VW campervan top tips for holiday success
Top tips for making the most out of your holiday in one of our beautiful VW campervans.
We provide an electric coolbox. This keeps things like milk and bacon cool although it is never going to replace a real fridge. If you are bringing food with you to put in the coolbox and have your own it makes sense to not use ours but plug your own in – that way you can already have brought your coolbox down to a lower temperature than if just plugging in for the first time.
An electric cool box is kept switched on and powered when the engine is running. However if you are running it just off the leisure battery the battery will only last an hour or two. It therefore always makes a lot of sense to book a pitch at a campsite with an electric hookup.
The 240v sockets in the vans only work when plugged in to an electric hookup. We do occasionally get asked by people wanting to know how to switch them along for use when driving along. They don’t work like that.
If you are using the drive away awning make life easy for yourselves by zipping up the awning before putting tent pegs in. Otherwise closing the zips can be really tough. We take the awning wherever we can as it provides a massive amount of expansion and living space.
Take eye shades to wear when sleeping. It gets light very early in the summer in the UK (I’m talking 4.30am early) and unless you really want to wake up at that time then eyeshades will help you sleep in a bit longer. Can’t do much about the dawn chorus mind you, unless you wear ear plugs. We quite like listening to the birds though.
Make the bed before you head out to the pub for the evening. The last thing you want is to come home in the dark having had a couple and have to mess around with the sheets. Also we keep the curtains closed during the day for privacy unless we are inside the van and need the light.
No heating in these vans. We do supply an oil filled radiator for use at the start and finish of the season. These need to be plugged into a 240v mains supply so you need to have an electric hookup. When you are driving along if it is going to be unseasonably cold then take warm clothing and maybe gloves. In the 1960s when these vans were designed they thought heating was for wusses. (Update May 2021 Ruby has a gas heater)
Don’t take too much stuff and use squashable bags not suitcases. The vans are not like a tardis inside. They are quite compact really. There is room behind the back seat and when travelling we shove stuff there or into one of the cupboards (Betty has more cupboard space than Bertie) and at night when the bed is down we chuck everything into the front out of the way.
If you are off on a long trip like Scotland or Cornwall it probably makes sense to take the van the day before you head off so that you can do some packing and get an early start the next day. A comfortable speed in these campervans is 55mph – 60mph at a push on a long straight stretch of motorway. We typically avoid motorways. What’s the rush? You are on holiday. We normally plan two days to get to Scotland.
The vans have a USB socket in the radios and plenty of 12v “cigarette lighter” type sockets so it might be handy if you have multiple devices to charge to bring an appropriate socket. We do leave one in each van but they can go astray. You can also plug chargers into the 240v sockets when connected to an electrical hookup.
The radios also have bluetooth so that you can hook a phone upto sat nav and for hands free talking. A phone will prop nicely on the dashboard leant against the windscreen and you can also leave it plugged in there so that using the sat nav on a lengthy trip doesn’t drain the phone battery.
The vans come supplied with gas canisters, cooking pans and utensils and sets of 4 plates and cutlery etc. You do need to bring your own bedding and ideally a mattress topper. The rock and roll beds are pretty comfortable.
Try and park on the level but if this is not possible have the back of the van pointing uphill which makes for a more comfortable night’s sleep.
Our vans take unleaded petrol.
We provide two camping chairs and a fold up camping table but you are welcome to use your own if you prefer. If you need more chairs ask in advance and we will see if we have any spares.
If you re taking the awning please make sure it is dry before packing away. If packing it away wet is unavoidable because it is a rainy day then please let us know as we will need to dry it when we get it back. Useful video guide to erecting the awning.
We will add more thoughts as they are thunk, if you know what we mean 🙂