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Caravan Camping vs. Tent Camping

This past week in Wales, I stayed in a static caravan in Nebo with my friend Helen and her son, Mark. Our caravan was really nice – a lot nicer than I had expected! We had a large living room/dining room area with seating for at least 8-10 (though a small table that would struggle with more than 4!), and adequate walk-through kitchenette, a bathroom complete with a shower stall that was at least twice as big as the shower we have at home, and three bedrooms – a “master bedroom” that had a double bed, and two “kid’s rooms”. The kid’s rooms had single beds. One had two, and the other had two plus the capability of having a pull-down bunk bed up top. Each room had at least one small wardrobe and several drawers – the most being in the master bedroom, of course.

I slept in one of the kid’s rooms, and since I was alone was able to leave my suitcase and other belongings on the bed I wasn’t using, since there wasn’t really space to store my suitcase anywhere else. I even managed to unpack into the wardrobe and drawers, and had some of my toiletries lined up on the small shelf under the mirror. My room had one electric outlet, so I had to take turns charging the camera, phone, and ipod. The room was small – about as long as a single bed and then about a foot longer and really narrow. There was barely any room between the two single beds, but it was designed for kids, not adults.

The room next to mine was Mark’s, and his looked mostly the same except that at the foot of each bed overhanging it was a small wardrobe cabinet. I still think he and I should have changed rooms though, because he kept whacking his foot into the cabinet in his sleep and it woke everyone up!

Helen had the master bedroom. From what I could tell, it had plenty of storage and a small vanity, too.

Our living/dining area was nice and roomy. Three corners of the room were taken up by various sofas, and in one corner there was a dining table. The fourth corner held the entertainment section – a television, freebox, antennae, and DVD player. All running off of two outlets, so you had to constantly switch which item was plugged into the TV and outlet, but we managed. The people we rented from even leave a few DVDs in the caravan for perusal, though we had brought some of our own. The living room also had a gas operated fireplace, which was quite welcome on the chilly nights!

The kitchen was in the narrow hallway between the bedrooms and the outer wall, but adequate for a week. It had a small fridge/freezer, stove, microwave, kettle, and toaster. The owners stock the cabinets with dishes and cooking equipment as well as some dish soap and a dishtowel.

And boy, were those walls thin! Any noise in one of the rooms would carry into the others if it was loud enough. a few times I heard Mark’s CD player going at night. We had a bit of a fright on our second night there, though. We heard this loud knocking. I thought it was Helen knocking on my bedroom door, so I said “Yeah?” and then when no one opened the door, I got up with my torch (flashlight) and went to see what was going on. Helen was doing the same….and we had no idea where the noise was coming from!

The wind and the rain was pretty bad, too. The wind would shake the little caravan so much I really feared it tipping over and the rain was so noisy on the roof.

Were we camping? Technically, yes. Though, I don’t know many people who go camping with DVD players! In a few weeks, Tim and I will be tent camping (ie – REAL camping) in Austria and Germany. Since I’ve slept in the tent a few times, I know what to be prepared for…I just wish the tent had a kitchen! LOL

Here are some photos of the caravan:

And here’s a google earth shot of the 2 static cabins, the cottage the family lives in, and the surrounding area:

There were lots of public footpaths nearby, and we did go on a walk the first night (a post later with some pics). I’m hoping Tim and I can go back on our own and do some more walking!

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