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Campervan holidays not just for retirees

Francois campervan from Quirky Campers

According to Quirky Campers, a unique British campervan hire service offering beautiful, handcrafted campers from around the country, there has been a marked shift towards younger people, women and families hiring its vans, particularly since the Covid pandemic, which prompted a boom in staycations.

So far this year, 74 percent of Quirky’s customers have been younger than 50, with holidaymakers in their thirties making the most bookings (33%), while those in their 40s have made up 24% and those in their 20s accounted for 17%. According to research by analytics company, Skyrise, women aged 35-44 are engaging the most with the brand online. Quite a different demographic to the stereotype of an older retired man, which many people still associate with campervanning.

The most popular options include all-electric vans, such as the four-berth Electric Eve and family-friendly Lecky, which enable fully off-grid camping and suit Millennials and other young travellers who are becoming increasingly eco-conscious.

Vans with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are appealing to those that want to travel with their tech and high-end finishes are also a drawcard, with lots of holidaymakers now wanting a less rustic camping experience. Many of the most regularly booked vans at Quirky Campers boast features such as wood burners, solar panels, pizza ovens, fire pits, luxury kitchens and bathrooms, and plush pillows and furnishings.

Many of the vans also have plenty of space for bikes, hiking equipment, climbing gear and other equipment, which is ideal for those that want to head out adventuring, and don’t want the restraints of staying in a fixed place, like a B&B or hotel.

Three of the top rated vans at the moment are Grey Goose in Great Wyrley, which combines the luxurious features of a hotel with all the adventurous benefits of a campervan; Ike in Bristol, which sports a super high-spec finish including a speaker system, and unique features such as the brass window in the shower sourced from a German yacht equipment supplier; and Roma in Oxfordshire, which was crafted from a locally fallen Olive Ash tree along with reclaimed wood.

“While there has been a gradual move over the past decade towards younger customers hiring the vans, we have definitely noticed a spike since the pandemic,” explains David Ffrench, CEO and co-founder of Quirky Camper. “The vanlife movement, which had been relatively niche, was suddenly in the spotlight and became quite mainstream due to the renewed interest in local travel and the exposure on social media platforms.

“The people customising the campers, including van owners and the conversion companies, have also become more sophisticated since the early days, and have access to a greater range of materials and technology. Many of the vans are unrecognisable compared to what you would have seen years ago. The top-end options are like hotel rooms on wheels, and have the wow factor, which appeals to the social media generation, and those that want something completely different to the norm, There is something for every taste and need.”

Examples at Quirky Campers include vans such Etta, which has been designed in a style reminiscent of British narrowboats; Francois, which began life as a turf layers van, and now features a chef-quality kitchen; Azure, which has a beautifully wall papered ceiling inspired by the Baroque painted ceilings; and Hilda, a converted American school bus with a luxury rainfall shower and bathtub, among many other luxury, cabin-inspired features.

Quirky Campers was launched by husband and wife team, Lindsay Berresford and David Ffrench in 2010, starting with renting out their own campervan, Bella, while they were travelling in Kenya. The family owned business acts as an agent for a collection of friendly and like-minded campervan owners, each with a vehicle that they have lovingly created and want to share with the world.

The business also supports people to convert their own vans with an extensive network of Quirky Approved converters who can help; and has a dedicated campervan sales page on the website as well.

Quirky Campers can be picked up from various locations across the UK. Prices include fully comprehensive insurance and booking fees and many are pet-friendly. They have also recently launched the UK’s first and only accessible family campervan for hire.

For more information, visit the Quirky Campers website.


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