When I was very little, my grandmother owned a small (and I mean tiny) adorable little caravan. It couldn’t really fit more than 3 people it was that small. Looking back now I have some very fond memories from summers spent there. I remember going for long walks up the mountainside, finding wild strawberries to eat…
I remember picking blueberries into a plastic cup and when we got back down to the caravan, we would add sugar and I would eat it while sitting outside…
It was located the same small place she grew up, far out in the countryside surrounded by the ocean, a large thundering river coming down from the mountainside and green everywhere. It’s a beautiful place, and I miss it a lot. Since she passed away 6 years ago I haven’t been back there and I doubt I shall.
Thinking back to these memories I can’t help but want some of that simple living back. And a part of me wants to do the same with my own children, give them some wonderful memories of a simple family life surrounded by green. As living like this would sadly be impossible for us I am going for the next best thing, which is a ‘Campervan Holiday’ that makes camping child-friendly.
5 Things You Need To Consider When Choosing a Campervan
1. Family friendly
As this would be a holiday for our family to enjoy – kids and all, the campervan would need to be family friendly. For a campervan to be awarded the ‘family friendly’ rosette from us it would need to have a couple of bits and pieces to make the camping child-friendly.
- Good storage capability
- Quick and simple to make up beds
- Lockable doors
A campervan holiday involves a lot of driving so I would recommend looking at a van that doesn’t kill your fuel budget! I really think I would want money spent elsewhere than on fuel if I can help it. After all, if you save on fuel – you can have a bit extra for unexpected mishaps that are bound to happen when you depend on nature and weather right? hehe
3. Vehicle seats
It’s very important to make sure that the campervan has proper vehicle seats. You don’t want it to have some chipboard bench holding you and your kids up – trust me. Some even have ISOfix – if they do that’s even better! Make sure to check to see that the Rock and Roll bed is tested for safety (in vehicle tested).
Take a look at this crash test video – it shows you why this is so important!
4. Seat belts
The campervan needs to be fully equipped with 3 point seat belts. Especially if you have a child/children that are old enough to be in a high back booster. You can not use a high back booster with a 2 point seat belt, and also the 2 point seat belts cause a lot of damage by themselves so should not be used by an adult either. Best to fully avoid them unless you can be sure you have an extended rear facing car seat that allows for installation with a 2 point seat belt. That would be the only safe thing in regards to a 2 point belt.
Not all ‘rock n roll’ beds are the same. This is a ‘Seat Belt Anchorage Test’.
Surprisingly not many camper beds on the market undergo this test!
5. Child car seat friendly
A common issue I hear about when advising is that a campervan doesn’t have any room for car seats. As children should never ever ride in a car without a car seat – holiday or not, it is extremely important that the vehicle seats in the camper van can fit a car seat. It’s also important to make sure that you have somewhere to ‘tether‘ to.
Without this, I’m afraid the children would not be travelling safely – and that is simply not acceptable, as I’m sure you agree.
Therese has completed the ‘Advanced Child Car Seat Training Course’ at TRL (Transport Research Lab) and is a CPD accredited car seat expert. She blogs about in-car safety, car seats, tips, reviews, giveaways and advice. She’s a mum on a mission to change the law and raise awareness. She is also a breastfeeding advocate and gentle parenting promoter who loves cloth nappies, baby-wearing, BLW and co-sleeping/bed-sharing.