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What to pack for a motorhome trip with kids

Weight limit in mind, lets get packing!

We’re all packed up. It feels like the only thing we haven’t brought is the kitchen sink! But we have brought a wash basin and drainer so we’re not far off! This might be a bit boring but it is an exhaustive list of everything we have packed. I’ve tried to keep it reasonable, I’ve not listed each individual toiletry.  I’ve also categorised everything. Let me know if you spot something I might have forgotten:

Clothes:

  • Clothes for the family (the question is whether to leave a whole wardrobe in the rig or pack a bag each time we go away). We have opted for leaving a minimal wardrobe in the rig and taking extra for each trip.
  • Underwear
  • Pyjamas
  • Shoes
  • Walking boots
  • Slippers
  • Try these Aldi Crock style shoes – they’re perfect option somewhere between a shoe and a slipper
  • Waterproofs
  • Hat, scarf, gloves
  • Swimming costumes
  • Towels
  • Eye mask
  • Ear plugs

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Toiletries:

  • General toiletries (don’t forget your toothbrushes)
  • Toilet roll
  • Hair dryer
  • Hair straighteners
  • Sun cream
  • Hand soap

General:

  • First aid box
  • Games
  • Fairy lights
  • Phone charger
  • Folding chairs
  • Bikes
  • Bike helmets
  • Fly swatter
  • Dustpan and brush

Kitchen:

  • Crockery
  • Cutlery
  • Utensils
  • Cups and mugs
  • Egg cups
  • Cheese grater
  • Pans
  • Collapsible drainer and tray
  • Collapsible washing up bowl
  • Collapsible colander
  • Oven tray
  • Sponge
  • Washing up liquid
  • Tea towel
  • Cleaning spray
  • Bin
  • Bin bags
  • Plastic bags for shopping
  • Food and drink
  • Tea and coffee
  • Water

Bedding:

  • Sheets
  • Pillows
  • Duvets

I have tried to make the rig more homely and have added some pictures that our daughter has done at nursery.  Simple really.

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Baby:

  • Wipes
  • Nappies
  • Baby bowls, spoons and sippy cups
  • Baby clothes
  • Dummies
  • Car seat
  • High chair
  • Baby monitor
  • Push chair
  • Toys and books

With the car seat, we went with the Joie Every Stage Child Restraint. The motorhome doesn’t have Isofix so we needed a seat that can be fixed in place with a seatbelt. This seat seemed to have the best safety rating and it can be used right the way through to age 12.

I was concerned about the sleeping arrangements for our daughter as she is in the bed at the back over the garage. There is a child net there which hooks onto the ceiling but it is quite lose and I am majorly concerned she could fall out. We had a few different thoughts on solutions from baby gates to bed guards. In the end we went with the Dreambaby Retractable Gate from Argos. It fits the whole gap and nearly goes right up to the ceiling and we can retract it quickly if our daughter needs us in the night. She can also see through when she is on the bed. I feel much happier now that she is completely safe.

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Practical:

  • Window blinds in the cab
  • Fan heater
  • Air conditioning unit
  • Toilet chemicals
  • Food grade fresh water hose
  • Tap adaptors
  • Wheel ramps
  • Wheel chocks
  • Gas spanner
  • Gas bottle
  • Electric cable
  • Electric cable adaptors UK and EU
  • Tool kit
  • Bungee straps
  • Wind break
  • Fire extinguisher

I am sure we will have forgotten something and also packed way too much of other things but you’ve got to start somewhere. We just need to get a weekend away booked so we can try it out!

Layout layout layout

It’s all about the perfect layout for us. But, I’ve said before, I do worry we are over thinking it!

There are some interesting new features that could play to our advantage. The hydraulic front double bed could be an option for us. We tried a few and they are certainly comfortable.

Going back to our old motorhome make Roller Team could be an option.

This is the Autoroller 747. But we are both 6 foot so head room when standing is a concern. Also, when the bed is down it restricts access to the main habitation door which could be dangerous in an emergency.

The Autoroller 746 is very similar to our old 690 but with a rear lounge.

This one was lovely and airy. Our main concern with this is sleeping space for the kids. Could we make the dinette benches into 2 single beds or would they be too short.

Decisions, decisions. If anyone has any ideas, please share!

Yorkshire Motorhome and Accessories Show

We’re still searching for our next motorhome. So today we visited the Yorkshire Motorhome and Accessories Show in Harrogate to have a look at some different layouts.

It is encouraging to see so many rear U-shaped lounges. There is also an odd trend at the moment of making the whole bathroom into almost a wet room. Not a new trend, and I understand it is to save space, but it looks very odd in my opinion.

We still like the Swift Kontiki 649 in terms of layout. We would occupy the rear lounge and the girls would have the dinette. Then at night the oldest could sleep on the side bench and the youngest on one of the dinette bench seats. We would have to fashion a 2-sided cot frame style thing for the youngest so she didn’t roll out of bed. Is there anything like this on the market?

The decision is made all the more difficult with the age of the kids (1 and 3) who are going to change dramatically over the next few years (not least in length).

I think we are trying to cover too many eventualities. But it is right to think about it as it is a lot of money. So that’s where my head is at. All over the place! Stay tuned for more as the search progresses.

New year, new Motorhome …?

Today we visited Leisure World Group at Catterick for their Motorhome event to have a little look around some different layouts.

