Dartmoor Walking Tour Diary - Day 2
The double bed is very comfortable and we both had a good night's sleep. All apart from the slight hassle arising from the double bed set-up. Because of the size of the bed you have to sleep across the van so whoever is sleeping at the cab end can only exit out of the driver's (or passenger's) door or climb over your partner in order to get to the bathroom or anywhere else for that matter.
We'll try the single bed configuration tonight!
Before leaving the camp site we stopped to empty the kitchen/bathroom sink waste and to top up the onboard 45 litre fresh water storage tank.
The kitchen/bathroom sink waste (as very distinct from the chemical toilet waste) is drained from a onboard waste storage tank via a tap. This can be either drained into a portable waste disposal container which can be wheeled to an appropriate drain for emptying - or you can park the van over a suitable disposal point. We used the former option and it all worked simply and well.
Our first destination on Dartmoor was Princetown and our trip there was very comfortable and relatively uneventful. The final few miles to Princetown proved to be the first test of the Autoquest's manoeuvrability on small narrow roads. We did have to use passing places at times and we did scrape past a few trees - but nothing presented any difficulties and we arrived in Princetown by lunchtime - with paintwork and all peripherals intact.
This campsite was rather more basic (no more than a pub car park really). There was no electrical hook-up plus the toilet/shower facilities were 200m away and rather less appealing. So - the next few days were going to be a good test of the Autoquest as a stand-alone 'home- away-from- home'.
Now that we were parking up for a few days we switched the fridge/freezer to run from the on-board propane gas supply - which was also now powering the hot water supply too.
Joy of joy, no unpacking required as everything was already in place. So we were able to make a quick sandwich before heading up the nearest Tor - right from the door!
For walks from Princetown - see Walks from Princetown
We arrived back at the Autoquest ready for a cup of tea and a short relax. It was after this that we discovered that the the kitchen sink appeared not to be draining very quickly which was a little disturbing. A quick check around showed that everything in the bath-room was working fine - so it looked like there was a blockage in the narrow pipework underneath the sink - which was totally inaccessible. Oh dear. We decided to be a little more prudent at what we allowed to go down the plug-hole.
This was the first opportunity to experience the Motorhome's full range of bathroom facilities. The idea with the shower is that the bathroom becomes effectively a wet room. The water was extremely hot and had enough pressure to operate as a shower. But because the onboard water storage is only 45 litres showering becomes a multi-stage affair - get wet - turn off water - soap/lather yourself - rinse-off. Not only that, the pressure appears to drop off as the tank empties - so make sure you are 1st!
And once you have had a cup of tea or two, a shower each and cooked dinner - you do not get much change out of 45 litres of water. We suddenly became very aware of how much water we used in our regular lives.
The shower water drained into the waste water storage tank - which has a warning light to let you know when it needs emptying.
All-in-all - the shower is perfectly adequate - albeit a facility one would probably not use if there's a good, eonomic alternative available.
Dinner was pasta, salad and a nice bottle of red - a menu that was perfectly easy to put together with our cooking facilities.
Tonight we decided to try out the beds in their 'two singles' configuration. The major advantage of this is that you retain the area between the 'beds'. But would they be as comfortable . . .