Touring Caravan  Introduction
Routes :  France 
Spain  Europe W  Portugal
Other routes: Denia Sagres

 

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This section is about caravanning, and about how you can start this at the age of 55 plus, without prior experience. I did it, and You can do it.

The reason I started out on this venture was that I wanted to visit friends and family all over Europe during the summer and wanted to have a little bit of "home" with me. Also I liked to start surf lessens, witch turned out to be the most fun thing I have experienced for years.

I had a friend to help me the first 2000 Km. From then on I was on my own. During the month of September I did the return trip from Denmark. The route was Hamburg, Bremen, Oldenburg, Antwerb, Gent, Lille, Mont St Michel, Le Havre, Rennes, Nantes eventually ending on the Aquitane coast. A route with 4 lanes all the way. In France I stopped the following places. Deauville  Mont St Michel  Carnac Les Sables D'Olonne  Royan. Maps for route selection:  France  Spain  Europe W

The photo in left side is of a small caravan. It is a Caravelair 375. One of the smallest you can get. The small caravans are gaining in popularity.

It is typical used by a couple, young or old. It is noticed however than more an more older people chose this type, due to its ease of handling.

It is a near perfect touring caravan for one or 2 persons. Even if you are permanent 2 persons onboard, you may want to look at something slightly bigger.

Select a tow car where the maximum allowable weight of the caravan is less than 70 % of the  Tara weight of the car, and you have a nice touring equipment.

You can go all over Europe with ease. Bringing a certain amount of comfort, and you are able to purchase a caravan of this type for around 10.000 Euros new.
 

The tow car should preferable be turbo diesel. Count 1 Hp minimum for every 7 Kg of Caravan total weight. The bigger the tow car the better. It is better to carry the extras in the tow car than in the caravan.

To spend the nights, you go to a campsite. Here you can rest. Get a shower, a bit of shopping is possible in most places. A night watchman will often be present.

However you need to find the campsite first.

The are many books about campsites. The best ones have a map on which the sites are positioned with a mark and a number. You look up that number and get the address or GPS coordinates. Plot it in your GPS and off you go. If possible, use the address for  plotting . You may do the coordinate thing wrong, and that can take you to interesting, but wrong places.

If you are travelling in the high season, you can call and ask if there is any space. Else just drive to the gate and somebody will turn up, even if the reception is closed. If not, and you are very late, then go to sleep and wait for something to happen.
 

There are alternatives to campsites. I believe however that people that do not use campsites, simply forgot to get that camping guide with a map and the GPS.

You are safer and more comfortable on a campsite. It will however set you back some 20 plus Euros every night.

Driving with a small caravan i not difficult. Do however get some good quality mirrors.

No, the trouble starts when you have to manoeuvre in cramped space, without the use of your car. It can be very frustrating, especially on uneven ground. You push and pull and nothing happens.

The answer to this is called a "moover". It is a set of el motors that connects to the wheels by small rollers. It is powered by 12 V from a battery inside the caravan. With this you can move your caravan around using remote control. On the photo you can see the unit, white colour, next to the wheel.

You can now single handed control everything, without using any muscular force at all. Unfortunately you are set back 2-3000 EurosIt is worth every cent however, especially if you have, or have had lower back problems.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the moover unit and battery will add 60 Kg. to the caravan.

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