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<sob> may be moving to The Dark Side :(

(30 Posts)
TheRobbingBastards Tue 07-Jul-15 14:11:25

All in the name of getting old turning 40 angry
I will be 40 next year and we planned to go away but, as my birthday is in December we have opted for the summer instead. I have vetoed plans for hotels <shudder> and AI's <double shudder> and had angled extensively for 2-3 weeks in Europe with my tent and assorted paraphernalia.
However while DH had cunningly plied me with alcohol it has been bought to my attention that actually a <whispers> caravan would be more practical for such a long trip.
Now logically I know this to be true. We would be packing up and moving multiple times, it will (hopefully) be hot, I would have better cooking facilities (I love cooking so this could be the clinching factor) We also have a selection of dogs and it would be easier to keep them cool and contained in a caravan than a tent.
So no downsides (apart from it not being a tent of course!)
I cannot believe my life has come to this <rages>
<sidles of to eBay>

Notgrumpyjustquiet Tue 07-Jul-15 14:14:58

Stay strong. How about looking at some of those camp sites in Europe where the tent is already pitched for you and you just turn up?

TheRobbingBastards Tue 07-Jul-15 14:29:55

Thank you grumpy <small brave sniff>
Sadly DS will be yr8 by then, so we will be more than ever tied to going in school holidays. The cost of three weeks in pre-pitched tents would be eye watering I fear.
Also most places will stipulate a maximum of two dogs where we have three (though it's tempting to drop the two boys in kennels and just take the pup)

I would be more open to the idea if DH hadn't got a friend with a farm who will store the van for very little when we're not using it. I see this as a slippery slope to being permanent caravaners hmm

Notgrumpyjustquiet Tue 07-Jul-15 15:21:14

So he's trying to force you to accept that HE wants to BUY a caravan? Oh dear me. I would definitely dig my heels in over such an absurd suggestion. Surely that must be loads crapper dearer than the glampy campy option? Unless he's thinking of one like that pile of shite Father Ted & co stayed in when Father Noel turned up with the youth group... Don't even try the 'but surely the car won't cope with the weight/ everybody else on the motorway will curse us every mile from here to the Dordogne' approach. You'll just be giving him the impression that you can be won over. This sounds like a fait accompli and I was reading with horror a similar thread recently where the OP's DH had bought her a fancy camera she didn't particularly want then started using it himself so let's not set ourselves off about people doing things 'for other people' that actually suit themselves! Just look him in the eye and keep repeating 'No'. Its your birthday trip and you should have the majority say in what it shapes up like (obviously taking into consideration any budgetary constraints/ kids needs etc).


AngularMurky Tue 07-Jul-15 15:28:25


TheRobbingBastards Tue 07-Jul-15 16:08:48

<sigh> but he is right grumpy (and I missed out the part where I mention that DH and DS have petitioned heavily to caravan rather than tent for several years and I have refused)
If we went glampy campy we would need a new tent not that I see ANY issue with this and would also need either a trailer or roof box (or both!) The roof box would involve feet and bars as well which would not be cheap. Either way I need to take a trailer test.
Perhaps I could take my little Vango and pitch on my own while they use the caravan? I could grace them with my presence at meal times and when my phone needs charging! <ponders>

lavendersun Tue 07-Jul-15 16:18:01

I don't think you need a trailer test for small trailers - must add I am old and don't need one anyway. Look up the rules, under 750kg comes to mind because DH who hasn't had a UK licence forever can't tow my big horse trailer.

I wouldn't do caravanning either although I might be swayed by an Eriba when I am old, DH, on the other hand would divorce me as he leans towards camping with nothing still - has convinced me to go cycle camping in the autumn now that DD can (hopefully) manage 20 miles a day, with a million breaks, even more back to basics than usual.

