Jerry and I hired an RV to visit relatives in Canada in 1999. Our two-week, one-way tour took us from Calgary, through the Rockies to Vancouver Island on the west coast. Our children (who were nine and seven at the time) loved the freedom to get out and explore on hired bikes at every stop. It really was wonderful and we enjoyed having everything with us, so we didn’t have to pack up every day. The driving was straightforward, and the fuel was cheap; despite its 6.0-litre engine, the RV cost no more to run than driving a car here in the UK.
Several years later, in 2005, a brush with cancer and a ‘bucket list’ discussion brought us to the Glastonbury Festival for the very first time, when we borrowed a friend’s horsebox as our accommodation – an unusual solution, perhaps, but we didn’t fancy camping. Once again, we relished the convenience and privacy of having everything with us.
Two Glastonbury Festivals later, our friend had sold his horsebox, so we bought our first motorhome: a 1989 Hymer 694. Following the festival, we realised how many doors the ‘Magic Bus’ had opened for us. We took it touring around the UK and also ventured across the Channel to France. Still, our Hymer was old and tired, so we said goodbye to it after five fabulous years.
With help from an inheritance and retirement on the horizon, we upgraded to a new Rapido 9090dF in late 2012 – and our experience prompted us to add a solar panel, satellite TV and extra plug sockets to the standard kit list. The layout of ‘Roxie’, as we call our ‘van, is ideal for us: an island bed as comfortable as the one at home, a good-sized lounge and a well-thought-out kitchen with a capacious fridge/freezer. In addition, the en-suite washroom is accessible from both directions, ideal for occasional overnight visitors.
As our work commitments were reduced, we were able to get away more. In spring 2013, we went on our first significant trip in Roxie: we took a ferry to northern Spain and then spent two weeks driving home through France, staying in aires and campsites. The ease and good value of the tour convinced us to do more. We’ve spent three weeks in southern Ireland, a month touring Spain and, most recently, a month-long return trip to Budapest’s Sziget Festival; we covered 3000 miles in eight countries.
And we’re hoping to go to our 10th Glastonbury!
We realised how many doors the ‘Magic Bus’ had opened for us