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Subject Topic: First camper van
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Message posted by Lianne197828/4/2017 at 10:53pm
Outfit:  VW T5 campervan     Location:  UK
Joined: 16/7/2013
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We have 2 kids aged 7 and 3 and have camped since before the kids were born but we want to progress onto a camper van.

Have been looking for a place local where we can go and have a look at options but can't seem to find anywhere online.

Don't really think we want a motorhome, but need go physically see a 4 berth camper van and how much space we will have (plan to also have an awning)   

Merseyside/Lancashire/north wales or Cheshire areas


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Campervan-ing with kids

Message posted by Wendyhouse29/4/2017 at 5:38am
Outfit:  Vantage Neo     Location:  Staithes
Joined: 12/5/2013
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Hi, don't forget to check number of travel seats (seat belts) as some 4 berths only have 2 seat belts.

Message posted by Whatamess29/4/2017 at 7:29am
Outfit:  Bessacarr E540     Location:  North Wales
Joined: 31/7/2005
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I'm assuming you're looking at second hand vans.

Calendars at Carnforth near Lancaster, Todds at Preston. There's another one near Morecambe but I can't remember the name, it's iin a former petrol station I think. I found them by looking at vans on eBay. Mr. Motorhome at Widnes. There's a place on the coast road from Connah's Quay to Flint.

If you look on eBay there are a lot of dealers selling, should give you an idea. Or trawl the magazines classified ads and see where the dealers are.

Depending on your budget, you could buy privately if you've got someone knowledgeable to go with you.

You could go to a motorhome show where they sell second hand, at least you'd be able to look at layouts.


Message posted by Johnnie Boy29/4/2017 at 10:06am
Outfit:  Swift select 164     Location:  Cleveland
Joined: 07/4/2008
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4 berth pop top sounds like the way to go, kids sleep in the roof, 4 travelling seats.     

Message posted by Lianne197829/4/2017 at 3:39pm
Outfit:  VW T5 campervan     Location:  UK
Joined: 16/7/2013
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Thanks everyone, think we want a 4 berth pop top like you say, have seen some nice ones on e bay but I think we need to physically go and look at some - plus some bigger options maybe before we commit. Thanks

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Message posted by Eejaybee29/4/2017 at 8:40pm
Outfit:  Conway Cruiser      Location:  Cornwall
Joined: 06/10/2015
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Have you considered a folding camper? Quicker to pitch than a tent, bigger than a camper...

Message posted by franbee29/4/2017 at 10:19pm
Outfit:  Leisuredrive VW campervan     Location:  Lancashire
Joined: 21/7/2009
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Leisuredrive at Bolton.

Message posted by Lianne197830/4/2017 at 6:57pm
Outfit:  VW T5 campervan     Location:  UK
Joined: 16/7/2013
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After some bank holiday research we are seriously thinking about getting a van and converting it (not ourselves, at a professional place).. anyone had any experience of this?

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Message posted by franbee30/4/2017 at 7:10pm
Outfit:  Leisuredrive VW campervan     Location:  Lancashire
Joined: 21/7/2009
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Again, Leisuredrive at Bolton convert your van for you. You can supply your own van, or they'll find you one, which is what we did.

Message posted by Lianne197830/4/2017 at 8:56pm
Outfit:  VW T5 campervan     Location:  UK
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Thanks for the advice

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Message posted by jimsmimm01/5/2017 at 9:34am
Outfit:  Chausson Flash 22     Location:  Paisley
Joined: 20/12/2006
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Be aware poptops can be quite cold compared to the bottom of the van even with the heating running, though this can be helped by use of thermal roof screens. You also hear everything, being placed up above anything that would dampen the sound like other vans, hedges and such.
If your thinking of using an awning to give you extra space, they can take a while to set up and take down and if your plan to be able to move about a lot this can prove quite tiring.
Don't buy a Bongo ..it may say 4 berth in the advert but they are far too small.
I'm not trying to put you off as I've had 3 poptop vans just making you aware., as no one told me any of this when I bought mine.

Message posted by Lianne197801/5/2017 at 10:07am
Outfit:  VW T5 campervan     Location:  UK
Joined: 16/7/2013
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The most important things is that the vehicle isn't too big, we both aren't used to driving anything bigger than a large family car. And that it sleeps (and carries) 4 people.

We're very used to camping so I'm thinking we'd be fine with the pop top. Not sure how else we'd fit 4 beds into a smallish van!



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Message posted by jimsmimm01/5/2017 at 10:49am
Outfit:  Chausson Flash 22     Location:  Paisley
Joined: 20/12/2006
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VW tends to be is the van to go for but they hold their price..great when selling not so good when buying.
There may not appear to be much difference between the long wheel base and the short wheelbase van but its amazing what difference that few inches makes when camping...good luck.

Message posted by LozzaS501/5/2017 at 9:09pm
Outfit:  Moto-trek Leisure Treka     Location:  Edinburgh
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Our VW T5 Campervan is so much fun and the extending roof will take two children easily. We have a 5m x 3m Vango Airbeam drive away awning( 500) which is probably big enough to get the Van inside! We also have an Easy up canopy for overnighters as quick to erect and pack away small. We camp in the Highlands, Lake District, Scottish/English border counties and 11 European countries-Northern Germany and Denmark this Summer. LWD PROBABLY better for a family but not as pretty. Ours has depreciated about 20% in 4 years but wouldn't sell it.

Message posted by BillyOcean VWCali03/5/2017 at 12:50pm
Outfit:  VW campervan     Location:  Sussex
Joined: 27/4/2017
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We are a family of 4. Looked at (higher end) conversions over several months but we opted for the VW California rather than an after-market in the end. Our kids are 11 & 13 and we have plenty of room. We haven't yet needed to use a drive away awning as have felt it unnecessary for the 2-3 nights we have done so far, but likely to invest in one for the summer.

The California holds its value incredibly well if you were thinking of going down that route. Newish 2nd hands are selling for higher than ones on order at the moment (partly because of the lead times - 5/6 months from ordering - and because the tax increased on new vehicles over 40k registered after 1st April this year).

One thing I'd definitely recommend though is hiring one for at least a weekend prior to committing, just to check out how you get on with one.

Good luck and go for it - you won't regret it!

Message posted by jimsmimm03/5/2017 at 1:32pm
Outfit:  Chausson Flash 22     Location:  Paisley
Joined: 20/12/2006
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To be honest I would advise anyone thinking of buying a T5/6 who has small children to most definitely avoid the California and buy one converted by one of the numerous GB converters, you will probably save money but more importantly the California has the rear door on the Off side meaning your children need to exit on to the road, as most people who buy these small vans plan on using them in place of a car, for me the risk is just to high ?


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