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Fairly sure that a family member has gone routing through our caravan, are we overreacting?

(213 Posts)
NotActuallyAMum Thu 10-Jul-14 12:05:21

We’ve got a static caravan, it’s very much our second home full of our belongings which we leave in it to save us carrying everything to and fro

Because we’re not going this weekend (a rarity) one of my brothers asked if he could go today for a long weekend, which was fine by us. He then asked if his DD and her DP could go yesterday, which again we didn’t have a problem with. When we left last weekend we cleared some space for them to put their stuff on – plenty of room for them, especially as they will eat/go out most of the time. We gave his DD and her DP a key earlier in the week and told them that my brother needs to ring us when he gets there as there’s another key in the caravan but it’s hidden and they won’t find it

My brother has just phoned to say that his DDs DP has found the key – he “saw it as a challenge when you said he wouldn’t find it and he wasn’t going to give up until he did”

The key was in a cupboard in one of those ‘safe tins’ that looks like a tin of food – we just can’t believe he found it, there is loads of storage space in the caravan. OK he may have gone straight to the cupboard that it was in and found it pretty much straight away but really what are the chances of that?

DH and I are absolutely fuming and we want to say something, what would you do?

MrsWinnibago Thu 10-Jul-14 12:08:46

What is the key for? Entry or is it for cupboards?

MrsWinnibago Thu 10-Jul-14 12:10:04

Also since you let them stay there etc. And the key was just for entry, I think you're overreacting massively.

HecatePropylaea Thu 10-Jul-14 12:13:15

I would say absolutely nothing. If you allow someone to stay in a caravan, then it's pretty obvious they are going to look round it and look in stuff. If you said that they broke open a locked drawer, that would be different, but you have to expect that if people are in a caravan, they are going to explore it - look in the cupboards, open the drawers, look through the stuff.

You said he'd need to ring you so you could tell him where it was. So how could he possibly know that you don't want them looking through stuff in a caravan you lend out to people?

If you are uncomfortable with that, (and you have the right to feel however you feel) then you might need to think about either locking stuff away that you don't want people to look at, or not letting people use the caravan.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Thu 10-Jul-14 12:14:31

I disagree - if I have understood NotActually's post, it's not the fact that the dp has had access to the spare key, it's the fact that, to find it, he probably had to go rooting through cupboards and drawers, that are full of her possessions, in order to find the key. It's not like a holiday home, where you expect to be able to use cupboards and drawers etc, so they shouldn't be full of personal property.

I think that is unacceptable, and pretty damn rude, actually. I would phone back and say that you do not appreciate this young man assuming he could have a good rummage through your things, it is rude and he won't be welcome at the caravan again!

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Thu 10-Jul-14 12:16:23

I also think that the normal use of cupboards/drawers etc, is one thing - yes, if you are letting someone use your van, they will go into the cupboards and drawers to look for things they need, especially in the kitchen area (less acceptable in the bedrooms, imo), but rooting through on a determined search to find something that he didn't actually need in the first place? That is rude and intrusive, imo.

VioletHare Thu 10-Jul-14 12:16:28

Instead of ringing them to tell them to phone you to find where the 'secret' key is, why didn't you just tell them on the phone where it was?

I can understand how it may have come across as a 'challenge' tbh.

I can also understand why someone wouldn't see any problem in going through cupboards and stuff in a borrowed caravan. There's unlikely to be anything really personal there like you'd find in a house. And 'let's see if they've got a can opener/sharp knife/nail scissors' is surely a normal happening if you're staying in a caravan so understandable why they'd open drawers and stuff.

Vintagejazz Thu 10-Jul-14 12:18:53

YANBU. I would find that rude and invasive. And I can totally understand asking them to ring you when they got there as it's much easier to describe where to look when the person is in situ and you can say 'Do you see the two cupboards to the left of the sofa' or whatever.

CoffeeTea103 Thu 10-Jul-14 12:19:41

What silly game was that, find the secret key? Why didn't you just tell them right at the beginning instead of them arriving and only them letting them know? Yabu.

Branleuse Thu 10-Jul-14 12:21:57

tell them that youre glad they assumed they could rummage through your personal things, but thats the last time anyone else stays in your caravan!

AbbieHoffmansAfro Thu 10-Jul-14 12:23:07

Say something. It was ill-mannered.

