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Campervan travel through UK/Europe

Has anyone hired a campervan to travel through UK/Europe?
16 years ago, August 12th 2007 No: 1 Msg: #17820  
Just wanted to hear from people that may have done this before.

I've had a look at a few websites for campervan hire and the prices blew me away, very expensive. Does anyone know of any cheap campervan rental websites?

What have peoples experiences been? Has it been easy to find camping parks throughout Europe? Reply to this

16 years ago, August 18th 2007 No: 2 Msg: #18165  
N Posts: 2
why not consider buying a proper van and putting camping gear inside, or buying a vw camper."nd hand of course.
Just bought a vw van to take me back to uk from a year in spain and theyre a great vehicle. Wherever you end up. NJOY! Reply to this

16 years ago, August 18th 2007 No: 3 Msg: #18166  
N Posts: 2
Sorry, forgot to add, If you get a mechanically excellent vehicle, it can always be sold on after your return, even cheaper than renting!! This works very well. I bought a van to remove to Spain, and took it back to uk to sell, well worth the hassle as the move cost nxt to nothing. Reply to this

16 years ago, September 19th 2007 No: 4 Msg: #19700  
N Posts: 3
Hiya, we've been asking the same sort of questions - our research so far has been that it's cheaper to buy than rent, and as mentioned above - you can sell it on once you've finished the trip!

If you're starting in the Uk, we have been recommended to check out www.gumtree.com - an online classifieds website, with people selling all sorts - including people finishing their tours of uk/europe and wanting to sell off their vans - sometimes they even sell them complete with all their gear and guide books etc.

We're still undecided as to what we're going to do as yet - but the one negative for us was that although there are plenty of excellent campgrounds all over europe, they appear to be on the outskirts of the cities. This would be great for some cities, but not so great if wanting to be central and amongst the action!

Of all the forums I've posted questions on about campervan touring, I haven't had any people with super negative experiences - one did however suggest ensuring we were vigilant with security after he found himself rudely awoken by people opening the doors on his van!! (you can buy sliding door dead bolts for vans, from campervan accessary suppliers)

Not that I am at all experienced in the campervan hire/buy process - this is just what others have advised us so far! Goodluck 😊 Reply to this

16 years ago, September 24th 2007 No: 5 Msg: #19946  
I haven't any experience with a campervan but me and the girlfriend are in the advance stages of acquiring one!

We are quitting work in December and plan to go travelling round Europe in the campervan. Initially to the Alps to snowkite/snowboard and then the rest of Europe once we feel like moving on.

So we are sort of throwing ourselves in at the deep end! It's one thing trying to purchase a campervan with no experience and its another to purchase one to take into the freezing cold mountains, so many extra things to consider.

We are going for a Mercedes sprinter van conversion. For £9,000 we've picked up one with 140k miles on the clock, registered in 2000, decent conversion with kitchen and bathroom facilities and a decent sized garage accessible from the back which is ideal for us to store all our equipment. These vans are still running around with 300k miles on the clock so even if we rack up 50k miles in the 9 months we are away we should be able to get a decent chunk of that money back when we sell it on.

Without the internet I don't think we would be embarking on such a mission. All of the knowledge we have acquired thus far about campervans is through the internet. We have created a blog to document our experience and hopefully help others in the process.
Kiteboard Europe by Campervan
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13 years ago, November 20th 2010 No: 6 Msg: #123376  
Hi guys!
We're planning to travel Europe in a converted VW van for 9 weeks in May and June. We've met some people who did this on a budget of Euro 100 a week and then a couple who spent Euro 300 per week each.
We're stocking our van with as much non-perishable food as possible and plan to only buy fresh products eg. meat, milk, fruit and veg.

Excluding fuel, can anyone help me a realistic budget per week?
Any advice would be very much appreciated.
Thanks! Reply to this

13 years ago, November 21st 2010 No: 7 Msg: #123390  
B Posts: 277
Hi, it all depends on where you are going and what you want to do. In Scandinavia the opportunities for free camping are greater, Eastern Europe is generally cheaper than Western but 100 Euros per week seems completely unrealistic. If you are going to visit museums and archaelogical sites you should budget 5-10 Euros per person/site (a student id-card will usually get you a discount). National parks may also ask for a fee. In most places you need to stay at camping sites, one reason is safety (don't ever stay at roadside parkings, as you will be an easy target for robbery), the second that in most countries free camping is not allowed and the other is that you will need toilets and shower facilities. I have no great experience lately but 25-50 Euros seem reasonable per night. Also be aware that there are tolls for many roads and for tunnels, parking in most cities and towns is not free (and can be VERY expensive), and if you plan to go to major cities you need to include local transport. Reply to this

13 years ago, November 21st 2010 No: 8 Msg: #123407  
Thanks for your advice! Will start looking into all of that...
It looks like there will be no quick fix budget and plan to this... Reply to this

13 years ago, November 22nd 2010 No: 9 Msg: #123450  
The way I look at campervaning is dont expect it to be the cheapest way to do things (remember petrol costs in the UK are very high and campervans are not that efficient on fuel) but do it if thats the experience you want but expect to pay more than you bargained for all in.
In the UK, excluding fuel I would say 80-100 GBP/day for two people - this covers basic van hire (£40/day), camp site fee (£15), basic supermarket food (£10) and some entry fees (£20). Add in petrol and you can say 100-150 EUR/day depending on distance travelled. (remember you wont travel every day either).

