Hi from newbie lone lady caravanner

Oct 7, 2019
Just wanted to introduce myself. I decided in my late sixties to relive the joy of caravanning as I did with my ex for 10 years but this time on my own. I collected my van on Saturday. Son helped me pitch up on site then left me to it. I wish I'd watched my ex more closely when he saw to everything!
It was quite eventful. I could not get water coming through the taps during my overnighter, I couldn't unhitch at storage site on same site (I knocked on someone's caravan on the campsite and my knight in shining armour did it for me then left) finally succeeded in the van crashing down to the ground on it's A frame (said Knight got back again who lifted the whole thing up for me while giving me instructions on how to get the jockey wheel back up). Suffice to say I will never work the jockey wheel again whilst unhitched from car! :(
Although totally frustrated and disheartened, I'm not going to let this experience put me off and though now lacking in confidence, I'm off on a towing course tomorrow so hopefully this will restore said confidence! :unsure:


Nov 12, 2009
Hello and welcome to the forum :)
Poor you!
It looks as though you've had a confidence shaking introduction to tourer ownership, but please don't be put off, it gets much easier, honestly.
There's a wealth of information on this website to help you and friendly fellow members are usually online in case you are stumped with what at first seems to be a big problem.
The towing course will help you enormously, it will build your confidence and give you the knowledge to keep yourself safe and legal every time.
What isn't always apparent from looking at this forum page is that the text items in the yellow page header are clickable links, so if you click on 'Advice' for instance you can navigate to a page with various categories of information, tips and advice, mostly available from a drop down dialogue box.
The bottom line however is if there's anything at all that you're not sure about, just ask on the forum.
There are no 'silly questions', we'd much rather answer the same question again and again rather than see someone come unstuck because they 'didn't like to ask'. :)
Nov 16, 2015
Welcome to the forum, as Parksy, has said ask away, someone will come back with an answer, the towing course will help in many ways, and once your on site people are nearly always more than welcome to help with problems you might encounter.
Nov 11, 2009
I really admire your determination to start caravanning alone. Despite your initial hiccups I am sure that very quickly you will come to be familiar with the various systems and techniques. And as you have discovered there are normally people around who will help some one having spot of bother. The towing course will help. If its one from either of the Clubs you will get more than just towing advise. Things like how to get of a slippy pitch when the car has no traction was one tip that I've found invaluable..

Oh and welcome to the Forum
May 7, 2012
Well done for trying and I hope it works out better next time. If you want to meet others also touring alone the Caravan Club website has a section for you, you do not have to be a member to get on it. I have seen a list of the procedures but cannot remember immediately where. If it comes to me I will post it later..
If you go onto u tube you will find several helpful videos, so you might want to make notes from these.
Mar 8, 2019
Hi, welcome to the forum,
I think you're very brave going solo when you're not familiar with how things work.
As already said this is a very helpful forum, and caravaners are very helpful on site.
Hope all goes well next time :)
May 24, 2014
Dont let any of that put you off. Repetition is the best way to learn if it isnt coming naturally. Every time you do it you will learn a little more and soon you will be right up there with the rest of us. i.e. non the blooming wiser :cheer:

We are all still learning so dont feel any question is daft. It may be handy to get together with somebody more experienced and thrash out a checklist, for arrival and departure, including all the facilities. enjoy the cravanning and welcome to caravanning.
Mar 14, 2005
Do perservere with it. As others have said, it will all become more familiar with practice. The towing courses are excellent, and should help to build your confidence.

Generally caravanner's are a friendly bunch, and will often be prepared to lend a hand, and with any luck you'll discover that one of your friends is a caravanner also, and will be prepared to help or at least offer advise. But the forum does have a collective wealth of knowledge

Good luck.
Jun 17, 2011
Welcome to the forum. I had a substantial break from caravanning having left a 1960s caravan and returned in 2003. Couldn’t believe the difference, had it run away and couldn’t get it level. Had the jockey wheel collapse...... Even now still get surprises, managed to ground the caravan recently for the first time ever. If you like company don’t forget to look at your local caravanning groups. Both clubs operate local centres and you will be made very welcome. There are also a couple of clubs for people who caravan on their own.
Jan 31, 2018
After 4 years we are still making mistakes-often interruptions while getting ready to leave a site by chatting friendly caravanners which is part of the reason we love the life! So check twice! We have had the jockey wheel drop a couple of times-the cable catch the ground and wear some insulation away, an item in the van move and scratch a cupboard door-each time. We have a little check list of things to take as we turned up started to put the awning up and found we had left the mallet at home , and prior to that all the pegs! All part of the learning curve-at least on your own you are unlikely to have someone go to the loo while you are emptying the cassette-yes it happened-that was fun! We now do a lot of communicating-have you done x, y or z!!!! We had the towbar work loose-but one thing we do religiously is check the security of the hitch-once attached use the jockey wheel to 'lift the car' a bit-if it does that it is attached. And we so often still start motormoving the van with the handbrake on, ! One of our most expereinced caravanning friends tried to drive off with wheel clamp attached! We all do it-just try not too!
Dec 6, 2013
Hi Happydaze

Sorry to hear that your first experience of caravanning was so eventful, but look - you got through it. Anything else that happened is something to talk about, laugh about and learn from. We've all made silly mistakes when hitching/ unhitching and pitching up (it is everyone and not just me, right? :p ) and/or had times when something in or attached to the caravan that worked fine yesterday suddenly won't work today. But as you have also found, most caravanners will be willing to help, not least because they've been there and done that themselves :)

As others have said, do persevere and do use this forum to ask any questions you have - it really is the case that the most stupid question is probably the one you don't ask.

How did the towing course go?
Aug 9, 2010
Happy daze, I've been caravaning for over 50 years, but still managed to drop my van last year!
No one is perfect, but remember, never be afraid to ask for help.
We've all done it before!
Good luck.


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