Or will the Hose Bag save them?CLICK TO READ THIS ARTICLE IN THE ONLINE MAGAZINE
Many a time have I looked at my sharpened axe and then glanced at my hoses, as if they would understand the implied threat and straighten themselves out!
I know that succumbing to my urge to slice and dice the tangled mess of hoses would be in vain, that I’d just have to buy another hose and face the same problem, but the thought of another humiliating session of unrolling makes it almost worth it… chop, chop!
I’ve been on the receiving end of much laughter and sniggering from bemused onlookers while trying to unfurl my drinking and grey water hoses. In what looks to be a jumbled mess of a slinky with a twisted mind of its own, it seems my hoses always end up in knots and kinks regardless of how carefully I roll them.
Yanking and pulling at the mangled mess only makes it worse, and trying to thread the ends back through the mass of hoses is time consuming, but it has to be done if there’s any chance of reaching the tap. I’ve even considered moving the damn caravan closer to the tap!
The drinking hose, which at least has a little rigidity to it, is painful enough, but that damn corrugated, flexible grey water hose gives me nightmares long before I even get to the caravan park … I just know everyone is watching and silently cracking up with laughter; maybe there are even a few secret YouTube performances of me all tangled up.
After my last three-week van foray, I’d had enough and decided on a last attempt at a calm, thoughtful approach to storing my hoses: the Hose Bag. If that didn’t work, out with the axe for sure. I splurged and bought the three pack for drinking and grey water, as well as my power cord. Those Vanning Nomads will laugh at me no more!
The Hose Bag allows for easy packing and storage of most hoses, provided that you don’t twist the hose during the coiling process. It’s this twisting action that encourages the unrolling to turn into a massive birds’ nest instead of a laid-out-flat length of hose.
The secret is simply to allow the bag to turn in your hands while pushing the hose in, instead of twisting the hose itself.
Holding the Hose Bag at waist level while pushing the hose in also has the added benefit of emptying any water from the hose while you roll it; another saving for me, as I often ended up with a wet patch in the most inappropriate place. Another advantage is the space-saving: once rolled, my hoses take up a fraction of the space that they normally would, and are much easier to store … unlike my ever-changing messy bundles that saw me shoving it into my caravan boot because it wouldn’t fit into the allocated storage space.
Retrieving the hose from the Hose Bag is also an easy task. If you allow the bag to spin while you pull the hose out, you end up with a nice flat length of hose that doesn’t spring around like a cut snake trying to sink its fangs into a desperate vanner’s bare skin. In scenarios where you don’t need the whole length of the hose out, simply stop when you have the required length and reach into the bag to remove the opposite end to connect to your van, leaving the unwanted part of the hose in the bag.
Although it works well, I don’t find the power cord bag as necessary as the drinking water and grey water hose bags, as the power cable doesn’t become a tangled mess as easily, even though I still end up with a few knots at times. The Hose Bag mob suggest folding the power cable in half so you don’t have to wind in as much, then inserting the power cable in a similar method to the hoses. When stowed, you do end up with a more compact package and it’s very easy to pull the complete cable from the bag unknotted, which must be done prior to use.
The Hose Bag is manufactured with a UV-stabilised material that is reminiscent to shade cloth and is sewn with mould-proof thread, providing a
lightweight, durable and flexible bag. The mesh material means that any water within can easily drain and dry.
Given that David and Judy, the inventors of Hose Bag, are real-life caravanners, I can only presume they used to get laughed at just like me. They’ve spent more than their fair share of life on the road and were able to develop a simple product to solve a much-hated problem, for which I’ll give them a 10 out of 10.
It’s simple, it works and I haven’t provoked a laugh from neighbouring caravanners since using it. Well, except for that one time I tried to juggle a Hose Bag, an axe and a 12-inch shifta – don’t try that at your next caravan park without a helmet!
Thanks Hose Bag, now I have more time to sit and relax … and laugh at others.