First trip a resounding success, more planned!

We christened our ‘van last weekend with two-night stay at Tattershall Lakes Country Park.

The weather forecast was good, and LOOK what arrived 2 days before we left!

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I know, right?

That pesky 5th sofa cushion finally turned up and made our seating area complete!

Please excuse the dried doggie pawprints on the black here!
Please excuse the dried doggie pawprints on the black here!
The clean version - just you can't quite see the cushion we'd been missing from this angle.
The clean version – just you can’t quite see the cushion we’d been missing from this angle.

After carting numerous crates of “stuff” out to fill the ‘van on Friday morning, Jake got home from work after lunch (because, yes, he came too!) and we arrived at Tattershall around 2pm.

Less than 30 minutes later, and we were all set up, awning, chairs ‘n’ all.

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I’m not sure why this photo looks so dark but I think perhaps it’s actually because the sky is rather bright!

We had a great weekend. We BBQ-ed twice (we’d planned to) and ate out at the resort restaurant on the Saturday evening. Nice food, if pricey, but that’s to be expected on a site like that, I think.

Sunday morning BBQ breakfast
Sunday morning BBQ breakfast at about 7.30/8am!

We weathered some rain on Friday night without incident. The awning held up fine, nothing broke down and we even trialled out the air con unit on the Saturday night because it was so hot overnight (even with the ‘van door half open)

Zac behaved impeccably the entire weekend. He wasn’t stressed out about being tethered (sometimes between van and awning, sometimes between awning and outdoors depending on what we were doing) and he was good as gold around the site on his lead.

"Is that my breakfast, Daddy?" (It was)
“Is that my breakfast, Daddy?”
(It was)

We had no idea how he’d be either on site or amongst the crowds (and, BOY, it was busy!) but we needn’t have worried. He was the best behaved a little doggie can be. Bless him.

The one thing that was noted as a problem was how uncomfortable the rear bunk mattresses are. They’re cheap sprung jobbies from eBay and they really are sloppy and horrid. Eliot found it so bad that he actually slept the second night on the floor of the van with the dog (who slept under the extended section of the sofa bed)

So this week I ordered some 6ft x 2ft sheets of medium density foam to replace the awful mattresses. The top one needs cutting down a few inches and perhaps across the corners to accommodate the angles at the outer side (the bottom bunk didn’t need these trimming, we just squashed it in, so it might not need it up top either) and then both will be wrapped in stockinette to protect the foam before the mattress protectors are put back on.

The 6ft length is a few inches too long for the top bunk
The 6ft length is a few inches too long for the top bunk
Cheap 5m of stockinette, often sold for cleaning cloths, is perfect for wrapping and protecting the foam of the two mattresses
Cheap 5m of stockinette, often sold for cleaning cloths, is perfect for wrapping and protecting the foam of the two mattresses
New mattress all covered and ready to roll.
New mattress all covered and ready to roll.

Eliot was so much happier with this so that’s good. More space for the dog on the floor for the next trip then, hopefully!

Speaking of next trips, Jake isn’t coming with us now so  there’s just 3 of us and the dog for the Lincoln Steam and Vintage Rally next weekend (an experiment in non-EHU trip which will test the 12v system and the solar charge more thoroughly) and then we’re away, again as 3 plus dog, for the bank holiday weekend at Wolverley Club Site. No idea what it’ll be like but reviews are good and it’s supposed to be great for dogs too, so we’ll see.

Jake, meanwhile, will be having wild parties (AKA sleeping in and playing Xbox all day).

Lucky him!

Or, he’ll be tinkering with his new toy.

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He’s not old enough to drive it on the road yet (not under December when he turns 17) but it needs work anyway right now (it was bought damaged to repair) and maybe that’ll give him something to do.

Or maybe it’ll just be sleep and the Xbox. (more likely!)

A few other things we noted while on our first trip:

  1. we need more rock pegs. We had just enough for the awning but not enough that we could have used the windbreak. Halfords had some decent ones reduced in price, of which we’d picked up a couple of packs before we went away, so we’ll see if they have any left.
  2. We ran out of water after 36 hours! An entire 66 litre tank! Probably because we weren’t policing it at all and we refilled water bottles and bowls and washed up from it regularly. We are going to purchase a large (10-15 litre) water bottle with pourer so we can decant from that for the dog’s bowl and, if required, use it to refill the underslung tank if we run out again.
  3. We need a splashguard of some sort between the sink and the beds. The water pressure is good and it did tend to splash up a little when turned up high. We’ve made a cover for the hob from the waterproof shower wall 3mm ply (to give more work space) which doubles as the splashguard for now.
  4. We have a slightly creaky sofa area. One specific half of one sofa. Typically the part my head and shoulders is on when I’m rolling from side to side at night so it’s annoying. For EVERYONE! Will find out what’s causing that and fix it.
  5. The seat velcro wasn’t quite positioned correctly and made pulling the bed out a bit tricky (although not impossible) so that needs relocating. Also, the smaller, infill cushion could do with some on it as it moved a bit when I got in and out of bed!
  6. More dog towels required! We took 2 large bath sheets for Zac which was just about OK for the tim we were there and the weather we had (scorchio!) but if it’d stayed wet overnight and still been so in the morning on Saturday, we’d have found ourselves lacking. Might need to pack 4 for bad weather!

I think that’s it!

Nothing major and certainly nothing that can’t be sorted out.

Counting down to the next one now!

 

 

 

 

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