Staycationing has never been more popular in the UK with over half of Brits planning holidays in their home country each year. This desire to get to know our own backyards has gone hand-in-hand with the rebirth of caravanning. And it’s easy to see why. It’s the joy of retreating to rural settings with the luxury of home comforts.
It’s the pleasure of getting the family together in one place. It’s the sense of freedom you don’t get with other holidays.
The majority of caravans sold in the UK will be approved by the National Caravan Council (NCC), which is the official industry trade body. The NCC also operates certification schemes for other potentially dangerous components of the caravan: gas installations, water systems, emergency exits and tyres. It’s always worth conducting your own independent checks but any vehicle that carries an NCC badge will have been subjected to rigorous examination to ensure all of these aspects are up to spec.
Size and weight
How many people does your caravan need to sleep? You might think you need four berths for a family of four but there are other ways to create enough space for everyone.
Your caravan choice will naturally be influenced by the towing capacity of your current vehicle. You can divide your car’s kerbweight by 100 and multiply it by 85 to find the upper limit of its comfortable towing weight.
If it’s your first caravan, a lighter more compact model is generally a safe bet, offering you greater manoeuvrability, cheaper ferry fares and road tolls, and better fuel economy. Paired with a simple awning, you can easily house and sleep a small family in a two-berther with basic kitchen and bathroom facilities.
Well-equipped caravans can look incredibly flash in the showroom ,and this can easily trick you into believing you need more amenities than you really do. Bathrooms take up a lot of space. Cooking units add serious weight onto any vehicle, and attractive carpets can easily become begrimed with mud.
It’s especially important to consider the practicalities of layout. If you’re likely to be staying in places with good on-site facilities, you can afford to cut back on interior vehicle space dedicated to bathroom and kitchen areas.
Cost and financing
Once you’ve chosen your vehicle, you have to work out how you’re going to pay for it. Bear in mind that as well as the initial outlay of purchasing the caravan itself, you’ll also have to shell out for additional running costs: insurance, road tax, MOTs, servicing. If you’re looking to buy, you can source generous financing packages from Auto Finance Online, who offer a range of options to suit every budget. Paying an initial lump sum towards your new caravan should help you to access more attractive interest rates.
Less is more
There’s something to be said for more compact options when it comes to choosing your first caravan. If you start small, you can always add space on later. The same is not true for a larger vehicle, however. You’ll also be looking at dropping less of your hard-earned cash if you choose a smaller option. Not to mention the fact that there’s less of a steep learning curve when it comes to hitting the road.