Thinking of buying or hiring a campervan or motorhome? This short article aims to give you an overview of the wide range of options and configurations available.
My recent visit to Aston Leisure offered a useful reminder of the range of possibilities that come with buying or hiring a campervan or motorhome. Having owned a VW California for over five years now I really like it. However, it’s easy to forget that different layouts, sizes and styles of leisure vehicles appeal to different folks.
Now into their fourth year Aston Leisure is continually expanding their business. They not only hire out VW Californias and Wingamm motorhomes (and sell ex-hire vehicles) but are now the UK’s sole importer and retailer of the full Wingamm range. This includes both the standard motorhomes from the Italian manufacturer as well as custom-built campervans converted by Wingamm based on the VW T6.
The company is based near Penicuik, just 15 miles south of Edinburgh and 30 minutes from Edinburgh Airport. Owners Gavin and Leanne Campbell have owned and repaired VWs for many years and clearly know their stuff. Their eventual aim is to grow their business to sell, service and hire out leisure vehicles based on three distinct platforms: Wingamm motorhomes, VW Californias and customised T6 campers.
Gavin explained that their customers are pretty diverse. Around 70% of hire customers come from outwith Scotland, keen to soak up Scotland’s scenic landscape. Many of the remaining 30% of ‘locals’ are somewhere along the thought process that begins: “I’d quite like a campervan someday …”. Getting nearer to the point of parting with their hard-earned cash, they take advantage of Aston Leisure’s ‘try before you buy’ approach – a wise opportunity to check that you’re making the right choice of vehicle.
And the range of options available is broad, suiting a wide range of different requirements:
- Interested in getting off the beaten track to enjoy the great outdoors in a high-spec modern campervan? Then a new T6 VW California may be the best choice for you. (Read all about my experience of road testing the new California).
- Want a bit more flexibility to custom-design your own camper van? Aston Leisure are partnering with Wingamm to provide flexible conversions using the VW T6 base vehicle. The prototype currently in the showroom, for example, has double sliding doors, a 3-seat rear bench, a removable kitchen unit on arms that either swing outwards or inside the van. This reminded me of the 1950s ‘camping units’ used in Splitscreen vans, brought up to date to include integrated water and gas supplies.
- Need the luxury of a dedicated bathroom with toilet, sink and shower? Then the Wingamm Micros motorhome, which uses a single fibreglass (Monocoque) frame housed on a SWB VW T6 chassis, might be just the thing you’re after.
- Want a bit more space for a family of four to sleep in luxury? You might be interested in the Wingamm City Suite or Oasi 610 GL motorhomes. These have all the advantages of the Micros but with the addition of separate sleeping areas and more storage for your gear.
Gavin and Leanne are just gearing up for another busy season – in fact, their hire vehicles are already fully booked and they’re in the process of sourcing more to satisfy demand.
I like their customer focus combined with flexibility and attention to detail. Their hire vehicles all come fully equipped with kitchen and camping equipment, as well as the odds and ends that often get forgotten about such as coat hangers, washing up liquid and kitchen roll. Bedding, bike racks, sat navs, DVD and camping cookbooks are all available to hire or buy. Each van has a briefing pack containing information about the vehicle, emergency numbers, travel games and suggestions for places to visit in Scotland. These are all simple touches but evident that they understand and listen to their customers.
If you’re on the journey towards owing a camper van or motorhome the sheer variety of different conversions and configurations can often become dizzyingly confusing. I hope this post helps set out some of the options.
You can find out more about Aston Leisure on their website.
Note: I have no connection with Aston Leisure whatsoever and received no fee to write this post. Read more about my blog policies here.