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I have no idea what the response to this will be, but I'd like float an idea that's been kicking around in my head since we placed an order for our new caravan.

 

Until 18 months ago, I worked at a major hospital in the South of England. I know many who work in ICU and have first hand accounts to go with the pictures brought to us on daily news programmes.

 

You probably don't need me to tell you how hard many are finding things, and believe me they'd already seen more than most of us ever will long before Covid. These people are running on empty, physically and emotionally, but every day, every shift, they're doing everything they can to save someone else's loved ones. Maybe one of yours.

 

When this is all over, they're going to need the love of those close to them - husband's wives, children - and they're going to need to spend quality time with those loved ones in an environment far removed from reminders of the hell they're currently living.

 

I for one would like to show my appreciation to these amazing individuals by offering to take our new 'van (when it arrives) to a site in the area and let an ICU worker and his/her family use it for a week, free of cost. In fact, I'd like to offer many such heroes the chance to do the same, which is why I'm floating this idea here.

 

Would anyone else on here be willing to do similar in your area? 

 

I have contacts that, once things return to some normality, could liaise with ICU units around the country to disseminate offers and ensure they are made to the most deserving individuals.

 

Maybe the CMC and CCC could get involved too, perhaps providing free or discounted pitches for the purpose. 

 

Am I deluded, or is this something that 'has legs'?

Edited by Old Chimers
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My insurance doesn't cover such things. You'll probably find the same.

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1 minute ago, JanandJay said:

My insurance doesn't cover such things. You'll probably find the same.

 

Have you actually asked them?  It’s not being used for “hire or reward” you are merely lending it to someone. No different to lending it to a relative, I would be surprised if the insurer would object.

 

Cracking idea Old Chimers,  we are thinking of contacting one of the hospitals and offering a single person a week staying with us in our home by the seaside at no cost to them (I.e. full board!) 

 

Seeing the pressures the NHS staff are working under on the TV each bulletin  makes you question how anyone can still claim it’s a hoax or conspiracy doesn’t it.

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Then the insurance companies would need to be brought on board too. Are you saying if you let a friend or relative use your caravan without you being present it's not insured? I'm not talking about renting it out (which I appreciate would not be covered).

Edited by Old Chimers
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I asked my insurance company if I could lend a friend it to self isolate and work from. Their answer was basically no 

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6 minutes ago, JanandJay said:

I asked my insurance company if I could lend a friend it to self isolate and work from. Their answer was basically no 

Are you sure it's not the "work from" element that was the issue?

Edited by Old Chimers
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4 minutes ago, JanandJay said:

I asked my insurance company if I could lend a friend it to self isolate and work from. Their answer was basically no 

Now ask them the position if you let someone use it for a holiday on a proper caravan site with facilities instead of as an office on a driveway to self-isolate in.

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49 minutes ago, Legal Eagle said:

Now ask them the position if you let someone use it for a holiday on a proper caravan site with facilities instead of as an office on a driveway to self-isolate in.

I will tomorrow 

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8 hours ago, Old Chimers said:

I for one would like to show my appreciation to these amazing individuals by offering to take our new 'van (when it arrives) to a site in the area and let an ICU worker and his/her family use it for a week, free of cost. In fact, I'd like to offer many such heroes the chance to do the same, which is why I'm floating this idea here.

 

Am I deluded, or is this something that 'has legs'?

I completely understand and agree with your motives but I feel I must offer asome words of warning from personal experience.

 

Many years ago I was pursuaded by my wife to lend our caravan to one of her work colleagues and family. Cutting a long story short, I took the caravan to a nearby site, they stayed in it for a week BUT after the holoday I found various damage to the caravan that should never have happened under 'normal' use. I vowed never to make the mistake of lending a caravan again.

 

Sadly some years later I did make that mistake, when I was pursuaded to lend another caravan to friends. Suffice to say that the same occurred again, and not only did I have to fork out for repairs but we lost what until then were good friends, when they refused to take responsibility for the damage.

