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Our campervan

When I met Dave, he was the proud owner of a Volkswagen T25 campervan. It was his pride and joy. After spending all my life camping in tents, a whole new world was opened up to me. Rather than lugging belongings for miles across fields at festivals, we could now rock up with everything already in place and set up. I didn’t have to go outside to cook and I stayed warm all night, thanks to a proper bed.

A year or so into our relationship, Dave had to let Leaka, as she was fondly known, go to a new home. She was named after her tendency to leak water from one corner of the van when parked on uneven ground or without chocks. She was 30 years old and was showing her age. Even though Dave could maintain her mechanically, her bodywork issues were just too much for him to be able to keep on top of. Lack of space and lack of all the right tools made looking after her difficult. He didn’t have a drive at his rented house, so had to do any maintenance on the roadside.

Moving to the wood meant we had plenty of space to keep an extra vehicle and all the necessary tools. Ian, my stepdad, has even more tools and is also very knowledgeable about mechanics.

Dave much prefers old campervans with charm and character compared to newer, more expensive models. He wanted a VW again and spent what seemed forever looking for ‘the one’. It has to be right; not too decrepit that it couldn’t be put into action straight away, not too new that too much of the components were electrical, therefore more difficult to fix; and, most importantly, within our budget.

One Saturday morning, we were drinking our cuppa in bed and Dave was scouring Gumtree for campervans (this was now a daily ritual). A blue VW T4 caught his eye and he started to read out the blurb in the ad to me. The make was right, the model was right, the price was very good and, coincidentally, the owner lived in our closets village! It had to be an omen.

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Within a couple of hours, we were driving the van around the owner’s field and discussing its features and drawbacks. It had a new window, it had recently been resprayed and the owners seemed honest and trustworthy. It was a no-brainer but we knew we should ‘think about it’. One cuppa back at the house later and we were back with the campervan making our offer and sealing the deal for just £1700!

Summer with a campervan again has been amazing. We’ve been to a festival, to the Lakes, to Wales and to parties. I will always love camping in a tent but nothing beats the space, warmth and versatility of a campervan.

We made what was probably our last trip in the campervan this year, in October when we went to Wales. Now I’m wishing winter away so that we can go on more adventures.

By Jenni Tulip

I'm a bright-haired, hill walking, magpie whispering, skull collecting, tree hugging, money saving, bird watching, happy campervanning, ferret fanatic, woodland dweller sharing my stories and passion for the outdoors to inspire you to immerse yourself in nature.