Saturday, June 16, 2012

Running a Campervan...

  For many people the first idea for owning a Campervan comes from something they've seen on TV or read in a magazine and now the idea has been  planted. The dream our escaping everyday life and hitting the open road grows and grows until one day they hit the "Buy it now" button on Ebay.
  Now whether you spent £1000 or £20,000 you still have to keep your new pride and joy going, otherwise you have a rather large and expensive garden ornament. Now regardless how often you use your van it still has to be taxed and insured so straight away that's the best part of £500 gone. On top of that you've got servicing costs and fuel and not forgetting the inevitable breakdowns, so very quickly you can see how that dream of escaping the rat race comes at a cost.
   Fear not all is not lost, the best way to keep costs down is to learn how service and repair your van yourself, thus saving a fortune in labour costs. One of the best ways I learnt about our van was to join a local or national VW club where to can meet fellow Campervan nutters face to face or through many of the online VW Camper forums such as  Club 80-90 .Once you learn you're not alone in your obsession then asking those seemingly silly questions doesn't seem so bad .
  No matter how much you spent on your van it WILL breakdown at some point, leaving you to finish your journey on the back of a truck (we've all been there) . So it goes without saying that breakdown cover is a must, particularly if you plan travelling any distance. One of the best ways to avoid breakdowns is to use you van as much as possible and get used to all its quirks and rattles so then if something new starts rattling you can see to it before it breaks and leaves you stranded. We use our van all year and as of next month it will be the one and only vehicle we own so preventative maintenance is a must.
  For some owning a Campervan will be a passing phase (bought in the spring and sold in the autumn) . But for the rest ,owning a Campervan gets in your blood and you could no sooner sell your van than you could "chop off your hand"....its that addictive. To truly get to know your van who have to at least go once on a "Big" adventure in her and I don't mean a weekend in the Cotswold's. I mean two or three weeks minimum to a place you've never been to before living in each others pockets waking up to a different view each morning. Once you've had your "adventure" all the money and heartache your van has put you through will be worth it and you'll have memories that last a life time.