I have a friend (shocker I know) and we both seem to have been following the same instagram and pinterest lists without knowing about the other. When we finally did air the topic a new mutual interest was born!

Campervanning has had a resurgence in the last 2-3 years. While the 60’s campers are still as popular as always, they have been joined by the Van DIY-ers. This new group of people vaguely have the following traits:

  • Inability to buy a house, due to high prices and low wages
  • Good jobs with some spare cash
  • Growing frustration with the good jobs inflexibility for time off
  • Travel lust fueled by the instagram revolution
  • Dogged independence and determination
  • A level of DIY capability (altho some vans I’ve seen have taken DIY to another level)
  • Dreaded “Millennials” that get all the bad press at present.

I’m gunna coin the term for this group as Indi-vanners. There is also a high percentage of people in this category that like the idea of full time living in the van. #Vanlife has become a widely used tag for the viral travel van photos circling the internet. The best part about Indi-vanners is the inventive ways of upcycling, recycling and repurposing of stuff to make really cool array of individual, quirky, functional and fun vans, fit for all walks of life.

We got chatting about vans and I was kindly invited to join them on a trip to Dartmoor. Only a couple hours through the cotswolds later, everyone stopped at his sister’s house for the night in Weston Super Mare. In the morning, another couple hours down the M5 and the campsite was in site (eh.. eh… see what I did there?)

So a campsite, for indi-vanners, is a luxury, not an essential when pitching up for the night. However, this campsite had zero luxury included as standard. I think we can all agree that toilets, should flush. And basins, to wash, should be provided as a bare minimum… Apparently not. This campsite has a traditional long-drop toilet, a choice of two infact. A tap in a corner of the field for water but no basins or running water means only hand gel to “sanitise” in the long-drop. Its ok tho, sawdust is provided, to mask the visible evidence of the person before you but does nothing for the smell. It smells like a horses stable. Now I’m not saying its dirty, its actually very clean in there and well taken care of but when you are paying for a campsite you do have some standards.

We set the vans up at right angles and closed in a small courtyard with a bell tent. It was an awesome little set up with a couple fire pits to keep us warm. We gave a go at BBQing but the heavens opened which made it tricky. A couple well placed poles and guys combined with acres of tarpaulin kept us mostly dry while drinking and chatting into the night. We had spent all day getting there and setting up our little commune, it was fun to faff and learn new things about the vans and each other.