2017 Arrived and once again we made plans for the year ahead. Our thoughts turned to our newly purchased large tent. Maybe we should also buy a smaller tent? One that takes up less space and is quick to put up and down. One that doesn’t limit where we can stay and becomes our ‘second’ tent for weekends etc. So off we went, on the hunt for a tent to answer a problem that once again we had created.

And there it was! – a Vango Odyssey Family Tunnel Tent, Epsom Green 500, complete with awning. Problem solved at a fraction of the price.


Our first excursion was to Kestrel Lodge Campsite Lake District. This would be part 2 of our Lake District trip. Part 1 was a stay at High Swinside Holiday cottages with our friends who had walked the West Highland Way and visited North Italy with us in previous years. We then said goodbye and headed to Kestrel Lodge Campsite, excited about trying out another new tent!

Please feel free to read the above sidetrack blogs as we continue our journey from camping to campervan.


Our next trip in 2017 was an interesting one. Just to complicate things, we decided to include a stopover at an Airbnb mansion in Leeds as we were going to the Lets Rock Music Festival before heading to Little Meadow Campsite North Devon.

We now had our two tents. A weekend tent giving us a relatively easy pitch-up and pack away, allowing us to change campsites with relative ease and a large, let’s stay for at least a week tent. We had our trailer which cut down on the packing and unpacking before and after each trip. We had a fridge, cooking equipment, comfy seating and remote-control lighting. What more did we need? Well, there was always that ongoing issue with our sleeping set-up.  As the summer of 2017 progressed, we turned our attention to getting it sorted and finally before our last few trips of the year, we came up with a solution.

 After a couple of years with our oversized blow-up bed, maybe we needed to go back to basics. So off we went to Go outdoors – again.

This time, we came back with 4 extra-large self-inflating mattresses (SIM’s), a new gas stove, a remote-control light, storage solutions and another table! 

Due to Tom having a princess and the pea issue, our bed needed to be comfortable, free of any slope, free from feeling the other move and no noisy crinkly bedding.

Sooo enter our solution –

Layer 1 – bedroom carpet

Layer 2 – 2 SIM’s side by side

Layer 3 – Large blanket to cover SIM’s and tucked in to stop any movement.

Layer 4 – The other 2 SIM’s

Layer 5 – A duvet

Layer 6 – A mattress protector to keep everything in place.

We would lie on top of all this with a duvet over us and pillow.

Finally! We had a perfect sleep. Perfect motivation to get in a few more camping trips.


Woodland Gardens Caravan & Camping  Time to find somewhere to relax and enjoy some coastal walks. 


Faro, Portugal Our last excursion of the year wasn’t a camping trip and is mentioned briefly already as being a catalyst for us to cycle Portugal in 2018  but Faro turned out to be more than just a catalyst, it found it’s way into our hearts. 


So that was 2017. Another year that shaped our journey from camping to campervan. As you will have noticed, we still haven’t even mentioned a campervan so far but it will come and one future trip, in particular, will make our decision easier.  

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