Rise in number of people wanting to get away on winter campervan breaks

A survey has found nearly three quarters of Brits are considering a caravan or campervan holiday this winter.

Commissioned by Auto Trader, the survey of 2,000 UK adults revealed 71 per cent of people who were thinking about taking a holiday this winter would consider staying in a caravan or motorhome.

Laura and Jason Parsons, live in Pensfold Drive, Langney in Eastbourne. They set up Rylees Vintage Caravan Hire in April, 2020 after Laura was made redundant amid the Covid pandemic.

Sign up to our daily SussexWorld Today newsletter

The pair decided to renovate two vintage caravans, a 1966 Sprite and a 1963 Safari.

Quirky Campers

Laura said: “The 1966 Sprite, the two berth blue one, we got from Hayling Island in 2019 as an empty shell and the 1963 Safari, four berth pink and cream one, we got from Horsham in summer 2020.

“This was in a very poor state. They have both been a labour of love for both myself and my husband from exterior paint to interior walls and furnishings.

“We wanted something old with a fresh retro look, with 20th century appliances inside for couples and families to enjoy.”

The caravans took six to seven months to complete from start to finish.

Laura and Jason Parsons

The plan is for the caravans to be used for events and for people to stay in.

She said: “With this year’s situation we have offered the caravans to either people’s home address (driveway or gardens) or local camp sites but would like to offer them out for weddings, honeymoons, birthdays etc.”

The company have already had some great feedback on its Facebook page, including: “Thank you so much for the lovely hire – we would highly recommend you guys. We’ve had the most fantabulous ‘non-wedding’ few days. Your vintage caravan is just so cosy and romantic – it was just perfect for us. Just brilliant. The little touches lovely. Thank you.”

Laura and Jason bought their own family caravan in 2010.

1966 Sprite

She said: “We have enjoyed many family holidays since and really enjoy it and thought we could give other people the opportunity to do the same.

“Not everyone can or wants to tow so may never own their own caravan but want the experience which is what we are hoping to achieve.”

For more information, visit facebook.com/Rylees-Vintage-Caravan-Hire-108059337468662Caravan and motorhome holidays are proving to be good options for holidaymakers amidst the ongoing pandemic.

Those in tier two and lower will be attracted by the option of being able to socially distance from loved ones from different households in separate caravans parked next to each other, while still being able to enjoy time together outdoors. Of those who are considering a holiday this winter, it is the younger generations – adults aged 18-44 – who are most likely to consider a caravan or motorhome holiday (95 per cent) with almost one in three of these (32 per cent) saying they would be willing to spend more than £1,000 to rent a luxury caravan or motorhome for a holiday this winter.

Nearly one in five of this group (18 per cent) agreed that taking a trip in a caravan or motorhome would be a great way to have a holiday while adhering to lockdown restrictions and more than one in 10 (13 per cent) said it would be safer than a hotel or Airbnb this year.

Erin Baker, Auto Trader’s editorial director, said: “Staycations are set to remain popular for some time as coronavirus shows little sign of slowing in the UK. Christmas in particular is likely to see a surge in the popularity of caravan and motorhome holidays as people look for inventive ways to spend time with loved ones, whilst still adhering to Covid-19 restrictions.”

Quirky Campers is the home of campervans. It currently has 119 carefully curated campers on its books including six across East and West Sussex including in Chichester, Selsey, Worthing and Brighton.

Lindsay Berresford, co-founder and marketing director, said: “Our core offering is beautiful, bespoke campers for hire but we also offer sales, a directory of professional converters, an annual campervan festival and are just about to launch a campervan conversion e-book.

“Every one of our campervans for hire is uniquely designed, beautifully crafted and maintained by their passionate owner. Collect directly from the person who knows it best and can you show you how everything works. They are at the end of the phone in case you forget how to take the bed out or where the light switch is.”

This year their website has seen a 200 per cent increase in hits on the website. Lindsay said: “We had 50 per cent more vans available and were fully booked and we could probably have filled the same number again. September was twice as busy as the previous year and October was four times as busy.”

Quirky Campers is a family business run by Lindsay alongside husband, David.

They set it up in 2010 as a means to rent their own campervan, Bella, while they lived in Kenya for six months.

Running the rentals remotely, they were amazed at how much interest they received. On their return they slowly started to build the business alongside self-building their own family home back in the UK.

It was when they found out that their son was going to be joined by twin sisters that they decided to quit their day jobs and devote themselves to Quirky ‘full time’.

Lindsay said: “The new generation of hand built ‘quirky’ campervans appeal to a new generation of holiday-makers. The kinds of people who maybe wouldn’t dream of going to a caravan park or hiring a ‘plastic fantastic’ motorhome, love the idea of an adventure in a camper that looks like a boutique hotel or log cabin.

“I love that they make adventures easy. With three young children, it feels like any time we leave the house it needs to be meticulously planned out, while a camping trip involves days of packing and pitching giant tents. Campervans allow us to pack light, be spontaneous and say ‘yes’ to things. The comparative dark and quiet of a campervan compared to a tent means that everyone gets a great night’s sleep, and you are never far from a kettle.”

“People are advised to book early for 2021 as our calendars are filling faster than they have ever done before. Also this is a great time to invest in the campervan business, so if they are tempted to buy/build a campervan and rent it out they should check out our website for more info.”

For more information on Quirky Campers, visit www.quirkycampers.comFor some freedom to explore the UK a campervan or motorhome is the perfect solution, and there are lots of options across the UK and here in Sussex.