Martin Roberts

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Would taking the touring out of caravan holidays make for less stressful getaways? Practical Caravan's Martin Roberts considers the pros and cons

The festivities are well and truly over now, and my thoughts have turned to planning the caravanning year ahead. I’m visiting websites and thumbing through brochures as I write.

There’s a wealth of information out there, but I am left with the same old conundrum: should I stick with the tried-and-tested destinations and sites I’ve been to before, or should I explore uncharted territories, seek out new civilisations, boldly go...

Or, here’s a radical thought, should I just plonk the caravan on a seasonal pitch at our favourite site and forget all the palaver about ‘touring the country’?

The last option certainly has its merits. Seriously, who actually enjoys the whole towing experience? I still set off wondering whether we’ll arrive in one piece! And then there’s pitching up – connecting this, levelling that, inflating the other. It’s all a means to an end – and the end is usually a glass of fermented grape juice that I sip while the wife rebuilds the inside of the van after the tin-dislodging, equipment-scrambling, bedding-bouncing journey, and returns it to some semblance of habitability.

As I write this, I don’t know what we will end up doing. To help myself (and, if you’re equally undecided, help you), I’ve compiled the pros and cons of each option. I can reveal (having obviously, been the first person to go through it) that I am now as undecided as ever. That was a worthwhile process, then! Wherever you end up, I wish you a very happy new caravanning year.

Seasonal pitch


✔ No hassle

✔ Just turn up and start enjoying

✔ No towing, hitching or setting up

✔ May be cheaper if you do a deal

✔ You can bring more stuff (garden furniture, chiminea, gnomes, whirlpool spa)

✔ You know the pitch and facilities


✘ It could get repetitive

✘ It could get very expensive if you leave your van on site permanently, because you pay for the pitch even if you’re not there

✘ Why not go the whole hog and just buy a static caravan?

✘ Doesn’t this defeat the object of owning a ‘touring’ caravan?

Touring new sites   


✔ Isn’t this the point of owning a ‘tourer’?

✔ Explore parts of the UK you’ve never been to before

✔ You may discover new favourite sites and new friends

✔ You can use your van as accommodation when attending festivals and other events


✘ Fear of the unknown

✘ The places you pick might be rubbish

✘ It’s more stressful, and holidays are not supposed to involve stress

Visit Martin’s website for information about him, his books and his property training weekends, and follow his adventures on Twitter