With a grand total of two campervan trips under my belt, I think I’m definitely now in the position to write my first top five campervan-related list. I love lists – ‘what’s your top five bands/foods/animals/smells [delete as appropriate] is my all-time favourite travel game.
These are also the reasons why, if you’ve filed away the possibility of camping under ‘too much roughing it involved’, I reckon campervanning could change your mind. They win the battle of campervans vs. tents hands down. I hope this doesn’t incur any scary tent-lover’s wrath…but bring on the debate!
1. Campervans Take the Dread out of Rainy Days
Perhaps if we lived somewhere other than the UK, this might not be number one on the list. But we do and it is. My tent-based memories consist of a lot of crawling in and out of damp tents trying not to get your already damp belongings any damper (amongst other more fun memories of course, thanks for all the camping holidays mum and dad!)
In a campervan you have seats, a stove, and most importantly windows to gaze out of while you listen to the relaxing raindrop pitter-patter noises. This helps a lot to ease the rainy day cabin fever. If all that fails they also have wheels. Move on – it might be sunny over that hill!
2. Cooking is So Much Easier in a Campervan
I don’t know if you’ve ever tried cooking over a tiny stove in the doorway of your tent while horizontal rain and gale force winds rage past. Most likely in that scenario you’d just eat biscuits for dinner like a normal person rather than brave the elements Bear Grylls stylee.
This is why campervans are awesome, it’s all a lot more civilised. You can cook away merrily, protected from the weather and safe in the knowledge its pretty unlikely your van will melt around you if the wind gusts anywhere near your stove. You can even venture into culinary realms more exciting than supernoodles (not that there isn’t a very special place in my heart for supernoodles).
3. Campervans have Personalities
I’m not joking, you get emotionally attached to your campervan in a way you never would with a tent. They become a part of the family. Weird but true.
4. They’re Brilliant with Children
Hiro has become many things to Milo: teddy bear ambulance, den, batmobile, secret snack hiding place. His sense of adventure is growing and even when we’re just pootling to the shops he gets really excited about a trip in the campervan. Its fun, and lovely to watch.
On a very important additional note, he sleeps better in the van (bar the first incredibly overexcited night) than he does at home, and definitely better than in a tent. With a few window covers you can get a campervan nice and dark. No need for rising with the sun (thank frick for that, sunrise happens at about 4am in Scotland in summertime).
5. Campervanning is Easy
This is an important one. I do want to feel the freedom of the road and have amazing experiences and live life to the full and all that inspirational stuff. However, I also know myself – I have a bit of a lazy streak and a bad back. I don’t really want to rough it too much. But I do want all the nice parts of camping. The visiting beautiful places, the ‘quality time’ together, the campfires, the sunsets and the adventures for Milo.
So I have to work within the limits of my laziness and old lady ailments to find a way to make those nice things happen – and a campervan seems to be the answer. It’s easy to set up and pack up, you can sleep in an actual bed, eat real food, decorate it with nice curtains and cushions, pretend you’re a cool 70s hippy and see the world (or the bits within acceptable driving distance at least…) Plus once you’ve spent all that money on a campervan you really have to use it. I think in enlightened circles this is called ‘living intentionally’.
Basically they’re a home on wheels – with a better view. I’m a huge convert, and I think those of you who share my lazy streak will too!