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Is it mad to put a family of 5 in a very small caravan?

(29 Posts)
poocatcherchampion Mon 25-Apr-16 10:19:48

Tell me you have done this..?

We've got a 4yo a 2yo and a 6mo and a caravan the size of your average super king sized bed.

Last year we only had the older two - and they slept on effectively two very short singles, but now we need to squeeze the baby in so we are going to have to put his travel cot in the remaining part of that double.

Our bed is very narrow too so co sleeping is not an option.

The problem is that he wakes at least twice and normally fusses from about 5am. And the camping season has crept up on us....

Dh keeps kindly offering hmm to sleep in a separate tent and leave me with all the kids.

Other options include taking a small tent for me and the baby - but the whole point of the caravan was for me to wee in luxury to not get wet and miserable in a tent.

We could go back to our big tent too as an option but some of our trips will be in UK and I can't handle 3 crying children.

We can't afford any other type of holiday so it is this or nothing...

What would you do?

Toooldtobearsed Mon 25-Apr-16 10:34:51

To be honest? Give the holiday a miss, i really cannot see any pleasure in what you are suggesting at all - and I say that as a die hard camper.

When mine were very young, we could not afford campsite fees, never mind the petrol to drive halfway down the country, so we pitched the tent in the back garden and had days out in the local area. I never knew we had so much going on locally, looking at it through tourist eyes was great fun! Could this work for you? Then you and baby can leave DH and the older two camping, while you have a cosy bed.

InternationalHouseofToast Mon 25-Apr-16 10:59:53

Do you have an awning for your caravan?

If you could put the tent inside the awning so dad + one older child is in the tent but still as aprt of the family group that would be fine. Should you have to be in the tent if you're getting up at night with the baby? No, you should be in the caravan where there are supplies of spare clothes and lights and nappies not scratting around in a pup tent.

and no, DH doesn't get to sleep in the tent on his own, he gets to take a child with him, even if they toss a coin and it's a different sibling each night.

MrsJayy Mon 25-Apr-16 11:04:05

Do you have an awning get a pup tent put it in the awning get your dh and a child to sleep there

ingeniousidiot Mon 25-Apr-16 11:08:58

Dad and alternating kid in a pup tent, you and baby in caravan.

Voteforpedr0 Mon 25-Apr-16 11:09:46

Extra tent or awning if you can access them, put your dh and 4yr old in the tent. Presumably you'll be out most of the day anyway. Most tents now a fully waterproof so no need to be wet and cold, fleecy onesies and small rug on the bottom of the tent for extra insulation. Go for it, it'll be an adventure, we did similar with ours at that age ad oldest dc still talks about that trip fondly.

poocatcherchampion Mon 25-Apr-16 11:32:09

Ooh more replies.

The awning is full and will be where we do nappies etc in the night. There is literally no living space in the caravan.

And the older two have never slept apart so I am not sure thry would settle.

But but but - you don't all think it is totally bonkers so I will take heart and read all your messages again carefully and we can come up with some kind of plan!!

MrsJayy Mon 25-Apr-16 11:40:16

You sound like you are taking much stuff with you I know I know young kids blah blah but the awning is extra living space keep your nappies in the van use space under the bed and get a plastic box lockable and put it under the van for stuff

InternationalHouseofToast Mon 25-Apr-16 13:09:09

Don't forget that you can use your car boot for storage at night, and decant the stuff from it into the awning's pup tent in the morning before you go out, thereby freeing up space for a pup tent inside the awning for dad + 1 (or 2) siblings.

InternationalHouseofToast Mon 25-Apr-16 13:10:01

As a Plan B is there any money to keep an eye out for a 2nd hand larger caravan on Facebook between now and when you go, or is this the heaviest van that your car can tow?

