Tuesday, 3 May 2016

BIG QUESTIONS: is a camper van better than a tent?

The simple answer, if you must know, is yes. Every time. I have camped all my life and have seen it all, from high winds and baking heat to torrential downpours and snowy deposits. It's why I choose camper van over tent almost every time. Unless of course I am visiting Lundy island or somewhere equally inaccessible by road....

Anyway, in my new book, The Camper Van Bible, I set out my stall very clearly with the following:

"My personal love of campers comes down to portability, which might seem odd in the face of the fact that a tent is the ultimate pop up home. But bear with me. The fact remains that a camper van is a home that can be driven. That means you don’t always have to make major alterations to move it.
If you’ve got it right then you should be able to drive your camper away from your camping spot without having to do too much. Yes, so you might have to de-pop a pop top roof, pull the bed down and pack away a few clothes, but at least you don’t have to dismantle it entirely to make a swift getaway."
  • Campervans are better than tents because they offer a level of protection a tent never could. They don’t blow down in the night. They don’t flap and flail and keep you awake. Rarely will you wake to the sound of ripping nylon or humming guy ropes – the sounds that disaster is close at hand.
  • Campervans are better than tents because you can drive them. So, when the weather gets really bad, there is a threat of a flood or snow, wind and rain you can always drive out of there. 
  • Camper vans are better than tents because a few inches of flood water won’t bother you in the least. In a tent it spells disaster.
  • Camper vans are better than tens because they don’t leak if you touch the sides or allow the fly sheet to touch the inner part of the tent. Some do leak, yes, but not necessarily as part of their makeup. A well made camper is a waterproof camper.
  • Camper vans are better than tents because you don’t sleep on the ground. You are on wheels above it. That means you won’t get that creeping chill in the small of your back that you get when you sleep on the ground, even with a half decent insulated mattress.
  • Camper vans are better than tents because you can have them ready to go at a moment’s notice. Sleeping bags, spare toothbrush, pots and pans and a few clothes – they can all be stored neatly in a camper ready for the off.
  • Camper vans are better than tents because they do not have to be dried out after you use them (unless it’s really bad). They also don’t have to be stuffed back into a bag that never fits at the end of a trip.
  • Camper vans are better than tents because they have their own power source for running electrical items, radios and fridges. They can also be plugged in to mains electrics easily for charging mobiles, running DVD players etc. 
  • Camper vans are better than tents because the perfect camper has everything you need, right there, where you need it.
  • Camper vans are better than tents because you can still get a good night’s sleep, even if you have to park on a slope. With clever use of a couple of levelling chocks you can sleep on the level. Who ever heard of a self levelling tent?
  • Camper vans are better than tents because, if absolutely necessary, you can sleep in a camper almost anywhere. Try pitching a tent outside the Dog and Duck and see what happens.
  • Campervans are better than tents because creepy crawlies find it hard to find their way in to a camper, unless they are of the flying variety.
  • Campervans are better than tents because you can lock them from the inside, so keeping you safe from the threat of bears, lions, snakes, mad axe men and evil doggers.
I rest my case your honour.

The Camper Van Bible goes on sale on June 2nd, with signed copies available from martindorey.com

8 comments:

  1. Couldn't agree more - I've pre-ordered the book from Amazon - should have waited to get your signature on it!

    Good luck with sales.

    Martin

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  2. Ok, I've cancelled the Amazon order - much better to buy direct from the Author.

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  3. You've covered all bases there! maybe ...

    Camper vans are better than tents because the built in insulation not only keeps you warmer in winter, it also minimises the sound from the deep voiced bloke that insists on talking all night in the tent next door :)

    Looking forward to the book.

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  4. Hmmmmm.....lets have some arguments from the 'other side'...

    • Tents are better than camper vans because they cost a fraction of the price for a holiday in the Great Outdoors
    • Tents are better than camper vans because you haven’t got to pay Tax, Insurance and MOT costs
    • Tents are better than camper vans because you haven’t got to worry about reliability like you do a classic VW camper, as an example
    • Tents are better than camper vans because you can pitch in a quiet corner, out of the way, without the worry of getting stuck in mud
    • Tents are better than camper vans because you haven’t got to pack up every time you go out, even to buy some milk
    • Tents are better than camper vans because you don’t need storage at home on the drive or on the roadside, just a small space in the loft :)
    • Tents are better than camper vans because you don’t expose them to all and sundry when out and about like you do an actual vehicle. How many have stressed about their beloved camper van squeezed into the corner of a harbour with families rubbing by it and scratching the paintwork. You haven’t got that worry if your holidaying in a tent.
    • Tents are better than camper vans because you have the option to have much more space and buy something like a Cabanon. This argument weakens if the camper van owner has an awning – but then he is also ‘tenting’ !
    • Tents are better than camper vans because a ‘serious’ repair could be a pole section or a bit of tenacious tape. A camper van ‘serious’ repair could be thousands of pounds.
    • Tents are better than camper vans because you can stay in hot places and open them up with just the mesh to stop bugs getting in. Slide your door open at Biarritz on your precious ‘Splitty’ and enjoy nature’s insect harvest in your bed sheets at night.
    • Tents are better than camper vans because I can buy one as my families grow whilst keeping most of my equipment. Oh dear – you’ve got a fifth child on the way and you’ve only got four spaces in your ‘pop top’, now what to do ?

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    Replies
    1. All accepted.... and noted, of course. However, it's a book about campers... when I do my book about tents, is it okay to take all these arguments? Thank you!!!! (thanks for making the effort too, I appreciate the time it took you to write all that)

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    2. It was tongue in cheek...but I have to say that getting out and about in a campervan is still the best way to get about. I love my camping, but in all honesty life on four wheels is the way to go. Love the articles, and looking forward to your 'bible' coming out shortly.

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  5. Camper is better than tent because it has strong roof to save you from outer weather. Repair RV Roof Leaks has given new life to RV roof and make it more energy efficient that you may enjoy heater or AC more than ever before.

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