Sunday, 20 March 2011

Living In A Caravan Full Time - Top 10 Questions Asked

It never ceases to amaze me the bemused look on some peoples faces when I tell them where and how we live!

I was talking to someone the other day, I must admit that I do try to lead them into asking me the question these days as I find it amusing to see how they cope with the idea.

When Im talking to someone new I always ask if they live local, which usually gives the response and where do you live? I always say, well 6 months ago we sold up and are now living in a caravan full time in the middle of the country.

Some are really great with the idea and you can see the clogs whirring as they think it over, others just have a blank face. You may of told them that you live on the moon! They just have no comprehension of what its like to live in a caravan full time.

You can tell that by the questions they ask, such as, so how do you cook? how do you shower? Where do you go to the toilet? What about electricity and water?

The most basic questions are asked, which when you think about them maybe arent so daft as they sound. Especially when the people who ask these questions have probably never ever spent a night without four walls and a roof surrounding them.

It would be like me being in discussion with a quantum physicist (cant even bloody spell it - let alone understand it) and him telling me about his work!

So with that in mind Ill address some of those questions of how we live in a caravan full time!

1st question - How do you cook?

We cook on a normal gas oven, complete with grill with a four ring burner. Ok its not big enough to cook the Christmas turkey but joints of meat can be easily done. We also have the Cadac which gets alot of use as you have probably noticed!
A cooker, grill and 4 ring hob
2nd question - How do you shower?

We have a full size shower within our caravan, even for a portly gentleman as myself its big enough. The shower curtain does tend to stick to my arse when I bend down to pick up the shower gel, but that would happen if I was in a house!

A normal looking shower?

3rd question - Where do you go to the toilet?

I told someone I went out with a shovel and dug a hole the other day, you should of seen the look on their face! But, seriously we have a toilet as you can see, not only that but it swivels! Great for optimum foot placement! Bet you dont have that at home! It flushes as well. Back in the early days I wrote a whole post on how it works!

I can even look out the window whilst sat contemplating life!

4th question - What about electricity?

We have an advantage of you house dwellers! When on site we always have electric hook up, which means we run a cable from our caravan to an electric point on the site. This price is included with in the nightly fee and we are not limited on its use. However, if there is a power cut we have back up batteries which will run lights etc.

The heating system is dual fuel, so we can either run on gas or electric, the fridge can be run 3 ways! Gas, 240v or 12v electric!

5th question - What about water?

On every site its a requirement to have drinking water, we use 2 x 29 litre aqua rolls which are easy to fill. They then connect to the caravans water pump and is sucked in when required. There is a hot water tank which heats the water to 70 degrees, and we have 2 sinks, one in the kitchen and one in the bathroom, and obviously the shower. Hot and cold running water at the turn of the tap. No different to a house.

6th question - Dont you get cold?

Simply no. We have just survived the coldest winter in ages, with temperatures down to -9.5 on one of our sites! We were a toasty 23 degrees in our van. Was it that warm in your house? We only used the winter duvet one night, we had to change back to the summer one as it was too warm!

7th question - Do you pay council tax?

Not directly but this is reflected in our site fees. The site owners are charged based on the number of pitches they have and this is then passed onto us as a nightly combined charge. Please remember that council tax is based on the property and not the individual! However if you would like to work out the figures based on the price of our caravan as a percentage, you would probably find the council will have to pay us!

8th question - Dont you work then?

Pardon? is my normal response. Just because we live in a caravan full time doesnt mean we are on state benefits. Never have been and never will be! Thats no slur on those that do, but as we all know there are those that make it a professional occupation! We both work full time, "M" is in retail management and I, well I tend to use the phrase a digital author these days. I write descriptions of objects for various antique dealers and myself.

9th question - What about all your clothes?

Its true we are limited to space, but we simply split our clothes into summer and winter. It really is that simple.

10th question - Why live in a caravan full time?

A complex question, but simply we were fed up with paying such a high cost for rent and utility bills. We were working flat out and not living the life we wanted to live. Our out goings at the time meant that our social life was restricted, we couldnt save for holidays or our wedding!

So something had to be done. For 2011 we have a budget of a maximum of £12 per night for site fees and we use on average one 6Kg gas bottle every 30 days at a cost of £20. That is it!

So as you can see you dont need to be Einenstein to work out we are vastly better off living in a caravan full time.

Is it such a hardship to wake up to birds singing their heads off, surrounded by wonderfull fresh air and countryside. To be almost debt free? To be able to choose where we live with a change of scenery? To be in control of our future with a solid plan of how we are going to acheive our goals?

Its no hardship at all, in fact its a pleasure? Next time your away in your caravan, and you have that feeling when your all set up of total relaxation, peace and tranquility. Well thats what we have on a daily basis!  That feeling of packing up of going home, slightly down hearted after having such a wonderful break. We never have that. Just onto the next adventure!

For us its like being on permanent holiday! Ok it wont suit everyone but, hey, we are doing whats right for us. With over 6 months passed, and a hard winter behind us. Things are good!

Till later.........

289 comments:

  1. "Some are really great with the idea and you can see the clogs whirring as they think it over"

    Thats becuase they are thinking , is he a gypo , he doesnt look like a gypo , he doesnt have a gypo accent .... better not tell him where i live in case he and his mates park in my garden and i cant get them moved under "gypo Protection" legislation

    ;-)

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  2. This is inspiring! My husband and I are considering this for us and our 2 children. Any tips?

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  3. We only go away for a few days and we get the same questions, excelent.

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  4. We only go away for a few days and have to answer the same questions.
    Excelent post,

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  5. As some one who lived in a caravan in spain for 8 months with 2 children i can see the appeal. One question though, what about broadband. I know I would need it and missed it in Spain. by mobile phone to PC it can be expensive.
    Thanks

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  6. Hi Cas, I use a dongle by "3" it works brilliantly and is quick! Infact its very quick! £15 a month and 3 gigs usage which is plenty, I run an online business so unless yr downloading films/music etc which we dont then its plenty.

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  7. I have to say i think its fab that you have bitten the bullet so to speak and are living the fab life in the caravan.. my husband and i are currently speaking about selling out house and buying a fifth wheel caravan.. only as we have 5 dogs and plan to live in that full time.. want to live a bit and enjoy life.. yes we both work and will contine to do so. Not quite sure where we can site our van tho.. still looking at that just now.. Good luck to you guys.. i am wish you all the best and hope to join your fantastic life style soon.. kaz...

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  8. Hi Kaz, that sounds great, shouldnt be any probs with a 5th wheel outfit? You can always ring ahead to make sure you can get in, our van is pretty long at just over 7 meters and we can get in to 99% of camp sites. Any questions feel free to ask direct or email us at bakers_cottage@btinternet.com regards Jools and "M"

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  9. Hi, we are about to do exactly the same as you for exactly the same reasons - saving up for a mortgage just isn't possible in London! Very excited, but very confused about council tax as we've read conflicting things on the internet. We will be living in a touring caravan on proper campsites, I have read in a few places that as this will be our permanent residence we would still need to pay tax? But then others say you just need to move every 28 days? Can you point us in the right direction please?

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  10. The 28 day rule requires you to be off site for at least 48 hrs every 28 days. Your caravan can stay on site but you have to be somewhere else! How they enforce this or check Im not sure, but this is down to the site owners and yourselves to sort out.

    This way you are not classed as resident and therefore not liable for council tax. Council tax is included in the site fees that you pay, so you are paying but not directly.

    We move every 28 days to avoid any hassle, and also keeps our site owners happy! As they are licensed and the last thing they want is the council breathing down their necks!

    Nothing wrong with this, totally legal, so you have no worries.

    Council tax is only payable if you were to permanently pitch up somewhere, as your not, then there is no need to worry.

    Im afraid that alot of what you read on the forums is totally wrong, its written by people who use their caravan once a year and think because they have been doing this for 30 years can comment on all things caravan related, including full-timing. In my opinion if you want a question answered on full timing - ask a full timer!

    Thats not to say that non full timers dont have anything useful to say as they do and we have learnt so much from these folk, its just that you need to pick the best bits and dont listen to all the negative people around that say that full timing is wrong!

    You will get all sorts of armchair advice, but went through last winter with very few problems and we enjoyed it! -9.5 being the lowest recorded outside temperature but a roasty 22 average inside our van!

    This was one of the reasons why we set up this blog in the first place. So others can get first hand advice from folk who are actually living the dream!

    Any other questions please feel free to contact us direct at bakers_cottage@btinternet.com

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    Replies
    1. I am so inspired, but seem to be facing challenges! I am really unwell at the moment (M.E) and struggling to work. I manage 30 hours, but I'm treading water and just about surviving each day. I live alone in a one bed flat with a cat and a dog. I pay interest only on my flat (all I can afford) so no hope if paying it off. I need a cheaper way of living so I can work less hours and concentrate on regaining my health.

      I am DESPERATE to make lifestyle changes as I'm sinking fast and need some advice. I thought I could rent out my flat, and live in a caravan for while. That way, I would still have a fixed address and my mortgage/bills would be taken care of. I would have to get a loan to purchase the van, but I could use some of the rental money to pay this back.

      My main concern is my cat, as caravaning would require moving around and I'd end up losing her. I've looked at static vans, but they are few and far between in the midlands area. I was staying close to the Midlands if poss as my mom lives here and she helps me when I'm ill. Also, you can only stay in static vans 11 months usually.

      Also, do you have any suggestions on how I may find a suitable pitch? Again there is nothing in this area as far as I can see. Some people seem to have found suitable farmland etc. but I wouldn't know how to even approach anyone to enquire or how much to expect to pay or anything! I'm a complete novice, but desperately in need of help, so any advice would be appreciated :)

      I don't know if you'll see this post so I've emailed you.

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  11. This was excellent to read - i am 39 years old next week and i plan to do what you are doing when i hit the big 50 {when the children have flown the nest}.

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  12. This sounds fantastic! Just the sort of life our family would love. We are researching now, but have come up with a few questions.
    How do you deal with address problems? Are most companies(insurance, bank etc.) happy with a contact address, or are there any who need you to be actually resident at the address? What about registering with a GP?
    Hope you can help:-)

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  13. So inspired by your blog, we are planning on doing the same in March next year, for very similar reasons. Your blog is really helpful. Keep posting!!

