The vehicle that transports you to Cornwall or Cannes is also quite useful around town
We find that our VWs tend to have two kinds of neighbours: nice cars, and nice big motorhomes. Here’s why a campervan is the perfect partner for both of them.
You can use it for work
The capacity of a campervan makes it useful for transporting work-related materials and people. But your campervan could also be a place to work from as well as a vehicle to travel to work in. There’s an interesting article in Auto Trader about a homeware business whose entire operation is run from the road. Rather than renting high street premises they’ve gone online only, running their website and travelling around the country to source products using their converted van. If all you need is an internet connection, your campervan enables you to work from anywhere in the world you can get a data signal.
You can park it at IKEA
We know from experience that you can get a lot of flat pack furniture and scented candles into a Revolution Rico.
You can bring your dog
Whether you’re computing or camping, your campervan isn’t just a great space for you and your loved ones. It’s also a guarantee that any destination has a dog-friendly bed. Just remember that the same safety rules apply to campervans as to cars: don’t leave your furry friend inside on warm days.
It can go places bigger vans can’t
The thing about mobile homes is that, well, they’re larger. And while that’s brilliant for holidaying in, it’s a lot of weight to haul around. It’s also a lot of vehicle to try and park in a busy street or thread down a muddy lane on a festival camping ground. That’s why many owners of palatial mobile homes also have campervans to benefit from their Tardis-like properties. While they’re spacious inside – they’re small enough to go absolutely anywhere.
It’s brilliant for big adventures
Even in big SUVs you might struggle to seat three in the back comfortably. The extra space inside a campervan can be more comfortable for three or more rear passengers, and that means it’s ideal for anyone with a larger family – or whose social calendar involves ferrying carloads of kids to sporting activities or other events.
It enables you to grab and go
Going on a trip with a large premium motorhome requires a bit of preparation and planning. With your campervan it’s just a matter of grabbing the keys and hitting the road. That makes it ideal for shorter stays and spur-of-the-moment adventures.
You can rent it when you’re not using it
If you know that you won’t be using your Campervan for specific periods of time, it can make you money: sites such as Camptoo and Quirky Campers are like Airbnb for campers, enabling you to rent your vehicle to like-minded campers. VWs are particularly popular because of their go-anywhere, park-anywhere abilities.
Campervans tend to hold their value, too
A well-looked-after campervan holds its value very well – and VW ones are well known for their strong resale performance thanks to their iconic image. VW campervans are particularly valuable when they’re in good condition, are vintage models or have been upgraded or converted by quality craftspeople. Sometimes values can even go up: the COVID crisis had something of a silver lining for VW sellers who suddenly found their conversions in high demand as a safe and fun way to holiday around the UK. But the demand was there long before COVID. For example, according to Motoring Research in 2018, a VW “is almost depreciation-proof … the loss is nowhere near what you’d experience with a normal car.”
If you’re buying new with conversion in mind, perhaps be pragmatic about the options you choose. Don’t hold back on the options you really want – especially if they offer a bit more utility or comfort. It just might be some of the left field options that don’t add much to potential resale value.
Things to think about if you’re not always on the road
If you’re considering a campervan and think it might be off the road for long periods, such as during the UK winter, there are a few things to think about. The first one is tyres: if you’re not driving regularly the rubber will deteriorate. You can prolong the life of your tyres by moving the vehicle every few weeks and ensuring they’re at the correct pressure, but if your campervan is only used seasonally then it’s wise to replace tyres once they reach five years old.
As winter approaches you’ll want to empty any water containers and tanks, plug the sink and remove any gas bottles and batteries. Keep doors and drawers open so air can circulate and make sure you clean the campervan thoroughly before any long periods of inactivity. If you don’t, you might find unwelcome guests of the rodent variety. You might find a dehumidifier useful to prevent damp too, but don’t forget to empty it or replace it regularly. For dampness, prevention is better than trying to deal with it when it occurs, so make sure the inside of your camper is clean and dry and that all your door and window seals are okay.
Whether it’s a daily driver, a rock festival runabout, a place to work or a holiday haven, a campervan is a superb addition to your driveway. It can go to more places than a large RV, it can carry more people than a big SUV and you can even use it to make some money.