Caravanning on my own

Feb 29, 2024
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Hi, my name is Derek and I have been caravanning with my wife and boxer dog for about 6 years in our Elddis Supreme 554. Unfortunately my wife passed away in November last year and I am now planning my first ever trip on my own with the dog. My concerns are that will our memories will prevent me from enjoying the van going forward. I intend to try several trips this summer to try to make my own memories to add to the ones I already have. Also, we had our own jobs in the van is it possible to do everything by yourself. Can anyone who has been through similar circumstances help with their experiences. Thanks in advance
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Hi, my name is Derek and I have been caravanning with my wife and boxer dog for about 6 years in our Elddis Supreme 554. Unfortunately my wife passed away in November last year and I am now planning my first ever trip on my own with the dog. My concerns are that will our memories will prevent me from enjoying the van going forward. I intend to try several trips this summer to try to make my own memories to add to the ones I already have. Also, we had our own jobs in the van is it possible to do everything by yourself. Can anyone who has been through similar circumstances help with their experiences. Thanks in advance
Hi Derek,

Welcome to the Forum and I am sorry for your loss. I have taken my van out on my own and it is doable. I didn't take the awning though as at the time it was a full size heavyweight one. Although my cooking did not bare scrutiny. There are "solo:" groups for single caravan and motorhome owners. I think the CMHC had one but cannot recall it being mentioned much these days, and there are some not affiliated to the Clubs. Have a look at at Phoenix Camping Club, and New Companions Camping Club. My father was in a similar situation as yourself and strange as it sounds he said he felt very lonely on a site as couples and families went about their activities. He found a singles group to go out with. This was well before the age of the internet and mobile comms.
 
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Feb 29, 2024
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Hi Derek,

Welcome to the Forum and I am sorry for your loss. I have taken my van out on my own and it is doable. I didn't take the awning though as at the time it was a full size heavyweight one. Although my cooking did not bare scrutiny. There are "solo:" groups for single caravan and motorhome owners. I think the CMHC had one but cannot recall it being mentioned much these days, and there are some not affiliated to the Clubs. Have a look at at Phoenix Camping Club, and New Companions Camping Club. My father was in a similar situation as yourself and strange as it sounds he said he felt very lonely on a site as couples and families went about their activities. He found a singles group to go out with. This was well before the age of the internet and mobile comms.
Thanks for the advice. Have a small lightweight awning that I usually put up myself so will be trying that. Will look into the clubs mentioned.
 
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Mel

Mar 17, 2007
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Welcome to the forum. So sorry to hear about your loss. Hopefully DaveA1 will be along to welcome you as he is in a similar circumstance, and has found a way to caravan solo. Do keep posting, there is a supportive bunch on here.
Mel
 
Mar 14, 2005
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It must be a massive upheaval when you lose a life partner or close family member, and it's so very natural to feed greatly saddened when something like a sight, sound or smell reminds you of them. In your mind, share the moment when you first experienced it with them, the smiles or laughter. Use that energy to move forward rather than to hold you back.

Good luck
 
Jun 20, 2005
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Welcome to the Forum by Derek. Very sorry to hear you are now alone. Like you caravanning had always been a joint venture. I tend to do all the outside stuff whilst my wife does the inside.
As Mel said we have Dave A here in the same position as you including his dog. Hopefully he will post something.
Our dogs have passed on do we no longer bother with the awning. It makes setting up much easier. Fully serviced pitches help too.
There are a number of caravanners who go solo and formed off shoot groups eg https://www.outandaboutlive.co.uk/camping/clubs/the-new-companions-camping-club.
And then on here we have the Woosies.
I think you will manage and enjoy the living memories which makes the caravan a home from home. Good luck
 
Jan 20, 2023
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I don't have any experience of the emotional differences of using the caravan after the passing of a loved one, but I do have experience of solo-caravan use.

