First time touring. Fingers crossed this goes well
This story happened on: 23/11/2018
1 day till we pick up our caravan and it’s all becoming real now.
Have I got everything I need?
How am I going to cope with towing for the first time?
I must say it’s been fun buying all the bits and bobs to go in our new caravan, from lightweight plates and glasses to ensuring we have the electric hook-up, step, gas etc. etc. Washing them all today ready for tomorrow isn’t as much fun though.
Why a Caravan?
My parents used to have a touring caravan and have now changed to a motorhome. Being retired they are travelling Europe and the UK and I’m a little envious.
My daughter and I have been away with them many times but with two dogs and 4 people in a motorhome, we thought it’s time we ventured out on our own.
Having a caravan vs a motorhome was more attractive to us because we can take the car out and about easily. We decided on the things we needed, i.e. a stable door and a lightweight van. Quickly followed by lots of things we wanted. After lots of looking around, we were lucky to find everything we wanted in an Xplore 402. My daughter has named her “Dora the Xplora” as we will be exploring the UK most weekends.
D-Day – Dora Day
We are so excited, luckily my daughter had a teacher training day so was able to come with me to the Handover. Funny, how kids seem to learn more when it’s not mom telling them what’s what. You can only imagine how happy I was she was with me, two brains taking in all the information but mostly our new adventure started together.
We got to up early and packed the car with all our bits and pieces and headed the 30 miles to our dealership. Our handover started at 10am and took 2 hours. Our Agent was so thorough and very knowledgeable, was happy to answer any questions even if they seemed trivial – he only laughed a couple of times at us.
Whilst this was going on our car was being fitted with a tow bar. Again this was painless for us but another thing we needed to learn how to use.
With our brains full of new knowledge, we hooked Dora onto the new tow bar and we were set for our first weekend away.
We had arranged for my folks to meet us at a campsite half way between home and the dealership. So my first towing experience was 13 miles – better than 30 I thought. Always a positive thinker … but oh I was getting anxious, I’d spoken to lots of people: some said it was OK to tow; some said towing was awful; and some said it’s just practice … this is the line I concentrated on.
We planned our journey via Google Maps. Zooming in to ensure we weren’t going up any little country lanes etc. When it was ready to go, we put our campsite postcode into the satnav and started off. Well that is Lessons 1 learnt very quickly – my satnav took us on the motorway not down our carefully planned road – stupid of me really, but just one more thing to have considered. Thankfully the motorway had a 50 mph restriction so we weren’t being overtaken by too many lorries and it made our first experience of towing a little more bearable. And I can say I was thrown in the deep end and survived J
Finally, we got to our campsite and tried to reverse into our pitch – hilarious – after 15 minutes and lots of giggles and frustration, I unhitched the van and together with my folks we pushed Dora into position. I know I could have done this when we got there but I wanted to try reversing.
It took me another 45 minutes to get everything sorted, but we did it … a little advice from my folks but WE DID IT. I was so proud of my daughter.
Thanks for reading