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CIL’s funniest caravanning moments

We received a fantastic response to CIL’s Funniest Caravanning Moments competition. Hundreds of tales were told, but only one lucky $1,000 winner - congratulations to Liz from Victoria for this entry!

“A father and son went on a caravanning holiday along the NSW South coast. With limited visibility they parked the caravan and stayed overnight. The morning dawned and Father and son packed up and shot through like a Bondi Tram when they realised they had parked in the middle of the town's bowling green! “

From all the entries, what really shone through was the great sense of humour caravanners showed when faced with the unpredictability of life on the road, as well as it’s little, and not so little mishaps. Here are just a few of the ‘Funniest Moments' that caught our attention. Many will put a smile on your face, and we’re sure you’ll relate to some as they conjure up memories of your own adventures - and misadventures.

More parking tales....

Ours was to be a caravanning honeymoon. We left very late in the evening and drove until too tired. We decided to pull over into a truck stop for the night. Next morning we peeked through a window to find a toddler on his trike in the circular driveway of a house where we had parked.

It took lots of time and a huge effort to back our caravan up and onto that raised concrete pad for the first time.... no one mentioned that we were supposed to park NEXT to it and not ON IT! Very funny for all the experienced on lookers!

Dad had given in to family nagging and driven the caravan onto the beach for an overnight stay. It was perfect! Mum cooked up dinner on a little gas BBQ while the four of us kids mucked about in the water before settling in for the night, lulled by the sound of the sea. Unfortunately we woke in the morning surrounded by water as the tide had come in and we were bogged! Luckily there were a few fishermen in 4WDs who pulled us out after low tide.

Did you forget something?

Having travelled extensively throughout Australia we have witnessed many misadventures and misfortunes of fellow travellers. We were highly amused by either the forgetfulness or ingenuity of the owners of a van we came to be following. Attached to the rear of their van was a small fold away clothesline, nothing unusual about that, except in this case the line was still in use with several pairs of somewhat large undies flapping wildly in the breeze!

I was 18 and had just broken up with my first boyfriend and spent the day crying. Next day Mum and Dad insisted that I go with them to the caravan show at Rosehill. Exhausted, I lay on a bed in one of the vans and fell asleep as they looked around and then moved on!. After a while Mum and Dad backtracked to find me happily asleep in the van. They thought it was so funny, they left me there again and went for a coffee! I did wake up eventually to an audience and very embarrassed.

Driving from Tibooburra to Birdsville with the camper on back, we were half way through the Simpson Desert and travelling well when I looked in the rear view mirror and watched as our camper headed bush as we kept going. Hubby and I weren't on speaking terms, so I calmly told him we needed to stop and turn around as the camper was no longer with us. He snapped at me that nothing was going to make him stop and we went another few minutes before he decided to check the rear view mirror. The look on his face when he saw nothing was priceless.

I drove quite a distance with the TV antennae raised on our caravan. People were waving and pointing, but both my wife and I thought that they were being friendly and were pointing at our new prized possession with envy. When I found out why they were pointing, I could have crawled under a rock.

Don’t mess with Nanna

As a child we holidayed with our caravan every holiday. My nanna would join us for the car ride but refused to sleep in the caravan – she always checked into a motel. We got to Gladstone and there were no available motels so after much whinging, she joined us for the night. She was last to get to bed (i.e. the fold down dining table!) and as soon as she hopped into the bed the caravan collapsed! Dad forgot to tighten the jockey wheel. She packed her bags and went to the bus station and made her own way home!

Many years ago we took my grandmother camping. I made her a cup of tea using tank water from the van. Thirty years later she was still telling everybody how good it was not using the crappy tasting town water. No was ever game enough to tell her we filled it up with town water before we left.

When nature calls

As we were about to leave a camp site my sister (1st time camper) decided she needed to pee. So she squats beside the wheel of our van on the blind side, but hubby drives off. There she is in middle of nowhere, exposed. I won’t mention the choice of words she called him!

We were camping on the Murray River when a storm blew in. Our Aunty was on the toilet when a gust of wind caught the toilet tent and lifted the whole thing up in one piece and blew it about 15m away, leaving our aunty red faced. Thirty seconds earlier and she would have been caught pants down.

When nature calls – the furry kind!

Caravanning, hubby got up early for a morning fish, while son 8, daughter 4 and I were sleeping in the back of van. Hubby had toast and coffee with the door open as a large grey kangaroo was watching him. From the door he teased him with toast. The next minute the kangaroo jumped into the van, and the boxing started to get him out! The children and I were screaming and there was no room for the kangaroo to turn around - his tail was half the length of the van! I jumped up and with a water pistol started shooting kangaroo and with a push from hubby he was finally out.

Day one of our family road trip around Australia, Sydney to Hay with our 2 day old camper. Driving west we smelt a horrific odour and soon came up behind a cattle truck that just starting to head up a rise in the road that caused all the faecal matter and urine to come splashing all over the car! To our horror the new camper had gone from white to code brown! We were that distraught with what happened we missed the turn off and just on dusk ran out of petrol on the Hay Plains, stranded, stinking and alone.

Accidents happen

The family and I were in New Zealand and we spent 8 days camping at various caravan parks. One night we could hear raised voices coming from a campervan beside us. The van owner had caught two thieves trying to pinch fuel from his van. The thieves had put their hose in the wrong tank so all they got was a mouthful of raw sewage. Owner didn't press charges as thieves were punished enough lol.

We hit the road excitedly for a week’s caravan holiday. I had bought four cheap blue pillowcases for the trip. We woke up the first morning away and all our faces were stained blue! We could not remove the stains for the life of us and spent a couple of days looking like a cross between a Smurf and a zombie. (The teenager was the most devastated about it might I add, insisting on covering his face with a scarf). Eventually I had a brain wave and used nail polish remover to remove the stains and it worked.

Driving from Sydney to Brisbane with my kids in the van I had ten kids of my own. But, when we got to Brisbane we had eleven kids. I was lost for words and went to the police station to report what had happened. My son replied “Can we keep her and send Simone back in her place?”. I was horrified that I had collected someone else’s child at a rest stop!

And to finish off....

Three cars towing caravans travelling on The Great Central Road together when one of the cars broke down. One of the other cars had to tow the broken car back to the nearest repair shop which left 1 car with 3 caravans at the side of the road. After about an hour another motorist came speeding past, slowed down, did a U-turn and came back to me. The first words out of his mouth were "You've got too many carriages and not enough horses mister!

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