Would You Use Your Caravan For A Festival Trip?
Take your van to a music festival instead of a tent
Tuesday, 08, Oct 2019 11:43
By William Coleman
Each year it seems festival seasons gets bigger and bigger. More events, bigger names and a lot more space for campers to rest after a day on their feet. Another aspect that is on the rise is the leisure vehicle's presence. Would you use your motorhome or caravan for a weekend at a music festival?
When I first heard that a close friend of mine was going to rent a 4 berth motorhome for a 5 day getaway at the Glastonbury I patted him on the back and said, "good luck". The idea of taking a large vehicle through the huge crowds and traffic jams of that festival used to fill me with dread, until I saw how easy it actually is to do.
My friend had never used a caravan, motorhome, camper or even a tent in his life and yet still had zero issues on his first attempt, at the UK's largest music festival no less. If a first timer can do it we all can, right?
Reasons To Use The Van
Now that the caravan and motorhome's popularity is on the rise we are seeing waves of younger people embracing the lifestyle and using the vans for any and every activity they can. On the top of that list is festivals, so much so that organisers are now adding larger specific locations for guests bringing leisure vehicles. It must be a better option than a tent if everyone is doing it.
A Real Home Away From Home
With a festival you do give up a few of the creature comforts. With a caravan you do not have to make this compromise and you still get to have the real festival experience.
Being able to come home after a day walking around, and maybe dancing, it's a lot better to be able to sit on the sofa and relax while you kettle is on the boil than roll around in a tent trying to get comfy in the cold.
No Shared Facilities
As fun as a festival can be there are still a few aspects that are not really that desirable- mud, communal showers, portaloos..
There are some that feel using a public festival toilet is a bit of a 'rights of passage' for the festival goer, whereas others like me will avoid them like the plague. Having your own personal spotless mobile bathroom is the dream when going to a festival.
The shower situation is also not amazing as week long festivals, some actually opt to not shower for some reason. Being able to have a steaming hot shower when you want is worth its weight in gold when the warm water runs out by 9am.
Save A Ton By Using The Kitchen
Festival food always has the added premium attached to it because the promoters know that you have no choice but to eat and drink inside the venue's grounds. So naturally the price for a burger, chips and beer has to be teetering around the £20 mark.
With your own fridge and freezer on board you are not beholden to the overpriced and frankly poor food on offer. You can eat like a king three times a day and spend £15 a head each day.
Oh, and you can keep the beers chilled too.
Sleep In Luxury
As much as I love laying on the floor or on a slightly deflated air bed with rain, dust and mud you just cannot beat a real bed inside an insulated, heated and air conditioned mobile dwelling.
Having your own bed elevated off of the floor is something I think we take for granted, so having a luxury memory foam bed while "camping", for me, is absolutely the way forward.
Reasons Why Not To Take A Van
A festival event can attract tens of thousands of visitors, most of which have cars and vans and a lot of them do not care or understand what goes into towing a caravan in and out of a location like this. Due to this your rig can become a bit of a nightmare.
Despite all the great reasons there are a handful or bad reasons that I know will deter a tourer from using this form of accommodation for a festival stay.
Not all festivals are as alcohol fuelled as the music ones but is it this type of get away that is attracting a lot more caravans and motorhome users. Once the last show has finished you can have hundreds and hundreds of slightly tipsy people marching back to camp ready to hit the hay.
Once the horde starts flowing through the caravans and motorhomes some accidents and damage may occur. This aspect is what I think puts a lot of more seasoned caravaners off of using their vans for this sort of thing.
The Mass Exodus
Despite someone I know having a very easy time getting in and out of the event it is very much not the norm.
I have visited lots of different festivals over the years and leaving in a car is always a nightmare, not to mention towing and needing to manoeuvre with hundreds of other cars all trying to squeeze out through a small funnelled exist.
This reason is why I would never take a caravan, ever. I would take a camper or a reasonable sized motorhome though as a lot of van sized vehicles are in these locations delivering goods and providing food and drink services.
So, Is It A Good Or Bad Idea?
There does seem to be a lot more positive reasons to take a leisure vehicle to a festival but it seems that the few negative ones may actually outweigh the good.
For me I would only take a rental that is covered by the insurance that the rental company provides. This way you remove any fear of third party damage that may occur when you're away from the van or leaving in the mass rush.
I certainly wouldn't take or recommend taking anything you have to tow unless you feel 100% comfortable with taking on the task.