Earlier this year, it came time for us to reassess what we needed from our car, as the poor old ‘blue car’ (our old Renault Scenic) was beginning to feel a bit of a squeeze! Two kids plus car seats, two dogs, and also a variety of additional wheely equipment (day-to-day wheelchair, off-road wheelchair, scooter, bike etc) to transport at various times left us little breathing space. Not to mention that the blue car needed a fair bit of TLC (money thrown at it!) the electric windows had been broken all winter!
The first consideration was, should we move over to a WAV (a wheelchair accessible vehicle)? A big step! Also a BIG car! We have a very tight access route to our house, down a narrow lane, so ‘big’ could be tricky!
J is still small enough to lift in and out of the car, so we considered just getting a slightly bigger, regular family car. Perhaps investing in a turny chair (they do look fab!) as J is getting pretty good at assisted standing transfers from her wheelchair.
Once I started to look around at what other people’s WAVs were like, it dawned on me that many of them looked a little (well, a lot!) like the new version of the classic VW campervan. And that is because the VW Transporter van or the Caravelle people carrier are the same base model as the new VW California campervan!
Also holidays can be really tricky for us as J needs a safe bed to sleep in, and we always have to run around hotel rooms or holiday homes making everything J safe (which is a similar concept to ‘toddler safe’, but taller and longer reach proof!)! It can be pretty stressful, and we dabbled with a bit of camping last year, which we all really enjoyed.
We (I say we, but I think it was really just me, as big E had campervan in his mind for the future all along) had had a slightly mad idea that we could do with a small caravan (again limted by access to our driveway, it would have to be the smallest of small caravans like this cutey here)! We even went to the caravan and campervan show last year and checked some out, including checking out a few VW transporter conversions.
The other thing (which if you read my blog regularly) we struggle with on a day to day basis, is a lack of toilet facilities that J can use (changing places type toilets). It is really beginning to limit family days out. I refuse to change J on the floor of a loo, and until now we’d been managing to change her in the car, but that was getting too awkward for space & lack of privacy.
It then dawned on me that we were looking at the same vehicle for two different jobs….. but what if it could do both…. plus provide us with a day to day base camp for toileting J (a super basic Mobiloo of our own!)!?
So off we trotted to the VW van dealership to have a look at what they had and the pros and cons of new v old, buying or leasing via Motability, Caravelle v California, Campervan v WAV (and more than a little bit of scrutiny over the dimensions for getting down our lane, and out again!)….. and thus the CamperWAV was born!
More details about our CamperWAV and our adventures coming soon!