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Camping Business Class. Tips for Mastering the Campervan.

Contributing Author November 8, 2020

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Campervans are becoming more popular all across the world. If you scroll through travel accounts on social media, you’ll find more and more people opting for an off-the-grid trip across the country in a camper. The popularity of these vehicles makes sense. In a campervan, you can enjoy the comforts of home at the same time as enjoying the great outdoors. 

Camper Van RV Boondocking in Remote Place

If you’re yet to take a campervan trip, but it’s firmly on your bucket list, here are some tips to keep in mind when planning an adventure lime this. 

How do I Drive This Thing?

Your campervan won’t do you a lot of good if you can’t actually get it out of your driveway. A camper can be tougher to drive than a car if you’re not used to driving something that large, and with a much more difficult turning radius. Make sure you know how to drive a camper before you buy your own. Perhaps rent one first so you can practice. 

Check whether the kind of camper you’re looking at has a manual or automatic transmission. If you’ve never driven a manual vehicle before, a campervan is not the way to learn.  

Flexibility Rules!

Don’t forget about the van part of your new campervan. Your new vehicle should be so comfortable that it’s easy to forget that you’re spending the night in a van. Despite that, remember that it is a moving vehicle and that the big advantages are that you can be transient, flexible, and free to go where you like when you like. If you want to visit somewhere new in the morning, all you have to do is get into the driver’s seat and set off. You already have everything you need for a trip. 

While you’re driving, you can keep an open mind and an open schedule. If you see something interesting, you can stop and check it out. If someone you park up next to tells about something cool they did the day before, you can change your plans and go yourself. Allow yourself to enjoy the freedom that the van offers. 

Don’t Skip the Planning

When you have a camper, it might seem like you can just camp anywhere. After all, your hotel room is on wheels. However, it’s best to think about where you’re doing to stay beforehand. It’s best to be able to go with the flow if you’re camping, but you can take a lot of stress out of your trip if you know where you’re parking up each night. 

If you don’t have an exact plan, you can map out some possible stopping points along your route. When you know this, you can take all the time you need on the road and choose a convenient spot to stop. 

54779,Camper van with awning parked at campsite
What rain?

It’s always best to plan for things like bad weather too. Check the forecast and your route, so you know if you’re in for very difficult driving and whether you’ll need anything like a camper trailer cover to protect your camper. 

Bring Someone You Really Like

If you’re travelling in a camper, you’ll be in tight quarters. If someone is joining you on your trip, be they friend, family member, or partner, make sure you really, really like them. If you aren’t comfortable being in close quarters for a few days, you’ll have a bad time, especially if bad weather keeps you in the van. 

Check The Gear Before You Go

If you’re renting a van for your trip, take a thorough look at what is included in the rental. Make a list of everything you will need on your trip, and check this list against the list of what is included with the van rental. 

When you collect your rental camper, take a careful look at what is in there. Make sure that everything you expected to be is in there. If something is missing, speak to the person you’re renting the van from and ask where it is. Check your list of things you’ll need again, and make sure you have everything you need. Do this in advance of your trip, so you don’t realise you forgot to pack enough towels when you’re miles from home. 

Don’t Forget The Essentials

You don’t want to spend your trip driving around looking for something you forgot to pack. Be thoughtful with your packing and shopping lists and make sure you’ve got all the essentials to save you spending your trip shopping. Some of the best essentials to take are:

  • Baby wipes
  • Shampoo
  • A decent knife
  • Cutting board
  • Sandwich bags or containers for leftovers
  • Small broom
  • Bug spray
  • Sunscreen

Get these things at the start of your trip so you can focus on the fun instead. 

Do Some Meal Planning

It’s not much fun to spend an evening on your trip digging through an empty cooler after a long day driving, wondering what you’re going to eat for dinner. To prevent you from going hungry, or eating sandwiches for dinner for a week, do some preparation before you set off. 

Interior view of camper van with breakfast on table.
Interior view of camper van with breakfast on table.

Work out how many meals you will need to make, and think about what you might like to eat. Don’t forget to take into account the options you have for storing food in the van, like a minifridge, or cooler. Choose dishes that can be made easily in a small camper kitchen, or over a fire, like a chilli, vegetable skewers, or loaded baked potatoes. 

You don’t need to plan out exactly what you want to eat every day, but it is smart to have everything you need for some easy meals in the van so you can be sure you don’t have to go to bed hungry. Keep in stock a few basic breakfast ingredients, like bread and cereal, so you can wake up, eat, and get back on your way easily. 

At the start of your trip, head to a grocery store with your meal plan and a list of ingredients. There will be shops along the way, but if you’re going to explore secluded areas, they might be few and far between, so make sure have all the crucial ingredients with you.

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Contributing Author

General travel tips and advice on destinations, hotels and flights.

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