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Do you have a campervan? Should I get one?

(24 Posts)
JigglyTuff Tue 03-Oct-17 16:11:39

I really want one - I'm fed up of the packing/unpacking with camping and our tent's on it's last legs so it's either another one or a van.

Our family is me, DS (10) and a dog. My plan is to sell our big (camping suitable) car and buy something smaller plus a van.

Is that mad? Do you use your van a lot? Any regrets? Do you find it makes you more impulsive? Can you park up at the side of the road and sleep overnight in it (am going to get a van that's been converted rather than purpose built motorhome thing)?

Tell me everything!

Branleuse Tue 03-Oct-17 16:17:27

for your family set up, I reckon that would be brilliant. I would love a camper van. You wouldnt even need to get a big one so youd have loads of options

raglansleeve Tue 03-Oct-17 16:19:05

DH and I had a small campervan for years, but changed to a caravan last year after much soul searching. We LOVE the caravan, mainly because once you're set up, that's it. You don't have to pack everything up any time you want to go somewhere further afield than your legs or a bike will take you, and you can double the size of your living space with an awning.

Caravans are cheaper (especially 2nd hand ones), less to insure.

Depending on the size of the campervan, you can also limit where you go - our old campervan was really small, so we had few problems with Lake District/Welsh/Cornish country lanes, but most 4 berth vans would be too big for some places. Again, with a caravan you just park it up on a site, then you can take off in the car unencumbered.

JigglyTuff Tue 03-Oct-17 16:30:03

That's what I think Branleuse!

I'm not looking at a 4 berth van - just a 2 berth one. The one I'm looking at right now is a Renault Trafic - so a bog standard white van type thing - which has been converted. It's less than a metre longer than our car and only 20cms wider so not a massive great thing.

I can't have a caravan - nowhere to keep it. I'm not sure I'm confident towing something either!

User5trillion Tue 03-Oct-17 16:43:30

We have a 20 year old mazda bongo and love it!- which is good as i estimate I spend £1000 a year keeping it in good nick and on the road.it's small enough to use as an everyday vehicle. It sleeps 2 dc and 2 adults but it is NOT spacious. The moving stuff about and repacking is an arse ache.
We have an awning which makes it more usable but we end up taking a lot of stuff but can set up in 30 mins. Its like camping but with a (slightly more) comfortable and warm bed.

My kids are 4 and 6 and if we get another 4 years out if it we will be doing well. We will upgrade to a caravan then but currently no where to store it and need a new car that could tow it. All that said we love our campervan, we generally have a 2 week break and 6 weekends away a year. Its great for day trios to the beach and forest as we can come back for lunch and warm up, so.it makes it more of a day out.

PebblesFlintstone Tue 03-Oct-17 16:46:41

For two people and a dog - perfect. We used to have a high top T 25 which was great but became impractical for a family of 4. I miss just being able to go off for weekends.

JigglyTuff Tue 03-Oct-17 18:54:58

Ooh thank you all. I'm really tempted ...

CamperVamp Tue 03-Oct-17 21:18:10

Once kids are in secondary they tend to have loads more weekend activities and social arrangements and become less willing to go away every weekend with parents.

So it depends if you can afford the investment, the running costs, and then reconsider when your DS is 13 or whatever.

I am looking forward to a camper van for ME when I can set off unencumbered by everyone else's commitments.

I don't think there are many places where you can just park at the side of the road. But most campsites take small camper vans.

SwishswishBiTCH Tue 03-Oct-17 21:41:47

My nan has a really big one, sold her house and bought it. It's beautiful. I'd definitley recommend one!! They have storage space, wardrobe, cupboards, sink, microwave, cooker etc.. so no messing about packing things up. 2 sofas pull up as double bed. Private WC with shower and sink. They travel alot in it, they're fine sometimes 3-4 months. There next trip is to Portugal for 4 months. They've travelled all over UK in it.

As for parking up, you can book onto sites for campervans for about 8-12 pound a night. Most of them also include toilet and shower blocks. Very nice places to stay, I stayed with her on a farm last week for a night, was lovely could take the kids to see the animals around the barns.

I'd say go for it!!! They said they never regretted it and it's the best thing they did. If I could I would gringringrin

SwishswishBiTCH Tue 03-Oct-17 21:41:49

My nan has a really big one, sold her house and bought it. It's beautiful. I'd definitley recommend one!! They have storage space, wardrobe, cupboards, sink, microwave, cooker etc.. so no messing about packing things up. 2 sofas pull up as double bed. Private WC with shower and sink. They travel alot in it, they're fine sometimes 3-4 months. There next trip is to Portugal for 4 months. They've travelled all over UK in it.

As for parking up, you can book onto sites for campervans for about 8-12 pound a night. Most of them also include toilet and shower blocks. Very nice places to stay, I stayed with her on a farm last week for a night, was lovely could take the kids to see the animals around the barns.

