Happy Campers: Jane and ‘Mabel’

‘Mabel’ is Jane’s second camper van and provides her with the freedom to take off and enjoy holidays with maximum flexibility.  Having yearned to explore the world in a camper van as a child, Jane’s looking forward to lots of adventures.

‘Happy Campers’ is a series of posts featuring camper vans and their owners.  It’s designed to offer advice and inspiration to new and existing camper van owners – featuring members of the WildaboutScotland community. To take part, please send an e-mail to me answering the standard question format below together with a good photo or two.

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1.  Introducing myself and my camper van 

My name is Jane and ever since I was a child I’ve had a yearning to explore the world in a camper van.  This was inspired by my Dad who fed my dreams by saying he’d sell the house and we’d take off around the world in a Dormobile.  Sadly our dreams were never realised – life got in the way … and we never did buy that camper.

I live in beautiful North Yorkshire.  I’m over 50, my last child has just left school and is off to University in September when I hope to achieve freedom from the ties of home and start travelling.

My first motorhome was Nellie, an Autosleeper Talisman on a Peugeot Boxer base.  She was lovely and I had a few trips to Scotland in her.  I had to sell Nellie after breaking my ankle.  Last year I bought Mabel, a 9 year old Autosleeper Symbol ES on a Peugeot Boxer base just a tad bigger than the VW campers but with a loo !

2.  How do I use my camper van ? 

I use Mabel for holidays.

3.  Best thing I love about my van ?

Everything you could possibly need for a touring holiday in a compact form with great manoeuverability and comfort.

4.  Pet gripes ?

Why don’t motorhome manufacturers make more use of the bathroom space  ie drying rails ?  And what’s with the thousands of vans on the market with only two travelling seats ?  I don’t understand the thinking behind this at all !

5.  Favourite accessories ?

Not vehicle related but last year I bought two giant Trekmates Dry Lite water resistant liners to store duvets and pillows in.  They are wonderful.  You can sit on them before sealing to let all the air out so that they are compact to store.  I also love my microfibre towels – again, the largest I could find.  Door hooks are useful if you’re using campsite showers for extra hanging.  And of course Crocs footwear.

6.  Best tip for new owners ?

For new camper owners, write down on post-its a check list of things to do before driving off ie turn off the gas, put vent covers on (where applicable), raise external steps/steadies, put fridge on correct driving setting etc.  Make a list of how to turn on gas, fridge, electrics, heating, etc.  These will all be in the owner’s handbook but it’s simpler to write down the necessary operational procedures.

7.   Best trip in my van ?

My first trip in Mabel was a 10 day jaunt with a friend around Scotland driving from Glasgow to Inverness, Ullapool, Achiltibuie, Applecross and Plockton, ending on the magical Isle of Mull.   The freedom was wonderful.

My best trip in Nellie was at Loch na Keal on the Isle of Mull, snuggling under the duvet with my young son with a mug of hot chocolate and a DVD, and then waking up to fabulous views and cooking sausages on the BBQ.   Awesome !

8.  Dream trip ?

My dream trip is to just take off like last year around Scotland and the Isles with no time limit.

9.  Favourite campsite ?

Fidden Camp on the Isle of Mull.

10.  When I’m not camping I’m …

… gardening, reading, seeing my children and enjoying outings with friends.

 

If you’re a Happy Camper and have a story to tell, please e-mail me and send a photo or two using the ‘Get in Touch’ form.