What type of caravanner are you?
Research has identified an interesting take on the types of people who enjoy caravanning.
According to the Caravan Industry Association of Australia, there was close to 11.5 million caravan park and camping trips around the country during 2017.
That’s a lot of caravanning and camping. Numerous studies reveal that caravanning and camping make people happy. But it can also bring out both the best and the worst in people.
Caravancampingsales.com.au did some research and identified the different types of caravanners, using an Australian bird name as the title for each profile. The descriptions are quite apt. Which one are you, or maybe you have one to add to the list?
Galahs can be colourful, noisy, ostentatious and, in some circumstances (busy, boxed-in caravan parks), intrusive. They hit the park for a good time, not necessarily a long time, and are often fond of bright LED lights; big, bacon-scorching gas hot plates; and large pop-up shelters for watching TV with their many mates.
These are the park regulars, having inherited or somehow secured the same spot, for the same time, in the same caravan park, for more years they can remember. Like a family heirloom, these treasured sites are often handed down and fiercely guarded.
You first spot these on the highway, often with budget camper trailer or expander van in tow, loaded up high with bikes, picnic tables, blow-up toys, totem tennis poles and all the other essential equipment required for a non-stop family holiday. Unpacking and setting up all that gear takes hours, while packing up requires another solid team effort, sometimes shared between families.
They could be backpackers in offensively decorated campervans, or international travellers doing the bucket list around-Oz motorhome tour. Either way, these ‘myna birds’ are always breaking the rules. They arrive late, are disruptive, hog the shower and steal the toilet paper, before packing up noisily and heading off to another park to plunder some more.
These are the eternal optimists who attempt to turn any dustbowl caravan park site into the perfectly picturesque camp setting. They light fire pits on the access roads and cook a roast before toasting marshmallows, all with a guitar strumming in the background.
These are the permanents residents who are either living full-time in the park or bought the right to stay in an old van converted into a cheap holiday house. They often clash with fellow travelers not aware of the unwritten ‘house’ rules, like parking in a vacant spot normally reserved for the eagle’s frequent pop-in guests.
Kookaburras are the life and soul of any caravan park, whether perched in the trees or a circle of camp chairs. These ever-chirpy camping neighbours are forever putting on a spread and organising Happy Hours for anyone half-interested in a chat.
Penguins are the caravanners who like nothing better than travelling with a furry friend. Often grey nomads, living a semi-permanent or permanent life on the road, they treat their pooch better than many parents treat their children. They’ll set up elaborate fencing around the van, like a mini-zoo, and parade Fido around the park on its daily walk, attracting admiring pats from fellow animal-lovers along the way.
Owls are those wise types that tour around in a large caravan with every conceivable luxury and comfort. They’re rarely seen, except to empty the toilet cassette or put out the rubbish. That’s because everything they need is inside, including a fridge big enough to keep them in five-star cooked meals for weeks.
Cockatoos make their presence felt. Whether it’s to complain about the high price of a powered site, or having to pay extra for a jumping pillow they’ll never use. They’ll whinge about rude neighbours, unsupervised kids riding bikes through their site, and noisy airconditioners that run all night. They love caravanning, but have a love/hate relationship with caravan parks and being in close proximity with other caravanners with different needs to their own.
If you’re someone who never carries enough tools on a camping trip or are not very ‘handy’, ‘bowerbirds’ will be your favourite species of caravanner. They come to the rescue when you need that particular spanner to connect the BBQ to the gas bayonet, or are struggling once again with the roll-out awning. They carry more tools than the local Bunnings and boast the skills of a caravan repair shop. They’re friendly and approachable, and always appear to be around and available in your time of need.