Holidays in a camper van: a taste of freedom Essence Box

Holidays in a camper van: a taste of freedom

Benoit Essence Box By Benoit

Last year, we gave you a feedback on Ecoland , the eco-place that offers to experiment with alternative lifestyles. We suggest you put the cover back because this year, we tested: vacations in a van !

I have been following the adventures of many Youtubers for several years for whom this is the main way of life. Far from simple nomadic vacations, these people who have chosen a way of life at odds with the standards that we know fascinate me. 4x4s, converted vans, campervans or trucks with all-terrain equipment, it seemed to me as close as possible to nature and that's what I wanted.

This year, the pretext was therefore all found to try it during the holidays. After coming across several van and motorhome rental services, I admit I was put off by the prices. I turned to rental services between individuals. But there, between the security deposit, the insurance, I was not reassured, even less for a first time.

That's when I came across the My Big Little Van site . I then contacted Christophe who was able to answer all my concerns and advised me on the choice of vehicle. We recommend!

What is My Big Little Van?

My big little van logo It was in 2021 that Christophe, 50 years old and a fan of road trips, created his own independent service for the rental of My Big Little Van fitted vans. The idea came to him during a trip to the American national parks where he came across many small vehicles and converted vans. Mobile and easy to drive, these means of transport have enough autonomy and comfort to enjoy mobile holidays.

On his return to France, he must make up his mind on the question. He then equips himself with an old motorhome and that's when his adventure begins. Belgium, Switzerland, Italy, his road trip takes him to many border countries. It's obvious, the experience is conclusive and the memories are magical.

It was then that he decided to launch his independent My Big Little Van rental service. The motorhome being particular to handle and its parking not always easy, it is towards the fitted out vans that he turns.

Small, handy and equipped with all the necessary comfort, they can accommodate up to 4 people. They even offer a 4x4 for the more adventurous!

The stay

It is therefore towards the Volkswagen California of 2022 that I turned. Perfect for 4 people, it has a convertible bench seat to make room for a first berth for 2 people and also a roof tent with one and only access from inside the van: perfect if the children want to go there. sleep: it's reassuring!

For the rest, it has all the necessary comfort. A small kitchen area with fridge, sink, 2 gas burners (crockery is also provided), but also a roof tent, which, once raised, allows you to stand up for cooking. The two front seats can be turned over and a table can be deployed to enjoy a family meal indoors. Practical when the weather is not suitable for outdoor meals! And if the weather is good, an outdoor table accessible in the sliding door and two foldable seats can be found in the cover of the rear trunk! A little extra: My Big Little Van provides 2 additional small foldable stools in the boot of the van. All you have to do is unfold the awning to enjoy a meal or a moment of relaxation in incredible and improbable comfort. For the view,

On the autonomy side, the van has a 30 liter water tank which serves the interior sink as well as the exterior shower at the rear. Convenient both for the toilet and for cleaning your things back from hiking. In addition, the van has about 2/3 days of autonomy in electricity.

The beginnings

The first fear that may arise is the place to sleep. Obviously, for my part, it was out of the question to opt for a campsite or an RV parking area. Nevertheless, they are a security if you can't find anything better.

We follow Christophe's advice to find our “spots” to sleep using the Park4night application . It is a parking zone sharing application, whether for overnight or a shorter stop. Each user shares a place that he found pleasant and adds some photos. Other users will in turn be able to leave comments and photos. Result: Park4night is a real guide based on a community of enthusiasts that makes it easy to find cool places!

This is how we discover the first spot as close as possible to Mont Saint-Michel. Honestly, I couldn't have dreamed of better, we are in the middle of the fields, no houses: it's quiet! And what a pleasure to see the sky ignite at the end of the evening with a breathtaking view of the Abbey ! I'm not left out when around 6am, the morning mist lets it appear little by little! Magic !

The revelation

Meeting other van users helps to better understand the situation. The profile is often the same: nature lovers who like to wander from right to left. The Vanlifers share some good places with us, give advice and explain where we can park with this type of vehicle.

Now that it's clearer, all that remains is to enjoy and the following days really allow you to get a taste for adventure. We move from one place to another according to our desires. We crisscross Brittany following in the footsteps of King Arthur while telling children the stories of this great legend. The sleeping spots are all more beautiful than the other. Full forest, lakeside, near a river, etc: a real feeling of freedom! This is the advantage of the van: you sleep where you go and you go where you want!

Where can we park a van?

The answer is simple, you can park overnight absolutely anywhere an automobile can. However, you should know that the law makes a difference between parking and camping.

A vehicle is therefore considered to be parked when:

  • Its wheels are placed on the ground, without wedges or jacks.
  • No installation is made and does not extend to the outside (awning, step, etc.).
  • No act of camping is practiced (no table or chairs outside, etc.)

By respecting its rules, you are therefore certain to be within the rules. However, pay attention to the signage which may be an exception and prohibit parking at specific times.

With

Campervan trips offer the opportunity to reconnect with nature, see things from a totally different perspective and put everyday comfort into perspective. Living with less has allowed me to enjoy so much more!

I wouldn't have thought I would enjoy my stay so much and when I get back, I just want to do it again! So if you're looking for adventure and want to see some scenery: Give it a try!

Also read:

Is van travel eco-friendly?

Occasional means of transport for some, wheeled house for others, in recent years, the converted van has been fashionable, but is traveling in a van really ecological?

READ MORE

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