Not sure if caravanning for us after all? Should we sell?

(20 Posts)
HaveNoTimeToThinkOfName Sat 30-Aug-14 14:37:03

Hi, I know nobody can answer this for us as its down to personal choice, just wondered if anyone else been in similar situation and if so their advice? We have had our caravan for 2 years now and have 3 DC's aged 9, 6 and 4. Thought would be great for cheap getaways. We have had some fun times, especially with other family members/cousins...kids love it! However DH and I usually arrive not talking following rows hitching up/towing/unhitching/setting up etc etc...!! He dislikes all the faffy bits (we have to keep caravan in storage so bit faffier having to get back to drive to load up and then after the holiday cleaning it and taking back to storage facility again). It's also not as cheap as I thought it would be, summer holidays and half terms quite expensive. DH dislikes emptying toilet, waste, sorting water etc every day, says not what should be doing on holiday! On previous trips I have argued back with positives but I must admit (without him knowing!) am starting to agree with him, purely because if he is grumpy then we all know about it and actually not having quality family time. As we have a twin axle caravan we need a car with high towing weight so have a Land Rover which although lovely is expensive on fuel for me running around town in with kids all week, if we didn't have the caravan we could have a cheaper to run family car.

I would be really sad if we sold the caravan as we were all so excited about it when looking for one and when we first got it, I'm worried we're not giving it enough of a chance? Then on the other hand I think DH works hard all year and deserves a break that doesn't involve all those things he dislikes about it. Kids would be sad if said selling it but I know they would love future holidays with happier parents! I'm just worried about the cost of other holidays and whether we would be able to do it...obviously would be saving £45 a month on storage costs and get a cheaper to run car. Oh I don't know!! Help!!

LEMmingaround Sat 30-Aug-14 14:39:29

Keep the caravan and sell the grumpy arse dh?

CanISayOfHerFace Sat 30-Aug-14 14:43:02

Is it worth leaving it on a site you all like for the summer so you don't have to worry about the towing bit?

We're towing our caravan down to Cornwall as I type (obviously I'm not driving!) but this is only our second trip. At the moment DH likes all the setting up and daily bits and pieces but not sure if this will wear thin after a while.

gamerchick Sat 30-Aug-14 14:45:02

Could you compromise with a static and rent it out for the site fees? Still have the option of going when you want without the faff.

Or a camper van maybe?

Ladyflip Sat 30-Aug-14 14:47:52

What sort of holiday would you have without it? If camping, then I think the caravan is better because you have more shelter, hot running water etc. If you would be swapping it for 5* all inclusive holidays abroad then maybe you would be better to do that that. If it's self catering cottage somewhere, then you would still be having to do the cooking presumably, and just DH gets to have the real "holiday" from doing work? That doesn't sound very fair.

FWIW, we have a caravan. I love it when we are away but loathe packing and unpacking the damn thing. We always have a huge row when setting off, but then we always did when going away whether it was in the caravan or not. And DH and I are vowed never to put the awning up together because it will almost certainly lead to divorce. But we do love being away and DH is pretty good about sorting water loos etc as well as washing up and cooking.

AlpacaLypse Sat 30-Aug-14 15:06:01

£45 a month on storage is £540 a year. And the saving on running a smaller car will add up too. I think I'd rather put it towards a guaranteed sunshine holiday involving flying and hiring a car when you get there, and get a cheapy tent for the family get-togethers/bolting off for the weekend because it's sunny type things.

HaveNoTimeToThinkOfName Sat 30-Aug-14 15:15:00

Thanks for all your messages. I think because we are having a few things to spend out on the land rover at the moment I just feel we are spending a lot of money by having the caravan, we could have a car that is cheaper to run and cheaper parts etc without a caravan. I don't think we could ever afford 5 * luxury holidays abroad instead but I'm guessing static holiday in Cornwall, or a lodge near the coast somewhere or something. We used to go to Centre Parcs every year but they just seem to be getting more and more expensive. We need to find some time to have a serious chat about it I guess! Thanks for all your thoughts.

