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I want to escape

My campervan is a practical vehicle midweek – and it sets me free at the weekends

Meet Bill and Elsa

Like many other people considering the campervanning lifestyle, Bill says he and Elsa had never driven a van-sized vehicle before

I’d never driven a van before, so I imagined it would be clunky and awkward to manoeuvre. But I was wrong! Instead, the vehicle we chose was comfortable and I quickly adjusted to the size and placement of the controls. It was nice having a higher vantage point of the road too. It wasn’t a lot bigger than a large car. Even my wife liked it!

We enjoy our campervan enormously and use it a lot to explore the UK. We love exploring the Sussex Downs Heritage Coast and have been on lovely day trips to Beachy Head and Burling Gap. It’s fantastic to be able to park up and take in the spectacular views whilst sipping freshly brewed tea. We’re no longer restricted to day trips: now we can explore further afield in comfort.

We love using the campervan to visit North Cornwall, where the beaches and cliff walks are spectacular. We love the coast and are also planning to visit Suffolk and Norfolk. It’s just so much easier with our campervan. Our Brit Stops guide helps us find interesting and unusual places to spend the night, and we get ideas from other people too.

If rain spoils play, we can either take cover in the van, or head off home. There’s little to pack away, and we love the flexibility and freedom that our campervan provides.

We’ve become more adventurous – we now enjoy sleeping under the stars. I never realised how amazing and magnificent the night sky can be when you’re away from all the light pollution. We now spend more time with our niece and her children, who love coming away with us in our campervan. We wouldn’t have been able to do this before.

The campervan really has represented a new, fun, exciting chapter in our lives.

Meet Barry

Barry has found his campervan surprisingly versatile

I was inspired to get a campervan because I could see what fun my family were enjoying in theirs!

I didn’t want the vehicle just for holidays and day trips; I needed an everyday vehicle that would be easy to park in town. I also fancied a ‘DIY van’, which I could use to collect plants and compost from my local garden centre.

My wife visited Sussex Campervans first, without telling me, then we went along together. We were delighted with what we found, so we bought one. A campervan is a lot more versatile than I’d realised and we get a lot of use out of it – for pleasure and for practical stuff.

We went to France during our first trip away. We took the Newhaven to Dieppe ferry EuroTunnel and drove down to La Rochelle before crossing the bridge to Isle de Re – famous for its oysters. It was a long drive, but so beautiful and surprisingly enjoyable in our campervan. After all, we could pull over whenever we wanted to have a break, a cuppa, and stretch our legs.

Driving the campervan in France was as easy as driving the Toyota Yaris we’d taken on our previous trip. Packing was more of a challenge! We had plenty of space, but were careful about what to take and what to leave behind. We soon had the rolling of items into a holdall off to a fine art! We loved the freedom to explore with no plan in France.

One extra item came in handy – a pop-up toilet tent! There’s space to use the toilet inside the van, but we like the privacy of the tent. On campsites we use on-site facilities, and then the toilet tent makes a handy dressing room, store room and pitch marker when we’re out.

The joy of the campervan is having all we need, when we need it. Our campervan has been a great investment and we’ve put it to brilliant use.

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