THE BLOG

Growing Up With a Volkswagen Campervan

14/09/2014 18:12 BST | Updated 14/11/2014 10:59 GMT

As far back as I can remember, my dad has been obsessed with Volkswagen Campervans. But, in 2009 amid what I like to call his midlife crisis, he decided to buy one.

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It was a small listing on Ebay that turned out to have a huge impact on my life, but I can't imagine my life without that unreliable baby blue van.

What I would like to point out before I continue is that you don't have to be a hippy to hit the road in a campervan. I've had some amazing family memories that would never have occurred without the van being part of the family.

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The campervan when we first bought it

On the other hand of course there have been plenty of times when she's broken down, but as you can imagine, these are the times that are normally the most memorable and funny.

For one of our first holidays away in the van we drove down to Devon and camped for a week or so. Being Glastonbury festival regulars and camping in a tent several times prior to buying the campervan we liked to think we were seasoned campers.

Therefore the sheer beauty of owning a campervan hit us hard when we rolled up to the camp site in pouring rain and were able to set up camp with minimal effort and without getting wet.

On the way back was our first 'incident' as you like. We broke down after climbing a hill, smoke chugging out the back end, and were unable to restart it. People who passed by were very helpful, and even helped us push it to the nearest layby whilst my at the time 12 year old brother sat in the driver's seat steering.

My mum panicked at this thought, but he soon reassured her by telling her that he had done it plenty of times on Mario Kart.

We were eventually towed back, and the engine had to be replaced, but it is a story that none of us have ever forgotten.

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Me trying to fix the broken down campervan

Since then my dad's revamped the inside, and she (I mean the campervan) gets regular outings including festivals and campsites across the country.

I think what's most important when it comes to owning a VW campervan is using it. You see far too many at shows that look enviably pristine, but they're unused and nowhere near as loved as ours.

For me, owning a campervan is something more than having a classic car to show off, it is part of the family. You don't get funny stories from your holidays across the UK if you leave it in the garage.

Almost six years on from that eventful first breaking down the van is a bigger part of the family than ever, and selling it would be like ripping the heart out of the family.

Sure, it costs money and it takes twice as long chugging down the inside line of the M1 at 50mph than in a normal car, but every moment is completely worth it for the great memories we make.

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So, to anyone thinking about buying one, stop thinking and just do it. It'll be worth every penny and trial and tribulation that it throws your way. And most importantly, you'll soon discover that it's the closest thing to happiness you'll ever be able to buy.

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