There’s nothing like hitting the road in a campervan – enjoying the freedom that the van provides, able to explore or move on at the drop of a hat. And then ready to park up, get cosy, cook and sleep in your little home on wheels. Campervan road trips should be on everyone’s bucket lists. Here are a few tips to help you plan your own adventure.
Where shall we go?
Your campervan adventure will start with a rough plan of where you want to go. Take a look at your route options and campsites along it. Consider what type of campsite you would like to stay at… One with lots of facilities and activities, or something a bit more back to nature? During low season you might not need to book ahead but places do tend to get full during the summer and over bank holidays.
There are several websites or apps that will help you find a good campsite, including pitchup.com, searchforsites, park4night and Campercontact. We are also a member of the Camping and Caravanning Club’s privilege scheme, which means you can stay at any of their participating Club Sites and Camping in the Forest sites at discounted rates.
All of our campervans do work independently without being plugged in to mains electricity, however we recommend you hook-up to the campsite’s electric. If you are not hooked up, you can make use of the leisure battery for the fridge, but you won’t be able to use the 3 pin plug sockets. The van’s battery recharges as you drive around and all vans have cigarette style sockets (and some with USB ports) you can use for charging phones and tablets. The Big Blue has a solar panel which means he can go for longer without needing to drive around to recharge.
Wild camping is possible, but you will need to consider your toileting and sanitary needs as the campervan does not have toilet or bathing facilities. (Also please bear in mind that unless you’re in Dartmoor or most parts of Scotland, wild camping is only legal if you have the landowner’s permission.)
Finally, when planning your travel, take the scenic route! Get off the motorway and take the coast/forest road or the road through the smaller villages, and enjoy the ride and the scenery. It might take a bit longer but the views will be much more interesting and you may stumble across some unexpected places of interest worth exploring. Be spontaneous!
What do I need to bring?
Our vans come stocked with everything you need for a successful trip, from crockery to outdoor furniture, torches to playing cards. We provide a starter ‘consumables’ box that includes tea and coffee and other kitchen condiments. You’ll need to tell us whether you want bedding and towels included as optional extras, otherwise you can bring your own. We’ll send you an equipment list once you have booked, or get in touch if you have questions about what is included beforehand.
Things for you to consider:
— You might want to bring other practical items such as some bags or containers for rubbish and recycling, sandwich bags/containers for leftover food, shampoo and toiletries, sun tan lotion.
— Pack clothes that are functional, comfortable, breathe well. We tend to pack our clothes in soft bags that squash into little storage areas. Consider what you’ll need for the trip and don’t overpack!
— Bring some entertainment, depending on whatever floats your boat. Don’t forget your guitar/camera/paddleboard/sketch pad/football/etc. And load up your phone with plenty of tunes. (We do include a wind up radio though just in case.)
Most of all, don’t forget to bring your sense of adventure!
The vans are equipped with two hobs, a fridge, saucepans, crockery and utensils – you can make use of these as much or as little as you want! We also provide basic cooking condiments like salt, pepper, oil, mixed herbs. It’s good to do some meal planning and stock up with what you need accordingly. Personally, we tend to pack easy food for the first night after a stretch of driving, something tasty yet straightforward to help settle into the Great Campervan Adventure. Then the next day you can find a supermarket or, better yet, a farm shop or farmer’s market for food to last for more of the trip. Make meal prep easy; think about one pot meals, tinned food etc. You can get some campervan food tips here. Be prepared with a few snacks or home comforts (especially if you are travelling with kids), and don’t forget the treats for the late night campfire sessions.
Using the campervan
The great thing about our campervans is that they easy to drive, they aren’t much bigger than your average people carrier, and they drive more like a large saloon car than a big hefty van. They are all automatic transmission and have inbuilt reversing cameras and satnav.
When you collect the van, we will spend time taking you through things in the van, e.g. how to pop the roof, and ensure you are comfortable with how the utilities work. We also provide a manual we’ve written for each van.
Before you drive the van, just secure loose objects and make sure there is nothing loose or rattling. And don’t forget to turn the gas off!
Whilst you are camping, find a place for everything and stay organised. Try to keep things tidy as you go. Always know where your torch and your shoes are – especially for those late night bathroom trips.
Live the dream
The beauty of the campervanning is that it provides the freedom of the great outdoors with a few home comforts and little modern luxuries, a cosy home from home. Get yourself out there – start planning for your next adventure now!