Having dismissed the larger RVs and smaller Mazda Bongos or VW campervans we set about finding a vehicle with a long wheel base and a high roof that would give us enough space to live and store our gear without making us look like an obvious campervan.
Stealth was the order of the day.
I should point out that the campervan we have now is not the first one we bought but that’s a cautionary tale I’ll cover in the next article. There were lessons learned in that episode which helped make a better choice the next time.
So then, our campervan. It’s a long wheel base Renault Master with a 2.5 litre diesel engine and a high roof. The length of the vehicle is still a point of discussion between us; Calypso wanting an extra two or three feet, me happy with the 18 feet I’ve got. Reminds me of something…
Aesthetics are another issue too, but that’s another story.
The van itself is a great base to work with and has ample room for storage, sitting, a kitchen area and a permanent bed. Those were things we knew we wanted. We do not have a toilet or shower inside the van but we have never needed them. We originally wanted a wood burning stove in case things got cold in the winter but the layout as it is doesn’t allow for one.
Driving the van is a doddle. The turning circle is a bit wide but then it’s an 18 foot vehicle so that’s to be expected but the engine is very responsive and the brakes are sharp. For a big van it corners well too without much body roll, something you need to consider when you’ve got ‘stuff’ wedged into drawers and shelves in the back of a moving vehicle.
Having only so much space means you have to plan your design very carefully and I tried several ideas until I found something I thought would serve all our needs. As t turns out I was mistaken and it was only through living in the van that I learned exactly how thing should be to maximise our space, convenience and comfort, things I will discuss in another post.
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