At the beginning of September we picked up our new, shiny VW camper van. (Now named Betsy by the children). We needed a second car and decided before our summer holiday that this would be it. The idea being that we can just take off at the weekend for a little break away. Probably easier said than done!
The first night we had the camper van we had fish and chips in it to celebrate its arrival with the children clambering all over it, finding all the buttons and having a great time.
The Saturday after this we drove to West Wittering with my parents to give it a little test run, though we decided to use the camping gas outside rather than make Betsy all stinky! Even after just a day in it there were a few things that we found we’d need to do differently to make it easier.
Our first night away was booked for the end of September which meant we had time to buy essential plates, cutlery, sleeping bags etc.
We cautiously booked just one night the first weekend away in it, just to see what worked, how the sleeping arrangements would be (I always hope the children will sleep!) and essential items we might need for the future.
I’ve never been camping or in a caravan before so I was a little curious/anxious to see what it would be like to stay on a campsite but fortunately our first experience was pretty good.
The campsite was in Cirencester and is part of the Caravan and Motorhome Club. Yep, we must have reached a certain age.
We didn’t arrive until early evening as we’d met up with family in the afternoon but first impressions were pretty good. As the time was getting on we decided to get a picnic tea from the nearby supermarket, as even though we’d bought sausages with us we didn’t want to cook in Betsy and make her all smelly!
The toilet/shower block was really clean and well looked after. Before we came away I was wondering if I’d actually use the shower but seeing it I was sooooo pleased and we’d also been able to choose a plot about 10m from the shower block. Handy for when Bodhi needs his midnight toilet trip!
After tea Tim took the plates and cutlery to be washed up, and then swapped the seating area into beds, while I took the children to get cleaned up for bedtime.
Charley had decided she wanted to sleep on the top bed while Bodhi wanted to be on the bottom bed so I went up with Charley and Tim was downstairs.
Charley finally fell asleep about 9.30pm and Bodhi decided he wanted to come up too and went to sleep about 10pm. I decided I may as well go to sleep at the same time as I wasn’t sure what sort of night it would be! It was pretty noisy at times with heavy rain and it did move a little when anyone turned over but overall it wasn’t a bad nights sleep and the children slept all night until 7.30am. I had to pull the children down the van a couple of times as we had the top bit open so maybe next time they will have to lay with their heads the other way. It would be nice if we could eventually get them sleeping upstairs by themselves and we could have a sit downstairs with a few glasses of something.
Fortunately the rain had stopped in the morning and it was lovely to wake up to a fresh morning and funny to see people wandering to the toilet block in their pyjamas and dressing gowns! Also, bizarre having to walk to the toilet block first thing in the morning in my pyjamas but everyone was so friendly and obviously very used to this.
We had an easy breakfast of croissants and fruit, hopefully one day we’ll get more adventurous and get the bacon and eggs on but we’re building up slowly!
After showers, washing breakfast things (with the children helping may I add!) and getting Betsy back to travelling mode it was time to set off for another family meet up before heading home.
Anyway it can’t have been too bad as we’ve booked to go to Dorset for two nights and then to a music festival in it next year – by then we will be pro’s!!