Is It Worth Living In A Caravan? Experts Share Everything
Life in a caravan is one full of freedom and adventure. For some, it’s about disconnecting from the world and spending time reconnecting with nature. For others, it’s the thrill of moving from destination to destination on a whim. Before embarking on this incredible journey, it’s important to ask yourself – is it worth living in a caravan?
Living in a caravan is worth it because it’s incredibly affordable – especially when compared to renting or buying property. You have the freedom to travel wherever you want and explore new places and cultures. And taking advantage of weather conditions and environments. But it also comes with less (storage) space and more daily tasks.
If you’ve ever been on the fence about living a life on the road, let us help sway you in the right direction. We are full-time caravaners, and we share reasons why living in a caravan is worth every second of it, why most people live in caravans, and tips on how to make the transition to a caravan lifestyle. So, if you’re ready for an adventure of a lifetime, read on!
Why It Is Worth Living In A Caravan
Living in a caravan might sound like a wild idea – after all, it’s not the most conventional way of life. Let’s take a deeper look at the reasons why this lifestyle is worth it.
One of the best things about living in a caravan is that it’s incredibly affordable. Not only are you saving money on rent/mortgage payments, but petrol and maintenance costs are also relatively low. With a reliable vehicle at your side, you don’t have to worry about breaking the bank while traveling. And living an adventurous, minimalistic, and cheaper life.
As I explain more in-depth in my article: Is It Cheaper To Live In A Caravan Than A House the average monthly cost of living in a house is around $4,107, whereas the average monthly cost of living in a caravan is only $2,300. That’s a difference of $1,807 per month! And, over the course of a year, that adds up to a whopping $21,684.
Living in a caravan allows you to experience incredible freedom. You don’t have to stick around any one place for too long and can move from one destination to the next whenever and wherever you choose. This means that you get to explore more of the world than if you were restricted by a property-based lifestyle.
For example, we love the spring and summer in The Netherlands, which is why we have a seasonal pitch. And in the winter we can relocate and go to the south of Europa (Portugal) where the winters are warm and sunny or any other place. And because we have a big awning and also work, we don’t want to move more than twice a year since building and breaking down, including the awning floor, takes up a lot of time. But it is much easier to move around if you have a canopy awning.
Note: Did you know that you can easily travel up to 500-600 miles a day in a caravan? Imagine the kind of sights and experiences you can have when traveling all over the country!
Just because you’re living in a caravan doesn’t mean that you have to give up any of the comforts of home. Most caravans are fitted with all kinds of amenities, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and even satellite TV! You can also make modifications to your caravan so that it’s more comfortable and luxurious (such as adding insulation, heating, and air conditioning).
Sure, it’ll cost you a bit more to deck out your caravan, but it’s worth it if you want to make your living experience as comfortable and pleasant as possible.
We are very happy that we chose a big caravan and had extra floor heating and air-conditioning installed. We have enough space and the tools to live a comfortable life.
4. New People & Experiences
Most people think that the life of a caravanner is an isolated one, but that’s not necessarily true. There are many caravanning communities worldwide, and most of these people are incredibly open and friendly. You’ll get to meet new people and make great friends while traveling in your caravan.
When you live on a campsite, you are outside more often and are much more likely to connect with your neighbors. Everyone is willing to give you a hand whenever your need help, and there is a lot of social control in the most positive way.
Plus, you get to experience different cultures and customs wherever you go! Whether it’s building tumbleweed snowmen in New Mexico, eating lobster rolls in Maine, or catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights in Alaska, there’s always something new and exciting to discover.
Check out this article from Reader’s Digest if you want to find some of the best RV park communities in every single US State!
5. Reconnecting with Nature
Living in a caravan is the perfect way to reconnect with nature. Every day, you get to experience something new and beautiful, whether it’s majestic forests or stunning beaches. You can also take advantage of various activities- swimming, hiking, fishing, and boating – without leaving home! Now, doesn’t that sound like a dream come true?
We notice that whenever we spend time in our caravan vs. a house, we feel more connected with the trees, birds, animals, etc. because we are outside a lot more. And then we see a lot more sunsets and sunrises, which is a beautiful gift every time.
Give it a shot, and you’ll definitely see why it’s worth it! Who knows, maybe you’ll even end up loving it and make caravanning your permanent way of life.
