Not great, not terrible | Meet the Trudgians

Not great, not terrible

Posted by on Aug 3, 2021 in Featured, Trips & Adventures | 5 comments

Not great, not terrible

I’ve just finished watching the Bafta winning drama Chernobyl again on Sky Atlantic, and there is a line of dialogue delivered by the late Paul Ritter in episode one “Not Great, not terrible” and this sums up our year thus far. No matter how I fudge the figures, no matter how I try to convince myself it’s okay, the fact is we have only used the caravan for 8 nights so far this year. At the point of writing this article, that’s 8 nights out of 111 possible nights we could have used the caravan in 2021. So, what on earth has happened?

The reason isn’t as clear as “COVID”, I mean that would be an easy and almost accepted excuse and, sure the restrictions have limited us, but campsites have been open since April 12th 2021, with a selection of restrictions. So, it isn’t that. However, there are a number of reasons why we have not used the caravan much this year so far. Each one is not insurmountable, but combined together they have been quite an obstruction for us.

So here is a list of viable excuses why we have had limited use this year:

Broken tow car
My 5 series has been quite sick in recent months which obviously has held us back being able to tow. The cost to repair the car has been very expensive. However, it has been cheaper than buying a new car – although we think now is the time to start saving hard for a new tow car. This whole saga is the subject of an article I’m writing, where I discuss our rationale for sticking with the current car, and a search for a new motor.

Annual Leave
Angela has only had 3 weekends off since April. 2 of these were booked as annual leave, and this has been the single most limiting element for us getting away. Up to this point we would usually head off for an impromptu weekend away, leaving after work on the Friday, returning Sunday afternoon, and we usually do this maybe once or twice a month. With no weekends free, and a work schedule that doesn’t align well with school or bank holidays, it has been a very real strain.

Site Availability
Because of the issues already discussed, we have struggled to find somewhere local at the last minute where we can book. It really has been a challenge. Especially over half term holidays, we were surprised how fully booked campsites really were, even during the wet month of May.

So, that’s three compelling excuses why we haven’t been out much. You may ask, what are we doing to rectify these separate issues. Well, let’s start with the car. The car has 2 new turbos, a new water pump, new suspension bits, new gearbox oil, new air freshener and the ash tray has been emptied of coins. With all these things being replaced the car now tows brilliantly. In fact – our last trip away, we loaded the car slightly differently and I can report back it was by far the best tow I’ve had in this car. I’ll report back what we did in the near future.

The 2nd issue of annual leave has now been resolved by Mrs T by getting a new job. Her new job not only finishes slightly earlier on a Friday, but also now gives her back weekends and bank holidays too. This is exactly what we need and it allows us once again to go away for a quick weekend and relax. This has made such a difference that we have now booked 3 breaks off the back of this single change.

Finally, the availability of sites. This one is still an issue because caravanning has become so much more popular in recent months. So we have now made a considered effort to book and plan further into the future and use more varied sites too. Again, I will cover this off in a future post on where we have been.

So, right now, looking at the immediate future, it’s looking good once again and we are away in the caravan at least once a month until 2022. Which, is exactly how it should be.


We have not long returned from a 5 day break again in Malvern – this time we explored in bright sunny weather, apposed to the rain we had last time. But, looking forward our new adventures start from the middle of August, where we will head off for 10 nights at a location we have never visited, and then in away again at the end of the month for just 4 nights with friends. Into September we have 2 weekends planned, then a long get away over half term in October at a Camping in the Forest site. Depending on Christmas markets and which ones will be open, will dictate which site we will visit in November, and December has a weekend away to catch Christmas lights in Bristol. We have decided not to go away this Christmas, we have other plans focused on our friends and extended family, so that leaves in total 27 additional nights away in the caravan.

So add that to the 8 we’ve already had and that’s a grand total of 35 nights away in a possible 264 days in 2021. Well, to coin the phrase: “not great, not terrible.”



  1. Brilliant Dan, glad things are changing for you both, hope you enjoy your breaks away

  2. We’ve also had a frustrating year – a combination of weather, car problems and caravan problems. Having seen your latest video, I can see that it’s been tough for you for other reasons and we send our best wishes for a vastly improved end to 2021 for you and your family

  3. New to your blog, but have watched your channel for a while. Have enjoyed reading them. Wishing you and your family the best for the future x

  4. Dan
    I’m a returning convert to caravaning. Having previously owned a wobble box when my children were younger work and other commitments forced me and my family to pursue other avenues regarding holidays.
    Not now, the kids are older and have their own lives, work and home life has balanced and we simply have more free time.
    This is where you come in, I’ve been a subscriber to your channels for about a year now and you have been an inspiration to me. I really don’t think that without watching your YouTube channel I wouldn’t have got another caravan but, here I am-away most weekends and enjoying it immensely. It’s not been without its downsides but I can honestly say that without your vlogs and tutorials it would’ve been much harder. Thanks to you I’ve polished out scratches, wired in new lights, fitted sockets and polished my ball ( innuendo bingo!) even gone solar when off grid to name a few.
    Despite this the overriding feeling I get is that you are a strong family man at heart and this comes across a lot. So without further ado I’ll get to the point, which is this-it doesn’t matter,blogs,vlogs or insta mean nothing without the support and love of your, if you have to take a break then do it, get better and come back stronger, for your family.
    All the best Sir

  5. Hi Dan and family.
    So sorry to hear you are unwell and wishing you a speedy recovery !

    Loving your channel btw.

    Take care,
    Allan and family.

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