Viewing 37 posts - 1 through 37 (of 37 total)
  • First van life trip – help me plan!
  • richardkennerley
    Full Member

    Got a rented camper (transporter) from Friday for a few nights. Having a few days out in it then a trip to Wales for a couple of days. All to see how we get on with it, is it something we’d enjoy/could make the most of if we owned one?

    I’ve purposefully booked a campsite in Wales where there appears to be decent food vendors on site (llyn Gwynant) so we don’t have to worry about cooking. However, Mrs.Kennerley loves to plan everything to the extreme so is wanting to get all the shopping in beforehand.

    There’s us two and a 6 year old and we’re only away for two nights, the rest of the hire period will be day trips (and one overnight biking trip for me 😀 )

    The van is a properly converted Transporter and comes with EHU, cooking equipment/fridge/sockets etc’ as you would expect.

    So far, we’ve got/borrowed :

    Sleeping bags
    Extra inflatable mattress things
    Inflatable pillow
    Torch/headtorch/lantern
    Citronella candles
    Camping chairs
    Two man tent
    Drive away, inflatable awning

    Food wise I’m just thinking :

    Tea/coffee/milk and related equipment
    water
    fruit juice
    Breakfast cereal for the little one
    porridge for us
    various snacks (crisps/cereal bars etc)

    But really I don’t want to over think it and am just banking on eating out as this is only a one off trip for now. If we were to adopt the life style, then being more self-sufficient would be more important.

    Weather currently looking decent, but we’ve been advised (by a camping friend) to take warm clothing for night time sitting around.

    Is there anything absolutely obvious/essential we need that I’m going to get a load of grief for when we realise that I’ve forgotten it!! 😉

    33tango
    Full Member

    Toilet roll and baby wipes 👨‍👩‍👦

    Ambrose
    Full Member

    Sticker that says something to express your individuality?

    jam-bo
    Full Member

    I’ve purposefully booked a campsite in Wales where there appears to be decent food vendors on site (llyn Gwynant)

    most of merseyside too.

    Is there anything absolutely obvious/essential we need that I’m going to get a load of grief for when we realise that I’ve forgotten it!! 😉

    earplugs. see above…

    richardkennerley
    Full Member

    My ineptitude will highlight us as different

    Add well the huge “rented from …” decals on the side of the van 🤘😎🤘

    llama
    Full Member

    Van has a pull out bed and a roof bed right? Drop the awning and the tent. The nice thing about a van is you park up and you are done. The pain is that you park up and you put up 2 tents.

    Forget sleeping bags/inflatable pillow take proper bedding. The roof bed will probably have a mattress in it. You might need a mattress for the pull out bed depending on how ‘car like’ it is.

    has it got leveling ramps?

    why take water?

    If you were not eating out – bbq

    beer?

    hand soap and washing up stuff

    Depending on where you are, insect repellent, and with this mad weather, sun cream

    clothing wise, take what you would take camping normally

    ElShalimo
    Free Member

    Don’t over think.

    Maybe add:

    – crocs for walking across a wet field to the toilets

    – a pee bottle for yourself (so you don’t have to walk across a wet field to the toilets in the middle of the night)

    – do NOT pack too much kit and clothes. A T5/6 is a small van and there’s not lots of storage

    – bike locks

    Why do you need a campervan, a 2 man tent and a driveaway awning for 2.5 people?

    yoshimi
    Full Member

    Forget the tent/awning!

    Windbreak can be invaluble for comfy/cosy evenings outside – not to mention can make cooking much easier

    Proper bedding and pillows in a van

    Self-inflating mats as the pull out beds can be a bit firm on their own

    Kitchen roll

    For 2 nights with food available I’d take the bare minimum – there’s no fun to be had looking for/arranging/packing/re-packing loads of kit

    Edit – as above, Crocs/Flip-flops obviously!

    nickjb
    Free Member

    As already mentioned, I wouldn’t bother with sleeping bags or inflatable pillows. Take a sheet, duvet and pillows from your bed at home. Way more comfortable. Its handy to have a big bag to stuff them in.

    Flipflops or garden shoes for nipping out in the night or using the showers.

    Mostly don’t over think it. If this is a test run then have a go and see what works and what doesn’t. We take very little so its minimal effort to pack up and go. Being agile is the big benefit, although less of an issue if you are just staying on the same pre-booked campsite

    alpin
    Free Member

    surely if you’re a proper van lifer you need your instagram handle written somewhere on the van so all the other sad **** can see where you’ve been.

    you probably need a dog or even a cat as well as sime bullshit job in the creative industry that you can do remotely.

