Now I know you’ll be thinking to yourself – what do I know about touring caravans – and the answer is quite a bit in fact. You see I’ve got a secret that I’ve been hiding. Before my gran bought a static caravan on a site (which I adored) she and my grandfather were members of the Caravan Club and went away in their touring caravan at any chance they could get.
This is a sponsored post but all views and opinions are my own.
I’ve written about caravans before and how to live in a static caravan but this post is all about the joys and benefits of owning a touring caravan of your own. I’ll also be covering the regulations around this too so you’ll have all the information you need before you set off on your own adventure (yes I pictured Bilbo running as I typed that).
Benefits of touring caravans
Low-cost holidays – I know this may not make much sense as the cost of fuel is still high but hear me out. Other than driving the caravan to and from your destination once you’ve made it there you have your accommodation for your holiday. As hotels can usually eat up a chunk of your holiday budget, the cost of a pitch on a caravan park can be a lot cheaper.
Flexibility – A caravan gives you the freedom to take your holidays when and where you choose. You’re no longer bound by flight schedules and trying to choose the cheapest time to travel. Also if you choose to travel a bit and visit more locations during your trip then you can do that as well. I’d recommend booking pitches during high season as they can be very popular so you may need to do some pre-planning but it’s still a lot less than if you were booking a package holiday.
Customisation – You can customise and alter your caravan to suit your needs. Soft furnishings (think pillows and blankets) plus crockery and everything in between you can choose for yourself. You’ll also be safe in the knowledge that you have everything you need when you travel. A good starting point would be my post on self-drive holidays as a lot of the things you need will be the same.
Where to Buy
Having done some research I can confirm that if you’re looking for an affordable second-hand caravan, The Caravan Company are where you should be looking. They have two UK-based branches but also have all their caravans on their website for you to look at before you buy. As well as second-hand caravans, they also stock a great range of awnings and camping equipment.
While there may be some things that you feel you can possibly make do without, an awning for me is a non-negotiable item for a caravan. Outdoor space is great but you want to be able to keep the sun off during the summer and any rain off you as well (especially if you travel in Scotland). If you buy a fully enclosable awning these can also provide extra sleeping space if there are a large number of you travelling.
There were new guidelines for towing a caravan introduced by the UK government in December 2021. The new rules are based on what you can tow with regards to when you passed your driving test and the types of vehicle you can therefore drive and tow. Car and trailer driving tests have been scrapped which is good news for anyone wanting to tow a caravan.
The main thing to be aware of when choosing your caravan is the weight you’ll be towing and the weight of your vehicle. The link above explains this in more detail and is also dependent on when you passed your driving test.
If you need more help with how to tow a caravan the national standard for driving cars while towing a trailer or caravan will help you understand everything you need to be aware of for how to tow your caravan safely.
Where to visit
As I listed above, the benefit of a touring caravan is that you can take it pretty much anywhere but the list below is where I would take mine first.
- Perthshire, Scotland
- Dordogne, France
- Côte d’Azur, France
- Cornwall, England
Those would be my dream destinations with a touring caravan but honestly, it would be amazing to have the freedom of a caravan for travel and not need to worry about booking your hotel. Plus you then have your car available for visiting all the tourist hot spots or simply doing the food shopping!
Will you be investing in a touring caravan for future holidays or do you have one already? Leave me a comment and let me know, I’d love to know your thoughts.