Caravans and camping provides all singles, couples and families with an amazing range of options.
From the latest, greatest, upsized u-beaut caravans with every imaginable away from home comfort, to a swag on the ground under the stars.
Away for a weekend or permanent living, every budget is covered. Each year, the required budget seems to be larger.
Unfit for caravanning!
Unfit for caravanning means more than your body. Imagine a Mini Minor trying tow and then stop the weight of a caravan. Yes, you obviously understand it is the weight of the caravan that causes problems. The towing capacity of vehicles is known by the caravan dealers, so their first question to prospective buyers should be “With what vehicle do you propose to tow?” Another should be “Are you fit enough to hitch and unhitch?”
Most who have a full car driver’s licence can tow a caravan. But, and it is a big but, not any car can tow a caravan. Why, what’s the big deal? Here it is. We owned a 4WD petrol Prado, and purchased a 19’6” caravan. While completely legal, we were at the upper end of caravan weight limit for our vehicle. On our first trip north, while towing okay, we felt the motor was “working hard” most of the trip. Particularly in hilly country our uphill speed slowed considerably. Not terribly long after arriving home safely we upgraded the Prado to a diesel Prado with much better performance.
So you have purchased your caravan and need to somehow back your vehicle to line up the tow ball with the caravan tow bar. But you blindly reverse and although you have these fancy wide towing mirrors fitted you haven’t a hope of seeing the tow bar. If you are lucky you have a reversing camera. We didn’t have that luxury on our first trip.
Just how unfit are you?
A single person travelling alone has to work out an easy way of hitching the van alone, without relying on the goodwill of fellow travellers to assist. Alone you might have a smaller van that you can pull and push onto the hitching ball. A larger van is not easy to manoeuvre. A couple can have one behind the wheel and the other frantically giving hand directions. However the person directing is absolutely no good for the driver if the driver cannot see them in the towing mirrors. They must move around until they can see the driver’s face in the reversing mirror, then they know the driver can see their hand directions which must make sense to the driver.
Bending or kneeling up and down
Okay, some will say that is the hardest bit about caravanning. What a lot of people fail to realise, once the van is hitched securely to the car, they must kneel on the ground for several minutes as they complete hooking up the electric wire plug. Then safely chains in case the van becomes unhitched while travelling. It is difficult to successfully complete these tasks particularly if your body suffers from knee or back injuries.
I nearly forgot to mention hooking and unhooking the outlet hose, and also rolling out and rolling up the hose to connect to a nearby tap. If you intend to have power there is also the electric lead to roll out and roll up and plugging it into an appropriate electricity outlet.
And then down on your knees again, and bend under the van to lower, and then adjust, the leveling legs.
All again when you pack up
In readiness to leave, the reverse activities are all required to happen again as you pack up. It will tell you if you are slightly unfit.
Sad as it seems, the best entertainment in a caravan park is often the way some people go about hitching their van to their vehicle. It’s amazing how much spousal yelling and abuse can be heard. And all within sight get a lot of amusement out of others distress, all the time pretending not to be watching. So why are there so many people out there caravanning? If you really take note, the majority of caravanners are couples, and most singles are in motorhomes or “recreation vehicles”. The first and most important item you need to pack is your sense of humour. Laugh at all the minor mishaps along the way. That way you will be relaxed enough to sit back with a suitable beverage in hand and enjoy another sunset.