The New Era of Campervan Friendships

Loneliness has been a struggle for many people in 2020 - so we’re reaching out to campervan friends online. As the song says, “We’ll get by with a little help from our friends!”

Campervan owners have been luckier than most in 2020 - despite all the Covid restrictions, many people have managed to get away from home in safety. It's easy to see why many people have decided to join the 'Campervan Club' and buy their own to explore their local area and beyond. Many people have also been taking advantage of the beautiful walks near their homes and take in the fresh air and scenery as part of their lockdown exercise.

Not being able to socialise in the way we are used to has opened up a whole host of new means of communication. Zoom calls have been hugely popular as well as keeping in touch within communities on various forms of social media. We have created a Facebook Group for campervan owners and enthusiasts - Camper Van Life UK - and many Sussex Campervan owners are part of this and love to share their tips, advice and favourite campsites.

Local Facebook Groups to your area can also be a goldmine for finding hidden beauty spots, walking routes and cycling trails. If you are in the south of the UK, try searching 'Hidden Sussex', 'Hidden Hampshire' or 'Hidden Surrey' on Facebook for a community of like-minded locals who may just share your next favourite spot! A local walking group could be your cup of tea (when restrictions allow) - with socially distanced scheduled meet-ups throughout the week... look out for one near you.

If inspiring photos are what you love, why not follow us on Instagram? You'll find many fellow Sussex Campervan owners on there and we also love following Sussex Campervan owners on their Instagram and Facebook pages, as well as YouTube. Look for #SussexCampervans and you’ll find plenty of new friends to follow - if you’re ever feeling a bit isolated, please do join in the fun with us.

Meet a few of Our Friends

Phil & Kim, Manhattan 

Phil and Kim are “Living, laughing and loving life as we travel full-time in Tut the campervan,” and keen to share all the positive things they have learned from divorce in their 40s, finding love second time around, and making a radical lifestyle change in their 50s. This autumn they enjoyed a six-week campervan tour of the Scottish Highlands, before lockdown 2. ”What a fantastic experience it has been. Phil found us a beautiful spot in the woods to wildcamp the penultimate night near to The Trossachs National Park. It was frosty so we cosied up in Tut and reminisced about our time here in Scotland,” says Kim.

“The next day we headed further south en-route to Glasgow. We stopped overnight in Whistlefield Viewpoint. We explored the local area, which includes HMNB Clyde (Her Majesty's Naval Base) and RNAD (Royal Naval Armaments Depot) Coulport, both situated on either side of Gare Loch. RNAD Coulport is the storage and loading facility for the nuclear warheads of the UK's Trident programme.” 

Follow Phil & Kim: www.instagram.com/coowoodoo
Read more about their story:  Achieving the Dream

Stewart, Manhattan

As a keen off-road cyclist and mountaineer, Stewart finds plenty of great places to explore, often using his campervan as a base. Last winter he drove his new Manhattan campervan to the Alps for some winter sports. This year he visited the Wye Valley and Plas y Brenin in North Wales. You can follow his adventures here:

Follow Stuart: www.instagram.com/stewart.lomax

Carol & Ken, NV200 CamperCar

Ken, Carol and their “little red campervan” are now YouTube and Instagram stars. The intrepid couple retired early, bought their camper a year ago and have toured Britain, Spain and Portugal in sunshine and rain, wild camping and filming their progress along the way. Their friendly “Life’s too short” videos make us all feel we’ve come along for the ride, and the drone photography offers spectacular views of their favourite locations. As a bonus, Carol shows how to rustle up easy one-pot campervan cuisine that really hits the spot at the end of the day.

Follow Carol & Ken: www.instagram.com/lifeistooshort_campervan
Find Carol & Ken on YouTube: Life is too short

Suzi, Manhattan Compact

After her divorce, Suzi gave up her job, sold her house and bought a new Sussex Campervan to live in full-time. Her joie de vivre is an inspiration and she has toured Scotland, Norway, Sweden, Spain and Portugal, wild camping in picturesque and remote locations. You can  find her with the #mindfulvanlife hashtag on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and her blog. She’s even writing a book about “stepping out of life’s conditioning” to feel truly alive and in touch with nature. 

Follow Suzi: www.instagram.com/suzimussell
Read more about Suzi's story: Meet Suzi
Read Suzi's blog: Mindfulvanlife
Find Suzi on YouTube: Mindfulvanlife

Els & Bodie, Paradise Twin

Dog lovers will adore seeing Bodie the handsome Border Collie’s devotion to Els. She and her dog have climbed mountains on the Isle of Skye and the Highlands of Scotland this year, as well as hiking in the Brecon Beacons. During a Lake District trip this summer, Els said, “Bodie. Highest dog in England. After many years of getting around to it, he completed the Great Britain Three Peaks Challenge today, with Scafell Pike.” Nearer home the pair visit Winchester Hill and the New Forest. Bodie keeps up with his mistress when she goes for a run and is agile enough to chase squirrels up into some trees. Sea swimming from Lepe beach is another matter, though. Els says, “Loving my new swimming hat. Not sure Bodie is quite as impressed!”

Follow Els & Bodie: www.instagram.com/blacksladder

Karen, Manhattan LWB

Recently we’ve been enjoying Karen’s adventures in her new blue and white Sussex Campervan. She’s been camping at Brightstone on the Isle of Wight, and also staying in the New Forest, surrounded by wild ponies and donkeys and enjoying the heatwave earlier this summer. Karen says, “Absolutely loving our new Nissan NV300 Manhattan Camper-van! So glad we went for the long wheel base definitely gives you more room. Amazing how much you can squeeze in to all the little cupboards. This is total luxury for us, in all our wildest dreams never thought we would get one as nice as this! We have always been V-Dub people but now we are totally converted!

Having the large 25L water tank, LPG gas and heating will be a real bonus, the rock n roll bed transforms in minutes too so no problems when you're tired! We highly recommend the team at Sussex Campervans and we look forward to enjoying many adventures travelling around in this lovely van!”

Follow Karen: www.instagram.com/nv300_adventuresindory

Not all our friends are on social media, of course. If you’re lucky, you might meet them on a campsite...

Brian & Aprille, Paradise Deluxe

“We know how to pick a good neighbour… Emerging from our Covid-free bunker in September, my wife Aprille and I headed to the beautiful Hertford Camping and Caravanning Club campsite in our new ‘Paradiso' from Sussex Campervans for a five-day wonderful change of scenery. We could not resist a giggle at our neighbour’s van. Needless to say, there was nobody home!”

Read more about Brian and Aprille's story: Meet Brian & Aprille

Please do send photos and tell us how you use your campervan. Email lifestyle@sussexcampervans.com. We’d love to hear from you!