Is a road trip with a converted minivan is made for me? Do I have place for all my things??I’m scared of sleeping alone at night, are we safe outside of campgrounds?
We decided to ask these questions to our experienced vanpackers, who left on Canada roads this summer.
Is travelling in a minivan comfortable?
Almost every fifty-or-more-year-old van packers are used to camping and they know it: A camping night may rhyme with muscle aches, wet clothes after a heavy rain, or even weird noises that makes us feel like we’re unsafe!
So here’s another worry you can put aside: “I slept better than in my own bed,” we’re often reminded! The minivan is the perfect option for sleeping like at home, I promise!
Because a resting night is essential to go on a kayak adventure on the St-Laurent river to see the whales! And as Pierre said, ‘It really gives us the opportunity to relax and to enjoy the place we’re at!”.
Pierre and Lyne left during 9 days with their kayaks on the Côte-Nord for their first minivan trip. They came back impressed by the comfort of the mattress and the absence of noise during their first night in Tadoussac.
Layout of space and storage
The layout of our minivans is designed to make your life easier on the road and to optimize every inch. That way, you can put all your personal things under the bed (“Hasna’s favourite😊”) or behind the front seats. Inside and under the kitchen, you’ll have a lot of place, without having to move everything like in Tetris.
Daniel and Marie, who bought and built the very first Vanpacker kit for their van really felt for the kitchen part. With the drawers for the sink and the water bin, they like that everything is easily accessible to cook as they do at home.
Marie also created a homemade anti-mosquitoes shed with an old gazebo : ‘It gives us the opportunity to be outside and it adds room to the minivan“, Tells us Daniel, who admits he has been afraid of feeling too cramped in the minivan. “In the end, not at all! It was already well organized, and with their homemade anti-mosquitoes shed, it’s perfect! “
One of the main preoccupations of the people we interviewed was usually the level of security when we get out of the designated campgrounds . Because, even if we usually recommend booking campgrounds (at least every three nights), boon docking is still the heart of the van experience, right?
And that can mean ending your day late at night, in an unfamiliar place, without a campsite. This is what Hasna and Mohamed experienced when they crossed Canada on an adventure which they described as “ their 2 ndhoneymoon».
When they arrived in Tofino, British Columbia, this couple, who are used to the van life, found themselves without a place to spend the night. Until then, they had always managed to book campsites on their route. Finally, their day ended with parking on a street in downtown Tofino for the night… and one hell of a great story to tell!
Despite this, Hasna told us they “never felt unsafe, even in the streets among the cars!” Otherwise, she recommends the use of an application such asAllstays Camp & RV(paid applications) oriOverlander to easily find sleeping spots. For traffic and routes, she swears by Waze!
It’s probably the question we get the most and it’s normal: “How do we do in a minivan?”
Access to a bathroom is one of the concerns of many people who travel by minivan for the first time.
Usually, a quick stop in a restaurant or a truck stop makes it to satisfy our needs (urgent or not) ! The ‘village-relais’, Tim hortons, or even nature can easily help you.
But, with this particular year, most of usual “stops” and even some campgrounds closed their washroom access, and this can complicate things!
Brigitte, one of our experienced van packers, found a solution to sleep well and forget about the “toilet” question: book in campgrounds and … bring a small portable toilet for the times she didn’t have access to a bathroom 😊 In the end, even if most people leave with the worry of finding toilets, they all came back saying, “we worried too much for nothing!”. We agree with them.
If ever, you always can add the “portable toilet” option to your rent!
Traveling in a campervan for the first time brings up a lot of questions. Even if the unknown is part of the experience, it’s okay to want to prepare well and leave with peace of mind.
The key word to remember: There’s not problems, only solutions!
And if you have questions, we’re there to answer them and to make your next adventure a unique experience.