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  14. We are thinking of doing the same as you however we are limited in where we can go due to where my children live with my ex partner and keeping the contact in place.
    is there anywhere that I can find out which sites in Essex would let us live on them
    my email is danielsunleysmith@yahoo.co.uk
    thanks

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  15. I am wanting to do the very same thing,

    Myself, and my wife are self employed. All that we seem to do is work hard, pay, pay and then pay some more. Pay VAT TAX PAYE ACCOUNTANT COUNCIL TAX ETC ETC ETC We are always stressed out.

    We bought our first caravan this year and try to go away as much as possible. The only time I am relaxed is in the van.

    I am thinkink of downsizing the house and renting it off to help bring an income. Work part time from the van and move around every few weeks.

    Even the wife agrees with me. Even though I want too. I am waiting till after Christmas and I think I will finally take the plunge.

    You post has re-ignited my enthusiasm to do it.

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  16. Go for it! Anything we can help with, just shout and if we can we will!

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  17. My question wasn't on the list! :)

    To me the fundamental question is "where do you park your caravan?" From reading between the lines I understand that you use normal caravan sites, and just move every 28 days.

    That raises a number of other questions, but am I right so far?

    By the way I find your blog very inspiring, even though I have just landed here - I am very much considering caravaning full time, but my imagined lack of suitable sites has been holding me back - is that a valid concern?

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  18. Hi Tony, yes we stay on campsites, we are 100% legal in the length of time we stay in any one place.

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    1. I understand you move from one site to an other every 28th day. How do you find the next one? How often do you move back to the same one? :) I mean even if there is 10 sites in the 11th month you find yourself on a site you already have been... is that ok? Do you have any pets, how do they respond on moving every month? Thanks for your reply! :) Anna

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    2. Hi Anna yes we moved every 28 days, there are plenty of sites around the area we live in so it is never a problem to find another site. We have a dog called "China" who is perfectly happy living the way we do.

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  19. so we bought a shabby old Tabbert (i know nothing about caravans but it seems to have everything we need including a wood burner) we have rented out the house, found somewhere to park it, convinced our two young kids (didnt take much) and we are moving into it on saturday. im so bloody exited i think my legs might actually catch fire! i think your blog is great and will come in extremely useful to us being complete caravan virgins,,, am scared shitless. i have no idea what we are doing!
    love zed

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  20. Hi Zed and welcome to the world of full timing! Life has just got 100% better for you all! Any probs get in touch with us here, we may be able to help or at least point you in the general direction! Jools and "M"

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  21. Living in a trailer is very different here in Canada! First off, we call them trailers not caravans. There are those that live in them during the warm months, but mostly for work. Unless you have your trailer winterized with extra insulation when it dips down to -40 C your water pipes freeze and break and your heater just can't keep up.

    Most communities have trailer campgrounds for people to stay at. A lot of folks who work on oil rigs, road construction crews and the like stay there instead of hotels. They get a per Diem for housing and at least they have all the comforts of home and a little more privacy.

    My family also has a trailer but we are hardcore campers. We drag that thing to the middle of no where. When I say no where I mean no power, no water, no people, no nothing but the occasional wildlife! Our major camp is over a week long and we bring a generator to recharge the batteries and use our water sparingly to drink and wash dishes. If you want to clean up we either heat up water from the river or jump in it. Mountain runoff is VERY cold regardless of how hot it is outside so I only do that if I must. My husband is like a polar bear and just gets right in!

    BTW Love your posts! I read them on a regular basis.

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  22. I have thought about it for a very long time.I can see how practical it is! Not only the money you say,but also with 21st technology,you cannot loose out:Netbook instead of a PC,mobile instead of a landline,touch screen ipod for your music & a small TV with DVD,store all your photos on an electronic frame(most hold 400+) & use an ereader for most books! I know that mail can be collected if you pay for the service & a PO Box address can be bought as well,but several situations they want a "regular" address,so is the owners address where you are living possible? Otherwise,I will have to my parents,but this would only work if I was near to them! It is doctors,dentists,etc... as these can only be where "you live"!!

    My parents have a small caravan for 2 people,not very big,probably the smallest types you see,so will this have any limits to its use?

    Have I got this right,ever 28 days, you leave for 48 hours? This I can handle.

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  23. Hi lee, yes anything is possible depending on your own circumstances. We move every 28 days. Post is sent to my parents house and collected from them. We do not have post sent to a site owners address as every 28 days we move to a different site. So this is not practical plus I cant see a site owner agreeing to this either!

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  24. Both myself and my wife have already decided that we will live in a caravan full-time. We have gone for a second-hand Conqueror 645 which has a fixed island bed, (collecting on Friday). Getting really tired of handing over my hard earned cash just to "live". On the techno front I have a "3" mobile broadband dongle which cost £70 from Currys and came pre-loaded with 3 months worth of internet access. Works brilliantly with my Samsung Tab. I've also invested in an Acer touchscreen PC which also doubles as a TV and has a dolby home theatre system built in. Very compact and ideal for a caravan. Cost was £509 from Currys in a sale just after Christmas.

    One question; how do you protect your Caravan through Gale Force Winds?

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  25. Hi Steve we also use a "3" dongle and it works well in these parts! Protecting our caravan in the wind is always tricky, but we try to pick sheltered spots with the awning facing away from the wind which is South East facing. 3 storm straps on the awning and pegs checked daily, along with any heavy items placed on base of awning. Only had one problem and we sited the caravan wrong and had no storm straps on. So could of been avoided, it was during the summer, we were not expecting high wind! Be prepared!

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  26. Hi, my husband and I are selling up right now waiting to exchange and complete. We have seen a static caravan that we are going to purchase on a residential site and that will be us fixed. Hubbie will retire and I will continue for a while longer while we sort out our finances. A little apprehensive about our new lift style but excited at the same time. It will be also just as exciting selling our furniture, basically a house clearance, after all its only material things (apart from personal stuff). Eeeekk!!

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    Replies
    1. This seems so brave, and I admire you very much. I typed in 'living in a caravan full time' as a search, because I too am fed up of all my money disappearing mainly on a mortgage I will never be able to pay off. I am 60, working as a teacher,and supporting myself since my divorce. I would be interested to hear how life has worked out for you both since the big decision and house clearance.

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  27. Im so glad i have seen your site! My partner, our child who is 2 and a half, myself and our dog are all moving out in 4 weeks having just bought a 5 bed dry hobby caravan. We are going to stay in it on my mother in laws drive whilst we save for an awning, a new fire and let the worse of the winter months pass us by. We are sick of working and hemorrhaging our money away to someone elses mortgage and forever rising bills...we were working to keep our stuff somewhere and to sleep and thats it! Nothing more. We live in south west of Cornwall so are very privileged with regards to our area and most people down here are quite free spirited so we are getting more of a positive result rather than being named a gypo lol ;) I work full time as a Spa manager. I am very excited but obviously a little apprehensive as quite a few sites have said to me that they only take holiday makers...? ill be sure to keep an eye out for any tips, The way we look at it, if it turns out to be a complete nightmare, we would have saved some money, got a caravan and would just move back into a house... Good luck to everyone else with your journeys.

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  28. Hi Bubba India, sounds great! When we go to a new site, we only book in for a week or 2 weeks max to suss the place out, then go back again and next time book for longer or the same, the site owners then get to know your ok and everything works out for everyone.

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  29. My partner started living like this in Cumbria in October. Im moving up this week.Ive been travelling up and staying the odd week. Its a very scary move at first. You cant pretend its going to be all plain sailing. There are things to be missed but the good things soon outweigh them. We can even plan to save money to maybe self build later onand holidays will be a definite possibility. I did get a few comments when I first told people I was going to live in a caravan but its just such an economical way to live and without the worries of maintenance, utility bulls, etc.,. We are looking to buying a larger touurer in the next 12 months which will be better for us. We are on a 365 site where they have their own broadband they also have a caravan maintenance and service area so its all completely self contained. They are so helpfuland have given some great tips so we have everything. Am looking forward to this new phase in my life. I think this is the way forward for those of us who are struggling with the outrageous costs of living in a house. Any hints ant tips would be most appreciated.

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  30. Hi I'm in the SF gay community and I through a friend found out about these homes. My boyfriend lived in a 17' tow behind for 4 years. And i and him lived 3 months this past Autumn in this..It was wonderful! The freedom, the nature..and best of all the cost! We both work online and could live anywhere..I realized I dont need a 2,000 sq ft home to live in "where most people only live in 1 room 90% of the time anyway.
    Great read thanks! Cheers in your new life..I also plan to buy for myself a home as the sort and live there full time..Im 36 now and my goal on 2013 is to buy on of these. Thanks very inspirational read!

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  31. HI There,Full credit to you both,My wife & myself have been camping since we were 18,now we are in our mid fifty's,we have had Tents,Trailer Tents and now we have a small Caravan,Before we had children & with our children we have traveled throughout,Great Britain & enjoyed it very much,We have been factory workers all our lives,I have been made redundent 4 Times & just like Battery Hens,We want our freedom,when my Daughter eventualy moves out we are going to rent out our house,that we have worked hard for over the years and buy a bigger Touring caravan to live in and live a little,instead of just surviving,I can already hear the birds singing,We would be happy to use the 28 day rule,but if we find a extra nice place,we will,(with the campsite owners permission,)leave our caravan there and go in b&b, for two nights,We will redirect our mail to my sons address,We will use all the modern Techno we can,Mobile phone dongle,I-pod,Solar chargers,when possible microwave,little flat screen T V, All this has come about because my wife has finished work due to ill health and the firm i work for have decided to relocate,I dont know how long we will live this way but we are already feeling more alive,Just going to make a list of sites that are open all year round,I hope you and your wife enjoy your life in your caravan for many years to come.
    Best wishes Fred&Diane

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  32. Your website has been so valuable and we've bitten the bullet and are moving into our van at the end of the month. Like you did, we also rent and are sick of all our money going on just keeping a roof over our heads plus huge utility bills/council tax, etc. We're all looking forward to it (me, hubby, daughter and two dogs !). Very excited but stressed now as busy selling off furniture, etc, etc. Just wanted to ask what you do about insuring the caravan as they don't seem to cover you for full time living ??

