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Monthly Archives: April 2015

  • Thought you knew everything about your caravan and motorhome hobby? Think again!

    We know there’s nothing better than visiting a new place or returning to a favourite one in your motorhome or with a caravan in tow, but did you know you’re actually contributing £6billion to the UK economy or that you’re sharing a hobby with Dame Helen Mirren and Dame Kelly Holmes?

    No?

    Well read on to find out more about the wonderful world of caravans and motorhomes in the UK.

     

    lorraine kelly caravan facts

    1) Caravanning is cool. Ok we’ve always known it – but now big name celebrities have cottoned on too, with Dame Helen Mirren, Billie Piper and Dame Kelly Holmes both members of the Caravan Club.

    There’s also a chance you’ll find yourself pitching up next to Loraine Kelly or Linda Barker on your next caravan trip, though whether that’s a good thing, we’ve yet to decide!

     

    2) Caravanning actually contributes more than £6billion to the UK economy every year and the industry employs more than 130,000 people – making it of huge importance to the UK’s economy.

     

    3) If you live in your caravan you are classed as being of ‘no fixed abode’ and if you want to have your voice heard in a general, local or European election the way you need to register to vote is a little different than if you live in a ‘fixed abode.’

    We write all about it here for the Canal and River Trust (just swap the word narrowboat for caravan!)

     

    caravan facts

    4) In the UK, more than 51 million nights are spent in caravans each year.

     

    5) There’s a lot of us. In fact there are more than 1million leisure caravans in use (that’s totalling touring caravans, motorhomes and caravan holiday homes).

     

    6) More people are caravanning than ever before. In 2009 one in five people were going on either a camping or caravanning holiday, now it’s one in three.

     

    7) The most popular countries UK residents to go on a caravan holiday are the UK, followed by Spain then France.

     

    most expensive caravan in britain

    8) The most expensive caravan in Britain was sold for a staggering £550,000 and comes complete with an iPhone controlled heating system (we thought all caravans had these!!).

    The static caravan based in North Wales was built to mark the 75th anniversary of park owners, Haulfryn Holiday Homes.

    Despite having an integrated sound and television system, underfloor heating and an en suite spa shower and toilet, it is technically still a caravan because of its wheels and chassis.

  • How to vote if you are live in your caravan, motorhome or boat

     

    If you want to vote in the general, local and European elections you must be registered to vote.

    But if you are of ‘no fixed abode’ this can seem a little tricky and can apply if you live in your caravan, motorhome or boat.

    Here we explain what to do if you don’t have a residential address:

    • vote caravan motorhome boatFirstly, check where you are living doesn’t have a permanent mooring or a permanent address – if it does, you can register to vote here. The process is the same as if you were living in a built property; just enter your details into UK/Register-To-Vote and you’ll be registered.

     

    • Definitely not of a ‘fixed abode’?! Then you must instead register a declaration of local connection. This basically tells the government that even though you don’t, in their eyes, live in the area you still have a vested interest in it and are eligible to vote.

     

    • vote caravan motorhome boatContact your local electoral registration office (Google will be able to help you here!) and give them the details of a place where you have a connection, this could be a workshop you use, a work place or some other place in the local area that you spend time.

     

    • The electoral office will process your application, and once complete you’ll be able to register to vote.

     

    • Register to vote.

     

    • Vote!
  • The best pet-friendly touring and campsites in Scotland

    Back in February we shared our favourite pet-friendly touring and campsites in England and we were thrilled with how popular it was.

    We’ve spent a lot of time discussing our favourite holidays on the other side of Hadrian’s wall to create a list of our favourite places in Scotland where you can take a caravan, motorhome or tent AND your dog.

    Now the sun has finally made an appearance, what could be nicer than exploring Scotland with your four-legged friend by your side?

    Here are our top five:

    1) Loch Greshornish Caravan & Campsite, Isle of Skye

    camping caravan dogs scotland

     Situated in one of the world’s most beautiful locations, this Inner Hebrides working croft welcomes both cats and dogs.

    Skye is filled with dramatic scenery, walks and lots of fishing as well as a cottage arts scene and if cooking round the campfire gets a little tiring then the Michelin starred Three Chimneys isn’t far away.

    The site itself offers loch-side hardstandings for caravans and motorhomes as well as camping pitches.

    It holds several awards including the AA Scotland Campsite of the Year 2012 and has twice won the ‘Loo of the year’ award!

    Cost: The pricing varies depending on whether you are a member of the Camping and Caravan Club or not. 

     

    2) Braidhaugh Holiday Park, Perthshire

    This beautiful pet friendly campsite is situated located near Crieff in central Scotland, making it a short journey from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee.

    As well as being absolutely stunning, the area is rich in history and offers lots to do come rain or shine.

    Located on the river Earn, it’s possible to get a fishing license – though we’re not sure how helpful your pet will be!

    It has wifi, disabled facilities, a play area and a TV room and welcomes caravans and motorhomes as well as having its own permanent camping pods.

    Cost: A serviced hardstanding electric pitch costs from £22 a night for two adults.

