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Caravan or tent?

27/04/2020
blog / advice / holiday / family


Do you love camping - the outdoor lifestyle, lots of fresh air, the youngsters being able to run free? Perhaps you’ve never been but would like to give it a try? Or are the kids nagging you to take them and you’ve finally given in?

Whatever the reason for your interest, read this blog to find out why camping - and indeed caravanning - is so great, and what it can offer you as a family holiday…

Caravan or tent? - Winchester Caravans and MotorhomesWe’ll also talk you through both the obvious options - tents and caravans. You may feel strongly about one or the other, but until you have all the facts, try to keep an open mind! You might favour one option but come to realise that the other is actually more suitable for you and your family.

Get a feel for it

If you’ve never camped or caravanned at all, it’s probably best to give it a try for a weekend first before you invest in a tent or caravan and all the equipment that goes with it. Do your research; there are campsites that offer camping and glamping options that are ready and waiting for you to enjoy. This would be a great introduction to the world of camping as you’ll get to experience the lifestyle without having to buy all the kit only to discover it’s not for you. Or ask around your friends; one of them may have a tent that they’re willing to lend you to try out.

There are also static caravan sites that you could try, though keep in mind that these caravans are a lot bigger than touring caravans which have to be more compact to enable you to tow them. Remember too that these types of caravans are usually situated in caravan parks that are more formal than if you were to opt for a forest or rural-based campsite with your touring caravan, such as those in the New Forest. The latter will give you the chance to pitch your caravan in a spot that you choose, surrounded by nature, which certainly adds to the experience if you’re looking to get away from it all. None-the-less, a stay in a static caravan will still give you a flavour of what a caravanning holiday could be like.

Why go for a tent?

Value for money

Tents are extremely good value for money. You can get a decent polyester family tent from as little as £200 if you shop around and look out for deals. Of course, if you’re after a polycotton air tent, you could spend a lot more! You’ll also need to get kitted out with the camping basics such as air beds, sleeping bags, camping stove and gas, kitchen essentials and so on, but you don’t have to get everything at once. And remember, once you’ve got it, you’ve got it! 

The cost to camp per night is reasonable too, with many campsites charging around £15-£20 per night for a standard size pitch. This includes access to the site’s toilet, shower and washing up blocks, which are invaluable. If you cook the majority of your meals campside, with the odd meal out, that will be cost effective too.

Closer to nature

There’s nothing quite like sleeping under canvas! It makes you feel at one with nature; you can hear owls hooting, leaves rustling and birdsong first thing - you can’t beat it! During the day, if you’re lucky with the weather, you can relax in your camping chairs with a book whilst the kids track insects, collect sticks and climb trees!

So much fun!

Adults and kids alike find camping fun! From the novelty of sleeping on blow up beds, to cooking on the camping stove to all pitching in with washing up, it’s all a lot of fun and great family time! The kids have so much freedom to play ball games, ride their bikes and make friends with other kids on the campsite. Unlike at home when they’re glued to their screens, campsite outdoor play will keep them busy from dawn until dusk!

Easy to find a good spot

When you’re in a tent, it’s easy to find a lovely little spot to pitch your tent, tucked away from everyone else. As long as you’ve got room to get your car in and out, pitch away! Try to find a secluded place that’s not a through route for other campers and with some greenery around you. Remember not to settle too far away from the facilities block, especially if you’re camping with young children. Invest in a few windbreaks for shelter and privacy and you’re good to go!

Why go for a caravan?

Ensuite facilities

The biggest advantage of going for a caravan is having your own private toilet and shower on board. No traipsing to the facilities block in the middle of the night for you! This is such a luxury, especially if you have little ones who need the loo every five minutes. Having to use communal toilets and showers are the number one reason why many people won’t consider camping - so opt for a caravan and this is not a problem you’ll have to deal with!

Comfy beds

No blow up beds for you! Caravans come fitted with comfortable beds, which provide a good night’s sleep every time. Having proper beds make caravans suitable for longer holidays too and different models offer different bed options and configurations so you’re sure to find one to suit your family’s needs.

Shelter from the elements

If the weather is not great for your trip away, being in a caravan makes it more bearable. You’ll have electricity and heating if you need it and all your creature comforts around you. With a kitchen and washroom on board, you won’t have to go out in a downpour unless you choose to!

Opt for an awning

If you feel like you need a little more space than a caravan provides, you can opt for an awning, which could double your footprint! Use this extra space for dining, lounging or for the kids to play!

Kitchen facilities

Caravans come with fully equipped kitchens on board to enable you to cook all your meals in comfort. Most come with fridges, ovens, hobs and microwaves so it really is a home from home. You can choose to do as little or as much cooking as you like!

Electrical hook-up option

Most campsites offer electrical hook-up options for caravans for an extra fee. This means that you can run all your appliances as you would at home. Invest in a leisure battery so that if you go somewhere that doesn’t have an electric supply, you’ll be able to power yourself - most batteries have up to 11 hours’ charge in them.

All the good bits!

Even though you’re in a caravan rather than a tent, you still get all the advantages of a camping holiday - close to nature, freedom, getting away from it all - just with none of the drawbacks of camping due to the essential luxuries caravans provide.

Your own home on wheels

The beauty of owning a caravan is that you can make it completely your own, fill it with all the things you like - and then take it with you! It’s ready to go at the drop of the hat, making impromptu trips possible without endless packing and planning! It makes taking regular trips away a pleasure - and let’s face it, that’s what life should be all about!

Value for money

Although of course caravans are more expensive to buy than tents, you can still get some amazing deals! Caravans cost less than you think, especially if you go for a pre-owned model. They will pay for themselves over time as they will enable you to enjoy many, many low-cost holidays over the years.

We stock new Bailey and Swift caravans as well as other manufacturers, plus a range or pre-owned caravans for you to choose from. Browse our ranges online and then email us for more information. We can contact you to arrange viewings when we reopen shortly. In the meantime, we can offer you a video tour of any caravans you’re interested in - just ask! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram for the latest updates...



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