If you’re looking for a new kind of holiday and fancy something a bit more exciting, a camper van might be just what you need.
Camper vans and motorhomes offer you the ability to explore wherever you want and move on when you please. More secure than camping in tents, you won’t have to worry about the rain leaking in or the wind threatening to ruin your sleep.
Whether you’re going to a weekend festival or driving coast-to-coast, a camper van is the perfect choice.
So if you’re thinking about renting one out for the summer, there are a few things you need to know – from choosing the right van for you to the cost of doing so.
Choosing Your Camper Van
When most people imagine a camper van, the image of a classic VW springs to mind. There is no doubt that they are the best looking camper van option, but while you may be tempted to opt for it, a little more research may help you discover that there is another model out there that suits you and your holiday much better.
Classic Camper Vans
Whether you go for a splitscreen or bay windowed VW, it’s the classic option and it’s understandable why you’d want to spend your holiday in one. Officially, some of these vans accommodate four people, but that’s at a squeeze and just two people would fit much more comfortably. Providing you’re in no big hurry to get places, this could be the van for you – classic VWs don’t compete with their modern equivalent when it comes to speed.
Conversions are vehicles that began life out as panel vans and were later converted into camper vans, fully-equipped with all you could need. If you’re planning on exploring towns and villages in your portable home, then a modern conversion may well be your best option. Driving like a large car and with modern diesel engines, they’re quieter and more fuel efficient. Slightly larger in size than the classic camper van, modern conversions would sleep two adults and two young children and offer plenty of storage space.
Even larger in size is the motor home. Sleeping up to six people, it’s the perfect option for a family or group of friends. With toilets, showers and TVs usually already built in, there will be no worrying about constantly stopping at services stations. It is a big vehicle, so better suited to countryside and motorway driving, and whilst it may not be as chic looking as a classic VW, it has everything you need and is both practical and comfortable.
The facilities you’ll get in your rented camper van will entirely depend on the size of the van and how much money you have to part with.
The basics that should come in all camper vans or motor homes are a fridge, water tank, sink and tap and a gas hob. While it will vary between different companies, many will provide you with bedding, an outdoor table and chairs and cooking equipment. Be sure to ask what’s included so you know exactly what to pack and what to leave at home.
In large motor homes, they will likely be fitted with a toilet and shower, which is highly convenient for larger groups. In smaller camper vans, you may not have the luxury of a fixed toilet, but many hire companies will be kind enough to include a portable toilet with your van. You can rest safe in the knowledge that campsites have wash blocks, so that when you pull up for the evening you can treat yourself to a shower.
When it comes to shutting your eyes for the night, camper vans usually feature foldable beds and sometimes fixed bunk beds. Remember, foldable beds do mean that every morning you will have to undertake the task of putting your bed away – and pulling again them out every night.
By gadgets we mean the inventive, multi-functional designs that will be in your camper van. Tables that fold out from no where, swivelling seats and ingenious storage solutions.
Prices can vary widely, but expect to pay between £350 to £1,200 for a weeks hire in the UK. Rates will depend on the size of the van, the time of year and the facilities included. Camper vans aren’t always the cheapest option, but they do give you an incredible freedom. Do always remember to read the small print as it’s important to know these things; are there any mileage limits, do you have breakdown cover and are there any additional insurance costs?
- Make sure you’re renting the right vehicle for what you want to get out of your trip. Think of space, speed and size.
- It’s worth paying a little extra for a larger van if it’s going to improve your holiday overall.
- Ensure you’re briefed on the less glamourous side of things – the electric, gas and the toilet disposal situation.
- Choose a company to hire from who have good reviews and are reputable.