[tl:gallery index=0 size=103×155]Our Gentleman Jack Bancroft is an irredeemable motorcaravaning enthusiast. His family have been camping, caravanning and motorcaravanning since 1928. Jack and his wife Flora are now on their tenth motorhome, a 2003 Auto-Sleeper Pollensa on a Ford Transit base. They have toured extensively at home and abroad, including a period of full-timing. Here, Jack answers your motorcaravanning queries:
Q: My husband and I, and our dog, are planning to go on tour next year. I was hoping you could give us some advice about the best route and sites to visit. We live in East Sussex and intend to head for Trewethett Farm in Tintagel. We saw a picture of it in the Caravan Club directory and said: “That’s for us.” We have a two-berth Auto-Sleeper Peugeot Boxer Executive with sat-nav. We’ve only had it for just over a year, so are novices to touring. On site we like peace and quiet and would like to have an electric hook-up and a shower/WC block available.
A: Firstly, welcome to the wonderful world of motorcaravanning. As for a route and recommending sites, I can offer a few general pointers.
You’ve done the right thing by joining one of our big clubs. The Caravan Club and the Camping and Caravanning Club both have a brilliant sites network and their sites directories are up to date and authoritative. Five-’van sites (certificated locations) usually favour peace and quiet over facilities, but not invariably so.
If you want ‘adults only’ sites, visit www.adultcampsites.com.
If you would like to see which sites are part of the Best of British organisation, go to www.bob.org.uk.
Some online campsite information portals allow you to search for specialised sites (eg that offer fishing, or are near a beach) which then sorts and lists or shows on a map those sites which are most suitable for you. They will often have a number of useful reviews from site users, too. Good examples of these are www.caravansitefinder.co.uk and www.campsites.co.uk.
There is a lot of information available at the click of a mouse. NEVER part with any credit/debit card information (eg to make a booking deposit) without first making sure you are satisfied with the website’s integrity and security.
A great idea is to contact Chris or Meli at Vicarious Books. As far as I’m aware it is the only independent UK bookshop and retailer which specialises in mototcaravanning books and campsite guides. Chris and Meli are keen and active motorcaravanners themselves, so are uniquely positioned to be of help. Some of their guides are in traditional book format, while others use interactive CDs which rely on user input to find suitable sites (go to www.vicariousbooks.co.uk, or call 0131 208 3333 during office hours).
Finally, we find the site reviews and tour experiences as published in Practical Motorhome extremely useful. I cut out anything that appeals and stick it in a ring binder kept in the motorcaravan driver’s door storage trough. As a result we always have this information with us when on tour. I hope this has been of some help to you.