Anne’s Vans VW Campervan FAQs

A growing selection of FAQs for hiring a campervan as they are asked or occur to us.

Driving the vans

What’s the top speed of the vans?

55mph is a very comfortable speed to drive at. They will typically do 60mph but really people don’t hire these vans for speed. They hire them for a relaxing holiday so 55mph is usually more than enough.

How many miles to the gallon do they do?

The vans typically do 22 – 25mpg.

Do you have any restrictions on where we can take the vans?

Currently we don’t have any mileage limitations. However there are some practical constraints. These are vintage vehicles and can’t be thrashed up and down a motorway all day. For example if you are thinking of driving to Scotland you should budget two or three days to get there, depending on destination. The vans benefit from a bit if TLC.

We would recommend around 150 miles in a day. From Lincoln the Lake District and North Wales can be reached in a day. Scotland and Cornwall need more time. We recommend that for Scotland your min hire should be two weeks.

Do you have restrictions on who can drive the vans?

Age 23 – 75 
Minimum Experience – 2 Years
Licence – UK / EU / AUS / NZ / USA / CAN 
Convictions – No more than 2 minor motoring convictions in the last 5 years
Points – A Maximum of 6 points
Accidents – No more than 1 fault accident in the last 3 years

Our campsite wants to know the van dimensions. How big are they?

Our vans are VW Type 2 Bays and have the following dimensions:

Wheelbase2,400 mm (94.5 in)
Length4,505 mm (177.4 in)
Width1,720 mm (67.7 in)
Height1,940 mm (76.4 in)

The height of the vans with the pop top up are typically x,xxx mm (yy in). A 6 ft tall person can easily stand up in them.

How reliable are the vans – they are quite old?

The vans are very well maintained although over the years we have had a few incidents where the Breakdown recovery service has had to be called out. If this is the case then our insurance provides for overnight accommodation whilst the van is repaired locally. These are quite simple vans and parts easy to come by so usually the van can be repaired locally wherever you are on holiday.

Periodically the vans get a refit to make sure they stay on the road. Betty had a complete new engine setup in 2020 and Bertie was given an engine overhaul at the start of the 2020 season.

We have occasionally had to swap to a different van to get you on your way but they are all great and it doesn’t impinge on the enjoyment of your holiday.

How old are the vans?

Year of Registration
Betty1971Early Bay
Bertie1978Late Bay
Ruby1973Late Bay

These vans are officially classed as historic vehicles. “Late Bays” started in 1973 until production finished in 1979.

What type of fuel do the vans take?

Our vans take unleaded petrol.

Living in the vans

We need to know the size of the beds so that we can bring the right sheets

Betty¾ width rock and roll
BertieFull width rock and roll
RubyFull width rock and roll

In both Betty and Ruby there is plenty to space to stretch your feet beyond the end of the bed. We did have one extremely tall (6’7”) hirer whose feet extended to touch the cooker unit in Bertie so if this could be you we would go for one of the others.

What do you provide in terms of cooking equipment and plates etc

We provide everything you should need for your hire in terms of cooking and eating gear. A typical inventory will be:

Set of 4 knives, forks, spoons, teaspoons, mugs, plastic wine glasses, plastic dinner plates, side plates, tumblers
Tin opener, bottle opener/corkscrew
Large cook’s knife/small paring knife
Wooden spoon/spatula
Oven gloves
Frying pan, large lidded saucepan, small saucepan
Teatowel, dishcloth
Chopping board
We also supply
2 camping chairs & one camping table
Fire extinguisher
Oil filled radiator (you will typically only need this at the start and end of the season so this is provided on request). The radiator needs to be connected to a 240v electrical hookup.

Is gas provided?

Yes and there will be a full spare cylinder in case you use up the first

Does the van have a leisure battery?

All vans have leisure batteries for use when not connected to a hookup. Leisure batteries charge up whilst driving and when connected to a hookup. Be aware the battery life will very much depend on what you have switched on. If you just use the LED lights it should easily last a weekend. If you connect the fridge/coolbox it will only last a few hours.

Can we plug things in to the electric 240 volt sockets whilst driving along?

