People just love taking the caravan out of their garage and then hooking it up to their 4WD to head off somewhere – that somewhere being near the ocean or inland by a lake or river.
And some people just love hooking up the boat trailer holding their dinghy (or maybe something a bit more luxurious) to head off – you guessed it – somewhere near the ocean or inland by a lake or river!
But how often do you see a couple or family towing a caravan AND transporting a boat – very rarely.
Considering that the best caravan sites are very often near water – and conversely the best water spots usually have a caravan park of some kind nearby – surely there must be quite a few adventurers out there who would like to take advantage of enjoying everything that staying in their own caravan has to offer, as well as the convenience of TAKING THEIR OWN BOAT!
For those who would like to do it, there are only a few conventional options:
A boat on top of the vehicle that also tows the caravan
This obviously limits the type of boat to one that isn’t too heavy for the vehicle in terms of both physical weight and difficulty with steering.
An added problem is getting the boat, which even if it’s in aluminium might not be all that light, on to the top of the support rack. Very often the process involves using a contraption of some kind, and the whole thing is usually quite a drama if you’ve ever seen it being done.
Using two vehicles
The vehicles could be his and hers, or two boating and fishing mates – anyway, the important question needs to be resolved as to who drives what, although a system of shared duties might be the answer.
Using two vehicles of course means more fuel.
Having the boat stored or moored somewhere
The boat could be moored or put into storage near the most favourite spot – but then this prevents exploring new places and can be expensive.
A real disadvantage with this option is the boat owner can’t fiddle with the boat at weekends, which some would think of as an absolute necessity!
But are there any unconventional and innovative ways of caravanning and boating together?
Well yes there are, and words like foldaway, collapsible, portable and inflatable are typical words that spring to mind – but are they credible alternatives to “permanent” type boats?
Well they certainly satisfy the criteria for transport with a caravan since they are all portable and take up less space being collapsible in some way or another.
There are really two categories:
These have been around for a long time and they are nearly always used as tenders to get to bigger boats moored offshore.
They do have their place, but take time to inflate; they CAN puncture and don’t really offer the experience of a “real” boat.
These have come a long way in recent years and now use lightweight materials including fibreglass and plastics, and are considered by some to be superior to the conventional tinnie runabout – even designed to be strong enough to take a full sized outboard motor and complement of passengers.
Storage is simple – either on or even inside the caravan or strapped flat to the vehicle rack with relative ease.
Now as you travel around remember to keep a lookout for these folding boats coming out of caravans or off flat racks and moving quickly on to the water.