Caravan thoughts part 1: Pros and cons of owning a caravan
I've been doing a lot of thinking about my crazy plan to build a compact caravan. Over the next day or two I want to post some of my thoughts. Here's part 1: Pros and cons of having a caravan. These are relative to my two usual forms of holiday accommodation: youth hostels and camping in a small tent.
Campsites are usually cheaper per-night than hostels, particularly for two people.
Always get a private room at no extra cost - no sharing a dorm with snorers and people who arrive/leave at unsociable times.
Guaranteed to get a comfortable bed (hostel beds vary a lot).
Don't need to share the kitchen with other guests.
Don't need to share the lounge (sometimes with a TV) with other guests.
Don't need to unpack and move a lot of stuff from the car into the accommodation on arrival and back again (plus the hassle of re-stowing the luggage) when you leave.
Have your own personal space to relax in without feeling self-conscious and worrying about breaking rules or getting things dirty etc.
You know where everything is [apart from shower blocks and other campsite facilities], so less feeling of dislocation when you arrive tired after a long day's driving and sightseeing.
Campsites are more common than hostels, so probably less difficulty finding one near where you want to stay.
Possible to camp in a layby or service station etc. at a push (eg. if you can't get to the intended destination for some reason).
More comfortable to sleep in than a tent.
Quicker and less hassle to put up and take down than a tent.
Less unpleasant in wet weather than a tent.
Plenty of storage space in the caravan, so the car doesn't need to be packed to the roof with food, clothes, sleeping bags and airbeds, etc.
High initial cost.
Makes driving between accommodation a bit more difficult.
Somewhat increased fuel consumption.
Ferry fares more expensive.
Some (very steep/narrow) roads are impractical to tow a caravan on.
Need to drive a bit slower, particularly on hilly terrain.
Need somewhere to store it between holidays.
Some ongoing maintenance will be required (not much).
Limited and cramped cooking facilities.
Because it won't be a full size caravan, there won't be room for a toilet or shower so would need to use the camp site facilities.
Might not have room for a heater, and if so could be too cold to use in winter.