Sandown racecourse quiet camping

Campervanning…….off campsite, what we’ve learnt.

We’ve been campervanning since September 2017 but only on campsites/holiday parks that have toilet and shower blocks, you know ones that are heated and cleaned, with plenty of toilet paper and running water.

We’d pretty much got our campervan essentials sorted for weekends away!

However, for us, we’ve slightly braved it for the last two weekends we’ve had away and have ended up staying on racecourses….. with portaloo’s. Hmmmm lovely! Different racecourses, in different parts of the country.

So it’s not sooo bad I guess as it was only for a weekend, but for me, that’s only just started campervanning, never been camping in my life, who always like to have a hot shower in the morning, put my make-up on and try and do something with my hair, it’s a bit of an adjustment.

Things changed when I had children. I don’t have so much time to shower or do my make-up and hair. I don’t wear high heels or get dressed up much any more so staying on a racecourse in a muddy field isn’t so alarming as it would have been before children. (No – I’ve not even camped at music festivals!)

Our first weekend was at Sandown Racecourse at Volksworld, a weekend dedicated to VW Beetles and VW Camper’s. There were stalls with all the accessories you could ever dream of, parts, awnings (we are now onto our third awning already!), amazing conversions, dedicated children’s area inside and Scalextric.

We pitched up in the “Quiet Camping” field, and set ourselves up.

Tim and Bodhi putting up the awning. Charley and I working out where the toilets and food refreshments were.

Sandown racecourse quiet camping

There were about 25- 30 portaloo’s and 10 showers (Charley counted them) that started off lovely and clean with toilet paper and hand sanitizer but swiftly got used (no more info needed?) and there were no lights in them at nighttime. We remembered our lights but I don’t think everyone did!



the showers apparently weren’t working. I didn’t actually try them myself but this was the rumour going around. Though even if they had been working I’m not sure I’d have tried them. They were right across the other side of the field from where we had camped up but I think I’d already decided I’d not be showering when I was packing,  I just used wet wipes to have a quick clean.

Ha can’t quite believe I’m writing this, I’d never have done this before children.

There was a chance we were going to be meeting up with family on the Sunday (after two mornings without a shower) but this was postponed. Sad to not have been meeting up but I wasn’t keen on the idea of meeting up with family being a bit unwashed!!

I even walked back from the toilets on Sunday morning chatting to another VW owner, having not brushed my teeth, with fragments of last nights mascara half down my face (why does my husband not tell me this?????? before I venture out of the van!!!!!), chatting about not showering, I’m sure he didn’t really care though.

The children loved playing about in the awning, using the pump to pump up a little rucksack.

Helping in the awning

Our second weekend was at Chester racecourse for Camperfest – a Food, Drink and Lifestyle festival.

We had a really long drive up in constant rain and the racecourse was pretty soggy when we did arrive.

The children had a great time in the mud and puddles the next morning but for some reason I’d not put in their waterproofs and they were covered in mud after a short while! Cue change of clothes, but that was all we had left.

With other campervans being pulled out by the tractor we decided not to stay another night and get home ready for the Easter bunnies arrival.

The racecourse did have a good toilet block that had lights, paper and running water, luxury after the previous weekend but we never did find any showers.


Playing in the mud


For an event I really wanted to go to I’d definitely stay off campsite again, just for a weekend. I’m not sure I’d be able to cope for more than two nights without showering! Having done it a couple of times there are some things I’d consider when packing:


Expect no toilet paper. Take your own.

Expect no lights in the toilet. Take a torch.

Expect no shower. Take wet wipes.

Expect no water. Take wet wipes and hand sanitizer.

Expect mud. Take waterproofs and enough changes of clothes that you can fit in your space!


What I am starting to learn is that you really need to just relax, go with the flow and don’t take it too seriously. Children will enjoy themselves, whatever! 




Memories are being made.



What are your experiences? Anything else you’d pack when off campsite?



3 Little Buttons

8 thoughts on “Campervanning…….off campsite, what we’ve learnt.”

  1. Think I’m with you with the not showering for an event but needed (at least the option) to on a weekend away! Out of interest, what awnings have you had? We have a Khyam Motordome 380. I really like it but hanker after a glawning cloudgazer.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s a mindset isn’t it, no showering, loos not great, no lighting! How do people manage for longer than a weekend! Still like you say it’s memories and children don’t care. You can think of all the lovely places you visit and the weather will get so much better.


  3. Hurrah for wet wipes! Great tips at the end: we are going camping for the first time this summer so I will bear them in mind! #dreamteam

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Nods head.. wet wipes can really save the day on most occasions! Wowzers.. I take my hat off to you about campervanning. I’ve always loved the idea, but could never get past the whole toilet / shower thing. It sounds like an adventure, and definitely stuff that memories are made of. I’m impressed! Thanks for joining us for the #dreamteam xx

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.