 

Neither of the two families above were caravanners and that wasprobably the problem. In both instances though they also had unruly kids who I believe caused the damage in each case.

 

Lesson finally learnt and despite being asked, I have never allowed anybody to use our outfits since unless we are present - ie they come with us as guests.

 

I don't know if the rules are the same now but I had no problem with caravan insurance, other than the fact that they stipulated that damage by the occupants would not be covered if we were not staying with them. That should have sounded the alarm bells but we trusted our friends - big mistake!

 

Gordon

 

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Caravans are not robustly built (understatement of the year) and people who are not caravanners would not easily adjust to the fragility of a caravan as compared to a house. I dont mean that they would deliberately or carelessly do damage, but they would be beginners and the caravan would suffer. I'm not sure how easy it would be to legitimately lend your caravan to others whilst sited - ask the site manager and they may say not allowed. Bedding used by another? Cooking and eating equipment used by another? many caravanners dislike hotels and rented acccomodation for this very reason.  I dont think its something I would consider. I would prefer to donate to a charity enabling rest breaks for those in need (come to think of it, I already do).

 

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Ern

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not a thing that I would do , mainly because it's one of the reasons we buy new vans  is that it's for our use only , although my son stays sometimes when he's passing by.   I would rather donate towards a holiday for them. With your insurance it does say how you will use the van, so perhaps that's the bit that you will have to change to enable you to lend it out. 

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At a previous company I worked for, they had a caravan sited at a CMC site which could be booked by the workforce for free. It was well subscribed to but, even though everything was provided, including cleaning materials and strict instructions on how it should be left, it was often left in a dirty condition.

Often people have different standards of cleaning requirements. 

 

A nice thought from the OP but accidents happen and caravans are easily broken and need to be treated with a light touch( as I keep telling my wife:)

 

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I think its a cracking idea Old Chimers and with some 'vetting' would be willing to let ours be used by a well deserved person.

During the first lockdown ours was used on our drive by a friends son who is a traffic police officer (I'm not stupid!!..), who wanted to shield from his young family and during the 2nd lockdown it was used by a friend of ours who nurses in A&E with absolutely no damage. Our neighbours were brilliant, one side chipped in with the occasional home cooked meal and the other side offered their washing machine.

Unfortunately both my neighbour who we share our drive with and us are having building work done so the caravan space is occupied by a skip otherwise it would be here and being taken advantage of.

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A lovely idea, but a week in a 22ft x8ft box in a field where you either have to empty your own toilet and fetch water or walk outside to use shared facilties, isn't most peoples idea of a relaxing holiday.I know we all love it, but we're in a minority. Suppose, though, it could be an opportunity for someone who was thinking of buying their own van or returning to caravanning, to "try before they buy", so the idea might have some legs. 

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Never a lender or borrower be!

 

It is a generous idea but if the van is damaged how will you feel?  This is a negative way of thinking but one that may protect you.

 

Do not lend unless you can afford to lose.

 

Mind you, think of all the successful renting of holiday homes that takes place 

 

macafee2

Edited by macafee2
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In June we subscribed to this scheme through our agents to lend our holiday home to NHS profesionals who might need accomodation. Despite having a handful of hospitals within 40 mins drive (including Mrs H's old place of work) and less than an hour from the Sunderland Nightingale, we have never been approached. That leads me to believe that there isn't a requirement in North Yorkshire for free accomodation for NHS staff.

And if anyone thinks I'm offering to lend out our brand new caravan to non-caravanners when we haven't yet used it in anger (the stickers are still on the tyres for goodness sake), when there seems to be no need, they should think again.

We did lend our previous caravan to Mrs H's sister and husband a few years ago when they needed a site office in France as their house was being renovated. No damage (they are ex-caravanners) but the caravan needed a good clean.

 

IMO, the best help for the NHS is to do our absolute utmost not to get infected.

 

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hawkaye :beardy:

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Whilst the idea seems simple enough, once you go down that route you will have to get the gas and electric systems checked and certified by Gas Safe and NICEIC qualified engineers, with the certificates displayed inside the van.

