Camping is all about getting back to nature, being in the elements, stripping back all the trappings of modern life and having an affordable family holiday. Camping can be idyllic and provide that good value old-fashioned fun holiday we all crave. But the reality can be very different.
Buying all the equipment needed for a camping trip can be as cheap or as expensive as you can afford. Small basic tents can be picked up for under £50 with larger ones costing hundreds of pounds. But to make your trip comfortable you will need more than just a tent! Visit any outdoor store and you will see the vast array of equipment, furniture and gadgets designed to make a tent feel like home. There are beds, toilets, sinks and even wardrobes for tents; not to mention all the high tech heating and lighting solutions available. You could easily spend thousands of pounds.
All that equipment can take up a lot of room in your car, especially if you add in a couple of kids and the family dog. Is your car big enough for all that plus clothes, wellies, sports equipment and food?
And then there is the ‘fun’ of putting up your tent. Have you ever tried battling with acres of canvas, several poles, tent pegs and guy ropes in strong winds and rain – not much fun?
Camping isn’t for everyone, but if you want a few more home comforts but still want the freedom to see the country, how about a touring caravan?
The first purpose-built leisure caravan was made in 1885, so that’s an incredible 130 continuous years of caravanning in the UK.
As with tents, there is a huge range of caravans to choose from to fit every budget. A basic second hand model can be picked up for a few hundred pounds; with the luxury end of the market setting you back tens of thousands. There is also just as much equipment to spend your money on – from awnings to entertainment systems.
Now we all know Mr Clarkson has no time for touring caravans. They can clog up the roads as they slowly travel to their destination with a massive queue of traffic stuck behind them. They require a substantial car to tow them and they have to be stored somewhere when you aren’t using them.
But can the one million caravanners that are members of the Caravan Club be wrong?
Up and down the country, hidden away in some of the most beautiful scenery and along miles of stunning coasts are the UK’s many static caravan Parks. With 28,000 static caravans in Lincolnshire alone, if you don’t own a static caravan yourself you will most certainly know someone who does.
But why do so many people chose static caravans? You have the warmth and security of a home with mains water and electricity. You have lots of space with real beds and comfortable furniture to relax on, with no complicated acrobatics to turn tables into beds every night like in a small tourer. You have a fully fitted kitchen with all mod cons including dishwashers and fridges – who wants to be washing dishes on holiday? You also have the benefit of all the on-site activities; both sporting and social. And the caravan is looked after all year round.
Yes of course, the investment is higher but you get a lot for your money with a static caravan.
And don’t forget, if you are in tent in the wilds an animal could attack you but in a static caravan only a salesperson might attack you to upgrade!