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Semi-integrated campervans are among the most luxurious campervan rentals available. They are the most popular type of campervan rental currently available. The roof over the driver's cab slants down, and the transition from the driver's cab to the living area isn't precisely straight. As a result, the term semi/integrated was coined. Partially integrated campervans are, on average, more aerodynamic than clunky alcove motorhomes. Because the campervan is shorter, it has a lower centre of gravity, making it more like driving a car. A panoramic window, where the roof begins to tilt downwards, is common on modern semi-integrated models, bringing extra light into the Motorhome. The driver's seats can usually be rotated to be part of the seating group. Four people can sit comfortably at the dining table.
The sleeping arrangements are however limited compared to other models like the alcove campervan, beds are usually located in the rear or as a loft bed above the living area. In some campervan rentals, a seating group may also be converted into a sleeping area. Thus, the space available in this campervan rental is best for couples and small families.
Pros and Cons of semi-integrated motorhomes:
Suitable for 2-4 people comfortably but some can fit up to 5
Comfort level: medium to high
The first nomad campervan is the camping bus. The Bulli, a VW bus, is the most famous representation of it. This camper van has been used by generations of nomads for vacations and extended excursions. This campervan rental is suitable for deep garages due to its low height of fewer than two meters, and its handling is usually comparable to that of a regular automobile. Because of their small size, city travels are just as easy as weekend camping vacations with these camping buses. However, compactness has its drawbacks: the available space is restricted, and having a functional bathroom is not always possible. The tiny camper's storage space is likewise restricted, making it perfect for travelling couples but less so for families.
Pros and cons of camping buses:
Suitable for 2-4 people
Comfort level: low
The compact van is becoming increasingly popular. Although the compact van is wider and taller than the camping bus, it is still more compact than most motorhomes. Above all, they are slimmer and frequently shorter, with an average length of six meters. The presence of a full wet space with a sink, toilet, and shower is the second difference. The level of comfort is determined by the number of passengers. Two sleeping places are the most frequent, however, variants with four or more sleeping places are also available. There is also a wide range of craftsmanship available in this category of motorhomes, from low-cost finishers to high-end manufacturers. Longitudinal beds are popular because you can get in there more comfortably, but they also require more length.
Pros and Cons of extended camping buses:
Suitable for 2-4 persons
Comfort level: medium
The built-in toilet in a camper van is made up of two parts: a permanently fixed toilet and a waste holding tank that is located under the toilet and can be removed via an access door on the outside of the motorhome.
To Prepare For Use
• Rotate the toilet bowl to the desired position.
• The toilet may be used with the blade valve open or closed. To open the valve pull the valve handle under the bowl towards you. If the toilet is being used with the blade valve closed run some water into the bowl by pressing the ‘FLUSH’ button once.
• After use, open the blade valve (if it was closed) and press the ‘FLUSH’ button. Close the blade valve after flushing.
Chemical camping toilets consist of two parts separated by a gate valve: (1) flush water tank in the upper part of the toilet and (2) waste tank in the lower part of the toilet. With a manual or electric flushing system, no sewage, water or drain connection is required.
Construction of a chemical camping toilet
This is the construction of a camping toilet - not witchcraft, but a look at it will make it clear how a camping toilet works, and this will help you with the next steps:
In the left part of the picture, you can see the upper part of the chemical camping toilet with a flush water tank. On the right picture, you can see the lower part of the toilet, in which the holding tank is located. These two parts can be easily put together or taken apart by the lock on the back of the toilet, which becomes especially important for emptying!
How to use a chemical camping toilet?
Prepare the fresh water tank
The fresh water tank, as the name implies, is filled with water. Unscrew the lid from the flush water tank and fill the tank with 3 L of water (or until it is full). If you prefer a less chemical smell, you can add an aroma liquid or rinse water cleaner. Special products are suitable for this, such as Aqua Rinse, but dishwashing liquid or liquid soap are also good options. You can add 50 ml to 100 ml of this rinse water cleaner.
Prepare the holding tank
Fill the holding tank with a suitable sanitary liquid, which is strongly advised to avoid unwanted odours. You could, for example, use Aqua Kem Green. Pour the chemical toilet cleaner into the holding tank to begin. To do so, elevate the toilet seat, pull the sliding lever (to open the lower tank access), and pour the liquid directly into the toilet. You can also pour the sanitary liquid directly into the bottom tank through the drain spout by laying the tank on its side, turning the drain spout upwards, unscrewing the lid, and pouring the liquid in. The first alternative, however, is the one we prefer because it is a little more practical.
