Buying a VW campervan is something Stu and I have been talking about for a few years. My dream is a burgundy and cream splitscreen with a chrome trim and alloys. This dream comes at a huge cost though. One that I am not really willing to spend at the moment.
So since we went to Cornwall last December and saw a lot of VW T4’s and T5’s we decided this is what we would go for. When we returned to Cornwall in April we made up our minds. We started looking at T4’s and realised we needed a budget of around £6000 for a camper. Was this our dream shattered? Would we have to wait for a long time to get one?
We scoured eBay everyday for 6 weeks and we looked in second hand car magazines. All the ones we liked were asking for around 5 – 6000k and we only had just over £3000 saved so far! Looking at eBay this would buy us a bog standard panel van that would need a lot of work done to it (ReSpray, Carpet, Wheels…..). It was getting to the point where we were thinking that we could spend the money and go to Hong Kong or California instead.
One night on the off chance we had a look on Gumtree as every other avenue was exhausted. It was here where we stumbled across a camper for sale in Stoke-on-Trent. The real killer was it was advertised for £3,500 and had only just been listed. It was red, long wheel base with the windows where we wanted them. It was already de-badged, had the roll bars at the side, had a tailgate rear door and some nice looking alloy wheels. Everything (apart from the colour) was as we wanted it. The real great thing was that it had only recently been resprayed and the inside was a blank canvas. The ad said that it included a brand new kitchen and a rock roll bed with seatbelts. This was everything we wanted and it was there, in front of our eyes at a the right price!
We instantly called the owner and arranged to go and see it the next day. We hoped that it was in good condition but it just seemed too cheap. We got insurance quotes and tried not to build our hopes up. We had visions of somebody beating us to it and ringing the next day only to be told it had sold!
When we arrived the shiny red van looked immaculate. We looked closely for rust and dents but only saw our reflection. The bonnet was opened and it all looked in perfect working order. The engine sounded fine and Stu said it drove like a dream. Inside was dusty and dirty but ready for us to fill it as we wanted and put our own stamp on. And although we wanted a blue or green camper, the red was actually very nice.
We loved it but weren’t sure if we were ready to seal the deal. We were about to part with a lot of cash – was the guy being honest? Was the engine really ok or would we end up forking out loads of money in repairs? Speaking to my Dad, who’d come along for the ride, he asked me why we hadn’t snapped the guys hand off yet. Usually my Dad asks if we are sure we can afford or if we are ready to make the commitment. This reassured me that we were making the right decision. I gave Stu the nod and told him it was his decision. After a bit of bartering the guy accepted £3400!
We left feeling very excited and looking forward to picking it up the next day. We bickered over names. Whether it would be male or female. Stu won. Our beautiful red VW campervan is called Roxy.
Now we’ll spend the coming months building the inside and making it absolutely perfect for road trips through the UK and Europe.
I think this is the best decision we have made. We had considered using the money to book a trip to Hong Kong or California. We decided the camper was an investment and would allow us to explore Europe at our own leisure.
If you want to follow Roxy’s progress you can see all of the photos on our Facebook page.
Have you been on a road trip in a camper van? Can you give us any tips?