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 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.
General toiletries (don’t forget your toothbrushes)
First aid box
Dustpan and brush
Cups and mugs
Collapsible drainer and tray
Collapsible washing up bowl
Washing up liquid
Plastic bags for shopping
Food and drink
Tea and coffee
I have tried to make the rig more homely and have added some pictures that our daughter has done at nursery. Simple really.
Baby bowls, spoons and sippy cups
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.
Window blinds in the cab
Air conditioning unit
Food grade fresh water hose
Electric cable adaptors UK and EU
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!
We headed down after a very hot spell of weather so I was lulled into a false sense of security and only packed a few pairs of trousers. Along came the rain, which was a real shame because this site and surrounding area was made for long walks and bike rides.
The site is set in 4,000 acres of woodland and has a National Trust site nestled in the middle.
The site itself was reasonable, if a little dated. It had the usual playground for the kids, wash hut with kids bathroom, washing up and laundry (which proved very useful when we got back from our soaking 4 mile walk from Worksop)! It also has a useful information hut.
On Fridays they have a fish and chip van which is very popular and very reasonable at £6.50 for a standard portion. The kids loved it when we arrived!
There wasn’t a lot to do in Worksop at all for the kids so we just ended up eating! We found a nice pub called the White Lion which did an amazing steak and ale pie.
When the kids got cabin fever we decided to just don our wellies and waterproofs and splash in the puddles. Our youngest is just walking so it was nice for her to get out and about a bit!
All in all, not a bad first trip. We forgot a few bits but nothing essential. We’ve made a note and will get ourselves geared up for a longer trip to France later in the summer.
That’s right, we’ve taken the plunge and invested in a new rig! And I am delighted with it.
We have gone with a Dethleffs A7871-2 SG. It’s a 6 berth. The layout is absolutely perfect for the family. We have an over cab bed just like the last one for us and we are able to make the bench seats up into little beds for the kids using cotbed bedding!
We have a great rear u-shaped lounge which even has a door to partition it off so the kids can sleep at the front whilst we watch tv at the back!
It is really well laid out with a kitchen area and bathroom in the middle. One of our big issues with layout is when the kitchen is opposite the front dinette where the kids sleep. We would be held hostage outside until they went to sleep before we could cook dinner!
It is jam packed with handy storage spaces from little pockets, loads of hooks and a large wardrobe, to holes in the floor for shoes, toys and bottles. We will struggle to fill it! The sink in the bathroom is genius! It moves to allow you more room to use the toilet or the shower. Those Germans know how to do space saving!
Next weekend we are taking it on our first test run! Wish us luck!
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!
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.
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.
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.