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Essential gadgets for your caravan this summer

Travel stress-free and stay entertained with your home away from home this bank holiday weekend and beyond

If you’re one of Britain’s estimated 920,000 caravan owners planning a break this bank holiday weekend or over the summer, we’ve rounded up the technology you need for a great escape.

Motoring organisations are predicting the usual traffic-based Armageddon this weekend, as millions of people hit the road at the same time. A caravan sat nav can help you avoid the holiday traffic and get to your destination quickly and safely, while a dash cam can give you peace of mind in the unlikely event that you’re in an accident.

We’ve also recommended tech to keep you entertained while you’re away – invaluable if the weather lets you down.

Best Buy sat navs – discover which models aced our rigorous tests. 

Caravan and motorhome sat navs

Personal satellite navigation devices and smartphone nav apps offer an increasingly diverse range of features, from live traffic information, to online destination searching for those hard-to-find places.

For caravan owners, however, sat navs can sometimes prove to be a frustrating experience, particularly when they have the propensity to lead you down narrow lanes to avoid traffic jams on bigger roads.

That’s why we’ve recently updated our sat nav tests to include the latest devices specifically aimed at caravan and motorhome users. The best models not only offer similar functionality to conventional portable sat navs, but also allow users to enter the specific dimensions of their motorhome, avoid obstacles such as low bridges or steep inclines and search for caravan-specific points of interest around your destination.

Find a caravan sat nav that’s exactly right for you, with our caravan and motorhome sat nav reviews.

Dash cams

It’s not pleasant to think about, but with heavy traffic expected during the bank holiday weekend, it’s wise to prepare yourself should the worst happen and you’re involved in an accident.

A dash cam can prove an invaluable gadget when it comes to the messy business of proving who was at fault to your insurer. With a front-facing camera (some models offer dual front and rear view) affixed to your windscreen or dashboard, there can be no questioning the events committed to its memory card.

Or at least in theory. Our testing has uncovered a number of models that are simply not fit for purpose, whether that’s because they’re difficult to use, or simply because the footage they capture isn’t clear enough to reliably read number plates and identify other road users.

If you can’t use a dash cam to dependably record what’s going on in front of you, it’s not worth buying. Find out which models we recommend with our Best Buy dash cams.

TV DVD combis

Caravan holidays shouldn’t mean you’re stuck playing scrabble if the weather confines you to quarters. But with space at a premium in even the largest of caravans, it can be difficult to set up a high-quality home entertainment system without the obligatory mass of trailing wires.

A TV DVD combi could be just the answer, with Freeview television and the ability to enjoy your movie collection wrapped up in one slimline device that will, crucially, take up just one plug socket. Some can even be powered through a car’s cigarette lighter socket and are specially designed to be portable.

Choose the perfect model for you with our guide to how to buy the best TV DVD combi.

Indoor aerials

A good-quality indoor aerial should mean you’re able to catch your favourite TV shows – or at least some fuzz-free daytime filler – no matter where your travels take you.

That said, choose the wrong model and you could find yourself simply staring at a screen full of static, as the worst we’ve tested struggle to find any kind of signal at all.

To avoid having to resort to charades, head to our online advice guide to find out how to buy the best indoor aerial for your needs and uncover the best models for 2018.

Wireless speakers

Whether it’s for a whole-family singalong or an evening movie, good quality audio is essential for any caravan holiday.

Wireless speakers can be the ideal solution for those wanting high-quality sound, with easy connectivity to a variety of wi-fi or Bluetooth-enabled devices.

There are models to suit every budget, so whether you’re a dedicated audiophile, or simply travelling light and not wanting to put up with tinny laptop or smartphone speakers, there’s something for you. As ever, though, our testing has revealed that it’s not always a case of getting what you pay for.

To ensure you don’t end up with a duff set, check out our wireless and Bluetooth speaker reviews.

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