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    But really I don’t want to over think it

    too late 🤣
    If you’ve not even been camping before, I’d make the first night close to home so you can always dash back & get something if you need!! Otherwise, the important thing IMO is just having a crack & figuring out what works for you as some peoples’ luxuries are others’ essentials & vice-versa.
    Also intrigued by the thinking behind renting a camper, and packing a tent… 🤔

    richardkennerley
    Full Member

    Why do you need a campervan, a 2 man tent and a driveaway awning for 2.5 people?

    This is exactly what we’re going to find out! No idea if the compact life is for us, or do we need to spread out!?

    Interesting about bedding, previous advice (from camping friends) is definitely sleeping bags. It’s all borrowed gear so nothing wasted at the moment.

    Also intrigued by the thinking behind renting a camper, and packing a tent… 🤔

    bail-out option in case one of us hates it and needs space 😀

    again, it’s all borrowed so no wastage!

    duncancallum
    Full Member

    I use a double sleeping bag, you can just zip 2 singles together normally.

    Your going wales not the yukon, there’s shops there you know.

    Spend your money locally as well I often only take a couple of tins etc incase of missing shops and try and buy from independent shops

    simon_g
    Full Member

    To be fair, a small pop-up tent can be handy for stashing bulky things like kids car seats to free up more space inside. Family camping in transporter-size vans seems to be an exercise in moving things around from one place to another.

    Don’t bother with the awning.

    Small bags / packing cell things for clothes, they’re much easier to stuff away than a couple of big bags.

    sharkbait
    Free Member

    If you’re doing it as a test to see if you enjoy van life shouldn’t you be actually cooking one night?
    (Unless you plan to only ever go to places with a restaurant very nearby)

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    Interesting about bedding, previous advice (from camping friends) is definitely sleeping bags.

    when we’re car camping, and space is not an issue, it’s 12″ thick air mattress & duvet. Much nicer, especially for a week! But takes up a huge amount more space than 2 decent mats & sleeping bags, so depends if you have the room really. Sleeping bags will be warmer, probably not going to be an issue at the moment though!

    ElShalimo
    Free Member

    This is exactly what we’re going to find out! No idea if the compact life is for us, or do we need to spread out!?

    You’re very quickly going to find out that filling the van with unnecessary crap makes setting up camp and breaking camp a much longer process!

    Ditch the 2 man tent, bring the driveaway awning – it give you extra living space if it’s raining or cold. When you’re out during the day it also gives you somewhere to shove your tables, chairs, BBQ, bikes, boots (basically the stuff you didn’t take with you for the day)

    The issue with duvet and pillows from home is … yes you’ve guessed it, the space they take up in the van when you’re not in bed. For a small van sleeping bags are good but they also take up room when not in use. A summer weight quilt from home will be good enough, if it’s chilly put a t-shirt or pyjamas on. Take an old belt or strap from home to wrap around the rolled up/folded quilt to reduce the volume when not in use

    roballison
    Full Member

    If it’s a rock and roll bed a memory foam mattress topper is great. Proper bedding, just roll it up in morning when you push back to seat. It’ll stay on the back side of it.
    Warm clothing, nothing else too much.
    Don’t over think it!

    Pieface
    Full Member

    In 2018 the only ‘eating out’ at llyn Gwynant was the Wood Fired Pizzeria, which had long queues. Other than that its going to be a fair drive / walk to anywhere else. There’s a small shop in Beddgelert, otherwise you’re driving over to Llanberis / Porthmadog for decent sized shops.

    I’m a fan of chorizo, peppers, chick peas and rice / pasta, otherwise there’s more ideas here – https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/skills/series/food/camp_cuisine_-_five_energy_packed_dinners_for_better-fed_backpacking-13522

    Surely driving to supermarkets in the van is part of working out whether van life is for you?

    db
    Full Member

    porridge! You’re camping, bacon and mushroom wraps is the rule in our van for breakfast.

    ***tuts “porridge”, shakes head and walks away***

    Pieface
    Full Member

    I recently joined a FB group for selling Camping Gear, the amount of enormous tents and paraphernalia you NEED to go camping (inflatable corner sofas, portable fridges, carpets etc) being sold as bundles, having only been used a handful of times, is staggering.

