1988 Toyota Minnie Winnie

Change Everything That Does not Fit

Buying a caravan usually is a life-changer. With my family we have not only enhanced our traveling, but significantly changed our life attitude. We are throwing away things we don't like and are focusing on things we do like.

Notes from our first caravan trip

Foreplay to our first bigger journey was a trip to Zlín, where we stayed at Pahrbek campsite and have tested how a longer journey in a caravan can go, and what is more, what we will be missing on a longer journey. It was not bad, all we needed to buy was two meters of hose, a hammer and pliers. We already had all the rest.

Camping in Zlin, Czechia

The first real trip was a breakthrough. For safety reasons we went only to Croatia, so in case of an unexpected situation we would not be far away from home. Nothing really happened so the trip became a real life-changer.

Camping Split and Camping Panorama

On our first real journey we truly explored pros and cons of leaving home country for a longer time. Let's have a look at what questions we have answered.

Campsites in Europe

1. Our goals

  • Travel differently – have time for family and work
  • Afford longer stay and more intense experience
  • Do what I like and receive impulses from unknown environment
  • Do things differently than mainstream and explore new colours of life
  • By the way, a nice example is Home-science: How I created happy home (sorry, in Czech language only)
  • Share the experience and knowledge, for example in an article for Bel Mondo

Belmondo Article

2. Working over Internet abroad

Data were no problem. Just in case I equipped myself with an appropriate roaming plan (Vodafone Data Passport), where one month with 4.6 GB costs around 50 EUR regardless of country within Europe*. But Mifi Solution as well as T-Mobile SIM card in Croatia provided 1 GB for 8 EUR. Later, my colleague Michal let me know, that even better deal can be had at VIP carrier, where you can have 1 GB a day for 1.3 EUR, so 30 GB cost 40 EUR monthly. Any of these variants is cheaper than paid WiFi at campsite.

Caravan Office

Caravan Office for a Digital Nomad

*) Countries where Vodafone Passport is valid (in November 2012): Andorra, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, French Guyana, Croatia, Gibraltar,. Guadeloupe, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Jersey, Cypress, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, Isle of Man, Martinique, Monaco, Germany, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Austria, Romania, Greece. San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Czech, City of Vatican, United Kingdom, Czech Republic.

Capsule-powered water purifier

3. Clean water

Another thing we had to solve abroad was clean water. For children we did not want to risk, so we bought all the water for them. After our return we discovered cleaning kettles, which can remove most of the dirt from the water. You need to replace filters, thus one liter costs between 0.01 and 0.02 EUR which sounds fair.

Another interesting knowledge was realization how much water we were using. A shower is a real water-eater! I was filling 40l every day and when bathing I was filling even more. You have no rest at the campsite, there is always something to fill or empty.

4. Further

  • Without B+E driving license – we went through Hungary – just in case.
  • 220V sockets in the caravan work only when caravan is connected to electricity at the campsite
  • I managed 1 yoga session and one beach run session

5. Map of visited camps

GuruCamper - Map of Visited Campsited

Toyota Hilux

Many people perceive changes as a risk or threat. But the truth is, that changes are tools for innovations (improvements) so we should not be scared of them at all. Life will be more colorful.

Toyota Hilux 2011 Model

Toyota Hilux 2011 Model

I have an ideal case here. Until recently I would not exchange my BMW for anything, but small changes in priorities helped to lessen this fixation. So my sixth BMW became a Toyota Hilux. Not a coincidence. I came to conclusion that German car manufacturers have earned on me more than enough. Their business strategy to sell every PCB for thousands of EUR slightly helped my decision. So I'd rather help repair Fukushima.

Why I have chosen Hilux

  • Toyota has reputation of high reliability
  • Car has a very simple construction
  • Trailer maximum weight up to 2.5 tons
  • Minimum amount of electronics – expensive to maintain
  • At times most sold car in most countries
  • No hiding — form follows function
  • Potential perfect car for Africa

Anyway, Hilux is indestructible

Advertising videos are great as well

Toyota sellers

When two people do same things, it is not the same thing. After doing market survey for Toyota resellers I found out that there are huge differences both in price offered as well as in customer communication. Therefore I can recommend these three: Dajbych PlzeňOldřich Rypar a Euroauto Protech. All of them negotiate the price. It was on honor to negotiate with them.

Previous part  Next part of Our Story

By Vita • November 2012

Vita, co-founder of Camperguru, and his family traveled around Europe for over a decade. Starting with a caravan trailer and later upgrading to a more maneuverable van, they partially raised their children on the road. Vita is the co-founder of Camperguru and contributes to camping in Europe with his maps and other freebies. He is always willing to help with all things camping.

Check 68 Verified spots at Camperguru by Vita.

We partner with Amazon Associate and earn from qualifying purchases.

Upper Class Gear

Gear maximizing your experiences in the wild outdoors

Our ambassadors hand-selected the highest quality & most endurant gear that they use themselves. Exclusive sellection of renowned providers delivering to your home or camper.

All Gear