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Added: 16 July 2020

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has teamed up with camping expert Martin Dorey to compile a list of top tips on how and where to holiday off-grid in your campervan this summer.

The iconic California offers an elevating roof and fully-fitted kitchen with prices starting from £55,339 RRP inc VAT and OTR, while the new Grand California, available from £72,745, adds a separate wet room with toilet, sink and shower for the complete off-grid experience.

These campervans provide the ideal companion to explore some of the UK’s hidden gems this summer. And to help first-timers, or those who may be a little rusty prepare for the getaway, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has teamed up with camping expert, environmentalist and author of the Take the Slow Road travel series, The Camper Van Bible and Cookbook, Martin Dorey, to compile these tips on how to holiday safely in a campervan.

Top tips

  1. MAKE FRIENDS: Wild camping is truly wonderful. But you do need to do it properly. Get permission from the landowner, park up where instructed and be nice to everyone. In a socially distanced way, of course.
  2. PACK LIGHT. Take what you need and no more. Even in a big vehicle with plentiful storage like the Grand California, keeping tidy is the key to keeping calm. Too much clutter just gets in the way, causes arguments and raises stress levels.
  3. DO YOUR CHECKS: Have you got enough gas, water and food to last you a few days off the beaten track? Empty your grey waste tank before you go as well.
  4. RESEARCH A LITTLE: Books, maps and apps are your friend when it comes to planning an off-grid adventure. Read up a little and get to enjoy more of what you love. Seek out the secret places and find your own slice of paradise.
  5. ON THE LEVEL? An easy way to check if the van’s level (for the BEST night’s sleep ever) is to half-fill a glass of water and put it on the table. Bingo! A DIY spirit level. The new Volkswagen California T6.1 has a built-in inclinometer to check if you’re on level ground, with the new feature accessed via the touchscreen.
  6. PLAN A WASH AND BRUSH UP STOP: Going to a campsite with fresh water, emptying facilities and washrooms every few days will help you to stay out longer. Plan a night on a (Caravan and Motorhome Club) site and set yourself up for the next few days of blissful, off-grid camping.
  7. A RESTFUL NIGHT: Eye mask and ear plugs? You don’t need them! The Grand California and California have black out blinds that will let you snooze on until dawn. But if the dawn chorus does wake you? Go with the flow. Make a cuppa, sit on the step and fall in love with nature. That’s what wild camping is all about.
  8. COOKING UP A STORM: Eat fresh. Eat local. Pack staples like rice and spuds, plus some useful spices (Smoked Paprika, 5 Spice) and pick up delicious, local and fresh produce along the way. Simple is best with great ingredients.
  9. LEAVE IT NICER! Clear up when you arrive and before you leave. This is really important! If anyone thinks you’re the cause of mess you won’t be welcome back. And neither will the rest of us. Thank you!
  10. GET OUT THERE!!! Whatever it is you love to do - go and do it! Walking, cycling, kayaking, surfing or just lazing by the river. Wild camping puts you right there.

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