Practical Caravan



Towing on the A34 on an August Saturday is perhaps the stuff of nightmares for caravanner­s, and quite rightly so!

However, travelling home from our latest ‘vanventure’ in Dorset, the inevitable A34 traffic jams got me thinking about why the car always seems heavier on the return journey, and indeed the part I might have played in adding to the overall payload, particular­ly from indulging in some of the culinary delights that Dorset has to offer!

Our tours are treat times, and enjoying local produce in all its forms, particular­ly somewhere new, is an important part of the experience for us. It is also an important way to support many local businesses and the visitor economy.

That first beer at sunset, after a long drive and then setting up on site, is a firm favourite in our van, but is there a way you can keep touring traditions alive without adding to the payload? After a great night’s sleep at the campsite in Dorset, I (like many others) was transfixed by the smell of freshly baked pastries and bacon rolls wafting across the site from the café, just a two-minute walk from our caravan door.

When you are in the ‘van bubble’, it’s easy to see how this might become habitual, and never mind the resulting dent in your pocket!

But is there a healthier way to tour? Are there sites out there already catering for the more health-conscious camper? If so, what are they doing, how is it working, and is it proving popular? Perhaps this is more about my own faulty willpower, but can you really strike the balance, without losing the ‘vanventure’ experience? Perhaps a topic for a future magazine feature? Chris Heighton


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