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  33. Hi Fred and Diane! Sounds like you have everything covered, and from what you said are enjoying life. Long may that continue.

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  34. Hi Tasha, please email me at bakers_cottage@btinternet.com and I can give more information.
    Great news to hear your going for it! Yes, it was a bit touch and go for us with days to go we still had a 6ft pine kitchen table and a massive corner sofa to get rid of! We did it though and the relief of not paying all that money every month is amazing! Any problems please do get in touch!!

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  35. Hi all and have leaned from reading all your comments. I am hoping to live this way soon and my big question is - Car and caravan insurance,bank details,driving licence address,car log book and the list goes on? I can only imagine that one needs a permanent address to make all this work while living on a touring site unofically. What info do you give your employer for instance if you have no permanent address. How can i make this work for me if i have no permanent address?.
    Regards to all, Kerry,

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  36. We are lucky that we have a permanent address which we use for all our post, bank etc which makes life easier for us. However there is no legal requirement to have an address, it is just that all insurance/banks require you to have one to use their services. Living the way we do is not unofficial, we abide totally 100% with all laws that there are. Hope that helps.

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  37. How do you insure your caravan to live in? I am going to be living in mine during the week whilst working away from home and am struggling to find an insurance company willing to cover it. I don't want to leave the 2nd most expensive thing I have ever bought un insured.

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  38. If you would like to email us direct we can point you in the right directiion! bakers_cottage@btinternet.com

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  39. Hi - have just found your blog and am delighted!! Due to having to move from my present flat due to earthquake problems (I'm in Christchurch New Zealand), I and my three largish dogs have decided to take up this way of life as a new adventure!! A friend with a farm is letting me have a paddock (already fenced for the dogs!) with water and power from a nearby barn. The comments and information from you all has confirmed this is the right decision - can't wait to get into it!! Looking forward to revisiting this page often!!

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  40. Hi all, I have been thinking about moving to a caravan for a while. Partly because my work requires me to move every few months anyway and secondly to avoild the costs of moving, renting, forever raising bills etc. There are a few things worrying me though... Being a single woman how would I cope with toeing, setting up and securing a caravan. I am not too bad with handy work but a caravan is totally different from decorating! My other big worry is having an address. Unfortunately I don't have access to a permanent address; would I be better off moving to a static caravan?

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  41. Hi anything is possible if you want it bad enough. Firstly, towing, depending on when you passed your test will be your ability to legally tow, so check your licence. If not you can take a towing test and they will teach you how to tow, there is obviously a cost and a test involved. Secondly, with no address you may struggle, no friends or relatives that you can have your mail sent to? Finally if you go down the route of static caravan, you will still have the same bills as a house! Council tax, elec, water, gas etc as well as high rent! hope that helps but please feel free to email me at bakers_cottage@btinternet.com if you have any other questions.

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  42. This blog is awesome. I lived in a caravan for 2 years, partly in Devon then I towed it to Southern Spain for 8 months. Only used 2 campsites in this whole time as they were really tolerant and helpful, both had wi-fi and excellent facilities.

    I've since moved back into a house and feel totally dissillusioned with it.. so I think I'm going to buy another caravan. I find a house to be simply surplus to requirements and a caravan provides plenty of space if you're not a materialistic person. When I'm in the caravan, I cook better meals, read more books, take longer walks in the country and feel generally better about life... can't argue with that.

    Anyone who's doubting their dream to live in a caravan... please go for it, its amazing!

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  43. Kev, thanks for the message. We feel exactly the same, living in the caravan simply makes us feel more alive! You get a real feel for nature, like you said, we cook better, have quality time together and enjoy our free time.

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  44. I am so glad I stumbled on this blog! Me and my partner have just bought a second hand 5 berth Swift Challenger for £500, which is sited in a farmer's field. He charges £7 a night which includes water and electricity. There's nothing else to pay! Just have to buy the gas bottles. We're currently forking out £1100 a month on rent and utilities, and with this new adventure, our outgoings will drop to £418. It's a no-brainer!
    However, I do have the same question as many first-timers...how do you insure the van, and also how do I insure my personal possessions? I'm a musician and have a couple of guitars and a laptop for my live work, and if I lost them, I'd be stuffed! I'm guessing some kind of 'peronal possessions' cover?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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    1. Please could you tell me where the farmers field is? I am looking for somewhere cheap to put a van.
      Thanks

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    2. Hi ,was the van on farmland or did you find the farm, if so how did you go about it thanks. Ivan

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  45. We did it too! Albeit in a motorhome in which we have been 'full-timing' for almost two years. We have discovered that we are part of a huge and ever growing community of disillusioned, like minded people of all ages who begin, as we did, knowing very little of what to expect and who share their experiences freely. We are now confident campers and have absolutely no regrets. I was the most reluctant camper ever prior to our departure! Now I wouldn't change a thing. Nothing is impossible and you really do only live once so have no regrets; Don't hesitate, do it!!

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    1. Hi I realy want to live in a caravan but will never afford a brand new van so im going to buy a second hand van and would love some advice on what to look for
      and with regards to appliances would i be able to use my washing machine in a caravan?
      many thanks

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  46. Thanks for all this brill info, I am a single lady with my dog and just buying a tourer to live in, cannot & will no longer pay a fortune to pay rent, water etc etc, list is endless is'nt it but I am a bit worried for the other road users as I've chosen a twin axle 22' caravan :-D Look out! I'll be mostly in worcestershire near my family but who knows where I'll end up with it in the winter months seen as I'm a self employed dog groomer so can work when & where i choose, and maybe take a trip over to sunnier climate for winter as I'll surely be able to save some money now I won't have to pay £125 a wk just on rent! will be adding this site to my favourites for when I need some tips etc x Good luck to everyone and lets all enjoy everyday, and as for the so called travellers, do they actually do any Travelling these days, 90%of them live in council houses on benefits as far as I know! Anyway Happy days xxx
    Caroline & jazza (my jack-a-chu)

    ReplyDelete
  47. I have just read this with great interest, we are in the process of selling our home, and when it is gone will move to our static caravan on a site open 12 months a year but not residential, we will be getting a PO Box, most things are dealt with on line and I use a dongle for internet while there, I am hoping that we will be able to give our postal address as our Sister in laws pending discussion. The landlord of our site is not bothered how long we spend there as long as we dont give it as a permanent address! we will both continue to work, and hope in the future to procure a park home. Oh what fun xxx

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hi all,
    I initially moved into a touring caravan as cheap accomodation while I worked (seasonally) in Cornwall. The job became permanent, but as my income would be almost entirely swallowed up by rent here I decided to become a full-timer too... That was nearly 4 years ago... :)
    I get great views all year round and have pretty much the same facilities as people in "regular" accomodation. An average flat locally would cost about £550/month just for the rent, I pay £300/month including my electricity, gas, and internet (also 3-mobile dongle). Council tax has never been mentioned by any of the sites I've used so I haven't asked... :)
    My plan for the future is to buy a boat to live on, but the mooring fees and insurance are quite expensive (still not as high as "regular" accomodation though).
    My advice for "newbies"?
    1) Buy the biggest and best equipped caravan you can afford. You might think a 4 berth caravan will be big enough for 2 adults and 2 kids but as a long-term prospect you would need a 6 berth. Also consider the layout of the caravan and how this fits in with the way you intend to live. 2) Buy your caravan late Autumn/early Winter as the prices tend to be lower because storage fees are usually due about this time. Ebay is a great source of bargain caravans if you're willing to travel a little. 3) Minimize your stuff... Do you really NEED 20 plates for 4 people? Is that vase really a key contributor to your survival? You will soon realise that storage is tight on most touring caravans so you WILL need to lose some stuff. 4) Try to find a site that will let you pay in advance for the season or does a year-round rate (usually MUCH cheaper). 5) Think about your post... Most of the letters you receive will most likely be from your bank/credit card provider so you can minimize your incoming post by getting statements on-line.

    Going full-time won't suit everyone and there are things to consider (particularly if you have children)... What about school? How will your childrens friends react? Can you handle filling your water containers and emptying the waste every day or so (yes even in Winter), what are transport links like for work, will you have to move at the end of the season,... Lots to consider but potentially lots to gain...
    I'm a 10 minute walk from the beach and the Atlantic Ocean and can hear the waves breaking on the rocks at night and the birds singing in the trees in the morning. There are more full-timers out there than you think (but you probably won't notice them until you become one yourself)... :)
    After almost 4 years doing this I can honestly say I would definitely do it again. The people I have met and the sense of freedom I have gained from it is priceless.
    Good luck to anyone who gives it a try... :)

    ReplyDelete
  49. I've 12 years' continuous experience of living full time in caravans - tourers, statics and a camper.
    SUMMERS: no sweat, get a big electric fan.
    WINTERS: sort the sheep from the goats!
    HEATING
    For me best is ALWAYS ALWAYS mains electricity because there is no condensation. Wood smoke is carcinogenic.
    Work out how much per unit (kilowatt hour)you are paying. Club sites are good value for winter electric hook-up.
    If wintering on say a farm, get a small electronic electricity meter from B&Q and pay the farmer per unit used.
    Insulate the floor with old carpets, rugs, whatever in the winter and hang them out in the sun (UV kills mould and house mites) in the summer.
    If you must use LPG, dry under mattresses daily with an electric fan heater (on cold). Clothes, boots and any fabrics should be kept HIGH UP in the van otherwise they will collect condensation and mould.
    WATER IN WINTER
    I turn off the mains in Nov/Dec until Feb/Mar and drain the pipes and boiler. I carry water from a nearby inside tap. Alternatively I store a large quantity in a plastic barrel. I just use an electric kettle for personal washing and dish washing. Plus a microwave for cooking and heating just cupfuls of water for tea and coffee. And a gas ring just for omelettes etc.
    Remember Propane does not freeze. Butane does.
    If wintering in a remote location keep some alternative sources of heat for emergency use - e.g. a self-contained butane heater INSIDE the van. And a car fully fuelled to use for keeping warm by its heater if all else fails.
    Being cut off from the world by the weather in winter is a mind-blowing experience - but ONLY if you are well prepared.
    I know caravan life is for me. Maybe you too. Give it a try before selling up and committing yourself. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. im thinking of living in a caravan
      are second hand vans a good choice?
      would i be able to use my washing machine in a caravan?

