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