Five years ago, we did what we’d talked about for years and bought our first static caravan. It was an oldish one, nine years old. We were lucky because the caravan park where we have our holiday home doesn’t have the usual ten-year rule where caravans over ten-years old are removed from the park. No matter what their age is caravans may stay in the park provided they are well maintained.
Our holiday home did need some improvements. For instance, access to the caravan was via some rusty, wobbly iron steps, the height of which meant we had to practically jump from the top step into the caravan. The carpets and sofas were not to our taste either, but as it had been a top of the range model when originally bought, we reckoned it would be worth spending a little if we were going to holiday in it for several years to come. This is what we did.
These images show our caravan when we first purchased it.
Our first job was to do away with the rickety steps and have some new decking and skirt installed.
The new extended decking.
The new decking made a world of difference to the look of the old caravan, I’m sure you’ll agree.
Our second priority was to get rid of the broken dishwasher which leaked water. Since there is only two of us, we decided to have a washing machine in its place and also installed a tumble drier in the shed.
Next to disappear were the carpets and seating. It was a good quality, leather suite, but just too big for a static caravan.
The original seating.
We bought just a sofa and one chair to begin with, but later went back to order another chair.
The new seating and flooring.
The main bedroom was the next room to receive some attention. I didn’t want to go to the expense of buying new curtains as the drapes in the wardrobes and bed canopy were all matching. They would have been really expensive to replace, so I just bought some plain lemon fabric and replaced the sun-faded trimmings on the original curtains. Then I added some home-made cushions and an extra table topper using the left over lemon fabric.
The original drapes with sun faded trim.
The following photos show the bedroom after replacing the faded trimmings and adding some cushions and table top covers.
This made the bedroom look much brighter and fresh.
With the interior refurbishment complete we could concentrate on the garden. It was a good-sized garden compared to others on the site. We hadn’t realised it was so large because half of it was overgrown with waist-high weeds. One side had a grassed area of lawn with flower borders and the other had several trees and bushes. It was the wooded area that was neglected, but the lawn and flower beds had been looked after. I didn’t take photos of it before my daughter-in-law cleared the weeds, but I do have lots of photos of it afterwards.
As you can see, the patio seating area is really private, surrounded as it is with lots of shrubs and trees. The site itself is smack bang in the middle of the countryside, nothing much around it except rolling hills, a couple of other caravan parks, and lots of farm animals. However, right opposite the site is an old stately home with acres of its own parkland. No longer a family home, it’s now used for bible studies and holidays. We are allowed to walk in the beautiful grounds and there is also an indoor swimming pool we can use. This is useful as our caravan park has no shop, pool, or club. It is so restful though without any of the noise these facilities tend to produce.
There is a deep fishing lake on our site which is stocked with fish and there is a laundry room and shower block, but the nearest pub and village shop is a couple of miles away. The site is always maintained well though and the charges are reasonable. We have an 11 month season with the caravan usage ceasing for February only. Owners of lodges only have to leave for two weeks. We have spent Christmas there five times since we bought the caravan in 2013. Central heating, double glazing, and an electric fire keep it snug and warm.
Only one thing has spoiled our enjoyment of our home from home. That happened when we returned at the start of the season last year. We knew some of the large trees in our garden were due for pruning. In fact, we’d asked for the one over the shed to be done a few times. We returned in March to find the lovely garden we’d tended, planted, and reseeded with grass had been ruined. Instead of having the trees pruned, fourteen of them had been pulled down. Wore than that, heavy plant machinery had been driven back and forth all over the garden and flowers and shrubs were destroyed in the process. My husband and I both felt like crying when we saw it.
One thing you have to understand as a caravan owner is that you do only rent the land. If the site owner decides to change anything you can’t do a thing about it. In our case, there was an old, small caravan next to us. It was hidden by the trees as were the old sheds that were not ours. The site owner wanted to remove the old caravan and replace it with a larger one. To site the new caravan, he needed to take some of our garden to get it in and give the new caravan owner a bit more space. So he moved the large boulder stone boundary, in effect chopping off a huge corner of our garden.
We were so disgusted at not being informed he was going to do all that, we said we weren’t going to touch the garden again. With the arrival of such lovely weather last year, we had a change of heart. After all, part of the joy of having a caravan is the outdoor life it gives you. We didn’t want to be sitting outdoors looking at all that mess, so we did have a go at restoring it a bit. We’ve lost the privacy we once had, but we’re compensated a little by the light that now floods in to what was virtually woodland. We found lots of new plants we’d never seen before, suddenly springing to life too.
We grassed most of the garden. It has lots of stones and boulders in it, so it’s really difficult to dig and plant. I’m just hoping the beautiful white flowering bush near the bench will come back. It still wasn’t really up to scratch when we left it, but at least the old sheds are gone now and there’s a more modern caravan instead of the older one. This is more or less how it was last summer. We’d just about got the grass to grow again, but it’s not exactly a lawn. Hubby refused to spend money on it again, so we just banged in some lawn seed. I’m hoping this year with a weed and feed product it will improve some more.
Now, we can’t wait for the season to start again and we can get back to some planting.
Part of the fun of having a holiday home is that you get to visit different places away from your home area. When we’re at the caravan, we visit Kirkby Lonsdale, Morecambe, Windermere and all the little villages in between. Below is a picture taken at Lake Windermere.
Another photo taken at Morecambe. Quite a few alterations have taken place there.
I will be adding to this page from time to time. Please do come back to see what we get up to.