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Do you know what you want in a caravan — or are you just winging it?

Marty & Diana Ireland

My wife and I bought our first caravan over 10 years ago, just because it was for sale at a price we thought would be a good buy, to go caravanning. Prior to that we had only tented once or twice with loaned gear and this was our starting point.


The caravan was a New Zealand built Anglo Imp which was basically a heavy square box with a brand-new awning but was a little tired. We set up another awning on the opposite side to the usual which doubled the covered area for cooking, eating and shade. 


Eventually with health reasons driving a change, instead of a refit we sold and purchased a Sprite fiberglass roof pop-top, sight unseen, apart from photographs and a description. We found hidden rot in the floor and very light joinery so we did a strip out and rebuild with a large comfortable bed, seating and storage. Again we set up 2 awnings, one totally enclosed for cooking and a fly awning for shade, eating and seating. 


We watched our neighbours with a more modern caravan heading off in winter with dogs included and thought that should be us too and so we sold our little pop-top and started looking for an English import type. 


What we thought we wanted soon changed as we sat in and viewed a number of vans over about 3 months. With size restrictions due to wanting to store on our home section, rather than off-site∞ we finally made a decision. 


We decided on motor movers: these assist with home and campsite parking. We really recommend these. 


We discovered and joined APCNZ and got it certified for self-containment. We have found the club’s online information very helpful. We have enjoyed contributing to their suggested camps and to see others’ suggestions. 


We now plan and check out camp sites for an excursion every 4 months or so. We are looking forward to many happy camps and experiences into the future and invite you to do the same. 


Our backdoor is our playground. 


BY: Marty & Diana

PHOTOS: ©2022 Marty


We thought that should be us too -- so we sold our pop-top and started looking for caravan

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