    MrTricky
    Free Member

    Nobody has mentioned beer/wine so far, or spare batteries. Gas cooker? Matches and/or lighter. Spare gas canister too (keep a jet boil in my van, just in case).

    What keeps the little one occupied? Paper, pencils, crayons, games etc.

    Most of our gear goes into ikea bags. We never bother with quilts, way too bulky, always sleeping bags and liners. All sleeping gear is put into one of the giant bags used to cover a rucksack when flying – the bags are cheap, huge. My wife always wants her own proper pillow too.

    We started with a T4 almost 20 years ago, also had young daughter and a dog to accommodate. Best significant purchase ever, but couldn’t afford new now. She’ll be getting a van herself in the next couple of years.

    Enjoy

    Mister-P
    Free Member

    Most of our gear goes into ikea bags.

    I love an Ikea bag. My van trip to Cornwall had 4 Ikea bags. One with wetsuits, one with warm weather clothing, one with colder weather clothing and one with cooking stuff like saucepans and my new favourite toy, the Ridgemonkey toastie maker. Job done.

    https://www.campervantastic.com/product/camping-gear/cooking-dining/ridgemonkey-connect-compact-toaster-xl-utensil-set-and-carry-bag/

    ElShalimo
    Free Member

    The most important thing isn’t the list of stuff you bring with you (we always forget something).   It’s to have fun whilst you’re away !!!!

    If the weather’s good, you’ll have a great time.

    PS booze – you always need more than you think 😜

    mandog
    Full Member

    Make sure gas and water tank full. and grey tank empty

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    Why would you fill the water tank before you get there? That’s just dead weight you don’t need. Different if you’re not going to be on a site but since they are just fill up before parking up.

    Something tells me actually finding out if you can cook in it would be a plan. Unless this is a first trial run and you’re just trying to figure out if it works for sleeping in or not.

    I recently joined a FB group for selling Camping Gear, the amount of enormous tents and paraphernalia you NEED to go camping (inflatable corner sofas, portable fridges, carpets etc) being sold as bundles, having only been used a handful of times, is staggering.

    Tell me about it. See UK holiday thread where someone thought an “investment” of £4K was about the ballpark to get camping gear. I’ve had disagreements before on here with folk that think an electrical hookup is a necessity (where else are you going to plug in the space heater?)

    TheBrick
    Free Member

    my new favourite toy, the Ridgemonkey toastie maker.

    Wow that’s expensive for white is. We have a waffle maker equivalent, wa about £10. Brilliant for the ultimate desert.

    ayjaydoubleyou
    Full Member

    Cant help with the van stuff, but for camping – some sort of floor covering, whether you use the awning or not – Mat, picnic blanket etc. to go either in the awning, or outside the van door, or both.

    jaminb
    Free Member

    48 cans of your favourite brew and a bottle of rum

    zilog6128
    Full Member

    PS booze – you always need more than you think

    we find wine boxes are the most space efficient 😃 Nothing makes me feel like being on holiday more than drinking Merlot from a Ti mug 🤣

    ElShalimo
    Free Member

    And the silver wine bag make great cushions/pillows for the van or the beach !

    MrTricky
    Free Member

    Wine box Merlot for me too, plastic mug though. 3 litres in this box!

    kennyp
    Free Member

    Layout what you think you’ll need. Then take half as many clothes and twice as much booze.

    It’s an old joke but has a degree of truth to it.

    timber
    Full Member

    Mallet for pegs, ground is well hard currently.
    Washing line and pegs or airer for your towels.
    Bacon for full morning smugness.

    Take some food. Whilst it is great to spend money locally, it’s really hard for me to find enough in the local Co-op to make dinner after work at this time of year, it’s like it’s been burgled 🤣😉

    alpin
    Free Member

    we find wine boxes are the most space efficient

    I’ve built our new van with a raised floor with storage. Made sure that aMany boxes of wine will fit in there…. Got to think about those trips to Scandinavia.

    trickydisco
    Free Member

    for me the whole point of having the van and going camping is being outdoors and cooking (apart from fish and chips if we’re out and about) We always have a duvet.. even for the boys (4 and 7) as they hate sleeping bags.

    Although we have a cooker in the van we often cook outside. I bought the cadac safari chef a few years ago and wouldn’t be without it now

    Few pics of our set up https://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/van-track-world/page/2/#post-12466099

    Head torches are essential!

Viewing 37 posts - 1 through 37 (of 37 total)

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