Up until recently I had only experienced caravanning as an outsider. However, since I’m now an adult, I thought it was time so see what all the fuss is about.
During the recent extended long weekend so, much to my wife’s dismay, I suggested we borrow a caravan and go away on a short vacation. She wasn’t too impressed by the idea, but I argued that this was a great opportunity to get outside and attempt bond with the world around us.
After smacking my shins on the towbar a few times, I finally figured out how to attach a caravan to our car, stuck a hilarious bumper sticker to the back of the caravan, and we set off on our journey.
Our caravanning adventure
After being on the road for less than 10 minutes, I was getting quite annoyed at the slow traffic in front of us. “Fucking holiday-makers clogging up the roads, get out of my way assholes I have things to do“. Then my wife reminded me that this weekend I was one of the aforementioned “assholes cloggin up the road” so advised me to stop complaining and instead focus on not crashing.
Soon we arrived at our destination. Unsurprisingly it turned out to be a field exactly the same as all the other fields we drove past on the way here. Failing to see the point of this, I drove around for a little while looking for something of interest but no, we had driven for 3 hours and ended up in a field full of other caravans near a river.
After entering the campsite, I then encountered my next problem. Reversing whilst having something attached to the back of your car is impossible and anybody who can successfully do it isn’t human. Nevertheless I persevered in my attempts to reverse a giant fucking metal box into a parking space, all the while being watched by other eager caravanners. They were quite amused by my inability to reverse park my caravan but eventually, alongside a chorus of salty language emanating from the drivers seat. Eventually I succeeded… Sort of.
Now that we were parked (at a weird angle but good enough!), the next thing I had to do was figure out how to make stuff work. I mean sure, I can pee in the toilet, but that pee has to go somewhere. Also, power was essential so I needed to figure out what plugged into where. After much searching I managed to find the plug on the caravan and corresponding naturally occurring power source located in the field.
Once we had power, I settled down on the uncomfortable sofa to watch some TV. At least that was my intention, however since we were in the middle of nowhere we could only pick up a couple of channels and there wasn’t anything on.
Distressed by the lack of modern conveniences, I looked out the window and noticed other caravenners sitting around outside in small circles. Inspired by this, I grabbed some folding chairs (which somehow managed to be even less comfortable than the sofa) and urged my wife to join me outside the confines of our small white box on wheels.
We set up our chairs and talked for hours about how stupid caravans are and why we decided to do this. Wifey kept reminding me that it was my idea. I kept denying it.
Night time on a campsite
It’s safe to say that I was the least manly person in the caravan park. Actually, at this point I think my wife may have been displaying more manly tendencies than me as I pulled out our small portable gas stove and grilled a couple of small chicken breasts whilst looking enviously at the other caravanners who all seemed to be grilling entire animals.
After successfully cooking our food, the next challenge was to actually eat it. As it turns out, plastic cutlery is only slightly more useful that using a piece of cardboard to cut meat. Eventually we decided to go back to our caveman roots and just use our fingers.
The final, and most frustrating challenge of the night came as we tried to go to bed. Well, they called it a bed but it was about as comfortable as laying down on a log covered in a paper towel.
Another charming aspect of being at one with nature is how close you get to
wildlife bugs. Its practically impossible to get all of the mosquitoes out of your metal box on wheels, so you just kind of lay there hidden underneath the bedsheets until you eventually get left alone for long enough that you can drift off to sleep for 5 minutes before being awoken by a fly landing on your face.
When the sun comes up, you can finally get out of bed, completely knackered and unrefreshed after your night of bug-squatting.
I barbecued myself a celebratory breakfast of cereal and ate it with my fingers.
You can’t just get up and leave from a campsite. You need to spend the next hour packing up all your stuff and trying to figure out where it all fits inside your little white van.
Then you get the pleasure of driving home slowly behind all the other people towing caravans. This is made especially uncomfortable thanks to the mosquito bites all over you body.
Next time I’ll stay in a hotel.