Campervan - The new "must have" piece of equipment ?

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Tony
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#1
Slightly tongue in cheek headline but are campervans becoming the new "must have" piece of kit ?

I must admit that it's definitely on my longer term plan to own one as the facility to be able to pull up close to the bottom of a hill, coast or lake an hour before sunset, take a few shots, retire to the comfort of a nice van and be ready a few hours later for sunrise has a huge appeal.

Everywhere I seem to look there seems to be more and more people purchasing them or thinking about them

Anyone just bought or intending to ?
 
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Lindsay
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#2
I see the attractions but not for me - but I'm seriously thinking about a roof tent for my Discovery. Having said that, the advantage of the camper van is to be able to stay in the warm, cook a dinner/breakfast, etc. I guess the retro chic of a VW van has its appeal too...
 
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Peter
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#4
They are great. We had one but sold it last year as it was not being used enough.
They are very expensive for what they are.
VW California is the top of the pile, but costs the same as a small house.
They do hold their value though.
 
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john
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#5
I often view videos on YouTube, were people go off in campervans. I would have loved one, it would be great to go off for the week end. I did toy with the idea of getting one, just nowhere safe to park it when not in use.
 
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Jeremy Moore
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#6
I've had three camper vans, the current one for the last ten years. Honestly, they're just brilliant for the landscape/nature photographer, and there's no way I could achieved what I have without one. There are several "pimp my VW transporter" type magazines available now.

And yes, more and more people seem to be getting them - and not just photographers, of course. There were three in the car park at Llynnau Cregennen one night last weekend.
 
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Trev
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#7
Just bought an Autotrail Tribute 670.. Ideal for going out and about to take landscapes etc...
 

damianmkv

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#9
i fancy a T6 VW - it certainly appeals more that pitching a tent in the rain and laying in the mud / on a rock. Then there's cooking, a TV...etc etc. Can't see myself in anything larger than the VW though

Its an age thing as clearly they're a pricey luxury - spending £40K+ on something for half a dozen nights a year seems a little mad..
 
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Richard
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#10
Used to have a KonTiki camper when our son was kart racing and brilliant through it was for that, there is the serious disadvantage of being stuck in one place once you're parked up. With a caravan, you still have car - and they're a heck of a lot cheaper.
 
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Phil
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#11
Used to have a KonTiki camper when our son was kart racing and brilliant through it was for that, there is the serious disadvantage of being stuck in one place once you're parked up. With a caravan, you still have car - and they're a heck of a lot cheaper.
Aah but caravans are from odd old blokes with beards in cardigans.


Camper vans are for trendy hipsters with beards and cardigans :p
 
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Jeremy Moore
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#12
Its an age thing as clearly they're a pricey luxury - spending £40K+ on something for half a dozen nights a year seems a little mad..
The best way to do it is to go to one of the converters who buy used vans (c18 months old) and put a new conversion in - Still very pricey but less than £40k. But for 6 nights in a year.......mmmm... maybe not.
 
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Steve
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#13
I had one a few years back but sold it when we moved and I no longer had the space to keep it. It was an old one though and the plan was to buy a newer one with my retirement money but in the end decided against it. Because, a) I still had the storage problem, and b) as @damianmkv says they're bloody expensive. Instead when out an about for the odd night we sleep in the back of the Duster with a comfy air mattress and the windows covered in silver insulation. For longer, I have a tent that attaches to the back of Duster, over the tailgate, which gives us a little extra space for cooking etc. Obviously not suitable for the colder nights or any where near the level of comfort you'd expect from a van, but you know what, we actually like it. Gives us a real sense of adventure, and I always liked camping even now Im 61.
 
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Phil
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#14
there is the serious disadvantage of being stuck in one place once you're parked up.
We bought an expensive Autosleeper Symbol ready for my retirement and yes it is a very big disadvantage plus it is an absolute pain on narrow country lanes and trying to find suitable car parks etc. Sure we have all facilities, loo, shower, fridge for the required supply of wine etc. It certainly has not had the use we thought it would have and this year has been sat on our drive due to my wife having been seriously ill and only just on the way to recovery.

As we have two cars too and we still have our large tent we have decided to sell and use the larger SUV type car and return to camping.

