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Camper van with kids and dog - what to/ not to bring?

(17 Posts)
eightytwenty Thu 09-Jul-15 15:24:33

For some reason this seemed like a good idea when we booked it. Now I'm starting to get nervous about what to bring and whether there will be space in the van for us all and our stuff!

Anyone had a week in the UK in a camper van - and if so what did you wish you had / what were you glad to have. And all other top tips welcome!

DorisLessingsCat Thu 09-Jul-15 15:30:02

Don't bring the kids. <unhelpful>

Newquay Thu 09-Jul-15 15:33:02

Oh you'll love it! Beach and age of kids? A must is winter hats and layers as it's still cold at night when u sit outside. Onesies are good for kids post shower. Flip flops, shorts, vest tops and hoodies. All the stuff on the mumsnet camping list. Is it a camper van - as in without a loo? If so then a potty might be an idea. Chocolate.

eightytwenty Thu 09-Jul-15 15:33:13

Is that an offer Doris? All for outsourcing.

eightytwenty Thu 09-Jul-15 15:34:58

Newquay - we're heading to the highlands so hats and gloves a good idea. About to order more hot water bottles too! No heatwave in Scotland this year. Will check the camping list!

DorisLessingsCat Thu 09-Jul-15 16:33:12

I barely tolerate my own <grin>

How old are said offspring and how many are there?

Books and games for wet weather. Beach toys.

Strict rules for keeping it tidy.

Half as many clothes as you think you will need.

Ear plugs

Do you have an awning you can sit under if it rains so you're not all confined to the van?

eightytwenty Thu 09-Jul-15 17:02:56


3 - ages between 11 and 5.

No awning.

Interested in your 1/2 clothes comment - we were glamping at the weekend and I felt that we'd actually under packed on clothing as they got so filthy. Though some of the sites might have washing machines.

wump Thu 09-Jul-15 17:16:58

Never been for a week and have always stayed on a 'park' but a potty baby wipes powdered milk juice prepacked easy food/snacks and wine are essential! Also those windbreak things for extra outdoor space as you have no awning will be useful.

DorisLessingsCat Fri 10-Jul-15 09:58:58

5 - 11 year olds will love camper-vanning.

Re clothes - unless they are really filthy we just re-wear them. If you're on a beach they should be in swim gear most of the time anyway.

Consider black out material to stop to early morning sun waking them up.

An awning like in the picture might be useful.

Slowtrain2dawn Sun 12-Jul-15 18:28:39

Some really easy instant food options (tinned or packets) are a lifesaver, stuff that doesn't need to be in fridge (you'll need that for the beer/wine!). This saves you having to eat out or cook if you are tired.
Some bedding for the dog so he doesn't try to get in bed with you, like ours!
A dog seatbelt or way of securing him in van. Possibly also a stake and long lead if his recall is poor, for on sites.
If you can't get an awning then I would take a play tent for the children, not to sleep in but so they can go and have their own space, take toys and books in there if its raining.
I speak from experience! Have fun, we (usually) do!

Furball Sun 12-Jul-15 19:09:52

Are you staying on campsites with facilities? - I recommend you use their showers if you do as it's just easier than having to fill up with water. Get yourself some of the bags like this sort of thing Excellent in the showers as waterproof and stand up on their own for when you want to sling stuff in. Crocs or flip flops also good for going to the shower.

Cheapo microfibre towels are good too as they don't take much to dry them.

Never drink the water from the tap. Get a big 5L supermarket bottle of still water (about £1) and to up that from the taps on site.

Take games and a pack of cards for the evening.

What van are you going in? It will probably have heating? and a fridge? Oven?

long life milk is fine for cups of tea/coffee so I usually take a couple of those incase we run out of milk, but most sites have a shop of some sort.

mummymeister Mon 13-Jul-15 10:30:25

so several things then in my experience of weekends away in our (small) van. a bucket for emergency wees and one to wash up, put rubbish in etc. One of those metal stakes to put in the ground to tie the dog up to. a pre done list of all the campsites and beaches that take dogs because in July many are dog ban. an awning or small tent. an absolute necessity particularly if it is raining as there is nowhere in a van to dry wet clothes. plenty of black bags. Cheap towels and tea towels. big collapsible water bottles. emergency food like dried pasta and tinned tomatoes or uncle bens rice packets. Lots of Tupperware.

eightytwenty Wed 15-Jul-15 12:51:10

Thank you! Very helpful information - and just in time as we leave on Friday.

Have got stake for dog and long lead - and she's allowed into all booked campsites!

Hadn't known about tap water drinking - and hadn't thought about how you'd fill up water for showers! What do you use the bags for in showers out of interest?

Had been debating whether to take a tent or not - now convinced - albeit we will be moving around quite a bit so may or may not be putting it up - but at least have options.

Have bought the weirdest tins/ packets of foods - chilli and meatballs in a soft packet - in the tins ailse, and tinned ravioli and mac cheese. I normally cook everything from scratch so this will be interesting!

Feeling ridiculously nervous and we are quite experienced travellers - but not experienced in camping or motorhoming!

Also questioning how will fit everything into the small space.

Furball Wed 15-Jul-15 13:08:29

I go to the shower block in my pj's (and crocs wink - and put all my clothes and toiletries/towels etc in the bag. then you just sling everything in it stands up on it's own and it doesn't fall over so stuff doesn't fall out in the shower making everything wet, the bag is waterproof so your belongings don't get soggy - it works for me anyway smile

eightytwenty Wed 15-Jul-15 13:56:20

Thanks furball. We have about 20 bags including several of that type - so will follow suit and thank you for the suggestion!

Newquay Thu 16-Jul-15 19:14:57

I'm excited for u! Another tip for easy food: wraps, avocado and eggs (and chilli sauce). I often make mashed potato and freeze it in a freezer bag and take that -for a quick mash pot n baked beans n cheese meal. Sausages in a jar. Banana pancakes (1 banana mashed up with 2 eggs - a few oats if possible) and fry into small crumpet sized pancakes. Long life individually wrapped Chocolate filled croissants. Lidl
Does a good ratatouille £1 for a big can. Dustpan n brush. Have fun!

eightytwenty Sun 02-Aug-15 23:33:05

Just wanted to report back that we had a great time and used many of the suggestions so you were in my thoughts at various points. Thank you!

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