I'd say go for it!!! They said they never regretted it and it's the best thing they did. If I could I would gringringrin

Milliways Tue 03-Oct-17 22:07:46

Love ours. We were away last weekend and use it all year round, can just go after work on Friday and back Sunday pm.
We have done fortnights in France, trips to Bruges and Amsterdam and lots of weeks in the U.K..

Beware though, just like with camping when you have to collect all the gadgets, we are like that with our van!

StripyBlanket Tue 03-Oct-17 22:19:50

We had one when our kids were young and it was great to just get up and go for a night or weekend somewhere. But as the kids got older we used it less and less and eventually sold it. The big negatives for me were

1) As a pp said, once we had to fit around school hours, the parties and all the weekend activities it was difficult to find the time to go away. And the dc lost interest

2) we thought we would use it all year round but so many sites shut for the winter

3) and this is the biggy. It got tiresome packing everything up every time you wanted to move. It doesn’t sound much but believe me it’s a pain. We had a pop up roof with a waterproof cover over the top. So obviously that had to come off and down every time. And all the bedding etc come down. Then Every little thing had to be put away before you drove. Every mug, teaspoon, the kettle etc etc. We ended up buying an awning to make it easier and slept in there for longer trips. Which kind of defeated the object of having a van!

I am glad we did it, but do look at the practicalities

JigglyTuff Tue 03-Oct-17 22:33:52

All really good points. I suppose I think if I don't get one now, I'm never going to get one and actually I'd be happy going away in it with the dog without DS if he has other plans!

KangaMummy Tue 03-Oct-17 22:36:33

We have got a motorhome and love it smilesmilesmile

We are completely self contained with solar panels and gas tanks, also water tanks and heating smilesmilesmile

We tour around using BRITSTOPS which are absolutely deffo brill way of travelling around and spending the night in total safety for free or a meal if you want to but no pressure, just have to take the book in and say hello to host when you arrive and goodbye when you leave in morning smilesmilesmile

We sleep on side of road when we go to visit family or friends or car parks like the fab ones in WEST DORSET that allow you to stay for 72 hours for free smilesmilesmile

KangaMummy Tue 03-Oct-17 22:37:29

Oh btw our Labrador loves ours smilesmilesmile

Loads of people go away with their dogs smilesmilesmile

JigglyTuff Tue 03-Oct-17 23:01:57

Oh my goodness - that Britstops thing is brilliant! Thank you smile

KangaMummy Tue 03-Oct-17 23:22:51

BRITSTOPS is really deffo brill smilesmilesmile

The new book comes out in March each year so if you want to use it next year wait until March so you get new one

The £27 for the book means access and info for 12 months of free stopovers all over UK smilesmilesmile

JoJoSM2 Tue 03-Oct-17 23:25:09

DH has had a long base Renault Traffic that he (half) converted himself. I'm not convinced they are that great as there's always been issues wth it. Currently, there's a problem with gears even though it's only done 30, 000 miles or so. We also had a mechanic out the other day as it would carry on running even after the ignition was supposedly turned off. Another thing to bear in mind is that's in dead uncomfortable with the builder bench at the front. It's noisy, the sound system is rubbish etc.

Having suffered through a trip around Europe and several mini breaks, I have really had enough. DH has decided to upgrade to a California. When we went to order it, I do admit I was impressed with a lot of stuff and the proper seats are amazing-you can definitely sit and drive in those for hours. I'm actually looking forward to collecting it and going somewhere but wouldn't wish the Traffic on my worst enemy.

JigglyTuff Tue 03-Oct-17 23:33:46

Oh dear JoJo! This one has proper sears in the front - not a builders bench but the rest doesn't sound great. Thanks for the info

Milliways Wed 04-Oct-17 19:56:26

There is also a Facebook group of sites for £10/night or less, and another for pub stopovers (like Britstops),so lots of options for cheap breaks.

Ginorchoc Wed 04-Oct-17 20:11:22

Following with interest as I was toying with buying one of these. www.bumblecampers.com/stocklist.html Going to rent one first as a tester

yasmin05 Fri 06-Oct-17 11:32:08

Campervans are good but I do agree caravans are a perfect vehicle when it comes to the outdoor activities and if you're lucky enough there are quite a few that's being sold 2nd hand, cheaper but some are still quite in good running condition.

Funf Wed 18-Oct-17 11:44:22

Yes they are excellent
We have had Tents and Caravans, but our old camper van is the best compromise.
Rent a few and see what suits you, ours is 23 years old and painfully slow but we have had some great times in it.
Whilst they cost a lot they don't depreciate much, we run the camper on Classic insurance and have two daily driver cars

Funf Wed 18-Oct-17 11:46:04

Re bumble campers having had a Mazda Bongo which is a similar size we felt it was too compact.
Bigger van based camper offers more space toilet, shower fridge etc

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