By William Coleman
The static caravan was a massive part of my childhood and one of the first holidays I ever went on. It now seems as though the static holiday home is making a resurgence and there are now many different forms of “static” holiday homes you can use for your getaways and escapes.
Haven Holiday parks where where I first fell in love with the static caravan and 30 years on the static caravan seems to be as popular as ever. 2-3 bedrooms, large living room/kitchen, separate full size washroom and bunk beds. It was such an adventure just getting inside the caravan. But where did it all begin?
A Brief History Of The Static Caravan’<' . strtolower('Array')>
The caravan, both touring and static, are a huge part of British culture and have been for well over a hundred years, well a 101 years to be precise. Way back when in 1947 the world was introduced to the very first static caravan. The designs of the first generation were somewhat crude and built using materials such as hardboard and were not the most sturdy of structures. Not only were they not too solid they also had trouble standing the test of time and after a few seasons they were all but done for.
Fast forward a century and we’ve moved far away from from gas lights and burning cole to keep warm during the colder times of the year. Nowadays static vans are more like luxury flats than sheds with gas and coal utilities, oh and now they have toilets and running water too! Modcons we’ve all become quite accustomed too in our caravans. As times change the static caravan became the dominant holiday type for UK residents, especially in coastal areas such as Devon and parts of the South Coast.
Why The Rise?
A lot younger people who do not have the right license to tow larger set ups and may not want to drive a motorhome down country roads are opting for the static which has had a direct impact on the amount of glamping or staycations holidays being taken. They want to freedom and adventure but are put off by the driving side of it.
In the past 2 year we have seen the masses flocking to sites all around the UK in seek of the perfect “staycation” holiday, we’ve also seen people from all round to world visiting our shores for caravan holidays. After seeing all the new caravan holiday options it is easy to see why the caravan is now the go to holiday accommodation type. The poor GBP to Euro has also meant that a lot more people are staying at home for the holidays.
Nowadays sites and holiday parks are adding static caravans to their portfolio to meet the growing demand of UK holidaymakers. With a lot more adding glamping facilities such as pods, yurts and the American Airstream. Now seems to be the best time to pick a static van for a getaway.
With post 1997 licence changes the newer generation of caravan holiday makers are limited to what weight they can tow, without taking further tests to upgrade to a B+E driving licence. So the next obvious types of touring accommodation are the motorhome, camper or, my secret favourite, the static. A lot of people I speak to who are entering the caravan world seem worried about driving a larger vehicle and do not want to buy a caravan or motorhome straight away. So for them the static is the perfect entry point. Rent one for a few weeks a year and go from there, just like I did.
One of the best things about the static holiday is that they really do give you the bug. Once you’ve used a static and seen what the caravan holiday is all about you want to see what else is out there and add you personal touch to your set up.
Now that the companies like Swift are building static caravans that are more like luxury lodges you can see why they are becoming so popular. Last month at the NEC I had a look round their new Toronto and Champagne lodges I would live in one let alone use it for a holiday home.
More Than Just A Holiday Home
There are also people who have chosen a static caravan to live in once they reach retirement. Residential sites are filling up with static homes from companies like Willerby who also specialise in pet friendly statics. Not only are they becoming one of the most rented holiday homes but they are also growing in popularity for retired folk.
I see why a lot of people would rather have a touring caravan or motorhome, you can’t quite hook up the static and head to another location. But some of us are creatures of habit and fall in love with a certain location and some families buy one for friends and families to use all year round.
From my many holidays spent in the static vans the the world class models being designed now I see sites all across the UK adding more and more across the next 2 years. What are your thoughts? Is the touring van slowly being replaced by the 100 year old static?