Keep Warm this Winter

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Autumn’s here, or so it felt when I went out in the garden early this morning, crisp and definitely cooler.  Some of you will be thinking of putting your motorhome back into storage for the winter.  Don’t.  Why not keep truckin’ all year long.  Loads of campsites stay open all year round and it’s easier to heat your van than it is to heat your whole of my house.  Wrap up warm and keep adventuring.

Here are my must have’s for surviving those chilly days and even chillier nights.

Extra Blankets

I’ve got a lovely warm duvet on my fixed bed but you can’t beat some extra layers when the temperature plummets below freezing.  The extra weight also makes you feel more snug.  So pack a few blankets or throws.  This one looks very cosy.

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Luxury Plush Throw from John Lewis – £50

 

Hot Water Bottle

A hot water bottle can be put to work before you get into bed, gently warming those cold, ever so slightly damp sheets, or it can give you that instant, ever so slightly burning sensation on the soles of your feet.   ... Read more

September 22, 2014 |

7 Clever Gadgets To Save Space In Your Motorhome

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7 Clever Gadgets to save space in your motorhome

Unless you’re the world’s lightest packer, it’s a simple fact that there’s just never enough storage space in a motorhome. Or, if you do have plenty of cupboard space, those cupboards never really seem to be quite the right size and shape to get the most out of them.  Add to that the size of the kitchen work surfaces in most motorhomes, and it’s easy to see that you have to think a little crafty to really make use of every last inch of storage in your van.  This round-up of nifty space-saving ideas should help:

  1. Stacking Stainless Steel Tea & Coffee Canisters

    Stainless Steel Stacking Canisters
    Every camper needs easy access to the tea and coffee facilities – save work surface space with these unbreakable stacking canisters.  Get them here for around £16.00

  2. Stacking Melamine Mugs

    Colourful stacking melamine mugs
    No matter how many times you try, those overhead lockers don’t store many cups – this might be the answer.

... Read more
March 26, 2014 |

Levelling A Motorhome

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If you have spent any time at all motorhoming, you’ll know that levelling the motorhome is a skill that needs a little practice, and that it can be quite fun to watch the newbie motorhomer attempting to level their van for the first time (so long as you’re not that motorhomer). 

Here’s a Youtube video, covering the basics of levelling a motorhome:

But that make’s it all look so easy, right?  It does seem to gloss over a few things, so I thought I’d add a few of my own motorhome levelling tips:

  1. Levelling the van is a 2-person job…the driver and the on-the-ground assistant.  Make sure you both know what the goal is, and make sure the driver can hear the assistant (try opening the van windows).
  2. If you’re the assistant, NEVER attempt to move the levelling blocks whilst the van is moving or without telling the driver that you’re going to adjust them.  
... Read more
March 21, 2014 |

Funky melamine tableware for 2014

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I popped into John Lewis this morning for some oh-so-typical JLo purchases, sheets and pillowcases. Barely had I crossed the store threshold when I was pulled in two directions at once.  On the right, an array of so very tempting Easter Eggs were pulling me towards them. On the left…a rather fetching display of this season’s new ‘picnicware’ as John Lewis call it…melamine and acrylic tableware to you and me…all jolly lovely for van camping, let alone picnics…

So here’s my pick of the best bits I spied on the shelves today…

John Lewis melemine plate from the House range

House Chain Dot Side Plate, John Lewis:  £3.50

John Lewis’s new ‘House’ range for 2014 is fresh and funky…bold but simple patterns in cool, sophisticated colours. This green circles design caught my eye…it’s available in plates, bowls and tumblers.

 

Yellow Melamine Plate from John Lewis

House Yellow Dinner Plate, John Lewis:  £2.50

Prefer your tableware plain, not patterned? ... Read more

March 16, 2014 |

Campingly’s 5 Best Passport Holders

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My thoughts are turning to planning our next trip.  I want to head to the South of France or the north east coast of Spain in the spring so that I can get a bit of a suntan.  I know sunbathing is deeply unfashionable for health reasons but I feel so much better when I’ve got a bit of a golden colour to my skin, rather than the blue tinge that comes from a British winter.  I’ve started to think about what I will need to take and to check that my passport still has plenty of time left on it.  It does, and it made me think it would look so much nicer with a cover on it.

Here are my *Top 5* in no particular order.

