What do you pack for campervan holidays in Europe?

What to you pack for campervan holidays in Europe

Volkswagen Caledonia owner Bobbie has many good tips on what to take for long campervan holidays in Europe.

Bobbie is one of a growing number of sunseekers who head south in their campervans at the first sign of winter. We asked what camping equipment she takes for three-month holidays in her VW Caledonia camper.

She says, “I take a small filter coffee machine, as I like real coffee, but I have to be on a campsite with electric hook-up to use it. If not, I just boil the kettle on the gas hob and have instant coffee.  I tend to make a lot of meals in a wok, whether it’s curry, pasta or a stir fry. I have a small Cadac barbecue with its own gas bottle and a two-litre Remoska, which uses less electricity than an oven and in which you could cook a roast dinner if you wished to. I also have a plug-in halogen oven, but I only take it for long stays. Some people take slow cookers. I tend to eat out a lot as well, when the weather is nice, as it’s so much cheaper in Spain.”

VW Caledonia campervan owner Bobbie takes her dog and cat to Spain for three months

Bobbie takes her rescue dog Willow and her black cat Ebony with her wherever she goes

The Volkswagen Caledonia comes equipped with a 50-litre fridge with ice box, a two-burner hob and cold water pumped to the sink. Bobbie likes to eat out as well as cooking in the campervan and entertaining, so she only takes essential kitchen equipment: “Electric kettle, gas hob kettle, wok, a saucepan for rice or pasta, five-litre fresh water bottle for coffee, and for me, my cat Ebony and dog Willow to drink, and bottled fizzy water in the fridge. I just use the campervan’s onboard water tank for washing or washing-up. I also have a collapsible kettle, saucepans, strainer, and a bucket – all blue, of course, to match my van’s interior.”

Spanish markets sell fabulous fruit

Food-wise, Bobbie takes, “Bread, butter, cheese, small tins of tuna, fresh or powdered milk, soup, apples or any fruit that is easy to eat while driving and to store. When on-site in Spain, I go to local markets and buy fresh fruit like kiwi, oranges, grapes, strawberries and avocados, which are all so much cheaper than in England. I also take dog and cat food, treats and bowls.”

For the rest of the camping kit and clothes, Bobbie takes, “The Porta-Potti. and chemical sachets – easier than liquid to store safely. A warm sleeping bag with liner, which is so easy to wash while I’m away, or a duvet in its cover, so that if it’s warm I can just use the duvet cover. I pack nightwear that I would be happy to wear in public, in case of emergencies, or just for going to the site facilities. Like most people, I take flip-flops to wear in campsite showers.”

This is the life... campervan owner Bobbie spends the winter in Spain and comes home in time for spring

This is the life… Sussex Campervan owner Bobbie spends the British winter in Spain and comes home in time for spring

There’s not much time to watch TV

For entertainment, Bobbie takes, “Books and DVDs, an iPad and a 12V TV. Campsites will often rent you a TV lead if there’s no signal. You can organise expat VPN ( or other providers) for secure use of the internet and to watch British TV, for about £5 per month. You can also download Mobdro on tablets to watch TV, but this can be inconsistent and freeze and buffer, especially during sports events. Usually there’s not much time to watch TV, as people are mostly very friendly and you could be out; entertaining or being entertained for many days and nights of the week. Equally you can spend time exploring, or just chilling.”

The VW Caledonia campervan has a twin-burner hob, sink with pumped water, 50-litre fridge and more

How to pack clothes for three months

When packing clothes, Bobbie recommends, “A minimum of three of everything – shorts, T-shirts, casual trousers, fleeces and underwear – so that if you get wet, or it’s hot, or it’s cold, you can change. Put one set in the wash, while another is drying and you’re wearing the third set of clothes. Hand wash your clothes every day, so it doesn’t build up, unless you’re on site with washing machines. I also take walking boots or shoes, short Wellingtons, casual and smart sandals, a waterproof jacket and trousers, a skirt, dress, linen trousers and tops for more formal occasions. I also take my swimming gear and two special quick-drying camping towels – they’re honestly not as nice to use as normal towels, but wet towels hanging inside a campervan are not nice either. In a nutshell only take what you will wear and use.”

Buy toiletries on holiday

When it comes to toiletries, Bobbie says, “I only need one tube of toothpaste and one shampoo, shower gel, etc as you can buy these everywhere in the world. I take a soap bag that I can hang up, as not all floors are salubrious. Flat pack toilet paper takes up less room.”

Medication is one area not to skimp, she says. “If you are on medications, take enough for the trip abroad, or if you’re touring Britain take your prescription. You may be able to buy your medication over the counter in some countries, but they may not be the same, and you might have to see a doctor to get a new prescription.”

Despite all her years of touring experience, Bobbie confesses that even she packs too much into her VW Caledonia campervan. “I usually take far too many pairs of shorts and T-shirts and actually end up wearing same ones. I take three dresses, when one would do, four pairs of smart trousers and blouses, when two would do. Make a list of what you don’t wear and leave it at home next time. This list can be condensed for shorter trips or winter or summer stays when the weather is predictable. Everything basically must be as light and easy to store as possible.”

Happy campervan touring!

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Time For Adventure…

Now Spring is finally upon us, what better time to head out into the wilds and have your own adventure?!

We’ve just finished our first ever “Adventure Van” and the people that have seen it over last weekend simply loved it.  We listened to our customers feedback and many wanted an entry level, basic camper to head off and enjoy some outdoor time, which is why we created a parred back version of our more luxurious bespoke campervans, with the usual quality of workmanship but ready to drive away at just £9995!

