We have had some great chats with our Facebook fans; the topics range from high-tech (‘What’s the best satellite dish for your money?’) to low-brow (‘Who likes a fry-up on site in the mornings?’). The responses (which sometimes number into the hundreds) give us a fascinating glimpse of the characters who enjoy this wonderful hobby of ours — people just like us!
A while ago we posted a graphic onto the Practical Caravan Facebook page — it said that a proper caravanner:
- Is away in the van whatever the weather
- Never lets a barbecue get cold
- Never lets the beer get warm.
We then invited more suggestions from our Facebook fans. We were overwhelmed by the response; here we’ve published a snapshot of what they had to say on the topic.
"You send the kids — no matter how old — to go and fetch the water in all weathers," said Kim Richardson.
"Your garden is a mess because you’re never at home," said Steve Moir.
Claire Bramley agreed, saying, "I’m still waiting for my new bathroom to be installed at home because we’re fixing the caravan this week. It’s the Practical Caravan Reader Rally, and then a holiday in Rutland. It could be a long wait for that new bathroom, but I’d rather be caravanning!"
Richard Miles sounded pretty happy to pack up the caravan and leave his cares behind, saying, "Those DIY jobs at home are never completed."
It's not that caravanners are lazy, "My wife tells me to wash the caravan, but it’s always clean," said Mark Wood.
Outdoors in all weathers
Lynne Allen added that, "A real caravanner knows what the weather will be doing for the next three days in more detail than the Met Office."
Clare Baxter commented, "You sit outside in sunglasses and an all-weather fleece, and you know that the real name for an awning is ‘divorce in a bag’!"
June White agreed, saying, "You huddle away behind your windbreak with a can of beer or a glass of wine."
Sarah Murray felt she was a real caravanner, because she'd experienced the following: "Barbecuing in the rain! The water from the Aquaroll running out mid-shower. Pegging the awning down at 4am because the wind’s gone mental, and knocking up a great meal in a tiny kitchen."
Community spirit – and awnings
Caravanning is relaxing and it can bring out the best in people, Terry Dixon pointed out, saying, "Real caravanners converse with people on nearby pitches you’d normally cross the road to avoid!"
"They put up the awning on the Friday, then take it down on the Saturday in case it gets wet before they go home on the Sunday," claimed Kieran Sisk.
"You have a blazing argument with your partner while putting up the awning," said Amanda Leetham.
"You sit there for 30 minutes laughing at the new caravanners who are trying to put their awning up, before finally offering them a helping hand," said Anthony Jennings cheekily.
Kind Nikki Hillson, meanwhile, said, "You’re hardy, adventurous and, above all, friendly to your neighbouring caravanners."
Joan Benson agreed, saying a real caravanner is, "Someone who can fix any problem with your caravan! Then you’ll watch six or more men standing around offering advice."
Cars become the stars
"You no longer own a car. You now have a ‘tow car’," said Charlotte Precious.
Along the same lines, Julie Burnett observed, "Caravanners wear trousers with lots of pockets, so they keep losing the keys to the car and van!"
"You wave at other cars fitted with a towbar when you pass them on the road," said Helena Dillon.
Caravanners are skilled, said Colin Reynolds Rogers: "They can reverse onto a pitch. They can put up an awning in minutes."
They're practical, too – Cynthia McKay pointed out you know you're a proper caravanner when, "You have a toolbox that is more comprehensive than that of any major car dealership’s, with spare parts kept from your three previous caravans!" We know where to come when we need to source spare caravan parts, Cynthia!
Camping accessories reveal all
True caravan pros have been touring before and they know the value of camping accessories, according to Jude Moulsdale. She said, "You have a table lamp in the front window of your van and matching outdoor chairs. Or at least we will one day, we hope!"
"Real caravanners wear Craghoppers and Crocs! LOL!' observed Michelle Caie.
Mick Day asked, "Do proper caravanners use motor movers? I confess!"
Some people evidently needed to invest in more gadgets, because June White said, "You spend all afternoon looking for a television signal."
Not all caravan accessories are expensive, though. "You’ve always got enough blocks of wood to level-up every caravan that’s on the rally field," said Steve Parkes.
In fact some experienced caravan owners need to spend very little to have fun, Jill Tucker said, "You rally almost every weekend and say, 'Electric hook-up, what’s that?'”
We've held our Practical Caravan Reader Rally in May for years, and our Group Editor says it's the best of caravanning.
Eating and drinking outdoors
"They arrive, pitch up and have a brew on the go in five minutes," said Jim Filby.
Rob Haines admitted that his idea of a great caravan holiday was, "Making a cooked brekkie on site at 7.45am with a can of beer in your hand. It works for me!"
The fun doesn't stop when the sun goes down, and Heather Smith's idea of good caravanning was, "Cooking on the Cadac in the dark. My hubby just cooked our steaks and onions on his. I’m not having him stinking our caravan out!"
Above all, a good caravanner, "Knows where the nearest pub is within walking distance from any site that you go to," said Julia Davis.
Those nocturnal activities do have consequences, though. "They wake up in the middle of the night bursting for the loo, and wake up everyone else in the caravan by feeling around for the washroom," said Brian Beagan.
Last, but not least, real caravanners enjoy Practical Caravan magazine!
We loved reading all your witty comments about the joys of caravan holidays. If you want to join in the nation’s favourite caravanning conversations, visit our Facebook page, Twitter, Google+ page or forum.