After looking, purchasing and collecting our first caravan, it was time to spend our first night in it.
We arrived at the dealer, and went through the hand over, hitched up and then made our way tentatively down the narrow lane, only to come across a truck and men tree cutting, one tight squeeze and our breaths held we got by and continued to the safety of the main road! I had arranged to stay quite close by, for one night to test everything and have a bit of a practice, although I’d read (and read and read) a lot about caravans and towing and setting up and so on, there’s nothing like doing it for real and not just reading it on the pages of a book, a Web page or watching countless helpful YouTube videos.
I must admit after preparing all the items and finally getting to grips with the awning, my wife and I were wondering what we’d got ourselves into! Despite the reading about it I mentioned, we were still surprised just how much needing doing to set up (leveling up, gas supply, water, heating, toilet, electric hook up, the awning and so on). Plus the obligatory chat with the neighboring caravanner!
Okay so now we were boiling the kettle and starting to settle down, putting the last things away. Yes the weather wasn’t sunny but the threatened rain, hadn’t arrived yet either. When would the fun and relaxation start? In fact once you’ve stopped getting it all ready, you are there ready to do as much or as little as you like, with all the comforts around you a caravan has to offer, albeit on a smaller more basic level in a Freedom. We planned to go for a meal that evening and found the local pub. It was great, lovely atmosphere, good food and a pint to satisfy the mind and body. We were also now relaxed and really looking forward to the first night in the van, the thought of the cosy space with a glass (or three) of wine and a bit of tv sounded very welcome.
And so it was a great night, a very comfortable bed and a lovely sunny morning to welcome us. The only downside was we had to leave, and there you have it, we’d put so much effort in that first day, collecting the van, towing for the first time, setting up, everything a new experience and steep learning curve, but now we barely got to enjoy what we’d created, our own little home from home.
So did we enjoy it, oh yes! That feeling of not wanting it to end was a big positive and showed how we’d embraced this new direction in our lives, and wanted the next trip to come quickly. Next time we should be better prepared from having that practice run, and having longer to stay next time should make all the effort much more worthwhile. We began to see where having our own tasks and routine in the set up would smooth it. And we started to think about things we wanted to get to make things, well almost perfect. A few modifications have taken place already to tweak things to our needs, and i’m sure they won’t be the last!