The best time we had was a tour of Dorset, Cornwall, Devon and Somerset where it was ideal for a night or couple of nights stop over something that would be a bit of a pain with a large tent.
 

damianmkv

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#15
The best way to do it is to go to one of the converters who buy used vans (c18 months old) and put a new conversion in - Still very pricey but less than £40k. But for 6 nights in a year.......mmmm... maybe not.

Yes, i've looked at a few ( half heartedly as I have other priorities at the moment ). I might use one more than 6 times a year if i actually had one - i'd like to go all over the country and maybe further afield. Even my wife said she'd like one and would stay in it ( i believe this to be an untruth however :rolleyes: )
 
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Roger
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#16
Had from a Gulf Stream Sun Vista 36ft long to a converted Toyota Town Ace, unless you intend long periods of time go as small as you can and be inventive with space. My winter project is a LWB Fiat Doblo Micro Camper. Worth looking at lots and lots of different conversions and then either doing it yourself or getting a specialist company to do the conversion for you working out exactly what you NEED IMHO.

Wanted, trendy cardigan 54inch chest! ;)
 
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Richard
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#17
Aah but caravans are from odd old blokes with beards in cardigans.

Camper vans are for trendy hipsters with beards and cardigans :p
Very true, unfortunately. For some reason, the emotional appeal and sense of adventure with just jumping in a motorhome and heading off into the sunset is quite different to hooking up a caravan and joining the queue on the motorway. But having done thousands of miles in both, actually there's very little difference. They both need loading up with food and clothes and water etc and it's not a five minute job, they're both sluggish and cumbersome to drive, but when you get to the other end, the caravan is far more versatile.

The best way to do it is to go to one of the converters who buy used vans (c18 months old) and put a new conversion in - Still very pricey but less than £40k. But for 6 nights in a year.......mmmm... maybe not.
Exactly. Campers are a trendy and idyllic escapist dream. The expensive reality is different.
 
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Des
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#18
I have a T25 Devon air cooled slowly rotting away in the back garden. No cash to do it up. :(

Should really sell it I suppose but inertia rules.
 
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Laurence
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#19
We love our motorhome and the freedom it gives us. We spend most of our holidays in France which is very campervan friendly even in the most rural of locations. I’ve taken steps to ensure more time “off grid” by installing a solar panel and extra battery and we’re lucky to keep the bus at home.
It will be a sad day when age forces us to give it all up. Make sure there’s plenty of space for photo gear:D.
 
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Chris
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#21
When we had a caravan I always had a bit of a desire for a camper/ motorhome I fancied just being able to jump in and go without any hooking up .
Eventually age took its toll and the van saw less and less use but the camper was out of my price range.
They are very expensive unless you can get a cheap one and are good at DIY, I still fancy one but its a bit like a sports car I would not get the use out of it, sad but that,s life ( and old age)
 

Nod

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Nod (NOT Ethel!!!)
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#22
A couple of friends of ours have just upgraded to a Mercedes based camper van c/w a garage for a 125cc scooter for local trips when they get to a destination. Not cheap (but they got a good deal buying it in Germany and doing all the importation paperwork [a royal PITA apparently but just time consuming and frustrating {DVLA at their inefficient best...}rather than expensive] themselves. They go off for 3 months plus at a time so will get their money's worth out of it.
 
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Lee
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#24
Would love one!! For getting away for weekends, photography, hiking places further afield..... The reality is though, we have nowhere 'safe' or 'off road' to keep it, it wouldn't get used as much as thought (they hardly ever do!), there wouldn't be as many fully free weekends as we think (we do try to go somewhere every weekend but it's usually half day/day as there's stuff to do, chores to run, family to visit....) plus I've just MOT'd the Mk1 Escort & that told me that it's racked up less than 500 miles according to the recorded mileage between MOT's!! I don't even have time to use that (but that is a dry weather car though!

So yes, I do envy people who have them & use them but for us I just don't think it would make (financial) sense.
 
