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

cleve

cleve

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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?

Your trip sounds fab! Having dented our roof by lowering the roof after loading the bikes I think my husband now puts the biggest child's bike on first, then 2 adult ones and middle child's bike on last. Balance bike gets attached somehow to the others using straps and bike trailer strapped on the under side of the bike rack. Really not sure how we will manage it once my youngest has a pedal bike!

We have decided to always take our bikes as the children love riding them around campsites and then we don't have to pack up the van everytime we need shopping as we try to pick campsites where we can cycle as much as possible and we have had some great rides that we would have missed had we not taken the bikes.
 
V

Volky

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105
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T5 SE 180
Just arrived at this thread, really helpful as we're planning our first Europe trip with the kids (2 under 10). And very excited! Looking at pop up tents as I write - we don't need it to sleep in but thought it would make a useful bike and other assorted bits-store.
 
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T6 CFO

Mike
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T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Just arrived at this thread, really helpful as we're planning our first Europe trip with the kids (2 under 10). And very excited! Looking at pop up tents as I write - we don't need it to sleep in but thought it would make a useful bike and other assorted bits-store.
A couple of us at least have gone the pop up tent route for bikes. I've done so for the tow bar rack and bikes and on occasions for the porta loo to live in.


Mike
 
V

Volky

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105
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T5 SE 180
Thanks, we decided to buy the Quechua full height tent, which you partly inflate. Looks quite large, but think it will be worth the space sacrifice - particularly for the bikes, which we thought at first would be too much of a hassle to take with us. We're not going down the roof box route, think I'll be doing a fair bit of washing! Talking of which, can anyone recommend a small drying frame?
 
V

Volky

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105
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T5 SE 180
Not really thinking - the cycle rack will double as an airer.
 
hewittd

hewittd

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Location
Budapest, Hungary
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T5 Beach
Thanks, we decided to buy the Quechua full height tent, which you partly inflate. Looks quite large, but think it will be worth the space sacrifice - particularly for the bikes, which we thought at first would be too much of a hassle to take with us. We're not going down the roof box route, think I'll be doing a fair bit of washing! Talking of which, can anyone recommend a small drying frame?

The shop also have a washing line that mounts onto the side, I bought one a few weeks ago but haven't had the chance to use it yet - looks nice though :

Washing Line
 
V

Volky

Messages
105
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T5 SE 180
Missed that one, thanks very much for pointing me in the shop's direction. Spent another weekend planning the trip and best use of Cali space - lots of fun!
 
hewittd

hewittd

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Budapest, Hungary
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T5 Beach
Missed that one, thanks very much for pointing me in the shop's direction. Spent another weekend planning the trip and best use of Cali space - lots of fun!

No problem, I'm going through the same trauma at the moment - except we are a family of six planning a month long jaunt around Italy...space is critical :)
 
V

Volky

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105
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T5 SE 180
Six! I'm full of admiration! And very envious of your 4 week slot! I assume you're taking a roof box? Makes you really decide what is critical and what isn't. I've found myself loving the Cobb but hating the design of the "huge" domed lid. Finally managed to get it to fit in a crate, but gas canisters had to be moved somewhere else...now looking at how best to use the space in the wardrobe.
 
zeratul

zeratul

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628
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T5 Beach 4Motion
We have decided to always take our bikes as the children love riding them around campsites and then we don't have to pack up the van everytime we need shopping as we try to pick campsites where we can cycle as much as possible and we have had some great rides that we would have missed had we not taken the bikes.
Thanks for the advice. I have to see if I can mount all 5 bikes given the maximum weights and my wife's bike is electric which is still very heavy without the removable battery.

Did you ever consider using a roof box, and if not why not? I know it cannot hold too much, but we'd be able to store all duvets, pillows etc in it, that alone is already a lot of volume. And we have the box from a previous car.
It would save a lot of space ?

But I'm only thinking about it, I realize it leads to extra fuel consumption and parking garages can be a pain.
As for ferries, the car height limit for a "regular car" is usually between 1.7m and 1.9m anyway...
 

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