Caravanaway: A LEGO Caravan Family Holiday

The LEGO travel trailers and RVs have a special spark for me and they were some of the first sets I purchased when I became more interested in LEGO photography. I remember browsing Bricklink looking at expired sets and knowing which ones would end up in my little adventure arsenal. Several of those sets have wandered with me out on camping and overlanding trips. LEGO provided this set for review, but I would buy it for its photo/play factor. Now let’s take a look at the LEGO Creator 3-in-1 Caravan Family Holiday (31108)!

And "Caravanaway" we go!
And “Caravanaway” we go!

For this review I’ll cover three key topics; build experience, size comparison and photo/play factor.

Build experience

With the instruction book and plastic bags open, the first things you build are the ‘extras’—the tree, animals, the picnic table and SUP. The animals are simple yet surprisingly fun. The beaver made me laugh out loud and I’ll end up putting together a few more of the beaver and bluebird for other photos.

The kit is a Creator 3-in-1 set and I built the primary version straight away. Here are a few favorites in the build:

Undo and do anew

It’s rare that I take apart a build so quickly, but for this review I wanted to do the RV build as well. So in-between the size comparison photos and taking the set out into the field I tore the Caravan build down, built the RV for these photos and then took that apart and rebuilt the Caravan. The lighthouse build doesn’t have much interest for me so I’ve focused on other two versions. The RV build was interesting, but the Caravan is a better build.


Size comparison

Over the last several years I’ve picked up several LEGO RVs and Travel Trailers (in addition to a number of off-roaders and trucks). I’ve traveled with them a fair amount including long road trips, camping and 4×4 routes. There’s a balance between space and possible ideas for these larger builds that generally limits what I take. With that in mind, it’s important to note that this new Caravan and SUV are considerably larger than previous ones—part of LEGO’s move to an 8-stud-wide vehicle platform I’m sure. Yes, you get more detail in the build, but that comes at a cost, especially for its inherent ‘clutch’ factor. The larger RVs tend to be more fragile and I expect this new one will take some extra care when it gets packed and transported. Here’s a gallery of the new Caravan and SUV next to older kits for size reference. It’s dramatically larger.


Photo/play factor

My initial plan was to go up into the mountains to shoot this set—then a storm dumped a foot-plus of snow where I was planning to go. I didn’t want to spend the day battling traffic up in the mountains, so I drove an hour in the opposite direction and went coastal instead. Unfortunately, sometimes you get to a location and things just aren’t working—random traffic, an odd urban camper, landscape blowers or just a lack of personal patience. It was time to pause, take a moment to clear my head and refocus. That done, I wandered to a spot that had a good textural environment with a view to the ocean. I had a few frames in mind and worked through those and then a few shots in the moment. Then, suddenly, my time was up and I needed to get back home.

Three critters certainly add a fun factor to the build and playability. The beaver is especially fun.


Summary

I’m glad I had the chance to spend a bit of time exploring this set. It was a fun build with interior elements that reminded me of the LEGO modular buildings and provided an opportunity for play and future photos.

TL;DR: The build was enjoyable all around, its size limits ease of travel, but it’s definitely playable and photo-worthy. Plus the cute little critters are small and easy fun.

Lego minifig catching fish at the ocean.
“Hooked”
Animated gif of a Lego Caravan rolling down the sandstone beach.

Read up on our other reviews here: toyphotographers.com/category/reviews/

And if you’re looking for some other fun and adventuresome LEGO RVs, check out #brickrockmoab from @droopayne over on Instagram.

Thanks for reading and play well!

– Matt

2 Comments

  1. Excellent review Matt. I especially enjoyed your side by side comparison with older sets. Like you I often take these larger sets on the road. I like the compact nature of the pre 8 stud base sets. You dont necessarily need the wider sets for toy photography. Although having sets where the figs can actually sit side by side, is a nice touch!

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