Viewing 34 posts - 1 through 34 (of 34 total)
  • #Vanlife versus #HotelLife, a revelation
  • Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Free Member

    We’ve spent most of the last ten days on holiday in NW Scotland, mainly in the Laggan Gaskmore hotel and it’s been absolutely fabulous. Nearly all our holidays in the past quarter century have been either camping or in the van (T5 for those that give a shit). Don’t get me wrong, the van has given us some great holidays, and more importantly shit loads of them, but being in a nice hotel is a revelation.

    You get up, have a relaxed breakfast, have a dump in pleasant surroundings then pack up and go. No fannying around with rock n roll beds, moving child seats about and dropping roofs. Once you’ve done your thang for the day you head back to the hotel, lock the bikes and head straight in. Nice leisurely bath, kids get busy killing each other on the internet or go off and play pool.

    Then you can literally do whatever you want for two hours until someone else cooks your tea, feeds you cold beer and then washes up afterwards. The kids go back on the internet and kill each other more and then you head to a nice comfy bed, again with no pissing about with kiddy seats, poptops or evil Reimo beds.

    When you need s piss in the night you just do it, no midgies, portaloos or faff. Splendid.

    Then just to make it even betterer the government pays for half your meals for almost half the week.

    If you need an extra 50km bike fix then off you go in the van to the trailhead, leaving the kids/wife sat in luxurious warmth drinking wine/killing each other until you return.

    TBH it’s clear that this hotel was part of the reason it’s so good, it’s nearly empty, really quiet and the staff are excellent. Most of the other hotels we’ve been to have been noisy, uncomfortable and hot, but it’s great to have had at least one awesome holiday in a hotel.

    Never knew a holiday could be this relaxing….

    Premier Icon oldtennisshoes
    Full Member

    I can 100% associate with this.

    Premier Icon andrewreay
    Full Member

    Funnily enough, am in Cornwall now, staying at a hotel too.

    Previously have only ever camped.

    Drove past a campsite we’ve previously stayed at today on our way back to the hotel. Watched the poor suckers traipsing back up the steep hill to the site from the beach. They couldn’t drive because the awnings will have been attached to the sides of their T5s 😉

    It’s like night and day :O

    Premier Icon CaptainFlashheart
    Free Member

    You can also drive there in a normal vehicle.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Full Member

    Im debating the opposite for work! 3 months in Greater Manchester and Liverpool’s cheapest chain hotels, or get a berlingo, a camp bed and kip on site.

    The upside would be no more turning up at 2am to check into a room that smells like an R Kelly after party, no more screaming Hen Parties, no more having to check out at 10am after a night shift, and easier to catch 40 winks on a nightshift.

    Downside, January-March in a van with no Premier Inn breakfasts.

    Premier Icon Bez
    Full Member

    Just sold our camper, it (very much) stopped being fun with kids; hotels or cottages work much better for us. I am quite happy to admit that I’ve reached the stage in life where (kids or not) I just don’t enjoy camping any more 🙂

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    Prefer a rented house tbh, hotels are alright til it’s pissing and all the wee annoying bastard bairns are running amok.

    Premier Icon mos
    Full Member

    Shhhh, don’t tell everyone. It’s our little secret.
    Leave ’em to do the flip-flop shuffle when they need the bog in the morning.

    Premier Icon Jordan
    Full Member

    Just got back from a great week in Scotland in the van. Nearly every van that was carrying bikes was a T5 or simmilar. Why!? Fashion? Get a decent van and your experience of #Vanlife will be a much more pleasant one. You know, something that you can walk around in without lifting the roof, take a shit and shower in without the flip flop shuffle, has a useable kitchen, doesn’t need an awning to have decent space. It doesn’t even have to be very big to achieve that.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    Camping was great when the kids were little, but when we turned 45, holiday cottages and Premier Inn/Travel Lodges became much more appealing, and looking at site fees, not that much more expensive if you timed it right

    My dream van no longer has a bed and a pop up roof, just space for bikes and kit.

    Anyone want to buy a ridiculously large 8 man tent, with groundsheet, carpet and large porch extension? Not been used for 3-4 years now 🙄

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    Just got back from a great week in Scotland in the van. Nearly every van that was carrying bikes was a T5 or simmilar. Why!? Fashion?

    Cos most folks have them as their daily driver I’d imagine, and don’t want to drive a behemoth every day?.

    It’s all a compromise.

    Premier Icon Northwind
    Full Member

    I’ve always wanted a campervan, but yep, you need to do it for its own sake, or use it more than practically anyone actually does.

    Premier Icon trail_rat
    Free Member

    and don’t want to drive a behemoth every day?.

