UK Staycations - Caravan and camping holidays

UK Staycations & Caravan Holidays

Thousands to enjoy UK staycations and caravan holidays this summer

Thousands of UK families plan to enjoy holidays at home in England, Wales, Scotland & N.Ireland this summer. Demand for UK based holidays has resulted in popular UK resorts getting booked up early, with many holiday destinations declaring 2022 to be the year of the #staycation. 

With advance bookings reaching record levels, the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic finally appear to be subsiding and families are starting to feel more confident to make holiday plans. It is expected more families than ever will choose to venture out and experience the ‘Great British Holiday’ this summer and the popularity of a staycation has never been greater as people choose to holiday at home to avoid airport queues and travel chaos associated with flying.

UK accommodation providers are doing their best to keep up with demand for UK staycations. Current advice is to book well in advance and ask to be put down on cancellations lists if nothing is available over your preferred dates.

Where to stay - Finding a campsite pitch

If you are planning a caravan or camping holiday, the best place to start your search for locations and availability is online. Most campsites and caravan parks have online availability and online booking via their own websites. Websites should allow you to quickly search availability and book if dates are available.

Many independent caravan & campsites also allocate limited availability to online booking intermediaries like Campsites.co.uk, Pitchup.co.uk and other websites. You can often find sneaky availability if you check these third party sites, third party booking sites are a great place to find hidden gems as your can search by location, to find places with availability in a location, town or region.

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Join The Club - UK caravan motorhome & camping clubs

The UK’s 2 leading caravan/camping clubs also allow your to search pitch availability and book online. Becoming a member of The Caravan & Motorhome Club or The Camping & Caravanning Club offers numerous benefits including priority booking & discounted rates.

Both organisations also list small ‘5 Van’ CL’s (Certified Location sites). Although CL’s only tend to offer  basic camping facilities, CL’s are often found in more rural, peaceful locations so they can be ideal for couples or smaller families looking for a quiet, relaxing campsite away from the crowds.

The Caravan & Motorhome Club

Club membership provides access to over 2,700 scenic sites in the UK and across Europe, along with numerous membership benefits such as insurance and financial services products, overseas travel bookings and advice.
Join the club from £56 per year

The Camping & Caravanning Club

Membership of The Camping & Caravanning Club ‘the world’s oldest Club for camping and caravanning’ provides access to a network of over 1,300 member club owned and affiliated sites. Plus magical camping in the Forest Sites and many CL 5 pitch sites on farms and the countryside.
Join the club from £45 per year

Glamping UK
Source: Pixabay terjeaeriksen

Take your family glamping - Best glamping in the UK

Glamping has developed as an exciting alternative to traditional camping holidays. Glamping in yurts, pods, shepherds huts, tree houses, safari tents and other quirky accommodation offers exciting alternatives to traditional AirBnB accommodation and rooms.

 

Canopy & Stars

Canopy & Stars is part of the Sawdays family and specialises in all types of glamping accommodation across the UK and even in Europe. Established in 2010 Canopy & Stars brings a selection of traditional glamping accommodation as well as some quirky alternatives 

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Mobile internet connections caravan and camping

WiFi Internet Access Caravans Motorhomes & Camping

How to access the internet in your caravan or motorhome - 2022 Guide

It’s more important than ever to have reliable internet connectivity whilst travelling and many people now need internet access while they are staying on campsites in caravans, motorhomes and tents. Many of the larger caravan parks, campsites and marinas have installed dedicated WiFi for guests, but if WiFi is not available there are other options you can consider if you need to connect to the internet.

How to connect to the internet in a caravan, motorhome, tent or on a boat

  1. Check if the campsite or holiday park or marina has guest WiFi internet available

    Check what average speeds can be expected and if there is a charge for access, most of the time connecting to a guest network is the best option, however speed can vary greatly from one campsite to the next and most campsites have to charge for wifi due to the cost of maintaining a guest internet service.

