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Loving a bit of campervan geek chat

Written by Fiona

January 02 2017

Listen into the chat of two campervan owners and you might hear something very similar to the conversation I enjoyed with Graham, aka Beardy, on Hogmanay…

It’s not difficult to find a campervan geek these days. In fact, we’ve become so numerous we should perhaps be called mainstream. However, it’s the chat that is so often geeky – and having just had my van revamped I can “geek chat” it with the best of them.

When I met with Beardy on Hogmanay in the Clachaig Inn, Glencoe, we enjoyed a chance for a full-blown Van Geek Chat. It went something like this (although I have précised!)…

Beardy: You’ve just had your van refurbished, haven’t you?

Me: Oh yes! *Smiles broadly and sighs…and smiles again…* It’s so lovely. I had everything done pretty much, including panelling, insulation, flooring, cooker, sink, fridge, heater and lighting. I had new furniture installed, too, to my spec. It already had a good rock ’n’ roll bed.

B: What type of fridge do you have? A Waeco?

M: Yes, the new one. It has a removable cooler section. It’s brilliant. It makes such a difference to van life because we do not need to take a cool box any more.

B: They are pretty spacious aren’t they? Enough room for the basics and a bit more. The door is good for bottles.

Katie (Beardy’s girlfriend) pipes up: Yes, bottles of Prosecco. We have one in there just now!

B: It’s the heater we don’t have. That would be great to have but I had an engine repair this summer that cost so much that I can’t afford the heater just now. Is it diesel?

M: Yes, a diesel heater. That is one of the best parts of the revamp. It heats up the van so quickly. In fact, I end up too warm and have to turn it off.

B: What sort of flooring do you have?

M: Hmmm. I’m not sure. I think it’s Altro. It’s sort of rubberised and non-slip.

B: Yes, we have similar. But when I bought the van second-hand it had carpet. That had to go.

This rug?!

M: I am thinking of getting a rug for the van. Something to stop things getting muddy.

B: Yes, we have an industrial type mat. Rubber backed.  It fits really neatly. It means you can simply pull out the mat at the end of the trip and get rid of all the dirt. I don’t let anyone in who is wearing outdoor shoes anyway.

M: That’s a good idea. I’m so precious about my van just now. It’s all shiny and new and I don’t want it to be messed up. Actually, I need to get more seat covers because I only have one just now on the driver’s seat. I got a new captain’s passenger seat that swivels. That has made such a difference to the space in the van.

B: We have the double front passenger seat that swivels.

M: I had that but it was a nightmare to swivel. We did it a few times and gave up. The single is brilliant because it’s so easy to turn. But we have lost a seat so we have space for only three passengers now. It’s a compromise, I guess.

B: What year is your van?

M: 2011. You?

B: 2006.

M: A T5? I like the T5. *dreams momentarily about owning a beautiful vintage VW van but remembers they break down and I can’t be bothered with the hassle.* Then *thoughts float fleetingly and with jealousy to friends who are buying a brand new T6 California but then I recall the price*…


M: Oh, and I have curtains fitted now, too. They are fab.

B: We do as well. What about the front windows? External or interior thermal covers?

M: Internal. I didn’t know you could get external.

External covers with eyes?! Fun!

B: Yes, and they seem to be better at stopping the condensation.

M: Oh, that would be good. The condensation, especially with two people in the van, is pretty bad.

Katie: We have a window wiper. Is it Karcher? It is battery operated and sucks up the water as you wipe. It’s amazing.

M: Oh, something else to look into. I will look at a big mat, outside window covers and a window wiper.

B: There’s always something to think about isn’t there? I am definitely going to get a heater. Was it that guy at Kirkintilloch who did your van conversion? I might ask him about that.

M: Yes, Ali Vernett. He’s done a brilliant job. His attention to detail is superb…

B: Yes, the photos of your van looked great.

And so it went on. I don’t think I would ever get bored of Van Geek Chat. Also see my Sunday Mail article “Stand by your Van“.

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