is also called a gas cupboard or bottle compartment and is usually built into the rear of the motorhome and accessible from the outside. Regardless of whether your country requires it by law or not, it is recommended that you keep your gas bottles here to ensure that no gas gets into the interior of the vehicle in the event of a leak.
Bottle compartments usually have an opening and enough space for two gas bottles. Depending on the country, there may also be limits to the amount of gas you have onboard: In Germany, for example, you are not allowed to have more than two 11 kg gas bottles on board.
- Security regulation: storing gas in lockers
- Installed in the rear of the motorhome
- Bottle compartments have an opening and enough space for two gas bottles
- In DE: no more than two 11 kg gas bottles
Connect the gas in four steps
- Opens the outer door to the gas cabinet. Gas cylinders usually have a red valve cap that you must remove before use.
- Lift the bottles one by one into the gas cabinet with both hands on the handle.
- Newer motorhomes usually have a pressure regulator that reduces the gas pressure to 30 mbar. The regulator connects to the orange hose, which then connects to the cylinder valve. To tighten, turn the handwheel all the way to the left until you encounter resistance.
- Finally, you use the safety belts to prevent the gas bottles from moving in the gas cabinet.
Gas shut-off valves: supply for all devices
Once you have connected the gas cylinder correctly, you will need to open the gas shut-off valves. These supply all gas-operated devices such as refrigerators, gas stoves, heaters, and boilers with gas separately. In most cases, the valves are closed when in the horizontal position; when in the vertical position they are open and there is gas flow.
- Open the gas shut-off valves when the gas bottle is properly connected
- Gas-powered devices are all supplied with gas separately
- Valves closed in the horizontal position
- Valves open in vertical position (gas flow)
Gas Stoves: How Do These Work?
When the gas insulation vents are open, your gas cooker is ready to use. RVs often have gas stoves with two or three hobs. You can light your gas stove with matches or a lighter. First, turn the knob for the desired hotplate to the “LITE” or ignition symbol and then press until the burner lights up. You may need to hold the button down for a few seconds to keep the pilot light on.
- Gas stoves have two or three hobs
- You can light them with matches or a lighter
- Turn the button to LITE or ignition symbol
Adapters for gas cylinders abroad: a real must
If you are traveling in another country, you may run into problems when you need more gas. The type of nozzles on the individual gas cylinders can vary from country to country and may therefore not match the gas connection in your motorhome. Therefore, you should buy the right type of gas adapter before you leave.
Make sure that you buy the necessary adapters both for filling your own gas cylinders and for drawing gas from other cylinders. Attach one type of adapter between the pressure regulator and the foreign gas cylinder; with the other, you can fill your standard cylinder at authorized petrol stations.
- Buy gas adapters before you travel
- Problems with gasoline abroad
- The type of nozzles on the gas cylinders can be different abroad
- Attach the adapter between the pressure regulator and the foreign gas cylinder.
Sanitary: functions of a cassette toilet & correct emptying
A topic that you cannot avoid as a camper, even if it is more than uncomfortable. Cleaning and emptying the cassette toilet is an integral part, especially on longer journeys. This is exactly why you should know how this works so as not to get into an embarrassing accident.
How does a cassette toilet work?
Most standard motorhomes come equipped with an integrated cassette toilet. It is connected to the water system and can be rinsed with the push of a button. A valve closes the toilet bowl on the floor so that no unpleasant smells can spread throughout the vehicle. Under the toilet is the cassette, a collection container that collects waste when the valve is open.
Chemical substances are often added to prevent odors from developing. These chemicals disinfect at the same time and help accelerate the breakdown of toilet paper and solid waste, making it easier to empty and clean the cassette in the long run.
The sliding compartment that is accessible from the outside of the vehicle usually contains the cassette so that it can be easily removed and transported to the chemical disposal point.
- Standard motorhomes are equipped with an integrated cassette toilet
- Connected to the water system (always ready to rinse)
- Valve closes the toilet bowl on the floor (odor minimization)
- Cassette = a collecting container in which the waste is collected
- Chemical substances prevent the odor
- At the same time, toilet paper disinfects and decomposes
- Located in a sliding compartment (easy access for disposal)
How often should I empty and clean my cassette toilet?
There is no rule on how often a cassette toilet needs to be emptied and cleaned. You should empty the waste-holding tank at the latest when the level indicator lights up red. Experienced campers recommend that you do not wait until the last moment: the full the tank, the more difficult it is to pull the cassette out of the sliding compartment and bring it to the chemical disposal point.
Your tank will likely need to be filled every two to three days if you’re traveling as a couple. If the outside temperatures are particularly high, like in midsummer or when camping in southern European countries, you should empty the tank at least every two days. If you open the valve, you will release unpleasant odors, since the holding tank is usually on the outside of the motorhome and will heat up a lot in the sun. You will also want to clean it just as often if you choose not to use chemical substances.
- No fixed rules – at the latest when the level indicator lights up red
- The full the tank, the more difficult it is to transport
- Two should be done after 2-3 days
- More often in midsummer = heat intensifies the smell
For the environment: deposit in the right places
Under no circumstances should you dispose of waste from your cassette toilet outdoors or in domestic toilets. Chemicals could seep into the groundwater and cause significant damage to the environment and its people.
It’s also not worth it as there are heavy fines for dumping outdoors. If you are not staying at a campsite with a chemical disposal point, you should find out beforehand where the next possible disposal station is on your route. You can find a list of all disposal stations in Germany as well as some stations in other parts of Europe here.
