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Does Caravanning Get Easier?


Poppymay
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We have been away once in our new (2nd hand!) caravan, and it was all a bit stressful. I was very nervous towing it and it all seemed to take an age to get set up and pack away after.

 

We had thought that we would go away for weekends, but it felt like such a massive expedition!

 

My question is - does it all get easier (and quicker)? (Towing, setting up etc. ..)

 

Thanks a lot!

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We have been away once in our new (2nd hand!) caravan, and it was all a bit stressful. I was very nervous towing it and it all seemed to take an age to get set up and pack away after.

 

We had thought that we would go away for weekends, but it felt like such a massive expedition!

 

My question is - does it all get easier (and quicker)? (Towing, setting up etc. ..)

 

Thanks a lot!

 

Yes.

 

You develop a 'system', often unspoken about who does what, after a few times you will find it becomes more pleasurable.

 

Practice makes perfect as the saying goes.

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This will be my second full year at it and yes - it does get easier! I tow a lot so didn't have an issue there bar knowing where the rear corners are.

 

Everything else gets easier as you find different ways to set up and everyone I've spoken to on a site has been really helpful and willing to share their experience which helps

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Yes it does. The stressfull experience you describe should not be like that even when you are a beginner.

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The first few times for us were a bit stressful but as others will tell you it gets easier as time goes by. Don't be afraid to ask for help or accept it if offered. Work as a team and make notes and lists and refer to them, particularly the hitching up and setting up. It may help to go away for a few weekends before putting up your awning, contrary to caravan folklore an awning is not a divorce in a bag!

If towing is causing a concern, put yourself through one of the Caravan Club's towing courses. It will give your confidence a boost.

Enjoy your experiences.

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Yes definitely gets easier. We look back and laugh at our first couple of outings the mistakes we made and learned from. Stick with it and you'll soon be an expert.

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After a few more trips you will settle in to everything and it will all become easier. Towing should become second nature and you will find yourself not checking mirrors on every corner as you will just know it's fine.

 

If you found setting up and pulling down too much just take less stuff to start.

If I am not putting the awning up I can be sat down with a beer in my hand in under 15mins from pulling onto the pitch and 5 mins of that is walking to the water point and filling the barrel. Trick is to get the caravan pretty much as you want it before you leave.

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It does get easier and the chances are that you will come to love it. It don't remember feeling stressed, but I had my Dad with me telling me what to do when I first towed a caravan and he was very reassuring and it was fifty years ago!

 

John. :D

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I think once you have been away for a weekend or holiday which you really enjoyed and can see the real benefits those little worries about towing and setting up will subside. All these things need getting used to and towing is very different from driving a solo car so don't be too harsh on yourself. I expect a year of learning the ropes you will wonder why you were so concerned.

 

David

David - Milton Keynes

Bailey Alliance 66-2 Motorhome for holidays and a Kia Venga for home.

 

Caravan Travels

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Yes, it gets easier. For a while after we started caravanning we'd have a bar of post hitch up chocolate in the car to reward us.

 

We don't do that now, it's become second nature.

 

Paul

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Yep it definitely gets easier after 18 months we think nothing of picking the van up from storage after work Thursday and goingfor a long weekend often arriving on site in the dark.

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Erm, yes.

 

But only a bit. For us, it takes a while, although it's only our first year.

 

There's still all the stages to go through. I've no idea how some people can set us as quickly as they claim. On a sloping pitch it can take me 10 mins just to level it.

 

And from what I've observed, very few people are set up in less than 30-40 mins, with packing away taking longer. It helps that I enjoy the whole process, especially the towing. Although I've found I'm quicker when it's scything with rain. ....

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You don't say if there are two of you but we have caravanned for years and probably don't exchange a word after choosing our pitch until I say that the tea is made which is probably about fifteen to twenty minutes after choosing the pitch. Hubby does leveling, fitting security device on the wheel and connecting the electricity. I collect two barrels of water [we don't use site facilities] water for drinking and set up the waste water cassette. If it is raining one barrel of water and security device wait until later!

 

By the end of your first season you will be amazed at how much quicker you are.

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Hi Poppymay, it really does get easier.

I have only been towing for 18 months, the first trip was the worst. A bit nervous and a little stressed.

Setting up seemed to take an age but when it was all done and the kettle on for a cuppa it all seemed worthwhile.

Packing up and driving home was easier. After a few local trips I started to get more confidence.

Setting up got easier and easier as did packing away. Mrs. Dozer and I just set in to a routine. As the OP said it is pretty much unspoken now.

