Forget overpriced hotels and cold, leaking tents. When it comes to exploring in comfort and with freedom, there is no better way than in a campervan. This versatile vehicle is the key to your dream holiday, allowing you to meander at your own pace without the irritation of constantly packing and unpacking your belongings, and hitching and unhitching a caravan. A campervan is the ultimate home away from home.
Rent or Buy?
If you love caravanning and get away as often as you can, or if you are planning a significant journey of a month or more, then you may benefit from buying your own campervan. Not only will it save you money in the long run compared with frequent renting, you can personalise it to suit your taste, and driving it will be as familiar as driving your own car. If you are only dipping your toe in the water of flexible travelling you may prefer to hire one first to find out what size and type of van suits you best. Expect to pay from £2,500 upwards to buy a four berth van that has done around 115,000 miles, or from £650 per week to rent one.
Campervan or Motorhome?
There are several key differences between campervans and motorhomes. As the name implies, campervans are a step up in comfort from camping but they do not include any amenities such as a toilet, or shower. They sleep 2-3 people and usually feature a gas fuelled stove and a pump-action sink which uses water from a small tank. Often no bigger than your family car, they can either be custom made or converted from a transit van or people carrier.
Motorhomes are more like a moving caravan in that they have more space and better defined living areas, such as a bathroom with a cassette toilet and shower. Smaller motorhomes feature a platform over the driver’s seat which can be used for sleeping or storage, while larger ones resemble a minibus. The largest of all are American made RVs (recreational vehicles) which can be as big as a coach and have extending sides.
Where Can You Park?
There are plenty of designated campervan and motorhome parking sites in holiday parks around Scotland, with even more in the rest of the UK, France, Italy, Spain, and anywhere else you choose to go. Free camping, which includes parking your vehicle in a layby or carpark, is mainly restricted in Scotland however there are many lovely uncrowded sites where you can legally park. Wherever you stay, choose an area which is safe to stay overnight in, avoid having a fire or barbeque if the conditions are unfavourable, and always take your rubbish away or dispose of it responsibly.
Get Your Kicks on Route 66
If you are feeling adventurous why don’t you try out Scotland’s North Coast 500 route? Traversing more than 500 miles, it has been compared to America’s iconic Route 66 and there is no better way to explore it than by campervan or motorhome. See our Travel Scotland article for more details.