I occasionally use our caravan for attending weekend classic car shows on my own, our caravan is a reasonable size so my tips are:

  • Plan ahead, I use Google maps to double check the routes and access.
  • Normally my wife is there to read out instructions etc so when solo I memorise them and also stick a copy to the dashboard in big font "just in case".
  • A motor mover is a must when solo.
  • I use a lightweight small inflatable awning, takes about 15 minutes to put up on my own. I like to sit outside in the evening with a bottle of red wine so do make use of the awning.
  • Emptying the toilet/fetching water with a dog in-tow has problems, but I just used to put ours in the caravan when doing those jobs.
A few photos of my solo trips, New Forest Hollands Wood and Carsington Water. As can be seen, then we had a twin axle but I managed fine on my own:
 

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Jan 3, 2012
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Hi Derek Welcome to the forum and condolences on the sad loss of your wife. As you will read in the posts, it is possible to enjoy many holidays with your dog companion and to enjoy these experiences. Members of the forum will be able to advise on various aspects of caring for your van and also places to visit and stay in the future. Wishing you all the best for the future and blessed memories of those happy times with your wife.
 
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May 7, 2012
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Hi Derek, welcome to the forum and please accept my condolences on the sad loss of your wife.
The CAMH do have a solos group which might be useful to you if you contact them, I suspect they may understand your problems and might be worth contacting.
I have not had your problem but have used the caravan on my own or with my grandson and would echo Gary's points. If the memories in your caravan are a problem though it might be better to make a clean break and swap it if the finances allow but equally the memories might help you. It is something you will need to try and see how it works out.
 
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Oct 17, 2010
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Hi Derek,
Sorry to hear of your loss. My wife passed away Nov 2022 we were married for over 50 years most of which we ha d a caravan. For a start I intended to sell my van and it was the intervention of my lad that stopped me. He suggested, like you, I try it for a year.
The first trip away was to a Woosie fest, near Pickering North Yorkshire.
Although I was not caravanning alone, as I got to know the other PC Forum members, I could have a chat, or left alone with my own thoughts, for that I thank them all.
The Caravan did hold memories of Carol, hair dryer, curling tongs etc .
Maybe a bit extreme, I did sell the van, in part exchanged for a Swift Elite 480 thought the same as you to make new memories and was away four times last year.
On March 6th I will away to a CL in Cornwall, a trip of 256 miles we got to know the owners so can have a chat if needs be.
Setting up seems to take ages so I keep to the same routine. Go for it, I did, I still have my old memories , sometimes very raw. but I can not just stop.
There maybe another Woosie Fest soon.
 
Feb 29, 2024
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I don't have any experience of the emotional differences of using the caravan after the passing of a loved one, but I do have experience of solo-caravan use.

I occasionally use our caravan for attending weekend classic car shows on my own, our caravan is a reasonable size so my tips are:

  • Plan ahead, I use Google maps to double check the routes and access.
  • Normally my wife is there to read out instructions etc so when solo I memorise them and also stick a copy to the dashboard in big font "just in case".
  • A motor mover is a must when solo.
  • I use a lightweight small inflatable awning, takes about 15 minutes to put up on my own. I like to sit outside in the evening with a bottle of red wine so do make use of the awning.
  • Emptying the toilet/fetching water with a dog in-tow has problems, but I just used to put ours in the caravan when doing those jobs.
A few photos of my solo trips, New Forest Hollands Wood and Carsington Water. As can be seen, then we had a twin axle but I managed fine on my own:
Thanks for the tips. I plan to go to a site that we used regularly so navigation won't be a problem. The van I have has a motor mover so it shouldn't be a problem. My dog is quite old and is well-behaved (reasonably) so hopefully we should be ok. I'll post some photos when I get there and successfully set up.
 
Feb 29, 2024
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Hi Derek,
Sorry to hear of your loss. My wife passed away Nov 2022 we were married for over 50 years most of which we ha d a caravan. For a start I intended to sell my van and it was the intervention of my lad that stopped me. He suggested, like you, I try it for a year.
The first trip away was to a Woosie fest, near Pickering North Yorkshire.
Although I was not caravanning alone, as I got to know the other PC Forum members, I could have a chat, or left alone with my own thoughts, for that I thank them all.
The Caravan did hold memories of Carol, hair dryer, curling tongs etc .
Maybe a bit extreme, I did sell the van, in part exchanged for a Swift Elite 480 thought the same as you to make new memories and was away four times last year.
On March 6th I will away to a CL in Cornwall, a trip of 256 miles we got to know the owners so can have a chat if needs be.
Setting up seems to take ages so I keep to the same routine. Go for it, I did, I still have my old memories , sometimes very raw. but I can not just stop.
There maybe another Woosie Fest soon.
Hi Dave,
Thanks for your kind thoughts. We had been married for 34 years and been caravanning since our retirement. I thought about the van, but was in a strange situation that we had just ordered a brand new van. However I cancelled that as I didn't want to take a hit if I couldn't keep caravanning. If I still enjoy it I may trade in for a new one next year, maybe something a little smaller. I'm making lists for set-up and take-down so I don't forget anything. I'm looking to book for April so I have more chance for better weather.
 
