Adria & Tom Oosterdijk

Tom Oosterdijk, 30, is a professional triathlete and uses the Adria Altea 502 UL as a base of rest and freedom during his training and when competing in Europe.

He used to camp a lot with his family and his grandfather is founder of one of the largest camping accessory companies in the Netherlands. So camping was really brought up to him. Now that he has been using the caravan for a few months, it is time to get to know him better and hear how he likes travelling and staying with the caravan.

Introduce yourself

My name is Tom Oosterdijk. I am 30 years old and a professional triathlete. I started studying international tax law in Leiden in 2012. During my entire student time, I did not do any sport. I gained 23 kilos and weighed 93 kilos during my Masters. January 2017, I decided to change course and sign up for a half triathlon (1.9 km of swimming, 90 km of cycling and a marathon run). Four months later, I completed the half triathlon and lost 15 kilos.

In sport, I found a new passion! At that point, I decided to sign up for a full triathlon, namely IRONMAN Maastricht on 5 Aug 2018 (3.8 kilometres of swimming 180 kilometres of cycling an d a marathon run). I crossed the finish line after 9 hours and 13 minutes, 2nd at the Dutch championship and 7th overall. So secretly I turned out to have a talent for endurance sports. After this race, I participated in a number of other IRONMANs; in Hawaii, Ireland, New Zealand, Spain and Germany. In 2021, the Dutch triathlon association gave me a professional licence.

What does a race/training year/ programme etc. look like for you?

In triathlon, races often start around March and April outside Europe - in South Africa and New Zealand. Those places are a bit harder to get to with the caravan in that respect 😊. But of course the water has to be warm enough to be able to swim in it. In Europe, races start around the end of May through October. This year is a bit of a strange year for me because I have been walking around with an injury for a long time. But normally I start with an IRONMAN around February/March, then I do a half triathlon around April-May. Then in June/July often another whole IRONMAN, in August often another half. And then 1 last whole triathlon in October/November. The sport is quite taxing on your body. So you cannot take part in as many races as, say, cycling or football.

Why exactly did you want to go on the road with a caravan?

For all races and training camps, I used to stay in hotels and airbnb's. This cost a lot of money and you were always in the middle of a village or city . I used to camp all the time as a child, which I found insane. In May 2018, I flew to St George USA for the World Triathlon Championships. All the accommodation had been rented out. So I had to look at alternative options. I came upon renting an RV. In the middle of nature! The 'outdoor life, yet luxury', the charm of enjoying breakfast, cooking and dinner in front of the campervan, had completely re-energised me. Considering I often have to drive to a pool for sport, a motorhome was not ideal. The caravan is.

You have a nice tow vehicle, the Porsche Macan. How do you like driving the combination?

The Adria Altea is a fairly light and manageable caravan, which doesn't necessarily require you to have a powerful car. The combination of my car and the caravan drives flawlessly in all areas. With plenty of pulling power and four-wheel drive, the combination is suitable for driving on all kinds of roads, including in the mountains. In the snow shouldn't even be a problem.

How did you experience your first stay in the caravan?

I chose to rent a seasonal spot in the Netherlands (on the Heuvelrug in Utrecht). Because then I can also use the caravan a lot in the Netherlands. I live in Amsterdam. So sometimes it's nice to be able to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.

A midweek camping trip really makes you feel like getting away from it all.

So you could see it as a nice country house in nature!

Do you use all the facilities in the caravan?

In my opinion, the caravan is really fully equipped. The caravan has what I think is a particularly large refrigerator. It can easily hold food for several days for a whole family. (Or for 1 athlete 😉 ) There are lots of handy storage cupboards and the kitchen even has a microwave. When I'm camping, I also enjoy cooking at the campsite. The Adria Altea has a 3-burner gas cooker. It's great to cook and then eat outside in the awning. On a day when I don't have to train as much, I sometimes throw on the bbq as well! The caravan is also equipped with two single beds in the back, which can also be made into a large double bed, and air conditioning. As an athlete, sleep is very important. After all, rest makes you better. At the campsite and in the caravan, I can really relax.

Do you often go camping now that you have a second home outside the big city?

On average, I go to the caravan for a few days once every fortnight. As mentioned, this has been a bit crazier year due to injury. But ideally, I would have spent 1 or 2 months in the mountains in Austria in spring. In July, I went to the Vosges for a few days of training.

When you stay in the caravan, what does your day look like?

Obviously, I am only there to train but it still feels like a holiday. My day always starts with a cup of coffee and breakfast. The smell of coffee in the still fresh morning, sitting in the awning with a jumper on, the dew on the grass; it's just a lovely start to the day. Then I start my first training session around 08:00-09;00, which is often cycling. Depending on the workout, I then spend between 1 and 5/6 hours on the road. In the afternoon, I then work on another or even two other workouts. In the evening,

I love to cook elaborate meals and take a walk around the campsite or in the woods after dinner.

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