I hope it's not against the rules to post about campervans in the camping section...
Anyway, we love going camping with the kids and have recently moved to Cornwall so have a LOT of lovely places to explore. However, I would quite like to be able to go away for just one night but our tent+beds up operation appears to take 2 hours and then about the same to pack again and frankly, I cannot be arsed with that for one night, it would be quicker to drive home again. So I was thinking whether we should look into a camper van. A small VW type one, not a massive motorhome as we won't be able to fit the latter on our drive at home. But, my major question is: can you fit two adults and three kids (all under 7 at present) into any sort of small campervan? I don't really know what to look for. The older kids do have their own little tent which is dead quick to put up so I guess they could use that but that still involves blowing up airbeds which although we can do that quickly from the car adaptor, is still another thing to pack and unpack.
Can anyone offer any advice please? I might look into campervan rentals to start with so we can test it out.
We went the whole hog and bought a motorhome as a campervan just wouldn't have been comfy for dh and I, 13 yr old dd and our huge dog.
I think with the kids having their own pop up tent, and using an awning you could probable manage it.
We like the convenience of our own loo at 3am!
We have a vw T25 with a pop top and fit 2adults an 11yo + a teenager. We take a pup tent for dumping luggage in. Works great!
You could easily get 3 little ones in the pop top
It would probably be ok in good weather when you could be out all the time, but we just sold our t25 because we found it too impractical for two adults and two kids.
You would be able to sleep everybody with a VW with a pop-top, rock'n'roll bed and cab bunk, but the logistics of actually camping for any length of time with that many people can be a nightmare. You need a good sized awning as well.
We've had 5 VW campers over the years and it got less convenient with each dc (we now have 3 dcs and two large dogs). We ended up with me sleeping in the awning with the dogs and dh in the van with the dcs when they were younger. Not to mention the cost and quality of parts for keeping a vintage VW on the road reached the point where we had had enough. We sold our last VW last year and now have a vintage caravan instead and it's so much easier.
That said, we really do miss having the camper for long days out and winter dog walks followed by hot chocolate back at the van etc. Dh is planning on looking for a day-van later in the year, so we can have the best of both worlds with the space and kitchen facilities for days out and the caravan for actually holidaying in.
Renting one for a short-break to try it out is a very good idea.
Oh now I hadn't considered a vintage caravan... But then I have memories of being forced to go on caravan holidays with my parents and 2 siblings as a teenager and absolutely bloody hating it... Hmmm. Lots to think about!
We've just bought a Mazda Bongo. Not been away in it yet but have high hopes for it. There are four of us (both kids over 8) and one very small dog. If you are looking for an affordable option, Bongos are worth looking into.
We've just got a vintage caravan - so I vote for one of those.
5 beds so enough for us, and we can make the beds before we leave home and dump all the stuff in the boot of the car. Arrive. Steadies down. Babies to bed. Happy days.
Awning will take another 30mins or so and unpakcing it all might take us up to an hour - but it will be dead quick for overnights.
We used to have a 1970s VW Camper and DH and I had many happy holidays in it. I loved that you could jump in and go at a moments notice, even for one night. Unfortunately it caught fire and we never replaced it.
When we had DS we decided to get another but in the end we went for a caravan. It lacks the cool factor but it is immaculate, everything works and we can all fit in with plenty of room to spare. And of course it was way cheaper than an equivalent condition VW.
I still love campers but I think we'll wait until we're holidaying as a twosome again.
We have a t25 vdub (hightop) and currently sleep 2 adults and 2 dc although our youngest is only 18months.
We manage fine although you do need to be tidy and organised. For weekends we have a pull out awning/sun/rain shade which gives you cover for changing wet stuff outside and makes it feel more spacious. For long nights away we have a drive away awning for storage and sitting out mainly.
The long term plan for us is a small mini teardrop caravan or trailer for extra space (but we are totally sucked in by our van and can't consider a day we don't have it - just beware it can become an obsession!)
I used to have a t25 but sold it and now have a caravan. I found it very cramped inside when bad weather and that was only me, dd and the dog.
Expensive to maintain. Not just insurance, mot, service, repairs but near constant body repairs as well.
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