Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Quick Update!

Just a quick note to let you all know that everything is going super well! and will be playing catch up over the next few days, What with having no internet access, Im all dongled up now and its quicker than my old BT Broadband!

So much to say!!!!!

Will start tomorrow!!!

Till later....

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

The Night Before!!

Tomorrow we collect the caravan! The house is not completely packed yet, my desk still looks like the pictures below, infact probably a bit worse, Im just going to get a big box scoop it all into it and sort it out on Tuesday! Thats my way of filing!

Shifted a car load up to the lock up, but there is probably another car load to go. Everything we need for the caravan is on the sitting room floor, ready to go.

The car is full of rubbish, so off to the tip first thing tomorrow.

They finally came to collect the pine farmhouse table, which Im mighty relieved about as that would of taken up too much space, so would of been a nightmare!

All we have to do now is methodically start at the top of the house and empty and clean, which is the plan for friday, then that is us! Our adventure begins!

Almost a bit of a shame that we are not off on some exotic trip, but staying in and around Dorset/Hampshire, but I can think of alot worse places to be living! All this wonderful scenery which Ill be taking plenty of photographs of and putting up here for you all to see.

We are also taking up the hobby of geocaching, if you havent heard of it, its a bit like a treasure hunt using GPS, best thing to do is take a look at geocache.com and it will explain it alot better than I can, looks fun though.

Friday we have the plumber turning up for part 2 of the saga of fitting the bathroom sink, and our oak hat stand which I bought for £12.00 on ebay  two years ago and sold on ebay for £89.00 a couple of days ago, not a bad return! Is being collected.

The weekend will be computer free, so back again with an update on Tues, unless I get a bit of a chance tomorrow evening or fri morning as we will be back here sorting things.

So wish us luck for tomorrow!!

Till later......

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Dongled Up!

Just got myself a dongle from 3 - £79.00 with 12 gigs of usage over 12 months, should last me approx 10 weeks, maybe longer if Im careful!

Another box ticked of things to do!

Not long now, am so looking forward to Thursday!

An update on the plumbing! - He arrived (late) to replace the damaged sink, but with a basin that was too small, so would either have to build a 3inch board at the back of the sink to meet the wall, or move the plinth back and leave a nice horse shoe gap in the carpet!

I wasnt having any of that so I got him to replace the damaged one and get the right sized sink!

After speaking to the insurance company they knew it was the wrong size sink but just thought they would see if it would fit. Now Im sorry but you dont need to be Sherlock Holmes to realise that a smaller sink is not going to fill the same space as a larger one! Once I had climbed back off the ceiling I explained to them that they had better get it sorted and fast!

Today (Tues) my landlord (who is also a close friend) arrived with a sink and said that if they couldnt find a sink use that one, so now we are doing the job of the insurance company and sourcing our own fittings! Makes me wonder why we pay! They are due back on friday! We also hand back the keys to the house that day!

We have booked into a little site just outside of Shaftesbury for 2 nights, its only 15 minutes away but right out in the sticks and on a farm. Cant wait!

My daughter who went off to kent whilst she was down here brought back some home made cider for me, which can only be described as evil! Its more of an apple sherry, taste wise, its very sweet with a rich brown sugary taste, could be easily mistaken for a sherry, all though there isnt anything smooth about it! To put things into perspective, Gaymers on ice which I detest would be classed as a ballerina, this is more of a cage fighter on steriods armed with an axe and a chain saw, looking for a fight!

Ive had a very small amount, and the rest I intend to inflict on unsuspecting guests at "M"s brothers 50th birthday party this saturday night!

Off tomorrow to do a days proper work for an antiques dealer, rather than doing it for myself! An interesting day as you never know what your going to be describing so that its ready to list and go live on good old ebay! At least it will keep my mind occupied, as all the waiting is starting to get to us now!

We are now on take-aways as the kitchen will be completely packed up, "M" had allready packed at least half away, the wooden spoons and the cullunder have gone, its been like cooking in someone elses kitchen! Our final meal tonight was thin strips of pork, cooked in chilli oil, Mount Gay rum and soya sauce done on a high heat in a wok, chopped onions, garlic, my Dads home grown tomatoes and mushrooms added and served on rice. All done on 2 rings! Splendid, with not a tin in sight and all fresh ingredients. And all done in the time it takes to cook the rice!