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The insurance cover might be a problem. Some policies exclude use by others than the policyholder while others cover leisure only. Before you do this do be aware that you should check with the insurer as to the limit of the cover.

Most sites are closed so could not take the caravan anyway although a fed are open to allow NHS staff to isolate there so it might be possible. Not sure there are any open here.

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We might let brother and sister in law use ours as they are ex caravanners. We would not lend it to anyone else.

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6 minutes ago, Old Chimers said:

Well, not quite unanimous - thank you for your positivity @Mr Ploddand @Jacko1-  but I guess that's a fairly resounding no then. 

Probably offering the use of a static caravan would be more attractive and practical. 

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14 minutes ago, Dobloseven said:

Probably offering the use of a static caravan would be more attractive and practical. 

If I had one I would.

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There is no way in this world I would let anyone stay in, or have use of my caravan, not even friends, let alone strangers be they NHS heroes or otherwise.

 

I would however support an initiative to fund a holiday programme for NHS staff to take a free holiday in the UK, using holiday homes, static caravans etc that are there for that purpose.

 

Problem is, whilst we  might see the front line NHS staff as heroes, there will no doubt be those that NHS staff that we probably wouldn't regard as such, who may end up staying in your beloved caravan, or using your donations to get a free holiday. The NHS umbrella will include thousands and thousands of people, some less deserving of your kindness than others. How would you feel if an NHS executive on a high salary working in an office far away from a hospital ended up staying in your caravan. I doubt that would be in the spirit of the scheme. But there would be no way of you knowing so.

 

But what about the police officers having to go into hot situations putting themselves at risk, breaking up fights, parties, and general day to day policing? What about the other essential key workers? Where do you draw the line?

Edited by JCCD
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1 hour ago, JCCD said:

There is no way in this world I would let anyone stay in, or have use of my caravan, not even friends, let alone strangers be they NHS heroes or otherwise.

 

I would however support an initiative to fund a holiday programme for NHS staff to take a free holiday in the UK, using holiday homes, static caravans etc that are there for that purpose.

 

Problem is, whilst we  might see the front line NHS staff as heroes, there will no doubt be those that NHS staff that we probably wouldn't regard as such, who may end up staying in your beloved caravan, or using your donations to get a free holiday. The NHS umbrella will include thousands and thousands of people, some less deserving of your kindness than others. How would you feel if an NHS executive on a high salary working in an office far away from a hospital ended up staying in your caravan. I doubt that would be in the spirit of the scheme. But there would be no way of you knowing so.

 

But what about the police officers having to go into hot situations putting themselves at risk, breaking up fights, parties, and general day to day policing? What about the other essential key workers? Where do you draw the line?

 

Wow, it must be difficult going through life with so little trust for your fellow human beings. As I said earlier, the response had already been overwhelmingly negative, but you still felt the need to pour scorn on the idea. Bravo.

 

If you'd asked I could have explained how easy it would be to ensure it was only deserving ICU nurses that benefit (and that is where I personally would draw the line), but I'd clearly be wasting my time.

 

Glad I raised the idea though as I've at least learned one thing  on the evidence of this thread, the caravanners of today are seemingly not the almost entirely friendly breed I remember them being when we sold our last 'van 18 years ago. I hope we don't live to regret rejoining the 'club'.

 

Stay safe everyone.

 

Sincerely hope your in-laws pull through @Mr Plodd

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I think this is a great idea but there are quite a few pitfalls and caravanners take serious pride in their kit , hence the concerned replies. Insurance and gas  etc could all be issues but I see many hotels and b n bs and rentals are doing this. Our local very smart hotel  was full of Openreach vans this morning about 30 perhaps and I'd say that would be a lot comfier than a caravan and trying to educate a novice on how to use caravan kit. I wonder if they are doing discounts? My wife is a key worker and considered an overnight stay   at a very nice hotel and they were doing great rates. Restaurant food but you had to eat it in your room.

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