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Ok, of course, I think caravaning is really cool, I've had both a 'dayvan', owned a couple of tents, one massive one with all the bits and bobs and now got a caravan - which is way better.

I wondered though with the rise in popularity of the dayvan/campervan why the caravan is still seen to be somewhat of an old-fashioned way to holiday. In short, why doesn't the younger generation sub-50 age group find caravaning cool (not sure even if cool is a thing these days). So ok if you are from a different age group let's add words like - fab, funky, fresh, groovy, fly, phat, lit, gnarly, rad, and the cat's meow.

In my opinion, caravaning provides you with more convenience, comfort and freedom than a campervan or motorhome. You can pitch up, unhook the car and explore the area, you can't do that in a motorhome or campervan

Personally, I think it's down to the fact that many caravans (especially the new ones) are styled to look like a fitted kitchen on wheels. I don't know of many manufacturers who are adding that certain homely cool vibe to their rigs except for perhaps Airstream, Barefoot and Rocket, but I suppose the body of these is part of the charm.

What say you?
 
Jan 20, 2023
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My thoughts/perceptions/opinions below:

  • Using a caravan requires a degree of "practical ability", the younger generation seem to expect a downloaded app to do it for them.
  • The weather in the UK is generally worse than two weeks abroad so some prefer to use the money jetting overseas.
  • The main caravan clubs seem to be stuck in 1958 and their advertising and perceived preferred clientele targets a similar age group.
  • Caravans are expensive and younger families are paying never-ending mortgages and bills and just don't have the disposable income to consider a caravan.
  • Some youngsters don't actually like the thought of hooking a big box onto the back of a car.
  • Peer pressure, it's cool to talk about caravans being "sad" in front of friends.
  • Social media, some Facebook groups and the like simply re-enforce all the above!
UK caravans certainly seem to be designed and marketed to a target audience of retirees, yes, I KNOW some manufacturers have dipped their toes into the waters of fun/active designs (Swift etc) but the whole industry needs to take a step back and consider a different approach to the younger families, but as the big UK drivers (clubs) are run by stuffy old f**ts I can't see it happening (tongue in cheek there).

I started caravan holidays when I was 23 & had one ever since (now 54).
 
Feb 23, 2024
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Well hows about that I'm 54 but only started caravning some 2 years ago.

I think all your points are really well made, as far as I'm concerned being born in 1969 and growing up through the 70's and 80's I don't think 'our generation' is all in the same ballpark as the older generation you mention. Personally, I'm not 'down with the kids' but I don't think I have an outlook that reflects the styling in most of the newer caravans.

As you say the caravan industry does need to take a step back and have a long look because to be fair I see there is a distinct chance that in 20 or so years the whole caravaning community could have dwindled considerably.

I have 2 daughters in their 20's and they think caravans are cool, but as you say they are of the 'microwave goes ping' generation 'download me a solution' etc ... so your point about technical ability and lack of good old gumption again is really valid.

It perplexes me very much
 

Sam Vimes

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Too many tick box tourists that need to get in as many as they can in a short space of time. No idea what they're looking at but can send selfies to friends which will be looked at once and never seen again.

Cynics R Us
 
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JTQ

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It can never be "cool", as its what a recent previous generation did & do, so that alone is enough to distance oneself along with your peers from.

It needs a wacky trailer of some sort, still with sleeping facilities but without the connotations of being described as a "caravan", and suddenly, doing very close to what we do though not conceded as such, and it will become "cool". [Witness, the accurate term "motorcaravan", was so un cool it has been rebranded]

Not that it worries me one bit, "we" want to take from life doing what we enjoy, not what impresses others.
Fifty plus years of camping and most of caravanning, and into our 80s, no time left to be concerned.
 
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Personally I’ve never had a desire to “see the world”, I’ve always been content sitting in or outside a box staring at the UK’s scenery. We’re all different but I’m happy doing what makes me happy rather than doing something because everyone else does it. We had a week in Tenerife last year, it was okay but that’s my overseas holiday done for another 10 years!!! 😂
 
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In NZ alot of families progress to caravans after discovering joys of camping in mixed weather. There is also convenience of not playing tetris while trying fit a load of camping gear in car along with passengers. Compared to tenting caravan setup and clear down is breeze especially if no awning.