NettleTea Sat 30-Aug-14 16:54:50

Do you have a full set of 'stuff' for the caravan, so you only need to pack clothes and a change of bedclothes - saving on alot of the packing. Can you do the hitching up yourself without him? I surprised myself by being able to do it alone, and set up, by myself this year. Can you take it in turns with the water and loos so all the nasty jobs dont fall to him? Maybe he resents having to do those nasty jobs - or can you find a park with onsite toilets and just use those? I cant say my day would be filled with joy with the prospect of doing that each morning! what is his suggestion towards improving the whole experience and stopping him grumping

collywobble Sat 30-Aug-14 20:25:01

We were in a similar position to you where the towing really drove my dh crazy and the dragging in and out of storage drove me mad too as it was difficult to get packed up and clean properly. We decided to site the caravan on a seasonal pitch at a nearby seaside resort and it was a great decision. The children got the freedom they love we spent so much more time there because it was so easy and what we saved on storage fees went towards the site fees. We had direct waste and water to the van too so no more lugging the aqua rollwink

HaveNoTimeToThinkOfName Sat 30-Aug-14 22:05:29

Must admit I don't fancy those jobs either and I know he wouldn't expect me to do it, I sort out all the kids clothes, toys, food etc, load it up and clean it all after so each have our 'jobs'! I am sure we could afford to have a summer holiday somewhere in a static for 2 weeks but am just worried we wouldn't be able to then have any little weekends away out of season. We need to have a serious chat about it and list the pro's and con's, just wondered really if anyone else has wondered which way to go and what they decided! Thanks for your suggestions!

AlpacaLypse Sun 31-Aug-14 11:52:08

We used to camp for a couple of weeks in UK for our holiday, mainly as the passports had run out and I was appalled at the renewal costs. However two winters ago we had to renew the twins for their school exchange trip, and we decided to renew our own too, and go cheap last minute sunshine. Lanzarote in school holiday for 10 days worked out at about £1800, a week in Crete over Easter was £1400, for two adults and two teenagers. This includes flights, insurance, cost of travel to and parking at airport, car hire, accommodation, food - everything. Lanzarote was cloudy on one day, otherwise perfect. Crete had one cloudy afternoon and one cloudy morning, with rain overnight between. Otherwise perfect.

The twins are currently spending two weeks in the Czech Republic with a schoolfriend's family, total cost £650 (no accommodation to pay for).

I've just had a week in Tuscany with my sister and her children, cost about £500, most of which was flights as I booked too late to get a deal. If I'd known earlier I could have got them for the price she paid - about £95 a head. One overnight shower and three cloudy mornings which always burnt off by lunchtime.

Two weeks camping in Cornwall in 2012 by contrast cost £1500, and it was only sunny on about four of the days.

We've also had a couple of long weekends in tents with friends and family by the seaside in Dorset or Devon, very cheap as we weren't on proper pitches with electric, loos etc, but basic water access and chemical loo disposal point.

millimat Mon 01-Sep-14 06:52:24

We have a caravan and I love it, mostly because the children love the freedom and so are very relaxed. We now take about 15mins to set up. I couldn't enjoy a tent holiday as I like my comforts too much! I share doing the water, loo etc with dh.
I agree with the suggestions about a seasonal pitch as you'd get chance to try it out properly without all the faffing of setting up.

millimat Mon 01-Sep-14 06:52:25

We have a caravan and I love it, mostly because the children love the freedom and so are very relaxed. We now take about 15mins to set up. I couldn't enjoy a tent holiday as I like my comforts too much! I share doing the water, loo etc with dh.
I agree with the suggestions about a seasonal pitch as you'd get chance to try it out properly without all the faffing of setting up.

ChippyMinton Tue 02-Sep-14 10:50:39

Could you not keep the van packed and ready to go, and load the car with perishables & a few clothes, then pick up the van en route? Clean it before you leave the site, then do a deep clean at the end of the season?

