It was the afternoon of Sunday, July 23 in a muddy field in Oxfordshire that I succumbed to the inevitable.
After camping in a cold and uncomfortable tent at a music festival, worn out by dragging my daughter’s buggy through thick mud, I thought it was really time that I turned the style up a notch. And by turning up the style, I mean travelling around and camping with a little bit more comfort: a campervan, motorhome, RV, leisure vehicle – whatever you want to call them.
After some serious research I’ve now begun the slow process of carefully saving the pennies each month.
Volkswagen – synonymous with the classic VW camper – has spawned an entire sub-industry of companies that convert its commercial vans into habitable homes. But the German automaker has itself launched several iterations of its new VW California campervan.
Complete with all the latest gadgets and driving aids a brand new California can cost over £50,000 ($65,000) for its top of the range model. Mercedes also joined the market a few years ago with the Mercedes Marco Polo which can get even more expensive. But let’s not forget the never-ending range of towable caravans and larger motorhomes for the likes of Hymer and Fiat. There’s now even pop-up tents that descend and unfold from your car’s roof rack.
Whilst it might not be the “ideal investment opportunity” that I’m telling my friends and family it is, there does appears to some serious value retention in these leisure vehicles. A VW California camper that’s nearly two years old can fetch around the same price as a brand new one – presumably because you don’t have to wait for the company to make it to your exact specification. Even a camper that’s four or five years old can still fetch over £35,000 if it’s been looked after nicely.