     

    3) Thurston Manor, East Lothian

    camping caravan dog scotland

    Situated in close proximity to Edinburgh, Thurston Manor is the perfect location to either escape from the city or get into it for day trips.

    Its surrounding sandy beaches and rolling hills are just the type dogs yearn to frolic in and the site also offers a heated pool, sauna and steam room for tired dog-owners!

    While there is a bar and restaurant on site, if you want to cook for yourself there is an onsite shop or a supermarket just a five minute drive away.

    Tents, caravans and motorhomes welcome.

    Cost: Prices start from £13.45 for 6 people.

     

    4) Isle of Iona Campsite, Isle of Iona

    This really is the place to get away from it all though, as no cars are allowed on the island, this is only one for campers.

    The tiny island of Scotland’s West Coast is famous for its religious history as a centre of Gaelic monasticism as well as its tranquil unspoiled beauty.

    From the campsite you and your pet will be able to visit the island’s monasteries, royal burial sites, beaches and rock pools by bicycle, horseback or foot.

    The campsite itself offers showers, a washing up area, a small shop as well as the occasional sighting of an otter or two!

    Cost: From £13 per night for two people

     

    5) Queensberry Bay Holiday Park, Dumfriesshire

    camping caravan dog scotland camping caravan dog scotland

    This beautiful West coast holiday park is easily accessible from the North of England and offers a wide range of accommodation options.

    You can pitch your own tent, campervan or motorhome or stay in one of the caravan or pods onsite – dogs are welcome here too!

    There are beaches and rockpools to explore and while it is true the site offers incredible views, we do have to say it’s the delicious bacon sandwiches the onsite shop sells that keep us coming back.

    Cost: Prices start from £15 a night

     

     Know a great place to stay that your pet loves too? Tweet us @sail_trail we'd love to hear from you :)

  • The Ultimate Generator Guide: How to buy the best generator for your leisure needs



    There are many makes and models of generator out there (at Sail and Trail, we stock more than 100!) so it isn’t always easy knowing which generator is the best fit for you and your needs.

    Essentially you should be basing your purchase on four things; its portability, power, noise and fuel requirements:

    Portability

    Kipor Suitcase Generator for Caravan Camping

    First things first, if you’re after a generator for leisure use (camping, boating etc) you want it to be quiet and portable – avoid back up or standby generators as these are designed for blackouts or hefty models that are meant to aid construction work.

    Suitcase generators are the lightest and most portable. The Kipor IG1000 pictured here is an incredibly popular model.

     

    Power

    Work out how much power you’ll want or need. If it’s for your motorhome or caravan you’ll need to think about your air con / heating unit (if you have one) as well as adding up all the electrical devices you may need or want to run at one time.

    At the lower end of the scale a 700w generator is mainly for charging, small TVs and mobiles/laptops. But the most popular models are the 2000w models as this will run just about everything you could throw at it in a motorhome/caravan apart from some household kettles which can be above 3000w and any air conditioning or electric heating units

    If all you are looking for is to be able to charge or power small items then a 1000w generator will be fine, but it won't cover items like a microwave or a hairdryer. This is because even though an 800w microwave in theory should run under 1000w, most items with a heating element start at double or even triple their rated wattage, so an 800w microwave will roughly start at 1600w. This is why you will see a peak power and then a constant power on the descriptions for generators.

    If you’re boating or camping then you’re likely to be fine with 1,000-2,000 watts. If you want to work out the exact figure, add up the power of everything you are likely to want to be running at the same time (If it is given in amps, multiply the amps by volts to get the watt value).

    However it is important to remember that the power requirements are balanced, and while many people in a motorhome might add up all of their appliances and get 4kw, not all are turned on at once; so if you use the microwave for a few minutes, you might not be able to boil the kettle until it is finished.

     

    Noise

    SDMO quiet generator for camping and caravanning SDMO quiet generator for camping and caravanning

    All generators make noise but now there are some models out there that are actually quieter than a normal conversation.

    EU regulations mean a generator's sound has to be measured from a certain point, rather than in standard decibels which can be a little confusing.

     

    To get a better idea of how decibels work, regular conversation is about 60 decibels and painful noise about 140!

    The SDMO Inverter PRO models are some of the best when it comes to keeping the noise down. In fact, the 3000 model pictured above is so quiet we say it’s ‘whisper quiet' at only 51dB(A) @ 7m.

    Fuel requirements

    LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) generators are the most popular generators for leisure use as they are more efficient and cheaper to run than petrol or diesel generators.

    In fact LPG is about half the price of petrol, and because it produces cleaner emissions you’ll be able to use it in many public spaces unlike with a diesel or petrol generator.

    However, they do have a higher initial cost than a petrol generator, so provide the best value when they are used regularly.

    Petrol generators can be converted to LPG generators with conversion kits like these ones.

     

    We have lots of technical guidance at Sail and Trail, first of all check out our handy guide https://www.sailandtrail.co.uk/generatorfaq.

    If you have any questions don't hesitate to get in touch with one of our experts by phone or email.

     

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