      Delete
    2. Some good advice, but I must admit that it would be too grim for us to turn off water! We had no probs this winter or 2010 winter with temps down to -11.5 we kept all our water working fine! Cant do without a shower! As for cooking, 4 ring gas hob and oven plus cadac, couldnt live on just omletes!

      Delete
    3. Secondhand vans are great cos for permanent living the interior will get more wear and tear. 'Twould be a shame to use a new van for this. Modern materials mean leaks can be easily and cheaply cured. Use aluminium-backed or other waterproof tapes and Silkaflex caravan sealant on the OUTSIDE of the van.

      My home is a 30+ yr old static on a farm. I live alone apart from a collie, a cat and two hens. Which is why I can turn the water off in winter, and why I eat a lot of omelettes! Oh and I do have a washing machine. "Our Life In A Caravan" is correct of course - it's no full size washing machines for a trailer van. And those cute little hand operated washing machines made for caravans are a disaster, believe me!

      I use a microwave for all cooking except frying. You can gently and quickly steam vegetables, fish, chicken, pheasant - almost anything.
      RESULT: no loss of vitamins in cooking water, big saving in fuel cost and most important in winter NO CONDENSATION.

      Trailer, motorcaravan or static, fixed site or peripatetic, Club sites or Private Commercial sites or something "unofficial"? So much depends on YOUR circumstances and preferences. In turn this depends on your actual experience of caravan life. Please give it a good tryout BEFORE you "sell the farm".

      Delete
    4. thankyou for the advice
      iv always wanted a caravan but never got round to getting one but i am going to get one
      i thought of visiting eather a farm and asking if i could put my caravan there and live in it or look at residential sites i surpose to live in a van all year the bigger the berth the more space i would have

      Delete
    5. i want to buy a caravan woul i use a bank of caravan finance company?
      is a tourer suitable for all year roun living?
      ideally id love a mobile static caravan but dont know the costs involved
      any advice would be so welcom

      Delete
    6. As for finance you would need to check yourself, and compare which works out the best for you. A mobile static? It's either static (plumbed in) or a tourer. We live in a tourer which suits us perfectly. Any specific questions please feel free to contact me direct. Most information can be found by either searching the web, or for used caravans and mobile homes search on ebay.

      Delete
  50. Using a washing machine inside your caravan??!! I think you need to take a look at the size of a caravan! Go to your nearest dealers and take a look. The answer to your question is no.

    ReplyDelete
  51. It's not quite as simple as just getting a caravan and asking a farmer, 99% will say no! There is a 28 day rule on sites which means you have to vacate your caravan for at least 48 hrs with no return after 28 days, or as we do simply move to another site. There is still red tape and rules even living like this. Any specific questions please feel free to ask direct.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hi
      i want to live in a caravan but i do not currently drive
      can i get someone to tow it to wherevere i want to live?

      Delete
  52. hi its steve here in belfast,i would love to move into are tourer and enjoy life and freedom to go anywhere i like, it would be better than this cage

    ReplyDelete
  53. Microwave Person

    This thread has the ring o'truth imo :-
    http://www.practicalcaravan.com/forum/general/permanent-caravanning

    WE ARE NOT ALONE!

    ReplyDelete
  54. I am very happy to have found this blog I am about to do just this, I already have a tourer I have moved to a different part of the country with my two dogs and I hope summer is on the way so I thought what better way to save up the money to pay off my debts and start over??! I have just booked my first 4 weeks I even managed to get a 25% discount on the pitch fees and I am good to go...glad to hear it can work!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi KTS any specific questions please feel free to ask! Good luck and enjoy!

      Delete
  55. Stephen and marie here in belfast... only wish......sounds great "enjoy" mean that

    ReplyDelete
  56. Hi lovin your blog , i'm 54 male , divorced & sick of living to work , paying out all my self-employed earnings & constantly livin on my overdraft, something had to break . well i'm in the process of selling my cottage, hopefully be completed by end of May .ive already decided on Trailer/ tourer living , just need my money thru before i can buy my tourer, then i'll sort a site, i'm wanting to pay upto £5000 for a 5/6 berth with end-bedroom ,i would like lots of storage & a full sized cooker,i'm thinkin of a Hobby as these fit the bill nicely are there any others you would recommend , thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From "microwave".

      Just a thought - it might be better to sort a site out BEFORE you buy your van, the site imo being the more important consideration.

      Bigger is NOT always better with tourers and motorcaravans. As a solo full timer you don't need a large van. Sell your cottage furniture, store anything you MUST keep and buy a quality 4 berth. Go to some caravan dealers and spend time by yourself inside some likely models - personal first impressions and feelings for ambiance are critical. You're gonna live here!
      Towing a big tourer or m/c is a pain - you won't be able to access many smaller nicer sites. And you need experience to haul a big rig.

      Besides which, you'll need a massive gas-guzzler to tow the damn thing which is also going to be your personal transport.
      Whattowcar.com from the Dutch Caravan Club has a sophisticated and comprehensive program for matching tow car and van model, including user comments.

      Hope I haven't put you off, but I have seen so many mature people with redundancy money or an inheritance go for their BIGGEST DREAM CARAVAN which is such a beast to handle that they use it once and never again. Which is why there are so many hardly used nearly new monstervans cluttering up people's drives!

      Delete
    2. Opinions differ which is what is so great about the freedom of speech.
      However, in our experience of living full time definitely the bigger van the better, I have had no problems in towing a large twin axle van, with no previous experience of towing such a large unit. It is actually far more stable than our previous little 2 berth!
      We have squeezed in all sorts of sites, and only once had a problem getting in an out, but so did everyone else.
      So to be honest, just go for what feels right for you, as you step inside it should instantly feel right. You will know when you have found it.

      Delete
  57. Thanks both for your comments,i know where you're both comin from , as life in ' said i have gotta live in the trailer i choose , so ive got to feel comfortable & not claustaphobic ,but microwave i see where you're comin from too, i dont want to lug a huge trailer about up narrow B roads, so i guess its abit of a compromise , which van do you have life in ' ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We have a Lunar Lexon 640 Twin Axle with island bed, absolutely fantastic van, warm in the winter as well!

      Delete
    2. microwave

      As for me, I have an old static with lovely, but cold, glass (as against plastic) glazing. Its on a single plot with farm buildings nearby and rented from a farmer with 365 days a year occupation.

      I also have a VW Type 4 short wheelbase high top camper. Small enough to be used as personal daily transport.

      Delete
  58. We've gone for the 'expensive' option and live in a static! My husband has been out of work, and instead of selling our house we rent it for holiday lets 8 months in the year, and live in a caravan two miles away. We (husband, daughter and cat) love the freedom. Just the right size instead of rattling around. XX

    ReplyDelete
  59. ihave my own caravan tried 2 find some sites 2 live on broke up with the wife but not in work any help wood be great

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry to hear that, but if you move into yr caravan your costs will be at an absolute minimum. Any specific questions please feel free to ask.

      Delete
  60. Hi,

    Great blog. I've been fulltiming in a 6 metre Hymer motorhome for about 2 1/2 years and no regrets. I live in London suburbs but the van can no longer go inside the London Low Emission Zone. I only need to find campsites for 2 or 3 nights a week usually as most weekends I'm away hiking using my Kia Sedona car and staying in hostels and bunkhouses with friends.

    The Hymer is a great choice for fulltiming. Not had issues with fresh water or waste water freezing and warm enough in winter too. It's a much cheaper lifestyle, I cannot afford to buy in South East and no intention of paying inflated rent prices.

    The 'problem' for me now is that I've started dating a girl and we would really like to live together. She has stayed with me in the motorhome some weekends and really likes it but it's too small for 2 of us to fulltime in. I could not afford to buy a newer, larger motorhome so I've started to wonder whether a caravan would be a good option. I would miss the convenience of the motorhome but if I was only moving around every few weeks then I could live with learning to tow and hitch a caravan. The Kia Sedona should also be a good tow car for a caravan suitable for fulltiming. Since the girlfriend works in London I would need to find campsites with good access to London and that is my concern. How easy is it going to be to find sites? Currently if I cannot get a pitch last minute I can easily wild camp for a night of two, not something you can do in a caravan!

    Any advice would be appreciated. Not certain I will go with the caravan option but seriously thinking about it.

    All the best
    Gary
    The Motorhome Vagabond

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Gary, glad to hear from another full timer! You certainly loose the freedom in a caravan, and to be honest not sure of the sites in and around London. I guess it really depends on how far you are prepared to commute each day, work that out then look at the sites available within that circle. Guess you have looked at caravan club and camping and caravan club sites, prob the 2nd club would be the best bet with smaller less costly sites.

      Delete
  61. Hi I am so pleased that I found your site.....My husband and I(including the dog)have only been caravaning for a few years, firstly touring and then finding a seasonal pitch, which we love. We have now decided to sell up and move into a caravan and have bought the new semi static Bailey Retreat Willow to give us more space.....It is great to know that there are so many people out there that love the outdoors and living with nature.
    We are so looking forward to our new adventure.
    Jennie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Retreat is a cracking caravan, it could well be our next one!

