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A comical solo trip to the South West – what I've been up to so far

CaliKate

CaliKate

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Messages
102
Location
Manchester, UK
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
Hi everyone! It's been under a week since our Cali Ocean came home and we've done one night as a couple... and, as I type, I've today taken the van down to the South West to enjoy three or four nights on my own, as the hubby is cycling in the Pyrennes with friends. Screw staying in Manchester. I could do stuff, see people, sure... but the van is too tempting and I'm lucky that I can work from anywhere.

I have to admit. I've been quite anxious about going on my own. I don't know why. Could it be I'm often clumsy? Or have a low attention span when it comes to practical things, usually letting the husband do all of "that" stuff? Or is it just because I'm older and therefore know what could go wrong? Who knows. The point is, I'm here... at a campsite on my own... and I've not yet blown the van up!

Here are a few comical and joyful highlights so far.

Firstly, auto cruise control. Drool. I worked out how to do it and the three-hour drive to Bristol was just lush. I was so relaxed. I have neck and back problems and usually, I'm in agony after a three-hour car journey. But not this time. The upright seating position has been a dream.

Secondly, on the campsite, it took me an hour to realise I wasn't hooked up. That I was running off the battery. A closer inspection of the electric hookup point revealed a switch. Ah! Bingo. I was most proud of myself to figure this out, as it's a new thing on some campsites.

Next, I sorted the PortaPotti – much to the help of a nearby couple, who were probably quite amused by my bumbling awkwardness around the van. No more 3 a.m. dashes in the freezing cold to go to the loo! Yay!

What else? Oh, I realised why the main front lights kept going on when I locked or opened the van... drowning the entire campsite in light. Not good. The lights were on "auto", so now I know that I've just got to switch them off.

Bed wise, I've only slept upstairs so far and whilst I slept well, it was chilly – even with the heater going. And the mattress is a tad hard. Tonight, my second session up there, I'm going to add a mattress topper from home and set the heating accordingly. Then I've got my eye on a Rainbow screen and topper. That's what I'd love to get next.

The only things I still need help with are: How do I lock the van without the alarm going off if I open the door? Do I lock it from the front door lock rather than the key? Because this is exactly what happened half an hour ago. I hope I haven't annoyed everyone too much tonight.

The fridge! Oh my gosh. It froze everything on our first night, so this time, I've got it at level one. And then tomorrow, I'm going to try and find a cooler bag to put in it and stop things from getting frozen solid. One seems to be a good setting. So any further tips on the fridge would be great.

Oh and one other thing – it seems you can't play music in the van as it'll cut out after a while. What's that all about?

Otherwise...What can I say? A dream come true!
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
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13,339
Location
Cowbridge
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Hi everyone! It's been under a week since our Cali Ocean came home and we've done one night as a couple... and, as I type, I've today taken the van down to the South West to enjoy three or four nights on my own, as the hubby is cycling in the Pyrennes with friends. Screw staying in Manchester. I could do stuff, see people, sure... but the van is too tempting and I'm lucky that I can work from anywhere.

I have to admit. I've been quite anxious about going on my own. I don't know why. Could it be I'm often clumsy? Or have a low attention span when it comes to practical things, usually letting the husband do all of "that" stuff? Or is it just because I'm older and therefore know what could go wrong? Who knows. The point is, I'm here... at a campsite on my own... and I've not yet blown the van up!

Here are a few comical and joyful highlights so far.

Firstly, auto cruise control. Drool. I worked out how to do it and the three-hour drive to Bristol was just lush. I was so relaxed. I have neck and back problems and usually, I'm in agony after a three-hour car journey. But not this time. The upright seating position has been a dream.

Secondly, on the campsite, it took me an hour to realise I wasn't hooked up. That I was running off the battery. A closer inspection of the electric hookup point revealed a switch. Ah! Bingo. I was most proud of myself to figure this out, as it's a new thing on some campsites.

Next, I sorted the PortaPotti – much to the help of a nearby couple, who were probably quite amused by my bumbling awkwardness around the van. No more 3 a.m. dashes in the freezing cold to go to the loo! Yay!

What else? Oh, I realised why the main front lights kept going on when I locked or opened the van... drowning the entire campsite in light. Not good. The lights were on "auto", so now I know that I've just got to switch them off.

Bed wise, I've only slept upstairs so far and whilst I slept well, it was chilly – even with the heater going. And the mattress is a tad hard. Tonight, my second session up there, I'm going to add a mattress topper from home and set the heating accordingly. Then I've got my eye on a Rainbow screen and topper. That's what I'd love to get next.