Why is 2 rings important, well you need to take a look at Martin Dorey and his blog at http://campervanliving.blogspot.com/ he has a book out called the camper van cookbook, all his cooking is done on 2 rings in his VW camper. He has also made a TV series due out soon - not to be missed!

Till later....

A Busy Weekend

Ok, firstly I'll admit to you all, Ive lied - Painting is not theraputic in the slightest, maybe if I was painting a scene of stunning beauty it could be, but when your slapping on clay paint of a neutral colour to a burgundy wall for the fourth time it becomes a little irksome!

More on painting - I read that Van Gough's painting the one with flowers in a vase was stolen recently, why would you do that? its not as if the new owner can hang it on is wall and say, hey, look at my new picture? Thinking about it, not even Van Gough found painting theraputic, didnt he cut off his own ear?

Its been a busy couple of days, what with packing and painting, then a bit more painting, and I still havent finished, all those fiddley bits around cupboards in the kitchen to do! (last coat though) Then there is the packing, which seems endless, and shifting all the packed boxes upto the lockup. 

Monday was spent on a National Express coach taking my daughter home, she didnt want to travel alone so I went with her, as it was her first time on the coach and didnt fancy waiting around London for her connection. Our trip to London was uneventful, easy in, a bit of a wait for her coach, so we went for a quick bite to eat. Now I always think of London as stinking, dirty and full of undesireables, I saw that things hadnt changed, sorry but Im a country lad, and get the shakes if I cant see a field! But went into a little cafe opposite Victoria Bus Station, 1 hot chocolate, 1 latte, a crab/prawn roll and a large plate of chips, only a fiver! and waitress service! Not bad at all! However her trip from London to Preston took a little longer than expected! should of got to Preston at 1730 but finally in at 2130!

Off today to empty the bits and pieces from our old caravan, that we need for the new one, aqua roll, waste hogg etc, and all the other bits and pieces that go with it. We have decided to strip out the caravan, as we reckon its worth more that way, anyone doing a camper conversion, theres a sink, oven, and fridge going cheap!

And will be getting the Dongle (hopefully) today, this has been a bit of a pain, due to the numerous structures that are in place with the various mobile companies, we have decided on 3 mobile. But things could change!

A tip run is also in order, one corner of our living room is now full, probably about a car's worth, reckon Ive got another load the same up the lockup!

As there are only so many hours in a day, best I get a shift on.

Till later....

Thursday, 19 August 2010

Things To Look Forward & Things We Wont Miss

Over the last few days, we jotted down some of the things that we are looking forward to and with it things we wont be missing! And then the things that we will miss!

Looking Forward To:-

Looking up on a clear night to see the stars with little or no light polution.

A view from my window (we currently look onto a narrow street)

No stairs!

A large garden (we currently live in an old house in the heart of an old town, our front door opens onto the street (a very narrow lane) and we have no backdoor or garden!

Being able to park outside where we are living and not having to carry shopping back to the house.

A different place every month/week depending on where we end up!

The adventure of it all!

We live in a wonderful town - Shaftesbury, North Dorset. Famous for its Gold Hill (Hovis add) and the scenery and views are spectacular, but still looking forward to getting out and about in different countryside/forests, and above all the coast!

Being able to sit outside of an evening, even if it is chilly!

Outdoor cooking - even if its something simple it always tastes better if cooked and eaten outside.

Super fresh produce from any near by farm shops!

Meeting new and interesting people.

New walks for the dog.

Not so much housework to do!

Having more £££££££££££££'s!!!

Wont Be Missing:-

Drunks going home after the pub, dropping kebab residue or worse outside our front door! (ok a bit hypocritical there, as Ive been known to smonge kebab down my shirt).

Fag ends out side our front door.

The traffic, all though we live on a narrow lane, its a busy route into town for the locals, and the odd tourist bus/articulated lorry who then gets stuck as it is impossible for them to get around the T junction, fun to watch though! Our neighbours house has been hit several times!


"M" wont miss the 26 mile current drive into work - as we aim to stay closer as much as possible.

