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buying vs renting camper van vs trailer tent

(5 Posts)
BristolLFR Tue 21-Jun-16 21:30:06


I've just found out my DH gets 13weeks shared leave when we have our 1st DC in Dec! Annoyingly he has to take it by wk 39 and I get paid up to that point, so my idea is we take June- sept off together and go travelling with 6-9mth bub!

I'd like to drive round Europe, not sure where yet but maybe France/ northern Spain/ Portugal or Finland/ Sweden / Denmark etc

I've had a look at hiring a camper and it looks quite expensive (at least e50 a day for a small one).

We have a bit of cash put away as a slush fund (10k) so an option would be to buy a van and then sell it on at the end. Do they tend to hold their value? And is that seasonal (so would sell for a lot less after peak season)?

We're not remotely DIY so converting one wouldn't be an option.

Alternative would be to buy a camper trailer thing- we'd be staying in places a week at a time I expect so fine with a bit of faff, but I need a proper mattress so wouldn't do actual camping. Daft question- you can get a proper mattress in a camper trailer can't you? As in decent sprung thing, not actual king size pocket mattress smile

Finally, would a camper van / trailer be ridiculously hot in Europe in June- sept??

Any other suggestions? I wouldn't be adverse to going long haul, but like the idea of having a van full of stuff rather than backpacking and would be nervous about mozzies/ health care in se Asia/ Latin America


Milliways Tue 21-Jun-16 23:01:45

We are Camper Van die-hards, but don't take the kids! For your situation and budget I would say go with the trailer. You have the freedom of your car for exploring the area you are camping in, an you would have more space to spread out with "stuff". My friends have decent mattresses in their trailer tent and they are quite easy to put up once you have practiced.

Re heat - yes, August will be hot in the South, but if you have sites with EHU can take a fan or cooler. We had 40 degrees in Dordogne last year and were worried about sleeping in our tin tent, but left door open in evening to cool the van, left windows open at night with mozzie blinds shut, and switched the Dyson fan on - it was fine. Tents will be cooler too.

EagleRay Tue 21-Jun-16 23:11:19

No real advice but we are hoping to do something very similar! DD1 is 3 and DD2 a few weeks old. DP will be takin shared parental leave and we were hoping to get a camper van and your Europe. Have already travelled around Central America and Asia Witt DD1 so not particularly daunted by prospect, although it may be winter by the time we get going! Also finances not looking great due to spending out on building work.

If you go for camper van, I would definitely buy rather than rent!

BristolLFR Wed 22-Jun-16 21:35:31

Ooh whereabouts did you go eagle? And how long for? How old was your DC at the time...?

EagleRay Wed 29-Jun-16 22:10:51

Sorry for late reply! We started off fairly low key with DD1 with a trip to Greece for a week when she was about 4mo - we hired a car and toured around, and also managed a bit of hiking. Accommodation was a bit hit and miss as we didn't book ahead but we managed ok. Then we had a week in Turkey when she was about 9mo - again we had a hire car and stayed in a fairly low key/rural area.

When she was about 15mo we went to Central America, flying to Mexico and travelled around Mexico and Belize by bus, boat and puddle jumpers. This was just 2 weeks but we covered a lot of ground - I know the area quite well so it was fairly easy to do the logistics. Again we didn't really book any accommodation ahead apart from the first couple of nights and it was a bit hit and miss, but mostly ok.

Then when she was 2yo, we went to Thailand for 2 weeks - booked the first few nights of accommodation in a small guest house in a low-key resort then travelled around the area going by local recommendations. We felt well within our comfort zone in Thailand as local facilities and transport were very good. We did learn from our previous trip though and got rooms with aircon which made a massive difference to comfort.

I really hope we can get away for longer next time as it will be our last chance to do this for a while!

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