Van Life Questions

Here are some of the questions we get asked regularly.  If we haven't covered what you are looking for please ask us a question and we will reply as soon as we can. 

We used a variety of well researched materials including Celotex, spray foam insulation, recycled earth wool and silver foil bubblewrap as a vapour barrier among others. To see a full materials list see our blogs on How to Properly Insulate a Campervan  and How to Soundproof a Campervan

Blencathra has 1 x width ways double bed which measures 173cm long along with a 3rd berth which is made up using the sofa cushions and bench seat.

Catbells has a width ways double bed which has side pod extensions to make the bed wider. This med measures approx 195cm wide. She also has a third berth which is made up using a clever removable fold out bed and the sofa cushions.

We spent many years backpacking which teaches you to manage without an oven. Even though we built the van for full time van living we felt an oven would use up too much valuable kitchen space when there are amazing alternatives available. See our blog on Campervan Oven Alternatives to learn more. 

We use a portable USB shower and have devised a pop up shower cubicle which can used inside or out. See our blog on Keeping Clean in a Campervan and checkout our pop up shower video on Instagram

We handmade the copper lights in our campervan. They are made up of standard plumbing copper pipe and we installed the wiring ourselves (after watching many YouTube tutorials on 12 volt electrics!) 

We made the decision to keep the bulkhead in when we were stripping the plywood and cleaning the van. We wanted an L-shaped kitchen layout which meant we didn't need to take the bulkhead out for space and we easily managed to cut out an escape hatch for safety. We also kept it in for temperature regulation. More information available on our Soundproofing and Cleaning your Campervan  blog. 

Both vans are Mercedes Sprinters. They are our first choice of base vans because of their reliability and how nice they are to drive.

Blencathra - is a MWB 2015 Mercedes Sprinter. She is very easy to drive and is only 5.9 meters long so isn't much longer than a 4X4 to drive. She fits in a standard car parking space with a small over hang making her much easier to park and get around smaller roads in certain areas of the UK. She is a great option for drivers nervous of driving bigger vans.

Catbells - is a LWB 2019 Mercedes Sprinter. She is longer than Blencathra measuring 6.9 meters long but has the same width. She has reversing cameras and sensors to assist with her parking. She requires more consideration with parking as she would either take up 2 standard car parking spaces or a larger overhang but this offset against having more comfortable living space and a luxurious shower and woodburner!

Laura and Jacqui from Brown Bird and Company.  

Yes! We installed solar panels and a battery to battery charge system into the electrics meaning you can wild camp 99% of the time. This not only saves money but also means you have the freedom to roam and stay in beautiful remote locations. 

That said we do highly recommend staying in campsites so you can sit outside and enjoy the views and a BBQ/fire (which you can't do when stealthy wild camping).

We have gas blown air heating and have a propex heater and an underslung LPG tank installed. 

Adventure Questions

Here are some of the common questions we have been asked by fellow adventurers. 

Of the long distance treks we have done the GR5 has been the most enjoyable. We love the Alps and the GR5 Trail really packs a punch with stunning scenery. See our BLOG on the GR5 Trail  for more information. 

There are a few treks we have on our 'to do' which are supposed to be amazing. The Via Alpina is right up there long with any long distance walk in Patagonia. Watch this space! 

We hike (mountaineering) all year around and this is probably our favourite thing to do. In the winter we also ski and ice climb and in the summer rock climb, via ferrata, scramble and do some mountain biking.  

The is very much down to personal choice. Personally we love hiking in the Lake District and are on our second round of the Wainwrights. 

We have recently spend a lot of time in Scotland hiking which is truly stunning, however the weather and midges can be a pain! 

Wales also has some fantastic walking areas. Snowdonia is a well known mecca for scrambling and everything is easily accessible. 

If sprawling moorland with craggy outcrops is more your thing then The Peak District and The Yorkshire Dales should be at the top of your list. 

Luckily we don't have to make any permanent decisions on this question as we have our home on wheels! However there are 3 places we spend a lot of our time (and sometimes struggle to move on from!):

Chamonix (For it's simply stunning snowy Alpine scenery)

The Dolomites (For it's craggy peaks and the shear amount of outdoor activities on offer there)

The Lake District (Because it feels like home and is such an amazing hiking area)