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First time hire of Cali Ocean

Erbster

Erbster

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829
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T6 Ocean 150
Yes. Doesn't answer my question as to why Alan thinks it is different in Scotland compared to the rest of the U.K.

In my opinion, the difference is that there are lots more places to wild camp in Scotland, compared to England and it’s also much less densely populated (ie less likely that someone sees you, or is bothered). The legality is no different, but no-one minds if you are reasonable and leave no mess.


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motacyclist

motacyclist

Colin
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Chester
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We stopped at a picnic area in Scotland near Dunoon. There was a sign which had wording to the effect that “You are welcome to to camp here but note that there is no parking between the hours of X and Y”. So you need to walk to your wild camping location on that basis! :headbang
 
scottk

scottk

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Aberdeen
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There is no doubt the access code is Scotland is great. I love backpacking and frequently get out for hikes and overnights especially in the Cairngorms which are pretty close to me. A small one or two man tent is quite innocuous for a night. I think part of the problem is the use of the term 'wild camping' when applied to campervans.
We rented a cali this weekend and went to Skye, which was fantastic, spotted a few places to park and stay off grid but also a number of places with 'no parking overnight' signs. We stayed on a campsite as it was my wife's first foray and she was not happy with the thought of no facilities. Good result as she has come round to the idea of getting one! Not many campsites open but as long as you park considerately and respect no overnight parking requests, I'm sure it would be ok.
 
AlanC

AlanC

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Yes. Doesn't answer my question as to why Alan thinks it is different in Scotland compared to the rest of the U.K.
I stand corrected. I was under the clearly misguided impression the we could stop overnight under the Land Reform Act 2003.

We toured around the west of Scotland last year, and although I seem to remember there was some debate about it, that provided you were sensible, the authorities would draw a blind eye to this activity. Lock Lomond, where we stayed at the very nice C&CC site on the east side, was an exception as this is a very popular destination and charged a fee for the night.

Wild About Scotland's post is clear that this activity is not legal for vehicles according to the law and an activity that is increasingly frowned upon, in part due to many van owners being disrespectful to the area, gathering in one place and leaving litter and human waste distributed about. Camping under this law is under canvas and not on 4 wheels.

Having said all of that, it appears that many still do it (just as they do in England too) and don't cause a problem to anyone. We choose not to 'wild camp' as we are both of an age were having loo access in the middle of the night is an important consideration, so always stay on official sites.

I have always wondered why we don't provide Aires in the UK as they do in France.

Alan
 
scottk

scottk

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30
Location
Aberdeen
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Looking to buy
It is a bit of a minefield Alan. I can understand the hiking and camping but the motorhome / campervan is a grey area. I am planning on using mine to access more remote areas so it would be good to get clarity but I suppose as long as the van is parked considerately and no more than 1 night in the same spot it will be fine. The harbour in our village allows vans to park for short stays and there is a toilet available. This seems to work well and brings people into the area.
Agree that Aires would be a great option.
 
Hantshog

Hantshog

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236
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South Hampshire
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T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Hi everyone

Have been looking at this site for several months now, very envious of all your Calis, Beaches etc and the trips you have shared.

My wife and I have hired a Cali for 3 weeks over Christmas, to go on a little tour of the UK. We are seriously considering buying one next year, but wanted to get a flavour of what it is like. We have much experience in camping. We normally use a Tent Teepee and wood burning stove, even in the winter, so winter trip is not an issue for us. We plan to take our electric bikes for days out or popping to shops or pub, therefore will need some sites with power hook up. We also plan to do some fell and mountain walking etc. if weather allows and it is safe.

We are getting our Cali from Ocean Mist, and it seems to be comprehensively kitted out. Plan on going to Northumbria, travelling down perhaps via Yorkshire, Cumbria, Wales to Gloucestershire over 10 days for Christmas with family, and then to Portreath for New Year with friends, where we will be in a house, yes with four walls. Then return back to Petersfield for 5th January.

With no experience of the Cali at all or any campervan / caravaning, could really do with some advice on what to take with us. Some questions we have been considering:

Recommendations for places to stay, wild camp, camp sites or pub car parks.
Book in advance or take a chance?
Sleeping bags or bedding?
Any other essentials that might not be provided with Cali?
Any other tips welcome.

Thanks for your help in advance
 
Quentin SF

Quentin SF

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144
Location
Cambridge, UK
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Just browsing
I remember reading a post which said something along the lines of “the first ten nights in your new van are about learning to be comfortable”.

I think that's a very good thing to keep in mind. Renting is absolutely the right thing to do, but our first four nights in a rented Cali in inclement British weather were not the most comfortable experience we’ve had (though they were probably better than a tent would have been). The other aspects of the trip were great, and that’s what kept us going in the campervan investigations, but it’s good to be prepared.

One of the biggest things for us was finding more comfortable mattresses. For the van we eventually bought, we got two self-inflating ones, which were not too bulky and Let us control the firmness individually. Sleeping bags which could unzip fully and be used as duvets. Etc.

A thermal topper for the roof, though bulky and a bit awkward when wet, makes for much cozier evenings in the winter. Many hire companies will have those available, and I’d take one of those and any mattress toppers they can offer :)

Almost everywhere we’ve ever stayed has had electric hookup. We find, therefore, that a small electric kettle saves a lot of fiddling with gas, and filling a flask in the morning before we leave the site makes coffee after lunch a lot easier.

A few other accessory ideas on my blog here:
https://statusq.org/archives/2018/10/13/8664/

On your route, we liked http://www.westfieldpaddock.co.uk/ Close to Seahouses - you can walk to the beach. Adults only. Very convenient for Lindisfarne and Bamburgh Castle. Well-maintained, but no loos or showers - we used a loo tent. It’s on the top of a rise so might be a bit windy at this time of the year!
There are one or two others on your route that we liked - we tend to go for small sites - but not open in December.

Finally, we’re members of both the big clubs, but my current favourite place for searching for campsites is ukcampsite.co.uk. Even though it looks like a website from the 90s, it has good search filtering options: we usually want showers and ‘dog-friendly’, for example, and it does list the club sites in its results.

Have fun!
 
Hantshog

Hantshog

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Messages
236
Location
South Hampshire
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Hi I noticed you mentioned you live near Petersfield. Did you know there's a very good camper hire company not far from you in Droxford. Kamper Hire. We used them 3 times before we bought an Ocean. Mark there is very accommodating.
 
Quentin SF

Quentin SF

Messages
144
Location
Cambridge, UK
Vehicle
Just browsing
Oh, and a follow-up; I agree with others that the big club sites can make life a lot more comfortable. We stay well clear of them when they’re full and crowded in midsummer - the Caravan & Motorhome Club ones can be particularly cramped - but off-peak they can be delightful, and you get a good shower and nice hot water for washing up! Our favourite is the Camping & Caravan Club one at Sandringham - not really on your route, though!

We found the Go Outdoors stores to be good & convenient places to stop after a few nights when you discover what you’re lacking in terms of equipment! As seasoned campers you may have less need of these, though!
 
C

Clover

Messages
4
Location
Portugal
Vehicle
Looking to buy
Sounds exciting!

If you are choosing a camp site in the winter months, we always choose one with a heated shower block.We are wimps!

And we prefer duvets to sleeping bags. You can wrap them round you and if you need to get up in the night - so much easier. I told you that we were wimps.

Pubs are good - food, warmth and congenial company in the long winter evenings.

Have a wonderful Christmas - you will, I am sure, have a holiday to remember.
 

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