  2. Use your mobile phones internet connection if you can pick up a good 4G/5G signal

    A quick coverage check online enables you to find out which mobile networks are available at the caravan sites you are visiting and whether there is reasonable 4G or 5G coverage. If you can pick up a 4G or 5G signal then you will get pretty fast mobile broadband. (Remember any data used will come off your allocated data). 

  3. Buy a MiFi internet device or dongle for your own dedicated portable internet hotspot

    If you buy a portable MiFi box or dongle you can get a personal wifi connection using 4G or 5G mobile broadband, there are many offers both on payg & with a pay monthly data plan. Some networks will even supply an additional sim card on mobile contracts for this. 

  4. Satellite internet is also a possibility if you do a lot of camping & wild camping off the beaten track

    Satellite internet services are generally more expensive than other options and you will need to buy some specialist kit including a satellite receiver, a satellite router and pay as a monthly subscriber for a connection. Most satellite internet providers will have a minimum contract period of at least 12 months and prices start around £29.99 a month. In theory you could sign up for a home connection and buy extra kit to take with you when camping/caravanning if your provider allows this via a single account.

Campsites & marinas with WiFi guest networks

If the campsite, holiday park or marina has guest Wifi, it’s usually straight forward to get online – just connect to the ‘guest’, ‘campsite’ or ‘marina’ wifi network and follow the instructions. Most guest WiFi solutions use a shared internet connection and guest wifi is often charged for, to help cover the cost of running a guest WiFi system. 

The main draw back of guest wifi is that speeds can vary greatly from one place to the next. At busy times buffering can be an issue as data and download speeds may be throttled to ease pressure on the network.

Mobile phone internet, how to make your mobile phone a hotspot

If you have inclusive or unlimited data on your mobile phone it is often viable to connect using your mobile phone. A fast mobile internet connection requires good mobile reception and a 4G or 5G data. Most of the UK already has 4G connectivity and 5G is also beginning to reach more locations in the UK

Most mobile phones have a ‘make phone a hotspot’ feature in the settings. This allows you to turn your mobile phone into a router to share you phones mobile internet connection with other devices. When you make your phone a hotspot you can connect multiple devices including laptops & tablets just as easily as how you connect to your wireless router at home. Connecting to the internet this way is convenient but it will mean you will be using your mobile data allowance, if you only have a limited data plan it could run out quickly, especially if people are playing online games or streaming content like video & music.

What is MiFi internet and how do I get it?

MiFi is similar to mobile phone internet connectivity, you basically access the mobile data network via a MiFi router box. A MiFi router is a small portable router that provides wireless connection to the mobile broadband network. MiFi boxes usually allow you to connect up to 10 or more devices via a single connection mobile network connection. 

A MiFi box requires its own data sim card as well as a good 4G or 5G signal. Check the 4G/5G coverage at the locations you will be staying to make sure there is reception.

Top Tip: Take your MiFi box with you when you travel (even abroad if you have roaming data) and share your MiFi ‘mobile broadband’ connection with multiple devices including laptops, tablets and even smart TVs.

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Where can I buy a 'MiFi' mobile internet router?

You can find a great selection of 4G & 5G MiFi routers and dongles on Amazon. We have selected some of our favourites below, all feature rechargeable batteries so they are fully portable.

Prices for a 4G MiFi router start at under £40 so they are affordable, even if you only buy one and use it as a backup plan. 

Check out some of our favourite 4G MiFi routers available to buy on Amazon below.

Prices for 5G MiFi routers are more expensive starting at around £350 for the cheapest solution, however as more manufacturers release new routers the prices are likely to become more affordable.

Check out some of our favourite 5G MiFi routers available to buy on Amazon below.

NOTE: A MiFi box requires a mobile data plan or PAYG data sim card. A MiFi box or dongle will only provide good internet speeds if you are able to connect to the 4G / 5G mobile network.

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Buyers guide buying a touring caravan

Buying A Touring Caravan

Our guide to buying a touring caravan

We take a look at how to find the best new and used touring caravans in the UK. Touring caravans offer the ultimate mobile family holiday, just hitch up your caravan and tow your holiday accommodation with you, wherever you choose to travel in the UK. 

