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Planning Retirement Online

Caravanning...the way to go

Photograph from Swift Group, who have been making
caravans for over 50 years

They used to say caravanning is for older people...but there has been a good reason for that. It is not because it is boring, or static, or unadventurous…it is simply that caravanning gives you total freedom to go where you want for as long as you want, and that isn’t often something you can do when you are in full time employment.

But once part or fully retired and suddenly the whole world of caravanning can be yours…and what a world it is.

Whatever form of caravanning you choose, there is definitely going to be one that will tempt and excite you. ..a touring caravan, where you have all the home comforts of home and can feel really settled, a motor caravan giving you speed and the benefit of having everything in just one vehicle, or perhaps a folding camper or trailer tent for lighter travel.

Whatever type of caravan you choose, it gives you amazing flexibility to go where you want and spend as long as you want, often at very affordable prices.

Photograph from Swift Group, who have been making
caravans for over 50 years

There are caravan sites right across the UK…and in many countries right across the world. The auspicious Caravan Club of Great Britain, for instance, has over 200 sites plus there are an additional 2,500 privately owned authorized locations for exclusive use by their members. The sites are all very different, from the formal surroundings of Chatsworth Park and Sandringham to the isolated Port Ban on the western side of Argyle.

The sites themselves vary as widely as the locations; some are tiny, licensed for just a handful of caravans in beautiful scenic and very quiet surroundings with no facilities; others offer swimming pools and cafes or even restaurants and other facilities as well of course as loads of facilities such as hot showers and washing machines. Most will offer at least fresh water and an electrical pick up point so once you arrive you can be connected to the main grid to ensure all your equipment works well without problems.

Driving a bigger than normal vehicle, or towing a caravan, can seem daunting for many people but with motor caravans it takes only a few miles to get used to the bigger vehicle. Towing isn’t that hard either but just needs a bit of knowledge and experience before you are really on top of it. Really with towing you simply need to bear in mind the big vehicle behind you when you are braking, cornering or accelerating. There will be a slightly different feel to your car’s handling, and you need to allow extra space on your manoeuvres plus of course extra time for your journey. It is important to be aware of all the towing speed limits along your route. Good wing mirrors can really help too.

But it is not difficult…as the thousands who take to the roads every summer demonstrate. And the pleasures of caravanning well outweigh the early learning curve.

And caravanning doesn’t just have to be for summer. Modern caravans can be heated quickly with fan heaters or electric radiators and keep their warmth in for hours. What a wonderful way to spend a winter’s day…snugged up reading in a wide windowed caravan with vast and isolated snowy vistas all around.

And if you still think caravanning could be boring, have a look at some of the ideas for caravans of the future. It’s in German but still worth looking at!

The Caravan Club produces a really useful free leaflet on getting started.

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