And then there were 4!

So bump turned into baby in February bringing our total family unit to four. A toddler and a baby in a motorhome. This is going to be fun!

With baby just 5 weeks old we are ready for our first trip in the rig since last October. (I didn’t fancy clambering up above the cab with a big bump!)

We are heading to Chester, just for a couple of nights, as a trial run. We are planning a big trip to Europe in the summer and we want to see how everything works.

After much deliberation (do we overthink it?) we decided that our oldest would continue to sleep over the garage, we would continue to sleep over the cab and baby would sleep in her Moses basket on the bench seat. That way I can look down from our bed and see her in the night.

We have had to bring so much more stuff this time and when we go away in the summer I am sure we will be full to bursting! What with 2 different size nappies, clothes, pushchairs and car seats we are bound to have forgotten something! I am planning to start a list now ahead of the Europe trip to ensure we don’t forget anything then. There is one thing managing without something for 2 nights in the uk and quite another being without something for 3 weeks in Europe!

We have also had to rethink travelling. There are 2 full seatbelts on the forward facing bench seats and 2 lap belts on the rear facing seats. Our 2 year old used to sit in her car seat on the forward facing bench seat and I could switch between the front passenger seat and next to her.

We toyed with the idea of putting both the toddler and baby next to each other in their car seats on the forward facing bench seat but that meant I couldn’t see baby at all as her seat is rear facing. We decided the toddler would travel in the front with daddy and baby would be on the bench seat with me.

So far so good.

Many a time our toddler has been travel sick in the motorhome while travelling. Cleaning sick out of the nooks and crannies of a car seat is a nightmare! I came up with a genius solution for this trip. She now wears her pelican bib on long car journeys. That way if she is sick her clothes and crucially the car seat are protected. The only downside is she thinks she’s getting food!

Cornwall, a complete blowout!

Following a brief stop at the NEC for the motorhome and caravan show we headed down to Cornwall for a short family holiday.

Unfortunately the bump is playing havoc with my immune system and storm Brian was intent on ruining our trip. There was no chance of erecting the new awning that we recently purchased in 30 mph winds! 

We found a great private site, Doubletrees Camping, St Austel in Cornwall. With spectacular views of the sea we were also within 2 miles walk of the Eden Project which was the main reason for the visit.


However, the exposure was the downfall with the site as when the winds picked up we were buffeted from every direction!

Amazingly our daughter slept through it but we had a very sleepless night and bailed out the following day cutting the journey short. 

We did, however, make it to the Eden Project which was superb and I would thoroughly recommend! 


Having only purchased the rig in May this is the first ‘bad weather’ we have really experienced. I don’t want to say that we will be fairweather motorhomers but perhaps next time we need to be more mindful of our choice of site and ensure we have some good shelter. All lessons learnt. 

The search for the perfect motorhome continues …

We took our one year old down to the Motorhome and Caravan Show 2017 at the NEC, Birmingham last week. We were en route to Cornwall to spend some time exploring that neck of the woods. 

Our motorhome suits us fine but in 5 months we will have another addition to the family and we are on the look out for a better layout for a young family. Why are there no motorhomes with sensible low down beds? Ideally we need something with a nice comfortable seating area for us parents and a separate, low down bed or two beds for the kids. 

It’s like searching for a needle in a haystack! Clambering in and out of motorhomes 5 months pregnant is exhausting.

I did find some fun exhibitions to keep me and our daughter amused while my husband continued the search. Check out this caravan made entirely of lego! 


It has won a Guinness World Record for the largest caravan to be built with interlocking plastic bricks!


The Caravan and Camping Club stand had a great game to draw people in. This scalectric with cars towing caravans was powered by pedal power! 


So we’re still looking for the perfect motorhome layout but we had fun and it broke up the journey down to Cornwall. 

Weekend in bonny Scotland

Help yourself herbs, bug hotels and deep fried Mars Bars. All to be expected on a roadtrip to Scotland.

