On our fifth day in Latvia we needed a place to breath. For the first time in 14 months we stayed on a campsite, due to the fact that there are to few possibilities to feel safe parking in "the wild". Maybe we just need to get used to a new country, but it sure doesn't feel like a homecoming like it did in Norway. So we take this day to enjoy the sun, to do some online work and dry our laundry. ☀️
When I first converted the van I expected to stay in campsites and didn’t know much about wildcamping. For our first road trip I even went so far as to become a #caravanclubmember and proudly stuck my sticker in the windscreen. This photo is actually from the very first campsite that we stayed at, where upon arrival we were quizzed about the van, it’s conversion and suitability to stay. We were assigned a pitch only to be chased down by another person in a golf cart who demanded again to see inside the van.
I had spent months lovingly converting Odin so by this point I was not only getting very upset but very defensive and I angrily showed this man the sofa-bed, electrics and kitchen. Which he reluctantly agreed fully met the requirements for a Caravan Club campsite. We pitched up and sadly things didn’t really get any better. We were surrounded by a sea of behemoth white vehicles that would have rivalled the square footage of our house never mind van. Tiny, bright orange Odin stuck out like a sore thumb and rather than feel proud of him and the work that I had done, I felt conspicuous and embarrassed with people openly staring at us. I even bought this windbreaker to put round the van while we sat out at night.
Sadly this episode was repeated throughout the trip and as soon as I got home I bitterly threw out my membership sticker. Though I must say that I have stayed at many wonderful and welcoming campsites since (and never had any trouble at them in Europe), but whenever I do I always have that niggling doubt that they will turn us away or be rude. So I do try to wildcamp where possible.
I was wondering has anyone else ever had this experience in a converted or unconventional campervan and what do they do to counter it or cope with it?