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First Outing

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navver

Posts : 995
Join date : 2013-01-03

First Outing

Post by navver on Sun 09 Jun 2013, 11:00 pm

Had our first trip away to this place

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It is a very unique site in beautiful countryside and loads of on site things to do. Most people store their caravans there and have them towed out to the pitch by the farmers tractor.
Many have been there from back in the sixties and now their grandchildren go there often in Grandads old caravan which has been passed down. This means everyone knows each other and everyone is incredibly friendly. It is the norm to stop and chat, there is no other way. We've been going there since 1998 ourselves.

The dandy towed beautifully which was a great relief after all the problems I had with having to replace wheel bearings, then the brakes over heating which turned out to be the hitch sticking in. I did stop en-route to check the brakes were OK a couple of times though and they were.

We had condensation on the underside of the roof and poles the first night, with it dripping on us. The outside temperature was about 6deG C. We had no heating on and it was a bit misty. Interestingly, the sun canopy was also soaking wet on the underside, so this tends to convince me it is more a temperature thing rather than ventilation. No awning could have more ventilation than a sun canopy!

On the next few nights we used the little quartz heater all night on 400watts and had no condensation at all.

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I know they give off a lot of light, but that didn't disturb us at all. We still leave the bathroom light on all night at home so we have a little light. Neither of us likes total darkness. It's also lovely & cosy to sit in front of in the evening.

The Dandy was comfortable inside, very comfy to sleep in. We used separate beds so had plenty of room.
It was very cool by day, even in strong sunshine and after being left shut up until mid afternoon. That is way better than the caravan which was like a greenhouse with all the windows and roof lights. Even in bright sunshine the roof and walls are cool to the touch inside.

Storage was a problem; but I think that is the result of moving down from an 18foot caravan with more cupboards than even Helen could fill. My wife insisted on organising storage and used all the kitchen unit cupboards for a few plates and a couple of tins of baked beans. I'm sure we can do it much more efficiently. We used a holdall each for our clothes and things which was OK as we could store it by day at the foot of the fixed bed. At night, they both had to go on one of the seats, the dog had the other. Also we didnt know what the weather would be like, so packed for cold, hot and rain. In the end it was wall to wall sunshine all week.

Packing and unpacking is a doddle compared with the caravan. Packing is filling the holdalls and fridge in the house then putting it in the car. With the caravan, everything had to be carried out and put in the cupboards.

Unfortunately, my wife didn't want to cook in it. She says there just isn't enough room and no room in the little 21 litre 3 way fridge to store any food. Luckily there is a restaurant on site which does totally irresistable food so we had to make do with that every night. I wonder if she'd cook if we went somewhere else.

The TV aerial on the telescopic mast clamped to the jockey wheel worked perfectly. Normally, before digital, at this site there was never any signal so the farmer had a booster to cover the site. I stuck the aerial up, pointed it downhill and it worked perfectly. The TV sat nicely on the Designers table.

Like this but I had a telescopic mast.

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So, generally very pleased. Yes it is a big step down from the caravan but there are far more pros than cons. Many things like the comfy settee, the coolness in summer, the ease of towing and storage, packing and unpacking are far better than the caravan. It took 1 1/2 hours from deciding to pack up to driving away from the site (first pack up ever) but only 5 minutes to unload the car when we got home.
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ShaunJUK

Posts : 590
Join date : 2011-09-26
Age : 37
Location : Grimsby

Re: First Outing

Post by ShaunJUK on Sun 09 Jun 2013, 11:08 pm

navver wrote:Had our first trip away to this place

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

It is a very unique site in beautiful countryside and loads of on site things to do. Most people store their caravans there and have them towed out to the pitch by the farmers tractor.
Many have been there from back in the sixties and now their grandchildren go there often in Grandads old caravan which has been passed down. This means everyone knows each other and everyone is incredibly friendly. It is the norm to stop and chat, there is no other way. We've been going there since 1998 ourselves.

The dandy towed beautifully which was a great relief after all the problems I had with having to replace wheel bearings, then the brakes over heating which turned out to be the hitch sticking in. I did stop en-route to check the brakes were OK a couple of times though and they were.

We had condensation on the underside of the roof and poles the first night, with it dripping on us. The outside temperature was about 6deG C. We had no heating on and it was a bit misty. Interestingly, the sun canopy was also soaking wet on the underside, so this tends to convince me it is more a temperature thing rather than ventilation. No awning could have more ventilation than a sun canopy!

On the next few nights we used the little quartz heater all night on 400watts and had no condensation at all.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

I know they give off a lot of light, but that didn't disturb us at all. We still leave the bathroom light on all night at home so we have a little light. Neither of us likes total darkness. It's also lovely & cosy to sit in front of in the evening.

The Dandy was comfortable inside, very comfy to sleep in. We used separate beds so had plenty of room.
It was very cool by day, even in strong sunshine and after being left shut up until mid afternoon. That is way better than the caravan which was like a greenhouse with all the windows and roof lights. Even in bright sunshine the roof and walls are cool to the touch inside.

Storage was a problem; but I think that is the result of moving down from an 18foot caravan with more cupboards than even Helen could fill. My wife insisted on organising storage and used all the kitchen unit cupboards for a few plates and a couple of tins of baked beans. I'm sure we can do it much more efficiently. We used a holdall each for our clothes and things which was OK as we could store it by day at the foot of the fixed bed. At night, they both had to go on one of the seats, the dog had the other. Also we didnt know what the weather would be like, so packed for cold, hot and rain. In the end it was wall to wall sunshine all week.

