The Shakedown Trip

I spent an hour loading and checking Puffin our VW Camper in readiness for it’s shakedown trip. Double and triple checking is time consuming. I hope to cut this down to 15 minutes in the future.

Our first ever-camping destination in Puffin was Oswestry in Shropshire.

I’ve opted for a Camping and Caravan club campsite called Cranberry Moss situated about halfway between Oswestry and the city of Shrewsbury

The site is well placed just off the A5 the main road to North Wales.

We were going to set off Friday evening, but had to cancel, so Saturday morning saw us head off in to the distance. Our trip took us through Kidderminster on towards Bridgnorth and up over Wenlock hill. Two hours later we had arrived.

Although some club sites can be a little over the top with rules and regulations. The site manager was welcoming and showed us various pitches.

The site is well run and the facilities are kept clean as would be expected for a club site.

After a cup of tea we thought some city sightseeing would be better than sitting on a campsite.

I asked at the reception about the bus service to Shrewsbury that stopped outside the camp and the park & ride buses at Oxon. It seems that the bus services more or less stopped running at about 6.40pm.

I was told that it would be horrendous to try to drive into Shrewsbury because of the traffic congestion.

In defiance we set off towards Shrewsbury. I had previously looked at a car park without height barriers on Google maps called the Frankwell Main, a long stay car park with 720 spaces and no traffic hold ups.

Safely parked we were just a short walk over the footbridge that crossed the River Severn and up into the city centre.

Shrewsbury was bustling with shoppers & tourists. Shopping centres are always a problem when you take your a dog along. I usually spend a lot of time stood outside well-known clothes stores.

With so much to see we were tired from all the walking, so we headed back. Our evening meal was from a fast food emporium.

Back at the site we set up the camper for the night. It’s at this point that the lack of space and the need to be organized becomes obvious. This is a different camping experience for us compared to the spacious folding camper we had previously used. As it was our first night we were on a steep learning curve.

The items I had packed like folding chairs were now in the way and had to be moved up into “the loft” (aka the high top bed).

I thought that the road noise levels would be high being close to the main A5 road, but it was quiet.

Next morning after a late breakfast of bacon sarnies we packed up in 10 minutes and headed home.

All in all a very successful shakedown trip which generated lots of ideas for modifications.

Puffin & Ruby at Oswestry