David Motton
Tow Car Editor

See other Blog articles filed in ‘Travel and touring’ written by David Motton
   
LAST WEEK I tried something I had never done before: I stayed in a tent.

I know it's more common to start in tents and move on to caravans rather than the other way around, but I have somehow reached the age of 35 without once spending a night under canvas.

LAST WEEK I tried something I had never done before: I stayed in a tent.

 

I know it's more common to start in tents and move on to caravans rather than the other way around, but I have somehow reached the age of 35 without once spending a night under canvas.

 

Why try camping now? Well, I wanted to go cycle touring and couldn't find a caravan I could pull behind my bike and abide by the 85% rule. That and the urge to try something different and see if I'd been missing out all these years.

 

I've never liked to faff around with awnings, so I wasn't looking forward to putting up the tent. However, after a few minutes looking bemused and confused by all the canvas, pegs and poles it was actually pretty straightforward. I don't think I set any speed records getting the tent up, but I didn't have to ask my neighbours for help either.

 

My inflatable mat was more comfortable than expected, I stayed warm all night and slept soundly. In the morning I was packed and ready to go again in next to no time.

 

I can see the appeal of camping. It's no-frills compared with even an entry-level tourer but that's part of the point. No microwaves, no TVs, just a back-to-basics sense of adventure.

 

Even so, as I tried to get dressed in a one-man tent which certainly wasn't made for my 6' 3" frame, I couldn't help but envy the caravanners around me with their proper beds, plentiful space, plush sofas and well equipped kitchens.

 

I'll definitely try camping again (next time with a bigger tent!), but I won't turn my back on caravanning just yet.

 

 

Share with friends

Follow us on

Most recent caravan reviews

Xplore 422

£14,249

The Practical Caravan 2018 Xplore 422 review – 1 - The new-for-2018 Xplore 422 costs £14,249, £14,718 as tested (© Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Adria Action 361 LT review – 1 - The Adria Action 361 LT should certainly stand out on site – and it has an MTPLM of just 1100kg (© Phil Russell/Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Elddis Avanté 860 review – 1 - With an MTPLM of 1695kg, you'll need a big tow car to pull this new-for-2018 twin-axle tourer (© Practical Caravan)

Venus 570/4

£16,499

The Practical Caravan Venus 570/4 review – 1 - Tweaked for 2018, the Venus 570/4 is priced from £16,499 (© Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Buccaneer Barracuda review – 1 - There are new graphics for the 2018-season range of Buccaneer caravans (© Phil Russell/Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Knaus StarClass 480 review – 1 - The Knaus StarClass 480 has been ungraded for 2018 and is priced from £26,699 (© Andy Jenkinson/Practical Caravan)