3 Things You Need to Know Before You Travel in a Campervan
Getting The Most From Your Campervan Experience
There's much adventure to be had in a campervan. Done right you can see the world, and make your “home” some of the most iconic and beautiful geography out there (you might already be familiar with the fact that campervan rental is a rising trend in 2019). However, there will be things you must contend with. Following, three will be briefly explored.
1. Utilizing Interior Space
Campervans aren’t large. Certainly some are bigger than others, but the majority of them must economize limited floor space for maximum utility. The more you pack, the less space you’ll have. However, certain campervans have more amenities than others. For example, a VW van likely won’t have a shower, but it likely will have a faucet and stove-top, as well as sleeping options.
Meanwhile, some of the larger models out there could very well come with shower facilities. Depending on what sort of campervan you decide to go with, you’ll have more or less storage options. Depending on how long you plan on traveling, this could be more or less of an issue. What makes sense is using the space as intended.
Many campervans have little areas meant to be used as closets, and others meant to be used as a “pantry”. What makes sense is packing for your length of stay, determining what you’re really going to need, and thinking these things out in advance. For example, if you’re renting a campervan for a month, you may need to seek laundry facilities at some point. That means you’ll need a dirty laundry hamper.
If you’re going surfing, you may want to keep your surfboard on the roof, rather than on the inside. The same goes for bicycles. However, depending on where you’re staying, this could be dangerous. Maybe look into a folding bicycle which can be stored behind the rear seat, or under it. Seek options which conform to the storage you have, and you’ll experience greater comfort.
2. Where To Park
If you've got the coinage, you can spend every night in an RV park without any issues. However, inflation and other factors have made this untenable for most going on holiday in a campervan. The cheapest you're going to find is...well, free; but that's going to be at a minority of camping locations where any hookups exist.
Plan for a spread of $20 to $80. Monthly discounts exist, if you want to stay in one place for an extended time. At such cost, unless you're actually on the beach or something, what's the point? You might as well just get a hotel room.
What you'll probably end up doing is parking in public parking lots, or by the side of the road where signs don't prohibit overnight parking. People will look at you sideways, and you don't want to stay in one place for more than a night or two, or you'll get noticed, some persnickety so-and-so may call the cops, and then you'll have to be inconvenienced with a move or citation, if the cop feels belligerent.
A better option is mapping your trip out in advance and determining where you can legally park overnight and not be bothered. There are plenty of options beyond traditional RV parks, but you’ll likely have to get a little ways out of town.
3. Hot And Cold
Campervans don't keep heat in too well, and they don't keep it out--though it can be easier to cool down than heat up if you get a model with requisite ventilation. You'll want to find shade in the day if you're traveling in hot places during the summer. If you're traveling in the winter, you'll want a ubiquity of blankets, and to cover interior windows with tarps and the like to keep the cold out. Mini-heaters can be run either from batteries or your generator, as can little fans or other AC options.
Less Hassle, More Fun
Generally, if you are strategic about how you use internal space, plan out where you sleep carefully, and take measures to secure atmospheric controls, you'll find the campervan lifestyle is adventurous and worthwhile; even if you're just getting away for a week or so.