The older caravan generation have moved onto motorhomes as easier to drive and quicker to setup. Few veterans seem to flick between caravans and motorhomes.

My biggest gripe with tenting was hassle of cooking, dishes, keeping food cold and dining in all weather. With RV everything us at hand and has its own home. Still have option of cooking and eat outdoors in nice weather.
 
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As mentioned above; caravaning involves a degree of both skill and common sense, which a great many youngsters lack these days. They would gladly pull a caravan if only to get the pleasure of wrecking both it and the car. It seems that they are not content to live frugally, and instead go for anything that glitters. They lack both empathy and a sense of duty to the community, if indeed there are communities today - other than caravaners of course. Maybe my views tend to be a little harsh, but being on the wrong end of 60 I have witnessed as each successive generation has flaunted their responsibilities. Now I watch gangs of them as they hang on street corners dealing drugs, passing the bottles of gas around like sweets, not realising the damage they are doing to both themselves and the general public. I think a great many of them have simply given up and as a consequence of this, more and more seem to be walking aimlessly without a care in the world. What they seem to fail to realise is that you only get out what you are willing to put in, and they want their cake and eat it, the world does not work this way unfortunately. As for those youtube johnny's; they are fly by nights who are only interested in likes and subs in order to earn more revenue, granted there is a small portion who are generally interested and give good content, but for the most part it all boils down to money in the end. I have a general dislike of those who only seek to fill their coffers at the expense of decent people, but we are all here to make whatever out of the life we have, regardless of whether we seek the meaning of it or not.
I am new to the caravan world as I have always had tents; from those canvas ball-end marquees to the latest pump up models. But the body is old and becoming worn out, even though the mind is young and we decided that a caravan would be a better alternative to our holiday's. Like most we've been abroad but it's all the same; long, tiring queues at the airport, boring journey's to the apartments/hotels and finally having the knowledge that we have to go through it all again, just to get home. The weather and food was all we took away from it really. We prefer to travel to a destination, hook up and just chill, without worrying about the rain or wind.
It will never be cool or (sick) I believe is a term they use, because there is little danger involved and as someone already said; it is run mainly by old farts who are stuck in their ways.
 
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Whilst I appreciate the we all have different views of life, mine are poles apart from yours. Some of your observations are undoubted true but to smear all of the younger generations with the same brush is so jaundiced. My kids (50s) and grandkids (19-30s) May not be as practical as my generation but they show other positive character traits such as volunteering for charities, fund raising, they drink far les than we did, in fact they rarely drink, no smoking either. Even in the 1960s we would hang around street corners with not much else to do. My younger brother got addicted to drugs aged 12 whilst at grammar school. He died in 2020 in his early 60s never having really worked all his life. So drugs are not a new feature of life.

The grandkids and their friends are a pleasure to be with, and actually show far more social awareness and concern for the world we’ve created for them, than we ever did at their age.

WRT queues at airports. I don’t suppose there are queues at ferry ports? Travel abroad with or without the caravan has been amongst our greatest pleasures whether it be a package to the Med, or self travel to Europe the Med, Asia or beyond. If you want to visit overseas places then some form of queuing is unavoidable. If you don’t like it don’t go.
 
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My kids (50s) and grandkids (19-30s) May not be as practical as my generation but they show other positive character traits such as volunteering for charities, fund raising, they drink far les than we did, in fact they rarely drink, no smoking either.
When OH and myself come to the pub on a Saturday and only have two drinks each whether alcohol or coffee, the cost for the four drinks is about £20. If you have a family with just two kids it does add up probably why the younger generation don't frequent pubs as often as we did. Our kids maybe join us and visit the pub about once every couple of months and they both earn good salaries.
 