      Delete
  62. This blog has been so helpful - thank you so much! We have a 4 berth Coral which we lived in for 3 months on a friend's driveway (hubby, me and our labrador!) at the beginning of this year and are now back in rental accommodation which is sapping all our finances so we'd like to live in the caravan again for 12 months to save some money. We've been out today looking for campsites that will allow a 28 day pitch so we can be full-timers but so far they have all said they only allow 2 week bookings max! As we both work full time (and my other half has 2 kids who visit/stay regularly) we are restricted as to how far we can travel from site to site to still be within commuting distance of work... getting a bit worried that we'll find ourselves with no where to go, having exhausted all the local sites within a matter of 2-3 months. Any tips on how to convince the site owners to let us book for longer (up to 28 days, obviously - got to keep it legal!)? I'm worried that the fact we both work full-time will put people off allowing us to stay as we won't be 'holiday makers'... I'm starting to think the caravan site owners in West Sussex are a little too snobby!

    ReplyDelete
  63. Hi, Book in for 2 weeks and dont say anything about full timing! The site owners dont know you at all and expect the worse, you cannot blame the owners for that. Once you get to know them then you can let on! We have never had any problems with any of the sites we have stayed on adopting this strategy. If you have to move after 2 weeks so be it, you could always go back and revisit sites. I appreciate that moving every 2 weeks would not be great, but Im sure that once you are in on some of the smaller sites then you would be fine! I take it that it would be small sites you are interested in. Commercial sites for full timing in our opinion is a complete waste of money. Hope that helps!

    ReplyDelete
  64. Hi

    Great blog,some of thwe best advice on the net.

    Thanks for the info

    A

    ReplyDelete
  65. I have been thinking of living full time in a static caravan. I have a ready-made pitch on my sister's land in the Lincs. countryside so no worries there. My big worry is the Lincs. winds in the depths of winter!! Has anyone had experience of this and how did the van and you cope?? Also, is it really worth buying one with double glazing and central heating - does it make a big difference? Any advice for this 53 year-old woman and her dog who really wants to take the plunge but not sure if it's the right thing! All the comments seem very positive.....Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  66. Unless you are used to living in a draughty fridge freezer I would go for double glazing and central heating! It would be bitterly cold without it. But you have to way that up with the cost of propane used!

    ReplyDelete
  67. I am thinking of doing this as my husband and i always fighting over money to the point he has moved out! We want a stres free life! He work at a caravan site and its looking info renting one there for us as he can get it cheap. Only problem its not all year round :/
    My question to you is , do your children go to school?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Our kids have all left home, my daughter is 18 and lives with her Mum and "M"s kids are 26 and 24! So no issues for us. My advice would be to take up the offer of a cheap caravan and save some cash and buy a used caravan, then you will have your own van and can stay where ever you want?

      Delete
  68. We are planning on doing this as soon as our second child is born. We will have myself, my husband, our dog, our two year old and a three month old baby in a 23 footer. People think we're nuts but we are tired of the static lifestyle, high rates and high cost of living. Plus, we will get to see a little bit more of Australia and what it has to offer this way and work along the way. Maybe it will be all too much though? Are we crazy to attempt this with a young family?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm sure that at one stage I was reading a blog about a couple in Oz that were full timing with a young child. To be honest I can't see any reason why this cannot be done, so do your homework and go for it!

      Delete
  69. What a fantastic site,I have enjoyed reading this !!! Hubby and I are doing this soon,cant wait !!!!

    ReplyDelete
  70. hi,have young children living in a static for 7 month now,just sold house would never go back to a house,what a great site enjoyed reading this!!!

    ReplyDelete
  71. So pleased I found this blog, we are moving to a static on my parents land and currently looking for one to buy, its quite confusing and also scary as we are worried about being in such close proximity specially as we have dogs and cats, although im sure some of those will choose my parents cottage as their new home lol. We like others are so fed up of renting and not being able to afford to save for a house of our own and pay off debts. We are doing this for a reason but I hope to try and make it fun too. One thing Id like to ask, whats the best way to store washing machines, freezers, tumble dryers outside? we were thinking some awning style thing but made from wood as an out house?

    ReplyDelete
  72. I'm doing it!!! On the 27th of this month I'll be moving into my caravan with my Labrador Florrie. The situation has come abut due to a failing relationship and this is part of my way of coping. I've always wanted to live semi-nomadic, it's in my blood I think and it as a no brainer when my wife said lets have some space. The caravan is a Fleetwood 4 birth about 10 years old and top of the range in it's day. It's as good as new with no damp (that I could find) and everything I need. I'm paying ground rent at a secret location as well as a lock-up for all my bits I can't fit in.

    I work as a window cleaner in the local area so I'll still have my work and family on my doorstep but at weekends I'll be on the road taking my two young boys on trips around the UK. I also run vegan cookery classes, again on my doorstep so I should have plenty of money and can start saving again after years of being fleeced!!!

    although my location is "top secret" I can tell you I have water and electricity right by my caravan and a porta-loo which I'll get emptied once a month for £22. Unfortunately I don't have anywhere to empty my loo so this was the only option, winter may be a bit chilly lol!

    So, all in all I think I've got everything covered and have even traded in my Transit Connect for a Mitsubishi L200 This will allow me to tow the caravan, fit a water tank for my pure water equipment (window cleaning stuff) and take the kids out due to it having a back seat.

    Now all I've got to do is start getting my head round being single again.......I fear the first few nights may be difficult.

    Still, plenty to look forward to.....Phil x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Phil, just wondering how you are doing?

      Delete
  73. What about needing to give an address for work or registering at a drs or if you lived in a caravan registering for schools for kids. All sounds interesting is love to be able to live in a caravan. Seen a few sites that have permanent residents but not in the area I'd like to be. how would you recieve post also?

    ReplyDelete
  74. hi all just found site as like rest of you fed up of robbing peter to pay paul, we are renting at the moment after loosing everything in the boom times, long story.
    but we are now around the 50 mark and fed up of having no money left each month,
    we have decided to do this and are going to start next year in march we have found a site that will let you pay monthly
    and is isnt too far from our places of work
    we will forward all our details to our daughters house for bank accounts etc then we have a goal to do 3 x years and save save save my question is we would have about 5 grand for a caravan for 2 plus dog ! which caravan would you recommend to buy and as we will need ins for full time is the ins reasonably priced ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi basically we viewed our lifestyle as an extended holiday. With that in mind our insurance was not expensive.

      Delete
  75. your all DREAMERS.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. we are all dreamers, but the real test is to live your dream, most of us are sheep and just follow what we think is normal !!!!
      very few decide to be the shepherd yes,
      the key is to stop dreaming and live.

      Delete
  76. Hello.
    How do you get by both working full-time from a Caravan Club CL site? As one of us works and the other doesn’t. Do you ever encounter any problems? We have lived in our Caravan since March 2011 and have been lucky finding a campsite that likes long-termers but we don’t want to feel tied permanently.

    ReplyDelete
  77. Hi all,
    i am thinking of moving into a caravan full time as i own two dogs and find renting an absolute nightmare. there are a few questions i would like to ask if anyone can help tha would be great.

    1st Do campsites allow dogs to stay in the van while i go to work (site owner discretion i imagine)

    what caravan is best to buy for winter?budget 6k possibly
    Does anyone have a caravan on finance or bank loan etc?

    can i stay on parks all year round? if not where would i go as i work ful time?
    please offer any info with regards to insurance of van, electoral list and all other legalities.

    thanks so much peeps. may cya one day lol

    Steve & mutts

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Steve, the heat in a caravan can almost be as bad as in a car, so unless you can leave all windows open then I would not advise leaving your dog in your caravan all day.
      We have successfully completed the last two winters, experiencing -11 in our Lunar Lexon 640 with no problems. We did lag all pipes but that was all we did.
      Some sites are open all year, but they should stick to the 28 day rule.

      Delete
  78. Hi All,
    Before going on holiday to Portugal i was thinking of looking
    at appartments with a view to living there pernamant, but while we were there my husband was chatting to a man who has lived in a caravan for 14 years: something that had'nt crossed my mind but since i've been back i have doing some research into this lifestyle and have found this site very informative
    but would like to hear of anybody who has moved from the uk to europe. I'm planning to move in 4 years when i have sold
    my house and buy a new or very modern second hand static van, i've been looking at sites like caravan in the sun where you can buy a new or resale van and they will site it for you on the location you choose.

    ReplyDelete
  79. I'm sorry but I feel you have sold yourself short by moving into a static caravan. I have been following you both and this site and admired everything your doing and respected you for doing what only most people dream off. To move into a static with all the bills is simply a huge step backwards. I guess a lot of people on here are as disapointed as me by the way you made a major u turn because you could no longer live the dream!! This site needs to be re named living in a static caravan,,, and I will no longer follow

    John

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi John, sorry but you have obviously misread what we have been saying. Moving into the static caravan was a LESS expensive option. All bills taken into consideration it works out cheaper than remaining in our caravan. As saving money was our primary purpose in this venture I fail to see how we have sold our selves short?

      Delete
  80. I've been reading these posts recently, I am splitting with my partner of 26 years and I'm considering buying a caravan and putting it on a site near to work!! Do you think I'd be lonely on my own and or are there people who would share this lifestyle for the companionship only relationship?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Life is what you make it, you can shut yourselves away on site and not be disturbed our be as sociable as you want. You really do have that choice.

      Delete
  81. blah blah blah same old same old,fed up with bricks and mortar ect,face it all of you,the system in this country is designed to fxxk us all up no matter what we live in!!!!
    Greedy camp site owners are putting site fees up,so soon you will all pay £15-£20 per night or £120-£140 pw.
    The local authorities are clamping down on site owners with even more legislation,the only way to do this properly and really stuff the local authorities is buy half-one acre of farmer giles,, keep your tipees/tents/gazzebos/caravans/jillopees/hippy wagon their for 28 days then this is the important bit MOVE THEM JUST 3FT,then another 28 days another 3ft,paint a circle in the grass or mark the point where you were previously,believe me this totally screws mr planner RIGHT UP>>>>>>>

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thankyou so much i have been saying this for years now just didnt know how far it had to be moved when i lived in holland a few years ago there was a guy had a full 3 bed house wooden that is on a rail way track and he hooked a few of his horses to it and pulled it all with flexi water and drainage pipes conected so hey hoooo i think this is the next venture for me ,wife,and 3 children

      Delete
  82. Johnp

    I have been left some money and iv'e seen a new static for sale at a good price. My wife is ill and having treatment for her condiction,I have been trying to find a site near the sea in the south west,so that we can go inbetween her treatment, but they will only let you on the sites if you buy from them at a ridiculous price.Does anyone know of any sites that will allow us to put the new van on them.