We went for a long weekend up to my husbands home land of Scotland for a big family reunion. We booked to stay one night in Edinburgh at the Caravan and Motorhome Club site at Silverknowes.
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This was a great site. Very clean with great pitches. Unfortunately there were no children on the site for our daughter to interact with but it was really geared up for kids. It had a great kids play area which even featured a cute Bug Hotel.
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The ‘Bug Hotel’
Again I would say the play area was aimed at children slightly older than our daughter. But it was all very clean and safe. It had a separate baby and toddler wash room with a small bath with little shelf seat in it, a large change table and even had a little tiny toilet!
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Kids play area at Edinborough Silverknowes Caravan and Motorhome Club site
The adult facilities were very good and clean. One thing I did like was the shower was an on/off tap. Much better than those push buttons. They’re the worst, you get soap in your eyes and the water stops and then you can’t find the button to wash it off! There was a well organised washing up and rubbish facility. You could buy a few provisions in the reception where the staff were really happy and helpful. We also saw the wardens on a regular basis checking the site.
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The pitch
There is a bus straight into Edinburgh centre a short walk from the site which only costs £1.60 for an adult single ticket. You need exact change mind or they won’t let you on! The site also runs a minibus into the centre every half an hour until 2pm.
One added bonus was the incredible view we found hiding just behind some trees. Over the road from the site and down about 50 steps through a wood snicket we came across a view of the estuary and Forth Rail Bridge. There were people riding bikes, jogging and walking their dogs. The weather was glorious! We only wish we could have stayed longer!
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Glorious view of the forth rail bridge and estuary
The site cost £25 per night, for that we would have expected a water point at the pitch which there wasn’t. And a restaurant / bar / cafe would have been useful. For that reason I am going to score it a 4.5 out of 5.
We only stayed here one night. Next stop Strathclyde Country Park Caravan and Motorhome Club site.
We had two nights in Glasgow.  On the way from Edinburgh we stopped at the Falkirk Mariner Centre pool as it was tipping it down.  It was a great facility for kids with plenty of slides and things to play with as well as a wave machine.  Our daughter wasn’t so sure about the waves as they were quite big but you could sit right back out of the way and just have them lap at your feet.  The centre also has a gym, cafe and soft play for little ones.
Also on the way over to Glasgow we spotted The Helix which looks great for kids if the weather is a bit better.  As well as tons of activities for kids it has two giant horse head sculptures which are called the Kelpies.
One thing to bear in mind travelling to the Strathclyde Country Park is the road network.  The roads are going through some extensive works which haven’t updated on Google Maps yet so you need to have your whits about you.  There are also a number of unplanned road closures which can cause significant diversions which you might not be expecting.
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The rig at the Strathclyde Country Park Caravan and Motorhome Club site
Overall though the site was great.  I am starting to see a theme with Caravan and Motorhome Club sites.  The baby and toddler facilities were exactly the same.  We also made use of the laundry facilities this time to dry our towels.  A bit expensive at £1 for 15 minutes but it was worth it to have dry towels again!
There was also a kids play area, shop and minibus into town which we took advantage of this time.  But again there was no restaurant / cafe / bar.  One nice touch I liked was a planter with herbs with a sign saying ‘help yourself’.  You might not think to take herbs away with you for cooking so it was a nice touch to add a bit of flavour to your ‘meals on wheels’.
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Nice touch, help yourself to free herbs.
I give this site a 4.5 out of 5 for lack of restaurant.
One thing I did try that I have always wanted to when I went to Glasgow is a deep fried Mars Bar.  This sounds like a truly magical experience and one I have wanted to try at least once in my life.  And what better place to experience it than at the fish and chip shop where Justin Bieber went for battered Haggis and chips back after an all night sesh in October 2016.  Well if it is good enough for the Bieb’s then it is good enough for me!  Magic!
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First official trip

The rig is all packed up. Lets get on the road and get our first trip under our belts!

So we’re packed and ready to go on our first adventure!  We picked Windermere in the Lake District for our first adventure.  We found a lovely site called Park Cliffe about 10 minutes outside of Bowness.

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I am going to give it 5 out of 5 because I have no frame of reference.  The pitches are great, plenty of space, lovely and level.  The facilities are really clean.  They have private bathrooms which can be hired for a £10 deposit which is great for bathing the little one.  The staff are really helpful and friendly.

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There is an adventure playground which is perfect for kids around 2 – 11 I would say.  Our daughter is just a little bit young to appreciate it.  It has a bar, restaurant and shop.  The bar even did a quiz on the Saturday night but it was a bit late for us as the little one had crashed out from all the fresh air by that point!

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We forgot a few things:

  • Outside table
  • Outside tarp to go on the floor for our daughter to crawl about on
  • A few more outdoor toys to amuse the little one
  • Oven gloves (doh!)

But all in all, we managed pretty well with what we had brought.  We have another trip away planned so we will add a few things and remove a few items we feel unnecessary and see how we go.

To pack or not to pack?

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 you go away).  We have opted with leaving a minimal wardrobe in the rig and taking extra for each trip.
  • Underwear
  • Pyjamas
  • Shoes
  • Walking boots
  • Slippers
  • 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!