Camping for beginners


If it’s your first time spending holidays on a camping ground and you want to know what you should take into consideration for a successful camping vacation, the following information might be helpful and interesting to you.

Tip 1: Reservation

A reservation is not absolutely necessary – nevertheless it is advisable because camping grounds are often booked out, especially during the summer vacation season and on long weekends. A reservation ensures that a pitch is available for you when you arrive.

Tip 2: Practice makes perfect

Don’t have any experience putting up tents and awnings or any knowledge about how to use camping equipment? Don’t wait until you are on the camping ground to practice your skills for the first time. It might be better to test your equipment at home to make sure everything will work when you finally arrive at the camping ground.

Tip 3: Driver’s licence

Which licence is required to drive a car/caravan combination? Class 3 driving licences issued in Germany before 1999 permit you to drive a vehicle that is not heavier than 7.5 tons. Furthermore, trailer combinations up to 18.75 tons are possible. The EU driving licence (class B) issued starting in 1999 has significant restrictions. Owners of this driving licence are allowed to drive car trailer combinations and motorhomes weighing up to a total of 3.5 tons.

4. Driving Safety

Driving a caravan trailer is not only different compared to driving a normal car in terms of dimensions, but also in terms of handling.

Road safety training which, among other things, teaches the right course of action in the event of an emergency, can be useful. Those who know the limits of their vehicle drive more carefully and therefore safer.

5. Correctly Loaded and Packed?

Before loading a caravan, you should weigh it with the equipment that will remain on board.  With this value you can see how much weight capacity is still available. Loading a caravan is similar to a see-saw, due to the axle in the middle.

Loading a caravan the right way is a bit of an art. This is why it is important to weigh the caravan again and again. The caravan needs to be weighed at the coupling head. You will see: the loading becomes a routine from holiday to holiday.

6. Checklist: Did you pack everything?

Preparing for a camping holiday requires more time than other forms of holiday. This is why you should schedule enough time for your preparations. It is especially advisable for beginners to use checklists to make sure all equipment is packed. A helpful checklist can be downloaded on this website to help ensure a stressful first camping holiday.

7. Stress-free travels

In principle the speed limit for a car/trailer combination is 80 km/h in Germany. Those who would like to drive faster than 80 km/h can request a 100 speed permit for which certain conditions need to be met. For example, the towing vehicle has to have an anti-locking system and the permissible maximum weight must not exceed 3.5 tons. Furthermore, the tires must not be more than 6 years old, and a certain weight ratio between trailer and towing vehicle must be met. To receive more information about the requirements for the 100 speed permit, contact the MOT.

8. Wild camping, parking and overnight lodging in Germany

For those who are interested in camping, it is important to know that camping in public places is generally only permitted in denoted areas in Germany. Apart from that, spending the night in a tent is prohibited. In private areas you need the permission of the owner.

It is generally allowed to park caravans, car/trailer combinations and motorhomes in places where the road traffic regulations (StVO) admit parking. This means that caravans, car/trailer combinations and motorhomes are only authorized to be parked in designated parking areas and only if signs do not strictly prohibit this. Please be aware that you may not set up equipment (e.g. chairs and tables in front of the trailer) around the vehicle while parking and during overnight stays (parking only).

9. Cooking outside

Cooking outdoors is a natural part of camping. Barbecuing is an especially popular way to cook outside. There are, however, various other devices that are multifunctional. These devices use different attachments which have more uses than simply grilling barbecue meat.

Small outdoor kitchens allow you to easily prepare food and offer the advantage of not having food smells inside the trailer. Beginners should start with a basic configuration which can be easily built upon.