Parts & Accessories

Making our minds up!

30th April 2021 | Caravan Chit Chat
Sat at home in lockdown not too long ago, planning this year’s caravanning adventures gave us time to think that while at the moment we have a caravan, it was only 6 months ago we had a motorhome on the driveway. So how and why did we make that U-turn and end up back as Caravan Chit Chat? Pull up a chair…

Well, you may or may not remember that after being caravanners since 2016, we suddenly found ourselves fortunate enough to be loaned a Bailey motorhome for a trip to Scotland in April 2019. With this is mind, we decided to make it a proper motorhoming adventure and try some off-grid camping as well as catching a ferry to the beautiful Outer Hebrides (check out our Caravan Chit Chat Goes Motorhoming series on YouTube!).

I (Aaron) had always been a staunch caravanner, whereas Vicky had always fancied trying motorhoming. The day came to pick up the Bailey Advance 76-4T motorhome from Bailey’s factory at Bristol, and the excitement had most definitely taken over us – Yes, even I was VERY excited! The trip was a total success, we loved every single second of it, helped of course by the stunning landscapes of the Highlands, Skye and Harris.

We took to the motorhome like ducks to water, loved the ease of parking and travelling with everything on board, not having to worry about filling up and emptying waste and water containers and the ability to stop the night in some stunning locations while off-gridding.

Like all good things though, the end of the trip was all too quickly upon us and, despite the tears from Vicky, we were back at Bristol emptying the motorhome and after expressing our gratitude to Bailey for allowing us to have such a great experience, I made an ‘off the cuff’ comment: “If you ever sell the motorhome, let us know!”. Little did I know how this will come back to pleasantly haunt me later!

After Scotland, we carried on with our caravan, but something had changed, we just didn’t feel the same way anymore. The various caravanning duties like fetching the water, emptying the waste, even hooking up and towing suddenly became… well, a chore.

Every trip had us saying to each other “Things would be much easier if we had a motorhome”, but we tried to get the thought out of our minds as we knew the costs would prove to be too much. This was until one day towards the end of that summer, we had a call from Bailey to let us know that they were replacing the press fleet of motorhomes, including the very one we had borrowed, and would we be interested! We just knew that we had to get it, we had to make it work somehow and in the December, we said goodbye to our caravan and welcomed the Bailey Advance into the family, which also coincided with a change in our social media channels, we were now known as Motorhome Chit Chat.

So, enough of the waffle, how is it that 15 months later the motorhome has gone, and we are now the proud owners of a Bailey Unicorn Cadiz Black Edition caravan? Well, after having and using the motorhome (when we could in between Covid restrictions!) we just decided that a motorhome did not work with how we like to holiday and we missed having that ‘base’ that a caravan provides.

Now, you’d be absolutely right in thinking that we should have thought about this before making the change, but don’t forget that we’d had that experience of using the motorhome so were certain that we would like it. The truth is though that while it suited that particular trip, it’s not every weekend that we go to Scotland and on a ferry to the Outer Hebrides. Our more normal trips of Devon and Cornwall etc proved slightly more challenging with lots of planning having to be done for each day and I don’t know about you, but we don’t go on holiday to spend time having to plan plan plan.

We like to jump in the car and see where we end up; find little beauty spots, quaint towns, villages, and stunning beaches to walk our dogs – something not as easy with a motorhome!

A holiday is a chance to take a break from our busy jobs and long working hours, a chance to recharge the batteries, and moving on to different sites every couple of days left us even more exhausted. We also missed having the comfort of a caravan lounge to while away the evenings in, and the ‘chores’ of caravanning were equally as matched with those required by motorhoming too. We started to really miss our caravan, so we considered the option of selling it and going back to what we knew.

One thing we did want though was the twin fixed bed layout as we had in the Advance 76-4T, and we loved the interior décor and vast amounts of cupboard space so for us a Bailey Caravan it had to be.

A Sunday afternoon stroll around the sales ground of our local Bailey dealer, the excellent Farnham Leisure, led us to what we considered our perfect caravan, the Unicorn Cadiz Black Edition. It had the features that we loved about the motorhome, the fixed twin beds which work best for us in terms of comfort and space, the rear bathroom, the lovely interior décor and lots of cupboard space, but in caravan form with a comfortable lounge and spacious kitchen, it was meant to be. A deal was done to trade in the motorhome and last October, not even a year after picking up the motorhome and plenty of ‘I told you so’ comments from friends and family, we once again became Caravan Chit Chat!

We haven’t regretted our decisions one little bit; we were so desperate to get a motorhome and wouldn’t have settled until we did. We would have always been asking ourselves ‘what if?’, sometimes you’ve got to just bite the bullet and give things a go haven’t you? You only live once after all!

What advice would we give anyone else looking to change to one or the other? Well, quite simply, take a good look at the type of holiday you enjoy and how you like to spend your time, that should help you decide whether a caravan or motorhome works best for you.

Now all that is left is to get out and start enjoying our new caravan!