Hitting The Road? Think About Your Load!
So, the summer holidays are here and you’ve opted for a road trip around the UK, or even a more ambitious journey through Europe. It’s nearly time to hit the road and you’ve sorted all the kit and caboodle – bikes, kayaks, beach BBQ, etc. Now it’s time to make the most important decision: The road trip van.
Whether you are going for the full converted van life approach or just want an easy way to transport all your stuff, even if you’re renting or buying, here are our recommendations for your road trip van.
Planning The Vanning
There are a number of key factors to consider here: What are you taking, how many people are going, what sort of holiday are you planning, what are the priorities for you? Comfort, luxury/budget, air-con, space, experience?
It’s not just about how much stuff you are taking. Think carefully about the places you will be visiting. Narrow country lanes or built up cities are different from the open road. You need the right size van to navigate your terrain. Also, obviously, the bigger the van the more expensive it is to run. Engine size and top speed will also effect your insurance premiums.
Road Trip Van Search - Our Recommendations
The surfers van of choice, and comes with a community of fellow drivers. A well reviewed choice noted for a smooth car like drive.
Possibly the most well-known van around the world? Luckily, this means that finding spare parts for this trusty all-rounder won’t be an issue and you won’t be short on choice when it comes to buying a second-hand model. You will also be spoilt for choice when it comes to sizes, models and extras. It’s also worth noting that if you plan to sleep in it, but not to stay at proper campsites, this van is a good stealth option.
The AutoExpress ‘Van of The Year 2018’ comes with a 4WD option, should you plan to go off-road. A very well-built van, but for this level of build-quality and uniqueness, you should expect the price and insurance costs to reflect that.
Vauxhall Vivaro and Renault Trafic
These are also popular vans that come with good reviews. You may be able to get some good deals on these. The Vauxhall in particular represents a generally cheaper option for purchasing and insuring.
Sizing Up Your Options
Short Wheel Base
This is your smallest option when it comes to a road trip van, offering the manoeuvrability of a car but with a little more space. If you’re travelling solo or as a couple, this is a good cost-effective option that’ll provide a degree of comfort.
Average dimensions for this type of vehicle are 244cm long, 164cm wide, 140cm internal height.
Long Wheel Base
Slightly bigger and often with a raised roof, this will provide you with enough space to install a few extra creature comforts, such as a toilet and cupboards. You’ll be able to spread out and really make a home within this type of van, depending on how many of you are travelling.
Average dimensions for this type of vehicle are 350cm long, 180cm wide, 212cm internal height.
Extra Long Wheel Base/Jumbo
Basically, this just a slightly longer version of the Long Wheel Base van and allows for a little more breathing room or an extra passenger to tag along for the ride.
Average dimensions for this type of vehicle are 400cm long, 170cm wide, 155cm internal height.
Hit the Road Jack
If you are buying a used van, low mileage is always a major asset as you will probably be adding quite a lot to the tally, especially if you are visiting multiple countries. Be sure to ask the owner for the full service history so you can identify where the van may have had multiple faults in the past. The last thing you will want whilst on the road is an expensive repair bill, frequent hold ups or the stress of an underlying problem that you can’t deal with whilst on the road.
There are no specific rules when it comes to self-conversion, but you can find safety guidelines of the Gov website. Be aware that modifications may also make your van more expensive to insure.
Choosing a road trip van can be quite daunting, especially when buying used. At First 4 Vans, all of our vans for sale are available in excellent condition with a pre-delivery inspection and warranties included. Our team are always happy to help get you set up and ready to go for your adventure. Click the button below if you’d like to see our current stock of vans for sale.
Now buckle up and enjoy the ride!