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Jeremy Clarkson et al. probably did more damage to the image of caravans than anyone else. That hasn't impacted the latest generation (Gen Z apparently as my daughter was telling me the other day) but they don't own anything anymore, everything is rented, PCP or paid monthly on a contract or bought in 3 payments. The idea that you'd save up money and actually buy something is somewhat alien to them.

When combined with the death of the big smoky diesel car, it's hard to see how caravans survive in anything like current form.
 
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Jeremy Clarkson et al. probably did more damage to the image of caravans than anyone else. That hasn't impacted the latest generation (Gen Z apparently as my daughter was telling me the other day) but they don't own anything anymore, everything is rented, PCP or paid monthly on a contract or bought in 3 payments. The idea that you'd save up money and actually buy something is somewhat alien to them.

When combined with the death of the big smoky diesel car, it's hard to see how caravans survive in anything like current form.
I know how Gen z might feel.. Your post takes me back to the early days of our marriage when the tv and washing machine were rented, and a modest Singer Chamois purchased on HP. Even my suits and clothes came courtesy of the Freemans or Littlewoods lady.
 
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It’s not all bad. My son DIL and grand daughters love caravanning. They use her dad’s for all the Yorkshire trips and mine for the South West. One of our local bar staff bought her first caravan last year at age 30. Gabs grandad’s caravan has passed to his daughter who is making good use of it. So I’d say youngsters are taking up and enjoying caravanning. TIC especially the work from home brigade😉
No wonder we still have Adult only sites which are probably a minority.
 
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If you have a family with just two kids it does add up probably why the younger generation don't frequent pubs as often as we did.
Its also because we would leave home of a morning, go straight to work, eat the sandwiches made at home at work for lunch, come straight home, eat at home from the food bought in a budget weekly shop. 1/2/3 nights a week you'd shake that up with a trip to the local for a pint or two.

Now its Starbucks on the way in, pret at lunchtime, then gym before home, then deliveroo for 1 days worth of shopping before a solid 3 hours on instagram. There's nothing left, either time or money, for going down the pub no matter the cost. And wierdly, even people who work from home still maintain this kind of regime!
 
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Both of our sons seldom go to a pub, just for a drink, they will go to the cinema, and go for a coffee on the way home. Eldest, doesn't drink alcohol as a medical problem has ended that. Youngest works late then is training for the Marathon.
They both miss the joys, of the local pub, Darts league, Domino league and maybe Pool league for the younger folk. The Pub quizz, and just the general banter with other folk, one of our local pubs has a barter scheme , with Beer/wine in exchange for vegetables.
There is something to be said for a good British Local pub
 
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Its also because we would leave home of a morning, go straight to work, eat the sandwiches made at home at work for lunch, come straight home, eat at home from the food bought in a budget weekly shop. 1/2/3 nights a week you'd shake that up with a trip to the local for a pint or two.

Now its Starbucks on the way in, pret at lunchtime, then gym before home, then deliveroo for 1 days worth of shopping before a solid 3 hours on instagram. There's nothing left, either time or money, for going down the pub no matter the cost. And wierdly, even people who work from home still maintain this kind of regime!
Agreed, the age of doing things for yourself has declined over the years and the reliance on someone else providing the service has increased, be it making coffee, painting nails, changing the oil on your car etc. The positive side of that is that it has created an industry/job opportunities for people, so in the real sense it's probably a good thing? However, it all comes at a price.

My daughter is at University in Brighton and doesn't drink much, BUT I get email receipts for Deliveroo and various other deliver-to-home foodstuffs that make drinking seem like a cheap option.
 
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The positive side of that is that it has created an industry/job opportunities for people, so in the real sense it's probably a good thing? However, it all comes at a price.
The problem is that those jobs just recycle money. The best jobs for any economy are the ones that make something that can be sold overseas. Be that digging oil or minerals out of the ground, turning sheet metal into diggers, or painting oil on canvas perhaps. Jobs are best when they add that to the value of something cheaper that can then be exported. Too many service jobs and you end up with an economy like the UK. Hard to ever get it beyond the basic level of GDP growth as experienced by the rest of the world on average.
 
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