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Thread: Transporting equipment to camp

  1. #1
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    Question Transporting equipment to camp

    I wanted to find out what other peoples solutions were to the problem of transporting equipment to camp.

    Obviously when you go to camp you need to take quite a few bits with you; tents, mess shelters, cooking equipment etc to name but a few, most of which you probably wouldn't want in the back of your car. Do other groups tend to hire vans? We have a group trailer that is owned by the Scout Group, but only the Scout leader has a car with a tow bar. I need to solve the problem for Cubs and Beavers.

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    We have 2 trailers.

    Order of preference:

    1. Leaders tow the trailers.
    2. Parents tow the trailers
    3. Random stranger that someone once knew tows the trailers
    4. We hire a van.

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    I know the problem. Hiring a van when it was the largest expense for the camp was annoying.

    We now have a van and it has been on countless camps. Definitely worth the funds.

    We have also had a minibus for three years. That is also great and have used that a few times to transport Scouts and equipment on smaller camps.


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    We hire a luton van and get a parent to drive it when we go to camp, and when we come back. That way we only need to hire it for 2 days, rather than the whole week. Great way of getting dads involved as long as you pick carefully it's something they love to help with. We travel extremely heavy for summer camp, all traditional tents. Chairs tables, etc plus all the kids gear.

    I also have a towbar which we use for smaller camps, and for my last 3 cars have gone to considerable effort and expense to fit it, essentially exclusively for the scouts benefit. But it's all part of the fun. Again, you'll probably find that if you've got a dad with a towbar they will be very keen to use it.

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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    We hire a van. A luton usually. Last year we actually took two, as we had someone that borrowed one from work, but then we had 42 kids. It's priced into the camp. Effectively it just moves the problem, instead of the crunch point being the leader with the towbar, it's now the leader/parent willing to drive the van. But we get there. Last year we hired for two weekends and a leader that couldn't stay all week took it back home on the Sunday, drove it back down on the Friday. This year as we're going 4-5 hours away it'll probably stay with us, as we probably won't find someone willing to drive that far two days on the trot.
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    Be wary of the load limit in a van, most are only around 1500 kg. Put in some heavy canvas, tables and a large mess tent or marquee and you will be rapidly approaching the limit - especially if it is all wet at the end of camp. Rather than a Luton, which tend to be based on van chassis, you may wish to consider a 7.5t lorry - provided you have someone with an appropriate licence.

    I have a Landrover 110 with a load capacity of ~1000 kg that can then pull a braked trailer of up to 3500 kg. Doesn't go up hills very quickly but does allow all the gear to be hauled in one go.
    Last edited by Nick; 20-03-2019 at 09:15 AM.

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    The unpaid help ASLChris's Avatar
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    We borrow a van from a parent or relative of a parent if we need one. Or, if we can't get one otherwise and decide we need, we'll hire one from another Scout Group.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabretooth View Post
    I wanted to find out what other peoples solutions were to the problem of transporting equipment to camp.

    Obviously when you go to camp you need to take quite a few bits with you; tents, mess shelters, cooking equipment etc to name but a few, most of which you probably wouldn't want in the back of your car. Do other groups tend to hire vans? We have a group trailer that is owned by the Scout Group, but only the Scout leader has a car with a tow bar. I need to solve the problem for Cubs and Beavers.
    Own a Land Rover Defender or other large car, a towbar is a bonus.


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    As already said, beg borrow or, ummm, cajole...

    In the past we've hired vans, borrowed parents, cajoled flat bed lorries.

    More recently, we've gone a bit more light weight so we don't have to carry as much kit - which is always worth considering, but I understand with cubs you need what you need.

    Currently, I have my own minibus, it has 12 seats plus a decent load space. The last time the Scouts went away for a week, the SL at the time did some weird jiggery pokery with his car and a push bike. I can't remember now how (or why) he did it that way.

    Other than that, one of the great advantages of being Scouts - is the stuff you can ask for. There is still a significant amount of cachet that comes with the name - companies (whether it's local companies, or ones parents maybe work for), can still get a fair bit of positive marketing by associating themselves with local groups.

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    Senior Member bernwood's Avatar
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    We was in the lucky position of having parents with vans, and one had a landrover with a horsebox, which she let us fill to the gills and shed transport it down to camp and also come and pick it up. The parents were part of our SAS (Scout Active Squad) a group of parents who had time or transport we could utilise. A quick shout out before camp and we were swamped with offers. One parent had a large barn where we could dry wet tents etc. About 90% of our parents were signed up in one form or another. We also switched from tents to hammocks in the summer which saved on a huge amount of bulk.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hippysurfer View Post
    We have 2 trailers.

    Order of preference:

    1. Leaders tow the trailers.
    2. Parents tow the trailers
    3. Random stranger that someone once knew tows the trailers
    4. We hire a van.
    We used a locally based minibus/taxi company, who have some minibuses capable of towing a trailer, for our summer camp last year ( distance approx 120 miles there ) they charged 500 for two minibuses and one minubus towing our trailer.

    One issue that we face is that we have leaders, myself included who can not tow the trailer, as our driving licence doesn't allow for it ( too big/heavy) or drive a minibus over a certain weight - which as far as i know is almost all 16 seaters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
    Own a Land Rover Defender or other large car, a towbar is a bonus.

    I have a car that would be suitable for towing, but outside of Scouting I have absolutely no use for a towbar hence I don't have one. One idea that I had was to get the group to buy me a towbar for my car on the assumption that it would be cheaper to do that overall than hire a van for each of the camps we have planned this year. Most of my leaders are happy with that idea but a couple have suggested it might not be the best way to go. Any thoughts?

    I am concerned with relying on parents that we won't have the flexibility.

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    I guess the risk is that they buy you one then you leave?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sabretooth View Post
    I have a car that would be suitable for towing, but outside of Scouting I have absolutely no use for a towbar hence I don't have one. One idea that I had was to get the group to buy me a towbar for my car on the assumption that it would be cheaper to do that overall than hire a van for each of the camps we have planned this year. Most of my leaders are happy with that idea but a couple have suggested it might not be the best way to go. Any thoughts?

    I am concerned with relying on parents that we won't have the flexibility.
    I would happily endorse our Group paying for a Leader to have a tow bar fitted if it enabled them to tow our kit trailer given we are down to one Leader who can tow it currently!

    Peter Andrews AESL of Headingley Pirates ESU, Group Scout Leader & Webmaster of Falkoner Scout Group
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    Please note all views expressed are my own and not those of any organisation I'm associated with

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    For summer camp, District has a trailer that we can hire. Failing that, we hire a van. We also normally hire a minibus from a local school.

    For weekend camps, we limit the larger, heavier kit as much as possible. I then ask parents to turn up with empty cars on a Thursday night, which we proceed to fill
    SL, 11th Hitchin

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