• Click here to view guides for helpful forum features.

Towing in old age

Sep 15, 2021
2
0
10
I'm 78yrs and love towing but concerned as I reach 80 that I perhaps should switch to a camper van. I'm considering the neat VW Transporter camper van which I can use as my everyday car as well as camping.
What do other people my age think?
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
2,295
379
19,935
We are older and I still tow; one of the overriding issues is as we age, we can lose the physical mobility to walk and cycle off site to varying degrees, so having the car is in our case essential, or camping life would now be for my wife, site bound.
The campervan might be a compromise in it could double as that offsite mobility vehicle, but leaving and securing "our pitch", remains in my mind a hassle too far whilst I can still tow, and I suspect when I can't tow, I should not still drive either.
 
Nov 11, 2009
11,977
2,219
40,935
I'm 78yrs and love towing but concerned as I reach 80 that I perhaps should switch to a camper van. I'm considering the neat VW Transporter camper van which I can use as my everyday car as well as camping.
What do other people my age think?
A camper van could be better than a motorhome as they are easier to use in exploring areas and far less restrictions on parking. You might find the reduced internal size difficult compared to a caravan , but seeing the numbers of camper vans in use clearly people enjoy them. If staying for extended periods the drive away awnings could be an option to give more space.. Given the number of motorhomes and campers on sites I really don’t thing securing your pitch is a show stopper. We recently sold our caravan and I bought a tent and really enjoyed a few days away. Albeit the tent was three person but a little to low for me. So I’ve just bought another onEbay. New this year and not used, and at a very good price . Hope the weather holds a while longer for a test trip.
 
Jul 18, 2017
3,863
845
6,935
I don't think most campervans have toilet facilities and that is essential for us as neither of us wants to be running to the toilet at 3am in the morning in the cold and rain.
 
Jan 3, 2012
5,973
1,048
25,935
I'm 78yrs and love towing but concerned as I reach 80 that I perhaps should switch to a camper van. I'm considering the neat VW Transporter camper van which I can use as my everyday car as well as camping.
What do other people my age think?
I know someone who got one he had it about six weeks paid £25,000 he now Sold it and brought a caravan at the end of the day it your choice but serious think about it
 
Sep 7, 2020
310
125
735
We started years back with a caravan, which we loved but I was never quite comfortable towing it. Ok once on site but getting there was always a worry about getting there. We then switched to a small motorhome since we wanted to do more touring (Swift Bessacar E410), spending just a couple of days in one area then moving on, something we thought would be a hassle with a caravan. This worked much better for us. The motorhome was small enough to drive around most places although we avoided large towns etc. We looked carefully at sites to see if public transport was easily available and when not and we wanted to explore the surrounding areas we would hire a small car.

Retaining a pitch was never a problem. A small sign was all that was needed. We also had a small storage tent for all the junk we didn't want to live with in the motorhome. Good for wet clothes as well. For a campervan I've seen people putting up a toilet tent but we had everything on board.

In the end we spent about 9 months living in it continuously while we built our house but after that our travel needs changed as we were going to far flung places, so we sold it.

Last year we wanted to get back on the road again so had a similar discussion. MH or Caravan. One obvious difference was cost but that apart our main consideration was that my wife has less mobility now and so the amount of walking we do is far less. This pushed us in the direction of a small caravan, an Elddis Xplore 304, which tows perfectly and is easy to set up and of course gives us the car to go where ever we need in the surrounding areas.

We found no real difference in setting up a motorhome or caravan, although with a motorhome or even a camper van you can't just jump in the driving seat and whiz off. Of course one big difference is topping up water and emptying gray waste.

If you consider a camper van which you will use as an every day car, think carefully about how you would use it in that situation. I like campervans but they certainly wouldn't suit us as an every day car. Too many trips to the tip with garden rubbish; too many trips to the builders merchant for wood, cement, gravel etc. Times when we need to go out with friends or family in it... and so on.
 
Mar 14, 2005
14,335
1,138
40,935
I'm 78yrs and love towing but concerned as I reach 80 that I perhaps should switch to a camper van. I'm considering the neat VW Transporter camper van which I can use as my everyday car as well as camping.
What do other people my age think?
Hello StokyRhyl,

You tell us your considering changing to a camper van, but changing from what? Do you presently Camp (Trailer tent) or caravan or have a large motorhome?

What aspect of your present activity is causing you concern for the future?
 
May 7, 2012
6,280
716
25,935
My wife has suggested the change but so far we are not convinced. We run only one car so the campervan would have to be our runabout as well so a small one would be needed and I do not have a licence to drive anything over 3.5 tonnes which severely limits our choice. We like being able to just leave the caravan on site and use the car for touring and cannot get past this problem particularly as many areas are not motorhome friendly. My feeling is that something smaller might be the next one say the Sprite Alpine 4.
 