We were pleased to see a lot more vans with rear lounges. We think this is just what we need. Our 3 year old was really excited to get back into a Motorhome which was great to see!

It was a great opportunity to get back in the Motorhome mindset. Let’s see what 2019 brings.

If anyone goes motor-homing with young kids, what do you own and how do you find it? Any advice is gratefully received!!

Bye bye motorhome

It is a sad day, we have had to say goodbye to the motorhome. We have made the decision for two reasons, one I am on maternity leave and we wanted to free up some cash, and two, we decided it isn’t the right layout with two little people running all over the place!

So this is not goodbye forever, we will definitely get a new motorhome at some stage. Essentially we need more usable space. There just wasn’t enough in our old rig. Also sleeping arrangements started to become tricky with two children. We need something we can partition off on a night so we can sit and relax while the children sleep.

If you have any thoughts on layouts that work well with children please comment, I’d love to hear from you.

In the mean time, watch this space!

white car traveling near trees during daytime
Photo by Tim Gouw on Pexels.com

A train spotters paradise!

Our latest trip was to Burrs Country Park Caravan and Motorhome Club site in Bury, Lancashire.

The site is located alongside the East Lancashire railway and has diesel and steam trains running to Bury and Ramsbottom on it daily. If you are a fan of trains, what better than to have them chugging right past your door all day long!

The site has a helpful information shed with details on local activities and all the train timetables. You can even get a discount on train travel with your Caravan and Motorhome Club card.

We got a super pitch which has electricity, water and has a grey water pipe which is useful.

The facilities were excellent with a separate baby bathroom decorated in Thomas the Tank Engine stickers. And big thumbs up for taps in the adult showers! 👍🏻

One thing that is missing from the site is a play area for kids so you do need to bring things to entertain the smalls or go offsite.

However, all is not lost as right next to the site is Burrs Country Park, a large open grassland, perfect for dog walkers. There is a really good balance beam walkway with lots of obstacles suitable for all ages. Our toddler showed us just how fearless she is!

Just outside the site gates is a pub, the Brown Cow, and a cafe called the Lamppost.

The weekend we were there just so happened to have a special Thomas the Tank Engine day which our toddler loved. We spent all day going up and down on the line on the various trains.

It was quite expensive at £51 for 2 adults and 1 child. The club discount doesn’t apply on special weekends.

Big thumbs up for this site! Well worth a visit!

Blackpool, not a pleasure beach

I have to remember this wasn’t the site’s fault but being kept awake until 11pm by rowdy teenagers when you have a 2 year old and 4 month old in the motorhome makes for a less than pleasant stay.

That being said the site at Blackpool South was actually very good.

A relatively small site with very level pitches and about 2 miles out of the centre of Blackpool, it had a great children’s play area for our toddler. It is unusual for sites to have a play area to have equipment that suits toddlers so that was great for us!

The facilities were a little dated but very clean. It had the usual baby and toddler room with small bath, toilet and change table. It also had a hair dryer in there which was useful. The adult facilities were also very good. The main plus point, and I always go on about it, is taps instead of push buttons in the showers. Heaven!

The site had a well equipped shop and a really helpful information shed packed with leaflets, files, maps and bus timetables.

To get into Blackpool at weekends is either a £10 taxi ride or a 20 minute walk and 10 minute bus journey. We paid £4.40 for 2 adult single tickets. We were also offered day rover tickets for £11 each.

There is plenty to do in Blackpool. From the Tower and Tower Ballroom to Madam Tussaud’s, Sea Life Centre and Pleasure Beach.

There are tons of restaurants, souvenir shops and ice cream vendors. If you are looking for a traditional British lunch of fish and chips we went to Yorkshire Fisheries which was rated number 2 on Trip Advisor and was really excellent. There are steps to get in but they were really attentive with the kids and the pushchair. They have a kids menu with kids portions. They also do king size and half chip portions to cater for different appetites. It was really delicious!

All in all Blackpool South was a very good site marred by the actions of a small group of teenagers. If you do visit this site maybe ask for a pitch away from the playground.

One year ago today …

Does anyone else use Amazon Prime Photos? I love how it shows you images from this day in previous years. It’s great with kids to see how far they’ve come and what you were doing exactly a year ago!

This time three years ago I was pregnant with baby number 1, we didn’t have a motorhome, instead we were touring France in a Porsche 911. We started at Lake Annecy in a chalet.

Two years ago our first daughter was 5 months old and we stayed in a gite in the Dordogne.

This time last year our first was 1 year old and I was pregnant with baby number 2. We had the motorhome and we were in Strasbourg on a tour around France, Luxemberg and Belgium.

Goodness me, that was a tiring trip. Being pregnant and looking after a 1 year old. That’s why this year we decided to keep it simple and just go to one main destination with a couple of stops on the way.

Back to Strasbourg though. We have been twice now and we really like it. I can very much recommend Camping Indigo! It’s close to the town centre with easy bus routes a short walk away. The facilities are great and it has a pool for kids to wind down at the end of a busy day.

We enjoyed the town centre with plenty of historical buildings and good food. But if you are there with kids you really must go to the science museum Le Vaisseau. We took the motorhome as it is a little out of town. If it isn’t busy there is plenty of space to park.

It is great for kids of all ages with different zones from water, to construction, to the human body. There is something to stimulate minds of all ages. You could easily spend a whole day there. We certainly did, and we are self proclaimed speed tourists!