My First Caravan Weekend
This year is the first time that Specialised Covers have owned a caravan, a 2 berth Sprite Alpine as it happens. Our previous caravan was circa 1980 and I'm not sure it would have been stable enough to survive being towed, let alone taken away for the weekend!
I decided it was about time that myself and my husband should take the bold step and try take the caravan out on our own for a tester weekend with our two girls. Having invested several weeks of trying to convince him it was a good idea, I felt this was a good, albeit tentative step forward. I pointed out to our children who are now of an age (5) and (3) that sleeping outside in a caravan is very exciting. I on the other hand am waiting to be convinced.
I looked for a site that was not too far away so if the worst was to happen we could easily retreat home. We ended up booking Church Farm's site in Bishop Monkton, only 20 minutes from home. As usual i packed everything i thought i would need and nothing that i actually did need!
All was set and i headed up to the storage site to collect the caravan with my 3 year old, who you can imagine was really helpful!? we struggled for about 20 minutes to move the caravan by pushing it from behind! I finally managed to connect the caravan and the now slightly bumped car together and was surprisingly chuffed i had managed it on my own. I did however set off with the handbrake on the caravan but soon realised my mistake well after about a mile!! Oh dear..
Now, due to the fact that my husband was born in 1981 (scary) he is not allowed to tow on his driving license therefore it was now up to me to get all of us to Bishop Monkton in one piece.
We arrived to site around 2pm, the sun was shining and we were still in one piece, so far, so good.
The couple at the site were lovely and must have thought we were newbies as they put us far away from everyone else. Perhaps it was more out of caution so i didn't roll the caravan into anyone else than it was due to the children!? After another 10 minute debate as to which way round the caravan should be we decided on an up hill approach. I may have forgotten to mention the site is a little lumpy and i think we had picked the steepest gradient to set up on, entirely our own fault but as we were now unhooked from the car we thought it would be better just to stay put.
It was at this point we realised we had forgot the spirit level! Thanks to technology we managed to download a spirt level app to our smartphone, which was a saviour as we were at a 0 degree angle and I could see we would all end up rolling on top of one another in the night! After some time we managed to get the caravan almost level - I had given up at this point on 'flat', as long as I didn't fall over when I climbed in, I was good.
To add to the excitement we thought it was an ideal location to get some photos of our tailored caravan covers and towing covers (Tow Pro range) on our van, which caused plenty of excitement and buzz around the campsite.
After our impromptu photo shoot I foolishly thought that now we were set up with electric and water that we could relax. I was wrong. After some much needed food and drink at a local pub I was beginning to get concerned about a) our sleeping arrangements and b) the fact that my 3 year old now seemed wired! I did mention the caravan was a 2 berth right!? We tried to calm the girls down and get them to relax and the eldest was more than happy to relax and watch a bit of TV, while my youngest who I will now refer to as 'the Beast' went on a rampage around the caravan. She was swinging off curtains, on every cupboard, pressing every button and decided that her 'number 2' would be the first to christen the caravan's toilet topped off with some delightful screaming at the top of her lungs. By this point, I had run out of patience.
My husband being a policeman and used to riot situations was chosen to take the Beast home and stay there for the night, this was then catalogued by my eldest thinking this was hilarious as the Beast was escorted from the site effectively by the police screaming all the way!!!
Safe to say after this point calm was restored and we had a relaxing evening and slept well in the caravan.
So what i have learnt from my first trip? Make sure there is a separate area for the children, a spirit level and to go with some friends with children for entertainment. All that said we have booked to go to Masons site in Appletreewick in a few weeks time, must be crazy.