Camping caravaning means that you can park your caravan anywhere you want and have your holiday. A suitableplateau, a nice lake edge, a beautiful forest or a relaxing beach can be your camping place. If you choose such a place, you can have isolated holiday to unbrace yourself. But if you would like to take the benefit of technology or to create new friendship for the future, you may choose the camping areas. With this characteristic, camping caravaning is an alternative holiday option. If you hace a caravan, you can have an excellent and economic holiday alone with the nature. Holiday in caravan generally is preffered by the people who would like to be aone with the nature, to travel and to have a freedom of accommodating where ever they want.
Today, although they have enough financial resources, most of the people prefer to have their holiday with caravan instaed of spending it in summer houses. But on the other hand there are some pitying the people having their holidays in a small caravan and doing everything by themselves and even recommending them to save money to buy a summer house instead of a caravan. But as you shut off the engine of your car, pull the hand brake, everywhere is yours. You can move freely with your house and you can easily accommodate where ever you like with your house. Camping caravaning really makes you feel the freedom. I don not think that a summer house or a hotel with many stars can provide such a feeling. Camping caravaning is absolutely a different type of living and a different perspective to life. This way of living created its own culture and prepared the development of a different style.
Caravan and types of caravan
If we define in a simple way, caravan is a special vehicle which is pulled by a car or is structured particularly on other vehicle. It is generally for 2 or 6 people with a kitchen, tank, bathroom, toilet, fridge, beds and couches and even heating system.
The ones which are pulled by another vehicle are called “pulling caravan” and the ones which are set up on a vehicle are called “motocaravan”. Both of the caravan types have different kinds according to their size and comfort they provide. The caravan can also be produced for its own user and due to special needs. Since there is electric system in the caravan, if you find an electric cable outside and connect it to your system, you can even use electric.
The development of camping caravaning
European caravaner and campers started to be seen in our country during the 1960s and we can say that our people for the first time meet with this kind of holiday concept at those years. During that period, in Turkey camping caravaning mostly accepted as “for tourists”. At those years,old style Citroen and Wolkswagen minibuses were the most popular vehicles among the tourists camping. Actually, 1960s were the years which the holiday and tourism concepts newly entered our lives. And during theose years, camping began to develop as a holiday in accordance with the budget of especially young people, civil servants, small shopkeepers and workers. In many parts of our country camps were set up mostly by the sea.
Government agencies began to create seperate camping areas for their own staff. As a result camping style holiday experience has progressed rapidly. Camps were joint places where the holidays were shared. Families was meeting, young people were enjoying the sea and making new friends, the enjoyable days were spending. Over time, camps have developed and kitchens, laundries and restaurants were added. During those years, the tourists visiting Turkey by their caravans began to use those camping areas as well. In 1970s private caravan camping areas began to open up and they were mostly used by the foreign tourists. 70s are the years that caravan tourism has become widespread in Turkey. In 1980s along with our country, a new trend began; “summer house” hype. Everybody started to involve in having a summer house by the sea. This new trend was soon covered the entire coastal strip. Our coastline was filled with summer houses. In sprite of being used during a short timein the summer months of the year and being remained empty the rest of the year, this type of holiday has yet to destroy the camping tradition of 60s.
Production of local caravans and organization
In the mid 70s from the local production of caravans in our country has begun to be seen. Thus, as previously seen only on tourist job, camping caravaning began to develop and to be done here as well. Even the ones, who have their holidays by camping caravaning, organized among themselves and established an association in order to spreading the idea of camping caravaning. The association named “Camping and caravan association of Turkey” is based in Ankara and it has branches in İstanbul and Antalya. Today it is known that there are around 2000 caravan owners in Turkey. The association organizes caravan rallies in Turkey and participates in various events on abroad. The trailerites in Europa organized on international level. FICC – International Federation of Camping and Caravan was established in 1933 and it has 58 member clups from 34 countries. Every year FICC organizes International Caravan Ralli.
Which is more appropriate
The users of caravan define the advantages and disadvantages of both pulling caravan and motocaravan. The biggest problems of pulling caravans are difficulty in driving, being slow and skids during driving. Driving a car not suitable to pull, having a bad caravan which is not fixed properly and inexperienced driver can be the basis of this problems. However it is possible to use the car as you park your caravan and settle down in the camping area. So, you can travel around easily and solve the shopping problem. Pulling caravans are create an alternative for the ones who own a car would like to have camping caravan experience in an economic way. Pulling caravans are not included in taxation because of their being without engine.
