New to the Scene-ic.
Camper van conversions, ay? What a bloody brilliant idea that is, who thought of that? I mean, it was a fantastic idea five years ago! But now with everything we’ve been through and witnessed as a globe in the last 2-3 years, it is far more suitable, and in fact I’d go as far as to say now more preferred to the long-distance, suitcase dragging, airport transferring, kids moaning – holidays!
Most travel destinations still don’t quite give you the freedom we used to live in, even when double jabbed, each country has its own rules – which is understandable, but it just throws uncertainty out there – and that’s the last thing you’d want when going for a ‘holiday’ – a break from the hectic home lifestyle. It’s no longer a straight forward process of finding a destination, a place to stay, and a flight. There is far more planning involved now, and it just creates a ‘can I really be bothered to go through all of this’ attitude!
HOWEVER! No need to panic and stress… There are far more easier ways to get that break that you require – and more importantly, the break that you DESERVE! One of the most convenient options we have right now are our fantastic UK roads (minus the potholes – but we’re getting there! Slowly…) and the beautiful scenic sites that the UK has to offer both when travelling up North and down South!
Myself, being based in the midlands, gives me the ideal position in the country to get to either end in the shortest amount of time! With fantastic travel networks and a slowly clearing up fuel ‘crisis’ I can literally pack a few things into the van that I’ll need and off I go, within an hour or two I can be met with fantastic views and scenic locations right across the country! – the scenic canvas on the pop top roof really does allow for those scenic views too!
How did I ever manage without one? – the question everyone seems to ask. This flexibility and freedom to go absolutely anywhere in the UK and then also potentially into Europe with very little planning and at the snap of your fingers, it’s mental! You can literally go from being bored and couped up on a Friday night with very little plans, to travelling away for a short break alone or with your loved ones, either pitching up in a nice remote location off grid, or at a more sociable sight such as camping sites with others. Me personally – I’m more of an out in the wild with just the animals for my company that’s more than enough. And although it doesn’t bother me too much personally – the ability to go away and not have to come into contact with people after this global pandemic, is such a great option for some!
My biggest regret about the campervan!? Well, that’s easy… Not buying one sooner! This would have been absolutely perfect during the national lockdown that we all had to adhere too. Being able to jump in the camper just to go for a drive (for essential shopping of course) and pitch up wherever seemed suitable, which is pretty much anywhere, is such a nice stress-releasing option. Whether it be an hour or a few days, my off-grid set up allows me to manage just fine.
What does my campervan consist of? A pop top roof! ESSENTIAL! Being 6ft in height, it simply wasn’t an option to have a van without the pop top roof. This allows me the room to stand comfortably in the van and maneuver around without any problems, my van consists of a Bi-folding bed which is an absolute game changer for pop tops, as this allows the rear end of the roof to lift up out of the way along with the front, some previous designs I have seen only pivot off one point at the rear and that restricts your standing area in the van. Being a SWB it’s important to maximise the living space wherever possible. Other bits and bobs, the Planar 2D heater! Oh my goodness, I nearly decided to go without this little beast! So glad I was advised into having it installed as it’s been brilliant when travelling north to the colder regions of the U.K. One click of a button and we have warmth within five minutes max and it can be easily controlled through one of their comfort controls (a small fee to upgrade to this) a Leisure battery and a solar panel in combination – a fantastic addition to allow you to travel more remotely and off grid. The solar panel not only provides power, but also looks sleek and shows of my inner geek as I love technology. And having the Victron controller as part of the solar panel combo allows me to download an app and see the technology in action! This is a massive win for me as it puts a smile on my face, and a win for the environment as I’m taking small steps to try and be conscious of my climate changing decision making.
I have the scenic canvas on my pop top as this allows me to fully open up the top – which has multiple benefits in itself, ideal when cooking inside the van, provides me with a fantastic ventilation option. To then be able to sit up in the bed/roof area and enjoy your breakfast whilst taking in the surrounding views – It simply can’t be beaten in my eyes.
Anyways this breakfast talk has got me hungry – I’m off again, check back in with me for further updates, and more weird and wonderful stories as my campervan experience takes off. I’m excited to be embarking on this journey and I hope to meet some fellow campers along the way.
Scotland or Wales next!? Decisions.