Caravan holidays are extremely popular, with the NCC reporting that there are over half a million touring caravan owners in the UK. However as buying a caravan can be a big commitment (e.g., dealing with long term storage and caravan insurance), renting a caravan is more suitable if you want to experience a touring caravan holiday but are not looking to buy one at this stage—and only costs around £347 a week.
Below we tell you about the different rental options as well as the style and size of touring caravans on offer. There are also various practical and safety elements to consider before hiring a touring caravan or deciding if you can tow a caravan.
The benefits of renting a touring caravan
As the name suggests, touring caravans give you the freedom to explore hundreds of different sites not just in the UK, but throughout Europe, too. This is unlike renting a static caravan as these remain in one place, and require specialist moving.
Lots of the best caravan sites have touring caravan pitches. However, as many touring caravans are self-contained, you can effectively travel wherever it is legal to park it up.
Touring caravans are a fantastic way of being able to travel to lots of different destinations, especially for events such as festivals. It offers something that little bit different than a package holiday abroad, and is a popular option for couples and families alike.
Finding a reputable hire company
Touring caravans are not cheap to purchase, so many owners are keen to rent them out. This works out as a lucrative opportunity for touring caravan owners, as renting them out helps offset costs when they're not in use. It also presents a great opportunity for those who want to rent a touring caravan, as you can snap up an excellent model and make for your next holiday.
There are several ways you can approach hiring a touring caravan:
- Rent from a private owner
- Rent through a hire company
Private hire vehicles may allow you to rent something that's been customised in a particular way, which makes it unique. It does, however, require research to ensure the owner is vetted and will offer you a great service, should anything go wrong. There are a number of websites that connect caravan owners with those looking for a rental such as Camplify. These sites often ensure a level of professionalism, such as ensuring all caravans must be comprehensively insured for hiring before they're listed on site.
The benefits of hiring through an established company are that you can read reviews beforehand, and they will often have "try before you buy" policies. The caravans will also be fully cleaned and serviced, and you have a port of call to contact if you require any help.
Whether you hire your touring caravan from a private owner or official company, make sure to ask about the level of support they give and insurance. For example, will the owner provide a replacement vehicle should yours encounter a problem, so that you can continue your holiday?
Remember: If hiring privately, to avoid online caravan holiday scams which unfortunately have risen in prevalence in recent years never hand over credit card details over social media or any unsolicited sites.
Researching these aspects beforehand will help ensure your trip is a success.
Choosing a touring caravan
There are many different styles and designs of touring caravans, each with specific features. Some are geared for young adventurers, and others better suited to families.
The first thing you need to consider is the size of the touring caravan you require. This will depend on your vehicle power as well as how many people need to sleep in it. Not all cars are suitable for heavier touring caravans, so it's essential you seek advice from the owner beforehand or read our guide "Can my car tow a caravan?"
In terms of the style and size, here are just a few options you might want to consider:
[email protected]: Starting on the smaller side of things, [email protected] caravans offer teardrop-shaped designed pods, sleeping 2 to 3 people. They have two wheels and a trailer at the back which stabilises the pods as well as securing your vehicle.
This design is very compact, with a kitchen area either to the rear or contained within the pods. The lightweight material makes this design ideal for smaller hatchbacks. Within the [email protected] offroad model, the seating area with table folds down to create a spacious double bed. However, it does not have a separate toilet, which is simply a porta-potty in the corner.
Bailey of Bristol: These touring caravans follow the much more traditional touring caravan design, and sleep up to six people. A model such as The Discovery D4-4 has spacious, luxurious interior features—and would cost £17,499 to buy new. Sleeping up to 4 people, it also has a bathroom, including a shower. It's an overall robust style of touring caravan and would be ideal for longer breaks or festivals as it's completely self-contained.
The actual brands and models available to hire might differ depending on where you hire your touring caravan from. However, they are excellent places to start, as they are well-known names throughout the industry.
The place in which you hire your touring caravan from should provide all the specs of what your touring caravan comes with, along with pictures demonstrating the facilities, as well as the overall condition of the caravan itself.
Smaller touring caravans may not be equipped with facilities such as functioning kitchens or bathrooms. However, these can be supplemented by visiting service stations along the way, and by making sure you stay in a caravan park with facilities for touring caravans. Therefore if you cannot afford to hire a larger touring caravan or don't own a powerful enough vehicle, you can still make the space work for you and your partner or family.
You should also check beforehand what facilities are provided in terms of appliances as well as crockery, cutlery etc. This is in addition to checking if it's supplied with hot and cold running water, and if everything has been safety tested. You may also want to ask if there's a TV or Internet access in the caravan. Also make sure you bring along essential supplies to make your caravan holiday a success.
Delivery & Returns
Touring caravans are designed to be on the move by their very nature. However, that doesn't mean they are in the location you need it to be. For example, you want to holiday in Cornwall but the touring caravan you've booked is in Scotland, and you live near London—this scenario is simply not going to work.
Therefore, you might want to use a touring caravan firm that's local to your area, so that you can pick up and drop up your touring caravan with ease. Some official hire companies also offer a delivery service. This way you don't have to factor in having to potentially take extra time off work picking up and returning your touring caravan.