1. Freedom to go (and sleep!) wherever you want
As an avid hiker and camper who can’t stand gigantic motor homes occupying scarce camping spots at national parks, I’m often envious of fellow adventurers who own a caravan. If you think about, you almost always have to drive to wherever you’re going to hike and camp – so why not pull a small caravan and have an excellent little base to work out of? When you need a solid nights rest, respite from the heat or cold, or a sheltered place to cook your food, a caravan is blessing. You can leave it parked with your car while you go out on back country hikes and come back to it a few days later to rest and recharge. Just be sure to get it insured! Just like your car, it can get broken into or stolen. I’ve had my car broken into last summer when I left it parked off a remote country road in Utah while I was back country hiking and camping for a few days. Thank god for insurance, replaced my broken window and ripped out stereo. If you ever need insurance, take a look at the Caravan Club website.
Caravans can be cheap, much cheaper than motor homes. You can easily find a used caravan in decent quality for a few thousand dollars or less. These are typically older and have a great retro look to them. In my opinion, this is ideal – cheap, cool looking and basic. Check out Gumtree.com for an excellent selection of affordable vintage caravans.
If you feel like springing a little extra cash you can get something really nice. In fact, there are caravans that aren’t much different from a motor home. Massive lorry sized beasts with full on kitchens, showers, living rooms and bathrooms. For me that’s a bit much – both in terms of my needs and my wallet – but if you’ve got it and your one for creature comforts…by all means. Thing is, when they’re that big you’ll need a solid truck to pull it. Most small sized caravans you can pull with a compact or even subcompact car!
3. Caravan Culture
Lets be honest, everyone loves a guy with a caravan, especially a vintage looking caravan. Think about any music festival you’ve ever been too. Who’s got it better than the guy with a caravan? Like I said, it’s an excellent space to base your self out of for a few days. You can haul more gear, more food, more beer and whatever else you fancy in a caravan than you can in a car alone. And you have a real place to sleep with walls that can at least partially block out the constant festival noise, lights and weird smells going on around you. Plus, a caravan gives you a little more privacy than a tent, should you need it 😉
On top of festival appeal of caravans, most countries in Europe and states in the US have caravan clubs that you can join and meet likeminded people. It’s much like the boathouse culture in the UK and northern Europe. They all get a long and have a great little community that is ready-built around the caravan life style. I’m not saying you have to live in your caravan, but you probably could! Certainly some people do.