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Taking your van camping: our top tips

Our top tips

If the van that you use for work is also your main form of transport, then you may have no choice but to take it with you when you go camping for your summer holidays or on that well earned weekend break.

Vans are excellent for camping trips as they will have much more load space than a car for your tent and all your essential camping equipment plus they are much easier to pack too. Not only that, but if the weather turns particularly nasty, you can always sleep in your van until the storms have passed.

There are a few things you need to consider before you take your van on a camping trip:

Our top tips for taking your van on a camping trip are:

  • Check your van insurance – you should check that your van insurance covers you for non-work activities, such as holidays. Ask your van insurance company if personal contents are insured, and make sure that the cover is enough to protect the cost of all your camping gear. Traditionally cover for personal possessions is quite limited on vehicle policies but you may be able to cover camping equipment on your home insurance or within a Travel insurance policy.
  • Get European cover – if you plan to venture further afield, you should check that your van insurance covers you for all the countries you will be travelling in. You can always get short term European cover if it does not. All Octagon car and van policies cover vehicles in the EU for up to 90 days.
  • Remember European drink drive laws – the drink drive limit varies considerably across Europe, so always check before you have a drink. Better still avoid alcohol altogether if you are driving. As a van driver, losing your licence could mean losing your livelihood. Here is some information on UK drink/driving laws.
  • Be prepared – remember that most vans are designed for domestic roads, not muddy farm tracks, so make sure that you are prepared for the terrain you will encounter. If you are driving across muddy fields, let your tyres down a little to spread the load, as this will reduce the chances of getting stuck. (Keep a couple of short lengths of carpet or matting handy to put under your wheels if you do get stuck in mud.)
  • Secure your kit – the kit and equipment required for a camping trip will be very different to your normal loads, but it still needs to be distributed evenly and secured properly, just like any other load. (See our article on van loading .
  • Don’t carry passengers in the back – you are only allowed to carry passengers in designated seats in your van, so don’t be tempted to sit the kids in the back, even for a short trip.

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