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Planning Retirement Online

Caravanning and Caravan Touring

People of all ages enjoy caravan touring for a variety of reasons:

  • It gives them the freedom to come and go as they please.
  • It is a relatively cheap way of taking a holiday once the initial outlay has been completed
  • It provides flexibility
  • It enables them to meet other people
  • They enjoy the outdoors
  • They love their caravan

It’s probably true to say that people either love or hate caravan touring! Certainly, once people have the bug they are very reluctant to take any other sort of holiday.

If you have never been caravan touring before, it certainly can be lots of fun – and you’re never too old to do it. But try to test the waters first, before you buy a caravan and the associated equipment, in case you don’t like it.

One way of doing this is finding people who do it already and talking to them. One such group is the Retired Caravanners Association, who are a caravan touring club specifically for the Over 60s. Read all about them below  They will be only too pleased to give you some help and advice.

The Retired Caravanners Association (The RCA)

We are a happy band of social caravanners, all over 60, who revel in the freedom and camaraderie of the rally field and the easy going companionship of like minded friends of our own generation.

Our membership, currently about 2,500, comprises both touring and motor caravanners. We celebrate our 30th Anniversary this year (2006).

We run between 60 and 70 rallies each year from March to October throughout mainland U.K. These rallies vary from 7 to 14 days in duration. Many are so arranged that ‘follow on’ rallies are within easy driving distance. Attendance varies from 15 to 100 outfits.

We are a totally volunteer, non-profit making organisation licensed to run rallies of up to 28 days duration. Our aim is to encourage and promote touring caravan touring as a recreational activity among persons aged 60 or over who have retired from full time gainful occupation.

Organising Rallies is the sole reason for our existence. They are run by volunteer Rally Officers who are encouraged to ‘do it their way’ resulting in each rally being unique in terms of its content, but which always includes some form of entertainment on or off the rally field - often both!

In Spring and Autumn many of our caravan touring rallies are held on commercial sites with full facilities. Consequently these rallies are often more expensive than those we hold in the Summer months when we use school playing fields, rugby grounds, showgrounds, the odd garden centre and even farmers' fields.

In all cases the sites are carefully chosen to ensure easy access and minimum impact on the local environment. We often travel on Sundays for ease of traffic movement. Caravan sites are chosen which have a hall for our evening entertainment either on site or nearby.

Our Annual General Meeting is held at a venue selected by the Executive Committee and forms part of our week long ‘end of season’ rally run by the Vice-Chairman - with a little help from his/her friends! About 300 outfits usually attend.

The aim is to make the AGM Rally a memorable showpiece. Entertainment provided each evening includes bands, choral performances, concert parties, dancing to live music and a variety show presented by the members themselves.

There is also plenty to enjoy during the day with a coffee morning, coach trip, members’ arts and crafts exhibition, bowls and boules competitions and a ‘caravan boot sale!’ Attendance at any event is, of course, optional but most members join in.

We publish our newsletter (free to members) tri-annually. Included are reports from the Executive Committee with members also encouraged to contribute letters and articles expressing their news, views, anecdotes and poems.

Our Association is a V.A.T. Registered non-profit making company, limited by guarantee of ?1 per member, and administered by an Executive Committee elected by the members.

For administrative purposes the mainland U.K. Is divided into five geographical areas, listed in detail in the rally book. Each area is the responsibility of an Area Organiser who selects sites and dates for rallies, negotiates with site owners and liaises with the Planning Authorities.

Complete programmes of the rallies, together with booking forms, are sent to members at the beginning of each year giving them the opportunity to plan their holidays in advance and hopefully secure places on rallies with a non-returnable deposit of ?5.

Each rally is organised and run by volunteer members who are obliged to conform with broad guidelines set by the Executive Committee, but are encouraged to put their own stamp on their rally in terms of the service and entertainment provided.

All the above give their services free, being remunerated on a strictly expenses only basis.

If you are a caravanner
who likes to mix with people of your own generation why not give us a try? There is a warm welcome waiting for you.

For more information, contact:
Ken Pick,
33 St. George Road,
Hardwick Court
Chepstow. NP16 5LA
Or visit their website by clicking here.

You might also like to contact the Caravan Club or the The Camping and Caravan Club. These are both national bodies  which run their own sites, organise rallies and generally help caravanners as much as they can.

This Guide is written by Retirement Specialist Dave Sinclair supported by members of the LaterLife team.  

 


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