1.  Union Jack Leather Passport Holder

Union Jack Leather Passport Holder

Union Jack Leather Passport Holder

A fun real leather passport holder from Fabretti.   ... Read more

January 15, 2014 |

Joseph Joseph Wash & Drain Washing-Up Bowl

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 jjbowl1

I was in the scrum of Christmas shoppers in John Lewis, Cribbs Causeway yesterday.  It was chaotic, I was feeling very frazzled (I hate crowds in shops), and I was struggling with what to buy various relatives that I never clap eyes on from one year to the next, when I saw this amazing Joseph Joseph Wash & Drain Washing-Up Bowl.  I had to remind myself that I was shopping for other people and not for kit for my new motorhome.

Washing-up in the van is always a bit of a nuisance,  the bowl is quite small and I splash water all over the place.  I like washing-up at the campsite’s own sinks but in the winter when it’s cold and dark I just can’t bring myself to go outside.  So the Wash & Drain bowl looks the perfect thing.

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It’s big enough to wash-up dinner plates and pans and has straight, high sides to stop the slopping of water.     ... Read more

December 4, 2013 |

Christmas Gadget Gifts Under £100

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XMAS100

Here at Campingly we’re partial to a good gadget.  We usually manage to avoid buying the latest thing by calculating how many nights camping the cost of said gadget would be equal to, and we decide we’d rather have the camping than the gadget.  However, Christmas is coming and here are some gadgets that outdoorsy people might like to find in their stockings, and all for under £100.  We’ve also done a Christmas list of gadgets under a fiver if your budget is tight.

If you know someone like me who doesn’t know one end of an Ordnance Survey map from the other, then a handheld GPS device might be just the thing.  Check out the Garmin Dakota 10 Handheld GPS – Amazon from £94.98

xmasgarmin

Last time we went away travelling in Europe for six months the only books I could get my hands on were Jackie Collins blockbusters and the complete works of  Martina Cole.   ... Read more

November 20, 2013 |

Breffo Spiderpodium

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spiderpodium10

If you’re anything like us your phone now has multiple uses – phone, camera, video recorder, and this clever little gadget, the Spiderpodium from  Breffo, will hold your phone in just the right place to allow you to take the perfect photo or record that awesome video.  It can hold your MP3 player, your sat-nav, your e-reader, your Nintendo DS.

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So how does it work?  The Spiderpodium is made of fully flexible, soft-touch rubber and has 8 legs, and a docking platform, compatible with most handheld gadgets out there.  Simply grip your gadget with the flexible legs and there you have a tripod, or wind it round the frame of your bike, put your smartphone on the dock, and set it to record, and film your great adventure.

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I like the idea of being able to set up my camera on the dashboard ready to take tripod quality photos on the move. ... Read more

November 14, 2013 |

Motorhome Basics – Electric Hook-Up

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hookup1

If you’re a seasoned camper then you’ll be well versed on the electric hook-up cable, but if you’re new to caravanning, motorhoming or indeed camping, then it’s an essential piece of kit.

When you go out and about and stay on campsites most, but not all, will provide an electricity supply (check before you book with a site).  This is usually provided from one of a number of electricity supply posts sited around the campsite.  Your hook-up cable will then run from the post to your van.  One end has a 3-pin plug (male), which you plug into the electricity supply on the site, and the other has a 3-pin coupler socket (female) which you plug into the hook-up point on the side of your van.

Top Tip – get in the habit of plugging the hook-up cable into your van first and then plugging the other end in, as this way you’re not plugging the cable into your van with the power already on. ... Read more

November 13, 2013 |

Road-Cam Recorder

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journeycam5

When you’re on the road for a while, the urge usually comes along to want to film some of the more breathtaking trips.  The Corniche on the Cote d’Azur, le Pont de Normandie, meadows in the Pyrenees or sometimes even the murky crossing over the Severn Estuary.  I’ve fiddled about with my phone and my little video camera trying to save those very breathtaking views for posterity.  What I actually get is a really good shot of my hands or lap, lots of camera shake and glare from the windscreen.  I don’t want to bore myself or anyone else with hours of film of us trundling along the road but some bits really are worth a second look.  There’s also the added bonus that if you’re unlucky enough to be involved in, or witness an accident, it’s all on film.  

I’ve had a look on the internet and I quite like the look of this Road-Cam Recorder from RoadPro. ... Read more

November 6, 2013 |
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