Touring caravans and caravanning holidays have always been popular but since the Coronavirus pandemic has impacted foreign travel, people have turned to holidays at home and staycations, which has resulted in  booming touring caravan sales over the last couple of years.

The market for touring caravans is long established with numerous national and local dealerships selling new and second hand touring caravans. Caravan dealerships are a good place to start if you want to physically view some touring caravans and see what you can get for your budget. 

New entry level touring caravans start from £16,000 – £20,000 for a 2 or 4 berth model 
New mid range touring caravans start from £20,000 to £25,000 
New luxury touring caravans start from £30,000 to £40,000 but can go right up to over £70,000, especially for luxury high end models like those made for the UK & EU markets by the iconic American Airstream brand.

What's the cheapest new 2 berth touring caravan?

The cheapest new entry level 2 berth touring caravans include: 
Elddis Explore 302 on offer around £16,000 at some dealers 
Lunar Venus 2 berth £17,000 to £18,000
Sprite Alpine 2 berth £17,000 to £18,000 while coming in a touch over £19,000 you have the Swift Basecamp.

What's the cheapest new 4 berth touring caravan?

Elddis Explore 304 caravanOne of the lowest priced family caravans is the 4 berth Elddis Xplore 304 available in a number of specifications, some UK dealers are offering the new 2022 Xplore 304 model at just under £17,000 check out details here >>

Should I buy a UK made touring caravan or a European manufactured touring caravan?

Most people believe touring caravans were invented in the UK and whilst there is ongoing debate as to where caravans were first invented, it is clear the UK has many great touring caravan manufacturers and lots of choice. You can be sure to find touring caravans for most budgets.

European manufactured touring caravans often have their own unique style but they all feature similar functionality to UK built caravans.

Brexit impact – importing or buying a European touring caravan

Brexit could result in additional costs being applied to an imported caravan, although most European caravan models are now available to buy somewhere in the UK from affiliated dealers or resellers who factor costs into displayed sales prices.

Database of UK & EU touring caravan manufacturers

We have listed many of the UKs’ touring caravan manufacturers and European touring caravan manufacturers below, check out the websites where you can view or download the latest caravan brochures and other helpful information.

Bailey Caravans Ltd (Discovery, Pageant, Ranger and Senator Brands)

16 – 30 South Liberty Lane, Bristol, BS3 2SS
W: www.baileyofbristol.co.uk
T: 0117 966 5967 | E customerservices@baileyofbristol.co.uk

Coachman Caravans  Ltd (Amara, Laser, Pastiche and VIP models)
Amsterdam Road, Sutton Fields Industrial Estate, Hull, HU7 0XF
W: www.coachman.co.uk
T: 01482839737 | E: info@coachman.co.uk

Explorer Group ( Buccaneer Caravans, Compass Caravans, Elddis Caravans)
Delves Lane, Consett, Co. Durham, DH8 7PE
W: www.elddis.co.uk
T: 03719642113 | E: info@elddis.co.uk

Fleetwood Caravans Ltd (Heritage, Meridien and Sonata), Hall Street, Long Melford, Sudbury, Suffolk, CO10 9JP
W: COMING SOON
T: 01787888980 | E: fleetwoodcaravans@dial.pipex.com

Lunar Caravans Ltd (Ariva, Clubman, Delta, Lexon,Quasar, Stellar, Solaris and Zenith models)
Sherdley Road, Lostock Hall, Preston, PR5 5JF
W: www.lunarcaravansales.co.uk
T: 01772337628 | E: sales@lunarcaravansales.co.uk

Swift Caravans – Sub-brands Sterling Caravans, Sprite Caravans
(Swift: Charisma, Challenger and Conqueror models)
(Sterling – Eccles, Eccles Elite and Europa models)
Dunswell Road, Cottingham, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU16 4JX
W: www.swiftleisure.co.uk
T: 01482847332 | E: enquiry@swiftleisure.co.uk”

