We haven't heard that before: A family of five who has never been to a campsite before borrows a 14-meter-long vehicle and drives across Germany for 18 days. We wanted to know from Lene and Philipp how it was.
Why didn't you start with something smaller?
Lene: Originally, we wanted to rent a mobile home. However, due to the short-term nature and with three children, it was difficult to find a model with five seats. With this combination, we now had plenty of space for everyone in the van and a large living space in our luggage.
And the vehicles remained intact?
(Philipp laughs) Yes, of course. My driver's license says that I can drive something like that. Joking aside, that doesn't mean anything, of course. It demands a lot of concentration and a lot more attention than driving a car - e. B. in a road works section on the motorway. Above all, you must trust yourself. But the vehicles make it surprisingly easy.
How do you mean?
On the one hand, the Sydney, with its 120 hp, is a powerful tractor that easily pulled the caravan anywhere we wanted it. Even on a sloping, damp meadow, it was no problem to manoeuvre the caravan on the slope. And since this is only a good 30 cm wider than the van, the view to the rear via the large exterior mirrors is almost unrestricted. Sometimes I even forget that I'm pulling a trailer.
Lene: Actually, we wanted to fly to the Canaries. But since the world is upside down and we didn't want to take any big risks, we looked for an alternative in our own country. And since we didn't want to be tied to one place here, it turned out to be a trip to Germany.
Where have you been?
We started in Frankfurt. Through the Black Forest to Titisee, Friedrichshafen on Lake Constance, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Brombachsee in Franconia, Saalfeld in Thuringia, up to Edersee, Heider Bergsee, Koblenz and back. That was about 2,500 km. It was important to us that we always offer the children something interesting. Swimming in the lake, donkey rides, summer toboggan run. On the Zugspitze we could even go sledding in the middle of summer.
Isn't it stressful to put it up and down again and again.
Philipp: No. The first two of course took a little longer. But it's faster every time and it's fun when everyone works together. Whether on arrival or on the way to the next stage. The movements are more and more routine.
Lene: It was also very nice that when we arrived, the neighbours immediately approached us without asking to help with the adjustment of the caravan. Everyone is happy to help because everyone knows the challenge. Especially on the somewhat narrower campsites.
Were you very limited on your trip due to the corona virus?
Lene: No, that was ok. So, we wore a mask wherever it was appropriate: when registering and in the sanitary areas at the campsite, in the gondola to the Zugspitze, in queues and when shopping - no different than usual.
Philipp: Two campsites had their shower houses locked. But then the outside shower on the Sydney was just the thing - or the swimming lake.
It was important for the children that they could take so many things with them. Toys, cuddly toys, and inline skates could easily be accommodated.
Your 3 highlights on the vehicles?
The pop-up roof on the camper van, an enormous amount of storage space, the easy handling.
Did you miss something?
Not really. Only the freshwater tank could have been a bit bigger for us. Hands need to be washed often, especially during these times.
Was it better than the Canaries?
Philipp: Different! Germany has a lot to offer - for example great bathing lakes. And we definitely had a more intense and enjoyable time with the children than we would have spent in a hotel complex.
Would you repeat that?
Lene: Absolutely! It was a great experience. The next time we would devote ourselves to the east and north of Germany. Here, too, we already have a few great destinations in mind - but especially the coasts of course.
Be sure to book campsites in the high season! Don't take too much with you - half is enough. And: Have a large watering can with you to fetch fresh water.
Camping holidays and flexible travel are a wonderful alternative, especially in these times. And: Germany is a great holiday destination! There is so much to see and do. Anyone who can drive out of seasonal times should definitely think about it for the off-season.