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The rolling thunder review – life on wheels.

Posted in Style & Travel

trailer2 It took me six hours to get home from Johannesburg the other day – normally a two hour flight. I sat in the airport fantasising about alternate modes of transport. Ones that didn’t involve checking in and finding “the plane was delayed in Cape Town and repositioning has meant further delay. Out of our control.” Insult to injury – BA then merged two flights and I had a large, half-cut, smelly man sitting on my lap the whole way home.

Private jet is out of budget, time travel not invented, teleportation likewise. So, now long journey = flight. But what if I drove? Which got me into working out budgets … petrol, somewhere to stay, snacks … and that delivered me rolling door to door. Cue the recreational vehicle, aka RV: created by Travellers, improved on by Germans, fine-tuned by Americans.

And now desired by me. camper4Travel would take on a whole new and happier dimension. I would install wi-fi and satellite TV and develop an interactive map of safe places to tie up, dog friendly restaurants, farmers markets and great coffee shops. I will have a compact kitchen, decent loo and separate (possibly outside) shower. There would be no packing and unpacking. And my chart would feature happy wishywashys that served cocktails. So my smalls would always be fresh and fragrant.

trailer8Then I amused myself imagining what the road-mobile would look like (hate the arrvee appelation, both in initial and full) – and did a little mooching on the free airport wi-fi. Passed two of the many hours – and, when my ship comes in, one of these will roll off it.

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(images from Country StyleGoodness TravelsInspired CampingPJ CaravanStyle Me PrettyJeroen van der SpekMarie Claire MaisonYouTubeLittle GreeneApartment TherapyWildflowers PhotographyH&M HomeVera BradleyClarke & ClarkeTravelling Wares)(

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11 Comments

  1. I did the caravan thing as a kid in the 70s with all eight family members in a caravan from the 50s. No soft focus pic of some gleaming retro chic is ever going to make me want to return to that experience again.

    September 28, 2013
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  2. They all look so lovely… and “RV” has to be better than “caravan” otherwise known as a road snail…

    September 27, 2013
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  3. Roberta Kaplan, Edith Windsor’s attorney on the Supreme Court case regarding gay marriage, recently went to Yosemite with her spouse and child. “Did you go camping?” the interviewer asked “Yes. At the Four Seasons”. I am with her. Did the RV thing once and hated every second of it. So, I will see you at the other end. Will have a bubble bath waiting.

    September 27, 2013
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  4. Hampton Sides has a collection of essays called “Americana”. One of those essays covers the annual Airstream RV convention, somewhere in the American southwest I think. Airstream owners can be quite devoted to their RVs. It’s pretty entertaining.

    September 27, 2013
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  5. Most of our closest friends do 2 weeks every Summer somewhere in Europe or the US in luxury campers that they rent. I have resisted every invitation simply because I can’t bear the idea of being in such an impersonal space for so long and worse, to have to see the same people for 14 straight days. That said, I too have daydreamed about having my own highly ‘pimped’ ride kitted out exactly as you described and hitting the road with my boo. See you out there!

    September 27, 2013
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  6. Interestingly, I’ve just finished reading a book called Next Time We’re Flying Somewhere Sunny. It’s about a guy who went around Europe in a campervan with his girlfriend. The title says it all, I think.

    September 27, 2013
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    • going to look for that one … have to say Europe would not be my choice – Southern Italy. Spain, Portugal, Greece – maybe – the rest – meh.

      September 27, 2013
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  7. Back in the late 1950s my (intrepid) mum drove my younger sister and I, with caravan, from Lusaka to Cape Town. Why she did it I have no idea but it was an epic journey and we had both magical and hair-raising moments. I remember being paralysed with embarrasment when, navigating the way through Jo’burg at rush hour the car broke down half way across Eloff St and caused what seemed like the world’s worst traffic jam! Other thing I remember is stopping overnight in the bush, and in the middle of the night being too scared of lions etc to dare go outside to pee and using a cereal bowl….

    September 27, 2013
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    • Brilliant – I think I would have liked your mum. But not had cereal for brekkie

      September 27, 2013
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  8. daldaeyes
    daldaeyes

    I would join you!

    September 26, 2013
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    • Any time – that would be real fun!

      September 27, 2013
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