Monday, 29 August 2011

One Year Later - What Do We Know?

Its strange to think that we have been full timing in our caravan for a whole year now!

Living back at our old house seems a very long time ago, almost as if it was several years ago and not just 12 months ago!

I guess the biggest factor you have to take in when living full time in a caravan is the weather. We have seen lovely hot sunny days, gale force winds where we thought the caravan may actually move, to freezing temperatures to -9.5, rain that heavy that we seriously thought we could get flooded out and of course snow!

One of the biggest myths we have had to bust is simply that no it doesn't get cold in our caravan! Even at -9.5 we were still a toasty 22 degrees in here! No it doesn't get damp, moldy and full of condensation either. Our old house suffered more from condensation!

Over the last 12 months we have only stayed at a handful of camp sites in total, we have traveled to many different Vintage Rallies and had a great time, and just recently returned from a short break in mid Wales.

So what have we learnt since we have started full timing?

A number of things spring to mind, so Ill list them below, they are not in any sort of order, just as they come to me.

1. People have some strange ideas about living in a caravan, the strangest comment I've received was that it was unhealthy! Not too sure how they came to that conclusion?

2. You can get stereo-typed very easily, doing what we do. I've gone past the point of caring now, and actually play on the fact!

3. There are a lot more full timers doing this than you think!

4. That anything is possible, sometimes you just have to sit back and think about it for a bit, but by hook or by crook there is usually away around any given situation.

5. That we are a lot more hardy than we thought, we have not had one cold since we have started this way of life!

6. We are more in tune with nature (the changing of the seasons/weather) and the wild life. This year we watched a pair of Canadian Geese, hatch, rear and fly away with all 5 of their off spring! An amazing experience.

7. That life is too short to worry about things too much. You have to live life each day, not save it up for the weekends or when you retire! We may not get that far!

How has our caravan stood up to full time living?

Amazingly well, is the honest answer. The heating circuit board for the electric heater packed in and required replacing last November, but apart from that, nothing serious has broken or dropped off. We have had to change one bulb for the outside light, and a few of the cupboard door hinges have come loose.

We had a broken dial on the fridge, which I repaired myself. Other than that I can safely say that Lunar have done a good job.

Oh, there is one thing that could of been done a little better, the support for the front seats is pretty poor, a very small piece of wood is used to support the seat, I've beefed it up considerably. This is the only real repair that I've done so far.

The caravan itself is a Lunar Lexon 640 twin axle with a fixed island bed to the rear. A big old lump, but for its size fairly light weight due to Lunar's construction.

Its now 6 years old, we have noticed that where the feet of the awning sit on the top of the van side it has started to mark it slightly, but, a small price to pay for having our large awning up.

Would we go for another Lunar? Well the answer is yes, but we do have our eyes on a Hobby, they appear to have a much greater spec, as well as being bigger.

We have upgraded our towing vehicle to a Mitsubishi Pajero which is brilliant and more than capable of pulling a large caravan around.

You must be saving a fortune?

Well the answer to that is yes and no. Yes because obviously we do not have the outgoings that we used to have, but as far as saving is concerned, we really should of, but we are enjoying life rather too much, this next year should see us starting to save.

How have we changed as people?

Thats a hard one to answer, so feel free to comment! I know that I personally feel more relaxed and can now sit and just look out at the view. I always used to be having to do something, relaxing was something I didn't do or to be honest knew how to!

As I write this I'm watching swallows skim across the field feeding on insects.

I think that you have to have a certain outlook on life to do what we do, it wouldn't suit everyone, in fact I think that the vast majority of folk couldn't do it, well, when I say couldn't what I really mean is wouldn't. There is a vast difference between the two. 

When we first started this, some people that we knew never thought we would be able to do it, let alone enjoy and actually love it so much that there is no way we would go back to bricks and mortar!

I think we have annoyed some of them by the way we have coped and are obviously happy in what we do. Its not as if we have had to prove ourselves to people, but when some people expect you to fail, it is most satisfying to be able to show them you are clearly enjoying the experience!

The only reason why this gets to me a little bit is because its members of our family!

But, I have to ask, is it really that difficult to do what we do, I personally don't think so at all. I know other couples out there full timing that think exactly the same way we do. Its just about applying common sense and a can do attitude.

So to sum up, living in our caravan full time is absolutely brilliant! If you are reading this and still at the stage of thinking about it, please, don't just take my word for it, I'm sure other full timers who read this will only be more than happy to pass on their words of advice to you!

And for you full timers, well, I don't need to convince you at all do I!

Thanks once again for reading this, its always great to hear from others, whether your thinking about it or actually doing it, or just like reading the nonsense that I write!

Feel free to leave comments on the bottom of the blog, you don't need to be a google member to do this, or you can email me direct at

You can also find me on Twitter just search for "caravanliving" 

Till later................


