Do you remember the Mungo Jerry classic Summertime from 1970? There’s a line where Mungo yells ‘have a drink (non-alcoholic clearly), have a drive, go out and see what you can find’.
We did exactly that last weekend, all the way to Devon, and I can tell you what we found on the never-ending A303 conveyor belt – a caravan graveyard.
I’m a complete fool for trying to drive to the south-west on the first Saturday of the summer holidays.
Millions of motionless migratory morons all trying to go to the same place on the same day, all suffering the same consequence.
Of course, you’d expect the occasional jam or incident, but the sight of countless caravans blocking the road with a wheel missing or broken axles made me angrier than a Coca Cola-consuming wafted wasp.
Cars break down all the time. We’ve all been there.
But to drag a decrepit plastic box with laughable braking ability down the motorway at 60 mph is borderline insanity.
The fact that caravans don’t have to go through any form of MoT seems criminal.
Caravanners may see the inspection as a form of tax or hindrance to their enjoyment.
But to have laws that state your car must meet a standard yet you can kick the tyres on your wheelie bin and legally drag it around the country at high speed is nuts.
I’m also amazed that for most caravans you don’t need any form of additional driving test before you head out on the road.
So we’re to assume that a driver who normally schleps around town in his Micra is suddenly skilled enough to tow a caravan to and through the winding country lanes in Cornwall or up a Welsh mountain?
I like caravanning. We’ve hired static caravans on many occasions.
I love the innovation – a toilet that doubles up as a slow-cooker is, frankly, genius.
But caravanners have a duty of responsibility to all road users.
They need to get their house (portable) in order.