Eventually we got over the initial excitement of being able to nip off at a moment’s notice and got down to some serious auditing and arranging of gear. Campervan Tetris took place:
Some interesting occurrences worth noting:
1. Over the course of the previous few weeks we had been subconsciously naming the various cubbies – “the top cupboard”, “the middle drawer”, “the boot space” and my personal favourite – “the under-grill cupboard” so we had kind of made our minds up what items needed to go in which spots.
2. In 20 years or more of camping together we have a shed load of gear and a substantial portion thereof is now surplus to requirements. Sundry boxes are now littering the loft, the garage, the soon to be forgotten camping cupboard at the bottom of the garden and no doubt after a few trips more we will whittle down further.
3. Moving into campervanning requires a change of mindset from the “let’s just pack this bulky heavy thing so we can be comfy/enjoy cold beer/seat a busload of friends and family/because we have space”* (delete as applicable) to the more practical “do we really need it taking up space?”
4. Little and often is going to be the way forward for use of clothes, packing for food and putting things away in their places, something which, as a family, is a new, if not downright alien concept.
5. Certain items will always be needed – many torches, emergency bog roll, j-cloths (3 trips and I haint used any, mother!) Alas, emergency cup a soup no longer makes the cut.
6. When it comes to it, there’s surprisingly ample storage, hence the reinstatement of the comfy, yet bulky seating and the continued use of the big Cobb.
After about an hour of organising the gear we stood back and looked at our handiwork and found …
… there was still room! It wasn’t overstuffed, there was still room for additional temporary bits and bobbery and more importantly, it’s ready to go at a moment’s (more like an hour or so’s) notice!!
This prompted another perusal of online campsite booking, and by the time I had booked 4 forthcoming capers to take us up to September I had a right bee in my bonnet about tariffs and rules, so I’m going to state one final, if only moderately interesting occurrence:
If you try to extract maximum cash from me by charging for every conceivable possibility to ramp up your daily rate, and to add cost for the facilities I’m going to use every day, I’m not going to stay on your site.
If you make me download and agree to a 5 page PDF of campsite rules, or if any of your rules are in capital letters, I’m not going to stay on your site.
We don’t require much, and the people who run the site along with the other visitors are what make it, and make it pleasant. No further points of order.