Cons Of Living In A Caravan
It is not all sunshine and rainbows. You also need to know about the less pleasant things about living in a caravan. So I’ve summed up a couple of things below:
1. Less Storage Space
Although many caravans have a lot of storage space, it is not the same as in a house. A caravan lifestyle is minimalistic, so you need to get rid of a lot of stuff before you move into your caravan. And because you have to take into account the maximum loading weight of your caravan. This means you need to distribute all the weight evenly and not bring too much heavy stuff.
You’ll notice that your life feels more organized and stress-free once you have decluttered. Because stuff because stress too. And we notice that you don’t need a lot. We have everything we need with us on the road.
2. More (Small) Maintenance
A caravan is designed to be lightweight. This means that the construction is not as rugged as in a house, which causes things to break down more quickly. You can expect to do more small maintenance tasks to maintain your lifestyle. Because staying on top of maintenance keeps the comfort level of living high and extends the lifespan of your caravan.
And living in a caravan means filling up your water tank and emptying your toilet tank frequently. These are tasks you can’t avoid and come with living in a caravan.
3. Weather Conditions
You can never predict the weather. And you never know on which surface you’ll park your caravan. For example, a big storm can keep you up all night, worrying if your awning is going to hold it. Heavy rainfall can cause your awning to flood when there is poor water drainage. And thick hailstones can cause damage to your caravan.
It is nice to be more connected to nature and experience all weather conditions more vividly, but it also comes with some inconveniences too.
4. Small Space
Living in a small space is something to get used to, especially if you come from a big house. We sold our house years ago and started traveling. We lived out of our suitcase, and later a rooftop tent became our home for about a year. And then we bought our two-axle caravan. For us, this move was a huge upgrade.
If you do it the other way around, it is different. Even for us, we sometimes get in each other’s way. That is part of this lifestyle.
5. No Home Base
It is nice to move around and explore different places. But t later down the road, you can start to miss the feeling of not having a home base. Moving around and traveling is fun, but it is also tiring and restless at times. After traveling for many years, we notice that too. That is why we started to look for a campsite where we can make it our home base all-year round.
Which Caravan is Better To Live In? – Touring vs. Static
When you think of caravans, you’re probably imagining a big, bulky vehicle being towed along the road. But did you know that caravans come in two different types? Touring and static caravans are both great options for those looking to live in a caravan, but they have some key differences.
Take a look at the table below to compare touring and static caravans more closely:
|Touring Caravan||Static Caravan|
|Function||Designed for traveling.||Designed for staying in one place.|
|Towage||It can be towed by a car.||It cannot be towed easily and is usually installed in a caravan park.|
|Size||Small, often compact living space (3-6.5 meters long).||Spacious, comfortable living space (8.8-11.2 meters long).|
|Features||Basic amenities such as toilet and kitchenette. Not al caravans have showers.||Has all the amenities of a house, such as a bathroom, fully-equipped kitchen, and even 2-4 bedrooms.|
|Utilities||Access to water and electricity depends on the location.||Often has access to mains electricity, water, and other utilities.|
|Suited For||More suited for individuals or couples.||More suited for families with children.|
|Price||Cheaper (starts from $12,000).||More expensive (starts anywhere from $36,000).|
As you can see, there are pros and cons to living in both touring and static caravans. Ultimately, it all comes down to your personal preference: if you want the freedom of traveling around, a touring caravan is for you; if you prefer more stability and space, then opt for a static caravan. Or like use a big two-axel caravan with a big awning.
Regardless of which type of caravan you choose, we can guarantee that you’ll have a great time living in one!
Note: If you’re opting for a static caravan, keep in mind that some campsites may not have 12-month licenses. This means you may have to move your caravan during the winter months. Or the campsite is closed during winter months. It’s best to check with the local council or campsite providers for more information on this before investing in a static caravan.
How Can I Start Transitioning To A Caravan Lifestyle?
Now that you know how great living in a caravan can be, you’re probably wondering how you can make the transition to this wonderful lifestyle. Well, it’s really not that hard at all! Here are some tips for making the switch:
- Research your options: Find out which type of caravan best suits your needs and budget – whether it’s a touring or static caravan. Read up on different caravans, speak to experienced caravanners, and search online for the best deals. And make a list of what features you want in a caravan to live a comfortable life.
- Identify a good location: Look for a caravan park or campground with plenty of space and amenities. Make sure it’s close to the attractions you want to visit, as well as grocery stores, hospitals, etc. It’s best to stay in one place for at least a few weeks, so you can get used to living in your caravan and exploring the area.
