My van rental was in collaboration with Caledonian Campers ahead of the Scottish Caravan, Motorhome and Holiday Home Show – my experience was gifted. The show opens 7th-10th of February at the SEC Glasgow – come check it out!
You could go as far to say I am obsessed with camper vans. So much so, my boyfriend and I have a group chat (with only us in it) called ‘advantures.’ We created it when we first met with the dream of one day owning a van in mind. Preferably a VW, but let’s not be picky!
When Caledonian Campers gave me a shout last week offering me a weekend in one of their VW vans I was ecstatic; but with Callum being away at sea – my mum took the hot seat in his place. Sorry Callum!
What’s so special about a van? I think the appeal can be summed up in one word: freedom. No other form of transport allows for such spontaneity, and in Scotland – the freedom to roam is endless. A van allows you to spice up your adventure as much as you like; bike racks, surf boards on the roof, skis? But it can also be stripped back to the point where your adventure is simply the drive, the scenery and the experience.
We chose the latter this weekend. I was choked with the cold, so took a wee rest from big adventures. It was really nice driving around without anywhere in particular to be; I even read a book from cover to cover!
If you are thinking about hiring a van (I’d totally recommend it) here are some advanture tips:
Pack light. A small space quickly becomes cramped with people in it, limit your luggage so you’re not constantly shifting bags around.
Plan a suitable route (it can be a rough plan) – having a route in mind helps manage fuel costs. And on that note – mark fuel stations on your map. Running empty is never cool… yep, been there before!
Have an idea of where you can park for the night, campsites are a good option if you like to have a shower (clearly not on my priority list); Scotland has a good bunch to pick from. Finding a remote spot is my preference, for peace and privacy. Just remember to park responsibly i.e., not in lay-bys.
Check out local pubs, cafes and shops. Stop and spend a few pennies in the places you visit.
Buy suitable food for inside the van – things that aren’t going to leak everywhere and cause you to loose your van deposit! Food that can be cooked/heated on a hob is best, soup, pasta, cous cous!
Keep an eye on water and gas if you are going further off grid.
Take the slow lane and enjoy the journey – but pull over to let cars past if your causing a pile up.
How easy are the vans to drive?
Very easy! I was really nervous about driving the van before I picked it up. But driving a new VW is as easy as driving a small car, power assisted steering, parking sensors, really good turing circle. I found it a doddle (and I usually hate driving). Stay wide, slow down and you’ll be grand!
What are the costs?
Low season (Nov-Feb) £71-£85 per day
Mid season (March, April, Sept, Oct) £85-£99 per day
High season (May-Aug) £110-£122 per day
What happens if something goes wrong?
You are fully insured and have full AA breakdown cover if you have any hiccups.
How many people can sleep in one van?
They can sleep 4. I would say it would be perfect for 2 adults, and 2 kids. 4 adults would be pretty cosy!
Any hidden costs?
£20 hire fee for a gas bottle
You are also required to take the van for a mini valet before return – depending where you go this could be between £20-£30.
Heres what I got upto...
I collected the van in Glasgow and drove 2 hours to Glen Coe
Parked at An Torr (walking distance to the Clachaig Inn)
Went for a wander in the snow – took lots of snowscapes
Drank tea and read books all afternoon
Slept here on night one
Woke up with a beautiful view of the Aonach Eagach ridge
Crossed Loch Linnhe on the Corran Ferry
En route to Glenuig we stopped at Loch Sunart for a walk
Looked but failed to find the local Elephants…
Parked here for night 2
With beautiful views of Eigg, Rum and a wee bit of Skye in the distance
Then lazed in the sun reading books for the rest of the day!
Heading home we stopped at the Glenfinnan Viaduct for another snowy walk!
Huge thanks to Caledonian Campers for lending me their van for the weekend.