Friday, 3 July 2015

Two Months Living in April the Camper.

Well we have managed to survive a whole two months of down sizing! The results of this are that we have actually managed 23 nights away in total, that's usually leaving on a Friday night around 5 pm and returning on Sunday lunchtime. We try not to travel more than an hour from home to make the travelling easier. As we live right near the motorway junctions to all corners of the world, which ever one we pick on a Friday, especially during the summer will be busy! School holidays mean we can leave around 2 pm so we are able to travel a bit further.

So how has it been? Well we love our new van April especially being able to sit in the van with the door wide open, makes it feel more like camping, less like " glamping ! "

 Down sizing has meant we have been utterly ruthless in getting rid of things we didn't actually use. Loads of things have gone, from colanders large and small to combs, mugs, glasses and tools. It seems over the years we have slowly collected so much stuff! Now our cupboards are clear and we are really trying to be careful about what we take. The positive side to this culling of our lives, is that packing and unpacking is so much more efficient and quicker. I still haven't quite got to sorting out the food packing though, as for a weekend we return with a lot of what we take. I have a bit of a thing about running out of food, which is daft, as a meal missed would not really hurt us and probably do us a bit of good! The fridge is great though and although smaller than our last one, actually carries food better because of the layout.

The bed is finally how we would like it and is really comfy. The answer to lumps and bumps, is a Marks and Spencer mattress enhancer in the super king size, a perfect fit! It took a few goes to get that right. I have adapted a duvet cover to fit as a bottom sheet and we take a summer or winter duvet for the top. The bed fully made up is a massive king size. It can also be turned into two singles or you could sleep sideways. Plenty of variety then! A bonus is that either of us can get up for midnight rambling without climbing over each other. Also a great place to sit and watch TV or read, not to mention the morning cuppa which fits nicely on the bedside shelf.

The bedding neatly fits in the side locker and the pillows we leave out for daytime lounging. Den has been fully trained in bed making and storage.

I guess if we were in warmer climes, we could leave the bed made up if we wanted too.

The toilet and loo work well, I like the bench type toilet and the wash basin although an old fashioned design that tips up is perfectly adequate. I have managed to spray myself a few times by not putting the tap down before turning it on! Den has tried the shower and it's fine you just have to move any extras out of the shower room before you use it, including the table which is stored there. A bit of a "faff" but that's the main compromise.

 Loads of internal storage in the overhead lockers. The blinds and windows are great too, let in loads of light and the fly screens keep the bugs out.

Cooking is easy in the full size cooker and grill and the electric hotplate is useful for morning coffee.

We have fitted a Thule Euroway G2 920 tow bar bike rack and that works well.  We wanted a rack that would enable us to open the rear door with the bikes on.
We had to have an additional switch fitted to turn off the reversing sensors, but the bike rack is light weight and can just be tilted forward enough to get stuff out of the boot.

All in all two happy bunnies at the moment and April fits on our drive!! Strange but we thought downsizing would be far more problematic than it has turned out, but time will tell.