The only things I still need help with are: How do I lock the van without the alarm going off if I open the door? Do I lock it from the front door lock rather than the key? Because this is exactly what happened half an hour ago. I hope I haven't annoyed everyone too much tonight.

The fridge! Oh my gosh. It froze everything on our first night, so this time, I've got it at level one. And then tomorrow, I'm going to try and find a cooler bag to put in it and stop things from getting frozen solid. One seems to be a good setting. So any further tips on the fridge would be great.

Oh and one other thing – it seems you can't play music in the van as it'll cut out after a while. What's that all about?

Otherwise...What can I say? A dream come true!
Well done. USE the switch on the Drivers Door. Simple and Fool Proof.
 
GrannyJen

GrannyJen

goody goody 2shoes
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The radio runs
Hi everyone! It's been under a week since our Cali Ocean came home and we've done one night as a couple... and, as I type, I've today taken the van down to the South West to enjoy three or four nights on my own, as the hubby is cycling in the Pyrennes with friends. Screw staying in Manchester. I could do stuff, see people, sure... but the van is too tempting and I'm lucky that I can work from anywhere.

I have to admit. I've been quite anxious about going on my own. I don't know why. Could it be I'm often clumsy? Or have a low attention span when it comes to practical things, usually letting the husband do all of "that" stuff? Or is it just because I'm older and therefore know what could go wrong? Who knows. The point is, I'm here... at a campsite on my own... and I've not yet blown the van up!

Here are a few comical and joyful highlights so far.

Firstly, auto cruise control. Drool. I worked out how to do it and the three-hour drive to Bristol was just lush. I was so relaxed. I have neck and back problems and usually, I'm in agony after a three-hour car journey. But not this time. The upright seating position has been a dream.

Secondly, on the campsite, it took me an hour to realise I wasn't hooked up. That I was running off the battery. A closer inspection of the electric hookup point revealed a switch. Ah! Bingo. I was most proud of myself to figure this out, as it's a new thing on some campsites.

Next, I sorted the PortaPotti – much to the help of a nearby couple, who were probably quite amused by my bumbling awkwardness around the van. No more 3 a.m. dashes in the freezing cold to go to the loo! Yay!

What else? Oh, I realised why the main front lights kept going on when I locked or opened the van... drowning the entire campsite in light. Not good. The lights were on "auto", so now I know that I've just got to switch them off.

Bed wise, I've only slept upstairs so far and whilst I slept well, it was chilly – even with the heater going. And the mattress is a tad hard. Tonight, my second session up there, I'm going to add a mattress topper from home and set the heating accordingly. Then I've got my eye on a Rainbow screen and topper. That's what I'd love to get next.

The only things I still need help with are: How do I lock the van without the alarm going off if I open the door? Do I lock it from the front door lock rather than the key? Because this is exactly what happened half an hour ago. I hope I haven't annoyed everyone too much tonight.

The fridge! Oh my gosh. It froze everything on our first night, so this time, I've got it at level one. And then tomorrow, I'm going to try and find a cooler bag to put in it and stop things from getting frozen solid. One seems to be a good setting. So any further tips on the fridge would be great.

Oh and one other thing – it seems you can't play music in the van as it'll cut out after a while. What's that all about?

Otherwise...What can I say? A dream come true!
The radio runs off the starter battery and switches off after 20 minutes ro conserve charge. Get a little speaker and play from I-pad or laptop whatever .... I have a Bose mini sound link and, much cheaper and convenient, one of these. https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01HTH8F3K/?tag=eliteelect-21
 
Skylark2.0

Skylark2.0

The adventure with Starlight Expess begins
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Cambridgeshire
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T5 SE 180 4Motion
We use a long aux cable for to connect to the sound system. It is very good quality sound and you only need to turn it back on every 30 mins
 
Breeze1

Breeze1

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Messages
145
Location
Dorset
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
Well done, Re electric cable I have one with a red neon light on the van plug to show there is power to the van, quick and easy to spot.

Have fun.
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
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I've done just that. Got an Anker portable speaker with me! Thanks GrannyJen!
If you put the Gin and White Wine against the back wall the fridge keeps them nice and cold without freezing them. Alcohol is a good anti-freeze.
Digital fridge thermometer is a good buy to get the correct temperature.
 
Thruxton

Thruxton

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Messages
124
Location
Beckenham
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
I’d probably sleep down below if on my own, much cosier and closer to the loo ..... but pleased you are having / had fun...
 
