Anne grew up with camper vans and finally settled on a diminutive Romahome R10 last summer. ‘Tonks’ is now her support vehicle for photography trips, a small, unobtrusive camper van with all mod cons.
‘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 myself and my camper van
My name is Anne and campervans are part of my family tree ! My grandparents used to rent them, and we would sleep in a tent alongside. Then mum bought a rather ancient but very endearing Commer, followed by three Auto-Sleepers, one of which she lived in almost full time for two years. I borrowed her first Auto-Sleeper, and took it away (it took me?) to the Sussex coast for a week. That was my first solo trip in a ‘van. Roll on a few years…
Last summer after a couple of visits to motorhome shows and a lot of poring over magazines, I took the plunge and bought Tonks. Tonks is tiny, the smallest of the generally diminutive Romahome range – an R10, and she is definitely a camper van rather than a motorhome ! She has everything I need on board though – 2 burner hob, water, bed, loo ! You do need to be VERY organised though. Luckily, as Tonks is my first van, I bought small versions of almost everything!
2. How do I use my camper van ?
I mostly use Tonks for weekends away to events which interest me. I’m a keen photographer so she provides a base for photography related trips. Tonks is also very useful as a support vehicle if I’m out for a full day somewhere.
3. Best thing I love about my van ?
She blends in so well ! Being so small she can sit unobtrusively among other vehicles and not announce her camper van credentials. She can also go almost anywhere, although she doesn’t have much va-va-voom!
4. Pet gripes ?
The automatic gearbox and the lack of va-va-voom previously mentioned. The R10 is built on the Citroen Nemo, which has a tiny engine. The auto box is definitely not something I’d choose, although some people actively seek them out.
5. Favourite accessories ?
I have a wool duvet, which is fantastic in a van with no heating. Two of my other essentials are a good sharp knife, and a large blue bucket which is fabulous for storage when on the road, and for any number of things when camping. My travel kettle is brilliant when I’m on an electric hook-up (which isn’t that often).
6. Best tip for new owners ?
Get in the habit right from the start of doing a ‘pre-flight check’ before you set off from home/camp site/wherever. A quick interior check for gas and switch settings, and to make sure cupboards and luggage are secure, then an external check in the form of a walk around the vehicle. It will save you the embarrassment of running over items left outside, or trying to drive away while you’re still connected to the hook-up…
7. Best trip in my van ?
The Hay Winter Festival. I camped in a car park, and was right in the middle of all the event venues and happenings. It was great.
8. Dream trip ?
I’d love to tour the Channel Islands. Ideally in a slightly larger van. I hanker after a VW, but at present I am on an R10 budget ! However Tonks would be well suited to the Channel Islands’ narrow roads.
9. Favourite campsite ?
Haven’t got one I’m afraid. I use sites, and am a member of Brit Stops, and as you’ve seen if you’ve read this far I’m not above camping in car parks… but so far I’ve not got a favourite.
10. When I’m not camping I’m …
… often found behind a camera, or ringing church bells, or reading.
You can read more about Anne and ‘Tonks’ on her blog … which of course includes some great photography.
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.