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Just spent six weeks in Northern Europe / Scandinavia and stayed on 12 different sites. In all that time I dont think I saw another caravanner filling an aquaroll or emptying a wastemaster or equivalent. I did see the occasional caravanner filling a watering can and pouring it into what appeared to be on onboard tank. However I never saw a caravan filling up an onboard tank at the camper van service point or emptying waste water there. What do these foreigners do for water and getting rid of it?

On some of the sites I was on there was only one drinking water tap which sometimes involved a long walk for yours truly. And people would be looking at me wondering what on earth I was doing.

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They are not the "foreigners", you are !

Most European made vans are "Dry" vans, no water, as they use the site facilities and not the van, except for sleeping and socialising.

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We no longer use an aquaroll, after seeing what horrors were inside the pump and the pipework (I can't post a photo but have one in my dropbox). We would never drink water drawn from the aquaroll, but keep a smaller water container for drinking, brushing teeth, washing hands, and water for cooking. The habit of using van facilties for everything - showering, washing, etc. , is a British one, which is why sites in Europe often have toilet blocks which beat ours hands down and why many British vans are so large compared to those used by Europeans.

Edited by ValA
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Agree with ValA. As a Brit in a foreign land - and all our caravanning being in Europe, i can confirm that most Europeans use a small onboard tank for emergency use (coffee / tea etc). Other than that we use site facilities, which generally are superb, including for washing pots. Aquarolls are a particularly British thing and I can't remember ever having seen one across here (except when we come across a British owned van) Also many of us use our caravans in the winter and with an Aquaroll this would present difficulties.

 

"chrished" - Very likely that people were intrigued by the Aquaroll - having never seen one before.

David and Barbara

Landrover Discovery with Hobby 495

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Most European made vans are "Dry" vans, no water, as they use the site facilities and not the van, except for sleeping and socialising.

 

Hi,

 

We have been in Scandinavia for the past eight weeks and only yesterday was asked by a Swedish chap what the Aquaroll was.

 

We have not seen a Brit van since around 27th June and have found most of the locals go to the site drinking water tap first thing in the morning to fill the coffee pot and that's it, in Norway and Sweden cooking seems to be done in the camp kitchens provided on every site.

 

Steve

Steve (BroGoat)

travel blog - www. adventure-before-dementia. co. uk

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They are not the "foreigners", you are !

Most European made vans are "Dry" vans, no water, as they use the site facilities and not the van, except for sleeping and socialising.

The only 'dry' european vans that I have seen have been large twin axle Tabberts or similar that are, or used to be, much loved by the travelling community. Fendts seem to be the make of choice at the moment.

I stand to be corrected!!

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I'm writing this from our seasonal pitch in the Yorkshire Dales. We are the only caravan in our particular small field although there are 10 other caravans scattered around neighbouring ones. The nearest facilities block is 4miles away :D but we wouldn't swap this pitch for any site described above. Perhaps ALL foreign sites - even the tiniest - have swish facilities blocks but I can't see how a 5 pitch owner can make a living from the £12 per night they get over here, and if they had to invest in fancy water and toilet facilities they would have to charge a great deal more.

My view is that the other European caravanners are missing out on a great experience we have in the UK - surely a much broader way of caravanning?

Mike

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I'm writing this from our seasonal pitch in the Yorkshire Dales. We are the only caravan in our particular small field although there are 10 other caravans scattered around neighbouring ones. The nearest facilities block is 4miles away :D but we wouldn't swap this pitch for any site described above. Perhaps ALL foreign sites - even the tiniest - have swish facilities blocks but I can't see how a 5 pitch owner can make a living from the £12 per night they get over here, and if they had to invest in fancy water and toilet facilities they would have to charge a great deal more.

My view is that the other European caravanners are missing out on a great experience we have in the UK - surely a much broader way of caravanning?

Mike

Hi,

 

It sounds ideal and just the sort of place we like when in UK, where we have a number of favourite CL's in various parts.

 

Don't waste to much sympathy on the Scandinavians. In the north, many of them wild camp (caravans as well as motor-homes) in the most stunning locations you can imagine. It is considered so safe that even those with young children wild camp, even leaving the caravan in a lay bye or beauty spot car park while they go off (sometimes in the car) to explore the local area.

 

Steve

Steve (BroGoat)

travel blog - www. adventure-before-dementia. co. uk

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Hi,

 

It sounds ideal and just the sort of place we like when in UK, where we have a number of favourite CL's in various parts.

