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Published: October 13th 2007
Life in the “Big Rig”
Well Friday the 13th of July came and it was off to Barcelona to pick up the ‘Big Rig’ as it was affectionately named by Maurice’s friend ‘The Dill’ in it’s early days in our hands. After our 7.30am flight we finally arrived back to the scene of the crime - Tossa de Mar - at about 4pm. Maurice left me and an Estrella Damm beer at the bus station and got a taxi to pick her up! To be fair she was in great hands, our man had washed her, charged up the battery and kept her in pretty good shape for us. He did say our battery wasn’t great so that was the first thing on our shopping list.
We decided to stay in Tossa for a few days so we checked into a campsite and started to get some order around our life for the next 3 and ½ months. I had never been in a camper van before we purchased our own so I have to say I had no idea what life in a camper would be like. Maybe there’s a few of you like me and for your benefit
I’ll try to give you a taste of our life.
60 Sq. foot
White with a few Red, Yellow & Blue stripes.
North/south/east/west facing depending on which way she’s parked! In the kitchen we have 2 windows which let in plenty of light, a sink with both hot and cold water, 4 cupboards, a gas hob, grill and oven, an extractor fan and a fridge freezer.
Again it can face whichever direction we wish, has 2 chairs, a 3 seater couch and a 2 seater couch, a laptop which serves as a TV and Stereo.
Preferably situated in the shade so we don’t roast in the mornings. There is a double bed, 2 chairs, 3 windows and 6 wardrobes.
A skylight, toilet, shower and sink.
A driver seat, steering wheel and all the basics to drive her and a passenger seat - both seats can swivel right around and turn into arm chairs in the living room.
An awning can be rolled out and ground sheet laid down to make a whole other room measuring 60Sq. foot.
So how does it
all work, would have been my first question, I’ll try to explain as best I can! We have a fresh water tank which holds about 40 litres of water, we have a waste water tank which also holds about 40 litres of water. We have a chemical waste toilet affectionately known as the ‘sh*tter’ (woops don’t let Maurice hear me telling you that!) and we have a water pump and a water heater.
So for the first few weeks we were really just finding our feet and trying to find a routine that worked for us so finally I think we have it. With a 40 litre water tank we usually get dishes washed for a day and 2 or 3 showers out of it so that means we can rough it (camp along the road side or in a car park) for a few days once we can find somewhere to empty our waste water tank and take in fresh water. The joys of a campsite are that you have somewhere to fill up your water, empty your waste water, empty the sh*tter and plug into electricity. When roughing it, the fridge freezer and water heater works off
gas and the lights etc. work off the auxiliary battery, however, in a campsite, everything else works off electricity and therefore gives our battery a chance to recharge. In addition, in a campsite where we have electricity we can listen to ITunes or watch TV on the laptop for the evening. We find that being in a campsite can be quite relaxing as you can put your awning and sun chairs out and chill out outside the camper so we have decided that at least once a week we stay in a campsite for two nights in a row so we really get settled in.
In the beginning we found we were eating out quite a bit in the evenings - generally going for a Menu del Dia (menu of the day) - a 3 course meal with wine for around €10 - to be honest they were never the tastiest. However, after numerous visits to the supermarket we started buying our dinner and cooking for ourselves, before long it was quite obvious that the meals we cooked for ourselves were much better and cheaper than the ones we were buying. So now we have it down to a
fine art and the daily menu is:
Breakfast: Fresh fruit salad, yoghurt and orange juice.
Lunch: Bocadillo (as they’re called in Spain) ham, cheese and tomato roll.
Dinner: Fresh fish (mussels, prawns, tuna, salmon, sea bass, whiting, mackerel, etc. etc.), we’ve realised that for less than €3 each we can have the finest fresh seafood for dinner so rather than chicken, beef etc. which we can eat at home anytime, we’ve decided to take advantage of the huge range of delicious fish over here.
Things that become important when you are living in a camper:
- Flat parking spots
- Water taps
- Somewhere to hang a clothes line
- Drains - to empty the waste water tank
- Other camper vans - safety in numbers and all that!
- Camper-van carparks
15 weeks to go, hopefully the weather holds up for us!!!
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