Vanmaster Caravans (Accolade, Applause, Fanfare, Occasion and Ovation
Unit S32 Standish Court, Bradley Hall, Bradley Lane, Standish, Wigan, WN6 0XQ
W: www.vanmastercaravans.co.uk
T: 01257424999 | E:info@vanmastercaravans.co.uk

ADRIA Caravans (Slovenia)(Astella, Alpina, Adora, Action, Altea, Aviva)
ADRIA Mobil d.o.o., Straška cesta 50, 8000 Novo Mesto
W: www.adria-mobil.com
T: +38673937100 E: info@adria-mobil.si

FENDT Caravans (Sweden)(Bianco, Opal, Saphir, Tendenza models)
European Caravans Kettering, 1 The old A43, Northants, NN14 1SD
W: www.fendt-caravan.com
T: 01536791523 | E info@fendt-caravan.de

KABE Caravans (Sweden)(Classic, Ädelsten, Royal models)
BOX 14, 56027 TenhultSchweden, SWEDEN
W: www.kabe.se
T: +4636393700 | E kabe@kabe.se

KANUS Caravans (Germany)(Deseo, Sport, Sudwind, Starclass, Traveleno models)
W: www.knaus.com
T: | E info@kanus.com

RAPIDO Caravans (France) (Classic, Ädelsten, Royal models)
BOX 14, 56027 TenhultSchweden, SWEDEN
W: www.rapido.fr
T: +4636393700 | E kabe@kabe.se

How can I get caravan finance or a loan to buy a touring caravan or motorhome?

Many touring caravan & motorhome dealerships work with established finance companies like Black Horse. If you need finance check with the dealer to see what your options are. Generally caravan & motorhome finance is secured in a similar way to taking out finance on a new car: 

  • You put down an agreed deposit. 
  • Your finance company pays the balance. 
  • You pay off the loan in agreed monthly repayments (until the loan is repaid along with the interest applied). 

There are numerous leisure finance/loan calculators online that allow you to see what sort of finance you can raise and how much it will cost you over the repayment period. 

If you are not satisfied with an offer of finance you can explore taking a personal loan with your bank. Most banks & building societies can issue loans and it is often easier to secure a loan with your bank as you already have an ongoing relationship with them.

A new touring caravan is too expensive what are my options?

If a new touring caravan is out of budget the second hand caravan market is often a great place to find a bargain. 

New caravans reduce in price or depreciate in the first couple of years, buying a nearly new caravan can save you thousands of pounds.

Most dealers have a good selection of resale caravans and also provide the added security of a limited warranty on newer resale stock. 

The private caravan sales market is also great for bargains, local newspapers and regional news websites often have caravan free ad sections. A quick search online will also bring up various specialist private sale websites like Preloved or FridayAds & Caravansforsale.com 

eBay is also a good place to search for second hand touring caravans. eBay usually has 1000’s of private caravans for sale and if you find an auction sale with no reserve you could pick up a real bargain.

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Caravan Car Breakdown Cover

Car Caravan & Trailer Breakdown Cover

Break down cover for tow vehicles, caravans & trailers

It’s not compulsory to have roadside assistance and break down cover for cars towing caravans or trailers, however it is a wise choice if you do a lot of travelling. Many car and vehicle breakdown and recovery plans now include complementary recovery of a towed caravan or trailer (if attached to a tow vehicle when it breaks down). Cover usually applies to various towed items including: touring caravans, trailer tents, trailers & horse box trailers. 

Compare car, caravan & trailer breakdown cover

Annual roadside assistance and breakdown recovery starts from as little as £20 per year for cheap basic local recovery (to the nearest garage or repair centre). Most breakdown cover quotes allow you to get vehicle specific cover or cover for driver or drivers (cover for the driver in any vehicle).

All the breakdown & roadside recovery services featured below offer car breakdown cover with caravan or trailer recovery included as standard, or with the option to add caravan or trailer recovery to the policy. 

