With less people traveling abroad for all inclusive breaks more and more people are weighing up the pros and cons of owning a touring caravan.
In this article we will look at the pros and cons of owning a touring caravan, a static caravan a motorhome and a tent.
Cost of owning a touring caravan
There are a few costs associated with owning a touring caravan. These are:
- The initial purchase price
- The cost of maintenance
- Caravan Insurance
- The cost of storage at a caravan storage facility
- The cost of keeping a caravan permanently on a caravan site
- The cost of visiting a caravan site.
- The increased cost of fuel whilst towing
- It is realistic to say that the cost of keeping a touring caravan can be as little as a a couple of hundred pounds per year if kept at home and service one per year.
How much does it cost to buy a touring caravan
The purchase price of a caravan can hairy as much as a car.
You can purchase a used caravan from as little as a couple of thousand pounds or pay as much for a new one as thirty to forty thousand. New, they are a lot less expensive than a motor home.
As with cars you can have a caravan on a PCP type agreement where you pay a low deposit, a monthly fee and a balloon payment at the end of the agreement or hand back the caravan.
How much does it cost to keep a touring caravan on site.
Keeping your caravan on a site can be a wonderful idea. Some sites charge little more than you would pay for storage and the caravan is always set up for use in the open season.
Priced range from around £700 to £3000 depending on the location and facilities on site.
Do touring caravans hold their value
Like cars, the used price of a caravan can fluctuate. Your caravan will often be worth more in the spring than at the end of the season in the late autumn. So it’s a good idea to buy and sell at the right time.
Are touring caravans a good investment
Unusually during vivid lockdowns caravan prices have gone through the roof. Ordinarily though you wouldn’t buy a caravan as a financial investment.
If however you choose to use your touring caravan regularly and for your main holiday you could save a small fortune.
This year families have been paying over £1500 per week to stay in a static caravan. I paid just £450 for 8 nights away in my caravan at Sandford Holiday Park, including all of the leisure facilities that go with it. So the answer is yes, a touring caravan is a good investment but only if you use it!
Pros of owning a touring caravan
The five main pros of owning a touring caravan are:
- Low cost holidays
- Flexibility to holiday at different locations with the familiarity of your own accommodation.
- Home from home for weekends is you season pitch your caravan
- Enjoyment of the outdoors and making new friends
- You are in charge of the cleanliness of your accommodation for those worried about communicable virus and disease.
Cons of owning a touring caravan
Here are the five cons of owning a touring caravan:
- You need an appropriate vehicle to pull it
- You need to fit a tow bar cost £250 to £600
- You need somewhere to store your caravan
- Can be tricky to get access to clean and maintain your caravan
- You have a bit of physical work to do on your holiday with hooking up and siting your caravan.
Pros of owning a static caravan
- The main benefit of owning a static caravan is the face that it is home from home. It is more of a substitute for a house than a caravan and for some, that’s a good thing.
- You can use your static caravan for longer as well. Most caravan sites only close for February for static caravan owners but from the end of October until the start of March or April for those with permanent touring caravans.
- You are also more likely to use your own facilities in a static caravan, as the bathrooms are more like what you would expect to find in a house. Some even have a bath.
- You are also more likely to be connected to the mains for water and waste water as some caravan sites, even those offering season pitches don’t always offer this to tourers.
Cons of owning a static caravan
There is however one very big downside, I will come to that in a moment.
Other than the fact that many static caravans are designed only for summer use leaving them freezing cold in the winter.
You don’t get the same outdoor living experience and community feeling of touring caravans, motorhome or tents.
And the fact that’s many have had their plates removed meaning you have no idea how old the static caravan is.
There is one massive draw back…
Let’s say you purchased a caravan for twenty thousand pounds on a site. The site owner makes say four thousand pounds profit on the sale.
You are a good resident and pay your fee of say two thousand pounds per year on time every time.
This will mean that the site owner over a ten year period will make twenty four thousand pounds.
If the site owner sells you a caravan (four thousand pounds profit) and after two years withdraws service, example they close the on site social club. You get fed up and everyone moans.
You decide to come out of the caravan and sell it back to the site owner for sixteen thousand pounds.
He then sells the caravan to a new family and makes four thousand pounds.
He is still getting the two thousand pounds per year site fee but by causing people to leave every two years, over a ten year period he will make an extra twenty thousand pounds. Forty thousand pounds in total.
This is the business model used by far too many site owners.
And you are a sitting duck!
Q) Can you transport the caravan somewhere else?
A) In theory yes. There are transport companies that will move it for you.
Caravan sites only have so many pitches and so they prefer to sell a caravan than let someone bring their own. If you do bring your own, they may charge you a connection fee equal to the lost profit from not selling you a caravan.
So for you, your twenty grand caravan is going to cost you four thousand pounds connection and five hundred pounds transport fee, so you are better off selling it back to the site.
All in all. If you want to buy a static caravan remember the biggest draw back,
The site holds all of the cards.
Pros of owning a motorhome
Here are the pros of owning a motorhome.
- You can go at faster speeds more safely than a car towing a caravan. This is a big advantage if you want to travel longer distances.
- It is easier to pitch your motorhome at the caravan site than it is with a caravan.
- It is easier to tour, ie move from caravan site to caravan site. Many motorhome owners move on after just a couple of nights.
- It’s easier to take breaks when traveling long distances. Going into the back for lunch, a drink or a nap.
Cons of owning a motorhome
- They are very very expensive to purchase.
- You have no transport when you arrive at a caravan site, unless you tow a vehicle behind.
- You have to tax, insure and MOT another vehicle.
Pros of owning a tent
- Very low cost entry into camping
- You can get to your destination even faster than a motorhome or caravan.
- Site fees are lower than caravans or motorhomes.
- Maximum outdoor living feeling.
Cons of owning a tent
- Bad weather can be very challenging.
- You have to load your car up with just about everything sometimes including the kitchen sink.
- Lot and lots of accessories to purchase, meaning you may end up spending the equivalent of a small caravan.
- Not as comfortable as a caravan or motorhome.
This difference between a static caravan, a touring caravan, a motorhome and a tent is massive.
You will never get out of a static caravan what you get from a tent and vice versa.
It’s a matter of choice of lifestyle and financial commitment.
I hope you enjoy what ever you choose.