    ReplyDelete
  83. ladys mile dawlish/cofton farm dawlish warren,12 moth of the year site,you only need to "dissapear"for 2 weeks,the sales bloke told me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi thanks for the advice on the farm in dawlish/cofton, it looks like just what we are looking for. I have looked on all the sites on ladys mile but I can't find a site on a farm.If you know any way I can contact them can you let me know,my email is johnp56@live.co.uk.

      Thanks johnp

      Delete
  84. "Greedy camp site owners are putting site fees up,so soon you will all pay £15-£20 per night or £120-£140 pw."

    Wild camp on the moors for a few days per week,and also get some black out tint for your windows.

    ReplyDelete
  85. hi were looking at buying a static caravan on a site in suffolk and selling our house. my question is as you can only stay there 10 and a half months a year and we will prob go spain 6 or 8 weeks on hols when we have to be off site my wife and i work and have three children will we still get our child tax credits and working tax credits as the way i see it we will still be living in the uk and paying tax ect.

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  86. Why do so many people who live in caravans wear funny clothes and smell like wet dogs?

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    Replies
    1. There is nothing wrong with wearing funny clothes and smelling like wet dogs unless you have a funny clothes and wet dog smell phobia.

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  87. I keep reading all these post about static homes & have to say now we are moving away from what this site was about and that was living in a caravan! The bottom line is, if you want to live the dream like we do, ie getting way from the huge utility bills, the council tax, the water rates and the high rents there is only one way to do it, in caravan on CL sites. In our home town, Cheltenham, we have 3 very good one's, you can legally stay on there for 28 days at an average cost of £10 a night with electric. If like us you rally most weekends , then everytime you leave the CL for a weekend, your 28 day period starts again!! All these posts about living in statics, in most cases they are holiday sites, or sites that you can only stay on for 10 months, you have huge ground rents, still with utility bills, those allow you to stay full time, in most cases you would be liable to council tax,,,, as yet, I have never found anywhere that will let you put a static for £70 a week with elecric & water included in the price, unlike CL's. So that's how to live the dream. if you plan to live in a static, well you might as well buy a park home or stay in your house.

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    Replies
    1. Hi John, I have to disagree, please read our blog thoroughly where you will find that we pay less living in our static than we did in our caravan! Yes, we maintain the site, but that is easy work for us, and a small price to pay!
      This blog is about "Our Life" Im not going to change anything or it's title.
      As you can see I publish all posts, but your info is incorrect as we are doing it for real in the heart of the New Forest.

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  88. Just a thought, to prove we are not fakes, if anyone has any questions regarding my last post, you can email me them at johnmedus@gmail.com

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  89. Hi John,

    Thanks for your comments on the heating issue with my dogs. do you have any suggestions on how to heat the van safely so i can leave my dogs there while i go to work?

    Many thanks

    ps what does it matter if a caravan is a tourer or static?? lol its not brick is it lol....

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  90. me and my partner have been living in our caravan for the last 14 months. it is a great way of life. we keep to the 28 day rule as we have 4 sites we use. the beauty is that you can change your back garden every month

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  91. Hello, i am really glad that i found your blog and i admire your lifestyle. I would have a question and also would like some basics about living in a caravan as i am really a newbie for this. Can you also manage to live in a caravan in the center Europe?

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  92. Can any recommend Hobby Touring Caravans as a potential permanent base? Like many others contributing to this blog, I am sooo fed up with being screwed over by local councils and government that I am also researching the possibility of living in £6000ish Tourer. I am however concerned about the winter months in terms of temperature and condensation as I have my son every other weekend. So if any genuine permanent tourers can give any advice on what to expect, I'd be grateful..... Thanks, Nick

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    Replies
    1. Hi we have got through temps of Minus 11 with no real problems. We had no problems with condensation at all, modern caravans are well designed and can easily cope with these conditions.

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  93. hi there this is my dream to live in a caravan i dont own one yet and i dont want a big fancy one all i want is a caravan to put on a small uncomercialised site for peace and quiet but in the tyne and wear area where my husband works could anybody tell me if there are any sites where you can stay pemenantely and how much it costs thanks nanaell

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  94. just found this blog we are having our house repossess dew to cost of living and me having been out of work for 6 months did not help plus the fact we lived next door to the neighbor from hell.so we are going to girlfriends mums to sleep in a tent dew to room ect.but we are going to be looking to buy a fent or hobby caravan.is there any issues with getting these on sites i just been informed you can now tow them on uk roads as well.we are moving down to essex next week whats the best sites for us around grays/dartford within say a 20 mile radius dew to work been at dartford,thank god i got a transfer.

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    Replies
    1. Hi you shouldnt have any problems unless you are towing it with a Transit Tipper! Other than that check out Caravan and Camping Club and the Caravan Club Sites for small 5 pitches or less sites in your area. May also be worth having a drive around the area as often new sites pop up and are not listed.

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  95. Hi I am moving into our touring caravan this Thursday 7th only a few days away. We are used to caravanning but this will be a first. We have just come to the end of our house rental and have decided to take the plunge. We have a site arranged for unlimited stay. I just have two problems and that is obtaining caravan insurance now I am going to live in it full time also I wonder about my car insurance as the insurance companies have our previous address. Would we give the caravan site address instead? has anyone any advice? It would be greatly apreciated

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    Replies
    1. stephen and marie12 September 2012 10:16

      its just to wish you all the very best

      Delete
    2. Hi we classed ourselves as being on an extended holiday, and as such had cover to suit our holiday!!?? As for address we are registered as living at my parents house, after all we are only on a very long holiday! So insurance, banks etc is all sent there. Hope that helps.

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  96. Wow september the 4th same here our home rental period end at noon on saturday and me the hubby and four kids ages 2,5,7&15 plus a parrot are moving into our 5 berth plus awning at a lovely site just in the next village. Its 5 mins from the school so no problems there. I can't wait. Putting our awning up so we have an extra room to play with and my eldest has a huge tent he's staying in. We are putting our house contents into an empty room at my husband unit. So until a house becomes available in the village 4 beds in this village are impossibly hard to come by. We shall all be cosying up in our caravan. I shall come back and let you all know how were getting on.

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  97. are there any sites where i can have a static for 12 months of the year?

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    Replies
    1. Hi. There's a site/holiday park in Northampton. Its called Billing Aquadrome. They allow resedents to live in the units for 11 months.#Hope this helps.
      There number is 01604 408181

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    2. Park resorts in Northumberland/Tyne and Wear now have a 12 month license :)

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  98. Hi my partner and myself will be staying in a caravan with no electric apart from a leisure battery, heating will be by gas only how do you think we will cope with the condensation as we are being held to ransom by the electric company, don't really mind condensation but its the mould that goes with it that will be a bummer
    thanks lyn

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  99. hi, we are thinking of doing the same thing, slight difference tho we have 4 children and want a permenant pitch.
    is this possible?

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    Replies
    1. I'm on my 3rd week with 4 children and its working perfect. I am on a permanant pitch as we keep our caravan here on this site all year anyway when we where in the house. Theres about 50 odd people living here permanant so I'm sure you could find somewhere. Where abouts are you looking for site?

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  100. wheres best to look for permanant sites (links would be useful) looking at doing something similar although we may go for some sun 2-3 moths over winter

    all the best

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  101. My Partner and I and our 13 year old sun are thinking on moving onto our park home.
    We have the good fortune of owning a 2 bed unit. The site fees are £4000 per year, so we thought all things considered we might as well live there. The story: Our house is in negative equity by about £40k, we have 6 charging orders against the house, £90k worth of debt and our house isn't even on a repayment mortgage, so we still owe now what we borrowed 6 years ago! The mortgage company is chasing us for £4ks worth of arrears and we have £2k that we owe on council tax! I think its time to head for the hills???
    What say all of you??

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  102. Sorry, he really is our SON, not the sun!!

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  103. Thankyou so much for this blog! You have the same mindset as me and my husband. I read him your blog and it has confirmed what we were thinking. We didn't do it previously because we thought it just seemed too easy and that we must be forgetting something. Thanks!

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  104. Living in a static caravan with children?
    We have 2 young children of school age and are trying to figure out a way to live where we wouldn't have to rely on benefits to cover the cost of our rent.
    We're considering getting a loan for a static somewhere on the south / south west coast, but can't find any residential sites which accept families.
    We have an address in London we could probably use for correspondence purposes, but how could we enrol at a local school / GP etc, if we were technically just holidaying in the park?
    Any advice on how others get around this issue would be much appreciated.
    Or info about residential sites in the SE / SW which would accept a family - without requiring you to purchase a brand new expensive home.
    Thanks!

    raquelornot-10@yahoo.co.uk

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  105. Finally, an issue that I am passionate about. I have looked for information of this caliber for the last several hours. Your site is greatly appreciated.

    home security systems

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  106. Hello all, I have lived in a small caravan for the past 6 years. I moved to the south east for work and decided i was not going to spend 1500 a month on rent. I bought a small caravan and have fast internet (O2 WiFi hotspot thingy)a PC, digital TV, cooker, fridge, toilet but no shower ! I do however go to the local sports centre (3miles away)use the gym, hottub, spa, steam room etc and of course showers. I am hooked up to the mains and have all i need. I have survived temps of minus 18 a few winters ago. I found a great little place, a small holding well away from eveyone and a very friendly farmer and family. I come and go as I please and we all get on fine. Work is three days a week for me and the rent is 55 a week all in. It can be a little lonely at times but I adapt to that very well. 35 minute drive and I can be in central London. Where I am there is no light pollution at night just the black night sky. I am sheltered and have a great time walking the woods nearby with scooby my beloved yellow lab. I dread the day I have to return to my house which i rent out ! The trick with this is finding a good certified site through the caravan campsite pages and go visit them. Workers are preferred and you can usually stay as long as you want..as long as you pay your rent on time. AVOID traveller run sites though...for the obvious reasons.

