Tag Archives: caravan inside paris

Another nostalgic look back

30 May

sprite family caravan

About 30 years ago, we had one of these. A Sprite Musketeer. Four berths and lightweight, they were very popular at the time. The timber frameworks inside were held together with glue and staples. Ours was coming apart and with an unusual 3 weeks spell planned in France I had to restick it all together. Re-stapled it was all solid but the interior wall material looked faded and old so we wall papered the lot! With new curtains and varying shades of “beige” throughout, it was restful on the eye.

Our caravan was the same colour green as above. I think that the Musketeer only came in a few pastel shades. I had “Tee Cutted” and polished the hell out of ours to retrieve the original factory gloss finish. With the heavy glass windows buffed with Windolene, it looked a real gem and I was proud to hitch it behind our Audi Coupe. I could not afford the desirable and Rally proven Quattro version. But ours was family friendly and automatic. I had a blade type stabiliser fitted because, back then, young and foolish, I had been known to push the upper speed boundaries when towing. ( I blush now at the very thought!)


We went off to France with the front passenger seat removed and replaced with quick release brackets and wing nuts to secure our 3 month old baby in his old style pram body. You could secure baby within the pram tub using the built-in clips and a harness. Surrounded by pillows the little one was as safe as possible for the time. A 12v cooling fan was secured to keep baby cool but when our four year old spotted it, she wanted one too in the back seat where her polystyrene “toddler” seat was secured using the lap and diagonal. All this is sorted for you now. just pop into Halfords with the dosh and it’s yours!

Balloons in the colors of the French flag in front of the Eiffel Tower

Balloons in the colors of the French flag in front of the Eiffel Tower

Just picking out a few of the multitude of memories from our epic 3 weeks tour down the Western side of France (in the main) but using Dover /Calais ferry for cheapness.

  • Driving down overnight and through Central London to Dover. No congestion charge then!
  • Sleeping each way at the Ferry ports to save time and money
  • Towing the caravan into Central Paris (against the Law) and parking it outside the Louvre! A passing Brit told me that I could get arrested. First I knew about that rule.
  • Fresh French bread, tomatoes and local cheese for lunch most days. Oh, and red wine too.
  • A camping chair placed outside the caravan door to give us a buffer zone from other road users when lunching at the roadside.
  • Quiet roads. Straight roads and fast cruising at times.
  • Henk at his Dutch campsite near Villereal. His inspiring story of success and a warm welcome with a cold beer. (His family is still there now. More later this year!)
  • Hundreds of caterpillars under the shady oak at Henks
  • Washing baby in the stainess steel sink
  • Clouds of butterflies rising as we walked the paths at Henks
  • The caravan almost being literally blown over at Dunkirk Ferry port
  • Driving home with the front tyres worn down. Then quitting my boring job when I got home.