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August 10, 2021 at 10:07 PM

 

Van lifestyle has been popular among climbers and assorted outdoor adventurers for years. However, the advent of social media, and the Pandemic changing our ability to travel overseas, has elevated #VanLife to a mainstream phenomenon. 

The driving experience in a van is very different from an RV, which are expensive & take a lot of practice to drive. Unlike RVs, vans are relatively smaller, so they're easier to navigate through British country lanes, easier to park, and they don't have to be hooked up at campgrounds (giving you more freedom and the ability to stay almost anywhere) and they are also significantly cheaper!

Since most vans lack bathrooms, you have to be creative when it comes to taking care of your hygiene. A camper van can also pose a challenge in the kitchen compared to an RV, so it is important to prepare and be inventive when cooking.

There are many vans and R’s available for van life, whether you are looking for a weekend camper or a full-time van.  We would recommend renting a camper van for your first road trip to test out Van Life is for you and is something you would like to repeat, but if you know that this is the life for you.

Here are our picks for the best vans & RV’s available, from new, in the United Kingdom. 

Volkswagen Transporter

A very popular, almost cult-like status, the VW Transporter has a large load capacity, which makes it a good option for road trips. There are two seating layouts for the van, each offering sufficient comfort throughout the journey.

The choice of two wheelbases, the SWB (Single Wheel Base) and the LWB (Long Wheel Base) makes the Volkswagen Transporter a smooth, quiet and comfortable to drive.  And interior size make them perfect for sleeping or reading. 

An interior 5" display can be used with a USB or SD card, offering you great entertainment options. One of the main downsides we found though were the cup holders - they are not sufficiently deep enough and not great for storage or day to day use when driving

In terms of safety, the Transporter is equipped with automatic post-collision braking, ABS braking, adaptive cruise control, Hill Hold Assist, driver alert system, and lane change assist - more than most modern cars have as standard!

Ford Transit 

The Ford Transit offers one of the better choices when it comes to long road trips. Developed with a 2.2ltr Duratorq diesel engine, Ford Transit's engine offers fantastic efficient fuel consumption. Long-distance drivers will also appreciate the reliability of the van's ESC stability control system, which is one of the most advanced on the market. Several curve control systems, which activate when the driver is cornered too quickly, are also included

Ford Transit's best features are its substantial range of options as well as its multiple options for space. In comparison with its competitors, Transit has a smaller load space.

Located at the centre there is a display that holds the infotainment system, though it could be larger. Additionally, the button count is a bit excessive.

Mercedes Sprinter

There are nine different sizes of Mercedes Sprinter, each offering a great range of internal, external & height options. Be aware though interior options such as the COMAND satellite navigation system, Bluetooth technology and rear parking cameras can increase the price significantly.

The Sprinter. As per Mercedes standard, comes equipped with the blue efficiency package. Additionally, it has a 6-speed ECO Gear, which helps protect the environment.

All Mercedes Sprinter models are available on all wheelbases. Most people, however, may be put off by the rear-wheel drive. One of the most powerful diesel engines on the market is the 196 bhp 3 L V6 CDI engine.

When it comes to off-road performance, Mercedes leads the way. The traction control when driving in rural areas, provides an excellent grip. Besides the numerous safety features, the e450 also has dual airbags, tyre pressure monitoring, electronic trailer stabilization, and brake assist, which is great for long winding roads and passing points.

Volkswagen T6.1 California

The California T6.1 is the model upgrade for T6.

 Volkswagen have improved its camper functions with a touchscreen system providing the ability to pop the top, kick on the diesel heater, light the refrigerator, turn on the cabin lighting and even set the alarm clock.   

Among the features of the camper van are folding tables, an awning, and a bench seat turned into an additional bed.

Airstream Atlas 

Airstream, the luxury RV model, has introduced the new 2020 Atlas RV, built on the chassis of a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500. With a bathroom, kitchen, Murphy bed, couch, and television, it has everything you need to feel at home. There is room for two people to sleep in the vehicle, along with four seats.  

A Samsung Smart TV and soundbar with a 40-inch LED display to provide entertainment functionality and colour schemes for interiors are available in several options. 

Among the amenities in the kitchen are a dual burner gas stove, a microwave, a 9.1 cubic foot refrigerator-freezer, a pantry, and a kitchen fan. During a sunny afternoon, passengers can enjoy an electronic awning in the shade.

Vintage Camper Vans

A restored VW camper van from the 1970s or the 1980s is the perfect retro-chic vehicle to fit your style.

There are a lot of them on sale, but they do not come cheap & are not as reliable as their modern counterparts.

It's a good idea to stay with Vintage Surfari Wagons if you're looking for a restored VW camper van for your #vanlife vacation. If you were to choose between a VW Vanagon (VW T3) and a classic VW Bay Window camper, we would choose the VW Vanagon.

Ford Transit Custom Nugget

Several European markets have selected Ford's Transit Custom Nugget camper van as their best-selling model. The Nugget van was converted with the help of the Dutch company Westfalia.  The vehicle has a kitchenette and sleeping accommodations for four people. In addition to a built-in toilet and hand basin, the Nugget Plus comes with a long wheelbase.

Renault Trafic

This stylish Renault Trafic van offers plenty of customizing opportunities. The unique styling makes this panel van stand out in a crowd of other panel vans. The good news is that there is plenty of space available and that it can be customized quite easily. It may not possess the badge prestige or history of other vans here, but the Trafic range offers reliable engines and practical camper van solutions.

Final thoughts!

At a time when many people are uncomfortable flying commercially and many European countries are closed to tourists, it is no surprise that a road trip is the new European Grand Tour. 

Some time may pass before a New Normal is established, so if you are interested in hitting the road, you might want to consider renting an RV. Those who are more experienced, or have camping experience & already might enjoy the flexibility of a camper van more. Choosing the correct vehicle for your road trip is critical in your trip being a success or disaster. 

A fully equipped campervan with a fully integrated kitchen and a bathroom with shower is the best choice if you cannot decide between "space and comfort" and "style and convenience." Just make sure you choose a model with a large fresh and grey water tank, as well as a large refrigerator if you want to live completely off the grid.

Which van is best to pick? If you are not sure and need guidance, drop us a call and our experts can prepare something for you.


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