Sitting in a hotel room in a small German town, less than one week back in the country since my trip to Central America and only 2 days after booking flights to NYC, Max and I decided we wanted to purchase a camper van. Not a big one with a kitchen and electricity but a converted delivery van with just the basics for sleeping in (on the side of the road without being noticed). We were inspired by one for sale on a facebook page connecting NZers in Germany and after a bit of research decided it would be a pretty economical, flexible and fun way to travel through Europe for the first part of our big adventure next year.
After further research we found that the van for sale was a decent model and had been well-built up to be stayed in for long periods. We messaged the guy and agreed to take a trip up to Hamburg the following weekend to check it out. The van came with everything we could possibly need (including a book collection, lego figures and a toaster) and despite a dent and a little surface rust, we fell in love with it.
Max engaged in some excellent bargaining with the owner and we drove away with what we felt was a great deal and a new home! Over the next few days we (well more Max) managed to negotiate the complex system of vehicle registration and insurance in Germany and with shiny new number plates we were ready to roll.
Key Features of the Van
- Large double mattress
- End of the mattress folds up to be a table.
- Side shelf and fold out shelf which also works as a small table.
- Front seats swivel 180 degrees to face the big table.
- No side windows so it is private and looks like an ordinary van from the outside. Perfect for wild camping!
- Sliding doors on both sides
- Awesome retro curtain from Max's grandmother's house across the back window.
- Apple crates which slide under the bed for storage.
- Small camping stove, pots, pans etc
- Tarpaulin which can be attached to the side of the van and then neighbouring trees for extra sheltered space.
After living in the van for 3 months now we can safely say we made a good investment. It's the perfect size for 2 people while still being not much larger than a normal car. It's very easy to park and we can easily free camp even in cities as we just look like a parked vehicle rather than a camper. We did pretty well at stocking up with all the vanlife essentials before we left Germany and besides a new battery (eek!) Morrison has made it thus far without any problems.