Touring with a toddler

Jun 27, 2022
Hi all, we are quite novice carvanners. I bought our caravan some years ago and have been trying to convince the other half to love it as much as I do. He has affection, but most of her care is down to me. During lockdown we found out were were going to be 3 and we will be doing our first trip in Maggie towards the end of July. Baby is 14 months so, given the weather I thought she or us might be best placed in the awning for sleep as the space in the actual caravan is limited. We haven’t used the awning in years. Anything we should do? How to check it before we go? Should we get an inflatable mattress and we sleep in the awning and she has the caravan in her travel cot? All tips, most welcome!
Also any advice on how to retension a window blind in an Abbey Magenta (last blind to right on main window) also welcome because YouTube recommends taking the frame off and I can’t see how to do that in our model.
Many thanks, SC


Mar 17, 2007
Welcome to the forum.
I am assuming your van is a two berth? I personally would not sleep a toddler in the awning overnight while you are in the van. I guess you will have the door open and so would sort of be in the same room, but I would be so anxious about potential abduction!! Probably daft but we all have a thing we worry about. I would sleep her in the van with an adult if this is possible.
If you do sleep anyone in the awning, do check it before you go. Nothing worse than discovering that the place you are relying on sleeping has a big rip in it. Can you get to your van for a quick trial run?
You can get various sorts of inner tents that would make it a bit more cosy for sleeping. The sort you need will depend on your type of awning. You can get universal pop up ones but they are a pain to fold back down.
I am sure you will find workable solutions, we have taken grandchildren babies and toddlers in the van. Some adaptation is needed but we have always had a good time
Nov 11, 2009
When our grandson was small we had a two berth and he slept on the floor alongside a lab/lurcher and Irish setter. They all got along fine. It was okay as in those days I didn’t require nighttime visits to the loo. 😂
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Jun 27, 2022
Thank you, yes, the can is on my drive so easy to get to. We still have a few weeks to go so getting all prepared now! An inner tent for sleeping is a good idea. My partner gets too hot so he might prefer to sleep in the awning!
Sep 4, 2021
Hi. I was just in the same boat as you, and just got back from a week away with a toddler. Things I checked prior to the trip were... 1 site with a few things for brats. We chose a working farm so she watch the animals. 2 sleeping arrangements. Plan for where to put them. We made a little nest on the folded down sofa and all good. 3 digital entertainment. You'll want to relax, they will want to watch something. Download their favourites to a tablet or laptop. 4 plan the stops en route for 1.5h max. Finally, don't worry, they just love doing something different.
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May 7, 2012
We have had a new born in the caravan and had no real problem. We had a five berth with a double at the back and a bunk over it. The baby slept well enough on that with the use of a baby sleeping bag which we found in a shop and kept her in fairly tightly. If your partner uses the awning though and you have a double bed it might be possible to share that. Babies can wake in the night so it would be far easier to feed it if you are in the caravan rather than having to go into it.

Sam Vimes

Sep 7, 2020
Lots to consider.

We have a small caravan that supposedly sleeps four but they don't say what size the inhabitants have to be :) Snow white and couple of her companians might be OK.

When our grandson, who was 5 when we first did this and is now 7, and daughter come for a stay on site, the two of them occupy the main double bed and my wife goes into the single bed thats where the table is. Its a little short for her but she manages. The bunk bed was not even considered.

Me, I have to sleep in the awning and for this we bought a camp bed (Outwell Posadas Foldaway Bed XL) and an inner tent. The problem with the inner tent is that while the footprint showed it will take the camp bed, the reality is that the walls slope inwards so you can't really get the camp bed in and zip up the inner tent. However, I put the bed down first and the inner tent goes on top of the bed, with sleeping bag inside that.

Now, if your ok with camping in a tent then you may find this setup ok but I gave up that pleasure long ago and I now remember why. It can be noisey when the wind is blowing and there are some inconsiderate people on site. Cold in the autumn and winter months and it's draughty. While I use a sleeping bag its a pain in the proverbial trying to do the inner tent up, then the sleeping bag.

Not only that but I'm one of those people who rotate all night long and a few times I've woken up thinking I've gone blind only to realise I'm face down in the sleeping bag. Then there's the issue that affects those of a certain age and that's need to use the loo in the middle of the night and having to struggle with said sleeping bag, inner tent, darkness and hoping those inside haven't locked the door.

Still we manage and its part of the fun - or so I'm told.

So, I prefer a camp bed to a air matress. The inner tent is ok but check the size and make sure you can get the bed in. Keep a spare key in case they lock you out :)


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