Life in a Caravan: 52 days in

Things we've learnt in 52 days of travel...

Life in a caravan can be pretty cruisey – so long as you can get outdoors, get along with your spouse and have some space to relax! We’re loving it. You learn that you don’t need too much ‘stuff’ to get by with. Living off the grid and on solar is easy – gas for cooking, gas powered 3-way fridge, solar powered lights and we are set. We have one frypan, one pot, 4 plates and bowls and a few utensils.

Our caravan is 20ft (about 7 metres), and we are lucky to have three ‘areas’ to it – bedroom & bathroom, kitchen and living. Sure- the bathroom is literally a tiny shower cubicle we can hook up a solar shower with (and a porta potty on hand if we get really stuck); the kitchen is about 2 paces long with a gas cooker and tiny little benchtop with a little sink. On the opposite side is our mini wardrobe cupboard with two drawers, a little fridge/freezer in the centre and some extra cupboards packed with hunting/rain gear. Then we have the living area: a U-shaped couch with storage cubbies underneath the squabs, and enough space to pop up a cheapie table or store our bikes when on the move.

You learn to adapt pretty quick – what supplies you need when you head out of town (usually 90% of our case), when to do laundry, and where you need to get drinking water and use a dumpstation to remove the excess used water. On “town days” we stock up groceries, making sure there’s a few extras to last the distance and whatever veggies that can fit into the little fridge. We plan a laundromat stop for a load or two (basically when we run out of clothes!), and anything else that needs doing – a gas bottle swap or something.

We can last 4-5 days on a 50-60ish litre tank of water, rationing it for cooking/drinking and solar showers every other day. If we are at a campground with non-drinkable water we’ll fill the solar shower up with that instead.  

We’ve got a ‘setup’ and ‘packdown’ routine – wherever we are headed to, we’ll have a location to stay planned from the NZMCA app, oftentimes decided on the day or the day before! If we are in ‘packdown’ – I’ll do all the inside stuff: lock all the windows, turn the waterpump and fridge off, make sure every item that is normally loose is tucked away so it can’t move in transit, pop down the tarp in the living area for the bikes to go in. Hubby takes care of the outside stuff – turning gas bottles off, winding the stabilizer feet, checking the van and hooking it up to the ute. Then either we relax or lockup to go explore the area!

A season of pause

It’s a pretty cosy caravan, we’ve got what we need and nothing more! We’re almost through the South Island tour… a few more weeks to go, then we are not sure where/what we’ll do when we get back ‘home’ - we don't even have a house for a home!  There’s a few things pressing that will require some BIG decisions in due time, but right now… we are stuck in a season of 'pause' until we know more. 

A season of pause after such a big year of prosperity last year, is a real contrast for us. We were so busy doing a lot of things (building a house, running a homegroup, running a business, working around the north island, and more); that it's strangely refreshing not to wake up and rush out the door for work or weekend commitments. It's a time to reflect, make some loose plans, toss some options around and reach out to God for what we need answered and wait on Him. We're 52 days in on this trip, and not much has been answered to the extent we need just yet, but we are faithful in the waiting.  There's always a reason for a delay, or for the perfect timing.

At this stage – we will hold onto this caravan for now, it might even get rented out to close friends or used for the inlaws/friends to visit ;)