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  107. Furthermore, I am very clean person, exercise, shower daily, and do my laundry every week and bedding every two weeks ! I have good clothes to wear. I have a Phd and just prefer to be self sufficient for as much as possible away from the normal BS in life. I say all this just to show that anyone can do it and there is no criteria or specific way you should do things. Trial and error is usually the best way to find things out ! It is easy......that's the whole point of it. It is the psychology of the huge change that frightens people...not the actual doing !

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  108. Great Article!!
    I live in Bedfordshire area and we have recently purchased a caravan to live in! (Myself and Partner) we are finding it hard finding somewhere that allows up to stay there as they are mainly seasonal sites that start from March and are quite pricey as they are short term.. we are due to move from our rented house in January!
    Please can someone help.. any ideas or places you could recommend? Hope this makes sense! We need a camp site where we could like for a couple of months while we save for a mortgage!
    :-) Many thanks! Becky

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    Replies
    1. Hi Becky. Have a look on the UK campsite.co.uk
      Look for the Certified sites in particular which are privately run. They usually let you stay for as long as you need without idiotic 28 day rules. They usually have 5 or less caravans but without full facilities.Just find a sports centre nearby if needed, although I expect you will have a shower room in your caravan !!!

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  109. loved reading your advice on living in your caravan, we are moving into a caravan (trailer) on the 25th of november, my partner volenteers at an animal sanctuary and we have been discussing our options since the last tennent moved out, and we were offered the caravan, I'm on benefits due too long term illness and can't work,so money is very tight, the last tennent ruined the caravan and the floors were rotten, they have now been redone, we have one bedroom, and a kitchen living area in one,and a seperate bathroom, the owner also had built a room on to the caravan which is a very good size, the thing is there is no running water there, and it worries me, she is getting a man in to see if there is anyway of cutting into the main water supply to feed the caravan, otherwise I will have to use the shower room on the sanctuary, which is ok, but there are a lot of visitors and volenteers on the sanctuary and I'm a very personal person, our washing machine and dryer are going in one of the outhouses due to the electric supply in the caravan isn't big enough to take that amount of power, worried about storage as well, and how often does the tiolet need emptying as I know it hasn't been emptied for over a year, I know it seems like I'm moaning but I am really excited about this new life, there is a small log burner in there so I don't think we will get cold, just could do with any further advice or tips on living there permantely. email address is racheljhughes2012@hotmail.co.uk

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    Replies
    1. Hi....all valid questions !Personally I would not bother about a water supply into the van unless it is already there. Some 5 litre bottles filled from a tap does it for me. I have not had running water for over three years. As I said before I use the local sports centre daily for all personal hygiene cases. Similarly, wet wipes sponges and keeping the 'essentials' clean is all that is needed.As for the toilet it gets emptied when it gets neaqrly full. You will need to dispose contents down a toilet or a chemical disposal drain ! As for the log burner....BLISS...you will not get cold !! A weekly or bi weekly trip to the launderette is generally fine also.

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  110. Hi there,

    Can you advise me on where I can get to get insurance cover for the caravan when living in it permanantly. I'm going to be homeless in a few months as my parents are moving and I'm looking to live in my touring caravan for a year or so as a temporary measure.

    The trouble is nobody seems to insure it for permanant residence. If it were a cheap old van I wouldn't bother insuring it, but its almost brand new!

    Please advise.

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    Replies
    1. After many years of living in a caravan I would suggest you insure it as just as normal without mentioning you live in it full time ! Stupid premiums are charged which just equals greed by the insurers. If it gets nicked just say you were touring at the time....there is no set rules for when you use it as far as i know etc. Persoanlly, I would sell the nearly new and buy a second hand one for a few grand...therefore negating the worry about' if it gets nicked'. Lets face it, you have to play smart these days and not pander to those who hold the sword of doom over your head by charging money for nothing !!!...ie insurers !

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    2. I couldnt agree more dont tell them you live in it or they will bite you ,we have lived in a caravan for 12 years, we work on campsites in the summer (no site fees) and go to spain in the winter for sunshine,its a good life.

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  111. OK sound good to me! The only thing is I would have to declare where the 'van is stored as this is a usual question they ask.

    The 'van is stored in a secure compound at present so when I live in it I will have to give the insurance company the details of the place I'd be staying at. However this might raise suspicions as the site is just down the road from my work and registered address which will surely make it hard to jusitfy it as a holiday purpose?!

    Maybe I'm just thinking too hard about all this? I guess it would be for them to proove it otherwise?

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  112. My husband, two daughters and 3 dogs and I have lived in a caravan since April 2011.

    WE LOVE IT!

    We were made homeless by a ruthless landlord, and bought a mobile, got temporary planning and lived on a friends land for the past 18 months. There have been pros and cons:
    Pro:
    Closer as a family.
    Tidier and more organised
    Bought items only as we really need them
    Saved loads of money
    Had HUGE amounts of fun

    Cons:
    Water froze twice (our fault)
    Fell out the caravan door (could've happened anywhere!)
    Didn't have the range of clothes I would've wanted

    Would I ever live in a house again. Yes, if I won the lottery/or was rent free.

    Hints:
    Cat litter in bowls
    Draw your curtains early
    Keep everything organised and spotlessly clean.
    Buy stackable everything if possible?!


    BTW - temporary site residents and GP surgeries.

    you can register with a GP - either as a temporary patient or there is a new Enhanced Service GPs can claim for which is "out of area" patients - so you get full service - blood tests, referrals etc same as a fully registered patient!

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  113. Hi we have a caravan just for holidays three times per year
    we have been contemplating living full time in a caravan
    we both work, do you think we would have a problem problem with sight owners with leaving early to get to work as we work shift patterns in security very early or late starts and finishes any advise appreciated.
    regarding power go green stay anywhere we have a rutland wind generator £600 and monocrystalline solar panel £350

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    Replies
    1. We have never had a problem with leaving early or returning late, however check to make sure as some sites have a gate that is locked overnight! Sites like this I would not stay at, ok security wise it makes sense, but what happens in an emergency and the owners cannot be raised. Every second counts when your caravan is on fire and the fire brigade cant get to it due to a gate being locked!

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  114. hi been living in a caravan for last 2 years. have a sesonal pitch on a hoilday site an the owners are very good.i leave early back late. nearly always first out last back an i think it just depends on the owners. i had to call into a few sites before i could find one that suited my needs an as long as ya nice an quite cannot see a problem.ps. i wish i did it years ago best feeling of freedom ever

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  115. is it really good for kids to live in caravan ? are your kids happy there ? im thinking about buying a 3 bed caravan but 1st need to know its ok for kids

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    Replies
    1. Hi, sorry we have no experience of living in a caravan with children, all of ours have flown the nest! A 3 bed caravan, not sure if you mean static or tourer? best thing to do is visit a local caravan dealer or static caravan park and look at the show caravans to get a feel of the layouts and how it will suit you and your family

      Delete
  116. northern monkey8 January 2013 12:31

    hi guys me and the oh are just in the process of selling the house and moving from east lancs to a static caravan on the south coast -its a ten month occupancy and site fees inc insurance etc are £3500 a year -we are fed up paying mortgage utility bills etc so are going for a total lifestyle change -fed up in the rat race so cant wait to move -will have a bit of cash behind us till we get jobs etc and will hope to buy a motorhome and tour the south coast and europe for the two months we have to leave the site-have family down there so a bit of back up if needed -very daunting but very exciting as well -cant wait !!!

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    Replies
    1. Like Northern Monkey we are retiring in August and moving to our static caravan which is also 10 month occupancy so will just find local cottage to rent for 8 weeks. This is common in the area we are going to and as we look at it, we have no family to leave items to so sold our house to get money behind us and may do a part time job or volunteering as both healthy.

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  117. Hi, dont know if iv got the 28 day rule right, but it appears that you stay for lengths of 28 days at a time,i am considering buying a piece of land in somerset at siting my tourer on it for 28 days.I have been trying to find out the legal interpretation of the 28 day stay, i noticed an article on line from Busbys Solicitors and it states(Use for stationing a single touring caravan for no more than "two consecutive nights" and no more than 28 days in a year) ,hope iv got this wrong

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The general rule is the caravan must be vacated after 28 days for a minimum of 48hrs. However, on private land this could be totally different as this 28 day rule applies to caravan sites. So please check carefully as you could also be in breech of planning laws etc!

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  118. hello
    im thinking of doing to same thing as i used to love staying on a camp site near marlbrough. im going to sell my home and live in a caravan with my dog and get a seasonal pitch which works out even cheaper only thing is have to stay of site for 2 days every 21 days which is easy as iv a vx transporter camper or stay at my girlfriend every other weekend . and yes caravans are so warm as i used to sleep in winter with a window into the awning wide open.. happy memorys i will be starting again b4 i hit my 46 birthday..hope your still having a stress free life

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  119. Hello

    Me and my husband have been talking about doing this for a few years now as we love being away in our caravan,however our family think we are making a huge mistake. With both our children (2nd mariage) grown up and doing thier own thing we have decided that 2013 is the year to sell our property, buy ourselves a new posh van and go for it. We will still both work, and will be taking our dogs too. We are very lucky as we already know where we plan to stay, and truley believe our lives will be better, but our families think otherwise :0(

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    Replies
    1. Our family and friends thought we were mad to begin with, and some still do, however some have come around to the idea and those that havent we simply dont bother with!

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  120. Hi,
    Me and my girlfriend did this a while back, we bought an old motorhome and lived it for a year whilst working abroad. We loved it so much that we have sold our flat and brought a brand new 8 meter winter caravan. Adria alpina 763 uk, dont think they sell them in England. Its got a boiler with underfloor heating and good insulation. It sleeps 9 people so it should be great for us and our 2 kids. We cant wait, we have worked out that if we live in it for 5 years it would have paid for its self. This is a great blogg, its good to to know there are many people with the same outlook on life. :)

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  121. I don't live in a caravan.

