Run­ning reports

IN A NUT­SHELL New­bie’s first time out in a main­stream Bri­tish tourer

Practical Caravan - - Contents -

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.

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CLOCK­WISE FROM MAIN Board­ing the ferry at Southamp­ton was a first for Rachel and fam­ily. Safely pitched up at White­field For­est. Time to re­lax

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