Caravans are popular accessories for people of all ages. Anyone can buy a caravan and as long as you have a car suitable for towing it, you can head off into the wild blue yonder at a moment’s notice. Caravans are the ultimate in budget holidays—because your accommodation is already available, you don’t need to worry about spending a fortune on a hotel for the night. You don’t even need to pay the cost of a pitch in a caravan park if you don’t want to, although an electric hook-up and toilet facilities may be useful. So if buying a caravan sounds like a wonderful idea, what do you need to be aware of?
Ban the Van
People who own caravans are often strangely passionate about them. They are proud of their mini home on wheels and go out of their way to persuade the rest of us that a caravan is the best thing since sliced bread. But for those poor unfortunate souls stuck behind a slow-moving caravan on miles of winding road, it is hard to be convinced about the merits of a small tin box on wheels. In other words, caravans are like marmite: we love them or hate them. Therefore, if you decide to buy one, don’t be surprised if your choice of transport polarises opinion amongst your friends.
Is Your Car Heavy Enough?
Caravans are pretty heavy, which means that you need a decent sized car in order to tow one. Ideally, you should invest in a 4×4 or a large estate car, but the larger the caravan, the more critical the weight issue becomes. If your car is not heavy enough, there is a danger that it will lack sufficient torque to pull the caravan up an incline. The worst case scenario is that the car will be dragged backward by the weight of the van, but even if this doesn’t happen, towing a heavy caravan will place a lot of strain on the engine.
Spending time in confined spaces is not necessarily a good thing for relationships. Some couples like nothing more than to snuggle up in a small caravan while the rain pours down outside, but others will be at each other’s throats after a day. The moral of this tale is to be very careful about going on a caravan holiday with your other half if there are serious cracks in the relationship. Several days in a small caravan probably won’t help matters.
Extra Blankets for Winter
Caravans are great during the summer, but once the temperature drops, the lack of insulation can make life a bit chilly. To prevent hypothermia, you might decide to store your caravan for the winter and holiday somewhere hot instead. Alternatively, buy a top-end caravan with extra insulation and lots of heaters. And don’t forget to pack a few extra blankets, too.
Caravans need regular maintenance if they are to stay in good condition. Small fixes are easy to do as a DIY job and caravan parts are readily available from retailers, but if you are clueless about these things, make sure you take your van in for a service after it comes out of storage.