MrsWinnibago Thu 10-Jul-14 12:23:37

Actually having read SDTG's post I have changed my mind. I think you should send a cheery text saying "Oh well, Dd and her DP aren't welcome again since they're so keen on being intrusive"

NotActuallyAMum Thu 10-Jul-14 12:23:46

SDTG has it - he surely must have had to go through our stuff to find it - where would you even start looking in a large 3 bedroomed caravan? We didn't tell them where it was to start with because (a) they didn't need to know and (b) we thought they'd probably forget all the go to a, open b, move c, etc.

Interesting that some think we're overreacting though, but we honestly don't expect anyone to do this

KillmeNow Thu 10-Jul-14 12:24:32


This is the sort of entitlement behaviour that annoys the hell out of me.

He is given the chance of a free break and abuses the privilege by going through the owners stuff. You left it there for your own use not for the (in)convenience of others.

What gets me is that your Db doesnt seem to have a problem with this as his reporting comes across as finding it funny that the DP wouldnt give up looking. As if he had every right to.

I would be wondering what was going on while the search was taking place. Was he left alone to do it or was everyone involved? Were comments being made about what was found in the cupboards that were not for public scrutiny? This is your own private place and they had no right to interfere with it.

I would not be lending the caravan out again to anyone and would let them know why.

littlewhitebag Thu 10-Jul-14 12:24:47

We used to have a static caravan which we let friends and family use. We also kept personal stuff in it.

I never, ever worried about people having a look through my stuff.

I would fully expect people to look in all the cupboards and drawers when they were there.

Surely the excitement of a caravan is opening all the little cupboards and exclaiming about how ingenious caravan designers are?

littlewhitebag Thu 10-Jul-14 12:27:18

Also you say you cleared space foe them to put their stuff in. Surely they need to open the cupboards etc to find the space.

OP - i think you are making a drama out of nothing. Just chill.

What do you have in the caravan that you are so worried about them seeing? I will bet nothing more exciting than some clean undies and toiletries!

MimiSunshine Thu 10-Jul-14 12:27:59

I’m not sure how much ‘personal stuff’ you can keep in a caravan that you wouldn’t need on a day to day basis or would actually want to keep away from home for security reasons so I’m imagining you have household items and spare clothes which other people using it wouldn’t see as ‘personal’ as such or equate to snooping around your actual home.

However if its bugged you, just reply back with “urm... it wasn’t meant as a challenge and i think its a bit odd that he did”. Then just leave it and don’t let them stay there again if you find it uncomfortable and annoying.
It may be your home from home but to most other people its a caravan you sometimes use and they won’t see it as an invasion of privacy. Just because you cleared some space for them (did you label it?) doesn’t mean they won’t open other cupboards or draws.

Chattymummyhere Thu 10-Jul-14 12:28:12

Next time they ask to stay just a simple no sorry last time we let someone they went though everything of ours as some sort of challenge so now nobody but us use it.

5Foot5 Thu 10-Jul-14 12:28:22

I was set to say YANBU, because if he had gone searching through you personal belongings that is definitely a bit off.

However, I am assuming that if the key was hidden in one of those things that look like a tin of food then I assume it was in one of the kitchen cupboards so it would "blend in". Quite reasonable I think that they should be looking there and, really, if you have seen one of those tins before then it is probably not too hard to spot the fake. I know I can spot one of those fake stones for keeping keys in from several yards away (courtesy of geocaching grin)

WalkWithTheLonelyOnes Thu 10-Jul-14 12:34:01

YADNBU! How dare he! It doesn't matter what's in that caravan. It could be full of just books or just shoes or just old newspapers. Regardless of what's in there it's your space. It's not okay for people to go routing through your stuff. I would be very pissed off.

MidniteScribbler Thu 10-Jul-14 12:34:11

I don't think someone looking through a kitchen cabinet is such a big deal. If he found your sex toy drawer, then maybe you have something to complain about.

AbbieHoffmansAfro Thu 10-Jul-14 12:35:44

What if he found the sex toy drawer on the way to finding the key in the kitchen cabinet? Maybe he did, how is OP to know?

NotActuallyAMum Thu 10-Jul-14 12:39:22

Yes killmenow I'm a bit annoyed at my brother's 'isn't this funny' attitude too...

littlewhitebag I get what you're saying about excitedly looking in cupboards etc. just to see what's in them but surely that's not the same as moving stuff and purposely looking for something that they don't even need? They wouldn't have had to open anything to see the space that we cleared for them, it's a huge double triangular shelf - we told them that

They certainly won't go again

littlewhitebag Thu 10-Jul-14 12:42:15

I really can't get worked about something like that. Honestly i can't.

Floralnomad Thu 10-Jul-14 12:48:11

TBH if you're going to get this uptight I would just stop letting people stay .

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