CaliKate

CaliKate

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Messages
102
Location
Manchester, UK
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
If you put the Gin and White Wine against the back wall the fridge keeps them nice and cold without freezing them. Alcohol is a good anti-freeze.
Digital fridge thermometer is a good buy to get the correct temperature.
What if you don't drink alcohol?! o_O Hehe! I'm going to get a thermometer then! Thanks for the tip!
 
CaliKate

CaliKate

VIP Member
Messages
102
Location
Manchester, UK
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
Yet more funny updates. On taking my foundation (makeup) out of my makeup bag this morning, it somehow decided to slip out of my hand and go everywhere?! Thank god we put seat covers on! No drama. I managed to wash it out so it's just a faint spot.

Next, I managed to get mud on the front driving seat while passing some muddy shoes through to the back of the van.

And finally, I burnt my cheese and ham sandwich in my new RidgeMonkey because I'm so knackered by all the driving around and getting used to the van, I forgot the damn thing was on the hob?!

I managed to set the alarm off on the van late last night, too. Because I'd accidentally set the carbon monoxide test alarm off and it was demanding clean air – hence why I panicked and opened the door!

Sigh. If I survive this whole trip, I'll be very happy indeed!

:cheers
 
WelshGas

WelshGas

Retired after 42 yrs and enjoying Life.
Top Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
13,339
Location
Cowbridge
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T5 SE 180 4Motion
Yet more funny updates. On taking my foundation (makeup) out of my makeup bag this morning, it somehow decided to slip out of my hand and go everywhere?! Thank god we put seat covers on! No drama. I managed to wash it out so it's just a faint spot.

Next, I managed to get mud on the front driving seat while passing some muddy shoes through to the back of the van.

And finally, I burnt my cheese and ham sandwich in my new RidgeMonkey because I'm so knackered by all the driving around and getting used to the van, I forgot the damn thing was on the hob?!

I managed to set the alarm off on the van late last night, too. Because I'd accidentally set the carbon monoxide test alarm off and it was demanding clean air – hence why I panicked and opened the door!

Sigh. If I survive this whole trip, I'll be very happy indeed!

:cheers
 
BeagleMum

BeagleMum

VIP Member
Messages
147
Location
Wirral
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
Yet more funny updates. On taking my foundation (makeup) out of my makeup bag this morning, it somehow decided to slip out of my hand and go everywhere?! Thank god we put seat covers on! No drama. I managed to wash it out so it's just a faint spot.

Next, I managed to get mud on the front driving seat while passing some muddy shoes through to the back of the van.

And finally, I burnt my cheese and ham sandwich in my new RidgeMonkey because I'm so knackered by all the driving around and getting used to the van, I forgot the damn thing was on the hob?!

I managed to set the alarm off on the van late last night, too. Because I'd accidentally set the carbon monoxide test alarm off and it was demanding clean air – hence why I panicked and opened the door!

Sigh. If I survive this whole trip, I'll be very happy indeed!

:cheers
It’s whats know as a ‘Baptism of fire’ :) all adds to the excitement, as long as you enjoy it it’s all great learning experience:bananadance2
 
GrannyJen

GrannyJen

goody goody 2shoes
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On your advice, I’m doing just that tonight! Maiden voyage in the downstairs bed!
As a solo traveller it's my choice also. Warmer, quieter, nearer the kettle, more convenient for those moments of "nocturnal interruption" and something incredibly final about pulling the bed forward and laying out the bedding. It's a car turned lounge then turned bedroom. Room for porta - potty at the front assuming passenger seat either turned round or slid forward.

I've just this minute made my bed up, it takes literally a couple of minutes, no more, just make sure that anything you may want during the night is not in the downstairs cupboard nearest the fridge.
 
CaliKate

CaliKate

VIP Member
Messages
102
Location
Manchester, UK
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
As a solo traveller it's my choice also. Warmer, quieter, nearer the kettle, more convenient for those moments of "nocturnal interruption" and something incredibly final about pulling the bed forward and laying out the bedding. It's a car turned lounge then turned bedroom. Room for porta - potty at the front assuming passenger seat either turned round or slid forward.

I've just this minute made my bed up, it takes literally a couple of minutes, no more, just make sure that anything you may want during the night is not in the downstairs cupboard nearest the fridge.
I've made space for the potty. Now here's a question... do you put the roof bed down? Keep popped roof up? I'm all so new to this. When people say it's cosier downstairs, I'm assuming they bring the ceiling down, i.e. the upstairs bed?
 
bigmac77

bigmac77

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Messages
879
Location
North Wales
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T5 SE 140
The pop top material looses heat rapidly, if it was me on my own in my Cali in the autumn, I’d either not lift the roof or as you say drop the top bed and close the shutter and have the heater on 1 and have a winter duvet. Cosy.
 

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