Camper Time!

Hurray, we finally get to pick up our camper! Yesterday morning we walked to Donna’s with our heavy packs to finalize details and sign our contract with her. There was a slight chance our camper wouldn’t be ready, but thankfully the dealer had called to say it was ready to go. We then hopped a train to Arnhem and our salesman, Willem, picked us up at the station. Willem and his mechanic took us through a quick walk-through of the systems of the camper. They were a little rushed with us, but we took some videos on Caroline’s phone in case we needed to review anything they covered. Hopefully we didn’t skip over anything too important.

Our next stop was at a big bike shop which was conveniently just around the block from the camper dealer. They had a huge stock of bikes and we soon found a couple flat-bar bikes that are a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike. They should work well enough for us and they didn’t cost too much either. After that we stopped at a mall for lunch and to my surprise I found a store in the mall that was basically half auto parts store and half bike shop. Only in the Netherlands would you find a chain of stores like that. I grabbed a few cheap bike tools we needed and then we went to a nearby discount store for other camper essentials.

Seeing as how we bought an empty camper, there was a lot to buy. We had a few kitchen items from the previous phases of our trip, but we still needed bedding, pillows, dishes, utensils, etc. Most of this stuff we’ll leave behind with the camper when it comes time to sell it, so cheap items from a discount store will work fine. As we prepared to leave the parking lot, I found I couldn’t get the camper started. Uh oh. This camper has an immobilizer which prevents it from starting without a little electronic fob nearby. I thought maybe that was the problem, or maybe it was simply a dead battery. I called Willem since we were still very close to his dealership. He and his mechanic came by and quickly had us running again. Maybe the battery drained because I accidentally left the radio on, who knows. We’re not going far tonight, so if we have problems tomorrow we’ll see if we can get a new battery from Willem.

Our first night in the camper was spent at nearby Hoge Veluwe National Park. We didn’t get to see much of the park, but we did get a pretty good night’s sleep. The next day we had more errands to run, starting with a stop at a nearby hardware/camper store for a propane tank and a drain hose for the grey water tank. We also had more items to shop for, like a GPS unit to help us navigate around Europe and a toaster oven. That reminds me of another reason why we wanted a camper over traveling by car: the kitchen. Caroline loves to cook, and having our own kitchen, even a small one, is a big plus for a camper over a car. And with a small fridge we can carry milk, butter, pudding, and other nice to have items.

Tomorrow we need to stop in Utrecht to get our registration card from Donna, but then we should be able to start the real sight-seeing portion of our camper journey by going to see the famous Dutch tulips.


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