How to make use of your caravan during lockdown
Magazine writer Sammy Faircloth explains how she and her family have 'repurposed' their caravan.
We are living through extraordinary times – times during which the mantra ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ has a renewed relevance. Like many members of the Club, our family has had to think outside the box in order to keep things as 'normal' as possible – and at times our tourer has helped us achieve this goal.
We are fortunate in that our caravan is stored on our driveway, and I fully appreciate that not everyone has access to their caravan or motorhome at this time. After we had removed the winter
cover and engaged in a spot of spring cleaning (our tourer had been in storage mode for a few months), our caravan was ready to be repurposed for alternative uses. Here are some of the new roles it has played during lockdown...
Daniel (aged 12) and Emily (16) found that their school was abruptly shut down in March, and there was a race to retrieve all their school books, finish GCSE coursework and speak to their teachers in preparation for an indefinite period of home schooling. I wanted to try and keep a sense of normality in terms of their education, and this is where the caravan came in. It became their mobile classroom, taking them away from the distractions of the television and the Xbox.
The kids decamped to their new classroom with their books, calculators, pencils and laptops. I felt it
was important for them to follow their usual timetables and adhere to regular breaks so there was some structure to their day.
Thank goodness that technology has allowed the children to carry on in a relatively straightforward fashion despite the circumstances. Daniel’s cookery class took place in the house, while PE lessons were undertaken in the garden. It was fantastic to see how seamlessly they adapted.
Many parents have been thrust into the role of part-time home teachers – no mean feat, particularly if they’re also having to work and continue everyday household tasks.
My husband and I found ourselves in a stalemate over who was going to commandeer the home office. In the end, it made sense that he would occupy it, as he has to hold a number of conference calls during the day.
That left me relegated to the dining room table – and facing plenty of interruptions from the children when they had finished their work. So, when they had finished their school day, the caravan became my office. I found it was the perfect, quiet space in which to organise my thoughts, reflect and write.
I love a jigsaw puzzle, but never seem to have enough time or free space in which to do one. Once the work has finished, we have been using the caravan as a games room. I am able to use the dining table to complete my jigsaws in peace – and I don’t have to repeatedly pack them away either. Daniel, meanwhile, loves a board game, so we are often found in there competing against one another at Battleship!
Emily and Daniel love watching movies, and obviously TV and streaming services have helped to while away the evenings. The great thing about the caravan is the blackout blinds – they can enjoy a cinematic experience in the dark, even when it’s still light outside.
It has been hard to cancel the caravan holidays that we had planned. We only bought our latest tourer in November and we have only been away in it once. Visits to the Lake District and Yorkshire will have to wait but, in order to keep morale up, the other weekend we decided to sleep in our caravan rather than the house. When the blinds are shut you can imagine you are anywhere – it is a great place to sit down as a family and plan future trips.
If you or someone in your family is getting a bit fed up looking at the same four walls, remember that your tourer is great for a change of scene and can help to keep spirits up. It can be a safe haven to escape to for ‘me time’, and is ideal for both work and play. Who would have thought that a caravan or motorhome could be so much more than just a recreational vehicle?