When I sat down to write this blog article, I decided beforehand to do something on ‘luxury’ caravans. Then I remembered that while I was on the internet the other day I came across an old Pathé newsreel of the Caravan Club road rally from 1955. I put the link in below for you to take a look yourself if you like. It’s fascinating stuff, and the interesting thing is that most of the actual ‘process’ of caravanning hasn’t changed very much. We still plan, pack up, hitch up and set off on our trip in much the same way.
I thought it would make a great comparison to work from because, what has changed dramatically, is the caravan itself. When you look at those boxes from the 1950’s, while they have a real nostalgic appeal, I suspect we would be a little uncomfortable in them compared to the modern ‘van. The days of rattling windows and drafty doors are long gone. Sadly, some people still think this is how caravanning is.
The truth is that caravanning enthusiasts come in all shapes and sizes, and it’s almost silly to try to pigeon-hole them. For the sake of convenience though, let’s look at what a modern caravan provides for three kinds of caravanners. A festival going ‘out and about’ couple, a family with children, and a retired couple.
For the couple who are looking for the caravan to be a convenient home for the long weekend at a gathering, you would expect a fairly basic set up. However, with a modern caravan, for example, the Adria Adora Isonzo, you get much more than a box on wheels. It will have a nicely fitted kitchen area with a good sized oven and fridge. There will also be comfortable fixed beds and plenty of space to move around and relax. Little standard extras like an external gas barbecue point and blown air heating, make it excellent whatever the weather does. And why a four berth for a couple? Well, the price difference between a two and four is not huge, and it gives the flexibility for guests.
For a family, a six berth, for example, the Adria Sportline DT, will give you a lot of luxury for your money. For most families, the caravan is a base to work from. Nobody goes on holiday to sit in the caravan, so it is mostly used for eating and sleeping in during the fun of the trip. Fixed bunks mean that you can tuck the kids up and then relax knowing that they will get a good night’s sleep. There is no trekking to a chilly shower block with the kids either; they can get as muddy as they like because the water heater and shower unit will take care of things.
For the retired couple, there is probably less emphasis on running around and more on taking a well-deserved rest. So perhaps a compact and practical motorhome may be worth considering. Something like the Elddis Impressa 175 is a mix of driving comfort, with its cruise control and air conditioning, and the convenience of a stop and ready motorhome. For those who want a more traditional caravan, the new Bailey Unicorn Seville has plenty of floor space, a directional TV aerial, Solar panels and, of course, good central heating and hot water systems. What all this means is that your caravan is genuinely a little home from home.
In the end I realised that writing a blog on luxury caravanning was pointless because, when you look back at how caravans used to be not so long ago, and then you compare with current models, you realise that they are almost incomparable. There is no such thing as a luxury caravan these days because they all seem to come with the luxury built in regardless of size. Most importantly though is how little that luxury can cost, meaning caravanning the 21st century is more attractive than it has ever been.