This week we headed off in a motorhome (all of my heart would love to call it a camper van…but it wasn’t that cool. It was amazing but just not quite the level of cool I would have liked…) for a few days.
We’ve been dreaming crazy dreams about the open road and motorhomes. It being a good compromise between the hardcore nature of camping and the relative luxury of holiday cottages. We love the idea of the outdoors but, lets face it, camping for anymore than a weekend is hard work. Especially when it rains. Camping for a weekend is silly hard work as well but kind of feels worth it for the slow pace, the lack of creature comforts and the great outdoors. Life in a motorhome seemed to offer the best of all worlds according to the husbandface.
I was, it has to be said, unconvinced to start with but by the end of our three days I now find myself drooling over motorhomes on the internet and planning a summer tour of the UK visiting all our friends and family. My main issue was that I didn’t really get the whole rocking up to a campsite, but then being unable to get off the campsite without taking your house with you thing. It seemed weird. I got over that soon enough. I decided being a snail is actually a Good Thing.
Here’s my list of things about the motorhome holiday that I am too lazy to put into proper prose.
- It was terrifying driving it for the first time. I have driven minibuses and Luton vans before but only for a short time and on fairly major roads. This was a house on wheels and not ours. The deposit on the credit card scared me but the husbandface was too sick to drive so I bravely stepped into the cab. After a very slow rattling drive to our campsite I felt proud but like I never wanted to drive it again. After realising that son2 had lost his shoes and we needed to get more then next day I began to get a bit worried about manoeuvring the beast around. Thankfully after rocking up at a Sainsburys (other supermarkets are available…) and having a gentle cuppa in the van before heading off on the road again I began to see the benefits. A twisty drive around the country, through a town and onto a seafront later and my confidence was up. We stopped at the beach for lunch, husbandface napped whilst I played on the beach with the boys. This whole taking everything with you as you drive around seemed to work well.
- The boys loved the playground on the campsite. Mental note. Must check the campsites we go to in the future have playgrounds. They also seemed to love the outdoor life and kicking balls around the campsite.
- Motorhomes are a pretty small space. Especially with small boys and a whole load of buttons to play with. It got intense but we lived through it.
- There is heating on these things. Did you know that? I didn’t. It’s the way to feel extremely smug in the morning, especially when looking out the window at people waking up in tents.
- Sleep was pretty good for most of our Team. Husbandface slept the best he has in months (reason enough to get hold of one of these beasts in my opinion), the boys slept in all three mornings (Motorhomes have blackout blinds, none of that hideous waking up at 5am camping thing for us). I slept less well but that might have been due to the epic snoring of everyone else.
- Curtains across the boys bed made us feel like we had some space in the evenings to sit and read.
- No TV for a few days was a lovely break.
- We were forced into more interaction with each other and the boys. Mostly this created fun and increased creativity.
- But shouting and bad choices still happen in a motorhome.
- The best bit before setting off in it was my constant pretence that we were in an aeroplane and had to prepare the cabin for takeoff. Storing all things away in lockers and restoring tables to their upright position. I am hilarious.
- Every time you drive off in a motorhome you have to sing, ‘On the Road again’. It’s the law.
- We spent the whole trip saying that somewhere on the dashboard there should be a handy sticker outlining the dimensions of the van. It was only as I drove it back to the hire place that I pulled down the sun-visor. And there it was. Ah well.
- It was sunny enough to eat outdoors each night. I love eating outdoors. Everything tastes better and there is NO sweeping up after. This summer we are going to eat outside every chance we can.
So there we are. We loved it. We are desperate for more adventures and five days on son2 is still longing for his camper van. All in all it was a brilliant break from the norm, we had at least 2 days of a pretty engaged husbandface before things got bad again and we all benefitted from getting out of routine and into the outdoors more.