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Cali with family of four for long summer hols in Europe = ???

Max-Felix

Max-Felix

Messages
1,461
Location
Sussex
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Great joy or likely mutual murder? :Nailbiting:mad::happy

Mum, Dad, nine year old girl and big brother...three weeks around France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria.

My wife and I survived 6 months in a T3 doing similar but a long time ago - can the addition of two small kids really be possible in such a small space?

Thinking awning and some sort of rear mounted storage box on bike rack to ease the lack of storage but has anyone survived to tell the tale of similar?
 
H

Hotel California

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Lifetime VIP Member
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10,617
Location
Europe
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Cali now sold
Many travel with 2 adults and 2 jongsters , guess you need an awingtent or pop-up tent , and think using campsites frequent as freecamping with 4 would be hard on water .
Everything is doable , but we are just 2 and dog , can not imagine having 4 in....

Others wil join the conversation soon giving theirs...
 
theonecraw

theonecraw

aka Rioja
Messages
308
Location
Farnham, Surrey
Vehicle
Cali now sold
We are two adults, two kids (9 and 7) and two dogs. Awning is essential but it's very doable. Enjoy! :)
 
cleve

cleve

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367
We have a beach but with 2 adults and 3 children ages 8, 5 and 3. Quechua pop up tent and mft euro select tow bar mounted storage box help us out with additional storage space and somewhere to throw things on longer trips.

European travel is much easier than you think as the (hopefully better) weather helps with the outdoor living side of things. We usually tour France for 2.5 weeks but off to Holland, Germany, Switzerland, Italy and a quick dash back through France this summer and can't wait.

I'd definitely recommend some local trips before going anywhere further to try things out and see what else you need or don't need. We frequently forget something major on the first trip of the season like pegs when we had an awning, groundsheet, underwear for one of the children etc so still perfecting our list.

As long as you are organised and prepared that the first night working out where things go is going to be stressful the rest of your trip should be great fun!
 
Amarillo

Amarillo

Tom
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8,426
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Royal Borough of Greenwich
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T6 Beach 150
We are planning 12 - 15 months away (June 2017 - August 2018) with 2 boys ages (when we depart) 3 and 2, one dog and one puppy due to be born on 24 June this year.
 
BerndRos

BerndRos

VIP Member
Messages
1,513
Location
Abergavenny
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
Yes....it will be a doddle.

I bought 4 kids up sailing the seas n harbours with the rigours that entails.

You will have a ball, as long as your at the same time organised & willing to be a little Gypsy like.
 
Oliver

Oliver

Messages
46
Location
Hampton Hill
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
2 3/4 yr old and 12 weeks old baby off for 3 months through Europe. Roof box, pop up tent for on site storage and comfortz awning essential. Will be a blast. So don't worry, your kids are even old enough to be useful. Will be great.
 
Skylark2.0

Skylark2.0

The adventure with Starlight Expess begins
VIP Member
Messages
1,273
Location
Cambridgeshire
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Take 5 days clothes each (including those you are wearing) and plan for sites with laundry. With 5 you may need to do it more frequently.
When we, 2 adults and a large teenager, go away for 2.5 weeks, the weirdest thing is coming home. It feels very strange to be so far away from each other with so much space. We only feel excitment when we drive off together on trips.
Th Cali seems to have loads of space compared to our old high top camper!
 
Max-Felix

Max-Felix

Messages
1,461
Location
Sussex
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Thanks all - very enthusiastic replies which are great. :thumb

Agreed it should be much easier in the summer - when we did this in '94 for six months in the old T3 we started in April in Northern France and did we have some wet, cold and trying weeks...

But time to go for it now - not getting any younger and the kids are growing up sooooo quick. :rolleyes:

Just need to find an affordable Cali now!
 
T

Tink

Messages
27
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Thanks all - very enthusiastic replies which are great. :thumb

Agreed it should be much easier in the summer - when we did this in '94 for six months in the old T3 we started in April in Northern France and did we have some wet, cold and trying weeks...

But time to go for it now - not getting any younger and the kids are growing up sooooo quick. :rolleyes:

Just need to find an affordable Cali now!
I would seriously hire one to try first! I heard of one family with 2 small kids in the Edinburgh area who bought a new one and sold it after 3 months as they found it far too small and claustrophobic for touring. So might be best to try before you buy.
 