Things that we will miss

2 minute walk to the pub!

Our friends!

Space - all though with the size of van and awning I cant see it being too much of a problem.

2 minute walk to the shops if we run out of milk!

A long soak in a bath (we plan to have a night in a posh hotel every 6 to 8 weeks)

The ease of having a washing machine on hand (still looking into portable ones) £64.00 on ebay!

Im sure as time goes by we will be adding or deleting bits from here!

What would you miss or look forward to?

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Painting - Its Theraputic You Know!

Finally started the painting: Below is a picture of what Im painting over - just to give you an idea of what Im up against!

OK, its not to everyone's taste but, it was a bit dramatic looking on two walls! And it wasnt cheap, shame its being painted over really, but the walls have to go back to how they were when we moved in, so ill be adding a few paint bristles and lumps.

Managed to get the first coat done, which Im happy with, and managed to get more paint on the wall than myself, the carpet or the dog!

So there you have it, Ive made a start, even "M" I think was impressed!

Only one more coat to do, then onto the kitchen! You should see the colour of that!

The desk isnt looking good, its got worse!

How do you manage to keep a desk tidy? Ive never managed it. Once had a boss who wanted a clean desk policy! Me, clean desk - got to be joking. It nearly resulted in blows!

Good news! Forgot to say that the new owners came and collected the sofa and paid cash for it. I wasnt looking forward to having to find storage for it! Only 2 swivel chairs and an arm chair to go, they are on ebay now if your interested - User name is chesters-emporium other oddments also available!

Anyway, off to watch paint dry, no seriously, I am, need to check to ensure that its not lifting the wallpaper otherwise "Houston - we have a problem"!

Not to sure what all this has to do with caravans, to be honest absolutely nothing, other than its all part of the build up to the big day - August 26th 10.00am when we take possession of the new to us caravan. Little did you suspect that when you thought to follow this blog you would get updates on painting and desks, what a rock n roll lifestyle we live!

Finally a quick hello to Herbie who has now become an avid fan of this blog and is sadly following it on his new iphone in some part of Scandinavia (I think)?

Till later......

Monday, 16 August 2010


Starting to get sick of the site of card board boxes! Its amazing the things that we have accumulated in the short space of 2 1/2 years of being in this house!

Not sure where most of it has come from, and not too sure where its going to end up either!

So last weekend was taken up with packing box after box, or rather "M" packed the boxes and I shifted them upto the lockup and stacked them up on the racking which is sagging badly in places! You would never guess that the bloke who made the racking was a very good chippy! No accidents but my knee is giving me a bit of pain due to mountaineering over boxes of books and a stationary engine to get at the racking - another benefit of being in the caravan no stairs!

We did take a little trip out to suss out laptops, well, we had thought of going with O2 who did a 3GB and unlimited wifi with a laptop thrown in, so rather than do it on-line we thought a trip to Christchurch and the O2 shop, that way we could talk to someone. Got there and they said, zzchioa sssputnix ttteelllffonickka, when he stopped speaking polish and said to me sorry we are only a franchise and dont do that deal! Well, it says O2 over your door, so that was a waste of time. Why cant life be simple!

So, after a quick latte, took a look in curry's, talk about choice, enough laptops for everyday of the month, there is a simple formula relating to choice in my book, More choice = More confusion = More time wasted = Return home empty handed! Im not saying we should go back to the Soviet era where you could have any colour you liked as long as it was grey, They may of gone looking for a loaf of bread and came home with a broom but at least they went home with something!

I need to get as much data allowance as possible. According to BT I currently average 6Gigs per month,  after we had decided on a laptop with 5GB which is just and just enough, I spotted a 15GB dongle for £30pm, perfect! But they couldnt bolt that onto a laptop deal! Which then got me thinking that I should be just looking for a laptop, but maybe able to get a better deal than Curry's for one - So the search continues!

No painting as of yet, but the paint brushes have been found along with the paint, so any day now! I need to break myself in gently for these type of things, you cant rush it.

