I’ve seen hype around #vanlife. You have seen the amazing pictures on social media. Now you want to leave everything behind, quit your job, and live a life of carefree van life travel.I know the luxury hotels and glamorous lifestyle can become mundane so If you’re ready and have the right mindset, try something totally new, nomad camping can be a great way for you to cut back, learn about the world, learn about yourself, reconnect with nature and refocus on the things that really matter in your life.
Nomad Campervans co-owners take their Sport Conversion on holiday to Donegal, Ireland.
As the co-owner of Nomad Campervans, Bunk Campers and Camperworks, for me and my family, campervans are a way of life. We personally own a VW T5 Nomad Sport conversion, so whether it’s dropping our children off to nursery school, the drive to work, or even the occasional escape in our VW, we understand the highs and lows of camper life!
This summer we decided to holiday in Ireland for 10 days and the glorious County Donegal in the North West of Ireland was our destination. Donegal is one of the least visited counties of Ireland. Wild and unspoilt with miles of white sandy beaches washed by the Atlantic, you can still find pockets of the picture postcard Ireland of yesteryear.
Don’t get ‘Frozen’, re charge and keep warm!
Tramore Beach Camping 20 minutes drive from Ardara offers beach side camping with a play park for the kids and a gigantic lunar like sand dune bang in the middle of the park.
We parked our VW camper in the middle of the park close to the play ground, kids naturally gravitate there on a camp site so our kids made friends within minutes. Our Nomad Sport conversion is fitted with a Webasto diesel heater so when it was eventually bed time (way past normal bedtime!) the kids were able to shake off the cool evening air inside our pre-heated camper with hot milky chocolate for their bedtime drink. We opted to hook up to the campsite’s 240 V electric supply so the kids were able to watch ‘ Frozen’ again (and again…) whilst the iPad was recharging.
The Nomad Sport comes with a large leisure battery to give you a 12v supply for the lights and water pump so you can free camp. The leisure battery recharges as you drive so you shouldn’t be stuck unless you are camping out at the same location for a few days. We paid extra for a hook up site to afford us a few additional home comforts such as the electric kettle or toaster and generally there is an additional charge of about €4 per night on campsites for this.
Driving and sleeping.
The Nomad Sport conversion is designed to transport 5 as it is fitted with 5 ‘3 point’ seat belts, not lap belts. This is an important safety consideration if you are considering this as a family campervan.
Our Nomad Sport is converted on a Volkswagen Transporter short wheel base vehicle. With plenty of cupboards to tuck essentials away in and a large and easily accessible space under the rock and roll bed to slide your gear under, there is plenty of storage space for all your holiday gear. Road handling and fuel economy are excellent averaging 100kms per 7L of fuel.
All our Nomad Camper conversions feature a Reimo elevating roof which is crash tested and therefore TUV approved. These roofs are on gas struts ensuring that the roof glides easily into position so you don’t have to wrestle with it at bed time. When in place the elevating roof can be easily converted into an extremely comfortable roof bed which is designed to accommodate two 6’ adults.
By night, our Nomad Sport Campervan can sleep up to 2 adults and our 3 young children. We had 3 kids sleeping across the ground floor rock n roll bed and 2 of us above in the pop top roof. With the Sport’s slim line furniture kit, this allows a wider seat to be fitted compared to a our standard Nomad, this inturn mean that in the sport conversion the downstairs bed is also wider.
As anyone with a young family knows, bed hopping is part and parcel of the nightly routine so swapping places and letting the kids sleep up top is safe using the safety net that conveniently clips into place.
Cooking, keeping it simple.
In order to benefit from the wider bed, the Nomad Sport conversion doesn’t come with built in cooking facilities. As lovers of the great outdoors, this didn’t stop us from cooking while on holiday and we packed a compact camping stove.
The 2 ring gas burner kept cooking simple, sticking to two pot creations! Breakfast is a real focal point of the day and bacon sandwiches cooked and eaten outdoors just taste the best. Pasta and sauce is a firm favourite and you can make this meal from start to finish in about 20 minutes as the cooker is very effective.
Even though our VW has a decent 59L water tank on board, we chose to use a campsite kitchen for the washing up, so it’s a family trip with our tea towels, dishes and basin after dinner!