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david-david 15-04-2014 19:52

This is not going to plan - help!
The situation -

A teenage daughter. A motorhome. Neither seem to get along.

I've been with my partner for a couple of years now. I get along brilliantly with her (our) daughter. She is an absolute delight. She really is! She works hard at school and is a pleasure to be around. I like her. She likes me. Theres no deeper issues going on, she just doesnt like the motorhome....I mean REALLY doesnt like it!

She doesnt like the toilet, the bed, the shower, the heating, the lack of internet, basic television, the close proximity to us (no bedroom for privacy) the places we visit, the places we stay etc etc.. She didnt shower for five days. She refused point blank to use it. This is from a kid who showers twice a day.

She isnt argumentative about it, just sits in the van reading a book. She wont step foot outside the van and constantly asks when are we going home, exactly what time are we setting off for home, exactly what time will will be back at home.

We bought her an archery kit (which she loves) and used it once for five minutes then went back in the van. We've bought kites, we have the daft dog, we load the van with enough treats, chocoloate and special meals you'd think we lived like kings! we try and choose interesting places to visit. Nothing is working. She hates it.

I was aware she didnt like it from a couple of 48 hour trips we did to see her brother in Blackpoool. They were just short trips to test the water and get her accustomed to it. We had beaches for the dog and her big brother took her shopping then they came back to the motorhome and we all had a lovely tea.

She didnt like it.

Her mum said its not up to her, she's too young to stay at home so she's got to come with us. We are the parents, she is the child. The logic is sound. But I dont like sitting in close proximity to someone who is obviously miserable and not enjoying what is supposed to be a holiday. Its not supposed to be a punishment. I love her dearly. And she knows that. I only want the best for her. Her mum loves her dearly and they have a great relationship.

It all came to a head with the trip to Scotland. We were supposed to be away for ten days. We arrived back at home after six days. It was just too much for me to listen to her asking when we were going home after day one. She knew when we were going and where to, and for how long. It got so uncomfortable at one point I drove a hundred miles to Fort William to get her a McDonalds meal just to cheer her up. I went to bed that night on a car park and knew this will never work.

I suppose I gave up at that point and my face or actions must have betrayed me in the morning. My other half said very curtly "I suppose you want to go home now"...I said "OK. I'm ready right now"

We drove home in silience and havent spoken for three days. I know its going to be my fault when the big 'discussion' finally happens. It wasnt. I know it wasnt my fault. It wasnt teenagers fault. It wasnt my other half's fault. Teenager doesnt like Cheryl. We do. Nobody is 'at fault' nobody did anything wrong.

...And daft dog has to come along so we need beaches and lots of outdoor things for him as well. Its his holiday too! Daft dog is teenage daughters dog, she got him as a puppy but he seems to have taken to me and the bigger he gets, the more he seems to be my responsibility (which I love) I like him and I like walking him and throwing balls and generally having fun with him.

The motorhome wasnt an impulse buy. It was discussed for over a year and we went as a family (with teenager and daft dog!) and looked at countless models and layouts. My folks have a Hobby 750 and we went away with them for weekends too. Teenager never raised an objection at this point. Maybe she thought it would never happen?

Teenager has a nice life. She has a good circle of friends, She is well liked and respected at school. We live in a nice area (I moved to their home, so no upheavel) We get on really well. Teenager has been amazingly welcoming of me. We get on really well as a family unit.

I cant think of any underlying issues apart from teenager just doesnt like motorhoming.

So now what?

Sell Cheryl?
Force teenager into something she doesnt like?
Split up and go full timing???

The last one is a joke...of sorts.

Glandwr 15-04-2014 20:28

How about investing in a two man bivac tent and getting her to invite a friend along? Lots of places where they could camp alon side. They could use the van as a mother ship :D Good luck


bigtwin 15-04-2014 20:29

She was just demonstrating who has the power!

aldra 15-04-2014 20:38

She sounds absolutely normal to me

Worry not in a short while she won't need to go with you

Meanwhile she does

Ignore and enjoy

They are so good at turning the screws

Especially with a willing audience


Mother of 6

Grandmother of 10 :lol: :lol: :lol:

chermic 15-04-2014 20:40

Mmm, I feel for you David, teenagers can be a complete mystery.