Feb 29, 2024
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Hi Derek, welcome to the forum and please accept my condolences on the sad loss of your wife.
The CAMH do have a solos group which might be useful to you if you contact them, I suspect they may understand your problems and might be worth contacting.
I have not had your problem but have used the caravan on my own or with my grandson and would echo Gary's points. If the memories in your caravan are a problem though it might be better to make a clean break and swap it if the finances allow but equally the memories might help you. It is something you will need to try and see how it works out.
Hi Raywood, Thanks for the idea regarding CAMH I hadn't thought of them. We had actually ordered a new van before my wife passed, which I cancelled due to not wanting to take a huge financial hit if I found I couldn't enjoy caravanning on my own at all. I have given myself a year and several trips to test it and will make a decision after that.
 
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Feb 29, 2024
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Welcome to the Forum by Derek. Very sorry to hear you are now alone. Like you caravanning had always been a joint venture. I tend to do all the outside stuff whilst my wife does the inside.
As Mel said we have Dave A here in the same position as you including his dog. Hopefully he will post something.
Our dogs have passed on do we no longer bother with the awning. It makes setting up much easier. Fully serviced pitches help too.
There are a number of caravanners who go solo and formed off shoot groups eg https://www.outandaboutlive.co.uk/camping/clubs/the-new-companions-camping-club.
And then on here we have the Woosies.
I think you will manage and enjoy the living memories which makes the caravan a home from home. Good luck
Thanks for your thoughts and advice
 
Sep 24, 2008
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We had been married 65 years and in 22 she passed away. At the time we had booked one week a month for that year.I also thought of giving it up but as a keen fisherman I weighed up the alternatives which let me carry on managing to get the following months away. Had a porch air awning which is no great problem but missed my wife ready with cup of tea etc. Managed all 23 then my health in December through a wobbly. The thing I missed most was talking about the day we had, me fishing her doing craft work. Regretfully had to sell caravan couple of weeks ago. If it had not been the wobbly I would have carried on caravaning. Now finding it more trying to find another type of holiday than when having the van.
 
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Feb 29, 2024
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We had been married 65 years and in 22 she passed away. At the time we had booked one week a month for that year.I also thought of giving it up but as a keen fisherman I weighed up the alternatives which let me carry on managing to get the following months away. Had a porch air awning which is no great problem but missed my wife ready with cup of tea etc. Managed all 23 then my health in December through a wobbly. The thing I missed most was talking about the day we had, me fishing her doing craft work. Regretfully had to sell caravan couple of weeks ago. If it had not been the wobbly I would have carried on caravaning. Now finding it more trying to find another type of holiday than when having the van.
Thanks Robert. I think that my concern is that I won't enjoy it when my wife isn't there. My favourite time was sitting in the awning at the end of the day with a glass of wine going over what we had done and planning the next day. I don't think I'll know how I'll react until I do it. Not going to put it all on one trip, but intend to do a number throughout the summer to several different locations before I make a decision what I'm going to do
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Dereck,when I get my backside into action again and arrange a Woosie fest, You would,be more than welcome as anyone else are to meet up, Dave A1, enjoyed our week in Yorkshire,

We have to meet up again with his new dog Cindy,
Hopefully it will come together for you.
Hutch.
 
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Oct 17, 2010
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Dereck,when I get my backside into action again and arrange a Woosie fest, You would,be more than welcome as anyone else are to meet up, Dave A1, enjoyed our week in Yorkshire,

We have to meet up again with his new dog Sadie.
Hopefully it will come together for you.
Hutch.
Cindy
 
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Feb 29, 2024
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Dereck,when I get my backside into action again and arrange a Woosie fest, You would,be more than welcome as anyone else are to meet up, Dave A1, enjoyed our week in Yorkshire,

We have to meet up again with his new dog Cindy,
Hopefully it will come together for you.
Hutch.
Thanks Hutch. Will certainly look at it
 
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