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  122. There are sites here in Cornwall which are open 365 days and we know several people who spend 11 months of the year at a well maintained lovely site then go visit family/go abroad one month in the winter. We go to our caravan (a 28' Tabbert) every weekend and can't wait to ditch the bills and be there regularly when the kids have gone in 2 years. We relax the minute we arrive, and part of this is living simply-no surplus clothes, computers, appliances - and being in glorious countryside. We know more (and nicer) people at the site than at home too!! It's simply opened up a whole stress-free lifestyle for the future for us

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  123. Re. my post above- people are concerned re cost, so let me add our site is about £2000 a year in ground rent (others can be up to £3k) and the only bill we have on top of that is electricity, and dongle for internet, plus gas bottles approx twice a year. The site we use asks for evidence of a council tax bill at permanent address - ideal for those of you looking to rent out your house to take up this lifestyle.

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  124. Lets get a list up of all the nice sites country wide so those who are thinking of doing this have some to consider.

    thnaks in advance for any posts

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  125. We have recently acquired a season pitch (12 month usage)and are contemplating selling our house and living in the caravan. Officially on the site there is no permanent residency allowed but the site are happy for people to stay as long as they like (I suspect people are un-officially living there already), we will be using the mother in-laws address. Do you know any legal pitfalls that may catch us out....???.....MANY THANKS..!

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  126. Hi just wondered if yourself or anyone ells out there has used or thinking of a fifth wheel as an option, am toying with the idea because I'm worried about getting trapped in the static caravan situation but still fancy some extra comforts.

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  127. These are really common tips but normally we do forget. So we should keep the in our mind.

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  128. I have just read your blog with much interest as I am thinking of doing the same. There would be myself, My other half and the dog. I am thinking of using a mail service called mailbox etc for my mail. A question I would like to ask though is what did you do with all your stuff. I mean the stuff you really don't want to get rid off and won't all fit into a caravan?

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    Replies
    1. Hi Anonymous of 6th March 2013 16:36

      I sold everything that I didn't want, need or was just plain bogging me down! Do you really NEED the stuff that you say you really don't want to get rid of? I thought like that at first but ten months later I can't even remember what it was that I couldn't bear to get rid of! I made a fortune on ebay and through music magpie (who bought all my dvd's and cd's) and spent it on me!!
      I love living in my caravan, my dogs worship me for bringing them to live here permanently cos they can run on the beach to their hearts content and my mail just goes to the main office where I pick it up when I feel like walking up there.
      Good luck with your move, you won't regret getting rid of stuff and you can live quite easily with next to nothing.

      Delete
  129. Hi, I would love to live in my caravan permanently, do u know if it would be legal to leave the van on the same pitch live in it for 28 days then stay with relatives for 2 nights, then go back to same pitch for another 28 days, etc, ect.

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  130. Hi what do you do about your post/mail??

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  131. Hi, my partner and i are thinking about living in a caravan but would like to buy some land to put it on, all the land we have looked at online is well over our budget, does anyone know how cheap you can get an acre for?

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  132. I ca not give you advice but I can refer some very god advisors about Caravan houses and holidays.

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  133. thank you, that would be great

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  134. ~Hi guys, after having a breakdown at the start of the year and realising that making millions of pounds for companies really does nothing for the soul I am a few weeks away from selling my home, taking the cash and carving out a life as a freelance wildlife photographer travelling the country with my car and van for the rest of my life (or as long as money permits), I have a few questions though, as a photographer, I may find a place on my travels that would look better in the dawn as opposed to dusk but has no campsites near it, can I park in a layby and spend the night legally? When approaching park owners about staying for 28 days and returning at a later date for another 28, do you just ask or am I being incredibly nieve? Have you ever been to Scotland, I've been lead to believe that there's no camping rights but they don't know if it's tent specific, I'd be interested to know if I can just stop where I like for as long as I need up there? Do you have any favourite places of beauty that I might not have visited? (you can have my email address, I've loads that I wouldn't want to share lol and finally, what sort of money should I look to throw at a decent caravan, I'm toying with camper van/caravan at the moment, I don't have much use for a car really which is swaying me towards camper? And finally, can I just say thank god decent people like you exist, I've spent nearly a month trying to research this and the amount of conflicting information I've come across is unreal, up to about two hours ago I'd pretty much decided a European rail tour was a better option just because I couldn't find anyone in the uk with sound relevant advice, as a thank you, once my website is up and running, I'll happily let you have the choice of one of my photos to hang on your van wall :-) Kind regards, Adie, North Wales.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Adie, If I were you I would take the Campervan route, easier to move around and like you say if you want to stop over night for the perfect shot the next morning a camper is ideal. A caravan would definitely get you a knock from the old bill! Go for what you can afford, sometimes not always the most expensive is the best!
      Regarding the 28 day rule, we only ever stayed 2 weeks on our first visit to a site, get to know the owners and them you, then you can max out once they realise you are decent folk and not there to take root!
      Scotland, yes lived there for 5 years and travelled extensively throughout, north from Glasgow, follow the coast, unbeatable countryside. Along with Wales and Cornwall.

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  135. Anonymous 18th of March, if you look in Ruthin's local estate agents, they currently have a 2 and 1/2 acre plot with static already there (although it doesn't look all that appealing) for £40k, it has a concreted area where the van is and has mains electricity and gas, may be an option, I don't know what sort of money you've already looked at, I have had my eye on it for some time now, the site has been on the market for ages, a wad of cash in his hand might get you a better price, hope that's helpful, Adie, North Wales

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  136. Very glad to have found this blog. I am currently selling my house and planning to live in a static caravan. It is on a site that is open all year round but classed as a holiday site so the information above regarding addresses, GP registration, etc have been very helpful. I am wondering about a wood burning stove. Does anyone have one and how have they found it? I am worried that it would be a fire risk and also if my grandchildren are visiting would it be dangerous for them in such a small space. I imagine it would be good for keeping the place dry as well as warm. Anyone any comments?

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  137. Hi can I ask what model is your caravan! Please let me know!

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  138. That's a great story. My partner and I moved into our caravan last june. Its by the seaside with a great view of the mountains. We have all the wild birds, animals and plants on the doorstep that we could ever want and life is amazing. We are a bit limited for space but I spent six weeks walking 500 miles across northern Spain with only what was in my rucksack so I thought "if I can live out of a rucksack for six weeks, I can live out of a caravan easily", and that's what decided us.
    For anyone thinking about it I'd say its the best decision I've ever made in my whole life. Go for it!!!

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    1. steve and marie13 April 2013 09:54

      this sounds great......I wish we could live this life-style

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  139. Hi all great post so to clear my confusion you move every 28 days to another site an go back to other sites on a reg basis for 28 days

    Looking at doing this but want to keep it simple

    Many thanks

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    1. 28 days is the rule, but different sites sometimes bend the rules depending on how well you get on with the owners!!

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  140. Thanks I' want to stay within the law etc

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  141. steve and marie "belfast"13 April 2013 09:57

    I or we would love to live in are wee caravan

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  142. iv tried to look in all posts but what do you do about a postal address ? thanks

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  143. great blog! we love our tourer and spend as much time as we can in it with our 3 dogs are also sick of having to worry constantly about mortgage etc and are now looking to join you guys in making the tourer our home whilst enojoying life a little very best of luck to all of you :-)
    Adrian and Linda

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  144. Hi

    Great blog.. this is something I am intending to do in the next year.. buy an American RV and live in it full time.
    Can I ask you, how do you arrange postal issues for insurance, banking etc?..

    S.

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  145. Thinking of living in a van full time in about 3 years myself.

    One thing that bugs me seeing you write descriptions etc - please it is "should have" not "should of".

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  146. I am a full timer your 10 questions are OK, but perhaps don't deal with some of the things I have found out over the last few years in a van.
    1. Damp - last year was wet (you may have noticed), condensation became a problem, opening windows is not great if it's raining, so now I have nearly 15 moisture traps, but still have to watch for growths at the windows. Heating by gas also seems to increase condensation. Don't ignore damp. Caravan windows are a bad design, water sits in channel outside and condensation goes down inside of van walls - I use mini traps between window blinds and window - it helps - but not a lot!
    2. 28 day rules - this is imposed by a) council planning permission on the site b) caravan touring clubs - there's no rules on council tax for this - you don't have any services the site owner does, they pay for the site.
    3. TV License - tricky, technically touring vans are not subject to a TV license, this is based on the fact that if you go on holiday in your van your house license covers it - but they don't qualify this - they just state touring vans don't need one - hmm! You choose!
    4. Laundry - most sites have washing machines - expensive, use local laundrette.
    5. Big vans, European vans, Hobby's, etc are not always welcome on sites, mine won't take them if you are a resident. I won't elaborate on the reasons.
    6. Fifth wheelers, big american RV's may not fit standard sites and will cost more if they do, check first.
    7. Forget insuring your van - it won't happen anymore if you are resident in it II can no longer find anyone to cover me) - that could be a problem for sites requiring you to show certificate. If you lie it will affect all insurances you ever buy later on - car etc, cos the companies now use a database that tells them if you have ever been fraudulent on insurance claims.
    8. Get a PO box, or ask site owner about address.
    9. Gas, get as big a bottle as will fit in the van - some sites don't like external bottles, I use 13kg x 2 (only £3 more expensive than 6kg bottle) I used 8 last year to heat / cook.
    10. GET A GAS CERTIFICATE ON YOUR VAN EACH YEAR - DO IT - THEY ARE ONLY £65 - FUMES KILL - SIMPLE
    11. GET A GAS CERTIFICATE - YES I SAID IT TWICE
    12. Get a carbon monoxide detector, do I need to say why? IT KILLS - SIMPLE.
    13. In Wales there are different rules - they don't like you living in vans. It's a planning issue - related to council tax I think.
    14. Don't buy a plot of land and move your van to it unless you have planning permission, anything with wheels can have a prohibition order placed on it immediately. Statics are different they get 30 days. You can buy land and use it for holiday only, say 2 weeks a year I think.
    15. Technically you can't live in your friends back garden - I checked! Unless they have planning - which is unlikely. This is because if you can prove you have been resident for a certain amount of time (10 years I think) on the land you can apply to build a permanent residence on that land and get it!

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