We have had our van for nine years now and it has been wonderful. We have not used it a lot since the start of the pandemic, but we are out and about in it as I write this. We are seeing hundreds of motorhomes on the road. Many more than we used to see.
We hardly ever stay on campsites, but this trip we got caught short for water, so we tried to book on a Caravan and Motorhome Certified Location. It was not easy – most were booked up – sometimes for weeks. We finally got on one with no loos and minimal services (we did not need the hook up) for £20 per night. All we wanted was to fill up with water. The site owner wanted payment in cash, and I’m pretty sure the club, and the taxman will know nothing about it.
We were talking to a lady in a pub who was travelling in her motorhome. She had been to Scotland, and said it was overrun with motorhomes.
I think many of these motorhomes were bought when travelling abroad was impossible or difficult due to Covid. Many will have become very disillusioned with motorhome life due to the difficulty in finding a place to park up and the congestion on the roads, mainly caused by increased traffic due to the huge increase in “staycations”. Also, international travel has opened up again. As a result many of their motorhomes will be up for sale at the end of the summer season this year. A surge in supply will cause a dip in prices, so the end of this year would be a good time to buy.
HOWEVER, don’t expect the travelling situation to get any better soon. Many people will jump on these bargains and fill up the campsites and the roads again. And, incredibly, many places are becoming more motorhome-hostile. I am not now allowed to park my own motorhome overnight in the Cornwall council car park where I have parked for five years. Another car park in Lancashire where we have parked for a few days overnight for eleven years has suddenly decided that overnight camping is not allowed. My (perhaps cynical) guess is that the councillors have connections to camp sites and want to maximise their profits – despite the fact they are fully booked. Many in-town car parks have height barriers.
The travelling folk do not help either. It is their chosen way of life and I believe they should be allowed to continue in it, but some compromise in their strict hygiene rules, like not using in-caravan toilets would be a reasonable compromise. A caravan parked by some woods and the users disappearing into the trees to spend a penny is not a problem, but a dozen or more caravans taking over an in-town site and leaving the surrounding bushes stinking of urine, results in bans for overnight stays or height barriers for everyone.
Ultimately the market will help as more motorhome sites open up to make some money from the situation. But that takes time due to planning regulations, and the final consequence will be even more congestion.