Jan 3, 2012
5,973
1,048
25,935
I'm 78yrs and love towing but concerned as I reach 80 that I perhaps should switch to a camper van. I'm considering the neat VW Transporter camper van which I can use as my everyday car as well as camping.
What do other people my age think?
On our last break met a old chap he was eighty three towing a twin axle with a Tiguan and he love caravanning he even takes a fold up scooter with him while i have my health i will continued to tow :)
 
Jul 18, 2017
3,863
845
6,935
On our last break met a old chap he was eighty three towing a twin axle with a Tiguan and he love caravanning he even takes a fold up scooter with him while i have my health i will continued to tow :)
Just to go one better. Several years ago we were on a DA rally in Worcester and one of ralliers was over 90 years of age and still towing his caravan.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Robert_374373903
Mar 14, 2005
14,335
1,138
40,935
Which is why I'd like to know what StokyRhyl's reasons are for thinking of giving it up, as there might be something that would enable him to continue for a few more years.

I knew the inventor of the caravan mover John Carver of Carver & Co (Engineers) Ltd, and his reason for developing the first caravan mover was to enable people with less strength or disability to be able to easily manoeuvre a caravan at home or on site.
 

Mel

Mar 17, 2007
4,419
475
20,935
There are small motor homes that still offer a wet room. Such as Nuventure. If towing really isn’t an option, I would look at one of these as well. The lack of a wet room would put me off a camper van.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Hutch
Sep 24, 2008
632
98
18,935
At 80 we gave up our motorhome and bought a Caravan, Charisma 535, lovely outfit but my wife said she prefer the m/h. So after discussion we sold the caravan and started with Shearings to Italy and Scotland, she did not like that. After we moved house her nephew suggested to go with them to Horsley. Cutting long story short we have Sterling Topaz and go once a month in the season and only think how we or what we are going to do next year when I will be 89.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JezzerB and Mel
Nov 16, 2015
7,049
792
17,935
At 80 we gave up our motorhome and bought a Caravan, Charisma 535, lovely outfit but my wife said she prefer the m/h. So after discussion we sold the caravan and started with Shearings to Italy and Scotland, she did not like that. After we moved house her nephew suggested to go with them to Horsley. Cutting long story short we have Sterling Topaz and go once a month in the season and only think how we or what we are going to do next year when I will be 89.
Goodon you Robert. I Would liketo keep going at your age. Only 69 .
 
  • Like
Reactions: JezzerB
Jan 3, 2012
5,973
1,048
25,935
At 80 we gave up our motorhome and bought a Caravan, Charisma 535, lovely outfit but my wife said she prefer the m/h. So after discussion we sold the caravan and started with Shearings to Italy and Scotland, she did not like that. After we moved house her nephew suggested to go with them to Horsley. Cutting long story short we have Sterling Topaz and go once a month in the season and only think how we or what we are going to do next year when I will be 89.
Hi Robert caravanning at 89 that achievement well done :)
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
2,295
379
19,935
Cutting long story short we have Sterling Topaz and go once a month in the season and only think how we or what we are going to do next year when I will be 89.
Great to read Robert, certainly one of the admirable breeds who grasp what they "can" still do as they inevitably age. Not that I accept towing, any more than the driving aspect, is uniquely limited by age.
 
May 7, 2012
6,280
716
25,935
Basically you can keep going as long as you have your health and strength. So far I have had no problems but I appreciate others have so there is no easy way to say when you have to call it a day. I will keep gboing as long as I can but do appreciate the older you get the nearer the time will come.
 
  • Like
Reactions: JezzerB
Jun 16, 2020
1,742
558
1,935
Basically you can keep going as long as you have your health and strength. So far I have had no problems but I appreciate others have so there is no easy way to say when you have to call it a day. I will keep gboing as long as I can but do appreciate the older you get the nearer the time will come.
Fully agree. Many years ago, most weekends I would get away from work as early as possible and try to get to Eastnor Castle for about 5pm. By the time it was time to eat I had set up and erected a full awning And helped others with their awnings.

For the past about 8 years I have experimented with various awnings and given up and they are too strenuous, it’s been expensive. Now just using a Fiamma but even then only if we stop for 5 days or more. Next year, if we continue we will get a Thule wind out.

I am 73, but with vascular issues. Better now though than a few years ago. So I have to learn to live within my limitations. (But without giving in to it).

John
 
Sep 24, 2008
632
98
18,935
Laugh time ,when young had a motorbike and was doing 100mph the girl friend now wife said nothing. On the Autobahn wondered what the speed was of cars whizzing by us we moved over and got behind them for a while ,our speed read 120mph, she did not say anything. Now any speed between 30 and 70 its now a comment about "watch that hole , car coming from right and so on . Some times she makes me jump with these remarks.
 

Parksy

Moderator
Nov 12, 2009
11,135
1,129
40,935
Well i am younger then Hutch and today i have felt my years could not move from the car when we have arrived and beginning to wonder if it worth it :)
The trouble is Beachball that it's usually a case of use it or lose it.
Mobility issues can be very dispiriting, not to mention painful at times, but what happens if you give up trying, adapting and living your life?
Never give up, never give in!
 
Nov 11, 2009
11,977
2,219
40,935
Well i am younger then Hutch and today i have felt my years could not move from the car when we have arrived and beginning to wonder if it worth it :)
Sorry to hear that, did you drive for too long a period, without a walk around. Hope that the rest of the break is enjoyable for you.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts