Category Archives: Camping and Caravaning

Get up – Get Out and Enjoy

Our first post is to tell everyone about us and to give you all the inspiration to get out and enjoy the natural world. We love spending time outdoors, and over the years have visited national parks, nature reserves, as well as enjoyed the parks and countryside in our area.

We started hiking in our 20s. It was a cheap holiday, we could take the kids and camp. At the time, wild camping was a good option, so we only had to find gas money. We had to buy some gear too, but we got most of our outdoor outfits in the sales and from our family.

In no time at all we were bitten by the outdoor bug. As our finances got better we started to do it more often. Spending weekends away and we began to try new outdoor pursuits. In no time at all we were canoeing, climbing, fishing and orienteering.

Once we had the outdoor bug we really had it. During the winter we couldn’t do as much as we wanted to, so started to travel. We went on safari, walking in the Alps and sailing. However, family commitments stopped us travelling for a bit, but we still needed our outdoor fix, so hiking in the rain became the norm for us. We also got the skiing bug and tried tobogganing, sledging and all kinds of other winter sports.

 

As you can see the list of outdoor activities you can enjoy is literally endless, and you do no need good weather to get out and about. We found that provided we bought good quality clothes we had all the protection we needed from the weather. That way we could enjoy ourselves year round as well as indulge our passion for winter sports.

The advantage of getting out and about

If you are looking for a way to get fit and improve how you feel getting up and spending time outdoors is a great way to do it.When you are walking or paddling down a river you burn a lot of calories without really noticing that you are doing it. This is great because there is no need to skip dessert when you are enjoying lunch on your travels.

Not only do you lose weight you stay toned and enjoy better cardiovascular health. Studies have also shown that people who interact with nature more suffer from less allergies and food intolerances.

Being outside is also good for your mental health. People who spend plenty of time outside are generally happier, they sleep better and suffer from less depression.

 

During our travels we have met all kinds of people. Today, many of our friends are people we met while enjoying outdoor pastimes. In our case it also provided us with an income for several years. We offered coaching and tours in our locale and sold outdoor sports clothing, so for us the great outdoors has been great. It has brought huge benefits to our family, so we want more people to get out and enjoy the same benefits.

We still spend a lot of time enjoying our pastimes, so this blog is just a side project for us. You may hear from us every week or once or twice a month. It depends what we are up to, but everything we write will be designed to help you to choose a outdoor pastime for your family, plan your trips and buy the right equipment.

 

Power your RV using Solar

If you are interested in solar power RV tech, this article is for you. Here we are going to explain what kind of solar panels are suitable for use with a caravan or motor caravan. We will also give you an overview of how to make sure that you buy a good quality alternative power system that will last and be reliable.

Why Consider Solar for Your Recreational Vehicle

solar-cells-1218453_1280 Recreational Vehicle Solar PowerBefore we get into the nitty gritty here are some of the reasons to consider investing in a solar kit for your recreational vehicle:

Save Money

Without a doubt, you will save money if you use solar panels when you camp. Campsites charge far more per Kw than you would have to pay per Kw for electricity at home.

This means that it takes far less time to cover the initial investment in solar panels than it does if you were to buy a domestic system for your home. The more you travel the bigger your savings will be and the faster you will get your money back and start to save cash.

The cost of power is only going to go one way, and that is up. Therefore, the sooner you start harnessing the power of the sun the more you will save.

More Freedom

You can use the money you save to travel more and to go further afield. Solar power gives you the freedom to camp in all sorts of places that you would never have been able to consider before.

Not only is it nice to have the extra freedom it is great not to have to pay so much when you camp. You have the option to wild or dry camp, in the areas that allow it, or use the cheaper, smaller rural sites when you really want to get away from things.

Help the Environment

Solar energy is one of the greenest available. If you love the great outdoors and want to do your part to look after the environment, switching to solar is a great way to do it.

Easy to Install

Solar Panels for RVsSolar systems for RVs are extremely easy to install. It is very much a DIY job, so you will not have to pay expensive labour costs.

Quieter and Cleaner than a Generator

If you currently use a generator, you will appreciate that sometimes they can be very noisy. Solar power is clean, silent and there is no need to carry loose cans of fuel.

Cheaper to Buy than a Generator

Many people think that solar panels for RVs are expensive. In the past, this was defiantly the case, but advances in solar panel manufacturing have brought the prices down.

You can buy basic panels for as little as $100, which is less than you would pay for a generator. Naturally, these small panels do not generate a lot of power, but if all you want is a backup for dry camping a couple of small panels should do the trick.

An Overview of Solar Panels for Recreational Vehicles

There are two main types of RV solar. They are fitted and mobile or occasional systems. Fitted solar systems are normally built into the roof of RVs. Mobile systems can be set up anywhere.

Both kinds of systems have their merits. Here is an overview of each of them along with an overview of the pros and cons of each kind.

Fixed Vs Mobile RV Solar Systems

Fixed systems tend to be more expensive than mobile systems. However, they will normally generate more power than mobile panels. This is because the size of the panels is usually bigger.

On average, a panel that is in direct sunlight will generate about 1KW of power per square meter. Fixed systems can be bought that cover the entire roof. However, you have to bear in mind how much sunlight the panels get depends on where you are parked in relation to the sun.

Because the solar panels are built into the body of the vehicle, they are far less likely to be stolen than mobile versions. Some people set up their mobile panels on the floor next to their vehicle, which means if they go out they need to bring the panels in or risk them being stolen.

Tips for Buying RV Solar Kits

Now you know a bit more about the differences between mobile and fixed panels we are going to explain what you should be looking for when you buy a solar kit for your RV.

Is the Solar Kit Powerful Enough

When buying a solar power system you need to think about what you are going to use the power that it generates. If you just want to run the lights, a small TV, and charge a couple of e-readers a 100 watt system will do the trick. On the other hand, if you want to run everything in your RV on electric, the fridge, cooker and heating you will need an 800-watt system.

Quality

You need to buy your system from a trusted source. Doing so will ensure that you buy good quality panels that have a guarantee, and importantly one that will be honoured.

Monitoring

If you are travelling a lot and are going to be heavily reliant on your RV solar panel, you need to consider buying a system that includes a monitoring component. That way if your panel starts to fail or needs servicing you will know about it early because the power generation monitor will tell you that the panel is no longer working efficiently.

If you want a good quality RV solar panel kit, we recommend that you take a look at this system. It is competitively priced and is made by an established firm with a good reputation.

Food to Take Caravanning

car-1441979_1280The last thing you want to be doing on a caravaning vacation is slaving over the cooker or worrying about what to serve at the next meal. After all, it’s a time to relax, enjoy the beach or the countryside or just spend more quality time with the family. So, keep things simple, think about your favourite fast but nutritious and tasty recipes that you can adapt and how you can make them in a more confined space.

Eat out as much as you can

Unless you are caravaning in a very remote place, there’s no need to take a lot of foodstuffs and drink with you. Shopping as you need to gives you the chance to explore the local area, support the local economy and try some great foodstuffs and drink that may never have had the chance to before. Most High St supermarkets carry the same basic items, so you should always be able to pick up fresh stuff like milk and bread as you want them.

Take mainly tinned foods with you

Experienced vacation makers will already know how important a good reserve ‘foodstuffs box’ is to supplement the fresh supplies. Non-perishable and tinned products such as dry herbs, cereals, crackers & biscuits, margarine, mayonnaise, dried pasta, instant rice, oil, tinned tomatoes and fish or meat are essential for the basics of a quick dinner. Also, don’t forget things like tea, coffee, hot chocolate, bottled water, sugar, biscuits and other treats that you need.

Try barbecuing instead of cooking inside your caravan

Many caravans now come with an oven and also possibly a microwave but a caravan vacation is a fantastic chance to try out various methods of cooking too. If the weather is warm a barbecue is a great way to cook meat, fish and vegetables and do not forget baking potatoes and hotdogs around the camp fire. Just make sure you take a frying pan and a good sized saucepan in case your caravan doesn’t have them.

Try local foods whenever you can

A self catering vacation is the perfect time to try the local produce like regional fruit and vegetables that are in season and also cheeses, meats, honey, breads, cakes and other treats. Those on vacation near the sea will also be able to buy fresh fish from the harbour of course try the many fish and chip shops about. Do not forget to try the local wines or beers too.

Always have an alternative

When you go caravaning or camping you need to be prepared. It is wise to double check that you have enough gas before you set out. You also need to make sure it is the right type if you are going to be camping in very cold conditions. Some gases will freeze when it gets very cold.

It is always wise to have an alternative way to heat your food in your caravan. That way if you do run out of gas, or your oven breaks you can just get the barbecue out. Or, if it is also raining, or snowing, you can just use the microwave instead.

Camping Across Europe Gets Easier

If you would like to see more of Europe, camping can be a great way of doing so. There are hundreds of thousands of sites scattered across the continent of Europe.

The kind of site you find varies from country to country, however, every country within Europe has very good sites within their boundaries. In most countries, the standards on their sites are extremely high.

Electric hook ups on campsites

Even the most basic sites have electric hook ups, hot showers and good quality toilet facilities. Sites are usually located at the edge of a village or town, this enables you to stroll or ride into town to go shopping or enjoy a meal.

If you are planning to take advantage of the electricity while you are away remember to take the right adaptors. It is not always easy to find and buy the right one that will work with your appliances, so it is important to take one or two with you.

Sports facilities on European campsites 

The very best sites offer far more than the basics. On these sites, you have access to additional facilities such as free internet, on site entertainment and sports facilities. The bigger campsites even have health spas as well as swimming centres. Lots are set in the country, which offers great walking as well as riding and trail biking. By the coast, you usually have access to a range of water sports like sailing, windsurfing, kite surfing and new sports like coasteering. Even inland, you will find water sports like all kinds of fishing and canoeing.

Exploring the tourist sights while camping 

Most sites are situated in the main tourist areas, so they are the perfect starting point for visiting all the sights. If you prefer to stay somewhere less busy you will find plenty of more compact campsites in those areas too.

Camping the modern way

tent-548022_1280The other great thing about camping is that it has changed a great deal in the past decade. You can still take your own tent and equipment and travel from site to site around putting up your tent on arrival. However, more and more campers are deciding to go glamping instead. Glamping is glamorous camping or luxury camping, which is basically luxury camping.

Glamping

If you go glamping, you do not take your own tent. Instead, you arrive and stay in a ready erected luxury tent. These tents are more like chalets than tents. They have canvas walls and ceilings, but that is all they have in common with traditional tents. They have solid floors and in most of these tents, you get your own bathroom . In the most luxurious tents, full sized baths are included and some are set out just like the penthouse suites available in the world’s top hotels. They have fully equipped kitchens, the furniture in the tent is solid, this means that you get real full-sized beds and wardrobes.

Luxury glamping campsites are popping up all over the European continent, so touring the sights in luxury is inexpensive. This new style of campsite offers accommodation that is every bit as good as that offered by many hotels, but in a country setting.