Have some rules about use of the loo, and water? When we caravan (in my folks set-up) the loo is only used at night, and only for wees. Kettle is filled from the outside tap. This cuts down the chores massively.

HaveNoTimeToThinkOfName Tue 02-Sep-14 17:38:31

Your suggestions are really helpful, thankyou. I had considered a seasonal pitch somewhere no more than an hour away or something as that would make it so easy, much like a static really! We have picked the caravan up en route before from the storage site so we don't have to bring home first, our car was pretty loaded but was do-able, probably not for any longer than a weekend though. We are still undecided. Hubby looked online at abroad holidays to make some comparisons in price, he didn't comment too much so I am guessing rather expensive! I will look into seasonal pitches I think and see if that appeals to him. Thanks everyone!

Jins Wed 17-Sep-14 17:57:57

We used to have rows about hitching up but that's stopped since we bought a mover. It would be more expensive for a twin axle but it really did make a difference to the start of our holiday.

I'd also look for a seasonal pitch or one that will store your van and put it on a pitch for you when you want to use it. There's a few around and it solves a few of the problems and costs less than a true seasonal.

I'd also try to book serviced pitches in future so the water and waste is sorted and you just have toilet duties to deal with. Toilet emptying has turned out to be my job - it's not as bad as people make it out to be and nappies were far worse.

MegBusset Sat 20-Sep-14 08:54:44

We have just bought a caravan and have got a seasonal pitch for it. Thr site owners moved it for us (from local dealers) so we didn't even need to buy a towbar smile it is less than an hr away and we keep bedding, crockery etc there so only need to take overnight bags. The loo is for middle-of-the-night wees only! We are paying 2k a year inc winter storage, site is open ten months so we can get many long weekends (longer in holidays) for the price of one week abroad!

HampshireBoy Tue 23-Sep-14 11:30:17

We caravaned alot when the kids were small, pretty much every other weekend from Easter until October with week long breaks thrown in as well. Because we went so often we kept loads of stuff in the van, which sped up the hitching up process, we also got into a good routine over who did what. We learnt that, unless it was windy, it was better for me to put the awning up and take it down on my own - that way we didn't end up arguing. The key thing is agreeing everybodies jobs, after all you are all on a break; the kids used to fetch water and carry out other chores.

A seasonal pitch might be a good option, the question is whether you would all be happy going to the same site most of the time or whether you like going to different places.

Personally we liked going to small places, normally just a field with no electric but some people don't like that. One issue with that is there is no toilet block, meaning you have to use the loo in the van. The only time I had a problem with the loo was when my OH lost a ring down it, meaning I had to fish around and find the it. We knew a couple of couples where the woman emptied the loo as she didn't mind and the man turned green at the thought.

hooker29 Sat 18-Oct-14 22:56:17

Give it a bit more time!!We've been caravaning for 10 years and hubby still cusses and swears every time-but once we're set up,that's it!We all love it,have been all over the country and to France and I wouldn't do anything else!Our 'van is in storage,but only takes about 15 mins to get it out.For weekends away, we just throw the stuff in the car,for longer hols we put it outside the house to pack it (on the road-we warn the neighbours first!). We would never have had all the holidays we have had if we didn't have a caravan and I wouldn't be without it now.We keep a lot of stuff in it-duvets etc-so we only need to put bedding,towels,clothes and food in.I know for a fact that if we chose 2 weeks in the summer in a hotel in Spain it would be the only holiday we would have all year as we couldn't afford anything else
By the way Alpacalypse..where on earth did you stay in Cornwall for £1500 ???? The most I've ever paid for 2 weeks in Cornwall is £520-and that was on a site with everything on it!

chilephilly Sun 02-Nov-14 07:20:33

Share the jobs out. The kids can do the water, you can take turns to do the loo. Share the towing. The awning gets easier with practice. I agree with previous posters - keep the van, sell the grumpster!

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