My husband and I retired from the workforce three years ago and among other things decided to take up caravanning. It has been an amazing experience. From learning all about caravans and towing them to the adventures that we’ve had and the people that we’ve met. I also joined a writing class at a nearby U3A (University of the Third Age), with the aim of learning how to write the story of my husband’s foster family’s history. Because I felt that their lives warranted something more than a long list of chronological events. Then poetry appeared on the scene. Something … Continue reading Why the Blog?
We’re both amazed at how well and how long we both sleep in the caravan. Some people complain about the noise others make hitching up, nothing wakes us, we look around and wonder where they’ve all gone. A vacuum pump would be handy, so that we can pack more food from home in the freezer, we only had room for one meal in a plastic container, if it was packed in bags we could carry more thus varying the diet with some ‘slow cooked’ food. One needn’t live on BBQ’s alone. We really need more camping type clothes, track pants … Continue reading Lessons Learnt On Our First trip
We are nervous about hitting the road but decide that there is no point waiting any longer. We’ve spent three weeks getting the van ready. The weather is cool but improving. We choose a trip to a spot that we haven’t been to in a long time just to add to the excitement, if that’s at all possible! It’s only a distance of 500 kilometres from Melbourne, enough for us to get used to things and to find any problems. The final packing, which didn’t seem much, takes us longer than expected. We have butterflies in our stomachs. Our neighbour … Continue reading Welcome to Caravanning 5. The Shakedown Trip
I feel like we are loading our old yacht all over again, making checklists and shopping for all the basics that we need to keep on board, forever mindful of weight as that will cost us petrol once we hit the road. Brooms, tea towels and food everything needs to be thought of, bought, recorded and stowed. Being somewhat of a ‘foodie’ it is not surprising that the first things that Woody loads are the coffee machine and the wok. The cupboards all have non slip linings and our mate Margot suggests that we put little plastic baskets in the … Continue reading Welcome to Caravanning 4. Packing ‘er up
We hitch up the van and take it to the towbar people to learn how the load levellers work. We arrive on time but soon realise that we’ve left the van keys at home and can’t open the front boot, we look so green. After a quick trip home we return and have our van ball weight checked, it’s 150kg so we will have to purchase stronger load levellers than those that came with the van. We have these fitted, they are large, heavy, expensive ($700 at the time) and cumbersome but as soon as we tow we can feel … Continue reading Welcome to Caravanning 3. A Levelling Influence
We discover that the car has a puncture. A bolt has lodged in the tyre. When Woody goes to get the spare wheel, he finds that it is missing, surely not. There must be a hidden compartment somewhere. He rings the RACV and he and the mechanic scratch their heads and crawl all over the car. There is no spare wheel. The dealer has mounted the extra seats but having nowhere to mount the spare wheel, has just left it out. Good one! The caravan electrics have us totally confused and every piece of helpful advice only complicates matters further. … Continue reading Welcome to Caravanning 2. Treading Carefully
The first hurdle was getting the caravan up the driveway, the previous owner did a great job and the van fitted the designated spot beautifully. Gobsmacked we wonder if we’ll ever get as good as that at reversing. Now can we get the car past the van and into the garage? Yes, with a little squeeze and a lot of care. It’s time now for a cold beer in celebration while we check out all the cupboards and hatches. Two days later the new car arrives and we realize that we’ll have to get used to driving a larger car … Continue reading Welcome to Caravanning: 1. Reversing
The main priority of our last few weeks of work was not to clear the desks but to decide on a suitable caravan and the best tow vehicle. Oh what an agony that turned out to be! We found that everyone is an expert in this field. Tow hitches, ball weights and braking systems gradually started to make sense and with the help of caravan magazines and web sites we began to sift the ‘wheat from the chaff’. We knew that we had to decide on the type of caravan that would best suit us then buy the caravan even if … Continue reading Choosing Our First Van