F

Fishyboy

VIP Member
Messages
32
Hello,

Done the last 3 years, month at a time around Europe, Me, Wife 2x teenage kids.

Kids in tents, first time took way way too many clothes, all sorted now.

Enjoy
 
teeboy

teeboy

VIP Member
Messages
995
Location
Kettering
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
Ditto - we did a similar trip last summer - 2 adults, 1 boy 11yo and daughter 13 yo.

We managed:

Luxembourg
Baden-Baden, Germany
Austria
Switzerland
Turin, Italy
South of France
Lyon
Troyes

Popped into Lichtenstein and Monaco to increase the country count :)

This last year (late July - early August) - We had average weather until Switzerland then brilliant weather.

We have a Vango Kela side awning - Doing one night stops is a bit of a pain, but we tryed to stay for 2 or 3 days per stop - the stop in the south of France was 5 days for a proper chill out :)
 
teeboy

teeboy

VIP Member
Messages
995
Location
Kettering
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
Now the kids are both large teens it is getting cramped, so I would say do it while the kids are smaller. We keep saying that it is too cramped for four of us now, and talk about selling the van - but can never quite do it!
 
Mark13

Mark13

VIP Member
Messages
85
Location
London
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
Great joy or likely mutual murder? :Nailbiting:mad::happy

Mum, Dad, nine year old girl and big brother...three weeks around France, Italy, Switzerland, Austria.

My wife and I survived 6 months in a T3 doing similar but a long time ago - can the addition of two small kids really be possible in such a small space?

Thinking awning and some sort of rear mounted storage box on bike rack to ease the lack of storage but has anyone survived to tell the tale of similar?

Do it!

We were lucky - that was what we did for family holidays in the 60s and 70s and am still not quite sure how parents managed with all five children. Roof rack, tent, and sometimes a trailer.

I only remember the wondrous bits. Murder must have seemed an attractive option from time to time but if I remember rightly it was pretty infrequent occurrence. And some will disagree, but I think we've probably all turned out to be reasonably balanced grown ups, sort of.

Just don't take too much stuff (apart from spare headphones and back up charger for the iThings).

Enjoy it!
 
shudycamps

shudycamps

VIP Member
Messages
352
Vehicle
T5 SE 140 4Motion
No children, just 6 dogs and bicycles.
 
R

rjt36

Messages
22
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
We toured France, Italy and Switzerland last summer for 2 weeks, with a 15 yo girl, 13 yo girl and a 11 yo boy! No problems at all. Small pop up tent for the 5th chair and 2 man tent for whoever felt like sleeping in it.......but often the three just loved being up top! Yes, you need to be a little bit organized, but it was fun and they all still talk about it!
 
zeratul

zeratul

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
628
Vehicle
T5 Beach 4Motion
After practicing about 6 smaller trips the past 10 months, this august we'll be going on our first long road trip with 3 children (7/5/3 years old).
The plan: 3 weeks: Belgium->Slovenia in 1 long day, then Slovenia, Croatia all the way to Dubrovnik, back via Venice to the french atlantic south coast (our family has a house there). Then the children stay in France another week with their grandparents while we go home in one go.
We plan to stay only one night in every campsite, but of course we might stay 2 nights in the perfect spot.
We've booked 2 nights in a Tree house glamping (Garden village Bled, slovenia) and 2 nights in a Kids hotel in the middle of Croatia, all the rest will be camping with the Cali on campsites.

Still thinking about taking all the bikes (4 on the bike rack, the smallest one inside) or just the children's bikes, or none at all. Not being able to open the tailgate when the roof is up is not so nice.. I have to practice mounting and unmounting the bikes and see how long it takes. Any advice?
 
R

rjt36

Messages
22
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
You might have or want to consider a roof box. We found it invaluable in helping to keep the van free of the tent, pillows, sleeping bags etc.
Sorry but no real experience of bikes!.....l
 
Oliver

Oliver

Messages
46
Location
Hampton Hill
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
Agree with RJT36. We are travelling with two kids (3yr and 3 months), 3 bikes and just bought a roofbox (Thule Touring 200) to maintain some sort of order in the van.
 

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