The office win which I work is camping mad and comprises the “hard core campers”, i.e. those who use tents and sleep on roll mats on the ground, the glampers, caravan owners, campervan owners and me, a motorhome owner.
We have all exchanged stories of our adventures over the summer, which has been really interesting. Since I own a motor home I am more part of the Caravan/campervan group than the hard core campers, and as for the glampers………………… that’s not my scene at all.
I am always interested to hear stories about different campsites, I mean it helps me choose the destination for my next camping adventure, so I do tend to probe my work colleagues about where they have been, what it was like etc. etc.
I have one particular work colleague I get on very well with, who is a caravan lady through and through. Even though we get on well our paths have never crossed on a camping trip, and they never will. This lady goes to child friendly and dog friendly sites that are large and have the full suite of facilities (toilets, showers, swimming pool, sauna, playgrounds, shops, cafes, restaurants, clubhouses etc.) whereas my wife and I prefer the peace and tranquillity of the smaller adult only campsites, and as long as there is an electric hook up, a toilet/shower block, somewhere to empty waste water that is fine by us. It does help if there is fishing onsite (well it helps me) but it’s not essential. The types of campsites my work colleague and me visit are worlds apart, and that is the primary reason we will never embark on a camping adventure. The other reason is that we are “work buddies” and don’t want to socialise with each other outside of work, which suits both of us.
My work colleague constantly bangs on about how “nice and friendly” the other people are on the campsites she goes to, and how they will bend over backward to help out if you look like you’re struggling, and will also make you feel welcome.
I have to say that I have never experienced this on the adult only campsites me and the better half go to. Sure, we have come across some pleasant people who will pass the time of day with a bit of small talk, but we have never come across another couple inviting us to pull up a chair and grab a beer. Similarly, we have never invited another couple to pull up a chair and grab a beer. Well saying that, we did once and the invitation was thrown back in our face as the couple looked at us like we were something stuck to the bottom of their shoes, so we haven’t bothered since. Once bitten, and all that.
I find that there are a lot of people on the campsites we stay on who don’t even say “good morning” or acknowledge you when your paths cross going to the shower block. My wife and I force ourselves to say hello to people. Sometimes it is reciprocated but most of the time it isn’t. I don’t know if it is that me and my wife look unfriendly, whether we are usually the youngest couple on the campsite (and look thuggish), whether we appear unfriendly or whether adult only campsites only attract couples who keep themselves to themselves, are happy in each other’s company and don’t want to acknowledge anyone else. I really don’t know……………………..
As for helpful people on the campsite. Hmmmmmm………………… Other than the campsite owners (all of whom are helpful if you get stuck) I have never met someone willing to jump in and say “You look like you’re struggling. Do you want a hand?” A prime example of this is a recent trip out in our new motorhome, which was actually our first proper trip out in it.
Whilst camping at Walnut Lakes in Lincolnshire, I was having a few issues with the water tank filler cap, i.e. I couldn’t get the damn thing off and having not been shown during the handover demonstration on collection or trying it out at home first (I know I should have, but hindsight is a wonderful thing isn’t it) I didn’t appreciate the locking and “no twisting” mechanism. I was faffing around by the water tap for over 10 minutes, getting redder and redder and more and more annoyed by the minute, and all the time there were two couples separately sitting outside doing nothing. I could hear the couples talking so they must have heard me chuntering and muttering (together with a little mild cursing) but not one of them offered to help.
I finally did get the cap off and then I couldn’t get any water in to the water tank. The 5m hosepipe I bought from Go Outdoors has a universal rubber funnel designed to fit any tap however it doesn’t create a seal. This means that when you crank up the water pressure the water spurts out of the top of the hosepipe, and this happens no matter how hard you press it on the tap. Since I couldn’t get any water pressure the water wouldn’t go any further than a meter or so down the pipe, and with another 4 meters or so to go there was no way I was going to get any water in the tank. Me and the wife were messing around for another ten minutes or so (we didn’t have a shorter hose and we didn’t take a water carrier or funnel with us) and not a single person offered us a shorter bit of hose or one with a screw top to fit tightly to the tap. We were just providing a little bit of entertaining and giving them a chuckle before they had their seven thirty cup of coco before bedtime. We did get some water in the tank but I had to go around the campsite and grovel, which was humiliating and embarrassing.
From what my work colleague was saying, had I been on the sort of campsites she goes on there would have been someone trying to help me get the filler cap off like a shot, and also someone with a short bit of hose or a bucket and funnel shortly thereafter. Would this have really been the case? Hmmmmmmm…………………………………. I can’t pass comment on that, but she seems to think so, and I have no reason to doubt her.
One thing I have found is that there is a huge motor home/caravan divide and the two types of owners don’t seem to mix. Perhaps the reason no-one came to our aid at Walnut Lakes was because we were in a motor home and not a caravan? Then again (and more likely I suspect) is it because my wife and I are in are early thirties (although we have been told many times we look younger than this) and the other couples were in their sixties (and possibly their seventies). Call me ageist, but I think this is more likely to be the case.
The motor home is new to us and every trip out (whether it is just a day trip, an overnighter or a longer stay) is a learning experience and putting us to the test. Slowly, but surely, we are muddling our way through and getting there, but we are doing it ourselves without help and assistance from anyone else.
About the author
A total motor home newbie with a six year camping background in a folding camper. A keen blogger sharing my experience of researching, choosing, buying and owning a motor home. and every thing that goes with it.
The Motor home