"The calm before the storm - little did the Kampa (and the Accordo 120) know what it was in for"
The recent trip to the Lake District has shown me that the weather summary on Freeview is as useful as a chocolate teapot, and that I need to get the settings on my iPhone sorted out as soon possible.
After two days of rain/no rain (but mostly rain) followed by two day of constant rain Mother Nature decided to throw another curve ball and give us gale force winds to boot. I have to say that the first few days didn’t endear me to the Lake District, and neither did the remaining ones and I am not itching to get back and experience more of what the area has to offer.
The problem with the gale force wind was I didn’t even know it was going to happen until I saw the weather report on the news a few hours before hand. When I am away I don’t bother watching the news, and the keep an eye on the weather using the red button on Freeview.
Whilst I do have mobile internet on my iPhone I have never managed to get it to work properly and it never wants to connect. I know it’s a settings thing because the last time I wanted to use mobile internet in York it wouldn’t work so I found an O2 shop, they got me online and by the time I had returned to the park and ride bus I couldn’t connect again. I don’t bother with mobile internet at home, I have wifi and if I ever want to use it out and about, which is almost never (I can count the number of times I have wanted to access the internet on the go in the last two years on one hand) I go and sit in a pub or café and use their connection. Unfortunately, Pier Cottage campsite didn’t allow us to use their internet connection. Consequently, I couldn’t use my phone for the weather report.
The weather summary on the red button is not that great but it does give some indication about the temperatures and what is going to happen. What it doesn’t give is the wind speed/strength, which is what caught us out. By the time I saw the weather on the news (purely by chance whilst I was waiting for a program I wanted to watch) it was too late to do anything to prepare for it.
Ideally, I would have cleared all the stuff out of the awning, put it under the van and collapse it, but I didn’t have the chance. It was dark, it was hammering down with rain and the wind had already started to pick up. There was a lot of stuff in the awning to clear out and find homes for, and under the van was muddy, crappy and full of puddles – which was to be expected given the amount of rain had fallen since we had arrived. The long and short of it was I couldn’t do anything other than wait and see what Mother Nature decided to throw at us.
The winds came, and they were stupidly strong. Being concerned about the (£400) Kampa inflatable awning I decided to go and sit in it. Looking back, there was little I could have done if it had started to rip or anything, other than watch and cry of course, but at least I wouldn’t have woken up to any surprises.
The night passed, I got no sleep, but the Kampa stood firm and remained at the end of it. There was a small pool of water inside, but given the rain was being driven in to the front of it at high force for several hours without let up, this was minor and it could have been a lot worse. Whilst I am still annoyed the Kampa doesn’t fit the Accordo properly, and we have to use it as a standalone storage tent, I am impressed at the durability and strength of the thing and also the type of weather it can withstand.
This was yet another learning experience that has showed me I need to not rely on the red button weather and get my iPhone internet sorted out once and for all (or watch the news) and that we need to think about another outdoor storage solution (that won’t be affected by the wind) and dispense with the awning altogether. Hmmmmmm………….. I have to admit that I am a bit lost at the moment and will have to have a think.
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