How was our first campervan trip? – Part 1

You may recall a previous post, that we were thinking of a campervan trip?

Well, we did it, we have done our first campervan trip. How did we do I hear you ask? Well, have a read.

We went away the Tuesday after Easter here in the U.K

The plan was to put Max, our little boy, into nursery for a few hours. Pick up the campervan, load it up, and pick him up by about 1pm.

The kind folks at contacted us over the Easter weekend and offered to drop the camper to us on the Monday. A day early! Great. So there it was. Sitting on the driveway. Dying to hit the open road.

My wife Suzanne went off to work on Monday night, us both excited that when she got home we could head off and experience what we had been dying to try for ages.

Alas, it was not all plain sailing. I was ill from 3.30 am on Tuesday morning. And this was not the sort of illness you want to be stranded with while enjoying our first campervan trip, for three days, with no toilet. If you know what I mean. And if you don’t, then count yourselves lucky!

I disappointedly told my wife on Tuesday morning when she returned home from work.

“What did you do yesterday to get sick!?” Suzanne exclaims!

“Oh sorry” I reply “Should I not have licked all the taps in Dunhelm!” (I joked)

I am coming up with some of this post while sitting on the loo debating whether we should take on the plunge. Not been ill for 6 hours but feel like crap. Let’s do it, it’ll be fine I thought (or prayed).

our first campervan trip
All set up, the VW California T6. Ours for 4 days.

So we did. We set off, picked Max up, strapped him into his car seat, now 4 foot behind us instead of 2.

A bit about the camper. It was a VW California T6. 8 months old, just over 5,000 miles on the clock.

If it wasn’t top of the range it must have been pretty close. Decent engine. Sat Nav, Apple Car Play. Electric everything. We had the auto version, which had a 7 speed gearbox. It had sharp brakes and good acceleration. I am not about to give a full review on the car as there are far more people far better qualified to do so at this stage. But one day I might. So far so good.

Our first stop was Highermoor Farm Camp Site in Weymouth. We pulled in at about 5.15 in the evening, sun streaming. We were told we could set up on any pitch, so we picked one close to the loo’s (just in case, remember?)

Setting up on our first campervan trip

And this was it, our first set up of the van. Do you know what? It was easy. A couple of buttons took the roof up. We plugged into the electric like a normal extension lead, albeit with a different type plug.

Turned the gas on and within roughly 15 minutes of rocking up, we had the kettle on. Not much else happened, we roamed around for a few minutes checking out the facilities, of which there wasn’t much. The (small) reception/shop had shut, and other than the loo’s and a kids play park, that was it. But that’s what we wanted.

our first campervan trip
We couldn’t have hoped for a nicer night on our first campervan trip

It was a snacky tea with ham sandwiches, cheese, crackers etc. Suzanne wouldn’t stop talking about all she was having was bread and cheese. What made it worse, was all the while everyone else was firing up bbqs and cooking tasty sausages and the like. But the ham sandwiches were tasty!

Early night

It was then time to hoist Max up into the roof bed, and settle him down. It took a while but by 8.30 or so he was asleep.

After the night I had, and the night at work Suzanne had, we hunkered down to enjoy our first night on our first campervan trip.

This van had a rock and roll bed, which was pretty easy to sort. You slide it forward, pull a strap which lets the back fall flat, and there it is, your bed for the night!

our first campervan trip
the bed, when set up, didn’t leave much room inside, but we could live with that

I was more ready for bed than Suzanne was. She sat there for a while, turning green. Not the sort of green I had been earlier that morning, but green with envy of the campers next door all snuggled round their BBQ toasting marshmallow, that were earlier sizzling sausages and more.

Eventually, after presumably running out of drool and giving up, we both settled down for the first night of our first campervan trip.

The following morning

We stirred at about 7.30, Max too. We popped our head up into the roof to see how he was. It was certainly a bit chilly up there. The auxiliary heater in the van had been humming away on low for most of the night. While it was keeping us nice and warm downstairs, it appears the same heat if it made it to the pop up roof section, it certainly didn’t stay there.

We later found out you can get a special insulation wrap around to stop the heat dissipating through the canvas.

Luckily Max was wearing slippers pyjamas and jumper so there were no complaints.

In hindsight we should have thought about a second adult sleeping bag incase he didn’t settle uptop and one of us needed to swap. Fortunately, the excitement of sleeping up there in the first place probably outweighed the chilliness.

Breakfast. Eggy bread, with maple syrup and blueberries. And tea. We are British. We can’t forget that morning cuppa!

Conclusion of our first campervan trip so far

So that was it, our first 24 hours of our first campervan trip. So far so good.

I hadn’t been ill again. We hadn’t been eaten by monsters, or creatures of the night. We hadn’t set fire to the campervan. And we had managed to cook breakfast. So fay so good.

Advice so far for first time campers

  1. Try not to be ill before your first camping trip 🙂
  2. If you are, find a spot near the loo’s, just in case you cant stick to point number 1
  3. If space allows it, for the first time only, take extra bedding. We didn’t, as we just assumed Max would like it in the roof. If he didn’t, then we would have had to have swapped, and there was no way I was squeezing into a kids sleeping bag while he snuggled with mummy downstairs. Not a problem for us.
  4. Take milk, eggs, fruit and tea (of course tea) All you need for a tasty breakfast
  5. Take a camera to record all the memories

Stay Tuned for Part 2 of Our First Campervan Trip


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