Dilemma

Valers replied on 17/07/2020 21:43

Posted on 17/07/2020 21:43

Since my husband died in October 2017 I have been away in our caravan 3 times. The first time was all of half a mile away in a lovely CL site in my village. Friends came and towed the van and stayed with me.  The weather was glorious and the idea was that if I couldn't hack it could just go home to sleep, but I stayed the full three nights and sort of enjoyed it but it proved I could do it without him.  The second time was around his birthday in August 18 to Robin Hoods Bay,our place, to scatter some of his ashes in the sea.  Family and friends joined me and we had a lovely time, I stayed on for the week, well supported by local friends. It helped that it was scorching hot and the dog and I walked miles.The week cost me a fortune as I had to hire a vehicle for my daughter to tow it there and then come back for it.  The last time I persuaded my son to tow it to another lovely CL in a nearby market town, he agreed on condition it was the last time and I would have to sell it or find another way to tow it. Again friends and family joined me and the weather was amazing, we all had a really lovely time and I realised I enjoyed being away in the van sort of on my own but with support.  Now comes the dilemma, the van is far too big and scary for me to tow and it is sitting on my drive like a gigantic mausoleum, as the rest of his ashes are in there.  I can't bear to part with it but can't use it so what do I do? The trouble is it has only been ours as it was brand new so is full of memories, I feel that to part with it would be nearly as painful as losing him.  I had thought of changing it for the smallest motor home with a bathroom but it stays as just a thought.  I can't be the only widow in my situation so any ideas of what to do would be very welcome.

EasyT replied on 17/07/2020 22:20

Posted on 17/07/2020 22:20

Personally if I was in a similar situation (and ) have been there) I would opt for a smaller camper van/motorhome for you and your dog. When I was on my own I was happy to tow but actually stored a caravan on site and the owner would pitch it ready for my arrival onto site. That worked well for meas it was sited about 1 hour and 15 mins drive from home or work.

Whether it works for somebody depends on what is the attraction to the area for them. In the same situation now that I am retired my choice would be a small motorhome

JillwithaJay replied on 18/07/2020 08:50

Posted on 18/07/2020 08:50

Hello Valers.  

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us.  I can 'feel' your dilemma.  I know that lots of people will laugh but I'm a person who gets a sentimental attachment to possessions so I see what you mean.  My van is a mini version of my home and I love spending time in it.

I feel it a little unkind of your son to make the demand that you part with your van.  Is there anybody in your vicinity who'd be willing and able to take on this task for you for an agreed fee (for their time and fuel costs).   My son is the sort of person who'd willingly do this.  He's a member of the local 4 x 4 Response Team; although it's not necessarily the sort of thing they're usually tasked to do but it could be another avenue for your to pursue. 

There's bound to come a day when you decide that it's time to part with it but I don't think you're there yet and could still have the enjoyment of using it.

I tow but wouldn't want to tow anything bigger than my 4.60 metre van and I know that, possibly within the next five years or so, I have to make the decision to stop towing.  At that stage I think my van will become a static garden room where I can sit with coffee and a magazine.  

Whatever you decide, I hope it's what you really want and I wish you well.

DavidKlyne replied on 18/07/2020 13:11

Posted on 18/07/2020 13:11

I suspect it's becoming clear to you that without towing it yourself, which you seem to rule out, you need to make a decision? One option might be, as TW, suggests is to have the caravan sited on a seasonal pitch. However that will be quite costly depending on how much you use it. Whilst on the surface your comment about your son's reluctance to help again might seem a bit mean perhaps he is just illustrating a bit of tough love in that he understands that your continued caravan ownership is not sustainable in its current form? Only you can judge that. You mention the option of a small motorhome so in some senses you have reconciled yourself to parting with the caravan? There are some lovely small motorhomes out there that would meet your needs and if you were happy driving, what might be, a larger vehicle than you are used to it might be a good alternative for you. Having done both I find driving a motorhome more comfortable than towing. The real test of whether a motorhome will be the answer is how often you intend to use it, unless its on a fairly regular basis it is a big investment, even secondhand, for it only to be used once or twice a year. I appreciate it is not an easy decision as there is obviously a lot of emotion involved. I wish you luck whichever you decide.

David

takethedogalong replied on 18/07/2020 18:16

Posted on 18/07/2020 18:16

Yes, it’s a tough decision, and I wish you all the best. It’s difficult to part with items that have been shared and loved, but by the same token, breaking a few ties might actually move you on a little bit, and you could actually revisit some of the treasured places instead if it was easier for you. I think we all have a degree of sentiment inside us, but sometimes you just have to let go, make your life a little bit easier, and enjoy what you have left. No one can take your happy memories away, you will always have those. Good luck.

 

eurortraveller replied on 18/07/2020 22:25

Posted on 18/07/2020 22:25

Emotion for me is only about my family. Objects don't come into it at all.

If I were in your situation I would have sold my caravan a long time ago, sold this big house too, bought a sports car, down sized all round, tried to move on, do different things and go to different places. Solo Caravanning sounds awfully lonely. 

Good wishes for your new life. 

EasyT replied on 18/07/2020 22:47

Posted on 18/07/2020 22:25 by eurortraveller

Emotion for me is only about my family. Objects don't come into it at all.

If I were in your situation I would have sold my caravan a long time ago, sold this big house too, bought a sports car, down sized all round, tried to move on, do different things and go to different places. Solo Caravanning sounds awfully lonely. 

Good wishes for your new life. 

Posted on 18/07/2020 22:47

If I were in your situation I would have sold my caravan a long time ago, sold this big house too,

Easy to say when you have not been there ET

AnotherDavid replied on 19/07/2020 07:52

Posted on 18/07/2020 22:47 by EasyT

If I were in your situation I would have sold my caravan a long time ago, sold this big house too,

Easy to say when you have not been there ET

Posted on 19/07/2020 07:52

I too have been there and could neither bring myself to use it  or get rid. After some years standing in the drive the new lady in my life sugested we go out in it. The rest history now

EasyT replied on 19/07/2020 08:27

Posted on 19/07/2020 07:52 by AnotherDavid

I too have been there and could neither bring myself to use it  or get rid. After some years standing in the drive the new lady in my life sugested we go out in it. The rest history now

Posted on 19/07/2020 08:27

I may have well been similar David but I had a teenage daughter and life had to go on. 

Long story short: A few years later when I was less needed and my workload had also dropped off and I went into depression. When I recovered with help and got myself on track the caravan was a godsend. It was stored on a site (as I mentioned earlier) 3 miles from Garstang. I used it three and a half days every couple of weeks. 

A caravan sat on a drive unused can become a millstone. For me it became a life raft. 

AnotherDavid replied on 19/07/2020 08:39

Posted on 19/07/2020 08:27 by EasyT

I may have well been similar David but I had a teenage daughter and life had to go on. 

Long story short: A few years later when I was less needed and my workload had also dropped off and I went into depression. When I recovered with help and got myself on track the caravan was a godsend. It was stored on a site (as I mentioned earlier) 3 miles from Garstang. I used it three and a half days every couple of weeks. 

A caravan sat on a drive unused can become a millstone. For me it became a life raft. 

Posted on 19/07/2020 08:39

Alan  I waited until she sugested trying a caravan trip and not until. I have as you probably have  seen too many examples of "used once"vans for sale where it's clear one party has bullied another into it . It's a joint effort or its  nothing.