- Prepare your finances: Before making the switch to a caravan lifestyle, make sure you can afford all the expenses and costs associated with it. This includes buying/renting a caravan and paying campsite fees, insurance, and maintenance costs. Read more: Is It Cheaper To Live In A Caravan Than A House? Full Guide
- Stock up on all the essentials: Make sure your caravan is fully equipped with everything you need. This includes basic kitchen and bathroom items, bedding, clothing, books, and other personal items.
- Start small: If you’re feeling overwhelmed, start slowly and gradually build up your caravanning experience. Begin with short trips to practice traveling in your caravan, then gradually increase the distance as you become more confident.
- Bring a friend along: Having a companion when caravanning can make the entire experience even more enjoyable. It’ll also help with driving and provide an extra set of eyes when you arrive at a new location. Plus, it’s always nice to share the memories with someone else!
By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to living the caravan lifestyle. With a bit of planning and preparation, you can ensure that the entire process is as comfortable as possible!
Read more: You Can Live In A Caravan In Winter, This Is How!
Top 3 Places To Visit in the USA When You’re Living In A Caravan
Now that you’ve read this far, you know why people love living in a caravan, how to transition to this lifestyle, and what items you’ll need to get started. If you’re still thinking about whether or not it’s worth living in a caravan, we want to introduce you to three amazing places that will seal the deal and make you fall in love with this unique way of living!
Here are our top picks for caravanning destinations in the USA:
Arizona is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise – mountaineering, hiking, and snow sports. You name it. This gorgeous state is also home to some of the most breathtaking national parks and monuments in the US.
For caravanning, visit popular locations such as Grand Canyon National Park, Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, and Saguaro National Park. With its diverse landscapes, Arizona offers something for everyone!
Best caravan campsites in Arizona: Wander Camp Grand Canyon, Holbrook KOA.
Can we really have a caravanning list without mentioning California? From the laid-back beach vibes of San Diego to the stunning mountain views of Lake Tahoe, this state has everything you need for a great caravanning experience!
Visit Redwood National and State Parks or Yosemite National Park for some stunning scenery, and take a stroll along Death Valley National Park for some unique cactus sightings!
Best caravan campsites in California: Indian Flat RV Park, Yosemite Lakes RV Resort, Safari West.
Did you know that Minnesota is fondly called the Land of a Thousand Lakes? This is the perfect destination for caravanning, especially if you’re an avid water sports lover. This is the perfect destination if you’re looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life! This beautiful northern state also offers peaceful landscapes as well as plenty of outdoor activities such as fishing, canoeing, and kayaking.
For explorers, visit Voyageurs National Park or the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness for an unforgettable experience.
Best caravan campsites in Minnesota: Wildwood RV Park & Campground, Dakotah Meadows RV Park.
Best Caravan & Camping Equipment
There is always a need for new products when it comes to camping. Either to maintain your caravan or to make your camping setup more comfortable. As digital nomads, we are on the road a lot. We tried out many different online camping stores.
However, we feel that Amazon still offers the best value for money, quick and easy delivery, and easy returns when necessary. We really like that we can use Amazon at almost every location in the world! You can find the best caravan & camping equipment on this page (links you to Amazon).
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about living in a caravan.
Q.1. Can I live in a caravan permanently?
A. Yes, you can! Depending on the local laws, some places may require you to move your caravan every few months – but in general, living in a caravan permanently is allowed all over the US. Do check with local authorities to understand the regulations better!
Q.2. Is it better to live in a caravan than in a typical house?
A. This is a difficult question to answer as it depends on personal preferences. Living in a caravan can offer you the freedom and flexibility of travel but does not have the same amenities that a regular house would provide. Consider what your lifestyle looks like before making this decision!
Q.3. Do I need any special skills when caravanning?
A. Not necessarily – however, good driving and maneuvering skills are helpful. You should also be comfortable with basic repairs and maintenance and be self-sufficient when it comes to finding supplies and setting up camp.
Q.4. Why Do People Live In Caravans?
People live in caravans because they like the minimalistic lifestyle. More freedom to travel and explore places, relocate for better weather conditions and environments but also more financial freedom as it is much cheaper to live in a house.
There’s a famous quote amongst caravanners – “Life rocks when your home rolls.” This line beautifully sums up what living in a caravan can be like! This lifestyle offers a lot, from breathtaking scenery to have all the freedom to go wherever and whenever. So why not pack your bags, hitch your caravan, and hit the road to see how wonderfully worth it this experience can be? Happy caravanning!