Would you live full-time in a caravan? - Travelling K

Would you live full-time in a caravan?

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I’ve come to the conclusion that I want to live full-time in a caravan. Do you agree with my reasons below? Would you take the dive?

Q: Why do you want to live in a caravan?
  • I am desperate to live on my own – to have my own space and not cook dinner with 3 other flatmates and all their dirty dishes.
  • I considered renting a flat on my own but feel that paying more than double the rent is a waste of money. I want to have the funds for the odd trip overseas, which wouldn’t be possible if all my money is going towards paying rent for my own place.
  • I original thought about saving to buy a house, but the idea of owing half a million to the bank for a house that is very basic and on the outskirts of the city is discouraging.
  • I like the idea of having a home where I could move locations… a trip away for the weekend with all the comforts of home.
  • The idea of being able to ‘lock and leave’, to dump it at dads (lucky dad) and take a quick trip overseas without paying rent while away.
Q: Where would you park it?
  • I can free camping for two nights at a time throughout New Zealand – the plus is being surrounded by beautiful scenery and it’s free!
  • At campgrounds which would cost about what I’m paying in rent right now – the plus is the use of their power, bathroom and laundry.
  • If I join NZMCA, I’ve heard there’s a book that tells me where I can stay. I’ll also learn where people let strangers stay on their private land. Something for my to-do list.
  • I’m also wondering if there’s the odd friend out there who wants a bit of extra cash in exchange for their power and bathroom facilities.
Q: What about work?

It would be a hassle driving in and out of the city, but I want to enjoy New Zealand nature more and it will motivate me to get out there on the weekends – to not take the lazy route. And my caravan will end up all over Auckland – sometimes closer, sometimes further out.

Q: What about the bathroom?

That’s something I want to learn more about. The caravan will have a bathroom and I’ve heard emptying the toilet isn’t as gross as I thought it would be. Then sometimes I’ll have access to bathrooms with real plumbing!

Q: What about laundry?

I’ll have a very large laundry bag and make use of laundrettes’ and campground facilities when I stay there… and probably make use of my dads washing machine.

Q: You want to write about caravans?

I want to share my experience of learning about caravans and campervans and share my errors for people to avoid in the future… and laugh about. I want to share the beautiful places I find along the way and encourage more people to try it – even for just a weekend.

Q: Aren’t caravans expensive?

I’m spending this year saving and I’ll be going for a second-hand version – the type with a lot of wooden furniture and horrendous tartan seating fabric! I’ll also have to upgrade my car which is currently a tiny city car and has no tow bar.

Q: Why a caravan? Why not a motorhome or van?

I like the idea of leaving the caravan to drive a normal car to work. I like the idea that someday I might own a bit of land and have the caravan there. A motorhome is more expensive and I would be concerned about an older engine being in working order. But if you have a different opinion, let me know! I’m aware that motorhomes are more popular.


My close friends, after a blank stare, have mainly said ‘that’s so you’! My next step is to actually look inside caravans in my price range.

Would you give it a go and try living full-time in a caravan? Has this article made you think, ‘maybe it’s an option‘? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below… and wish me luck.

Photo credit: Shutterstock


  1. Vicky says:

    I think it would be a great a asset – you could always extend with a fold out porch ?

  2. P says:

    Good luck! My friends parents have been living in a caravan for years in New Zealand.

  3. Nik says:

    I think it’s a great idea! And yes, “it’s very you! “. I wish you the best of luck. If I was going to do it in any country, I would’ve thought New Zealand would be the place to do it. In England I’ve heard of people live “off the grid ” in barges and as a result pay very little tax if any. Are there also tax incentives to living in a caravan?

    • TravellingK says:

      Tax incentives – I haven’t heard of any, but will investigate! Living in a barge along the Thames looked like fun – and they must have a great community too.

  4. Alex Jones says:

    I’ve considered ot in the past
    But after reading this its definitely something i would consider again.

    The idea of being able to just “move house” when I feel like it is great haha and you actually wouldn’t have the hassel of moving as such.

    If it were me I’d probably live in a caravan park more permanently, near the beach. But thats just me ?

    Oh and yea its definitely something for you! Good luck!

  5. Jason Mills says:

    Circumstances got me living temporarily (was thinking 3 months max) in a caravan about 3 years ago, have upgraded in that time and now I think I would struggle to go back to living in a house, even though I still gave one!
    I just read the article in the nzmca mag and can relate to thinking about water a lot. If u have an awning, a funnel and a piece of hose is your friend for catching the water when it runs off the awning! Love living in my caravan, I get to stay mostly at Waihi Beach which is a very nice place to hang out!

    • TravellingK says:

      Oh, great tip for collecting water. That would be the perfect set-up! Any chance you have a picture to share?
      Great to hear that you are enjoying your caravan life so much 🙂

  6. alan says:

    Hi K, I just discovered you on youtube. I’m doing my research now on the appropriate caravan and tow vehicle. I’m thinking new for both, to avoid the maintenance problems and get at least 12 month warrantee on both. One thing I’ve noticed with the british caravans is the lack of storage, for large items and hanging clothes, so I’m now considering a large 4WD van, or a small fully enclosed delivery truck, to store extra water tanks and a generator and portable caravan washing machine. Do you think this is a good idea?

    Have you heard of this caravan below, they are in Mosgiel, it is my preferred caravan at the moment:


    I find your opinions extremely helpful, I’m in Taupo, do you ever come through here?



    • TravellingK says:

      That does look like a nice caravan! I don’t know much about that brand. I like how the shower is separate – that will be handy. I wish my fridge was larger, but that is tricky in a caravan with weight. It took me a while to sort out storage space. There is a lot of room under the bed which is great for shoes, sheets and spare clothes. Food storage was my tricky part.

      Other brands to consider are Bailey Orion (UK) or Jayco (AUS). They seem really well constructed.

      I would consider holding off buying the washing machine and generator until after a couple of months in the caravan as they are not essential. When I went on a road trip looking for the caravan, I overpacked my car and then had to lug it with me for 3 months in the South Island, haha. This is definitely a minimalist lifestyle. With the vehicle – are you planning to move around quickly or travel slowly? What type of places are you planning to stay? Have you considered getting fresh water and waste water tanks added to the caravan? This is something I’m considering! I imagine a van or truck would power through the fuel quite quickly? An exciting time for you.

      I do go through Taupo. Have you heard of ‘Adventures with Rosy’ on YouTube? I know they are based in Taupo.

  7. Alan Shrimpton says:

    Great idea but I could never leave my garden. Especially my banana plants are flowering for the 1st year. Enjoy!

    • TravellingK says:

      Oh, I do miss having a veggie patch – or at least the idea of having a garden, haha. Sounds like your garden is your passion which is great to hear.

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