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!
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