IN A NUTSHELL Newbie’s first time out in a mainstream British tourer
Updates on our fleet of cars and vans
Tested by Rachel Middlewick Price £23,999 Berths 4 MIRO 1377kg Payload 155kg MTPLM 1532kg
THANKS TO A long-standing booking made last winter, I’ve been able to take PC’S Bailey long-termer away in the middle of high season, to the sunny Isle of Wight, no less. My first taste of caravanning was a couple of months ago, in an Eriba Touring Troll 530 Ocean Drive, which we took to the excellent but intriguingly named Sandy Balls campsite in the New Forest. A luxurious island-bed fourberth, the Bailey is quite a step up from the Eriba, but at least there’ll be no chance of me and my two daughters bumping into each other as often as we did at Sandy Balls. Much as we loved the Ocean Drive, I did want to try out something a little closer to the mainstream, to have more of an authentic British caravanning experience. I’m sure I had one of those when I turned up at Camberley Secure Storage and realised that I’d left the barrier entry code at home. A call to one of the PC team sorted that out, and soon we were on our way, after finally managing to remove the Al-ko Secure wheel lock. I know that many readers will be able to do this in their sleep, but it didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me at first, despite having had guidance on how to use it. With the lock duly released and the caravan now free, I hitched up the Cabrera to PC’S long-term Škoda Kodiaq, attached my towing mirrors and went through all of the usual checks, ahead of taking to the road. I had the use of a really crystal-clear reversing camera, but my daughters Violet and Laurel were also very helpful. How does Claudia do all this on her own, I wondered? Soon we were rolling down the M3, and what a different experience this car and caravan combination was! I was very mindful of the size of the Bailey behind us and took care to go wide enough when turning left and right (I fell foul of this when towing the Eriba). Thankfully the journey was drama-free and we were soon hauling the van onto the ferry (another first!) at Southampton. I really felt like a glass of wine – or two – but had to save that for when we were safely pitched up at Whitefield Forest Touring Park.
CLOCKWISE FROM MAIN Boarding the ferry at Southampton was a first for Rachel and family. Safely pitched up at Whitefield Forest. Time to relax