My 16 year old daughter is down from Preston staying with her Grandmother for a few days, we told her recently of our plans and yesterday showed her pictures of the new van, I think we even may of impressed her. She asked how big it was and we said 7 metres long, but that really didnt mean alot to her, so we got out a tape measure, its a 5 metres one, pulled it from one side of the house to the other, and said thats 5 metres, add 2 more on and thats the length of the caravan! Put like that it even struck me as being long! Then we realised the room we were in was the approx width of the caravan, and with the full awning - well, guess your getting the picture - its MASSIVE!

Tomorrow we have a plumber arriving to fit a new bathroom sink after I managed to juggle unsuccesfully a bottle of aftershave and crack the sink basin! Whoops! Should be done by lunch time, when I may take a look at the brushes and pop a lid and stir the paint a bit!

Till later......

Friday, 13 August 2010

New Awning!

Just bought a new awning! and its big! Not sure how we managed it but ended up with an awning the length of the van, just a reminder the van is 7 metres long! plus a bedroom extension, for a very reasonable price as well.

Just got to find a pitch big enough to site it! By the time Ive put it up it will be time to pack up again! The awning will only be going up if we are staying in the same place for a minimum of 7 days.

Now Ive never put up an awning before, so it should be interesting, so if you happen to witness a large bloke fighting with a piece of paper, a load of material and looking threatening holding a pole - probably in the rain and wind, changing from red to purple (thats me not the awning)  it will be me! Best to keep well back and watch from a safe distance! Which reminds me, best get one of those torches you strap on your head, it may take me a while first time round!

I thought we could rent it out during the 2012 olympics when they come to Portland for the water sports, Its big enough to home the Kazakstan windsurfing team for the duration! If not and Billy Smart is looking for somewhere he now has another option!

On a different subject, joined two caravan/camping type sites and add to the forums on both, one is very friendly and all for our venture with lots of positive posts, the other, negative and full of doom and gloom! I found it rather strange! I wonder if its because one is from a large caravanning magazine and the other I think is totally independant, the indie one being the most friendly.

Some of the advice has seemed a little strage -

One suggestion was to get a freezer so that we didnt have to keep going to the shops, well, to be honest we dont use the freezer at home, as we prefer to always buy fresh and even organic when we can, so Im buggered if Im going to be lugging one of them around with me. We will be staying in touch with civilisation, not off to join our friends in the windsurfing team! Pre cooked vacum-packed gunge re-heated in some form of packaging design to blister your fingers is not my idea of a good meal. Do people really move about with a freezer?

We both enjoy cooking which is why the 4 burner hob etc also played a part in our decision. I love to cook with cider, sometimes it even finds its way into the food! Looking forward to cooking in the new van as our old faithfull abbey only had one burner that worked, and then we turned the grill on to get a bit of extra heat through! Still, did the trick and managed to cook some great meals! But must admit to enjoying the outside air when eating, you just cant beat it at all.

The new van also has an outside gas tap/attachment thingymehoojer for a gas bbq, just need a gas bbq now! Been using a barrel shaped floor standing bbq, works a treat, but the grass does tend to suffer a little underneath! So maybe next year will splash out on one.

I think the plan for this weekend is packing and painting, not sure which order but sure at some stage Ill be having to do both, neither are my favourites. Another postive thing with the van, no more painting or decorating! Now that is a big bonus!

Hopefully they will come and collect and pay for the sofa tomorrow morning! More than likely wont turn up and will of wasted our time, as we are seriously pushing it for storage space at the moment, having to store that would take up a fair chunk of space, mind you we do have the awning now! DFS had a job to get it into our lounge. I just dont want to be having to get that upto my lockup!

Just had a thought as Im sat here at my desk in my office at home, 2 pc's side by side paperwork everywhere, books all over the place, Ill certainly have to be more organised! The picture below is on a good day!

At least in the van I should be able to find things more easily, it can take me 10 minutes to find something buried on the desk sometimes! Ill have to be ruthless with the keeping of paperwork and bits and bobs that I tend to accumulate at an alarming rate!

Well off for a pint - thats if my other half manages to carry all the shopping home as she has been out since this morning! and the later it gets the more she could of spent!

Till later....

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Rough Plan Of Places To Stay Part 1

We have just sat and worked out at loose plan of where we will be staying during September.
We dont actually give the keys in till the end of August, but as of the 26th of August - which also happens to be the day we pick up the caravan we will be going for it!

