People who camp and travel with customized vans always amazed me. I like my little camping tent, but when I see those «super customized vans» I am green with envy. I don’t feel the same about big and heavy RVs because I think they have many disadvantages. However, those cute camper vans… that’s a different thing!
But envy is over! I haven’t purchased my own camper, though… Much better! I’ve found the perfect van thanks to Vanyou, a company from Valencia that has fully equipped camper vans so I can rent one anytime. In my case this is just fine, because renting Vanyou’s van is absolutely much cheaper than buying and maintaining my own.
As you can see in the image above, this camper van is just amazing. It is capacious and a big boot, refrigerator, cabinets with all kitchen items you may need, heater, removable table, tap and water tank with 20 liters are available. The rear seats turn into a large bed and besides that, you can add two extra places to sleep thanks to the «pop-up» roof.
Last weekend we had the opportunity to drive it. We were only two people so we didn’t need to raise the roof for sleeping, we just downed the rear seats and had a comfortable double bed. In the following video you can see how the seats turn into a bed. You will notice that the video is shortened to only show each of the steps in fast motion, but I assure you that the bed is done within a minute.
Even if the campervan has seating for six passengers and there is space for four people to sleep, I think four adults together in such a small space could be a bit awkward (but ok if the four of you get along well with each other), so I think Vanyou’s camper van is perfect for a couple or a family traveling. The kids will have a lot of fun for sure!
As I said, we didn’t have to use the roof to sleep because we were only two people, but the truth is that it’s a good idea to raise it so you can stand inside the van, which is very comfortable. In this video you can see how the roof goes up. It’s not an automatic process, someone has to pull it from the inside, but it’s very easy to do and it takes only a few seconds.
Our Vanyou adventure
In our opinion, one of the advantages of Vanyou is that they are located in Valencia. We picked up the van on Friday afternoon and we left our car in the same garage where the van was parked. Following the recommendations of Paula and Chema, the couple in charge of the company, we headed to Montanejos, where we spent the first night in a nice spot close to the river. By the way, that’s another reason to love the service: the owners are nature lovers and they know by heart many good places to travel with the van, so their advice was very appreciated.
Next day we started a tour from Montanejos, stopping at Villahermosa del Río, Puertomingalvo, one of «the most beautiful villages of Spain», and finishing at San Joan de Penyagolosa, where we spent the second night (in the camper, of course). By Sunday morning we walked up to the Penyagolosa peak. On our way back to Valencia, we stopped for lunch in Atzeneta and continued driving south to take a break in the Arenal de Burriana.
Route on Google Maps just in case anyone wants to follow it:
Being our first time driving this kind of van, the route we took was perfect. Crossing the mountains with the camper is a pleasure. You can put your food in the fridge and stop to eat anywhere, without haste, at your own pace and with no pressure. Furthermore, despite being January (temperatures were particularly low at night) the heating and the good insulation of the van made us forget the cold.
There is one important thing to consider: if you are thinking of renting the van as a low-cost option, you better forget it. Renting the van costs between 80€ – 100€ per day, plus the cost of the gas. It’s not cheap tourism, but a different way to travel that allows you to experience new sensations. For example, if you travel as a couple, you may get a decent hotel room for a lower price (you also have to spend the gas to get, obviously). However, if you’re traveling with the family, you have to consider that the total cost of traveling with the van could be cheaper than the price of a hotel room for 3 or 4 people.
That’s why I think renting a van like this one should not be considered as a budget accommodation option, but something that allows you to live experiences that no other tourist accommodation offers. You will be free to move anywhere, to sleep at the foot of a mountain or at the edge of a cliff… something that a hotel can not offer. For people who love camping, like us, Vanyou’s van is a strongly recommended option.
However, you also have to keep in mind that you can not sleep wherever you want. Free camping is not allowed everywhere in Spain and in some public parkings sleeping is prohibited. Said that, if you don’t raise the roof and you don’t put any item out of the van, it is easy to sleep with no problems in many places. To avoid mistakes, those who are still new in this «camper world» will find a lot of useful information at the FurgoVW website, that offers great advices from travelers about the best places to stay with vans.
I will repeat this awesome experience for sure. But next time, with more people. Guaranteed fun! Anyone up?