FadedRed Tue 07-Jul-15 16:28:15

Buy DH a pipe, a cloth cap (not one of those trendy ones), a pair of tartan slippers and a denture glass.
When he opens his 'surprise' present, and shock face asks "WTF Why?"
Your reply is "well if you are so old you can't go camping, then I thought you must need them" or similar.......grin That might give him second thoughts.
Having said that, however, I'm a staunch campervanist and will defend my lovely van forever. And you can't go skiing from a tent (unless you are a closet yeti).

TheRobbingBastards Tue 07-Jul-15 16:53:12

I think it's the combined weight isn't it lavender? If that's the case then I'm screwed as I have a Discovery that probably exceeds the combined no test weight anyway grin

And if I'm being fair to DH he camps reasonably willingly normally, either on holiday or with the Cubs/ Scouts. I think it's the constant pitching and striking involved in an expedition of this type that has made his eyes light up with caravan possibility (pitching our big tent has resulted in near divorce on several occasions!)

lavendersun Tue 07-Jul-15 17:40:18

No idea therobbing, one of our cars is a defender though so heavy and I remember lots of people buying single horse trailers in about 1999-2002 whenever the rules came in, they must weigh 500 kg I reckon.

Dh used to live in the Rockies, x country skiing with a backpack & tent faded! Did it for years .... Not saying I would mind you, I would be asking you for a bed in your van like that scene from carry on camping.

lavendersun Tue 07-Jul-15 19:47:06

Here it is therobbing, sat at swimming idling the time away.

Our defender is about 3500kg from memory so yours will be similar I expect. Depending on when your licence was issued you might be able to tow 750kg which should cover your camping smile.

It is much more restrictive if you didn't take a test until 2013 shock.

Milliways Tue 07-Jul-15 19:51:26

My DH did this to me, but with Motorhomes, and I am now hooked as we have now found our perfect van- and am currently on a French road trip. Just spent 4 nights at a delightful site within walking distance of a Chateau, the Loire and a fab little town, with electric, for around £11/night. Prices would be the same in our school hols as the French are on holiday now.

inmyheadimthequeen Tue 07-Jul-15 20:03:45

I'm going out on a limb here and say that I love caravanning. I would choose it over camping any day. But it's not my holiday grin. It may be worth pointing out that packing up and moving multiple times could and probably will be a bigger PITA with a van than it will with a tent. You still need to set up and then take down water/elec/waste, and take items out of cupboards plus raise and lower steadies and hook up every time you want to move. Remember also that the van will heat up enormously in the sun so while you will be able to keep the dogs contained more easily, it could be more diffciult to keep them cool. You could take a pup tent and sleep out there if it makes you feel better <<misses the point emoticon>>

inmyheadimthequeen Tue 07-Jul-15 20:04:45

A Discovery will pull just about anything, sorry!

Notgrumpyjustquiet Tue 07-Jul-15 23:16:53

No, bastard, glamping is when you stay in some sort of chalet or yurt or something, they provide it all, beds, cooking facilites, the lot. Again, no stressing trying to put tent(s) up. Look, I'm trying to help you here! grin

VivaLeBeaver Tue 07-Jul-15 23:25:57

Do it! I'm reading this sat in my warm, cosy and dry caravan even though it's pissing down outside.

I have an oven and a microwave. Cold beer in the fridge and Magnums in the freezer. Flushing toilet and my own shower. Miost importantly comfy beds!

Best thing has got to be the minimal packing before a trip. Pots, pans, bedding, tv, toiletries are in the van all the time. Just chuck some clothes in a bag and I'm good to go.

moosemama Wed 08-Jul-15 00:01:34

I understand how you feel, although our situation was a little different, as we had to sell our beloved VW camper that we'd had for 10 years (and was the fifth one we'd had) last year and the thought of getting a caravan instead wasn't exactly inspiring.

I have to say though, I have been pleasantly surprised. We bought a vintage caravan (1979, same age as our last VW) last Autumn and dry stored it over the winter, before doing a few little jobs on it in the Spring. We had our first trip away in it in May, 4 nights/5 days at a music festival and I was totally sold on it by the end. So much easier and more comfortable than the VW or a tent and a lot more private too.