At this stage we wont mention the exact site, for a number of reasons, so that we can give an honest review as we see it, without anyone having prior knowledge, but we will give the rough locations. Also during September we will be spending two weekends at steam shows. This is free camping for us, so a good saving on fees!


26th/27th Aug. A small site near to Shaftesbury, Dorset.

28th Aug. A small field at the back of Mikki's brothers house as its his 50th birthday party! Near Bucklers Hard - New Forest

29th Aug. A small site near New Milton as its Mikki's daughters birthday bbq!

30th Aug - 9th Sept A small site near Three Legged Cross Hampshire, edge of the New Forest. (our first long stop) well 10 nights!

10th Sept - 12th Sept Harmans Cross Steam Show near Swanage.

13th Sept - 15th Sept A small site near Shaftesbury, Dorset.

16th Sept - 18th Sept Berwick St John Steam Show near Shaftesbury, Dorset.

19th Sept - 23rd Sept A small site near Shaftesbury, Dorset.

24th Sept - 26th Sept a small site near New Milton & Milford, (near the sea)!

Then back to the Ringwood area, we have a few sites in mind, depending on budget we may splash out on a rather nice site we have heard about!

A total of 7 nights free camping as we are staying on the shows, a good saving to be had, we will then find out how good the leisure battery is!

On a different subject, the sale of the furniture is getting there, our sofa goes on saturday, our bed has gone! now sleeping on the mattress on the floor, bedside tables, dressing tables, mirrors - all gone. Kitchen table sold this morning and we made a profit on it! Pine Settle went out the door this evening and the kitchen now looks bare!

Ive been thinking about what to do with the old caravan, im not sure whether to sell it as it is on ebay, starting at £99.00 and see if it goes, or strip out the fridge, cooker, sink, loo etc and anything else off of it like lights and jockey wheel and sell on ebay and then scrap it. Not sure - Any ideas welcome!

In our rush when buying our new caravan, we didnt think in any great depth about how easy it is to move a twin axle van. So will be contacting the dealership tomorrow to see about a motor-mover, reckon about £1200 should do it, which we could add to the finance - hopefully, still should be under our budget set so should be ok, will also enquire about an awning, personally not that fussed about them as can see them as alot of hard work, but Im sure if I had one, I wouldnt want to be without it!

Where is all the time going? Its nearly the middle of the month, and we have two weekends left here!

We still seem to have a laid back approach to packing, but Im sure it will go into warp drive any day soon! (Im not looking forward to it)!

Till next time....

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

Pics Of New Van!

Here's our new van still at the dealership!
Lunar Lexon 640EB
Kitchen area spacious, 4 ring gas cooker hardly been used!

Spacious with loads of storage!
Island bed, full length wardrobes either side, the bed lifts up on gas struts revealing masses of storage underneath!
Oh we are such lucky campers!!! Roll on 26th August when we pick it up from Lady Baily Caravans - just outside of Blandford! Would certainly recommend them for their relaxed and down to earth attitude!

Going to have to stop grinning soon as its beginning to hurt!

Monday, 9 August 2010

Friends & Family!

We have now started to tell friends and family about our plan - so far met with nothing but enthusiasm! A few concerns have been mentioned, however these are from people who do not camp or have a caravan so these fears really do not have any substance!

We still cant stop grinning, and keep having to pinch ourselves to make sure that we are not dreaming!

Had a celebratery drink and meal this evening, well deserved as I drove to Wigan and back today to deliver our bed which we sold on ebay, even with the fuel taken out of it, it was still well worth the trip! 500+ mile round trip! Havent driven that far in a single day in ages! So glad we live down south - all though filled up with fuel at tescos at £1.12 and down here at tescos its £1.17 someone is having a laugh! Im off into tescos tomorrow with my reciept and will be asking the question of why there is such a difference. Surely Tescos is a brand whos prices should be the same nationally?

The amounts of muppets on the road still amazes me! When joining a motorway, you accelerate down the slip road and join the carriage way when safe, doing the same speed or there abouts as the traffic on the carriage-way! I should know as Im a qualified driving instructor! Im doing 70mph I cant move out as there is traffic so what do they do, stay level with me and either make me brake or they hit the brakes hard! Glad I wasnt towing the van! Must admit to the odd hand movement displaying my displeasure!