Packing and unpacking is a doddle compared with the caravan. Packing is filling the holdalls and fridge in the house then putting it in the car. With the caravan, everything had to be carried out and put in the cupboards.

Unfortunately, my wife didn't want to cook in it. She says there just isn't enough room and no room in the little 21 litre 3 way fridge to store any food. Luckily there is a restaurant on site which does totally irresistable food so we had to make do with that every night. I wonder if she'd cook if we went somewhere else.

The TV aerial on the telescopic mast clamped to the jockey wheel worked perfectly. Normally, before digital, at this site there was never any signal so the farmer had a booster to cover the site. I stuck the aerial up, pointed it downhill and it worked perfectly. The TV sat nicely on the Designers table.

Like this but I had a telescopic mast.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

So, generally very pleased. Yes it is a big step down from the caravan but there are far more pros than cons. Many things like the comfy settee, the coolness in summer, the ease of towing and storage, packing and unpacking are far better than the caravan. It took 1 1/2 hours from deciding to pack up to driving away from the site (first pack up ever) but only 5 minutes to unload the car when we got home.

Looks and sounds like a lovely site, you will get used to where to put things, we are amazed at how much stuff we take and manage to fit in now but everything gets its place.
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Helen
Dandy Owner

Posts : 6826
Join date : 2011-06-12

Re: First Outing

Post by Helen on Mon 10 Jun 2013, 9:12 am

Filling up spaces large or small is something I do well Laughing The more space the more stuff I take and don't use Rolling Eyes

Once per year usually at the beginning of the season we put the Dandy up at home and take out all the stuff that's accumulated ..... you know the stuff that will come in handy but we never use and for the first few trips packing away is much easier until it somehow builds up again.

We find that it's a different experience to Dandy than it is to caravan, we spend far more time sat outside when with the Dandy and it really feels like were camping. We sit outside in the evenings with a campfire and glass of wine rather than sat inside with the tv on! If it's really cold we do sit inside the Dandy and play cards and were just as comfortable as in the van. I do cook in our Dandy, John enjoys a full English mid morning as it's something we don't do at home, you can cook quite a bit on two rings .... when I'm cooking breakfast for a few people I use a small roasting tin and put stuff in there with tinfoil on to keep warm in the grill area with the grill on low .... works a treat.

Some of the most relaxing times we've had have been when we've packed light and only put the Dandy up. Our fridge is far too big, it takes up most of the boot space and has to have a tent of it's own if the awning isn't going on so we may sell it and go for something smaller. I miss the simplicity of when we first started Dandying ... before we built up our camping stuff, we managed before without it all and packing and unpacking was so much easier and when there's only the two of us eating out is so much nicer than cooking.

Your first trip sounds idyllic, I'm really pleased your wife found it okay too. It will be different from a large caravan but in many ways it's so much better. The only thing I miss when in the Dandy is the bathroom but having a bed permanently there makes up for it. Very Happy








navver

Posts : 995
Join date : 2013-01-03

Re: First Outing

Post by navver on Mon 10 Jun 2013, 10:08 am

Thanks for that. I wonder if a thread on cooking with 2 rings and grill would be interesting, including tips and favourite recipes perhaps. It is a challenge for those used to more rings and an oven.

I forgot to mention the bathroom. We have a portaloo and just bring it inside at night. Ity worked fine. By day we used the site facilities. Thats something elesabout this site. The showers are father & son in the gents, presumably mother & daughter in the ladies. Each cubicle has two areas. One with bench & hooks etc is dry and the he otehr a wet room for showering with to showers. One high level for dad and one low level for son.

The washbasins are in 3 cubicles, 2 high level and one low level for sons. Similarly the urinals and WC pans.Not seen that before. It's awful when all the big pans are occupied and you are desperate. I've had to do it once. Sad

I think there is enough storage room. We just have to organise it better, but we are perhaps more restricted than most because we don't want an awning. The sun canopy is wonderful, we love it. We have one underbed skirt area for storage which is fine, but there is no skirt along the trailer side so it is not fully enclosed. We tended to leave a lot of stuff in the car boot.
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Helen
Dandy Owner

Posts : 6826
Join date : 2011-06-12

Re: First Outing

Post by Helen on Mon 10 Jun 2013, 10:41 am

We use a small utility tent for storage when using the suncanopy, the old Kyham one we had packed down really small and sat on the wheel arch inside the dandy. Pop up tents are cheap and you can fit the small ones under the bed side of the Dandy .... also handy for a bit of extra storage without having to use an awning and they fold flat, we got one from Argos for £14.99 last year and they're easy to fold down when you've done it once or twice.

A cooking in a Dandy thread's a good idea
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peridot
Dandy Admin

Posts : 545
Join date : 2012-09-01
Location : Newport

Re: First Outing

Post by peridot on Mon 10 Jun 2013, 5:55 pm


I'm glad the trip went well navver. Looks a great site - might give it a try sometime.

It's interesting how your habits change according to the type of unit you have. When we were tent campers we always cooked inside the tent. However, even though the Dandy is better equipped we cook outside, weather permitting.

With the Designer, I fitted a gas point and mains socket adjacent to the door. We always left the large 3-way fridge outside. If there was likely to be a lot of rain we put in under the bed, which made access a little trick but manageable. If it was just the odd shower we left a table over it. Using a large camping table gives a bigger preparation area and we use one of the little single ring burners with either a gas or electric grill, which covers most of what we want to cook. For slightly longer trips we set everything up in the awning or utility tent.

Even with the larger Destiny, there isn't a great deal of preparation area so we tend to do the same although it is great having the built-in fridge now. I just need to add the gas point and outdoor socket at some stage.



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