Nearly There!

What a learning curve a caravan is. Although the caravan technician did a good job of the handover going through how the water, electric and gas operated, I promptly forgot everything by the time I got home. Interesting that the printed manual doesn’t show where on the caravan exterior all the connections are. All I can say is thank goodness for YouTube.

Abbey Freestyle SE 2- mine

The tow instructor came with me on collection day and helped me hitch it up and sat with me as I towed it out of the Caravan Centre. I don’t think I breathed once on the 10 min journey home! We got it parked up at the back door and secured it. Then I got scared of it and left it a couple of days before I attempted to connect up the water and electric! More YouTube! I sited my laptop in the caravan and watched videos about half a dozen times before I attempted to do anything. But I did get it connected – got the water tank connected and even heated the water. I had the big electric cable hooked up via an adaptor through a window and into my bedroom. Next step was to see if the shower worked and it did, so I know I will be clean on my travels.

I wasn’t the only one who was scared of it initially – Poppy one of my cats was terrified of it slinking past it every time she went out the back door. But like any animal it was food that cracked it. 3 slices of ham every afternoon for a week served up inside the van.

Poppy Caravan09-small

Poppy on the Caravan step

Suddenly she had taken to claiming the caravan step as hers and would sit there so she could be ready when the door was opened.

Poppy and Daisy in Caravan

This is Daisy also getting in on the treat handouts.

I decided I quite fancied a solar panel so I could do off-grid touring as well. I literally haunted the caravan help forums trying to get advice on where and what to buy. To cut a lot of very long posts small I ended up buying a fold up 120 watt solar panel from Amazon, fitting inline connectors, cutting off the crocodile clips and wiring the ends directly into the battery terminals. And voila – here is the whole set up when I did a 5 day camping test run last week in an off grid site. Brilliant solar panel kept everything all charged up. Awning took me 3 hours to erect but it did stay up. Not the neatest construction but I’ll learn.

Cvan-small

Poppy came with me too, although I did keep her on a harness when she was out of the van.

Poppy Zonked

Zonked out.

So that’s that. I’m off soon taking my “Writing Room” around Britain and France. Poppy is coming with me. Sadly little Daisy passed away last month, she was 17 and was in so much pain with spinal arthritis. So I had to make the big decision. I rescued her when she was a 6 week old kitten and I cried buckets saying goodbye to her, so this post is dedicated to my Daisy – RIP my darling.

Portrait of Daisy a Brindle cat

 

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My New Studio

I got me a new writing studio!

Abbey Freestyle 470

Yes, it’s a two berth caravan. The above photo is a slightly younger model. I was so excited when I was taking pics of her that I forgot to take any images of the outside. She’s being prepped at the moment and I take delivery of her at the end of April.  I have never towed anything in my life so I am booking a towing lesson at a local driving school. It will be fitted with a motor mover so parking will be easier, but I want to learn how to reverse it manually just in case!

She will be named “The Catavan” as I will be embarking on a series of trips trawling around the UK and France this year and the cats are coming with me! I wonder if I can get a little logo or piece of artwork depicting the name to go on the outside.

Cat harnesses will have to be bought but my two oldies may not want to leave the van after suffering ‘moving house’ syndrome. I’m getting an awning as well. I am trying to convince myself that this is not a Wendy House for grownups but a proper roaming writing studio.

It’s amazing to find how many of my friends have caravanned when I’ve mentioned the Catavan to them. Indeed some lovely friends are donating gas bottles etc. Must also book in to have a towbar fitted to my car, sort of essential really!

Oh the Freedom!