It's not all mod-cons, as we like to keep things simple. We have a water pump, but only cool water. There's a portaloo and bathroom sink but no shower. Kitchen-wise there's no oven (although we could fit one, as it was an option when the caravan was new and the space and fittings are there), but we do have a decent double burner cooker and grill, plenty of work-surface, a proper sink that we can actually wash up in, with a full-sized draining board and for me the fridge was a massive bonus, having previously only had coolboxes in the VW.

I'd agree with Viva. Being a vintage van, it's lightweight and we can therefore leave most of our kit in there for towing without exceeding the payload/weight-limit. All we need to do is sling our bags of clothes and the kids clutter in the car and we're off, which is a massive bonus when you have two big dogs taking up all the boot space like we do.

I am a total convert, having been adamantly against the idea this time last year. Nothing at all to do with all the fun I had sourcing original 70s pans/crockery and other bits to dress the van with. wink

Springcleanish Wed 08-Jul-15 00:42:33

We've just returned to caravanning after a five year camping gap, and I hate to say it, but the bliss! No more 4am treks to shower block, hot and cold running water. A "real" bed. Heating, cooker, fridge ... The list goes on. I couldn't imagine anything as lovely. And when it's raining, we're cozy inside smile camping - nah, not whilst I've my 'van smile

TheRobbingBastards Wed 08-Jul-15 07:38:22

Thanks lavender, it looks like I may be ok, depending on what I wanted to tow. I'm all set to have a practise with a friends trailer on the estate at the weekend so will see how that goes. DH is very experienced at towing so would do all the wiggly roads anyway.

And to all the caravan love on here, I'm not listening <puts fingers in ears> grin

TheRobbingBastards Wed 08-Jul-15 07:59:43

Although I could be persuaded to spend money on "doing up" a vintage van I suppose. Perhaps DH would install me a log burner <muses>
<potters round eBay a bit more>

lavendersun Wed 08-Jul-15 08:01:34

Towing is easy TheRobbing once you have done it a couple of times ...... just remember the speed limit of 50 mph and 60 mph on dual carriageways says Lavender who got her first ever offence towing an empty 1450kg horse trailer.

I had just come off a double carriageway, slowing down (I like to think) and was caught doing 56mph. Taking it in for a service - Saturday morning 7:30am, nothing on the roads.

Firmly in the wrong here but slightly fed up because I see loads of people towing horses with puny towing vehicles - the horses would smile and wave as they passed if they had to stop while going downhill with the wind behind them.

My car tows 3500kg - you could tow a mobile house with yours too if you had the right licence category grin.

Towing a bigger item is easier than towing a smaller one ime. I can reverse my massive thing through a five bar gate first time but sometimes often embarrass myself towing our camping trailer.

moosemama Wed 08-Jul-15 08:21:11

G'wan - you know you want a vintage van. Loads of fun to be had fixing it up. We've kept ours totally original, sourced cushions made from 70's fabric, lovely flowery enamel pans, 70s crockery, cutlery and storage tins/jars. Even bought a stack of original 70's board games of Ebay to keep the dcs happy.

They're also a great place to go and hide drink a coffee/read a book in peace while you have them on the drive. wink

Dh is new to towing, but has found it so easy with our van because it's so light. It's only 810kg fully loaded, yet it sleeps 5 (and two large Lurchers).

TheRobbingBastards Wed 08-Jul-15 08:21:31

I suspect that breaking the speed limit is just a pipe dream for us lavender, we're not known for our great speed and agility grin

lavendersun Wed 08-Jul-15 14:54:42

grin TheRobbing, neither am I shock, DH has always said that I drive like a pensioner and thought it incredibly funny that my one offence was for driving with a massive trailer behind .... if it was a normal sized trailer they wouldn't have seen it.

hels71 Fri 10-Jul-15 14:58:56

Might a compromise be a trailer tent/folding camper?

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