Credit crunch sparks new British caravan craze

Discussion in 'The Intelligence Cell' started by Blogg, May 26, 2008.

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  1. Oh God no, spare us this fresh horror!

    "Caravans look likely to make a comeback this summer, as high bills, the low pound and environmental concerns drive holidaymakers back to Britain's camp sites.

    According to the National Caravan Council, many young parents are also nostalgic for the seaside holidays of their childhood and want to keep their children away from television and computer screens.

    Figures from the NCC reveal a 20 per cent rise in camp site bookings for July and August, while trade in caravans also appears to be rising.

    One of Britain's biggest caravan holiday companies, Haven Holidays, reports a 30 per cent rise in bookings, with families scrambling to find places for this week's half-term break.

    Meanwhile, Gumtree, a leading classified advertising internet website listing caravans and camper vans for sale or to rent, has reported a 300 per cent increase in postings.

    Celebrity campers, including Mark Owen, of the pop group Take That, the actress Patsy Palmer and the former Formula One driver Mark Blundell, may also have helped to popularise caravan holidays.

    City firms, landowners and farmers seem keen to cash in. Weststar caravan parks has been sold to Alchemy Partners for £83 million, leaving the Dragon's Den star Deborah Meaden with a 23 per cent stake worth £19 million, while private equity firm Graphite Capital snapped up 19 parks from Cinque Ports Leisure for £130 million.

    Some of Britain's grandest estates welcome campers. Sandringham, in Norfolk, owned by the Queen, Chatsworth House, in Derbyshire, the seat of the Duke of Devonshire, and Holkham Hall, also in Norfolk, home of Viscount Coke, heir to the Earl of Leicester, all run caravan parks.

    Lord Coke, 42, who is president of the Caravan Club, is enjoying the open air this weekend with 3,000 others at the club's annual rally.

    He and his family have moved out of their 18th-century mansion to sleep in a 22ft Airstream Safari “internal land yacht”. Built in 1965, it has air-conditioning and a full-size fridge and was acquired second-hand for £15,000.

    Lord Coke said: “I've always loved being outdoors and the great thing about a caravan is that you open the door and you're immediately in the open air. If you stay in a house, it can take two or three hours to get outside.”

    His first camping experience was as a small boy, staying in a static caravan owned by his grandmother at Mother Ivy's Bay, north of Padstow, in Cornwall. A favourite treat for his four children now is a weekend away at a caravan park in Cromer.

    He has become something of an evangelist for caravan parks. Research by the Caravan Club has found that its members contribute £44million a year to the rural economy.

    But Lord Coke rails against councils who try to block new parks. The Historic Houses Association and the Country Land and Business Association say members interested in setting up a park are often thwarted by local planners. Certified locations from the Caravan Club appear to be the solution. This means that after inspection from a club official, a farmer can offer pitches with electricity and water to a maximum of five caravans without the bother of seeking planning permission.

    This year spaces at 2,500 certified locations are in record demand.

    Simon Groom, the former BBC Blue Peter presenter, and his wife, Gilly, have pitches for five caravans at their Grade II-listed Manor Farm, in Dethick, near Matlock, in the foothills of the Derbyshire Peak District.

    He said: “We took over the farm from my parents three years ago and this year we have been inundated with requests, more than ever before.

    “There is definitely a trend and probably to do with money being tight. But I also think people get stressed out by modern life and these days caravans are so sophisticated, with their mod cons and satellite TV, people don't have to rough it.”

    Campers are charged £8 a night for their caravan, £1 for electricity and 50p to put up an awning. Mr Groom's other businesses include rearing sheep, letting land to a sheep farmer, television production studios and running a bed and breakfast.

    Six tenant farms at Holkham are also certified caravan locations and they too report a rise in bookings."
  2. Sh1t, this is bad news. Clarkson for PM!
  3. I passed dozens of them on the way back down south today, some of the morons didn't even have the extended mirrors on their vehicle so they had no idea what was going on around them.
  4. More? There were millions on the roads today. Enough, I say, enough!

  5. A well supported spectator sport around here is to park on the layby, A55 eastbound at Rhualt and watch caravans going up the hill at 1mph, beats Sheep Sxxxg I suppose
  6. I reckon all cars without tow bars should be allowed to fire Law's at caravans and horse boxes.
  7. Gods no - more of the idiots clogging up the third lane of the M25 with vacant looks on their faces and ugly wives glaring at the world at 55mph. Clear the roads in an instance if they made the fcukers drive between midnight and 0600.
  8. Great more cnuts on the road thinking they are driving 40ft wagons, then overturning the tw@t because they don't know how to drive them.

    If they want to tow a caravan they should have to pass B+E; wonder how many of the gits would succeed.
  9. They should only be permitted on the roads between the hours of 10pm and 5am. In NZ they call them "road maggots" and a favourite past time is to flag them down pointing frantically at a rear tyre. It makes the drivers pull over a go to inspect their caravans then spend the next 10 mins working out what's wrong.
  10. It a shame that there aren't MOTs on caravans. Most 'vans stand around for a year and no thought is given to their maintenance.
  11. Good call - they need to start selling something like these at MOTO:


    Probably still overcharge for them though! :x

    Just noticed this on the first post:

    My bold, how big's his feckin' house!! :omg:

  12. Should be made compulsory for ALL drivers who want to drag a trailer around... especially behind cars, just how many drivers routinely drag one around? And the trailer, no matter the size should be subject to separate registration and MOT as in Germany.

    Prime example would be the old Caravan Chassis's, designed to carry a lightweight Alloy/Timber Shed with the shed bit removed, some PSP ramps welded on and a car on top..... safe or not? :x (Followed a Mk1 Mondy dragging a home rig just like that to a 'Banger Meet' the other week carrying a Volvo 7 Series Estate ffs.... he were all over the gaff, the trailer ruled that rig :lol: )

    I'd even support the tow vehicles Tow Hitch and Electrics being part of it's MOT along with the fact it's got a Tow Hitch going onto it's registration docs.
  13. In a lot of cases its not only the caravan that doesnt go on the road for 50 weeks of the year, her drives him to the station every morning and home at night all the time, he never drives. Come hols time and its 'look at me, I Hamilton I am.' thinks hes the greatest thing on wheels.
  14. Bob_James_Co, re Rhuallt hill,

    Everyone can share the fun here .
  15. TheIronDuke

    TheIronDuke LE Book Reviewer

    "Lets take the caravan over Carter Bar"

    "Yes dear. I wonder why its called Carter Bar?"


    Wheely shed Muppets