These days there seems to be a festival for most things, so when popular YouTube vlogger, Dan Trudgian mentioned he had set a date for the very first caravan and motorhome festival, we thought what an excellent idea. TRUDGFEST was born and the date was set for 30th May to 3rd June.
Dan kindly asked if we would like to attend, but there was only one problem; we didn’t have a caravan or motorhome! Dan quickly mentioned that Anita’s Touring Caravan campsite also had some glamping pods and yurts available, so we thought what a fantastic opportunity to get involved, and at the same time see what it was like to be a glamper! We quickly reserved one of the yurts for 2 nights, and got the date firmly in the diary!
Friday 1st June quickly came around. After picking up some food and drink for our trip along with way, we arrived about 2pm. It was a warm sunny day and the outlook for the weekend which much of the same. Upon arriving at the campsite, we were pleasantly surprised by the rural setting and the overall facilities on offer. The check-in process was straight forward and it was also good to see they were selling several types of food, drinks and the daily essentials.
Driving up the Yurt, it was nice to see it was set in an area of the site which looked quiet. The toilet and kitchen wash facilities were nearby, an added bonus. Very quickly we got ourselves set-up and organised, making effective use of the fridge freezer to keep our drinks (beers!) and food chilled, and making sure we got the kettle boiling for that all important first cup of tea. The Yurt came with a very comfortable double bed and a double sofa bed, which could easily fit a family of 4 or 2 adults.
Before we could get sitting down for our cup of tea, Dan and Andy Morley popped over to say a quick hello. It was great to catch up with them and hear what everyone had been up to. Despite the poorer weather earlier in the week, it appeared the first couple of days had been a success and everyone was enjoying themselves.
Before heading over to meet the everyone else, we wanted to test out one of the latest products we are considering launching in 2019. It is a rechargeable power washer which has a trigger head that comes with various heads, perfect for washing the car, showering the dog and of course washing the caravan! One of the great things about this product is that it can attach straight to the current colapz 3in1 or 2in1 tap to use it as a water source. It can also work with any other water source or bucket, collapsible or not. Very easy to set-up and had a great water pressure to remove those awkward dirt and grime marks.
Once we were finished having a play with the new products, it was time to meet and greet the other visitors. The main area where everyone congregated was a large open field which had all the caravans positioned around the edge. In the middle of the field, is where the kids played and where a few gazebos set-up, the perfect place for everyone to congregate each day.
It was great to meet so many people and all passionate caravaners. It was even better to see many of them were already using our colapz products, were easy to spot because of their bright colours! Even the dogs were making effective use of the products, which doubled up nicely as a beer cooler too.
As the afternoon started to quickly disappear, Dan and Andy, along with other key organisers were busy getting ready for the first Cadac cook-off! Something which started out as a bit of fun, very quickly turned into a serious cooking contest. Masterchef watch-out, Cadacmaster here we come! Some of the food involved slowing cooking the meat for many hours, whilst others went for the fast food approach. Although we had planned to cook our own food, it quickly became apparent that the contestants were generously offering the food they cooked for everyone to sample; and we were not disappointed! Choosing a winner was going to be challenging, but the eventual deserved winner picked up one of our Colapz 35L Utility bags which they were delighted with.
As the evening approached, the alcohol then started to flow. Gin seem to be a favourite amongst many of them, mixed with Sambuca and a few other varieties. We stuck to our chilled beers, and were content socialising and just getting to know everyone. A great first day, setting us up nicely for the next day, the grand finale!
Saturday, and the sun was shining. A reasonable night’s sleep, but was surprisingly a little bit restless due to the heat. The yurt was well insulated which made a significant difference, and when you needed to cool down in the day, the electric fan that was provided was a welcomed addition.
With breakfast out of the way, it was time to make use of the Colapz 16L Utlity bag which was perfect for carrying our towel and washbag to the shower block. Whilst in the shower, the bag was useful for keeping the clothes dry. The 16L bag also came in handy as a daily use bag, carrying things like suncream, drinks, clothing, wallet and the mobile phone; knowing the bag was durable and waterproof, keeping everything protected. Many people commented how useful the bag looked and that they would consider purchasing one themselves.
Having had a quick catch-up with Dan, he agreed it would be a good idea for us to do a “Colapz workshop” which would allow is to get some useful feedback on the current and any new products we were planning to develop. Before we did that, we took a bit of time to take photographs some of our products around the Yurt which would be useful for sharing on social media and other sources. The 3in1 is one of our favourites and works so well with the s/4 collapsible drinking cups.
We also spotted some of the visitors staying in the pods that were using our old-style water carrier, so took the opportunity to take some photos and get some feedback about the product. It was great to hear their positive thoughts, and how they use them for filling up the kettle and water jugs. This is just the sort of information we like to gather as we continue to develop and launch new and improved products.
It was finally time for the “Colapz workshop”. I tried to gather as many caravanners as possible, and as soon as things started, the crowd started to build.
Starting off with a demonstration of the core products, which are the 2in1 and 3in1, it was good to get their thoughts on the improvements we had made for the new 2018 versions. There are also many additional features we plan to introduce to these products for 2019, so it was great to get their feedback on those ideas too. Overall a very positive reaction.
Next up was the new products we are considering for 2019. Again, very constructive feedback, which was all taken on board and will prove invaluable as we develop and finalise the products. Overall, the experience was extremely rewarding and something I would highly recommend to any individual or company looking to develop and launch new products. Talking to your target market is critical, as they are the ones who will ultimately buy and use your products.
Two hours later, and we were exhausted, but full of optimism. It was time for a late lunch/early dinner. We brought along a disposable BBQ and 2 gas camping stoves. Setting up was very easy and having the large decking area at the front made the whole experience the more enjoyable. With a few beers to get us started, the night was young!
Early evening and everyone was starting to gather around in the centre of the field again. Dan was going to be live on YouTube with a big raffle at 6pm, following by a pub quiz at 7pm! Many people had donated some wonderful prizes, which included one of our Colapz 3in1 products. All the money raised (£1699.00) went to the Stroke Association, a very worthy cause.
The atmosphere started to build, knowing we were all going to be part of this live YouTube broadcast, and possibly being one of the lucky raffle winners. Unfortunately, we didn’t win, but it was the taking part that counted and generating as much money for such great causes.
Moving onto the pub quiz, and it was time to shine! What a wonderful way to end the evening. Lots of laughter, and I don’t know how we managed it, but we were the eventual quiz winners. A minor contribution from myself, but a wonderful team effort. As the evening drew to a close, the group became smaller and smaller, eventually finishing at a sensible time. I think events of the past few days, finally caught up with everyone and there was the packing up on the final day to factor in too.
We ended the evening with a group photo taken with one the caravanners own drone! Great memories! What a fantastic event and one which is likely to continue and grow for many years to come! As we departed, Dan presented us with our very own TRUDGFEST plaque, a special momentum for attending the event. Thank you to Dan and your fellow vloggers (you know who you are) for putting on a fantastic few days, which was filled with memories I am sure everyone will remember for a long time to come. Roll on Trudgfest 2019 #TF19.