Explore Europe with a camper van

Explore Europe with a camper van

by Karen Bradbury
Stripes Europe

Longing to see the wonders of Europe but still leery about boarding a plane or train? That’s understandable. While you could all just pile into the car and head to a rental property or camping area, there is a way you can a) tick off the miles in spacious comfort and b) have a safe place to bunk down at the end of a long day all but guaranteed.

Yes, we’re talking about the great European camper-van vacation! RVs, camper vans, motor homes or whatever else you want to call these houses on wheels are very much a thing throughout Europe. Coronavirus hasn’t gone away, but neither has the longing for distant horizons. These dandy machines facilitate trips while helping to minimize much of the time usually spent in shared spaces.

The one strike against RVs is of course their gas-guzzling tendencies. But adherents to this means of vacationing believe this cost is offset by the overall savings.

Lovers of the RV’ing lifestyle are quick to tout its countless benefits. Enough gear to be gone for months on end can be stashed away with judicious planning. A fridge and cooking facilities on board help to minimize those pricy restaurant visits. Best of all, you have the freedom to go almost anywhere, and should your destination change at the last minute, your odds of finding somewhere decent nearby to set up camp for the night are always good.

Parks welcoming these homes on wheels are found in a vast array of environments. There are RV parks by the sea, aside lakes, deep in the mountains, and just outside the city limits of many a great metropolis. There are bare-bones facilities exclusive of electricity hookups and sanitary facilities where an overnight stay comes in at less than a 10-euro note. At the other end of the spectrum are full-service areas with five-star facilities. To seek out a destination and see how it rates, the website campercontact.com allows you to choose from in excess of 34,000 possible places to park up for the night across Europe.

The Vario Mobil Signature 1200 is a fine-looking example of an RV, and who wouldn’t enjoy its pull-down bed, multiple flat-screen TVs and other niceties, but you might be put off by its price tag in the ballpark of 730,000 euros. Those whose budgets are more down to earth might wish to take another route – that of the rental.

The largest of companies to rent out mobile homes in Europe is called McRent, with branches in Germany, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and Sweden. German cities in which rentals can be picked up include Dortmund, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Karlsruhe, Limburg, Mannheim, Metzingen, Munich, Nuremberg, Stuttgart, Wertheim and many others.

Models vary in size and comfort category, from a standard “urban” model sleeping two, to a premium luxury model. Prices also fluctuate with the seasons. None of the models rented out are more than two years old.

The compact luxury option, for example, goes for 145 euros per day in peak season, and a service fee of 129 euros also applies. The company also has last-minute offers promising considerable savings. For a complete look at what’s available and the terms and conditions applicable, turn to the McRent website.

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