Caravan breakdown cover (vehicles towing a caravan or trailer)

GEM Motoring Assist Breakdown

Recovery Reclaim – from £78.50 year Cover for individual driver / Or cover for the vehicle (any driver).
Recovery Extra – from £96.66 year Cover for individual driver / Or cover for the vehicle (any driver).

Caravan Recovery Included

Caravan or trailer attached to tow vehicle
– Caravans up to 7m in length
– Trailers up to 3.05m in length
Discounts/Offers
12 months for the price of 10

4.5 stars: Excellent

Trustpilot 4.5

Cover My Breakdown

Vehicle Cover (any driver) / Driver Cover (personal cover in any vehicle up to 4 people)
Local Recovery – vehicle £19.81 / driver £33.36 year
National Cover – vehicle £21.97 / driver *£38.34 year
National & Home – vehicle £22.82 / driver £39.97 year
European Cover – vehicle £57.94

*Home cover available for a small additional fee.

Caravan Recovery Included

Caravan or trailer attached to tow vehicle
– Caravans up to 7m in length
– Trailers up to 3.05m in length

4.5 stars: Excellent

Trustpilot 4.5

Motoring Assistance UK Breakdown

Flexible policy, chose personal cover or vehicle cover, number of vehicles etc.
Saver Membership / Premium Membership / Premium Plus Membership

Single vehicle from £48 year with roadside assistance and national recovery / Or from £88 for personal cover (cover in any vehicle you are driving).

*Home cover available for a small additional fee.

Caravan Recovery Included
Caravan or trailer attached to tow vehicle
– Caravans & Trailers 7m max length / 2.44m max width

Details of excess, discounts etc. may change over time, to our best knowledge the details are correct up to May 2022.
* Trustpilot & Feefo star ratings provided as a guide, ratings are checked and updated monthly. 

Disclaimer: ‘Caravans Insured’ does not recommend an individual breakdown and recovery provider above another. If you choose to purchase breakdown and recovery,  cover will be provided directly by the chosen provider and subject to their terms & conditions.

Car, caravan & trailer roadside assistance & breakdown FAQs

NO – Car breakdown cover will often provide recovery of a towed touring caravan or trailer if it is connected to the tow vehicle that has broken down however caravan or trailer recovery is not always included as a standard feature. When it is not included as standard caravan or trailer recovery can usually be added as an optional extra. 

Typical breakdown assistance and recovery includes:

  • Roadside assistance: Covers call outs when you break down away from home.

  • Caravan/trailer recovery: Covers a towed caravan or trailer providing it was being towed at the time of breakdown. Caravan/trailer recovery will usually drop the caravan or trailer at repair garage with your tow vehicle. In some cases towing to an overnight location nearby if your tow vehicle cannot be fixed same day.

  • Onward travel cover: Covers temporary cost of a hire car, public transport or overnight accommodation so you can continue your journey where possible.

  • Home start: Covers breakdowns that happen at your home. 

Cheaper breakdown cover often only provides local recovery (recovery to the nearest garage or repair centre), each breakdown provider has different terms but usually up to 10 miles from where you broke down.

National recovery provides vehicle recovery to a chosen location, this could be back to your home or on to your final destination if you prefer.

It all depends on the level of cover, each policy is different. Check the full details or T&Cs of your cover, they should specify how many call outs you are allowed to make. Premium break down cover might allow for unlimited call outs, whereas cheaper basic policies might only allow one per month or fewer.

Usually yes, if you have break down cover with caravan/trailer recovery, your recovery service should arrange to take your caravan to the garage with your car. Some policies will allow for a caravan to be towed separately to the nearest campsite if your tow vehicle is unable to be fixed on the same day. This is a good option and allows you to overnight in your caravan while your vehicle is being fixed.

Most companies/ breakdown assistance cover providers offer specific ‘European’ cover, or the ability to add European breakdown cover as an optional extra. It can also be added at a later date, at extra cost, by calling your breakdown recovery provider to request it is added for one-off holidays or trips. 

