How to Get Used to Living in A Caravan

Guest Post Written By: PRINCESS IN A CARAVAN

Lottie Reeves is from the UK, a qualified teacher and currently resides in a caravan while exploring South Africa with her boyfriend and dogs. She is the Director of Global Handprints, a social enterprise offering volunteer placements, and when not writing or thinking about all things volunteer related, she is planning her own next adventure or blogging at Princess In A Caravan. She has been lucky enough to live in 4 continents and travel 2 more which has given her an understanding how important it is for people to really explore new countries and get off the beaten track. Despite having a very long bucket list, she is currently in the middle of an ongoing love affair with Africa and is struggling to leave!

Visit Princess in a Caravan’s blog here, or follow Lottie on her crazy caravan adventures on Facebook or Twitter. And obviously you will get a chuckle of following her, her man and their 2 dogs caravan-ing around the world on Instagram.



Falling in love with living in a caravan. It sounds like it would be easy, I mean who wouldn’t love living off grid, being at one with nature, able to pack up and head off, having your ‘home on your back’ and seeing the world. I didn’t even consider the possibility of not loving living in a caravan when our ramblings of ‘lets just pack up and travel the country in the caravan,’ turned into reality almost overnight.

However, in reality, the love affair didn’t come naturally. It wasn’t all just pottering around, closing the caravan door and driving off into the sunset, pitching up wherever we wanted, having nature to ourselves, eating tasty fire cooked dinners and swimming in lakes.


It was more a case of getting lost because we missed a turning and couldn’t turn around with the caravan attached, dogs being sick in the car, fast food dinners because we were too tired when we eventually pitched up somewhere to unpack and cook, arriving at fully booked campsites late with only the plots next to toilets available being faced with the inside of the caravan looking like a bomb had hit it despite our careful packing, or pulling over at the side of the road, in the dark unable to see our surroundings and just hoping no one passing wanted to break.

Most days started with one of us banging our heads before we had even got out of bed. We were living in a confined space, 2×4 meters to be exact with nearly all of our belongings and the 2 dogs. It was less romantic and whimsical, more crowded and squashed.

I was too focused on the fact that I would be able to travel anywhere to think about the practicalities of living in a mobile home. I didn’t put too much thought into the fact that the caravan doesn’t have a bathroom or running water of any sort. Yes, being able to pull over at the side of the road and make your own coffee with a view over the mountains is great. But, having to walk into the bush or find the one tree big enough to provide cover when you need to do your business, isn’t great.

In all fairness, we didn’t make the situation any easier on ourselves either. It wasn’t a pre-planned, well thought out with time to build up to the event, kind of decision. It was more a case of both needing an escape from things that were making us unhappy, both passionate about travel and seeing more of the country and neither of us having ties to one place. So why shouldn’t we do it? And, it sounded so perfect.


To fall in love with doing something so far out of your comfort zone you have to really go for it, go all in and immerse yourself.  The only way to fall in love with living in a caravan is to embrace it. In fact, I think if it had been more planned and I had thought more about the practicalities of what life would be like, I may not have gone for it. I would have got caught up in the negatives, worried too much about where I was going to wash my hair or how I was going to generate power for my phone, laptop and the ever-important kettle. That would have meant I missed out on the cups of coffee overlooking beautiful landscapes with no one else around. I wouldn’t have got to live on a beach for two weeks learning to survive on rationed fresh water and finding out just what sea water can be used for. I would never have known that I can eat freshly caught mussels for dinner 3 days in a row.


I wouldn’t have met the people with whom a conversation started with ‘how far do you think that caravan will get you?’ I wouldn’t have been able to appreciate the beautiful ablution block at one campsite when faced with the horrors at the next.

If I hadn’t faced the challenge head first, I wouldn’t have known the little things in life; I can go a week without washing my hair, that the world doesn’t fall apart if I don’t brush my teeth twice every day, that I can make meals out of a very random collection of ingredients, that I am just as happy sitting under the stars as I am in front of a good movie (maybe even more so?)

I learned how to fall in love with living in a caravan and at the same time learned that I can do this, I can live and love this life. In fact now, if we stay anywhere else, it doesn’t feel like home.


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Expat motherhood, travel lifestyle blog.
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