Rich converted a long wheelbase T5 panel van into a bespoke camper for Babs, Rich and their three Border collies. They are no-frills campers, happiest to have spontaneous trips away off-grid and off-wifi.
‘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.
1. Introducing ourselves and our camper van
We are Rich & Babs and currently live in North Wales, UK. In 2011 my super talented husband converted an ordinary 2007 reg white VW T5 long wheel base panel van that we bought as an ex-fleet vehicle from a dealer in Shrewsbury into an extraordinary camper van. You can read how he did that on our blog. The blog is called vanplusfour as at the time Rich built our van we were 2 humans. 2 dogs. And one converted van. Unfortunately last year this happened and technically we are now vanplusfive. But what’s in a name 😉
2. How do I use my camper van ?
I use the van every day. It’s like a little *super van* that gets me to work, takes us to all our favourite dog walking places [we have 3 Border Collies. Two of them currently 10 months old and being trained to hopefully become well behaved little campers] and spends weekends with us having fun out in the wilderness. It’s been to France. England. Scotland. And loadsa places in Wales, of course!
3. Best thing we love about our van ?
It’s adventure time as soon as it’s packed up! And it’s made with love. My husband built something bespoke, something that’s just for us. When we get itchy feet it gets us to places that keep us happy. And that’s gotta be the best thing ever.
4. Pet gripes ?
The bed. Rich is 6’5 and so we opted for a DIY timber frame with custom made cushions that double up as a mattress, rather than a rock’n roll bed. As big and comfy as it is – the making it up can be a right pain. Especially when it rains. Not being able to stand up can sometimes be annoying too.
5. Favourite accessories ?
We are no frill travellers and have learnt to pack light. You don’t actually need all the commodities you think you can’t live without. You just need to relax, make do and improvise. We don’t have a TV and tend to stay away from WiFi or hook-ups.
6. Best tip for new owners ?
Live the dream! Take it away as often and to as many different places as you possibly can, that’s what you bought it for! Be spontaneous. And look after it.
7. Best trip in our van ?
Too many to mention. 2 weeks in Northern France. 2 weeks on the Isle of Skye. There’s a breathtakingly beautiful spot in the Peak District which makes you wish you’d never have to leave.
If I had to choose ONE it’d have to be spending one of our wedding anniversaries on an empty camping field in Snowdonia overlooking Snowdon, cooking dinner over an open fire in the snow. Quite something!
8. Dream trip ?
Europe for a year! The Alps!
9. Favourite campsite ?
The Glenbrittle site on the Isle of Skye. Out of this world. Or the field owned by the Cwellyn Arms in Snowdonia.
10. When I’m not camping I’m …
Taking pictures! I’m in love with photography and am hoping that one of these days it might become more than just a hobby. Rich is a member of the North East Wales Search & Rescue Team and so it goes without saying that we love spending time in the mountains.
You can read more about vanplusfour and soak up some great pictures here.
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.