Motorbikes! whats with all this undertaking all the time, are they looking for a one way trip upwards!

Well enough ranting, off to take a look at our new to us caravan again - its still on Lady Bailys website but it now has a big SOLD on the webpage!

Sunday, 8 August 2010

What a weekend!

Well where do I start! Guess with the exciting news - we just bought a 2005 model Lunar Lexon 640EB - what a van!

Our original plan was to sell up - which we are still in the process of doing, then put that towards a new van. But if we didnt make as much as we hoped for to stay in our current van (Abbey GT 212) 2 berth as old as the hills and save for a couple of months, then buy a 10 year old van.

However, we quickly sussed that by staying on CL's we could cut our £20 per night budget by around a half if not more in places. Trouble was our shower didnt work in the abbey so we had to hang on till we got a newer, better van.

We often drive by Lady Bailey near Blandford and drool over the new vans, but today we took a trip down, just to have a nose around. Two caught our attention, a Pageant 4 berth with a fixed bed and the Lunar. The lunar won with the island bed at the rear and the seperate shower and toilet either side. The finance worked out well, with the savings to be had by being now able to stay on sites with no showers, over the month easily pays for the van, so a bit of a no brainer really.

You can see pics of the van as they are still on the Lady Bailey website - ladybaileycaravans.co.uk its the only Lunar on there.

We pick it up on the 26th August!

We are both a pair of cheshire cats - cant stop grinning!!

We did spend saturday renovating the abbey! I needed to fix a new jockey wheel, sort out the front storage box lid and the damaged waste hose!

The damaged was caused by an idiot deciding that our van would look good after being pushed down a hill and through a hedge! As a result the above damage was caused, along with every plate, cup and glass as well as numerous other things smashed within the van! We have learnt a couple of valuable lessons:

1) Wheel clamp your van!
2) Insure it - we only found out after the event that we could of insured it as when we first looked into no-one would touch it due to its age!
3) Use melamine instead of glass/china - You should of seen the mess!
4) Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. We know who did it - just no proof!

We now have alternative storage miles away where they do not know!

Revenge will be sweet! 

To be honest if it had been a newer van it would not of survived, we got away lightly!

The jockey wheel had the bracket/clamp bent, trouble was the bracket was welded on, so new holes had to be drilled on the outside of the A bar and the jockey wheel attached via 2 bolts to that, took all of 15 mins to complete - I amazed myself!

The lid was slightly different as when it went through the barbed wire fence it garotted the box lid clean off! New metal hinges and screwed through onto wooden batten underneath for support did the trick! The bungy holding it down didnt look that good, but best of a bad job as the latches either side had been ripped clean out including a portion of the fibre glass around it!

The hose was even easier. When it travelled down the hill the front must of tipped up dragging the backend on the grass, thus damaging the hose, so all I did was pull the excess from the sink through the floor, cut off the damaged bit then attached it to the outlet connector/socket.

The sale of the goods from the house is starting to pick up, we have sold the sofa, bed and other bits of furniture, which instead of going towards the new van is now going towards a laptop, flatscreen tv and another aqua roll and one of those extension bars to attach to my drill so I can put the legs down easily as my knees are knackered!

So all in all a good weekend! Off to Wigan tomorrow to deliver our bed, sounds along way to deliver it, it is, but money is money and the buyer is paying for the delivery so why not!

Next job is to get our faithfull abbey onto ebay and see what we can get for her! If you know anyone who wants a very cheap van - get in touch!!!

Its in reasonable good condition, dry, and comfortable, will let you know when its up on ebay!

I was going to take some pictures of the repairs, but forgot to take the camera!

Off now for a little G & T!!!!!

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Packing Up The House!

The clock is ticking, we have all ready sorted what is to be put on ebay and what we are going to keep, so the things we are keeping are starting to find their way into boxes this evening. Or I should say that Mikki my fiance is busy packing them into boxes whilst Im errr... doing something else useful like writing this!

Put up a post on ukcampsites.co.uk this morning about portable washing machines, as this is also an area that requires a little thought!

Didnt get many replies to the thread, but those that did seemed impressed with the portable machines.