Excluding scandinavia, I would assume the UK will be one of the most expensive countries to visit. Italy, Portugal and Spain are cheaper but dont miss Scotland - get to the outer hebrides if you can - absolutely stunning. Reply to this

13 years ago, November 23rd 2010 No: 10 Msg: #123543  
We bought a camping van in Sweden and spent three moths driving from there to Turkey and back. We would do it all over again. No problems with camping spots. Contacts us for more info if needed. Reply to this

13 years ago, November 24th 2010 No: 11 Msg: #123605  
Hello! We have just finished a trip around UK/Europe in a campervan and loved it! Campervans are an excellent way to get around and provide kitchen, bed and transport all in one!

We completed a round trip of Europe in about 6-7 weeks and spent three months in the UK/Ireland and it was definitely on the cheap. We bought a van in the UK through ebay for 2000 pounds. As a non-National is was pretty easy, the only snag was getting roadside assistance because 1. we weren't UK nationals and 2. our van was 20 years old! We too, were blown away by rental prices, particularly if you are looking at a trip of a couple of weeks or more. I did come across http://www.coolcampervans.com/ while we were looking at selling our van, not sure how their prices compare.

As far as driving was considered, a sat nav was indispensable, I cannot stress this more, it saved so many potentially stressful times, and also has information such as campsites, attractions, supermarkets and mechanics. We also would take it with us while walking around. SO, SO helpful.

The next thing I feel I should broach is free camping. We generally free camped two nights and went to a campsite on the third. FRANCE is just great for free camping and even encourage it by offering little hook-up points in car parks. http://airecampingcar.com/ gives all the sites. There is a LOT out there on the net with regards to free camping and a lot of really good advice with regards to good places to stay and some practicalities as well. We went to Europe in the spring and it was perfect as the weather was still great and everyone was much more relaxed about free camping (they are probably more uptight in the summer). The only place where it is technically illegal (that we went) was Croatia, but even here we found that for example, if you ask a cafe owner with a cafe/carpark on the lake if you can stay the night they will 9/10 times say yes.

As for budget, we budgeted 100 euros/day for two adults and a child. This was feasible (just!) as we were free camping 2/3 of the time.

Last thing I should mention is the toilet/shower situation. Buy a campervan with this installed and it will be more expensive, but much more comfortable. We made do with a portable toilet and a 'bowl of warm water' wash-down before bed. It was ok but everyone has their personal limits, fine for my partner and little girl but it was wearing a bit thin for me in the end!

I detailed all of our trip on our blog and if you need any more advice just send me a message. Always happy to help as I know how much we needed it when we set off! Reply to this

13 years ago, November 24th 2010 No: 12 Msg: #123641  
Thank you all so very much for your advice! I've got quite a bit to look for now and will appreciate it very much if I can message you closer to the time with more detailed questions as they arise.
Thank you for the website links. Good news is that we're buying a van and this way avoiding the renting costs...
Looking forward to it! Reply to this

13 years ago, November 24th 2010 No: 13 Msg: #123643  
You'll find loads of information about campsites and associated matters on blogs by Grey haired nomads. They've travelled by motorhome throughout Europe (and USA, Canada and New Zealand too). Okay, a motorhome may be bigger and a tad more luxurious than a campervan, but they go to the same places and use the same sites. These bloggers have been using their own and rented motorhomes for years so, be warned, there's lots to read! Reply to this

12 years ago, December 8th 2010 No: 14 Msg: #124454  
We're a new VW Classic Campervan hire company based in Central Scotland although we've only been running a year we've already had a great response more about our two <snip>
Reply to this

12 years ago, July 26th 2011 No: 15 Msg: #141006  
Hello everybody !

I just want to share my experience, I've rent a campervan in Blacksheep company in France (Lyon, near the Alps) in May-June, during 6 weeks.
Visit Europe in campervan is really a cool thing to do, and it's very easy to park, especially if the campervan is discreet. It's quite economical and very easy and confortable to drive (air cooled and speed regulator!). Price was not so important, it's all include (km, insurance, equipment, multidriver...), and cars are brandnew Volkswagen T5 !
They can pick-up you at the train station or the airport of Lyon Saint-Exupery.
So I've start from France (Lyon), then I've bee to Italie, Slovenia, Hungary, Czeck Republic, Deutschland and... France. It was crazy, and very simple to find a place to stay in all this contries. A very beatifull road trip aroud the Alps. I recommend (the trip and the company!
If you are interested, the website of the company is Blacksheep-van.com.
Enjoy your road trip !

Rem, The Road tripper.
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