THE ESSENTIAL CAMPERVAN BUYER'S GUIDE

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I have a young family

Our campervan brings us closer together

Meet Catherine

Catherine and her husband are teachers and they use their campervan to enjoy family holidays all year round

I had always fancied a campervan. We once hired a motorhome in Australia and had a great time. So, when we were left some money, we decided to introduce our two children to the joys of life on the open road.

Initially we looked at used VW campervans for sale, but there was too little storage space for a family. So instead we bought a long-wheel-based Renault Trafic van conversion with a bespoke interior. It’s ideal. Instead of a cupboard, we ordered a large ottoman. We pack clothes in it for a week and use campsite launderettes for our three-week holidays. We’ve been away a lot and the kids love it. They think sleeping in the pop-up roof is brilliant, and enjoy showing the camper to their friends. It's deceptively spacious and with the awning up we gain a lounge or playroom. We enjoy summer holidays, day trips and short breaks all year. The van is so well insulated that we were cosy even when we visited a Christmas market in December. We've toured Sussex, the Cotswolds, the Yorkshire Dales and North Yorkshire coast.

We love camping holidays in France and once went cycling in Austria, where the scenery was breathtaking. Travelling with children is easier in a campervan - they have room for their stuff and the tinted windows shade their eyes. We like the flexibility and freedom our campervan gives us. Even a cup of tea brewed in your own van tastes delicious, especially after a muddy walk. We all love our campervan - it’s a great investment. We hope to create many more happy memories in the years ahead.

Meet Kieron

Kieron and his wife Kate bought their family campervan so that they could make memories for their children that will last a lifetime

I have fond memories of camping holidays with my parents and I wanted to give my children similar experiences. My parents started out with a tent, which was fun, then they bought a motorhome. I loved it! Now, with a family of my own, I decided to investigate the options and Kate and I paid Sussex Campervans a visit. We quickly saw a vehicle we liked and we’ve not looked back. We have more freedom than we did with a tent, and our air awning means we have just as much space - it’s just a lot simpler to set up camp. We've got packing down to a fine art, and the most useful things are our levellers. With these it’s easy to turn a wonky pitch into somewhere perfect to spend the night.

Our first trip was to West Wittering Beach in Sussex. It was beautiful, with views of Chichester Harbour and the South Downs. We parked on grass near the beach and made our picnic in the campervan. Our first holiday was to the South of France and we made the journey the adventure, spending five days driving south and six days coming back. The kids loved it, and it was so easy; at bedtime we just parked for the night, and the next day we were ready in minutes!

We found a campsite in the mountains, swam in the river every day and watched the beavers in the evening. It was unforgettable. We went gold-panning and found some nuggets of gold - the look on my children’s faces was brilliant. When we find somewhere special, we stay longer - that's the flexibility a campervan brings. We have brilliant times as a family and it feels good to know that I’ve invested in my children’s memories. We love owning our campervan.

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