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A Beginner's Guide to Choosing a Caravan

Oct 12, 2007
As a kid, I used to enjoy holidays in caravan parks with my family, but we never invested in one of our own. Our caravan-holiday adventures included a trip to the Welsh coast, a campsite by the sand dunes in windy Norfolk, and, my favourite, a cliff-top campsite in Dorset with a very friendly clubhouse. I realised the extent of some people's caravanning passion as a teenager, when I saw the Caravan Club parked on my school field one weekend. While my own experience is limited, I realise one of the main benefits of caravanning is its inherently social nature, as crucial as location. However, here are some features to look out for in your first used or new caravan.

Your caravan options include touring caravans, motor homes and holiday homes. A touring caravan will range from a basic two-berth caravan, which can be conveniently towed by an average family car, to a six-berth luxury caravan that requires a four-by-four for towing. A standard caravan will be divided into a seating area, which may double as extra room for sleeping, a kitchen, and a washing area. While a basic caravan can be fun if you have kids or want flexibility, motor homes offer a significant degree of luxury. Static caravans and holiday homes (or chalets) mean you will not need to worry about storage, although you will obviously have to decide on somewhere you will want to return. More nomadic types will prefer a motor home: over 20,000 people in the UK currently live in mobile homes, of some sort or other.

Manufacturers of caravans include Elddis, Swift, Bailey and Adria. Basic models may include a fridge, a toilet and a heater, while, more luxury models could feature a shower and a stereo. While the most basic motor home will feature a shower, you can find a luxury model fitted with double-glazing and a TV aerial. Financing options can be available for both new and used caravans and mobile homes. The choice between new and used caravans will be based on what features you require as a minimum.

While most holiday parks offer mobile home and caravan accommodation on a rental basis, some offer more permanent accommodation in residential parks. If you are interested in buying a static new or used caravan, mobile home or holiday home, your best bet is to purchase it directly from a residential park: it is not always possible to arrange a pitch. The main advantage over a site-built home is cost, which, given the house prices today, is a significant lure.
About the Author
Shaun Parker has been following the caravanning industry for the past ten years and has been researching new caravans. To find out more see http://www.amberleisure.com/
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