On the last day of September 2018 we sold Ernie our campervan.
Please don’t feel sad for us as we will get another campervan at some point in the future. And the van that we had, we weren’t using for what it was meant for, as we had only camped in it once since summer 2015!
Can you believe that? Its crazy really. I mean, we still used the van for driving from A to B almost daily because it was our only vehical. But we hadn’t really enjoyed owning a camper van for the last three years.
In summer 2016 we had just moved to Devon and I was pregnant and suffering from morning sickness, so we were too busy, broke and ill to camp.
In summer 2017 we had baby Dylan, so camping with all his gear and sterilising his bottles etc, seemed too much of a ball ache, so we didn’t do it.
In summer 2018 I was pregnant again and had morning sickness once again (its nicer to throw up in the comfort of your own home/toilet!) So we didn’t go. Plus it was the heatwave from hell.
There has definitely not been any recent #vanlife for us.
In the last couple of years our vehical needs have changed. And in May this year we changed them. We bought (if you can call hire purchase that!) a sensible, modern car. We are now the proud owners (using the term owners loosely as we have the car on lease for four years!) of a 1 year old Skoda Fabia estate!
You might think that it was having the kids that made us do this hard adulting life choice. In part, yes. But the main reason was that we needed a quicker, more fuel efficient motor for our long distant trips to visit the family. It was the move to Devon that made us do it! Not D and R. Honest!
In the last few years Ernie has become more unreliable. He has broken down a few times and cost us a lot of money. Always at the most inconvenient times as well. He broke down the week before Dylan was born, on a visit to my family on the island, we had a prolonged stay at the in-laws while the van was at the garage and he broke down on the way to my 20 week scan with Reece (a long story, but we made it there in the end and Rob missed most of the scan, but made it the room for the part where they said “its a ….boy!”)
The problems have occurred because Rob no longer has the time to carry out the tinkering and maintenance that Ernie needs to keep him running the best he can. Blame me working weekend and the kids for that one, because our free time is very limited right now.
Plus any repairs made are very costly as we no longer have Rob’s friend in Kent near by who used to charge us mates rates for any work, and let Rob use the ramps at his garage, so Rob could carry out any work needed himself.
In the next few years Ernie would need a new gear box, fuel tank, a full respray as he was rusting again where there were paint chips etc and possibly a new engine as he still had his 1984 orginal one.
And then add in the fact that we did not know where to put D and R when we would camp in him, as we only had the fold down double bed (no, we do not want to co-sleep with them thanks) and they would be too young to sleep in a tent on their own. So a bigger van or a pop top van makes more sense.
So yeah, at this stage of our lives, with the maintenance/repair costs and fuel costs driving to Kent and the Isle of Wight it is actually cheaper to get a newer car with its warranties, breakdown cover and included services etc than run the van. Plus it has airconditioning which was amazing this summer!
So the plan is to keep the sensible Skoda for four years, as per our agreement, then trade it in for a modern VW campervan. But who knows what will happen next? We have been talking about maybe getting a trailer tent and we will dig the tent out of the loft to use again in the next year or two.
So it is the end of an era, but we have enjoyed Ernie, getting him back on the road again and our camping trips and going to festivals in him the best we could with our busy working lives and small budget etc.
He has gone to a new home in Bideford with a family with a mechanic father in law so Ernie will be looked after and enjoyed for many years to come. I hope so anyway.
Im sure that we will camp again in the next few years and I do hope to start going to festivals again, but maybe as I approach my forth decade, maybe I am *gulp* too old for all that now! Eek!!!
I just hope that we don’t become Centre Parc holiday arseholes anytime soon. But they have a pool for the boys and a bar for Rob and I, so never say never!
P.S the Beetle has also been sold earlier this year as Rob has not got the time to restore it to get it back on the road. He has decided to concentrate on smaller projects, restoring a collection of vintage toy Tonka trucks for D and R. Man, we are so sensible and boring these days!!!