Even if you think you have European cover it is always best to check with your service provider before you travel to confirm whether your cover will include recovery of your caravan or trailer should you break down while on holiday in Europe.

Top 5 caravan security products

Top 5 Caravan Security Products

BEST touring caravan security devices

We assess the best security devices you can buy to protect your touring caravan from being stolen. Every year 100s of touring caravans are stolen from driveways and caravan storage facilities, touring caravans are attractive to thieves due to their high resale value. With this in mind it’s important to take some simple precautions to secure your touring caravan.

It is advisable to use a number of caravan security devices to deter criminals, caravan security experts suggest at least two security measures or devices should be installed. Touring caravan security products can provide a visual deterrent, they also make it much harder for thieves to steal a caravan. It’s increasingly common for touring caravan insurance providers will ask for one or more security devices to be fitted as a requirement of insurance cover.

Hitch Locks

Hitch locks are designed to cover the tow ball hitch at the front of your caravan or trailer, there are numerous designs of tow hitch so hitch lock manufacturers produce various designs to either cover the whole tow hitch or prevent access to the coupler.

The best hitch locks are made of tough metal, designed to cover the whole hitch and coupler with a barrel lock rather than a padlock. Look for a hitch lock with the’Sold Secure’ mark this provides an independently assessed quality guarantee. Hitch locks take seconds to fit and can be used when your caravan is stored and also when you are using your caravan and staying on sites.

Bulldog Hitchlocks

Bulldog hitch locks fit over the whole tow hitch and handle. They are easy to fit and protect your caravan or trailer whilst it is uncoupled from the tow vehicle. Bulldog hitch locks start from around £80
Buying tip make sure you know the correct make of your hitch/coupler (e.g. ALKO, Bradley etc) as well as the model number, designs are very. specific

Wheel Clamps

Caravan wheels clamps are also a good visual deterrent, the best wheel clamps are designed to cover the whole wheel and all wheel nuts.  Wheel clamps made of high quality steel are much harder for thieves to break or remove. Look for a wheel clamp with the ‘Sold Secure’ mark, this provides an independently assessed quality guarantee. Wheel clamps like hitch locks can be used when you caravan is stored and on site when you are pitched up.

Bulldog Titan Wheel Clamps

Bulldog Titan wheel clamps are highly rated, made of tough steel and designed to fit over the whole wheel and all wheel nuts.
Titan wheel clamps start from around £160
Buying tip make sure you know the correct wheel and tyre size to get the correct clamp size for your wheel. 

Steady Locks

Caravan steady locks are relatively new to the market and are designed fit to the winder nuts that raise and lower a caravans steady/feet. Steady locks basically lock the winding mechanism so the steady/feet cannot be lifted. Whilst steady locks provide a visual deterrent they might not be recognised as a legitimate security device by some insurance providers, so make sure you check.

Caravan Alarm Systems

Caravan alarm systems are often fitted as an optional extra in new caravans. A alarm can be a simple audible deterrent but many modern alarm systems provide both an audible alarm with instant notifications via text message or even automated calls if a break-in or movement is detected. Make sure any alarm is securely fitted in a concealed location so it cannot be disabled or removed by thieves.

Some of the latest caravan alarm systems are also connected to GPS, allowing you caravans movements to be tracked if it is stolen.

Caravan Alarm & GPS Tracker Systems

Caravan tracker devices use GPS satellite technology to monitor movement, a tracker could increase the chance of your caravan being located and returned if it is stolen. Like caravan alarms, trackers need to be professionally fitted in a concealed location to prevent removal or disabling by thieves.

The best caravan GPS tracker systems provide 24 hour monitoring that can be set to trigger when your caravan is moved without prior notification by an owner. 

Caravan GPS Tracker Systems Quality GPS Caravan Trackers usually start around £200 (fitted) and will have a monthly or annual service/monitoring plan usually around £10 – £15 per month, until cancelled.
INeedATracker.com stock a Thatcham S7 rated GPS tracker at £229 plus monthly/annual or lifetime monitoring plans.

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