Have you ever just felt like selling your house and living a simpler, yet more fulfilling life? If you have then you may have entertained the idea of living in a caravan full time. Of course, there are lots of things to think about before making this life changing decision. If you aren’t sure what to expect or even if it is allowed then this guide is for you.
We are going to cover everything you need to know about caravan life including any legalities, the pros and cons and why you might consider this lifestyle.
Why Would You Want To Live In A Caravan Full Time?
If the idea of living in a caravan has only just dawned on you, then you might be trying to weigh up the benefits. This includes thinking about why you want to throw in the towel on the traditional way of living. Some people become enamoured by the thought of living a holiday lifestyle 365 days a year. But remember, when you live in a caravan full time, it stops being a holiday and starts being your new normal. Here are some of the reasons that choosing to live full time in a caravan might work well for you.
As we get older and our children fly the nest, we often don’t need as much space as we once did. I know people that are left with huge five bedroomed houses that, while beautiful and spacious, are far too large for them, especially as they get older.
It is for this reason that a lot of older couples decide that selling up and moving into a caravan is a much better option. Especially if they enjoy holidaying in a caravan for a lot of time during their retirement.
Not only are you left with much less, if any, unused space but you won’t have the issue of maintaining said used space. When you sell your home, this will often cover the costs of a static caravan and leave you with some change to live off. This all depends on the value of your home, of course.
Quality Of Life
The term quality of life is very subjective but for a lot of people it means moving from the hustle and bustle of a town or city to somewhere quieter and more laid back. Living in a caravan often means being in a location that’s much more tranquil and this can appeal to many people from different walks of life.
Moreover, you have to consider the lower cost of living in a caravan which means that you will have a higher disposable income allowing you to do more of the things you enjoy; therefore, improving your quality of life.
The Chance To Move Around
Now, we have to point out that, for the purposes of this article, we are referring to a static caravan but this doesn’t mean that you can’t move around more easily than you would when living in a permanent home.
With static caravans, you will have to have them in a residential park but there is the option to relocate, should you wish. You might want to move closer to loved ones or your needs may change, and a new location can help accommodate them. Whatever your reason, it’s a lot easier to relocate a static caravan than it is to move house. Do keep in mind that this will come with transportation costs which are usually between £700 and £5000 depending on the size of the caravan and the distance you want to move it.
We are going to look at the intricacies of how you’ll save money living in a caravan full time in greater detail later on. However, we had to touch upon this point here because it’s one of the main reasons that people make this decision. Do keep in mind, however, that you will need to have the money upfront to purchase your static caravan as it is not currently possible to take out a mortgage on this type of building. That said, if you are able to get a personal loan to cover the cost, that is an option.
When you live in a residential caravan park, there is a wonderful sense of community and everyone will band together for all aspects of life. A lot of UK residential parks have an age limit which means that you usually can’t live here unless you’re over 55. This is great as it means there will be people similar to your age, likely with similar interests. It’s a great way to make new friends.
Is It Even Legal To Live In A Caravan Full Time?
There are a lot of rules and regulations surrounding living in a caravan full time. One thing that you have to keep in mind is that the caravan must be static and it must be placed on either a residential park or a privately owned plot of land with the correct planning permission. Otherwise, it is totally acceptable to live in a caravan as your main residence.
If you choose to live in a residential park then you will need to look at several factors. Each park will be different and offer different facilities as well as charging varying amounts of rent. Moreover, you’ll want to find a residential park that’s suitably located and has a nice look and feel to it. It’s worth visiting several sites before making a decision because, while you can move your caravan, it’s a costly venture.
Also keep in mind that there is a difference between a holiday park and a residential park. Most caravan sites in the UK are holiday parks but according to the Mobile Homes Act, you are not allowed to live on these permanently. In fact, most parks will drastically limit the number of nights you can spend on them over the course of a year. Furthermore, a lot of holiday parks close for a portion of the year but when this is will vary between parks.
