In case you are wondering… The answer is yes. Yes, we are in fact those weirdos that live out of their campervan while it’s parked in their front garden. I guess what I am saying is, if you are looking for normal sane blogs to follow, ours shouldn’t be the top of your list. For many obvious reasons, but probably the most notable is that we actually want our family of five to live out of our camper for a year. Honestly, every time I say it, I can’t actually believe that I am on board with all of this.
Anyway, I digress.
The reason that we stayed in the garden instead of an awesome camp site close to home is that good old Optimus is currently not running for the moment. (I don’t even know why, and if we really get into it I have to say that it freaks me out a little). But we needed to start to get a real idea of what it would be like to LIVE in that 7.5 square metre space for more than one evening and with more than two people.
As usual Seth took it super seriously – packing exactly what he’d need for the week. From work clothes, gym clothes, cycling clothes, toothbrushes, towels, the whole pantry and so much else. He’s the packer in our relationship if that’s not glaringly obvious. I’m more of an, um, how can I say, um, free spirit. I just sort of wing it. It drives him nuts. I’ll have to work on that when we are all up in each others business everyday.
I basically treated the house like an ablution block (for going to the toilet, showering and brushing my teeth). But this ablution block also happened to have a cupboard for my clothes and more space to make supper. Oops. But there are some camp spots with a kitchen area and that kind of thing, so it was only cheating a little bit.
Which means that technically although we slept it in it consistently for a week, ate supper in it and all manner of other things we didn’t really, really live in it.
But I still learned quite a few things during this time:
1. NO NEED TO WORRY ABOUT THE CLOTHES CUTTING DOWN SITUATION
Since Seth proposed this idea to me I have been stressing about cutting down my wardrobe to only 7 days worth of clothing. Like really feeling rather bleak about it. But this week taught me that it’s actually going to be much easier than I first thought. You see, I am applying this fear to my current life. So having clothes available for getting dressed up for work, options for fancy date nights or events, dress up parties and even fitness gear for that one day that I may decide to move my body again.
But in the campervan on a year long trip of South Africa, I am not going to need anything fancy, or to go in to work or plan for any dress ups. I am literally going to need nice looking, comfortable clothing to just essentially chill and travel in. That cuts down my wardrobe dramatically and it’s quite a welcome thought. Guys, maybe I can actually do this!!
2. BED TIMES ARE GOING TO BE GREAT
The question I got asked the most when we were Insta storying through our campervan life, was what about bed time? And I get it. I mean what are the chances that having all 5 of us in the camper at the same time is going to go down well? What do we do? What do they do? How does it work?
Well, usually we divide and conquer in our house. One of us does the girls and the other does Knox. With the girls we leave after praying with them and playing their song. With Knox we sit there till he falls asleep (yes, we still do this and are happy to so let’s just leave it at that). However, in the camper, we are all together so we all pray, listen to the songs and then the lights go out. And man it is dark in there. Then Seth and I whip out our laptop, pop in some ear phones and catch up on series. The kids went straight to sleep.
Look I know this probably isn’t sustainable, but for a week it worked like a bomb so I’m optimistic!
MOTION SICKNESS PILLS ARE ON MY TO PACK LIST
I get motion sick travelling in the back seat of a car, in a boat or even on a plane. So being in the camper and having the three of them toss and turn sometimes made me queasy. I don’t know if there is a way to stop that, but wow. One movement makes the whole thing wobble a bit.
A CAMPSITE WITH A TOILET IS A MUST
We had a composting toilet in the campervan for our stay. Maybe you’ve heard of it now that we are in drought status, but you probably never considered it. Essentially it’s a bucket that you poop in and then you cover your mess with saw dust. No water involved and the sawdust is supposed to kill any odour.
It does I guess, but man. I just can’t bring myself to use it right now. But I’m sure after a few terrifying encounters with spiders in ablution areas I’ll feel differently.
I’M NOT THAT WORRIED ABOUT THE LACK OF SPACE
It seems weird actually saying that out loud.
But seriously, you don’t actually spend that much time inside the campervan. Right now we obviously went to work and the kids went to school etc, so it’s hard to compare. Though when we leave we will have the great outdoors literally on our doorstep. And we are also going to have a little afdakkie thing that you can pull out from the side of the campervan to extend the covered area to sit in.
I am under no illusion though, I know it’s going to be rough, but I think it won’t be as bad as we (I) initially thought it would be.
Some more pictures from our time in the camper (I am so excited to revamp this interior – I like yellow, but wow…)