Our first motorhome was a Bedford, It was made in 1987 and we used it for a whole year, (2016). We had always wanted to try one, so this one was about £3,000 and a good test van. I upgraded all the curtains and cushions using fabric I bought from Dunelm Mill. I made these curtains from the Tilly range, they are a soft yellow, the table is covered in a similar pattern but it is wipe clean, this fabric was from Dunelm Mill in Nuneaton West Midlands. it certainly brightened this 80’s van. We found after a year it was small and we would prefer a fixed bed and more room for sitting and crafting he he….
We sold Betsy at the end of 2016, she went to a couple whose first trip was a tour of Ireland.
Freedom of the caravan
We love the freedom of being able to go off on a holiday when we feel like it.
We would often finish work on a Friday evening and just decide to get everything into the car and go to the seaside, fish and chips at the beach not to be sniffed at! having 4 children in tow made it worth the while having a caravan. Our main job at this time was childminders for over 12 children so getting away from the house ‘work’ on a Friday night was bliss.
Being handy with the sewing machine made I could quickly update everything in our cheap caravans, we had some static vans and if you see my post on making money from your holiday you will see we rented these out throughout the season to pay for our holidays.
As the children grew up we upgraded continuously, we had 8 caravans over the years. and now the research is in motorhomes. The flexibility is great. The long term plan is to do some travelling in a RV
5 Year Plan
As part of our new plan, we are researching for a motorhome that will meet our ‘early retirement plan’ we would love to be able to travel across Europe in a motorhome, working and earning enough to pay for our travels. This is our carrot to staying debt free. Paying our mortgage off early and living a frugal life. See my posts on how to reduce your debt, save money, pay your mortgage off early too.
Taking a break in the caravan makes me realise the things I need to exist and be happy are actually very simple. Our frugal living began after reading about a lovely lady called Emma Drew, who learnt how to earn money from a variety of sources including online. She doesn’t know this, but she changed my life and my family’s lives for ever!
The caravan is cosy, you only have a small supply of food and clothing to last you the few days. The site fees are low and the neighbours are lovely too. You choose your own agenda, when to get up, when to go out, if its raining you can stay inside and potter. As a keen crafter this is the perfect holiday for me.
We had a brilliant 2 ring camping stove with a grill and a small oven, so we can pretty much cook anything we’d normally cook at home. However I think we are a little more creative when we are on holiday. After all, this is all you actually have to think about. Again being a coeliac this is incredibly important for me especially if I become ill from accidently eating something with gluten in it.
Our last caravan had a fixed bed, this was amazing, no more setting the bed up each night and putting it away each morning. Again another cosy aspect, with duvet and pillows. Sitting in bed drinking tea, reading or crafting.
Peace and quiet
Caravanning is just so quiet and peaceful. As I sit here in our back garden typing this, I can hear birds tweeting but this is over powered by the noise of cars and lorries driving along the road adjacent to our house. When you’re camping it’s the sounds of nature that become the soundtrack to your day. In our last trip we were treated to a rather large brace of ducks who waddled around the site to the amusement of everyone. Bliss!
The day revolves around food and sightseeing
Being a coeliac means we are big foodies; even whilst we are in the middle of eating a meal we will often be planning the next one. When caravanning, our day revolves around food even more than normal, which is great! It just takes a bit longer to do everything, so food planning, preparing and eating takes up a larger proportion of the day. But, to be honest we’re at our happiest when we’re talking about, buying, preparing or eating food. Caravanning gives us licence to do this more than usual. It makes us experiment. Eat local produce and enjoy the delicacies. Eating a gluten free diet means we have to look into each ingredient and often we are eating fresh healthy food. picnics are a summer favourite and cheap and easy to put together too.
When the outdoors is a beautiful place
We’re really lucky to live in a beautiful part of Warwickshire, United Kingdom, so we don’t have to go far to be surrounded by stunning scenery, nature reserves, country parks, canals and lakes. Our recent trip took us to Warwick park, which ticks all the boxes above. The destination was more chance than planning, we met up with my daughter, son in law and grand children and spent the day walking, having a picnic and the children enjoying the park.
Touring the UK
We haven’t really been very adventurous with our touring, we found sites we liked, that fit with the children’s needs and made regular trips to places like Skegness, Great Yarmouth and Weston Super Mare. But that is all going to change now. We are big history fans so plan to investigate the UK first while we get used to living in a motorhome, then venture over seas….EXCITING!!!!
I quite like being disconnected from the outside world, no television, no phone, no Wi-Fi. As a teacher and a blogger I am online everyday for over 15 hours aday. There is something quite nice about being in the moment with your fellow camper and not being distracted by the outside world. Forced disconnection from the distractions of everyday life means we get time to reconnect with each other, talking, listening, laughing and planning for our future adventures together. Blisssssss
I have joined some forums and groups on facebook to help us learn and watch others who have given up the 9 to 5 life for a new challenge in a Recreational Vehicle.
What’s your favourite thing about camping or caravanning?
I love the smell of nature, there is nothing better than opening your car door and inhaling that beautiful fresh air!
I love watching the sun come up and the sun go down.