 

Don't waste to much sympathy on the Scandinavians. In the north, many of them wild camp (caravans as well as motor-homes) in the most stunning locations you can imagine. It is considered so safe that even those with young children wild camp, even leaving the caravan in a lay bye or beauty spot car park while they go off (sometimes in the car) to explore the local area.

 

Steve

How do they shower and 'ablute' Steve if they don't have facilities for this built into the van. I can see a trowel might be useful but bathing in the streams of northern Scandinavia must be quite a refreshing experience :D

Mike

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How do they shower and 'ablute' Steve if they don't have facilities for this built into the van. I can see a trowel might be useful but bathing in the streams of northern Scandinavia must be quite a refreshing experience :D

Mike

 

All the European vans we have looked at do have a shower and toilet but they are more for occasional use, the shower, toilet and basin being in an area no more than the size of a shower cubicle in a UK caravan. We were told that in the far north it was safe to take water straight from the rivers and fresh water lakes but did not feel brave enough to try it and you would be staggered at how many of these hardy people swim in the fjords and lakes, makes me cold just thinking about it particularly as many the streams start in the hills where, even with the hot sunny weather we have been enjoying here, there is still plenty of snow lying around.

 

I am sitting typing this on a site in Sweden just south of the arctic circle and looking out onto a small lake where a large group of children and adults have been swimming and splashing about all morning.

 

Steve

Steve (BroGoat)

travel blog - www. adventure-before-dementia. co. uk

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How do they shower and 'ablute' Steve if they don't have facilities for this built into the van. I can see a trowel might be useful but bathing in the streams of northern Scandinavia must be quite a refreshing experience :D

Mike

The same way my family and thousands of other families did earlier in our caravan careers, not to say earlier in our lives.

 

Our first family caravan holiday was in 1968/9 in a new but hired touring caravan. The five berth 14ft long caravan facilities comprised single small sink with cold water only pumped from the outside plastic jerry can by means of a foot pump. A two ring burner hob with grill for cooking, which was largely re-heating. Toilet facilities were an Elsan bucket and chuck it with no rinse facilities. No battery was fitted so illumination was provided by gas lamps with delicate mantles.

 

My family of six comprised two adults and four children with an age range from 9 years down to fifteen months and still in nappies - which were not disposable.

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The same way my family and thousands of other families did earlier in our caravan careers, not to say earlier in our lives.

 

Our first family caravan holiday was in 1968/9 in a new but hired touring caravan. The five berth 14ft long caravan facilities comprised single small sink with cold water only pumped from the outside plastic jerry can by means of a foot pump. A two ring burner hob with grill for cooking, which was largely re-heating. Toilet facilities were an Elsan bucket and chuck it with no rinse facilities. No battery was fitted so illumination was provided by gas lamps with delicate mantles.

 

My family of six comprised two adults and four children with an age range from 9 years down to fifteen months and still in nappies - which were not disposable.

Perhaps they do DEeTee, but somehow I doubt it. If they are asking for caravans without the 'wet' facilities that we get in the UK it's not so they can go wild camping and chuck the elsan bucket contents by the side of the road.

Mike

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I think you may see more Aquarolls in Europe as see they have a contract to supply them into Germany. Would not be without ours as though we do not shower in the van,using site facilities we do washup and wash etc. We always use water in a large bottle filled up from the site supply.

Elddis Crusader Storm with Kia Sorento XS

Joys of European Caravanning

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It's interesting watching how people conduct their camping.

 

We fill an aqualroll every 3days, use the sites 240v to heat it and wash up dishes next to the cupboards where they are stored.

 

Others, cart their crockey and pots back and forth across the site after every meal.

 

Although we prefer to use (good) site facilities for showering and toilet each day, the presence of an onboard hot water supply and toilet are a boom for those middle of the night requirements.

 

I bet if all those campers were required to use a communal washing block across the road at home . ...they would soon be lobbying for a water supply into their homes.

 

As Jasper Carrot once voiced his bemusement at why 'perfectly normal people want to give up all their home comforts and live like gypsies for a few weeks of the year'.

 

Think I will continue bringing water to the mountain. ;-)

Edited by ericfield
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At one of the sites in Norway where we stayed it cost 20 kronor (£2) for a five minute shower. Am I mean in preferring to carry water to the caravan to take showers?

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we like caravanning in the cool months (well I do not so sure about the wife). The shower in our Adria is brilliant. Plenty hot enough for a 5 or 6 minute shower, then stepping out on to a nice bathmat then carpet warmed by the Truma blown heating, and privacy to get dressed at leisure in the bedroom and no dash across wet grass in the rain. Caravan shower for me every time.