MrsJayy Mon 25-Apr-16 13:16:34

Yes the car boot for storage our first van was tiny and you do need to think of space saving

poocatcherchampion Mon 25-Apr-16 15:04:31

Not taking too much stuff the caravan is literally tiny. The tent is starting to sound like we should give it a go - even if it is just for dh and then I get him up with the baby at 6sh and me and the girls sleep on while they go for a long walk...

We are going to have to upgrade next year but we are trying to manage this year while funds tight - mat leave ..

Car is massive - ford galaxy - so we could put some awning stuff in there.

Do you reckon it would be too cold for dh to just sleep in awning in UK?

Voteforpedr0 Mon 25-Apr-16 15:18:43

My dh camps in the winter months and survives so yes he'll be fine. Honestly don't over think things just go and have a lovely time.

InternationalHouseofToast Mon 25-Apr-16 15:19:16

possibly, depends whether you have a ground sheet. The smaller the space the quicker his body heat will warm it so he's probably better off in a little tent even if it's a cheap / 2nd hand pop-up thing for festivals. It won't matter not being robust if he's in the awning. Just check if you have to pay extra for the pup tent though.

CMOTDibbler Mon 25-Apr-16 15:29:48

A pop up tent in the awning will be warmer for dh and won't take up any more space - doesn't need to be anymore than a single skin cheapy, and then you can use it as a sun shelter for the kids as well.
And obvs as he won't have had the kids in the night, he gets the baby nice and early smile

MrsJayy Mon 25-Apr-16 17:37:55

When eldest Dd was still coming with us she would take a pal in the tent in the awning they were fine and warm a sleeping bag instead of duvet

luckySwallow13 Mon 25-Apr-16 18:01:35

Not read all your post but we went caravaning when we were children . Mum dad and the three of us ( children ). Sometimes with the two dogs and when we got older sometimes brought a friend. I thought it always worked out. We did have awning up for dogs during day. We as children always had fun. Can't speak for parents though but they continued to do this every year .. Sometimes twice .

luckySwallow13 Mon 25-Apr-16 18:01:57

We did have a 5 birth caravan though

luckySwallow13 Mon 25-Apr-16 18:06:41

After reading your post fully .. Sorry my post wasn't very helpful. If you use your awning I think it would be warm enough for an adult to sleep in. It will work out ! It Defo helps having a big car as well for storage! Good luck and hope you enjoy your holiday!

sunnybobs Mon 25-Apr-16 18:07:09

We have a similar situation (5,3 & 1 year olds) in a 4 berth and I just got a local joiner to convert the small 2 berth space to a mini triple bunk then put bed guard up for baby. Is that a possibility? The work only cost me £120 and will give us another few years to use caravan. But it's still seriously hard work and I do dream of all exclusives in the sun with kids clubs smile

poocatcherchampion Mon 25-Apr-16 20:13:10

It actually is a 5 berth unbelievably but the bunk is very close to dh's nose and noone is old enough to go up there and we wouldn't put dh on top of anyone either!!

MrsJayy Mon 25-Apr-16 20:31:54

Im trying to work out your lay out where is your other bed

poocatcherchampion Mon 25-Apr-16 20:49:29

Because you are being so helpful mrsjayy I've drawn you a pic grin

The door is bottom central opening outwards. The double bed the girls sleep on is to the left. Am going to try to put travel cot at their feet and hope they manage to sleep next to each other in a double.

Cupboard straightahead then to the right is our very narrow double. With a bunk on top but as I say low. The bottom right hand blob is a loo, we had to take the door off to be able to access it while the bed is down. I failed to add the kitchen unit in the space between loo and door.

Small but perfectly formed!!!

InternationalHouseofToast Tue 26-Apr-16 09:10:03

What do you use the bunk for, above your bed? Is that an option for more storage?

poocatcherchampion Tue 26-Apr-16 16:30:20

Not really as I would have to get out of bed every time dh did (to settle kids etc)

We don't struggle for storage. And we have figured out places for everyone to sleep. It's the notion of a shouty baby in a very confined space that is bothering me its bad enough in our not insubstantial home

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