Martin RobertsSee other Blog articles filed in ‘Martin Roberts' "My home from home"’ written by Martin Roberts
Following our successful launch of my ‘Extreme Caravanner of the Year’ award, I think it’s time for another fun-filled, tongue-in-cheek competition. Ladies and gentlemen, fellow caravanning enthusiasts, I bring you the ‘Most Incredible Accessory of 2013 Cup’.
Inspired by the simply outstanding levels to which some people go to enhance their caravanning experiences, and bring those ‘home from home’ comforts to the parks and pitches of the UK, I am looking for a gadget or accessory that causes gasps of wonder, prickles of jealousy or smiles of admiration.
What are the caravan accessories that you love the most? Perhaps they're the everyday ones, exceptional examples of basic, essential caravanning kit. Or maybe you'd like to nominate the seemingly weird and wonderful accessories that now you find you just can't leave home without.
To get you going, here are a few I’ve spotted over the past few months during my caravan holidays across the UK. Some are more stylish than others and they are in no particular order, but I hope they get you thinking.
First, I'd like to sing the praises of the insulated water container jacket, glinting in space-formulated materials and preserving the perfect temperature for your van’s water supplies. Come snow or heatwave, you’ll be sipping water at the temperature of a mountain spring. It is a simply brilliant invention!
Or how about a remote-controlled and fully motorised satellite receiver system? This will provide high speed internet access and 2000 channels of international TV in even the most remote locations.
Then there's the retro, throwback, handmade toddler trolley, maybe based on classic hippy-chic designs or a scale replica of your current van. No self-respecting toddler would be seen in a pushchair these days. What’s needed is something that would have happily doubled as a van a few years ago, and often costs as much. Get Grandad off to the workshop to manufacture some magic, pronto!
Perhaps you fancy a chic or cheeky personalised numberplate for your van, to make fellow caravanners smile on site? Designed to replace the legal version that mimics your car registration for general use, this one is whipped out soon after pitching and is either the name of a family member, Brian, for instance, or the pet name for your van, such as ‘Bill’ (for Bailey owners) or Luthor (For LEXon fans). Less spotted versions include ‘Denise and Gary’ – but it doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
My final offering is a pooch palace. Because caravanners love dogs, right? And of course you want to ensure they're enjoying the same comfort as you when on tour. Of course, when Fido is at home, his nocturnal activities go unnoticed, but in the confines of a caravan, panting, scratching and snoring aren’t ideal. And then there’s the noise the dog makes. The answer? A separate pop-up kennel!
So, I hope I've got you thinking. Crazy or conventional, we'd love to hear your thoughts.