I found myself browsing the “Caravans and Motorhomes” section on eBay recently and then drilling down to just “Caravans” and alternatively marvelling in the sort of luxury dwelling on wheels that could be bought for ten grand or more, and comparing to the down market shabbyness that is available with bids from £1, it never ceases to amaze me just what crap people will flog on eBay and the caravan section has crap in abundance.
There isn’t much point in linking to any examples given that they won’t be there in a few days time but there is so much crap in abundance that you only need to do the search yourself to find hours of amusement at what some people consider to be “a bargain” or declare themselves as having spent “many a happy holiday in her” and you’re staring at something that looks like its spent the last five years in a farmers field in its guise as a pig sty.
And you wonder at what would happen if you placed a bid and the temptation to click the Buy It Now button urges your mouse closer and closer until you have to grab it with both hands and drag it away for if you perchance happened to bid and win the wheeled chicken roost you just cannot imagine what your wife would say when you pulled up outside your house with her standing on your doorstep with the suitcases packed – you having promised her the surprise holiday of a lifetime.
Actually I can easily imagine what my wife would say, Arthur the Lawyer would be involved and the chicken roost on wheels would become my new accommodation for life, goods and chattles of mine to be collected from the back doorstep later that day.
I don’t know why there is this attraction of mine towards purchasing a caravan, I don’t own a car with a towbar for instance, I don’t even own a car anymore so I’m rather deficient in the caravan towing stakes already and the wifes Peugeot 107 is not exactly suitable for towing anything, indeed I bet Peugeot have never actually fitted a towbar to a 107, ever – the towbar would probably make it topple over backwards.
And even if I went out and purchased first a car with which to tow a caravan, and then a caravan itself (this is getting very expensive all of a sudden), I’m not so sure that I could actually do the job of towing, I’ve only ever once driven a car that had something attached to its rear and that was in the years of my exile in Newcastle when I drove one of the company Ford Cortina’s with a car transporter low loader on the back of it, said low loader being loaded up with a site portacabin, so quite a big thing to tow actually – I drove it right across the centre of Newcastle without incident, well, not many incidents anyway, and thought I’d done really well until I arrived at the delivery point where the whole rig needed parallel parking between two cars at the roadside, after half an hour and assistance from at least ten other people I left it “sort of” parked and “sort of ” abandoned, some of it on the pavement, some of it on the opposite carriageway – it worked for me.
Now all these years later and having lived through that period where you curse at the caravan owner weaving his way along a narrow country road in front of you, where when you pass someone towing a caravan on a motorway you deliberately turn and look at the driver to check that he has the regulation grey beard and gold rimmed spectacles, and where you view a field of touring caravans and wonder which one of them is the caravan club leader this week (must be him there, the grey beard organising the rounders match), having put those years behind me and having discovered on non-shaving weekends that indeed I am now capable of growing a grey beard of my own, now I feel the time is right to caravan my life.
Yes it will be expensive, yes I need a car first, yes it will need to have all of the caravan geek gadgets on it like those extending wing mirrors, and yes I will have to purchase my caravan and then pay someone to store it for 50 weeks of the year, but I will content myself in the knowledge that for those two weeks when I’m sat in a wet field in a random UK location, that I will be actually saving money from not having had to purchase an expensive Thomas Cook package tour that year.
And there is another advantage too – I doubt very much that my two offspring would want to be seen dead sitting in a caravan in a random wet field somewhere in the UK, indeed I doubt very much whether my wife would want to be seen thus too.
Off to eBay then…
Back from eBay much later…
Have just spotted the bargain that I desire, a 10 year old Ford Galaxy that already has a towbar, bargain at £1800 the dealer tells me that its in good condition inside although I can see stuffing coming out of one of the seats in the back so not too sure about his “good condition” ratings, but he promises that although there is currently no MOT on it he can do one before its collected – why am I always slightly suspicious about dealers who MOT their own forecourt cars ?
And the perfect caravan match, an ABI Monza of undeclared vintage which the seller promises “has no funny smells” and is decorated in “a modern cream over grey colour scheme”, it can be mine for £350. The owner confesses to not knowing the age of said caravan or actually how to measure it, in fact he doens’t seem to know much about it at all but its these sort of things make eBay buying so exciting – he will though throw in the cups and plates in the undersink cupboard, so excellent, sounds like the baby of my dreams.
Car is located in Coventry, caravan in Aberdeen, maybe Royal Mail will deliver.
Don’t laugh, I bought a tree on eBay two years ago, how my postman laughed as he carted it up the drive.