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 cogs 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 aren't 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 a lot of use as you have probably noticed!
|A cooker, grill and 4 ring hob|
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 don't 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 couldn't 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 don't need to be Einstein 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 wonderful 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 achieve 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 tranquillity. Well that's 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 what's right for us. With over 6 months passed, and a hard winter behind us. Things are good!