The strange and wonderful sights of caravanning

We Brits love a staycation. Over a fifth of us are now swapping expensive flights for a UK-based holiday in a leisure vehicle. In 2022, the market for the camping and caravan site industry shot up by a third as people went on 16.7 million caravanning and camping holidays.

It’s now estimated that there are at least 755,000 caravans and motorhomes in regular use across Britain, with an additional 365,000 caravan holiday homes highlighting just how popular this kind of staycation has become.

Many of our readers will already be a part of the leisure vehicle community and will know about some of the stranger sights that are unique to our industry. For those who aren’t as clued up, or haven’t yet been inducted into the weirder side of caravanning, the experts at Pure Leisure have put together some of the more interesting events people have experienced during their holidays.


Parking panics

Anyone who’s ever done it before will tell you that reversing your caravan onto your pitch is a technique that demands skill and spatial awareness. Even seasoned veterans with decades of experience can find this difficult to achieve perfectly, so don’t be surprised if you can’t get it quite right on your first go.

Another thing you should expect is to gather attention from your neighbours. A dedicated audience of fellow campers is sure to welcome you with their top tips for reversing as you carefully attempt to back onto your pitch. If you’re lucky, you’ll learn everything there is to know about mirror usage and spatial awareness.

Funnily, the challenge of reversing onto a pitch means that caravans are often parked in weird places, often quite far from where they should be. So, watch out for doubtful driving among your neighbours and gear yourself up for some intense discussions about tow bars, wheel placement and space.


Crazy caravans

When it comes to choosing the perfect caravan for you and your family, many aspects must be considered. Space, luxury and functionality are all sizeable factors. But what about a vehicle that has barely any space at all?

The QTvan has everything you could ever need, yet seemingly nothing at all. Measuring 2.39 by 1.53 metres, this tiny caravan can be towed by a mobility scooter or a bike. However, despite its stature, the QTvan is surprisingly luxurious, with a 19” television, minibar and full-size single bed, to mention a few of its amenities.

It has a range of roughly 48km on a single charge, with a whopping top speed of 5 mph. All in all, the QTvan is cute, comfortable and completely weird.


Tent tripping

Any person that’s ever set foot on a campsite will understand the sneaky hazard of tent guy lines. In fact, it’s hard to find somebody that hasn’t at least seen a trip or fall. From missteps to faceplants, these pesky ropes may be integral to keeping tents down, but they are bringing people down too and taking no prisoners.

Even worse is that if you’re walking around at night, they’re even more difficult to spot, especially if you don’t have a torch. So, fellow caravanners, watch out! These things could send you flying through the air.


The ‘Catavan’

With more than half of holidaymakers wanting to bring their pets along for the ride, it won’t surprise many to see dogs or cats at campsites. But what about their very own caravans?

Once upon a time in Staffordshire, a stray cat wandered onto a caravan dealership. The staff noticed her and decided that she was deserving of her own mobile home. So, a bespoke caravan was developed, perfectly sized for the friendly feline and complete with its own tow bar and set of wheels.


Canine capers

If you’ve not been lucky enough to spot a cat with its own caravan on your touring adventures, maybe you’ve come across a particularly athletic dog instead.

One member of the community recalled spotting a fellow camper playing table tennis. Perfectly normal, except for the fact their opposition was a dog. The pup was holding the bat in its mouth, knocking the ball back to its owner. Woof.


Goldilocks and the three campers

Like any vehicle, some models of caravans are much more popular than others. This can, unfortunately, lead to some embarrassing campsite mix-ups.

One family returned to their leisure vehicle to discover another couple in their bed. The sleepy campers had been out fishing for the whole day and, upon making their way back to what they believed was their caravan for some well-deserved rest, picked the wrong one.

Both caravans were the same model and colour. To make matters worse, the couple didn’t realise they were in the wrong one until the family woke them up!

Photo credit: Matheus Bertelli / Pexels