After 55 years of camping, reader Allan Ainsworth wished he’d skipped caravans and gone straight from tents to a motorhome – here's to the next adventure!

Up until three years ago we had climbed the camping ‘ladder of progression’, starting from ridge tents to frame tents, then on to folding campers, until finally we bought a caravan, first of all with a corner fixed bed, then an island bed.

The final caravan seemed to fit the bill for needs, wants and musts, albeit that I have never enjoyed towing caravans.

Neither have I enjoyed retrieving the caravan from the driveway, returning it after a trip, nor setting up on site with the inevitable hour spent erecting the awning.

Illness and the subsequent lengthy recuperation period put a stop to our touring activities and we sold the caravan for very little loss of initial investment.

A motorhome, we decided, would be far less stressful.

The first taste of ’van life

Our first purchase was a Bürstner. It was a very lovely ’van that seemed to have everything, including a fixed island bed.

However, it was not long before small things began to irritate us, such as having to get on our knees to look in the fridge and having to move things around between eating, watching TV and so on. It seemed like a step backwards.

I had seen and rather fallen in love with an Auto-Trail Frontier Comanche, but dismissed this as a vehicle too large to fit on the driveway.

A further inspection at a dealership not too far away showed that it had all the refinements of the caravan and much more. A part-exchange deal for the Bürstner was duly struck.

The best of both worlds

By the time we had bought the Comanche I had also bought a tow car, which meant we now had the best of both worlds: being able to take the ’van away on its own for short breaks where amenities were close at hand, or for longer breaks and/or locations where amenities were not so easily available and the car could be used.

I have now driven the length of Britain, as far away as Inverness and across to Lincoln and Suffolk in the motorhome.

My health has more or less returned to pre-surgery level and I now enjoy a far superior lifestyle motorcaravanning than we ever had with the tourer.

When I arrive on site I can be pitched, connected and functioning in 10 minutes.

The next chapter

My only regret was that we did not side-step having a caravan and move directly to a motorhome.

I retire in a few months and with this luxury on wheels I am hoping to explore our wonderful country and then next year revert to my travels through Europe, re-visiting many places from my youth.

I am also using the motorhome for peace and quiet to write my second book, Adventures of a Lawyer, to retrace a lot of the experiences I have had over the years of camping, caravanning and motorcaravanning.

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