  1. I dont see that you have to keep explaining why you live the way you do. You seem to be doing OK and not hurting any body in the process so why should any one care. We spent a summer travelling once and really enjoyed it. We didnt stay on sites unless we had to so we did it really cheaply. I would do it again if I wasn't too old and not in very good health. You just carry on with your way of life for as long as you want.
    Enjoy it.

  2. It's great to see you having a good time and I agree with the other comment - you shouldn't need to explain yourself - it's your life!

    I also agree that anyone could do it BUT with one proviso - kids! I don't think you could do what you do if you also want to have kids (I would imagine that none of the other full-timers have any, or am I wrong?). Nothing wrong with not wanting/having kids, just saying the practicalities would make living in a caravan as well INCREDIBLY difficult.

    Happy anniversary and hope you have many more...;-)

  3. My 2 cents...

    We started in April 2011 full time. Gave up our jobs in london (well paid ones), bought a Sterling Elite Explorer 2010, fixed the fuel pump on the jeep 4.7L and had a towbar fitted to it and LEFT!

    We headed to Devon to have a better life, not everything is about money you know....

    A quick quote:
    “We run after values that, at death, become zero. At the end of your life, nobody asks you how many degrees you have, or how many mansions you built, or how many Rolls Royces you could afford. That’s what dying patients teach you.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross"


    "“Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” Steve Jobs

    So here we are, reading your Blog daily when it is updated and enjoying everything you enjoy, the wildlife, the freshness of the day, the freshest food EVER (not been to a supermarket to buy meat and veg for that many months), the cheapest food EVER.. no white water in the bacon, no water filled chicken etc....

    Feeling super healthy, feeling alive and we get to meet so many different types of people.

    We have been staying virtually at the same sites which are open all year and provide the essentials in the off peak months it is half the price of a house (minus all the associated bills :) ) and now the summer period is over in a few days it all becomes cheaper again.

    I have just got a new job YAY which is a drive away but quicker to get to it than goign round the M25 at rush hour... salary is a bit different of course compared to London but so what my life is better on a daily basis. The other half has a great little part time job in a local dartmoor pub and she loves it. She will still look for a proper job in the meantime.

    Our backgarden is Dartmoor, I can say no more on that apart from its beautiful.

    Ive watched birds feeding each other, woodpeckers raise their young, little rabbits and squirrels come and go and the sheep that stand in the road and laugh at you as you drive around them.

    We feel so alive and happier, hardly ever argue these days as we are too de-stressed to worry over the things we would worry about. Well not worry about just that we never had time in London to do things after work and getting home etc.....

    I dont know we did not do it all sooner (I had wanted to do this a year earlier but well.... just never got to do it).

    So here we are, inspired in the end by this very blog and doing the exact thing as you guys now.

    We have not had to face the winter yet but I do not think it is going to be a problem. The caravan is Grade 3 insulated, double glazed windows and sun roofs (4 of those), wet central heating and inboard water tank so I do not see why it will be an issue! We will soon find out.

    More in next comment.... broke the limit on text....

  4. continued....... this is part 2

    September midway will be our 5th month completed and the van is holding up well, we have an awning so some junk is out there and it is like our conservatory.

    Would I change anything, NO WAY.
    Do I regret it, NO WAY.

    I cannot comment on doing this with children or child but there are many types of folks that do do it for ever and they are happy... who knows.

    So as I type this watching the bluetits scoffing the left over food outside our window and using the mini vaccuum to hoover up the fly I noticed that has "got in" (should not have forget the fly door screen!!!) I just think we are so much happier and healthier now.. we have both lost weight even though we did not need to but I guess that is because our food is super fresh from the surrounding farms and has yet to be injected with stuff I care not to mention and fats and preservatives..... oof makes me feel sick thinking about what we have been eating prior to this.

    Oh did I say we are surrounded by honesty box systems? Well we are.

    Pickles, eggs and all that type of thing all at cheap prices that we pick up when we need it. We even have our own Dairy 1/2 mile up the road which is on an honesty system... fresh butter, milk, cream, biscuits..... we can see the cows through the hedge that give us this lovely stuff :)

    So on that note I will sign off here and read the newest post...

    All the best you guys and congratulations again.
    (I hope this comment is not too long)....

  5. fantastic--- enjoy life to the full, and as for relatives they can be very selfish until its too late and they want to put you in a home to rot.
    all the best and good luck

  6. well i say ; good on you. I,m getting ready to live in a small caravan for about a year on my block of land while i build my Straw Bale house, so this is an interesting read. I'll let you know how the future goes :)

  7. Hi Nancy, let us know how you get on! Our you writing a blog about your project? This is what we intend to do on our land eventually!