Do you wild camp or do you use CL/CS network? I think, if you went to a campsite where there were other teenagers and things for her to do and showers for her to retreat to, you may find she will tolerate it more.

Perhaps when she went to school and told her friends that you bought said motorhome, she got teased or bullied about it; either way, I doubt she will tell you.

Why not pile up the maps and books in front of her and ask her to arrange the next trip (make it a short one) and see what she comes up with.

It's a difficult one, but the word Compromise springs to mind.

Good Luck

david-david 15-04-2014 20:42

Bigtwin, you could have a point. Her mum said something along the same lines. She does have the power and Ive never made any bones about it. I love and respect her. Im so proud of her and all that she's achieved.

she doesnt have to kick up a fuss to get attention. Its given freely. Her opinion is valued and her input is aporeciated.

When asked what else she'd like to do instead she had no answer. There doesnt seem to be anything else she wants to do......apart from not Cheryl.

Penquin 15-04-2014 20:42

I would also suggest getting her to take someone else along (that can of course raise other problems if the chosen person is of a different gender (or even the same one if you can see the way my warped mind is going :lol: ).

Don't make it a long trip to "do" beaches or whatever but make it something that she would like with her friend e.g. Glastonbury type festival where you stay a little away and give her some freedom.

The two person tent is a good idea - but make it large so she does not feel hemmed in - ideally get her involved in all of the planning for such things including borrowing a suitable tent (rather than buying so it is not a sealed deal......

If she has a particular activity that she enjoys - e.g. horse riding, why not go near somewhere were they could go for a half-day ride for the first chance (we used to live near Dartmoor and there are a couple of superbly run stables which do that sort of trip (not trek), including some full day ones where you stop in the middle of Dartmoor at a pub for lunch..... (just a thought.....)

That sort of lateral thinking and involvement MAY build bridges BUT probably this is a test of boundaries and she hopes/expects to be able to negotiate a great deal over her truculence for the MH.......

It is important NOT to cave in and give her everything she wants, but to negotiate and try to help her see the advantages for e.g. summer holidays or short trips to places she may want to visit (check up on pop concerts.......).

Just a few ideas,


Jimblob44 15-04-2014 20:46

Leave her to stay with a friend who's parents you trust. Then go for a week quite close to home (without her knowing just how close you are) and see how things go, she will either have lots of fun with friend and welcome you home with a smile or she will call you to come and get her and perhaps be a bit more enthusiastic of future MH trips.
Don't sell up just to please your daughter, you will only end up resenting her and yourself.
What about inviting a friend of hers with you, maybe all she needs is company her own age?


david-david 15-04-2014 20:57


Originally Posted by aldra
She sounds absolutely normal to me

Worry not in a short while she won't need to go with you

Meanwhile she does

Ignore and enjoy

They are so good at turning the screws

Especially with a willing audience


Mother of 6

Grandmother of 10 :lol: :lol: :lol:


I've read lots of your posts and value your input when it comes to kids.

But what are we supposed to do in the meantime? Drag her on hokidays she hates? Park Cheryl up for a few years until she start holidaying without us?

I cant bear to be in Cheryl with her. Ive never had kids so dont have the ability to ignore an unhappy child. Im like a brand new parent. Her unhappiness hurts me. I want her to be happy. I honestly dont think this is a 'test' of me or our relationship.

its a painful situation for me.

TheNomad 15-04-2014 21:03

She doesn't like it. Full stop. No point in making everyone's lives a misery by forcing it.

So, she doesn't have to do it.

She goes to friends house to stay (with the friends parents of course), and has a great time doing what she wants to do, whilst you and her Mum go off in Motorhome doing what you want to do.

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