Category Archives: Caravans

Excited as a kid – new caravan

It’s foolish of course, and at my time of life I should know better, but I’m as excited as a small boy in a toy-shop.  We’ve upgraded our caravan to a much more recent model.  We’ll be collecting it at the end of August.

I don’t regret having bought the Elddis as a first caravan, though.  The EX2000 was a special edition for the millennium, and was a posh van for its day, with top class fittings.

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BBQ anathema, but it worked!

I’ve been watching an American reality TV show called BBQ Pitmasters, in which teams compete to cook the best and tastiest barbecued meats. We actually went to one of these cook-offs in Dodge City on one of our mid-west motorcycle tours, but at that time we didn’t really appreciate the nuances of competitive BBQ.

Anyway, inspired by the Pitmasters, we decided to do a family BBQ last weekend. We booked a couple of pitches at a campsite in rural Essex. We pitched the caravan on one, and the big frame tent on the other to act as an awning.
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Caravan miscellany

With some sadness I realise that we’ve only got a day left before we have to pack up and move back to Caen to catch the ferry.

This has not only been our first time in France with the caravan, but by far the longest that we’ve spent in it. So it seems a good point to review how we’ve managed, and to comment on what’s worked well for us.

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Great gadgets: Aeropress coffee maker

I hope that she won’t mind my mentioning it, but one of my daughters-in-law is even more of a gadget connoisseur than I am. It was she who recommended the Aeropress coffee maker. It also comes highly recommended by Has Bean coffee.

Now you can’t go to France on a camping holiday and drink instant coffee, can you? So I had every excuse to buy one to produce our breakfast café au lait.

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Discovering the Bouchardais

Just to the west of us is a little town called L’Ile Bouchard. I’m afraid that we regard it more as the favoured location for our supermarket shopping than anywhere very touristique.

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But then this took our eye in La Rolandiere’s reception.

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Great gadgets: Solwise antenna and wifi hotspot

It’s nice when a plan comes together. Our campsite provides wifi for a modest fee per day, but on past experience the signal is far from strong. It’s a pain to have to sit sideways in a particular spot with the notebook tilted at a particular angle in order to get a consistent signal. We’d looked at wifi boosters at the Caravan Show, but the packages were quite expensive.

Over to Messrs Solwise:

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Return to La Rolandière

We first discovered La Rolandière in, I think, 1985. Our children were very small and we enjoyed camping holidays for the freedom and fresh air. La Rolandière was just about perfect.

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A caravan trip to see Ethel the pig

There were two reasons for our trip. First was to see Ethel the little porkie before she gets turned into sausages and chops. Second was to do another caravan rehearsal before our first trip to France in a couple of weeks.

There’ll be a separate in-depth review of Ethel and all the other creatures at Sycamore Farm in my next blog entry, but meanwhile here’s a picture of the girl herself:

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Caravan cleaning

We’re going to Norfolk in the caravan early next week to see our “little porkie”.

Although we’d given it a wipe over at the start of the season, we decided that the caravan needed a proper clean. Now that we’ve got the motor mover, getting the van out of its parking slot is much easier, so we can tow it across the site to the washing area without too much strain! No need to connect everything up for a hundred yard trip, though:

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Cobb barbeque for camping

I’m not sure whether this latest purchase is going to be a good idea or not. Indeed I’d never heard of the Cobb barbeque until I read an enthusiastic recommendation from a fellow motorcyclist on The Rev Counter.

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