Campervan season: All you need to know

Campervan season: All you need to know 23rd February 2015

With the cold weather starting to subside at last and spring on the horizon, many of the stay-at-home vacationers who have been in hibernation over the winter months will be starting to think about getting out in their campervans and motorhomes for another season of holidaying in the UK. 

The staycation has become more and more popular in the last three years in particular, with Travelodge reporting that it has doubled in this period. In 2014, it said that some 74 per cent of Brits took a holiday in the UK rather than venturing overseas. 

As we become more comfortable with holidaying at home and look for ways to stay mobile and comfortable on our breaks, campervans and motorhomes are becoming more popular than ever before. But what sort of campervan is best for you, whether buying or hiring, and do you know what sort of battery you need for camping rather than just motoring?

Best campervan models

VW 1965 Barbarossa – It may be a long way from the state of the art campervans people are used to these days, but few motorhomes will give you an experience quite like the iconic VW 1965 Barbarossa. The most well-known of all campervan designs, this throwback model is still popular even in 2015. 

It doesn't offer all the modern technology you would expect in all of the other top models at the moment, and nor is it particularly fast, but the VW van is still a fantastic way to holiday. With its 21 small windows, double side doors and huge sun roof, it really does bring the whole idea of a summer holiday to life. Perfect for those looking for a relaxed holiday.

VW California – From the traditional VW model to the very best in modern camping, the California has it all for those who want to get away and still retain all of the luxuries of modern life. With a built in cooker and fridge, this van has everything you'll need in the kitchen, and also comes with media connections that allow users to hook up all their electronic devices to the music system. 

To save space inside, the California doesn't have all the space that other campers have, but the front seats rotate to allow for more seating space in the back, and the roof pops up to provide a comfortable second sleeping room. Other high tech gadgetry includes the pop out chairs and tables in the tailgate and a number of points inside that allow you to use computers while on the move. 

Bailey Approach Autograph 765 – Perfect for going away with the kids in, this campervan was named Family Motorhome of the Year at the 2014 Motorhome Awards, and with good reason. The Bailey Approach has focussed on safety, with strong performance in crash tests and six three-point seat belts, giving peace of mind to parents, and a spacious interior that really is great for all the family. 

The drop down double bed above the front lounge gives the perfect space for another sleeping area to be created below, while the large rear lounge is what gave the motorhome its win, with this area particularly praised for giving the whole family a place to spend time together, as well as somewhere mum and dad can relax when the kids have gone to bed. 

What type of battery do you need?

After a winter where your motorhome has sat dormant, you will want to replace the battery in your campervan to ensure you have enough power to take you through the holiday season without breakdowns and failures, but what kind of battery do you need?

The battery you need for a motorhome is different to that for a car. While your car battery will be used mostly to start the engine, before the alternator immediately replenishes lost power, in a campervan it's not so simple. Leisure batteries (12V) used for these vehicles are generally required to provide a prolonged current over a longer period, and don't get recharged by the engine. 

Deep cycling batteries, also known as wet batteries, are the best for use in a camper, because they can handle the rigours of camping life as well as being able to efficiently start the engine. To get the longest life possible from your battery, make sure you keep it clean and charge it when it has no less than 50 per cent charge in it. 

Posted by Danielle Barge