I’ve not enjoyed recent camping experiences (I’ve yet to write about one of them) but I think it’s because I’ve previously done it in a tent.
Today is one of those rare days that I can look out at my garden, see that it’s a nice day and decide to go out there and just chill with a beer. At least it was yesterday when I wrote this and forgot to publish it.
This got me thinking. Imagine going camping, but without all of the noise, the unpacking and packing of a tent or the car. Imagine the benefit of creature comforts and being able to close the door on the riff raff. Imagine being able to have a poo in familiar territory.
Ok, perhaps not the having a poo bit. In a caravan, there’s no escaping that, is there? You get the drift, though.
There are two hurdles which I face. Firstly, am I allowed to tow a caravan in the first place? Secondly, I have nowhere to store a caravan. Being the determined kind of chap that I am, I figured it was worth exploring my options.
Because I passed my driving test just after 1997, I don’t get automatic trailer entitlement. That’s not a massive problem; I’d just need to take a trailer test. I reckon it’d be a piece of piss- I already have several other entitlements on my licence that I’ve done a test for. I’m not worried about that at all.
However, I may not need to take a trailer test. Please don’t take this as an accurate, word-for-word explanation, as this is just my understanding of how things work. I believe that I’m right, as I even rang the DVLA to check my understanding.
Without trailer entitlement, you can tow an unbraked trailer which fully laden, weighs no more than 750kg. You can tow a braked trailer, fully laden and weighing no more than the unladen weight of the car that you’re towing with, but the combined weight must be no more than 3,500kg. I’ve just checked and my car weighs 1,232kg, which means that the trailer or caravan, fully laden, can’t exceed this weight.
I don’t think that caravans weigh a huge amount, but I think it’s a close call. It may be alright if I were able to carry all of the camping gear in the car. If caravans weigh much more than this, then it looks like I’ll have to take a test.
I have no idea how clued-up the police are on licence entitlements and vehicle weights, but I suspect that there will always be one copper who knows it all. Would I get away with towing a caravan that I’m not entitled to tow or would the police drag me to a weigh-bridge if they suspected that I was being naughty?
The next issue is storage. Whilst I have a lovely, big front garden, my house is away from the road and without access for cars. I definitely couldn’t leave the caravan out in the street because the pikeys at the end of the road would tow it away with a Transit van in a heartbeat.
A little investigation has revealed that there’s a storage facility only a few miles down the road from me. You pay them an annual fee (amount unknown as of yet) and park your caravan there for the year. What could be better than that? Decide on a weekend break, drive down the road, pick up your caravan, load it up and bugger off. I could live that lifestyle very easily.
I’ve never towed anything in my life before. When reversing, you steer left to guide the trailer right and steer right to guide the trailer left. It’s backwards- simple. I’m used to crosswinds in large vehicles but am guessing that crosswinds with a trailer is slightly different- I’ve seen videos of snaking caravans and it looks truly terrifying. Fortunately, I’m hardcore so would easily avoid any brown-trouser situations.
All I need to do is find out how much caravans generally weigh. In next to no time, I could be holding up traffic on a road near you.