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It comes complete with 6, yes, 6 belted seats, adjustable table, an extra wide Sussex Campervan simple Rock’n’Roll bed system, sink, fold down single burner hob, glazing, full lining/carpeting and with carefully thought out storage including extra long cupboard space.  It’s a perfect haven to come back to after a long day (or night) of adventures!

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Want to join our Adventure….. click here to see more of our Campervans

SOUTH OF ENGLAND SUMMER SHOW

The time has come to prepare once again for the fantastic South of England Summer Show in Ardingly on the 7th, 8th and 9th of June 2012 9am-5pm. Come and enjoy the show and have a chat with the Sussex Campers family whilst you’re at it!

There really is something for everyone at this fantastic agricultural show- it has all the components to make a great family day out, so we would really recommend that you visit the show.

The South of England Show offers a real insight into the world of agriculture, with many interesting shows and interactive activities. There will be lots of livestock about, in shows, for sale or just for petting, as well as loads of local produce and food to try and buy- the food and wine pavillion definitely deserves a visit if you want to tantalise those taste buds! In the spirit of the Olympics the theme this year is ‘Food for Sport’ and I am sure many exhibitors will be trying to make the show extra interesting and colourful this year by doing more than you expect to fit in with the theme…

There are so many different activities for children and adults alike- Join in with competitions, hands on activities, food tasting, and great shopping, with retail outlets for clothes, garden and farm machinery, cars and garden structures and much, much more! Try fly fishing, see how fleece is made into cloth, watch live bats up close, or witness world class Show Jumping and Equestrian shows, and Hackney Horse Driving in shiny horse and carriages.

Come and see Titan, the 8ft tall robot, who will have you in awe and fits of giggles, or sit back and relax to 1920s and 30s music from the fabulous ‘Casablanca Steps‘. The Bolddog Lings Freestyle Motorcycle Display Teamwill entertain you with their death defying tricks, with the largest and most sophisticated truck and lamding ramp in the world, which allows them to jump more that 25 metres, 11 metres high in the air!Book online, through other booking agents or buy your tickets on the door. Adults: £16 in advance,£18 on the door, Children £5 in advance, £7 on the door. There are student and senior citizen tickets, under 5s get in free and parking is free.

We will have our Sussex Campers exhibit set up with a couple of our demonstrators and we would love to see you for a chat about how we can make your dream campervan a reality. Look forward to seeing you!

THE SPRING SHOW

We had a lovely time at the South of England Spring Show despite a few rain showers…

We ended up drying off with a cup of tea in the campervans! It was great to chat to so many people, and everyone seemed to love our campers 🙂 There were lots of lovely animals- pygmy goats, Indian runner ducks and the various different breeds of dogs, especially the Bernese Mountain Dogs, being my favourite.  A successful day all in all and we didn’t let the weather dishearten us until the sun came right out just as we were all packing away! We are now getting excited for the Summer Show and are hoping that the weather will be glorious then.

Many thanks to everyone that came to see us and we hope to chat to you again soon…

TOP 10 BEAUTIFUL PLACES TO VISIT IN BRITAIN

WE LIVE IN SUCH A BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY BUT SOMETIMES WE FORGET WHEN WE ARE STUCK INSIDE, AT HOME OR WORK, ESPECIALLY WITH ALL THIS RAIN WE HAVE HAD RECENTLY!

Over the next few weeks I will be reviewing ten of the most beautiful places in the UK, to give you some ideas, whether you are going on a tour, or just a weekend away in your campervan. These ten places will be chosen from various ‘Top 10’s’ as voted for by residents of, and visitors to, the UK.

Let me know on our Facebook page if there is somewhere specific that you think I should include in my top ten.

FUN-FILLED, FAMILY DAY OUT

If you are looking for something great for all the family to do this May Bank Holiday weekend, then why not head over to the South of England Spring Garden and Leisure show at Ardingly Showground? After having a pitch at last years show, and thoroughly enjoying the weekend, I would really recommend that everyone goes along for some countryside and cultural fun…

There is so much to see and do at the South of England show, including loads of tips on gardening and growing for any green-fingered visitors attending. Animal lovers will be in their element with dozens of pedigree dogs, and their owners, competing for places in the 2013 Crufts in the South of England Open Dog Show, and for something a bit different, the alpaca show is lovely and you can even shop to find some great fleeces made of Alpaca wool if you fancy! The fur, feather and rabbit show, is also a great treat, with cute animals from ducks, to chickens, to rabbits, and many more.

If you want to know more about British farming and the countryside “the Show’s Access the Countryside area is where you will find out all there is to know about animals, their habits, husbandry, favourite foods and ways of life. There will be cattle, goats, pigs and sheep including Wensleydale and Southdown” If gardens and animals aren’t your thing then “this year our under-cover Food Hall will be as mouth-watering as ever – savoury and sweet pies,to pastries, breads, sauces, wines, beers, juices and plenty more from local producers who bring the real taste of the countryside to our tables.” There really is something for everyone!

We will be at the show this year with a couple of demonstrator campervans so come and visit Sussex Campers, and look out for our busy helper bees in their yellow Sussex Campers t-shirts! We would love to see you… The South of England Spring, Garden and Leisure show Sunday 6th and Monday 7th May. Rebekah Lopez Co-Director, Sussex Campers and Campervanning Mum

GREAT START TO THE YEAR…

Wow. This year is getting off to a flying start. More campervan orders this week. Our new models are being well received by our visitors, and the perennial favourites are still proving popular. Do you own a campervan yet? If not, what sort would you most like to own? What factors are important to you in choosing? We’d love to hear from you. At Sussex Campers we specialise in building campervans you’ll love, and working with your budget. Get in touch…