We own a campervan

 After watching far too many #vanlife videos in 2018 we decided, for ultimate freedom, we needed a campervan.

Cutie the campervan we hired in Iceland
The thought of owning a campervan wasn’t new to us, we had spent 6 days in June 2018 travelling across Iceland in a VW California, and we'd owned a caravan for two years previous. The kids love camping and this is a step up from a tent. When it comes to campervans there are a few options available in the UK, a lot of Vanlifers go down the route of a Mercedes Sprinter, a larger van with a fitted kitchen, bathroom and fixed bed, however we felt this would be too difficult to park in town and wanted something that would fit on our drive.
A smaller option would be a Mazda Bongo, these can be fitted with a pop top to add an additional 2 beds and often come with sink and hob. This was an option we considered but we just couldn’t get our heads around the look of them, they are just not cool…(Sorry Bongo owners).
If we are to invest a lot of money into a camper there was only one real option; we wanted a VW.

Volkswagen have been making the transporter van since 1950 and there are now 6 versions available (T1-T6). For the budget we had in mind we were looking at the T4 (made from 1990 to 2003) or the T5 (2003 to 2016).

We started to scour the internet to see what was around. The good thing about the VW scene is that there are a lot of websites dedicated to buying, selling and maintaining these vehicles, the bad thing for a potential owner is that there are ALOT of websites….where do we start? I decided to join a few Facebook pages and searched Marketplace for vehicles within a 2 hour drive. It is not unusual for people to travel as far as Cornwall for the right van but considering we really didn’t know what we were after we decided to look closer to home. After a few weeks of searching we came across a few vehicles we wanted to go see; a 2004 T5 with pop top but no kitchen or cooker/sink, A 2001 T4 with kitchen units and cooker/sink but no pop top and a 2003 T4 with pop top, a fully fitted kitchen cooker/sink and fridge.  As we are currently working the 9-5 any viewing had to happen either at weekends, with 2 bored children in tow, or after work so this was a juggle. It took several months to get around to viewing all the vans but the final decision was very easy.  The first option was full of rust and would need a bit of work to get it through an MOT, the second option would need a pop top to be fitted and the last option…well he is sitting on our driveway now.
Ron the Campervan (or Purple Ronnie)


  1. Where did you hire your van in Iceland from and was it expensive?!

    1. Hi Niall, thanks for the comment....We used a company call Rentis and it was expensive compared to UK costs but when you consider the fact that it is your accommodation, your vehicle and it enables you to cook it is a cheaper alternative. The supermarket food was fairly reasonable.

  2. Thanks, is there a daily camp on how far you can travel around? That is a limit on mileage - did you wild camp or did you use campsites - is there much scope to wild camp? Would you recommend?

  3. We paid for unlimited mileage so no issues. We were there for 6 days so stuck to the south coast and stayed in campsites. Apparently wild camping in a van is now banned in Iceland but sites were fairly inexpensive. Maybe I will use my Iceland trip for my next blog and give you all the facts,

  4. I always wanted to add a campervan in my fleet of vehicles so that I can thoroughly enjoy travelling with my family, so I navigated through https://thecampingadvisor.com to know all about RVs in detail.


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