    No point moaning about how uncomfortable going on holiday in a van then that’s just because you bought a van that’s too small. 4 people in a 4 man tent with no porch is also a pretty shit family holiday if it rains and you can’t use the outside space. 4 people on a week’s holiday in a 4 bed self catering where 2 of the beds are actually sofas is also pretty crap.

    Tbh right now id rather go hotelling as all good off site spots seem to be populated by **** who think it’s acceptable to take a shite in the grass.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    No point moaning about how uncomfortable going on holiday in a van then that’s just because you bought a van that’s too small.

    I don’t think anyone is? It’s just the usual judgement of others choice really. As I always say, every choice is a compromise.

    Premier Icon tjagain
    Full Member

    At nearly 60 year old I am just back from two weeks camping and hotels . Both have positives. No hotels in the best spots and no Van’s either

    Premier Icon olly2097
    Full Member

    Caravan is where it’s at. Nice big one.
    No making beds (in ours at least)
    TV.
    Beer fridge.
    Shower.
    Heating.
    Netflix.
    Can still be in random fields and random places. Set up and forget.

    Just been away for a few days with our friends who live the “dub life”, funny how their kids made their way into our caravan constantly and when the rain came everyone sat on our sofas.
    Still, won’t have a caravan because they are for “old people”. Maybe if I stuck an animal sticker on the side and put some vw logos on every single surface they may go for it.

    Premier Icon Jordan
    Full Member

    Nobeerinthefridge

    I don’t think anyone is? It’s just the usual judgement of others choice really. As I always say, every choice is a compromise

    @Nobeerinthefridge not sure if that was aimed at me but, I wasn’t intentionally being judgemental. Of course, evryone is free to make their own choices. I do have the perception though that T5s seem to be a bit of a lifestyle statement in the bike world, I may well be well be wrong though and admit that I hadn’t considered that people have them as their daily driver.

    Premier Icon duncancallum
    Full Member

    I’ve a t4 cos I’m poor.

    It’s a daily drive and used for weekends. Any longer we rent a cottage

    Love it but it’s a compromise.

    I’d love a bigger van but that stops being an easy daily

    Premier Icon mattbee
    Full Member

    I reckon if we didn’t have dogs to add to the mix we’d sell the motorhome.
    Between the purchase price, servicing, insurance, MOT, storage site fees and the cost of actual pitches and fuel I suspect there’s a good few years worth of hotel/rented cottage stays.
    But wanting to take our two dogs on holiday with us limits choice and increases cost of the other options.
    On our last French holiday in our caravan (before we bought the motorhome instead) we did the maths and worked out that for the same cost we could have just brought the car and stayed in the chateau that the campsite was in the grounds of, with breakfast/dinner included.
    That said, there is a certain amount of flexibility about having everything you want with you in your own space. We do enjoy it immensely but I wouldn’t want to be in anything smaller.
    Our T5 camper was great for weekends and short breaks climbing/cycling but far too much faff for longer trips. Camper van Tetris gets old pretty quickly especially once wet dogs are thrown into the mix.

    Premier Icon ads678
    Full Member

    A nice hotel is good, but it’ll never replace camping for me. And I don’t even have a van!! When we do go to hotels we just try to spend all hours out of the room any way.

    Prices for camping nowadays is getting stupid though, and the amount of sites you can just turn at rather than 2/3 night minimum stays is rapidly diminishing…..

    Premier Icon lardman
    Free Member

    Because we live in a city, there are restrictions on parking a vehicle over 4.5 meters. Maybe others have to buy a smaller Van (t5 or whatever) because of this as well.

    I don’t have a van, because for me and my three boys/bikes/gear a small van would be useless.

    I am however eying up a LWB 4×4 sprinter crew van for conversion right now. With a roof tent and small kitchen unit (no shower) it’s got lots of room inside for chilling when the weather is Shite.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    I’m still a self catering fan for holidays.
    We’ve done a few hotel stays, and most just struggle with mucky bikes and boots, unless you’re FP then there’s often no seating area in your room.

    And yes, I don’t get the titchy VW with family and bikes. What. A. Faff.

    Premier Icon FOG
    Full Member

    I too had a recent hotel epiphany. Between being a tight Yorkshireman and actually enjoying camping, I hardly stay in hotels. However advancing years lead me to book in at the Tontine in Peebles and it was wonderful. I hardly left the hotel except to ride the bike. Food, beer , tea available and all prepared by somebody who wasn’t me.
    I shall definitely be doing that again

    Premier Icon v7fmp
    Free Member

    how does the Hotel vs Camping/campervan costs compare?