There are very few sites that have laundry facilities, so rather than trudge off to the laundrette every few days we thought of getting a twin tub portable machine, you can get them on ebay for around the £65.00 mark. We are keeping our tumble dryer as this will be in my lock-up unit which I will be in not every day but every other day. So the plan is to wash what we can in the portable washer, then tumble dry it back at my unit. If I have to get a 2nd hand spinner to do a proper job can easily do that and keep it at my place. This should keep the trips to a laundrette to a minimum and again cut down the cost. But, as with all great plans will probably change once we get going!

Only four watchers on our sofa which isnt good! Its too big to store, so will have to go, just a shame that we will be losing loads of money on it, if we have to reduce the price!

Our other purchase will be mobile broadband, if anyone has any thoughts on this would love to hear them!

Till next time.....

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Caravan Clubs!!!

Today we joined the Caravan Club & The Camping and Caravan Club, both were relatively painless to join, but a number of things struck me, firstly if you dont set up a direct debit they charge you i think it was £7.50 for the Caravan Club and £10.00 for the Camping and Caravan Club. A bit steep!!! Needless to say on our quest for cheap everything we set up direct debits!

Would say one thing though, not sure if its me but the Camping and Caravan Clubs search a site is terrible! And its not accurate! A number of sites that I know of are not on the list and these are well established sites, either that or they are just blagging that they are club sites and displaying the signage without being part of the club!

We will find out shortly as we will be booking our first site in the next couple of days!

We have also said that we will be starting our time in the caravan on the 1st september, we have now brought that forward a few days due to family parties so our first night will be spent deep in the New Forest on Sat 28th August then over New Milton way for the Sun. However this does mean that we dont have the luxury of another weekend to sort the house out!

Time is running out all ready! And we have to re-paint the kitchen and one of the bedrooms!

I put a post up onto ukcampsites.co.uk saying we were going full time in the caravan. We are known on there as bakers-cottage and have been surprised at the comments received so far, I was expecting as you do with forums a certain amount of negativity, but so far, nothing! Could it just be that every one really just wants to go off and live in their vans!?

Also a quick and early thanks for the few people brave enough to watch this blog, guess it goes with watching grass grow and paint dry!

Tomorrow off to do some ebay listing for an antiques dealer, always interesting!

And finally as Ive waffled enough just finished the book I was reading and can thoroughly reccommend it - The Forest by Edward Rutherfurd.

Good night

Monday, 2 August 2010

A little bit of chill to the air!

Woke up this morning at 6.15am and as we always sleep with the windows open, noticed a definate nip to the air! Which got our minds thinking to the fact that if its a little chilly here then we should really think about what it will be like in the caravan during the winter.

We have stayed in the caravan during the winter in freezing temperatures so we do know what its like.

Its a tough one not enough ventilation and the place suffers from condensation, too much and its cold, so what is needed is a little ventilation and some ambient temperature.

So a quick look on ebay for oil filled radiators really didnt come up with much, so I took a look at Argos, they are having a sale at the moment, managed to get an oil filled radiator reduced from £39.99 down to £19.99 - bargain!

Oil filled radiators won over convector fans as they are silent, this particular model has 3 heat settings and a thermostat, and is small enough to snuggly fit in the caravan without too much bother. And not to keen on running the caravan heater as the bearings rattle on the fan!

Heres the link -


Just looked and they are out of stock, so guess we were lucky to get one earlier!

So thats us warm for the winter!

Our massive corner sofa, swivel chairs, armchairs, farmhouse table and bed are currently up on ebay, but not alot of action so far! The corner sofa is bigger than our caravan!

Im sure it will all work out in the end!

Planning this weekend to fit a new jockey wheel as the mount has given up the ghost due to some unexpected off roading, (another story for another day)  its welded on so no chance of replacing it, so bought a new one off of ebay and will be fitting it weather permitting this weekend. Its a simple two bolts to secure it type. A bit fiddly as will be having to cut into the fibre glass surround over the A bar to fix to the outside of the chassis, well thats the plan at the moment, Ill be taking some pictures for a step by step guide in how not to do it!

Well back to listing on ebay now!

