Saturday, August 7, 2010


I've been living and working in Lyon for more than 4 months now ( less than 2 to go...) and every day I have to take public transportation to get from one to another.
A part of this daily route involves a bus taking a strip of highway, and not any highway...the A7 highway. For those of you who don't know: the A7 connects Lyon to Marseille and the famous Côte d'Azur area; on top of that, it is also the extension of the A6 highway, which comes straight down from Paris.
At this time of the year this looong patch of asphalt is the traffic jam paradise and the drivers' nightmare, because every western European living above the 45° lat N who wants to get to the French Mediterranean shore by car has to go through here. And this brings me to the topic of this babbling post: tourist trailers or caravans to be more precise.
Being stuck in traffic, I have all the time I need to study the diversity of the vehicles surrounding the bus. So after a thorough research I came to the conclusion that about 5 - 10% of the tourist cars are travel trailers; and a crushing majority from The Netherlands, Germany and Belgium.
The question is: why would you want to spend your holidays in a caravan?
It small, tight and crowded. You have to clean it more thoroughly than a car. You have to live on a camping site so you could use it...and, thus, be surrounded by others; and my guess is that these wonders of automotive industry are less soundproof than a hotel room. You also have to charge it up and empty all the recipients...
If you own it you must take care of it the rest of the year when it will be taking up space in your garage. If you don't own it you have to hire it every year. Moreover, there are special traffic limitations that apply to you but not to the other cars. Ok it can be useful if you have to drive in shifts to get somewhere, but upon arrival I want a real bedroom. I mean what kind of holiday is that where your jammed in less than 10m² with all the facilities crushing you; I lived for 5 years in 10m² rooms and there are better options, especially if you need to rest and enjoy your time.
You will tell me that with a caravan you can stay anywhere...maybe..if you have enough power. But isn't it more "genuine" if you would stay in a small hotel and get your tent and backpack when you're in the mood for some wilderness?
I didn't do the maths to sum up the expenses, but my rough guess is that you don't make too great savings so that the trouble would worth it. 
Just sayin', what are your thoughts on these motored-homes?

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