This section is
about caravanning, and about how you can start this at the age of 55
plus, without prior experience. I did it, and You can do it.
The reason I started out on this venture
was that I wanted to visit friends and family all over Europe during the summer and wanted
to have a little bit of "home" with me. Also I liked to start
surf lessens, witch
turned out to be the most fun thing I have experienced for years.
I had a friend to
help me the first 2000 Km. From then on I was on my own. During the
month of September I did the return trip from Denmark. The route was
Hamburg, Bremen, Oldenburg, Antwerb, Gent, Lille, Mont St Michel, Le
Havre, Rennes, Nantes eventually ending on the Aquitane coast. A route
with 4 lanes all the way. In France I stopped the following places.
Maps for route selection:
photo in left side is of a small caravan. It is a Caravelair 375. One of
the smallest you can get. The small caravans are gaining in popularity.
It is typical used
by a couple, young or old. It is noticed however than more an more older
people chose this type, due to its ease of handling.
It is a near perfect touring caravan
for one or 2 persons.
Even if you are permanent 2 persons onboard, you may want to look at
something slightly bigger.
Select a tow car where the maximum allowable weight of the caravan is
less than 70 % of the Tara weight of the car, and you have a nice
You can go all
over Europe with ease. Bringing
a certain amount of comfort, and you are able to purchase a caravan of
this type for around 10.000 Euros new.
The tow car should preferable be turbo diesel. Count 1 Hp minimum for
every 7 Kg of Caravan total weight. The bigger the tow car the better.
It is better to carry the extras in the tow car than in the caravan.
spend the nights, you go to a campsite. Here you can rest. Get a shower,
a bit of shopping is possible in most places. A night watchman will
often be present.
However you need
to find the campsite first.
The are many books
about campsites. The best ones have a map on which the sites are
positioned with a mark and a number. You look up that number and get the
address or GPS coordinates. Plot it in your GPS and off you go. If
possible, use the address for plotting . You may do the coordinate
thing wrong, and that can take you to interesting, but wrong places.
If you are
travelling in the high season, you can call and ask if there is any
space. Else just drive to the gate and somebody will turn up, even if
the reception is closed. If not, and you are very late, then go to sleep
and wait for something to happen.
There are alternatives to campsites. I believe however that people that
do not use campsites, simply forgot to get that camping guide with a map
and the GPS.
You are safer and
more comfortable on a campsite. It will however set you back some 20
plus Euros every night.
Driving with a small caravan i not
difficult. Do however get some good quality mirrors.
No, the trouble starts when you have to manoeuvre in cramped space,
without the use of your car. It can be very frustrating, especially on
uneven ground. You push and pull and nothing happens.
The answer to this is called a "moover".
It is a set of el motors that connects to the wheels by small rollers.
It is powered by 12 V from a battery inside the caravan. With this you
can move your caravan around using remote control. On the photo you can
see the unit, white colour, next to the wheel.
You can now single handed control
everything, without using any muscular force at all. Unfortunately you
are set back 2-3000
Euros. It is
worth every cent however, especially if you have, or have had lower back
Another thing to keep in mind is that the moover unit and battery will
add 60 Kg. to the caravan.