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user pic of the month
La Norma, in the French Alps our ski trip in a free car park.
1. Think quality not quantity when packing. Plan your storage both for when you’re on the road and when you reach your pitch. The more stuff you bring the harder it is to stow it away, find the things you need and keep the dinky campervan interior clear of debris.
2. It’s all about layers! The sunniest day can end in a surprisingly chilly evening and with the English weather notoriously unpredictable you might just end up wearing everything at once! A hat and some big woolly socks are essentials for me, even in the Summer, to keep off any evening chills.
3. Pack directly into your campervan rather than putting everything in suitcases and boxes. Packing cubes are your friend as everyone can have one or two and they are easily squished into small cupboards or around bigger items in the boot.
4. Solar powered or battery-operated fairy lights are available in most supermarkets at this time of year. Pick some pretty ones and string them around your pitch – you’ll always know where to come back to when it gets dark.
5. Head torches are great as they leave both hands free to do important camping stuff!
6. Some quick breakfast options on hand for kids make life much easier when they wake-up with the larks! A porridge pot or cereal bar should keep them going for a couple of hours before you face the day and cook up a leisurely brunch!
7. Pick a perfect pitch. We love Cool Camping for some quirkier sites and you can search ‘allows campervan’ as an option to be sure the site is suitable. Once you’ve identified your campsite look it up on google earth to find out if it really is that close to the beach or far enough away from the motorway traffic. Also check out if they allow camp fires, nothing beats sitting around a fire toasting marshmallows.
8. Good sleep is the key to a successful trip so make sure everyone has a comfy, warm bed for the night. I love taking proper bedding including pillows, duvet and a fleecy blanket or throw and always make sure the beds are made before drinking wine and sitting around above-mentioned fire! Also comforts from home like pyjamas are more than just practical, it’s not a fashion show but think about what you might wear when sneaking off to the facilities in the middle of the night, you’ll see some seasoned campers strutting about in dressing gowns!
9. One of our favourite things about camping is the spectacular view of the stars. You don’t need any special equipment to discover a number of constellations, just get as far away as possible from artificial light and a star book or app can guide you easily around the night sky.
10. One luxury item I always sneak in somewhere is a hammock. We sell beautiful silk parachute hammocks at CamperVanTastic and they are so relaxing. Perfect for an afternoon doze below a tree canopy.
WHEN TO GO.....
Campervanning can be great all year round - it’s all in the planning and remember if weather is important to your trip check out the forecast and don't forget you have the freedom to head for the sun (or snow!).
Sunshine makes almost everybody happy and summer is a great time to head off. If you’re lucky you will hardly spend any time in the campervan – taking meals outside, relaxing under the sun canopy and just snuggling up in the cosy campervan beds for the night.
We love to pitch by water, there are some spectacular sites where you can literally park up on the edge of the beach (book in advance and be specific about the pitch you want). There will almost certainly be a sea breeze to take the edge off the heat and a swim always cools everybody off. Find a shady pitch with tree cover and remember to think about how this cover will move throughout the day. Consider heading upwards - camping in the mountains offers amazing peace and spectacular stargazing.
The campervans only have air-conditioning while they are driving so think about bringing a small fan to use in the campervan to keep the air moving. Depending on where you are you might want to go consider using mosquito nets so that you can sleep with the doors open.
It will probably rain at some point in the UK but don’t let that put you off! The roll out canopy is great for light showers but shouldn’t be used in heavy rain. An awning will give you lots of protection and extra space. We use Khyam quick erect awning which can literally be put up in 5 minutes – see here for the proof!
A door mat is great for keeping the floor of the campervan clean and a box or bucket for wellies/shoes helps contain the mud!
The Spring blossom and Autumn colours make campervanning a real joy at this time of year. It is also a great time for a city break or some early/late sunshine if you head into Europe. You’re unlikely to need to book a campsite in advance so you will have the freedom to roam at your leisure and keep an eye on the forecast so that you can avoid those rainy days. All our campervans have parking heaters so if the evenings are chilly you can stay cosy and warm. Remember the nights will draw in earlier so pack those board games and good books to keep you entertained in the evenings or seek out a roaring fire in a local pub.