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This year has been tough (I think we can ALL agree on that!) and getting away to the Lake District for October Half Term was just the tonic we needed. You may think that anything past September in the UK is a no go for staying in a campervan but trust me, we had the perfect home from home in the shape of Rooby Doo from Cosy Campers. It had everything we needed including a full heating system to keep us cosy and warm. Isn’t she a beaut?
Rooby Doo is quite rightly the pride and joy of Rich, Dani and Reuben the family behind Cosy Campers who are dedicated to making your campervan holiday one to remember. You can choose to keep it simple, or you can add in optional extras for a little luxury, tailoring your bespoke campervan experience to your needs.
We fell somewhere in the middle, it was our first time staying in a campervan with the boys (aged 2,3 and 6 years) so I desperately wanted it to go smoothly, and be a holiday to remember. I was also aware that because we were booking an October break that we’d need an outdoor but dry area. So I hired the drive away awning too, hoping that it would give the boys a bit of extra space and free up some room in the van. We were mindful of the fact that Rooby Doo is absolutely beautiful inside, so the awning actually proved to be invaluable for keeping our muddy boots outside and the van lovely and clean.
At the time of booking I had planned to pack light for this trip (which we did) but outdoor wet weather gear for the 5 of us was bulky and took up a lot of room so after a last minute phonecall to Dani I arranged to include the additional lockable storage box too.
Cosy Campers is based in our home town of Leek in the Staffordshire Moorlands, on the edge of the Peak District. After a run through of all things campervan, Ben drove Rooby Doo home and we loaded her up with small boys and luggage.
I can’t tell you how much I was looking forward to our staycation adventure. Autumn is my favourite time of year, I love all the colours as the leaves turn and the lake district is absolutely beautiful at this time of year.
Ben took to driving the van with ease, helped by the automatic transmission – we cruised up the motorway until the cars became fewer and the scenery expanded before us. Two out of the three boys snoozed most of the way. Stanley was in the back with Eli, he did a great job passing him his bottle and generally entertaining him until he fell asleep. As Rooby Doo has 3 seats upfront, we had James between us, which worked well as I could keep a check on his bloods (he’s type 1 diabetic) and care for him on route, he wasn’t much company though!
You know how I mentioned loving Autumn, the crisp sunny days with misty starts…yeah, well scrap that because I came back down to earth with a bump! We arrived at our pitch to high winds and torrential rain, you’ve got to laugh! Luckily we’re not put off by bad weather.
Our first job was to put the awning up so that we had a little extra room for storage. Cosy Campers had previously sent us two YouTube video tutorials on how to erect and attach the awning to the van which we’d watched a couple of times in the run up to our holiday. Unfortunately we had little phone signal on site so were unable to access the videos again.
I’m not going to lie, we struggled to suss the awning out at first but the cold horizontal rain hitting us square in the face didn’t help, neither did world war 3 breaking out in the van because apparently we weren’t going quick enough. We did get to grips with it eventually and not needing poles etc was a lifesaver, the inflatable structure of the awning went up quickly and with little effort. We took extra care to peg everything down securely because of the gusting wind. It didn’t end in divorce, and the boys didn’t kill each other so I’m calling it a win.
We unpacked and put the non essential items into the awning to give us a bit more space inside. We then threw the boys into the awning to play with transformers while we popped the kettle on. We had made the decision not to take any screens with us apart from our phones so there was a lot of chucking the boys into the awning throughout our stay, they even made a den in there at one point, so I definitely recommend adding it to your holiday if you have children.
We saw some other campervanning pros on our site that had put up fairy lights and bunting inside their awnings, one even had a disco ball and lights! They looked so lovely in the evening it would definitely be something to think about, especially for a Summer trip.
Home From Home
The interior of Rooby Doo is just stunning. Everything from the pale blue units to the tan leather seats. The cupboards look small but were tardis like and contained everything we would ever need….from tea and coffee, to a torch and first aid kit.
The attention to detail was breath taking. From branded mugs that looked the part, to the fact that Cosy Campers just wanted us to have the very best experience possible. We were left a hamper packed with goodies, including two bottles of prosecco, luxury cookies, chocolates and jellybabies.
There were also 3 Halloween themed treat bags for the boys. One of which was completely diabetic friendly. Homemade monster crispie cakes, stickers, sweetie cones and a game of spooky snap were amongst the ghoulish goodies! There was also a lovely handwritten card wishing us the best holiday. I expect the jellybabies in our hamper were intentional too, as they are our preferred hypo treatment for James and I think I had mentioned it to Dani during one of our ‘mum’ conversations prior to the holiday. It made us feel very cared for and pampered, the planning around James’s diabetes was just so thoughtful and special. It was a very personalised experience which in turn made it feel luxurious.
The pop top roof was easily the bit the boys enjoyed most, and where two of them slept. Most of our time spent in Rooby Doo involved a view of a little head or legs dangling down from the roof. The fact they had to climb up there was everything small boys dream of. When the boys weren’t chilling ‘upstairs’ as they liked to call it, the base of the roof can be pushed up to give added head height in the living space of the van. We had one morning of lovely sunshine so we fully made the most of it and put the roof up and opened up the scenic windows. I can just imagine what it would be like in the Summer, the front of the pop top canopy can be completely removed too, it would be the best seat in the house.
By far the best feature in Rooby Doo for our trip anyway, was the heating system. We had horrendous weather and came back from every day trip out soaking wet, mud splattered and ruddy cheeked. Dark nights in Rooby Doo were warm and cosy however thanks to the diesel heater. We took our normal bedding, deciding against sleeping bags and we were lovely and warm at night.
When I booked our holiday with Cosy Campers I was slightly concerned that a campervan holiday with such young children would be a bit of a nightmare if I’m honest. I was proved wrong thankfully, apart from a bit of impatient bickering while we sorted out the awning the boys seemed to take to the campervan life with ease. They were happy to stay ‘upstairs’ or in the awning while we put the beds away or cooked etc. You do have to be quite organised though, and do things in a certain order when there’s so many of you in a relatively small space.
Would we do it again? Absolutely, in a heartbeat. If we had such an amazing time with the worst weather imaginable, then a Summer trip in Rooby Doo would be out of this world. We loved everything about our Half Term holiday, even the trips to the toilet block in the middle of the night gave us some great views of Mars, although you can add a porta loo to your booking if trekking across a field in a fetching wellies and pj’s combo isn’t your thing.
It was an exciting adventure, and a perfect way of seeing the beautiful Lake District. I’ve decided that lying in a campervan bed, all snuggled up with my babies and listening to the wind and rain on the roof has become one of my favourite things to do, and something we WILL do again.
What sets Cosy Campers apart from the other hire companies is the fact that when you book with them you feel like you are part of the family right up until you return Rooby Doo. Nothing is too much trouble and they go out of their way to create the perfect experience for you. Little touches make a big difference. For example, they included a wild guide to the area in which we were staying which helped to make it a stress free experience for us. We could look up outdoor scenic places to visit which was especially helpful during these ‘covid-19 times’ and us being a clinically vulnerable family.
Just driving around in Rooby Doo and taking in the beautiful countryside was a treat in itself, plus there’s nothing better than finding a quite spot to pull over and enjoy a cuppa with a view.
We are absolutely hooked on the campervan life!
*As we are now in a second national lockdown unfortunately non essential travel is prohibited*
But, what better time to plan YOUR campervan adventure in the beautiful Rooby Doo for next year? You can SAVE 10% on your off peak Cosy Campers booking by quoting DIRTDIGDINO when you make an enquiry. What are you waiting for?
Images are my own unless otherwise credited and must not be used without permission.