New member saying hi! πŸ‘

bettabuilda replied on 14/01/2022 15:11

Posted on 14/01/2022 15:11

Hello, I’ve been a car forum member for many years (mx5 owners club) so not new to club forums but sold the car and not certain if I’ll continue there as a paid up member πŸ€” Anyway, after almost 30 years since owning our last caravan (Sprite Major), we felt this was our time to get back into it. I took early retirement 10 years ago, my wife semi retired at Christmas from a very high pressure, stressful job, we’ve both had (or still have) certain health issues, our children all grown up and moved out, sadly lost the last of our parents last year, and so it goes on! Work/life balance increasingly important now after a couple of wake up calls, so have taken the plunge.


We decided to try and make the most of the rest of our lives together by buying a caravan. Something we can both get something out of! The specific van we went for is a dealer special Eldiss Avante 554 Sherwood from Robinsons caravans. A few additional bits being added by us to what is already a generous specification. Despite ordering at the end of October 2021, we await build and collection (fingers crossed) in April this year? Now this may be the norm at the moment but it’s still a long wait once the decision has been made.

To be fair though, it’s given us time to gather stuff together for the new van and spend some of the hard earned along the way, I’d forgotten how much stuff we needed (not all of it essential) to get the most out of our new venture. The space in the garage following the departure of the mx5 is rapidly filling up with caravan related equipment! From air awning right down to rock pegs, TV to Aquaroll, grey waste kit to gas bottles, it’s  all there, waiting to be put into the van when it finally arrives at our home. 🀞

Part of the ‘plan’ was the ability to holiday with our two dogs Barney and Bear, cross King Charles spaniel/ Bichon Frise or Cavachons as they are commonly known 🐢 After the loss of our St Bernard, these two are perfect in terms of handling them etc. Not sure the Bernard would have even fitted into our modest van! πŸ€”

Already booked a couple of club sites further into the year to get reacquainted with caravan life and look forward to enjoying the new hobby. Got confused at first with all the acronyms associated with towing since my last experience all those years ago but dealer sorted a tow check out for our new outfit, the tow car being an Audi 2.0 tai A6 S line Avant matched to an up plated (to 1500kg) van giving a decent payload of 260kg for all the extra stuff.

I remember having a Scott stabiliser on the Sprite and that was about it! IIRC, it still had cross ply tyres on it! ( it was an old van already when we acquired it).  Now we have AL-Ko built in stabiliser, ATC, shock absorbers etc, even towing stability control in the car (or we will have once the Towbar is fitted and ECU is reprogrammed) in an attempt to have as stress free a towing experience as we can get. Not forgetting general towing good practice regardless of any ‘aids’ fitted.

A big shout out to the club shop too! Just bought a Cadac BBQ and extras which was as good a price as I could find anywhere πŸ‘ almost got this year’s subscription back already! πŸ€“

If anyones got through to the end of this introductory post, thank you!

Barrie

 

ABM replied on 14/01/2022 22:13

Posted on 14/01/2022 22:13

And an Old Member saying HI to you Barrie !!  

Enjoy taking those pups around the world in your new purchase !! 

Please tell us how you get on with travelling  etc  ~~ Just beware that some folks have had poorly dogs over the last few weeks  --  so scroll thro' the pets posts to see how to avoid bigger vets bills  !!

Takethedogalong replied on 14/01/2022 22:37

Posted on 14/01/2022 22:37

Hello and welcome. We are South Yorks based, so not too far from you. Hope you have a good time in the future, and love the dogs😁 Check out the Pets section lower down, some good places to stay with dogs are mentioned.

brue replied on 15/01/2022 09:22

Posted on 15/01/2022 09:22

Welcome to CT Barrie, sounds like you are all systems go minus the van. I hope you have happy times ahead. We decided to caravan on retirement, we had two dogs and it seemed like a good way to get to lots of places together. It worked out well for us so I hope it will be the same for you. smile

HelenandTrevor replied on 15/01/2022 11:39

Posted on 15/01/2022 11:39

Hi and welcome to carvanning and CT.

We have an Affinity 554, same layout as the Avante. We  also had a longer wait from ordering to actually collecting the van but at least we still had the old van to keep using. 

Hope all goes well. 

Rocky 2 buckets replied on 15/01/2022 15:34

Posted on 15/01/2022 15:34

bettabuilda-I have 2 smaller Dogs(C/Poos) after having bigger RetrieversπŸ‘πŸ». I hope you enjoy your new future & your time on CT.

bettabuilda replied on 15/01/2022 15:55

Posted on 15/01/2022 15:55

Hi to everyone that has replied to my first post, a warm welcome indeed! πŸ‘I knew I’d made the right decision by joining the club, looking forward to posting elsewhere once the van materialises 🀞

PS, didn’t realise there was a pets section πŸ€”

Barrie

Paddie replied on 20/01/2022 16:35

Posted on 20/01/2022 16:35

Congratulations and happy caravanning

we too are just retiring and now, with finally having the time, we will be spending loads of time away in the caravan.  yay!