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to think our kids are too old for a camper van now

16 replies

Tinklewinkle · 02/11/2018 11:04

and that it would be better to wait a couple more years

DH has been banging on about a camper van for years. It’s never been something we can afford so not really an option

A friend of ours has recently imported one of those big MPVs from Japan and had it converted with a pop up roof, pull out bed, fancy kitchen, etc, etc and it was a lot cheaper than buying an actual camper van, so the whole camper van discussion has reared it’s head again

We did a lot of camping when the kids were younger which they loved, but they’re now 14 and 17 and are not interested in the slightest. They want WiFi and to go abroad for sun and pools and beaches.

When the kids were littlies they’d have loved it, but I think we’ve missed the boat and it would be better to wait a couple of years until they’re both old enough to leave at home so we can go away on our own

Personally, I hate camping, I’ve done my time and while our friend’s camper looks really cool, it is still, IMO, essentially sleeping in your car.

OP posts:
Merrz · 02/11/2018 11:18

Yeah i think you're right OP. My parents bought a caravan when i was 14/15 and i hated it! Being stuck in a small space with your parents at that age isn't much fun and neither is all the board games/fun things associated with camping/caravaning holidays. My brother on the other hand was only 8 and he enjoyed it.

Tinklewinkle · 02/11/2018 11:47

Yeah, they loved all the board game/UNO/campfire stuff when they were younger. Now - not so much

They’d have to share a bed in the pop up roof which would be a PITA - no room for their stuff and the pair of them could start an argument in an empty room

I can’t imagine anything worse tbh

I think we should wait a couple of years, then we can leave them both at home and go off on our own.

OP posts:
HurrahMoaningMyrtle · 02/11/2018 11:50

You could leave a 15 and 18 yo home alone surely so maybe not a couple of years? That gives your DH time to save and plan exactly what he wants

SaucyJack · 02/11/2018 11:54

If you were already happy campers, with a big group of fellow happy camping friends, then I’d say YWBU.

You can get internet and electric hook-ups on campsites, and go away with friends with similar aged teens so they’ve all got each other to talk to. Anyone of any age can enjoy camping.

But you’re not, so YANBU. Sounds bloody miserable if 3/4 of you hate camping.

NicoAndTheNiners · 02/11/2018 12:17

I had a VW campervan when dd was little and it was fab. The two of us went off and had great adventures. By the time she was about 12yo we'd outgrown it and needed to not be on top of each other. I got a caravan. She came away for the first couple of years but by the time she was 14yo didn't want to anymore.

NicoAndTheNiners · 02/11/2018 12:19

And ime it's not just the lack of wifi thats the issue. Because I always went to wifi caravan sites - but the wifi isn't fast enough for gaming/youtube. Its more the being away from friends at weekends which is the issue.

EmmaGeddon · 02/11/2018 12:22

Leave it until your children aren't holidaying with you anymore. Stick with the sunshine/swimming pool/beach holidays for the next couple of years.

wibblywobblyfish · 02/11/2018 12:29

Most campsites are happy for you to bring 'pup tents' which you pitch alongside for teens or storage. I see a lot of big extended families with all sorts of set ups when we are on holiday.

Ellisandra · 02/11/2018 12:35

I have a canpervan. My second husband had one but sold it when his kids were about 13 - used it less, needed the money. He has used mine with his 17 year old for a weekend away together, break from exams. So probably not for family breaks, but you may still be able to do 1:1 weekends?
Also, your kids are old enough to be left!

99RedBalloonsFloating · 02/11/2018 13:07

We build the kind of campervans you are talking about, using existing vans as a base and then putting in roofs, etc. Our largest markets are people with young children, and people whose children have left or are in the process of leaving home.

For about £30,000 in total, you could buy and convert a larger van that would just about have enough space in it for everyone, and with solar, TV, wifi, etc. I would definitely not go for anything smaller than something like a VW Crafter sized base with that size of family / age of children.

The thing that someone said up-thread about pitching a tent by the side of the camper for teens is something that is quite popular. The other similar option to that, is getting a large "driveaway" awning which has a bedroom or two. If you did that you might be able to get away with a smaller camper.

It's not like camping at all, But, if you don't fancy it, don't do it!

Also - if you don't think you can afford it then buying a second hand, already converted camper, will always be cheaper than building your own like your friends have done, or like we sell.

I don't mean buying a second hand version of one of those huge motor homes you need a mortgage for - which are MASSIVELY overpriced - I mean a campervan which is built on a normal van base, eg the various VW panel vans, Mercedes Sprinter, etc.

Tinklewinkle · 02/11/2018 15:35


He’s been looking at ready made campers on and off for years. Most of the ones he’s seen round here are quite old, high mileage and need quite a lot of work.

The kids definitely aren’t up for the idea - DD1 is fine overnight, but DD2 is a young 14 and quite anxious so I wouldn’t consider leaving her overnight for a while.

Our friend has got a Nissan Elgrand - he’s had a roof put in it, pull out bed and kitchen, big awning on the side - it does look very cool and I quite like the idea of touring round the south of france or Spain in one, but holidays with the kids - no chance!

OP posts:
fuzzyduck1 · 02/11/2018 15:47

Let him buy it if it’s a movie I’m guessing it will Be his daily drive so even if you don’t go camping he will have the fun of building it and he can sell it in the end.

museumum · 02/11/2018 15:48

It’s probably best now for you to wait and get a 2 berth. It doesn’t seem worth getting a 4 now.

But if I were you I’d get it in around two years and do weekends away without your DDs.

ScurrilousSquirrel · 02/11/2018 16:18

I'd rent one first, it's a fairly substantial financial commitment for something you might not use much. You'd get several years worth of sun holidays for the cost of a camper...

Tinklewinkle · 02/11/2018 16:44

You'd get several years worth of sun holidays for the cost of a camper

Yes, I definitely agree.

It’s only a couple of years until they won’t want to come on holiday with us. I think it makes more sense to wait until then and then it’ll be just us, we won’t need awnings and extra pop up tents and all that stuff and go off on our own.

He has a bee in his bonnet Hmm

OP posts:
99RedBalloonsFloating · 02/11/2018 18:03

Tinklewinkle Nissan Elgrands are great, but would be very cosy with two adults and two nearly-adults.

Perfect size for the two of you in a couple of years though! The other similar Japanese import camper base vans, are Toyota Alphards.

Japanese vans are particularly good base vans for the smaller campers, because they are nearly all petrol, and some of the imports are electric hybrid, so you are likely to get a lot more longevity out of them given the restrictions we are starting to see on diesel. With the petrol vans, and even the hybrid ones, you can also have them converted to run on LPG autogas, which is very economical and also currently exempt from all the newer regs around older petrol and diesel vehicles.

I could go on....and on....and on.....

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