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Tim Moore: Just how did caravanning get this cool?

Airstream, the iconic US caravan-maker, has launched its first range designed for Europe. But would the sleek curves and power-assisted gadgets be enough to help Tim Moore convince his family that caravanning really could be fun?

Middle age isn’t all bad. Here is just one of the unsung bonuses: if you passed your driving test before 1997, you’re already qualified to raise merry hell on public roads at the wheel of a car-plus-caravan “outfit” of up to 8.25 tonnes in weight. So when you see someone under 30 towing a caravan, be content that at least they know what they’re doing, having proven so in a stringent supplementary test. Except you won’t, because unless they’re stealing it or are en route to some Top Gear-sponsored demolition derby, no one under 30 tows a caravan.

Two things threaten that demographic. First, recession: a domestic caravan holiday is cheap, which explains why bookings at Caravan Club sites are up by 40 per cent this year. Second, Airstream – the only caravan it’s OK to want, or indeed ever to refer to by name – has just released a modish European range. These factors are fated never to work in tandem, however, because Airstreams are tremendously expensive.

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