The end of an era

We resisted for years, but the time has come.

Miz Lizzie

We are retiring our beloved Miz Lizzie. She’s going to our friend Mitch at Yard 5 Caravan Repairs. He’s going to lovingly do her up and let her as a holiday rental.

She’s going to be very, very well cared for. It’s sad, as she was our first and looked after us very well. We’ve had some epic adventures in her, but it’s time to move on.

Let me introduce VanEssa. She’s a 2014 Legend Wild Native 19ft/5.8m single axle caravan. And she has a bathroom. Let me be clear. If Miz Lizzie had had one of those, she’d be going nowhere. But as we get older, we’re increasingly unwilling to duck out in the middle of the night to, er, commune with nature, whether it’s in an ensuite close by or amenities at a distance. The bathroom is microscopic, but it’s there. Other advantages? She’s a full-height caravan, not a pop-top. Also the fridge/freezer is much bigger (and newer), the air conditioning is in the roof instead of at ankle level, and there are reclining chairs (straight off the Husband’s wishlist). There’s a considerable list of advantages, but I won’t bore you.

The Boss is as yet unaware of the impending change. He will be resentful of the lack of individual dog bunk, but will definitely appreciate all the extra floor space, the fact that the dog fence will now encompass a much larger area, and the larger awning will give him more shade. Also, because VanEssa is lower, it won’t be such a leap up the steps for him (he tends to attempt it in one bound in Miz Lizzie, not always successfully).

The new caravan isn’t yet ours. We do a final inspection at the end of the month, hand over our deposit, do our final trip in Miz Lizzie down to Nambucca Heads, and on our return, the new one will be delivered to us and paid for. And yes, of course I’m already planning on how to furnish and redecorate her. Do you like the name, by the way?

The interior is predictably bland, like all comparatively modern caravans, heavy on the black & white colour scheme and plastic surfaces.

That will change. She’s clean and tidy and in good shape, but she needs personality, warmth and comfort. She will be our last caravan, so I’m going to personalise her properly inside.

The storage is, predictably, laid out differently, and I haven’t had a chance to poke into every cupboard (I think the current owners might have something to say about that, as they’re still using her!). But I can see that certain things I’m used to are not present. Like drawers.

So I did a bit of very premature sewing. Storage baskets for the Husband and I to put stuff in. And yes, of course they’re scrappy. That’s a pair of worn out work pants and some colourful bits from my scrap baskets you’re looking at. I think it would be fair to say I’m champing at the bit to get in there with a tape measure and a notebook… Things are going to be colourful!

I must be patient. VanEssa is waiting for us.

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41 thoughts on “The end of an era

  1. Awww 🥰 Miz Lizzie will be missed I’m sure but onwards & upwards. VanEssa looks amazing 🤩
    Would love to see the sleeping quarters and the ensuite as well 🤗

  2. Would have been perfect if it was coming with you this time 🤍

  3. Godspeed to Miz Lizzie and onward! Nothing like the excitement of fitting out new digs.

    • katechiconi says:

      She’s having an easy retirement and will be given the best treatment. Mitch is Very good at his job and has always liked her! VanEssa has less personality – for now – but the extra space and facilities will extend our travelling life too.

      • I firmly believe the good vibes you’ve put into Miss Lizzie will make it a perpetual place of good meals, laughter, and happy dogs for anyone who stays in her as a rental. No doubt VanEssa will soon pick up those marvelous vibes.

      • katechiconi says:

        I’m convinced Mouse will consider that the (current) interior decor has been specially chosen to match him. Sadly for him, I will be introducing a fair bit of colour! Miz Lizzie embodied what my Dutch mother would have called gezelligheid: cosiness, snugness, and conviviality.

  4. I do love the name! It sounds like a nice trip with the venerable Miz coming up, followed by a pleasant retirement! Happy trails to her…and have fun with your tape measure!

    • katechiconi says:

      Some find the habit of naming your vehicles silly, but it seems to come naturally to us. Our forthcoming trip is very exciting, as The Rona made us cancel it 4 times, and it’s a long-awaited chance to catch up with friends and family and celebrate three birthdays!

  5. Dayphoto says:

    YAY! Travels are waiting!!!

