Changing Times

It has been an expensive week motor vehicle wise. Insuring and paying road tax for Victor the campervan, along with purchasing two new front tyres for my car has seen the best part of 1,000 English pounds haemorrhage from my savings account.

Bearing in mind Victor spends 99% of his existence off road, either on my drive or parked a campsite’s grounds, the £322 road tax was a particularly galling financial outlay.

However, I have no choice but be pragmatic about the whole situation. After all, as a famous adage within the camping fraternity goes, “Buying a campervan is dense if you whinge about expense.”

Actually, I lied about it being a well-worn calling card of that community; I have just made it up… However, due to its pithy and insightful message, perhaps it should be adopted by the guys living among the guy ropes.

Along with my other well-meaning fictional reminder “Illegal car park camping introduces jeopardy of a fine and clamping.”… Not quite as flowing as the first epithet, however something still to be mindful of in motorhome world.

To be honest, after the initial outlay of the vehicle/tent and costs putting it on the road, camping can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want to make it. An overnight stop on a pitch in a campervan with electric hook-up can vary from as little as £20 to… ermmmm, quite a bit more than £20… Sorry, but I have no idea what the pinnacle is for an overnight stop cost wise; but, from experience, fees are not ordinarily prohibitive.

Camping accessories can burn a hole through your savings, but most aren’t essential, so, like a frugal tailor, it’s all about cutting your cloth to fit when accessorising. The key elements of the lifestyle are availability of shelter, dry clothing, warmth, and food/drink. Anything other than that fit under the ‘nice to have’ category.

Sure, the more comfortable you can make yourself with associated camping equipment the better. However, is the point of camping not to ‘rough it’ a bit, going back to nature and living a little like cousin Ugg when he used to set mammoth traps?

When my partner, Sarah, and me spend time living outdoors in Victor we have at our disposal:- an airfryer, microwave, toaster, kettle, dual gas hob, sink, DAB radio, Bluetooth speaker, TV, mattress topper, four pillows, reclining deckchairs and a heater….In our case, it is barely living the sparse, luxury free existence of Bear Grylls when he goes adventuring..

In fact, I’d posit the appliances my beau and I take on our odysseys to UK campsites usurp what is available to some of our fellow Brits within their day-to-day existences.

Blimey, on one excursion in Victor I was even moisturising on a morning… Something that would make Bear turn in his grave… Well, it may if he was dead! 

That being said, he is so brave he may actually sleep in a coffin. After all, it would be a good way of Bear fending off a bear attack while asleep… Well, providing he remembered to include airholes in the wooden box. Although, I would venture a tent is a more suitable camping equipment accessory than a funerary box.

On reflection, during a year of owning Victor, the camping bug has bitten me more than the mosquitos who feasted on me last time I camped at Stamford Bridge. The critters treating GJ Strachan as an insect smorgasbord for the tarry’s duration.

Footnote – The Stamford Bridge referenced above is the village in east Yorkshire. Not to be mistaken for Chelsea football clubs home ground. I have not checked but I would envisage parking a campervan on their hallowed turf would be frowned upon… Although if Chelsea parked it in front of their goal, they might stop conceding so many goals.

Anyhow, being bitten by the camping bug has led to yours truly becoming reckless with his pastime budget. Thus far, a two-man tent, two inflatable mattresses and a sleeping bag among the gear purchased which have yet to be used. However, I am sure these will come is useful in the course of time.

If the worse comes to the worse, at least I will have somewhere to live when my money runs out!

1 Comment

  1. Good morning hysteria and laughter… not sure if it’s a cautionary tale.. or more of an advertisement for me continuing to wish for my dream RV so I can officially join the lifestyle and hit the road. It gave me quite a bit of reassurance that your missive ended on point that at least you would have a place to live in grand comfort when your money ran out.

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