Mike

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We no longer use an aquaroll, after seeing what horrors were inside the pump and the pipework (I can't post a photo but have one in my dropbox). We would never drink water drawn from the aquaroll, but keep a smaller water container for drinking, brushing teeth, washing hands, and water for cooking. The habit of using van facilties for everything - showering, washing, etc. , is a British one, which is why sites in Europe often have toilet blocks which beat ours hands down and why many British vans are so large compared to those used by Europeans.

You are so right Val. In our last van and at just three years old we had to have the water pipe under the seating to the hot tank replaced. What I saw was horrific, almost a small world of micro biology inside it.

We always sterilised all the complete water system before using the van but obviously to no avail. Now it's bottled water for drinking,

But I do have to say that in 30 years of caravanning, we haven't had any real problems. Getting older now so better safe than sorry!

Dave

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In our last van and at just three years old we had to have the water pipe under the seating to the hot tank replaced. What I saw was horrific, almost a small world of micro biology inside it.

 

It kind of makes me wonder what my 40 year old never sterilised pipes contain in my house. :huh:

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This is a fascinating topic and the discussion above demonstrates the varied approaches people have to this element of caravan touring.

 

We have had a Burstner caravan since 1986 - currently on our second one - and therefore have on board water and do not use aqua rolls. We fill up the on board tank, which also fills the hot water tank, when we arrive at a site and then each day, I top it up from a 10 litre (or it might be 15) clear plastic container on my way back from my morning visit to the facilities. The rest of the water in the container is used for the kettle during the day for cups of tea etc. We have another black container that slips under the caravan where the drain outlet is to catch the grey water and under normal use is emptied every third day or so. We normally only use the taps in the caravan for hand washing and use the site facilities (which everyone pays for) to shower and wash up. However, my wife insists on using the on board toilet facilities.

 

If staying on a CL, we can use the shower but we often use a nearby leisure centre for a swim. On CLs, we use the hot water system to wash up and obviously use the other on board facilities. On other sites, I wash up at the site facilities and frequently find this is a good place to discuss what to do locally or the chat improves my French: washing dishes seems to be a social activity, particularly on the continent.

 

We are always amazed at the number of aqua rolls some people set up by their caravan as well as waste masters to take the ensuing water away and they make it easy to identify a British caravan on a site. I think they must take up room and extend setting up time and packing up time and this would be a disadvantage to us as we normally move every few days when touring. The other advantage of an on board water tank comes when the temperature drops below freezing and the only thing that I have learnt to worry about is breaking the ice that can form on the surface in the black, grey-water container.

 

I am sure that we each adopt the water and water disposal system that best suits our individual needs but I would not wish to go back some 30+ years when we used an aqua roll and foot pump with our first caravan.

Edited by burstneraddict
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I think the problem with aquarolls is that they are 'open to the elements' to a certain extent, and often warmed up and then cooled down during the day - a breeding ground for micro-organisms, in fact. Domestic water is through cooled pipes, underground, and doesn't come into contact with outside air until it comes out of your taps.

 

It's 'each to his own' as far as water is concerned, but having suffered serious health problems, with a never identified cause, which appeared every holiday but disappeared once I stopped drinking the water from the aquaroll, (after we discovered the 'muck' in the pipes') I'll stick with our preferences, and leave filling the aquarolls to those who prefer to use them.

 

Does anyone know if it's possible to post photographs anywhere on this forum?

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Hi,

 

Like ValA we never drink water from the aquaroll but use a 5 litre clear plastic bottle that can be cleaned properly for tea etc, which in some countries is filled from the site tap while in others we use bottled water from the supermarkets. Over the years we have come to the conclusion (right or wrong) that if the bottled water is very cheap and the locals are buying it in quantity, as in Portugal, then we use bottled as well. If it's expensive and looks to be a luxury item, as in Scandinavia, we take from the site tap.

 

Since adopting this system we have (so far touch, wood and whistle ) avoided tummy troubles.

 

Steve

Steve (BroGoat)

travel blog - www. adventure-before-dementia. co. uk

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In 66 years caravanning, when in the 'van, I have never had water from anywhere other than the caravan's water system . . drinking, cooking, washing, cleaning teeth etc . . never had a problem . . why make things complicated when it is easier to KIS . .

 

Current water system . . 5 gallon plastic jack and two two gallon plastic cans to keep it topped up . . can always see how much water is left, unlike an aquaroll (ditched that about 1966). Fresh and waste water containers all fit in the front locker . . KIS

Roughing it . . but in comfort . .

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