Tips for First-Time Camper Van Renters

Venturing on your first camper van adventure can be exciting, offering a unique opportunity to explore the UK's scenic routes at your own pace. However, the prospect might seem daunting if you're new to the camper van lifestyle. Don't worry—we've got you covered with essential tips and hacks to ensure your journey is as smooth and enjoyable as possible.

Choosing the right camper van

Your choice of van is crucial. Consider the size of the vehicle you feel comfortable driving and the space you'll need. Smaller vans are easier to manoeuvre and park, especially in quaint villages or bustling cities, while larger vans offer more amenities and space. Check what’s included with your hire of our camper vans—such as kitchen facilities, bedding, and electrical hookups—to ensure they meet your needs.

Packing smart

Space is at a premium in a camper van, so pack wisely. Opt for multi-use items like a sarong that can double as a beach towel, picnic blanket, or curtain. Pack clothes that are versatile and suitable for various weather conditions, and remember, storage can be limited, so collapsible containers or compression bags for clothing can be real space savers.

Planning your route and stops

Pre-planning your route is vital to avoid the stress of last-minute decisions. Research campsites and parking areas that are camper van friendly. Apps and websites for camper van enthusiasts often feature user reviews, which can provide insights into the best spots for overnight stays and the amenities available.

Understanding camper van systems

Familiarise yourself with all the systems in your camper van before heading out. Know how to use the water, gas, and electricity systems. At Big Blue Campers, we provide a briefing, so don’t hesitate to ask questions if anything is unclear. Knowing how to troubleshoot basic issues can save you time and hassle.

Securing the van

Security is paramount, especially in unfamiliar places. Always lock the van when you’re away from it, even if you’re nearby or just popping out briefly. In rural areas, parking in well-lit and designated camping areas can help deter theft. In urban areas, additional steering or wheel locks can provide extra security against theft.

Driving tips

Driving a camper van is different from driving a car, especially on narrow country lanes or in hilly areas. Take it slow, and allow more time than usual to get to your destinations. Make use of your mirrors, and don’t rely solely on GPS—having a road atlas can be a helpful backup.

Using resources wisely

Water, electricity, and gas are not unlimited in a camper van, so use these resources sparingly. Turn off lights when not in use and consider cooking meals that require less water and energy. Planning your resource use can help avoid running out at an inconvenient time.

Leaving no trace

Part of the joy of camper van travel is the connection to nature. Always aim to leave your camping spots as you find them or better. Dispose of waste properly and use biodegradable products when possible to minimise your environmental impact.

Engaging with the community

Camper van communities are widespread and often very welcoming. Engaging with fellow travellers can enhance your experience. They can offer advice, share experiences, and recommend places to visit that you might not find in a guidebook.

Relax and enjoy

Finally, while it’s important to be prepared, don’t forget to relax and enjoy the journey. Camper van trips are about freedom and flexibility, so don’t over-schedule. Allow for spontaneous detours and unplanned explorations, as these often make the most memorable experiences.

First-time camper van renting doesn’t have to be intimidating. With these tips, you’re well on your way to a fantastic adventure that combines the comfort of home with the excitement of the road. So, pack up, plan your route, and hit the road—the beauty of the UK awaits you.

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