Caravanning in Retirement
For many people in retirement caravanning gives them the freedom to travel where and when they like. There are many caravan parks in the UK and abroad offering excellent facilities for a small fee. Some people join caravan clubs where for an annual fee you get access to well maintained club sites, reductions on insurance and on ferry travel.
Most of these clubs have regular newsletter for members and many have websites where information and advice for new and experienced caravanners is available.
Caravans come in many different shapes and sizes and it's important you choose one that is going to be suitable for your needs. There are three basic kinds of caravans, on-road, off- road, and on-site.
On roadThese caravans are designed to be used on standard roads. Most touring caravans are suitable for this purpose, but will not be able to cope with off-road or gravel tracks due to the extra strain placed on the caravan chassis and suspension.
Off RoadOff road caravans have an extra duty chassis and stronger suspension and have higher ground clearance making it easier to navigate obstacles and rougher terrain. They also come with extra features that normally include space to hold spare tyres, extra water holding capacity, extra gas bottles and tinted windows for hot sunny days.
On-SiteThis type of caravan is left at one site and is used normally as a holiday home. Here luxury, comfort and living space take priority over travelling features like suspension and ease of towing.When choosing a caravan you should take into consideration the weight and size.
- Does the caravan match the weight and size of the vehicle that is going to do the towing?
- Is the towing vehicle powerful enough to tow the caravan without compromising stability, handling and safety?
- Does the caravan have enough beds to accommodate everyone?
Pop Top CaravansThis type of caravan has good stability, has adequate height, is medium weight and is relatively easy to tow. It doesn't have a great amount of wall cupboard space however, and the doors can sometimes be a little low. It can take a considerable time to set up compared to fixed caravans.
Full CaravanThese take a lot less setting up on site than a pop top caravan. There's adequate storage and living space and have a stronger construction.
Fifth Wheel CaravanSimilar to the full caravan but longer and with more living space. Most come with a full lounge. It does have a disadvantage in so much that it is a large object to tow and therefore needs a powerful towing vehicle.
Once you have chosen your caravan you're then ready to get out on the open road and explore the countryside. Caravan sites and parks are located all over Britain and the good thing about touring with your caravan is if you find a site you like, you can set up a base there for a few days and explore the surrounding area at your leisure.
Caravanners are a pretty friendly bunch and are willing to offer advice and tips especially to people new to caravanning. Caravanning is a good way to see the country and to meet new friends along the way. You can do as much or as little as you like at your own pace and still have all your home comforts. It's an enjoyable experience that you should at least try once; you'll probably end up being hooked on it!