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Campervan man - that's me!

I want to tell you a little bit about my campervan.

Over the years I've owned a succession of campervans, including a number of classic VW models. Our first model was a Toyota Hiace, which we bought away back in the early eighties when my sons were both fairly young.

We had all kinds of adventures in that vehicle and when rusting panels became a headache we changed it for a VW Westfalia with pop-up roof.

Despite its problems, and it had many including a heater that refused to work, we loved the iconic style of that vehicle and we took it over to the Alps on several occasions. At one point we put a new engine in it and eventually swopped it for a slightly bigger VW.

Several models later, when our sons had grown up and fled the nest, we decided our campervan days were over, but a few years ago the campervan bug began to itch again and we bought a very cheap, home converted Renault Traffic van which went by the name of the Purple Haze...

We loved it, despite the fact it was completely uncomfortable and the fun we had with it convinced us we should spenf a bit of money, a lot of money as it happened, on a new vehicle.

We went off to the Campervan show at the NEC in Birmingham and bought a Romahome R40, bigger than our usual campervans but not so big it would be a problem on highland roads. Sadly it was a problem in other ways.

No sooner had the warranty run out then things went wrong. We had to have it rewired, the shock absorbers were too light for the weight of the vehicle and the heater cost us over a grand in repairs. I was more than happy to see the back of it...

We then went for a motorhome proper but that was a mistake. It didn't take us long to realise we are not yet motorhome people, much preferring the compactness and car-type size of a campervan.

For the kind of work I do, essentially climbing mountains and writing about it, a campervan makes ideal accommodation, a vehicle and a bunkhouse all in one!

So, ealier this year we looked around for something new. We considered a number of VW vans but we didn't really like the current transporter type vans on the market.

We then discovered the Hyundai i800 Wellhouse conversion. This is a 2.5 litre Turbo Deisel base vehicle with a Remo pop-up roof and a pretty luxurious conversion. It has a supern Webasto heater for thiose cold mornings, a compresser fridge and a two-hob burner. It lasi has a pretty stove oven and best of all an excellent toaster! I like my toast in the mornings...

We've used the Hyundai pretty extensively over the summer, including a superb two week break on Shetland, and it's been a fantastic vehicle. For next summer we're planning a month long sortie to Croatia, returning home through Italy and France.

I hope to add a few campervan posts to this blog over the coming months and, all going well, I might even be featuring campervans in a new television programme later next year. Fingers crossed...

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