From canvas to tin top
This story happened on: 07/03/2012
I'm busy trying to catch up with my caravan adventures diary but most inconveniently..for the diary anyway.. we are so addicted we keep on going away at weekends..
Anyway I thought it would be fun to share with fellow members how 12 months ago, got into the caravan lifestyle.
I'd enjoyed caravanning growing up with my parents as members of a small club in Leicestershire who met every 3 or 4 weeks during the season, they truly were some of my fondest childhood memories. So as our children (Now 6 & 3) progressed from bottle feeding and nappies, I had a hankering to get out more into the great outdoors and give them the opportunity to enjoy caravanning as much as I had.
So with nothing to do on an Autumn Saturday in 2010 we visited Lowdhams in Nottingham, just for a nosey. We made the fatal mistake of walking into a brand new 2011 Swift Challenger in the showroom as soon as we walked in. After that the 'Pre-loved' vans just did not cut it for us.
The idea of caravanning got shelved at that point because as is typical with me, the 'If I can't have that one I don't want to play' attitude kicked in and we could not afford a new one. Nevertheless I couldn't resist buying the magazines and could not shed the burning urge to get into it.
I should say before I go on that after leaving home I became a keen camper and with my now wife we visited festivals and had some lovely times away in our tent together, indeed we continued to camp when our children came along. Camping with travel cots, sterlising equipment and all the other clobber you need for babies was most definitely our apprenticeship to the camping life in general and from those days onwards things have only got easier... thank god!
So in March 2011, Spring had sprung on a lovely Saturday so we decided to take a walk along the River Trent near our home for a pub lunch at Gunthorpe, which to anyone who knows the area is dangerously close to Lowdham Caravans...We had no plans whatsoever to buy a caravan. Sat enjoying our lunch in the sunshine I suggested calling in for another nosey... and I think this is the point where I could add 'The rest is history'..
Call in we did and several hours later we'd invested in our first caravan, not the 2011 Swift Challenger but a quite delightful 2005 Sterling Eccles Moonstone. Positioned just at the entrance to the pre-loved area it was love at first sight for our kids, who decided to stand guard at the door as my wife and I set off to at least look at the others, nobody was getting in to look at this caravan as far as they were concerned so we quickly returned 5 minutes later and 'Did the deal', Got ourselves sorted with batteries, locks gas etc and began our adventure with caravanning...
At risk of boring everyone I'll leave it there for now but I'll put some more up about our first time and how things have progressed since another time