  6. Marty K says:

    You and Miz Lizzie had a grand ride (pardon the pun). Very excited for the VanEssa Era! Love that her kitchen has a window and congrats on the loo too. Mr. Mouse will settle in quickly, I’m sure, as long as he has his floof and a few extra chicky-pops. 😉

    Looking forward to “le grande tour” when she’s all decked out!

    • katechiconi says:

      The exciting thing from Mouse’s point of view is that now we have a proper freezer there will be a decent supply of chickypops available on demand. A window while I do the dishes is a must, and I have a proper oven so cookies and roast chicken (Yay! – Mouse) are on the menu too!

  7. magpiesue says:

    Great name! And hurray for a bit more room and conveniences. 😁 We’ll be looking forward to seeing how you dress her up!

    • katechiconi says:

      It works, doesn’t it? The windows have built in double blinds (one for privacy, one for darkness) so curtains aren’t really needed, but some sort of bed-dressing is needed, and a tablecloth, and floor coverings, and pot holders, and a bathmat… well, you get the idea.

  8. How very exciting. VanEssa is lovely, has two tick box items ours lacks… spacious fridge/freezer and oven. Legend do make a nice caravan, and the G.O. prefers single axle despite current trends. Nice though Miss Lizzie gets one last run before her she goes onto become a feature of holiday memories for many people who will enjoy her coziness.

    • katechiconi says:

      The thing we like about Legends is that they have aluminium instead of steel frames, so for their size they’re pretty light. She weighs the same as the much smaller Miz Lizzie, but even so, I’ll be severely editing what goes into her, since I know we’ve accumulated a lot of stuff in Lizzie. I’m excited about the fridge/freezer, because it means we can leave the wonky old Engel at home, with its extremely dodgy connectors and the need to hook it up to the car all the time due to lack of space inside.

  9. Miz Lizzie is off to new adventures and I hope your new travels in VanEssa are as happy as Miz’s days.

    • katechiconi says:

      I certainly think they will be, especially now that we are experienced caravan-trippers. She will be easier to use, as having no pop-top makes setting up and taking down a LOT easier.

  10. You are folks of my own heart. I gave up the rustic camping years ago. Bathrooms must be in a few short feet of my being or I don’t go there. Even as Mr. Mouse ages, he will need more conveniences too. I joke that my idea of camping is a Holiday Inn with no room service but the bathroom in close proximity is just one necessity I no longer consider optional. I know you are going to have fun making VanEssa your own. I do love the name.

    • katechiconi says:

      Agreed! If it’s urgent enough for your bladder to wake you, it’s too far to take a hike. As for Mouse, he will bless us in future years when it’s just a small hop up instead of 3 big steps.

  11. tialys says:

    The new getaway van looks great. I’m definitely with you on loo requirements One of the only criteria we actually stuck to when searching for our new house was that it must have an upstairs bathroom to avoid tackling stairs and sleeping dogs in the wee small hours (see what I did there).
    Looking forward to seeing all your new projects to beautify your new investment.

  12. Going Batty in Wales says:

    I am with you on bathrooms. It is what puts me off camping! You will work your magic on the interior of Van Essa and it will be a lovely cosy space. Happy adventuring in her!

  13. Stephanie says:

    Love the name!
    Having your own bathroom is a luxury you definitely need!

  14. Kate, I love the name VanEssa. You are so clever. I’m excited for all three of you with the improved amenities and spacious shade and I know you’ll do an amazing job re-outfitting her with your magic . I’m glad to hear that Miz Lizzie is off to another good home. I’m looking forward to hearing the updates.

  15. kymlucas says:

    I look forward to hearing about all your adventures, and what a great way to retire Lizzie!

    • katechiconi says:

      Hi Miss Kym! I’m actually hoping for nothing too strenuous, although the Staff are planning to put it about a bit socially, I think. I’m making the most of the facilities in Miz Lizzie while I can (private bunk, nosh drawer right under my bed, etc) since we’re not sure where my new bed will go in VanEssa. They’d Better come up with a decent plan soon…

  16. Emmely says:

    Since one of the reasons I don’t want to go camping anymore is that whole night-time stroll situation, I completely get why you’re switching caravans. The other improvements also sound good! Curious to see how you end up decorating her!

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s all very stark and black & white. I can’t help but visualise lots of bright colour for quilts, curtains, cushions, rugs, pot holders, tea towels… well, you get the idea. I don’t do minimal where colour is concerned!

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