- Not outdoors or in household toilets
- Chemicals could seep into the groundwater
- Heavy fines for unloading outdoors
Beginner’s Mistakes: Avoid the Most Common Mistakes
“Had, had, bicycle chain” is a very appropriate saying for many beginners. If one had informed oneself better beforehand, then one would not be standing there haphazardly and desperately calling for help. That is why our point number 1 is always to prepare before such a trip. Of course, a spontaneous trip is very cool and can bring the greatest adventures, but for young inexperienced campers, it usually ends in chaos.
Driving off with a full fresh water tank makes sense for newcomers to camping, but if you fill up with 95-170 liters of water, the motorhome has to carry a lot of additional loads. That is why it is sufficient if you only authorize this up to a third or a half. How you load your motorhome is also important. It makes more sense to place the heavy load downwards in order to stabilize the low center of gravity.
The most common mistakes:
- Drive off unprepared
- Move around in the motorhome while driving
- Drive off with a full fresh water tank
- Incorrect loading of motorhomes
- Unsecured cargo
- Driving without a test run
- Blindly trust Navis
- Be sure to look for a place in the sun
- Postpone sanitation
- Work it out yourself
- Take everything with you that fits
- Do not take change with you
- Do not pay attention to the water consumption
Camping selection, season & winter camping
What would a vacation be without a few tips and tricks? We have put together the best tips and tricks for you as a beginner. Whether the perfect camping selection or the decision to go during the high or low season. With these tips, you will overcome the hurdles of your first vacation. Instead of a catastrophe, you can expect a relieving journey.
The perfect camping choice
Once you have figured out where you want to go and how you want to get there, you can take a closer look at the offers at the individual locations so that you can choose the one that best suits you.
Divided or Undivided?
Many campsites divide their area into defined pitches so that every camper has a certain amount of space. Sometimes these pitches are even bordered by bushes and hedges, which clearly show how far you can spread out. Small, natural campsites are usually undivided, which means you can pitch your tent or park your mobile home in any free space.
Make sure there is enough space between you and your neighbor so that you do not invade their privacy or yours.
- Places are separated by hedges and bushes
- Small, natural places are undivided
- Make sure there is enough space between the neighbors
The prices per night at European campsites are just as varied as the facilities of the individual campsites. In Switzerland, for example, you spend the most on average. Belarus, on the other hand, is the most affordable country in Europe for camping. The campsites in Germany charge an average of € 23.83 per night and are therefore somewhere in the middle of the European price range. Although they are in the middle of the range in terms of price, German campsites usually have first-class facilities and first-class customer service.
In addition to a nightly fee for your pitch or accommodation, it is not uncommon for campsites to charge a fee or an additional tourist tax for each guest. You may also have to pay extra if you bring a dog, use the showers, or want to connect to WiFi. You can usually find a detailed list of prices and fees on the campsite’s website. Oh, and speaking of showers, some campsites have coin-operated showers, so don’t forget to bring cash!
- Diverse prices in Europe
- Germany’s prices are mediocre
- Fee for parking space / accommodation
- Fee for guests
- Additional fee for dog, shower & WiFi
- Cash for the coin showers
High or low season?
Whether you go camping in the high or low season can have an impact on availability and prices. During the school holidays, many families with children are out and about and make their way to their favorite campsite. Unsurprisingly, this often has an impact on the price and availability of pitches. If you want to travel during the main season, we recommend that you reserve a space in advance or book directly. In the off-season and in winter you will usually not have any problems getting a place, which means you can be relatively spontaneous.
- High season: very fast and fully booked, expensive prices, overcrowded
- Low season: no problems with spontaneous trips, always space, cheaper
Find shopping opportunities in the area
Does the campsite you have chosen have a small kiosk or maybe even a supermarket? Perfect, then you can breathe a sigh of relief because you don’t have to worry about where to shop. Many campsites have a bakery on-site so that you can get fresh rolls or pastries for breakfast.
Find out beforehand where the closest shops to the campsite are. You may want to stop on the way to the campsite and buy food and drinks. But that’s not an absolute must either: do whatever works for you. One camper may prefer to shop at home before going on vacation, while another may want to go out to eat every evening. Of course, if you plan to cook, you will need more than just ingredients.
- Many campsites have a bakery
- In the immediate vicinity kiosk or supermarket
- Inquiring in advance is beneficial
Winter camping and cold regions
Even if you usually go camping in summer and in very warm regions, winter camping also has its charm. Because of the beautiful landscapes and the numerous sports activities, camping is also recommended in cold regions. However, it can get really cold even in the roof tent or camper van. So that this cold does not spoil your time in nature and you can enjoy and savor your vacation as best as possible, you should definitely equip yourself in advance with a heater and ideally also a heated seat and an electric blanket. You can enjoy your holiday at the campsite in a relaxed and carefree manner at any time of the year and you are optimally protected from the cold even when the temperature is below zero.
- Electric blanket
- Seat heating
You should consider this when camping in winter:
Nevertheless, camping in winter is also a real challenge! In contrast to camping in the great outdoors in summer, you have some unavoidable obstacles. The iron cold and the meter-high snow make one or the other camper desperate. Therefore, you should definitely pay attention to a few things in advance:
- Find a suitable campsite
- Overwinter your motorhome
- Bring enough gas
- Winter tires, snow chains and the access route
- Use the correct source of strength
- Use your awning
- Important tools
- Pack warm clothes
- Seal your windows
- Bring boards
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