While there are some holiday parks that remain open 365 days a year, you still aren’t permitted to live on these. This is because these holiday parks don’t provide you with a permanent address which means you can’t register to vote or sign up to a doctor among other things.
You will also want to consider that some holiday parks simply aren’t equipped for full time living. While they may have basic amenities for holidaymakers, they’re just not advanced or detailed enough for anything more.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Living In A Caravan?
As with anything, there are ups and downs to living in a caravan full time. Before you throw up that for sale sign, it’s a good idea to think about how you’ll handle the pitfalls of caravan living as well as thinking about how this lifestyle will benefit you. Let’s start with the downsides…
When you live in a caravan, many of the disadvantages are similar to living in a regular house. Your caravan will be hooked up to mains gas and electric so while it is possible to move, it involves a lot of planning and preparation. Compare this to travelling around in a touring caravan and you can see how the latter gives you much greater freedom.
You should also consider that, when you move onto a residential park, you’ll likely be expected to remain for a certain period of time. While you’re still within your contract, you won’t be able to leave. Even when you want to, moving a static caravan requires a lot of planning and money.
Some residential sites won’t have enough space for your needs which is certainly something to consider. Moreover, you have to find out whether there are any plans to expand the site which could impact your newfound tranquillity.
With all of that in mind, there are a lot of plus points to living in a caravan full time and many people find that they far outweigh the cons. For starters, you won’t spend anywhere near as much on the cost of living so you’ll have far more money to indulge in hobbies and other things you enjoy.
A caravan doesn’t require as much maintenance as a brick and mortar house and the residential site will be taken care of by the organisers. This maintenance will likely be part of the fees you pay to stay on the site although some may come with additional maintenance costs. What’s more, many people find that they are able to afford more luxuries that they couldn’t necessarily have when living in a traditional home.
Let’s not forget that slower, more peaceful way of life that will see you living in a beautiful location with easy access to wonderful outdoor spots and places of interest. It might even feel as though you are living the holiday lifestyle every day.
So, What’s it Really Like Living In A Caravan Full Time?
It’s all well and good daydreaming about the possibility of living in a caravan full time but as they say, be careful what you wish for. Are you looking at this through rose tinted glasses or is the reality of caravan life just as wonderful as you expected?
What’s great about living in a caravan is that you can really turn it into a home and it doesn’t take a lot of time to achieve this. What you’re able to do with your caravan will depend on your budget so it’s worth thinking about what is realistic for you. But provided you can afford it, static caravans aren’t as limited as they once were in terms of practicalities and decor. You can install large French doors, additional bedrooms and many other features to turn it into a home that works for you.
Caravan living is surprisingly comfortable too. Mod cons like central heating and couple glazing are pretty much standard now in static caravans so you won’t need to compromise on comfort. There is typically a lot of storage in a static caravan so you won’t need to leave any of your belongings behind.
With such advances in modern caravans, you probably won’t notice all that much difference to living in a regular home. But the view will probably be a lot nicer and you’ll have saved a tonne of money!
Will I Save Money Living In A Caravan Full Time?
We have mentioned a few times already that living in a caravan full time means saving a good amount of money, but how does this work? Well, it’s generally cheaper to live in a static caravan compared to a brick and mortar house and this is because you will save on bills like your council tax and mortgage. Of course, there are fees involved in staying on a residential site but they’re much more affordable.
You will also save a lot of money on your energy bills since static caravans do not require as much energy to run. You are going to have to make a decent investment to buy the caravan in the first place, typically around £30,000 but once you have, you’ll save that much in the long run that it’s massively worth it.
We all dream of a simpler and easier lifestyle and you could achieve this by selling your home and living full time in a static caravan. There are rules that go along with this; for example, you have to live either on private land with planning permission or on a residential park.
But once you’ve found the perfect spot, you’re in for a treat. You’ll save money on your monthly bills and live a community centred life that’s laid back, relaxed and so much fun!