Cheers for now.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

On site - time etc

So far we have managed to find out that on the vast majority of sites the maximum amount you can stay at anyone time is 28 days, we dont intend to stay any where longer than 21 days, as we like the idea of moving around a bit!

Plus the fact that we have two steam rallies to go to during September, which is Harmons Cross near Swanage, then Berwick St John towards the end of September. A total of 6 free nights, thats £120.00 saved on site fees!

We will be joining both the Caravan Club and the Camping and Caravan Club to take full advantage of the smaller sites dotted about.

We have started this blog as we couldnt find anyone talking about what we are going to do, it was all either totally off grid and eating veg and using compost loos or swanning around europe in something the size of a 40ft truck!

We did pick up little bits of information, but we couldnt find a single blog here in the UK blogging about what we are intending to do.

Im sure other people may of thought of it, and Im sure there are plenty of people out there doing it, we just want to document it, so that if anyone else has the mad idea of doing it at least they can see what they are letting themselves in for!

Im not sure how, if at all, any of this will flow in a logical order, so you will just have to take it as it comes, hopefully not boring you to death!

We have spent today listing items on ebay, all the big things are more or less up, so fingers crossed we get a good price, you can find us at chesters-emporium if you want.

Once Ive worked out how to do a link to it you may even be able to see it via the blog, must be a way some how?

Cheers for now.

Equipment Trials Reviews

If any camping accessory or caravan manufacturers wish us to trial any of their products we would be only too grateful to give a fair and honest review! Please feel free to contact us!

Or in other words, any freebies would be more than welcome!

Over the coming days, weeks, months we will be hopefully supplying useful information and an insight into the do's and dont's of living in a caravan! Worked out the hard way!

We both work full time, and our decision to give up our rented house has been a massive life style choice. Based on the fact that all our bills seem to be increasing monthly and our incomes decreasing monthly, so obviously something needed to be done - and quick!

There is only so many savings one can make, so when you are down to the bare bones of existence and you are still struggling something radical has to happen!

But before I continue, a little bit of background information for you.

We bought our first caravan for £157.00 from good old ebay. We travelled upto Preston to collect it, we live in North Dorset. It, so far has been worth every penny. We have now had it a year and a half.

We both enjoy going to the local steam shows, as a) its a good day out, b) you can camp there cheaply. c) the beer is very cheap! However we soon found out that if we exhibited we could get in for nothing! So this made it a very inexpensive weekend away.

We have a 1940's Woseley stationary engine, with gleaming brass and copper pipes! This was our first year of exhibiting and after doing 4 or 5 found them immensely relaxing and enjoyable! oh and cheap!

Our time spent in our caravan has always been fun and relaxing, not too sure how it will work out full time but, with few options left open to us, why not give it a go!

So as today is August the 1st, we have exactly one month left on our lease, and we have started to put all our wordly goods up for sale on ebay! So if you want to take a look and grab a potential bargain you can find us at "chesters-emporium" on ebay!

Our plan is quite simple, we all ready own a caravan, ok its only a 2 berth, but we still have a double garage/lockup which we can store various items long term. We sell up, and with the proceeds of the sale, it gets put towards a bigger caravan.  If we dont quite have enough we have worked out that it would only take us a couple of months of saving to have enough money to upgrade to a slightly better caravan. Well thats the plan anyway.

It all looks good on paper!

We have roughly calculated that with no household bills we would save approx £450 per month. Our rent is currently approx £600 per month. To live on campsites at an average of £20 per night is still £600 per month, however, with the rallies and discounts for low season this comes down to an average of £400 per month so offering us a potential saving of approx £650 per month that we havent got to spend! Now if you boss came upto you and said, heres a wage increase of £650 per month you would be daft not to take it, ok theres a couple of conditions, but, you would seriously have to consider it! Wouldnt you?

We have decided that we would only use campsites with full shower/toilet facilities, we could do it cheaper by staying on sites without these, but as our caravan is a little old, we didnt want to put it under too much stress, besides that we have never used the shower in our van as the shower tray is cracked and the water pump is a bit goosed!

So there you have it so far!

We are both in our early 40's no dependant children and we have a small dog, a caravan, and no overdraft, and no debt!

So here goes! the clock is ticking, with a month to go!