When it comes to checking the van is ready for towing I'm a little OCD and if Mrs. Dozer distracts me I have to start the checks again

Last year we went to the Isle of Wight (250 miles round trip) then up to Lake Windermere (720 mile round trip) with the van.

We all take a different amount of time to settle in to things, your confidence WILL grow with each trip, in my humble opinion.

Enjoy your new toy and look on things from the fun angle.

Hope this helps

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As others have hinted. ...it all settles down dramatically after you've evolved your own system. ....everyone has one, whether it's written down (which some swear by) or just from memory. ...if you're part of a couple (as we are now the goblins have left) we tend to have 'his jobs' and 'her jobs', although I think it's important that either can do everything in case something unexpected happens, so although SWMBO doesn't tow normally, we've made sure she's had a go at hitching, towing and setting up just in case I ever slip and break an ankle or something equally silly.

 

We've all had stressful trips when every possible thing which could go wrong, did, but they are the minority and get fewer as practice and familiarity grows.

 

Confidence and enjoyment builds as the good times add up, so don't be put off. ....not for the first 30 years anyway; after that if you still hate it, maybe give it another try for the next 20 years before making a final decision :rolleyes:

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We have been caravanning for about 35 years and noticed last year that things were getting a bit easier.

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You don't say whether the stressful setup and packing up involved an awning.

If it did, stressful is not unusual and the "secret" is to take your time and not try to rush it, just work methodically.

If no awning, then it really shouldn't be stressful, just follow a system.

Without an awning, a relaxed set up should take no longer than 20-30 minutes, including the casual chat at the water tap!

My tip would be when on site and set up, discretely watch others as they arrive and see how long it takes them, looking out for those who seem to have a relaxed and fairly quick approach to it all.

 

As far as towing goes, it really is a matter of making sure loading is correctly distributed, the hitch is correctly on the towball and taking it easy until you gain confidence and get used to the size of the outfit and the performance of your towcar.

Edited by hp100425ev
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I wouldn't say I found it stressful but it certainly seemed a bit of a hassle at first when I started caravanning (which was only 2015). Especially the packing up to leave. Those around us seed so quick and with 2 kids it just seemed to take ages to coordinate everything and get everything put away, car packed, caravan packed etc.

Roll forward 2 years and now it seems easy and straightforward. After just a few trips it was fine.

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Yes. After a couple of seasons my wife and I have it off to a tee. We each have our jobs and responsibilities and it gets easier each and every time. Just take it easy and enjoy yourselves.

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We sometimes have a quit chuckle when hearing couples shouting at each other when siting the caravan or putting the awning up. We've all been there and afterwards you look back and laugh. We had a couple near us arguing over their BBQ a while back. The lady said he was doing it wrong because that wasn't the way her father did it. They did end up eating it though.

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Does caravanning get easier? I can't see how it does for some !! The amount of junk and equipment they carry is bound to create hassle.

If you compare modern day caravanning with how we did it 40--65yrs ago, there is a world of difference.

Latterly, when we don't have grandkids with us, we don't even bother with an awning---quote from lawyer for divorce put paid to that. We try and keep things fairly basic to minimise stress, and only extra we carry is a telly & occasionally Blond's laptop.

As said in previous posts try and develop a routine Before you leave home---think out basic tasks and do them in order eg: Fill water and rig up. Place waste container & connect HDU. Erect TV aerial if not fitted to van. Pre organise a secure place where everything will be stored for towing. Don't take superfluous items, but search this forum to get an idea of tools & spares to carry. This should give you peace of mind in the event something does go wrong.

THEN, turn on gas and enjoy a cuppa.

Towing can be stressful in certain circumstances like heavy, slow moving traffic. TRY & be relaxed and keep cool. Just remember that you need to know what is going on all around you at all times, so concentration needs to be 100%. You need to accelerate a bit earlier to overtake and brake earlier / harder with van on back. A good set of extension mirrors are worth their weight in gold and have to be set properly for you.

Enjoy your caravan holidays.

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Yes. As others have said, it is down to developing a system, one that works for you!

 

Even though we have moved over to a static, we both have our jobs to do. I do the fetching and carrying, water, gas and electric, walk the dog, Mrs H pack away, makes bed, brews up sorts out tea.

 

If you are using a full awning, this will test your love for each other even in the summer breeze of an August evening. Ditch it for short breaks and get a porch awning for weekends away. Look at what needs doing and work out who is best suited to doing it, one outside and one inside works best.

 

Good luck and keep happy.

 

H.

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