Nope. The 240 sockets only work when connected to an electrical hookup.

How many will the vans sleep?

This varies by van – see table below. If you want to sleep more than 2 persons then the ideal setup is to also take one of our awnings.

Inside van on rock and roll bedPop top / hammock across front seatsAwningtotalSeat belts
Bertie21 child in pop top (bunk size is 0.5m at widest tapering to 0.4m and 1.8m long 1 child in front hammock (max length 1.4m)255
Ruby22 small kids in pop top or 1 adult255

Bear in mind even if you add up all the bed options you can’t take more people than you have seat belts for so unless someone is taking a separate car  then the limit is governed by number of seat belts.

When we take a van out the comfortable setup is to just have two sleeping inside and any additional people going in the awning. Having an awning also makes a huge difference to the space available and comfort. The expectation is if you are moving sites every night in which case an awning will slow you down as it needs to be dry before packing away and takes a bit of time to erect.

How many people can you fit into a van

See above.

Do the vans have aircon?

Only if you open a window. These are fairly primitive vehicles.

Do we need an electric hookup?

Whilst you can get away without an electrical hookup and indeed if you are “wild camping” you are unlikely to have the option anyway it makes more sense to use one if available at the campsite. An electrical hookup will allow you to keep the coolbox permanently on and make use of the 240v sockets in the vans for things like electric kettles, hairdryers and phone chargers.

How do you connect the electric hookup.

Each van comes with an electric hookup cable. The connection point is different for each van and is identified in the handbook that will be in the van when you pick it up.

Can you stand up inside the vans?

Max height with pop top up

Do the vans have a fridge?

We provide an electric coolbox. This keeps things like milk and bacon cool although it is never going to replace a real fridge. If you are bringing food with you to put in the coolbox and have your own it makes sense to not use ours but plug your own in – that way you can already have brought your coolbox down to a lower temperature than if just plugging in for the first time.

An electric cool box is kept switched on and powered when the engine is running. However if you are running it just off the leisure battery the battery might only last an hour or two. It therefore always makes a lot of sense to book a pitch at a campsite with an electric hookup.

Are the vans comfortable to sleep in?

Basically they are very comfortable – we have always had a good night’s sleep in them.

We do recommend that you take eye shades to wear when sleeping. It gets light very early in the summer in the UK (I’m talking 4.30am early) and unless you really want to wake up at that time then eyeshades will help you sleep in a bit longer. Can’t do much about the dawn chorus mind you, unless you wear ear plugs. We quite like listening to the birds though.

Make the bed before you head out to the pub for the evening. The last thing you want is to come home in the dark having had a couple and have to mess around with the sheets. Also we keep the curtains closed during the day for privacy unless we are inside the van and need the light.

Try and park on the level but if this is not possible have the back of the van pointing uphill which makes for a more comfortable night’s sleep.

How much luggage should we take?

Don’t take too much stuff and use squashable bags not suitcases. The vans are not like a tardis inside. They are quite compact really. There is room behind the back seat and when travelling we shove stuff there or into one of the cupboards (Betty has more cupboard space than Bertie) and at night when the bed is down we chuck everything into the front out of the way.

If you are off on a long trip like Scotland or Cornwall it probably makes sense to take the van the day before you head off so that you can do some packing and get an early start the next day. A comfortable speed in these campervans is 55mph – 60mph at a push on a long straight stretch of motorway. We typically avoid motorways. What’s the rush? You are on holiday.

How about phone charging?

The vans have a USB socket in the radios and plenty of 12v “cigarette lighter” type sockets so it might be handy if you have multiple devices to charge to bring an appropriate socket. We do leave one in each van but they can go astray. You can also plug chargers into the 240v sockets when connected to an electrical hookup.

The radios also have bluetooth so that you can hook a phone upto sat nav and for hands free talking. A phone will prop nicely on the dashboard leant against the windscreen and you can also leave it plugged in there so that using the sat nav on a lengthy trip doesn’t drain the phone battery.

What do we need to bring?

Really all you need to bring is clothes, bedding and any particular personal effects. Everything else is provided. It does make sense to bring a mattress cover if you have one. When we take a van out we use a mattress cover and duvet with pillows.