For motocaravans, driving is more comfortable. The trips can be done without any torture. But after arriving to camping area, the excursions are not practical. They are more expencive comparing to pulling ones. There is no taxation except the tax for the vehicle which is carrier. In Turkey, for carrier vehicle Fiat Ducato, Peogeot Boxer, Citroen Jumper, Ford Transit, Renault Master, Mercedes Sprinter, Iveco, Volkswagen Transporter are the ones to be used.
Loading and preparation
If you do camping caravaning, before hitting the road, you need to check up your vehicle and complete all the necessary maintence. The more groomed vehicle you have, the less problem you face on the road. Do not forget, you can reduce the problems only by taking precautions. Traveling by caravan means you need to pay attention to carrier or pulling car, the weight of your caravan and the way of loading. Here we would like to remind you some practicalities.
Loading the caravan: Especially, in loading the caravan, the most important point that you need to be careful is distirbuting the burden equally and appropriately on the axle. It is important to put the goods equally on the front and the back of the axle by keeping in mind the weight of constant loads such as water tank and fridge. After loading the caravan, it is important to have a look at the caravan outside on a flat surface and control it. If the car and the caravan stands parallel to the floor, that means there is no problem. If the front part of the pulling car or the back side of the caravan is levitated, that means there are many problems are waiting for you on the road.
Pulling car: There are some points to be considered if you are using pulling caravan. There is a difference between driving a car and driving a car tied with a caravan. It is important that you are aware of this difference. The car manufacturers specify the maximum trailer weight to be pulled of the car on the brochures. It is important that you know this weight value precisely.
You need to pay attention not having a heavier caravan than a pulling car. The heavier caravan you have the more problem you face. So, it is important to have possible light and necessary staff and keep away from the heavy staff. Therefore loading a caravan is a work of art. The main duty of shock absorbes is to provide a balanced driving and not to reflect the holes and bumps on the road. Each car has its own suitable shock absorbes due to its weight. A car tied with a caravan will have more weight on the back shock absorbers. In this kind of situations, the shock absorbers can exploit easily and be able to serve. Therefore the pulling cars should have stronger shock absorbers, which can resists heavier burdens.
The tire air is set due to weight of the vehicle. Usually the weight of a loaded caravan is equal to the weight of a pulling car. However there is an important point. The car has 4 tires and the weight is distributed among these but the caravan has 2 tires. Therefore a portion of the burden of the caravan sits on the back tires of the car. So, it is necessary that the pulling cars should have mora air for their back tires. Normally, it is enough to pump 300 gr more than the usual amount. Both the car’s and the caravan’s tires must be check often during the journey.
Skid problem: The pulling cravan can face skid problem because of wrong loading, not obeying the pulling rules and a driver, inexperienced in caravan driving. Skid of a loaded caravan causes the skid of pulling car. This is a very serious situation and it may cause the driver’s loosing control. During the driving there is a certain moment that speed of the puller car equals with the speed of the caravan. At that certain point, the pulling action stops and the axel of the caravan is ready to whirl. The whirling is called skid. If the central focal point of the caravan is not on the axel or middle of the axel, the skid is inevitable. If you apply the brakes at the moment the speed of both the caravan and the pulling car is equal, the central focal point of the caravan moves to the front of the axel. In this kind of situations, it is necessary to apply the brakes for a short moment and gun up again right after you gear down. Like this, the central focal point in the front, thrown to back and the vehicle continues without skidding.
Camping caravaning in Cappadocia
In Turkey there are 300 camping areas, which are very well known by the people interested camping caravaning. Most of them are on the main road side and they provide electricity, woter supply, toilet, bathroom, laundry and kitchen for the campers.
It is known those there 5 million trailerites around Europe and 200 thousands of them visit Turkey every year. The civil war in Yugoslavia in 1992, made the road connection of Turkey with Europe a bit risky and challenging. Therefore foreign trailerites began to find alternatives to Turkey. During the Yugoslavian civil war, lasted for 4 years, some of the camping areas in Turkey were shut down and the rest of them are regressed. After the war in 1996, it was not easy to bring life to the sector. Therefore , Turkey lost its huge amount of client because of these conditions.
This situation also affected a lot of Cappadocia, one of the well known centers for camping caravaning. Before 1992,the convoys with 10 or 20 caravans could be seen but nowadays it is hard to see them. Today, either single caravan or a group of 2 – 3 caravans visit the region. 1992, camping areas in Cappadocia was reaching 90 % occupancy but today, this rate reduces to 10 – 20 %. Of course the increase in fuel prices in Turkey and the global economical crisis contrbuted to this situation definitely. Many companies, serving in camping caravaning seector are closed because of the decrease in the caravan tourism. In the past there 20 camping areas but now this number is half.