A caravan is an excellent invention. It affords holidaymakers across the world a means of getting away from it all at a time of their choosing – and at a moment’s notice. Few of us, however, choose to get our caravans out at winter time – and so they remain consigned to driveways until mid-April.
There are several good reasons why we might hesitate to use our caravans at this time of year. But this needn’t mean that Christmas be a no-go time for the determined caravaner. In this article, let’s examine how we might deal with some of the problems encountered at this time of year, and see how we can bring the Christmas spirit to the interior of a caravan.
The weather outside, as Dean Martin will surely be soon reminding us, is frightful. And this is problematic when you’re in a home that’s not as well-insulated as your fixed one. It’s especially problematic when you’re towing that home down an ice-slick B-road.
In order that your trip go off with the minimum possible amount of hitches, it’s vital that you research the weather before setting out. That way you won’t be taken by surprise by the unexpected arrival of a blizzard.
If you’re going to be driving through snow, then you’ll need to ensure your vehicle can adequately grip the road. Investing in a set of snow chains might be just what’s called for – but this should be a measure of last resort. Plan your journey so that you spend the minimum possible amount of time on unsalted roads, and that you avoid sharp bends and hills. Of course, since some caravan sites are located well away from motorways (which is part of their appeal), it isn’t always possible to do this – which makes setting out when the weather is favourable especially important.
When you’re towing a caravan, your car will behave very differently than it does ordinarily – and this difference will be all the greater on untreated roads. Consequently, you’ll need to ensure that you’re comfortable with the caravan before setting out on a long journey. Arrange a few practice drives so that you’re familiar with how the car is supposed to handle – that way you’ll be able to recognise when things aren’t quite as they should be during a long journey, and you’ll have the confidence necessary to get things done properly.
Finally, before setting out it’s worth checking that your caravan is in good condition – that the towbar is secure and that the electronics are correctly wired up. Once you’ve set out on your journey, you’ll want your fellow road-users to know when you’re changing lanes or braking – especially if the roads are wet!
Once you’ve gotten your caravan to the desired location, we can focus on the actual business of Christmas itself. Fortunately, the modern caravan is so well-equipped that we can enjoy all of the same luxuries of the season. The kitchens are decked out to cook a crown of turkey, if not the entire bird, while the television will provide the family with a means of watching their favourite films or enjoying the Queen’s speech.
Of course, no caravan holiday would be complete without a few hours spent crowded around the family’s board game of choice. And this is especially so at Christmas, where the environment will bring everyone closer together than ever before!
Naturally, you’ll need to do a little bit of preparation before commencing your Christmas celebrations. This means stocking up on all of the foodstuffs you’ll be enjoying over the season – after all, you’ll struggle to find an open grocery on Christmas Day itself. Be sure that you have enough mince pies and assorted nibbles to go around, as Christmas is the last time of year that anyone should have to go hungry.
You’ll also need to deal with the cold weather – which can pose a problem in even the most well-insulated caravan. Clearly, it’s advisable that energy-saving measures be taken, like closing heavy curtains at night-time. But it’s also worth taking plenty of warm clothing, including gloves and scarves, extra socks, thermal base layers and blankets for when things get that little bit chillier at night-time. Since you won’t want to be cooped up inside your caravan for the entirety of your stay, winter clothing is essential – so don’t forget to pack it.
Electric heaters can provide a small and convenient means of heating an indoor environment. But it’s worth treating them with an added note of caution – the metal filaments contained within them can easily pose a fire risk if blankets are placed on top of them – so be sure to keep them out of reach of small children.
By the same token, you’ll want to research some of the sights, sounds and smells in the area just around your campsite – in order to experience some of the best of what Christmas has to offer. Do this ahead of time if you’d like to avoid spending too much time exploring. If you’re taking a dog with you on this family holiday, then a brisk walk on Christmas morning might be just what’s called for to start the day. Be sure to research local routes, and take appropriately rugged footwear with you.
In order that your caravan feels as seasonally-appropriate as can be, you’ll want to decorate it with a suitable smattering of tinsel and Christmas trees. You’ll also want to fill it with seasonally-appropriate music, in order to really create that Christmassy atmosphere.
While we might assume, with some justification, that Christmas is a season that’s hostile to caravanning, there are ways to overcome the minor difficulties we might encounter without too much trouble. In doing so, we’ll be able to enjoy the most wonderful time of the year in our caravans or mobile homes – thus making the occasion more memorable than every before!