According to the NCC (National Caravan Council), sales of new caravans are growing. Britain is the leading manufacturing base for caravans in Europe, a success story.
The Modern Touring Caravan
Baby Boomers reading this article must forget any memories of the basic, boxes with beds on wheels of their childhoods. Modern caravans are more like a luxury flat albeit smaller.
Caravans are now typically come with mains electricity, fully fitted kitchens and shower rooms, central heating, comfortable beds and satellite TV. Caravan designers are experts in fitting a lot into a confined space. Living space can be doubled by adding an awning, a tent like structure threaded through a channel on the side of the caravan.
Width dimensions are similar but lengths vary upwards from around 12 feet. Two berth caravans offer more living space. Larger caravans can have six beds to accomodate larger families.
If you haven’t room to store at home, farms are a good place to look.
Don’t let the thought of towing put you off. Look around, there are many vehicles much larger on the road managing to get around. Towing does need a different approach to driving, once mastered it’s not difficult. The Caravan Club offer courses and are well worth attending. Longer caravans with two axles are more stable but weigh more.
For stability and performance, a tow car of sufficient weight compared to the caravan and power is needed. You will need approved tow bar and a stabiliser to damp movement, is advisable. Go to a reputable dealer and seek their advice. It’s also important not to overload the caravan and to make sure there is nothing loose.
Where to Stay
The choice is pretty well unlimited.
Large commercial sites with many facilities offer plenty of entertainment to keep children occupied. Many are near larger holiday resorts.
Farms including those registered with the clubs known as Certificated Locations, are small, quiet and can be found in some stunning locations. Most are basic, without electricity hook-up points and wc/shower facilities.
Here are a few tips to consider:
- Break your journey, have water with you for making tea
- Travel out of peak hours if possible
- Keep meals simple. Pre-prepare and reheat, use ready meals and/or eat out
- Pack waterproofs and suitable boots in case
- Pack minimally
- Travel games to keep children occupied
- Buy an awning, particularly with children
- Childrens bikes are popular on site
- Ensure there’s wine and beer in the fridge
- Don’t forget the tin and bottle openers