All You Need to Know About Traveling With a Camper
Traveling with a camper is a perfect form of workation. You can convert your camper to your private mobile office and in your free time you can travel wherever you want. Only prerequisite for your endless workation possibilities is the necessity of network coverage and powerful solar panels to charge your devices. But don't worry, the world is pretty well covered by mobile networks, unlimited mobile data are cheaper than ever before and solar panels are basic equipment to any camper you may encounter. Let's start with travel tips for campers.
Campers are amazing also for pure vacation traveling. There is just something endlessly romantic about wandering around coastlines or mountain ranges with your own little motorhome. Campers offer great freedom for your travels. You can flexibly adjust the plans to your needs and you have the comfort of your home wherever you are.
What you need to do before you hit the road
So here you are, planning the amazing camper road trip. Do you already see yourself on the picturesque Instagram shot, watching the sunset from a cozy camper bed, bundled up in a warm blanket and drinking your spicy tea, but you just don't know what are the things you have to do before you get there? The first big question that arrives is how you get yourself to the camper of your dreams.
Big question: Should you rent or buy a camper?
Camper lifestyle is a dreamy idea reminiscent of nostalgic hippie movies. It is truly a romantic and poetic kind of living on the road and traveling through life. But campers also have their challenges and requirements and the initial cost of investment is thousands of euro. That being said, it is really advisable to first try renting a camper. Only by trying something for yourself can you decide if it is right for you.
Advantages of renting
- Renting a motorhome is great for trying the camper lifestyle. You will get the same feeling of life on the road without having to spend a lot of money on your own vehicle.
- If you take vacation infrequently it makes financial sense to rent.
- You can test more campers and caravans and choose which one fits you the best. There are different sizes, different setouts and it is hard to know what you prefer without trying it at first.
- No maintenance required. Most rental companies keep their campers in perfect conditions.
Disadvantages of renting
- You have to book everything ahead, so you lose a part of the flexibility and freedom campers essentially offers.
- It is not cheap.
Advantages of buying
- Buying a camper is a liberating experience. Suddenly you are not chained to one place and you can travel wherever your heart calls you.
- You can modify your own camper however you want.
- It is ready whenever you wish to use it.
- If you buy second hand you can save a lot of money.
Disadvantages of buying
- You are responsible for maintenance.
- You have to store your camper when not in use.
- It is a BIG investment.
How easy/hard is traveling with a camper?
Camper lifestyle has many specifics. It is a challenge for drivers inexperienced with bigger vehicles. As any kind of traveling on your own, it demands organising skills and good preparation is a key to relaxed travels. Below you will find seven topics covering the core elements connected with camper lifestyle, answers for the most frequented questions and tips for smooth travels.
1. Is it hard to drive a camper?
Driving a motorhome is easier than expected, but previous driving experience is required. Campers are bigger and wider than cars and you have to feel comfortable while driving to enjoy the road. But you don't have to worry too much. Soon you will get used to it. If you can drive a car, you can drive a motorhome.
Some observations of experienced motorhome drivers
- Motorhomes are wider so you need to drive a bit closer to the pavement.
- Watch your speed and distance. Heavy vehicles need more time to break.
- Try to avoid tiny parkings. Always think how you will leave the place. There is no rear window in the camper – you have to trust your side mirrors while parking, so adjust them properly.
- Know your limits, the height and width are especially important for passing smooth through the tunnels. Also turning and parking is a bit different with campers and motorhomes.
- Practise, practise, practise. Find an empty parking lot and practise all the tricky driving maneuvers like parallel parking and turns.
2. Expand your flexibility – gain endless freedom
You need to enjoy the unpredictable. Traveling with a camper offers a great portion of freedom, but it also demands flexibility from you. Don't make your plans strict, they need to be flexible and adaptable to nice and not so nice locations and situations you encounter.
Sometimes the things just don't happen the way we would like them to. Don't expect that all the details will follow your expectations. This is just not how traveling happens.
There are plenty of unpredictable and challenging things along the way. The bad weather, the sudden need for repairs, mechanical failures, full parking, the lack of solar power to charge your devices, little space and lack of privacy. Camper life will truly test you, it is a pure adventure and you need to be ready to follow the flow and don't focus so much on your plans.
Let yourself enjoy the places you fall in love, don't rush and slow down. Sooner you will admit that you have no control over many parts of your traveling, better for you. But it is all about perspective. You can either see problems or live an adventure.
3. Campers are all about planning, packing and organising
While traveling with a camper you are moving a lot and you spend a lot of time with logistics. There is always something you have to plan and organise. Save yourself a time and make up the checklist for packing, setting off and setting up.
Your thoughts will also spin around the topics like where will you park on your next move, where will you pump the clean water, or where will you replace gas cylinders. For these questions, the application StayFree is super useful.
4. Get ready to have always some maintenance issues on the table
Things get broken sometimes. Plumbing issues, leaks, losing power and many other little things. There is just always something to repare. One quote says “van life is fixing things in pretty places” and this is just so much true.
5. In campers space is sacred and privacy is luxury
The van will turn you into a minimalist. Everything in a camper is small and you will have to adapt to the size of your life space. This can be tough, but it will teach you through experience how little you actually need. It will teach you to communicate better with your fellow travelers. It will teach you to listen to your needs and it will so much extend your comfort zone.
With less things you will get more creative. You will find out that the whole world can be your playground and your relationships will get closer and richer. It is challenging, but also rewarding.
6. Choose the destination according to the weather
The camper life works best when you can spend most of the time outside. When the weather gets moody, interesting challenges come to the place. All the camper travelers went through issues like “where to dry wet clothes?” or “how to sleep in the roof bed when the crazy wind arrives or the sun is turning it into an oven?”. Think about these factors when you plan your roadtrip and adapt also the gear and equipment when you pack yourself.
7. Am I forgetting something?
“Is anything slipping my mind?” This is a frequent question for all travelers. Countless times checking that the car is ready to hit the road, that nothing is left behind. The important actions are on the tip of your tongue, but in the hustle of buzy moments you lose the train of thoughts.
Save yourself time and energy and make a checklist for important moments like setting off, setting up and packing.
Your best adventure is yet to come
Traveling with a camper puts adventure to a new level. Only like this you can take your comfortable tiny house to every corner of our Mother Earth and feel everywhere like at home. Enjoy the road and remember that happiness, not a destination, gives direction to our hearts.
Camping du Domaine D'Anglas
France • Banks of Herault river, near Montpellier
France • On island near Nantes
Suryalila Retreat Centre
Spain • in the heart of Andalusian countryside
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