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#25
way overpriced pieces of kit
the vw california the t4 the t5 type of van you can sit and have a dump and fry
an egg at the same time thats how much room is in them
better with an empty van with an inflatable mattress
 
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21,959
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#26
The best way to do it is to go to one of the converters who buy used vans (c18 months old) and put a new conversion in - Still very pricey but less than £40k. But for 6 nights in a year.......mmmm... maybe not.
That's what friends of mine have done for their bird spotting trips. Danbury conversion of a T5 van, but that was 40k with a 18 month old van.
 
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lee
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#27
VW Transporters Hold money so well, I couldn't live without one now, so so useful, get one purchased ;)
 
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7,188
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Jeff
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#28
Another vote for caravan here , ours has everything we could ever need for a week or two away , including microwave and shower , plenty of room to move around and with the addition of a air awning (takes the wife 3 minutes to inflate ) we have lots of extra comfort . If it’s a case of a overnight stay it’s simple enough to inflate a air bed in the back of the 4x4 if needed
 
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#29
A downside of camper vans in remoter areas is that they (can) give little back to the community, but take a fair bit. Give little by not using local services, whether food or bed etc,, Take in the form of road wear and tear, blocking parking areas, filling rubbish bins, congestion in wilder parts etc.

There's definitely merit in a photographer using one to document areas that would have difficult accessibility but as a general tourist tool :wave:
 
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4,117
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Tim
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#30
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3,037
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Fraser White
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#31
That looks so awesome!
They are such good vans as well Tim - I have driven so many vans over the years but the Transit Custom is in a different league - it is just like a big Focus with bluetooth this, reversing sensors, cruise etc :)

I think I prefer Thomas Heaton's van to my house!
 
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droj
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#32
A car is a mobile armchair - a campervan is a mobile armchair, bed & kitchen. MOD EDIT Do we really NEED such convenience?

I suggest that personal motorised transport of any kind is ecologically unsustainable. The planet's groaning under the impact of the huge number of us and our stuff.

Macmillan said in 1957 that "Most of our people have never had it so good". Perhaps it was true, but he was blinkered. But if what he said was true then, in some ways it's more true now. But for whom? Social services, the NHS and the affordabilty of homes are on their uppers.

Many of the concerns aired on these forums are about issues of private consumerism rather than anything to do with the public or planetary good.

I'm not lecturing - I have cameras, had a campervan for years (bought a used van & fitted it out myself) - but where are we headed?
 
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3,037
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Fraser White
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#33
A car is a mobile armchair - a campervan is a mobile armchair, bed & kitchen. Mod EDIT do we really NEED such convenience?

I suggest that personal motorised transport of any kind is ecologically unsustainable. The planet's groaning under the impact of the huge number of us and our stuff.

Macmillan said in 1957 that "Most of our people have never had it so good". Perhaps it was true, but he was blinkered. But if what he said was true then, in some ways it's more true now. But for whom? Social services, the NHS and the affordabilty of homes are on their uppers.

Many of the concerns aired on these forums are about issues of private consumerism rather than anything to do with the public or planetary good.

I'm not lecturing - I have cameras, had a campervan for years (bought a used van & fitted it out myself) - but where are we headed?

Best stop the cows farting then :)
 
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20,183
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Alan
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#38
I'd love one.

We travelled around Thailand in a Toyota thingy a few years ago, I'd love to do that in the UK.

Here it is...

DSC04224.jpg
 
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3,993
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Allan
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#39
A car is a mobile armchair - a campervan is a mobile armchair, bed & kitchen. do we really NEED such convenience?

I suggest that personal motorised transport of any kind is ecologically unsustainable. The planet's groaning under the impact of the huge number of us and our stuff.

Macmillan said in 1957 that "Most of our people have never had it so good". Perhaps it was true, but he was blinkered. But if what he said was true then, in some ways it's more true now. But for whom? Social services, the NHS and the affordabilty of homes are on their uppers.

Many of the concerns aired on these forums are about issues of private consumerism rather than anything to do with the public or planetary good.

I'm not lecturing - I have cameras, had a campervan for years (bought a used van & fitted it out myself) - but where are we headed?

We’ve had campervans, starting with a VW Bay, for over 30 years. We had a Winnebago a couple of years ago, now we are picking a brand new van, on Friday. We live in France, best place to travel in a van, and I’ll tell you where we are headed....Spain and Portugal for the winter......
 
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