Saturday, September 26, 2015

Tips for planning a campervan holiday

  1. Book direct. An aggregator seems easiest but the actual company who rents you the vehicle may resent such bookings and you seem to have less control over assessing the hire company’s reputation and fleet.
  2. Eyeball the vehicle. Ideally you need to inspect the actual van you are hiring as not all ‘6-berth’ vans are the same re ease of converting tables to beds or the most functional layout of shower/toilet. Don't rely on website descriptions or generic layout diagrams.
  3. Get a demo. Insist on a thorough demonstration of how every part of the campervan works, inside and out (ours was so perfunctory we never found the hidden extra board to make our very narrow bed slightly wider, and could never turn the rear bed back into a stable table).
  4. Maximise your excess. Not your excess of drugs and alcohol but your insurance excess. Take the maximum amount of insurance with the minimum excess (some companies offer nil excess. You’ll appreciate it when you inevitably back into a tree or leave the handbrake off and roll into a lake).
  5. Go hassle-free. Any extra payment to avoid re-filling gas bottles or to get extra camping equipment or GPS is worth it. In hindsight I’d even pay them to empty the toilet one last time.
  6. Adjust your attitude. You either need to be highly organised or totally carefree – nothing in between will cut it. We were highly organised and still mildly unhappy (OK, I was very unhappy and Sherrie was mildly discomforted). So really a campervan is only for the carefree (and a little unhinged). And short people.

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