    Removing the cost of the initial purchase. IE: a week in a hotel vs a week in a campervan.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    And yes, I don’t get the titchy VW with family and bikes. What. A. Faff.

    Tbh, I don’t fancy any van holiday as soon as there’s bikes included, it’s a jenga as it is without trying to secure bikes and deal with manky gear, bugger that, before you even consider the whole toilet and shower thing.

    I’m with the OP, if only a couple of days, hotel ideal, any longer and I’m wanting a house really. Paired with a van/estate big enough to carry all the gear inside, spot on.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    how does the Hotel vs Camping/campervan costs compare?

    Removing the cost of the initial purchase. IE: a week in a hotel vs a week in a campervan.

    Apples and oranges IMO, can’t really compare, you have to consider purchase and runing costs, depreciation, you can’t just write that off. But you also have the advantage of going away at the drop of a hat in your own unit, be it van, caravan, whatever, not quite as easy as to just book a hotel.

    We did that at the weekend, hotel in FW was a tip, but it was only a place to lay our heads as it was a full on weekend.

    Premier Icon Nick
    Full Member

    Until lockdown I spent two years constantly travelling, 200 flights, about as many hotel nights, nice hotels mostly.

    Couldn’t imagine having a holiday in one.

    I’m lucky that as long as I have a reasonable internet connection I can work from anywhere, so thinking of getting motorhome, fixed bed, garage for bikes, 7m size, 4 berth for if the kids want to come (19 + 17), but mostly for me and my wife to go off exploring, have some dream of driving to Patmos in Greece to seek out my roots.

    Premier Icon w00dster
    Full Member

    VW T6 owner here, love mine. It’s so convenient. Parked on the house drive when not in use, small enough to pop to the shops and used regularly as our second car. A few places we park has the height restriction that allows a T6 in but no bigger.
    4 bikes go on the bike. Regularly have 3 blokes with me on riding trips away, wife and kids less often.
    Nice and easy on country tight lanes, no more challenging than a car. After a ride one of the guys will make a brew and heat up some sausage rolls while others clean and sort out bikes.
    Same when my kids go XC racing, after the race I’ll go back and warm some food up for them and the wife (she’s a club coach so has to wait until her group have all raced). Everyone then has nice warm grub while I’m queueing to exit the car park.
    For warmer weather weekends away we have a drive away tent, so extra space for food, stripping out of gear etc and a sleeping pod.
    I’d love a bigger van, but it just wouldn’t Work for me.
    We do hotels as well, but the kids love the adventure of the van. Even when weather is bad, we would be just as bored in a hotel, this at least makes us go and find things to do.
    I don’t really get the contempt shown for T5s and the like on here, everyone’s life and needs are different.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    *likes*

    Premier Icon dickydutch
    Full Member

    I don’t really get the contempt shown for T5s and the like on here, everyone’s life and needs are different.

    It’s much like the contempt shown for gravel bikes, or xc race bikes, or A.N.Other bike. Usually borne out of envy, or, heaven forbid, just having a different viewpoint.
    Some folk love VW vans, some folks love hotel. Im greedy and love both for different scenarios.

    In Europe, where it’s warm and you can just live outside, a van is a hands down winner. When it’s wet and windy, hotels make life easier.

    Premier Icon benp1
    Full Member

    T6 owner here, have even made a bed for the back for quick trips with the kids for fun. But holidays are in a self catering place. Proper space, all the amenities, less faff with dealing with bad weather, always in different locations. Don’t like hotels because you’re all in the same small space. Often the same price as an airbnb too.

    T6 is my daily driver, in fact it’s our only car. Makes a fantastic family car for an active family with a lot of stuff.

    I definitely prefer the basic side of things so van camping has been

    No way we could all stay in it though without it being a hassle or requiring lots of kit – chairs, tables, awnings, cookers, windbreaks etc

    Premier Icon DaveyBoyWonder
    Free Member

    I do this amazing thing where sometimes I sleep with my family including the dog in my T5 and sometimes I sleep in a hotel. Sometimes a self catering place. Try it. You might like it.

    Premier Icon stever
    Full Member

    There’s a very instagrammy post on ukc about vanlife – https://www.ukclimbing.com/articles/features/how_to_convert_a_camper_van_into_a_climbing_home_on_wheels-12985 – lots of vanhatred in the comments 🙂

    Premier Icon edhornby
    Full Member

    We loaned my FiLaws camper and it would have been perfect for me and my other half in a sunny location. We had 2 kids in tow and there was rain so the whole thing was a faff for the sake of having a van. I can see the appeal but the circumstances have to be right. I can also see how a mix of hotel and van is a good combo. Caravan seems like more of a faff with towing etc better to just use s tent or go self-catering

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