As a rule, you should fill 110 ml of the sanitary liquid, but the amount may vary depending on the liquid. We advise you to check the amount indicated on the package label.
Tip: Always try to choose biodegradable and more environmentally friendly dissolving liquids.
Here are the steps to use a chemical toilet:
Important: The toilet paper used in chemical toilets must be water-soluble to avoid clogging.
Emptying the tank is straightforward and just takes a few minutes! There's no perfect science to determining when to empty the tank if your chemical toilet doesn't include a waste tank level indicator. Simply open the slider and look inside; when the tank appears to be full, it's time to empty it! The camping toilet should be emptied at least every three days, depending on its capacity, ambient temperature, and frequency of usage.
How to empty the waste tank:
Please note: The emptying of the camping toilet is only allowed at designated places, such as campsites, caravan parks, gas stations or public toilets, never on the street or in a green area.
Emptying Toilet - Black water tank
Please note that you may only dispose of the contents of the waste tank in approved dumping stations or through a normal household sewerage system. This can often be done at campervan parks with the permission of the park owner. Different chemical packs allow for different removal options. Make sure you read carefully the contents of the material as to where you can dispose of waste.
A built-in gas stove in a campervan rental works similarly to the one you might find in a home. These are more convenient for larger groups and longer trips. To use:
The don'ts of using a gas stove:
A portable gas cooker is perfect for smaller campervan rentals as they take up very little space and can easily be stored away. To use:
1. Place your gas stove on a flat surface.
2. Remove the pan support from the top of the stove. Turn it over so that the support is then facing upwards ready to hold your pan.
3. Open the cartridge cover on the stove. Remove the lid from your gas canister, and gently slot the gas cartridge into the stove.
4. Hold in place straight and press the cartridge stop lever down so that the gas canister slots into place. Check that the gas canister has been slotted in place correctly before use.
5. Turn the control knob fully to the left to the ‘ignition’ position until the stove clicks and lights. If it doesn’t work, repeat until it does light.
6. Adjust the control knob to the desired height of the flame.
7. Your stove is now ready to use. Do not use pans or kettles that are too large for the stove as this will cause the heat to be directed downwards, towards the gas cartridge. If using more than one stove do not position them too close to each other as this can cause the stoves to overheat.
8. Once you are finished, turn the knob to the ‘off’ position and lift the cartridge lever up to the unlock position.
9. Check that the flame is extinguished, and leave to cool down completely before disconnecting the gas cartridge. Never leave the gas cartridge inside the cooker when not in use. Replace the red protective cap on the gas cartridge when finished.
Electric coolboxes are great for small campervans and can stay cool for as long as they are plugged in. If you are not going to have access to a power source on your trip, you may need to consider a different option. Coolboxes will take considerably longer than your regular domestic refrigerator to cool down.
The first is the basic absorption cool box, which is the simplest and cheapest version available. They all need an air gap around the cooling fan and vent region as well. Some versions employ a cooling fan, while others use a water cooling system. They are not supposed to freeze, but if left on in freezing conditions, they can, resulting in goods freezing within accidentally. Compressor coolers, on the other hand, need an electric compressor to keep the cooler operating, making them noisier than other versions.
Most coolboxes can run from either 12v sockets or 240v mains. However, there are simpler versions of a cooler box that don’t require any electricity. These are simple insulated coolers that are ideal for days out and parties/BBQs.
Having a built-in fridge in your campervan rental is not only incredibly convenient but also a luxury. Some may even come with a freezer. These fridges allow you to store a good amount of food at once but will also keep things fresh longer.
The refrigerator can operate on three power modes:
Depending on the situation, you can turn the energy selector switch to select the desired power source. Rotate the knob to adjust the cooling temperature. There is no way to regulate the temperature in 12V mode.
Please note: The refrigerator should only be used in 12V (Backup battery) while the vehicle’s engine is running or driving, otherwise, the backup battery would be discharged within a few hours!
At Indie Campers we have two models with built-in fridges, the Atlas and the Nomad.
In our Atlas it can operate in Gas mode or with electricity:
To operate the refrigerator when not driving or when you are not connected to an external mains power source, use it in Gas mode:
1. Open the gas bottle valve and appliance shut-off valve on the valve block.
2. Turn the rotary selector switch to Gas mode (flame icon)
3. Turn the temperature selector clockwise and push. Keep the controller button depressed.
4. Then, press the button of the battery igniter down and keep it depressed. The ignition process is activated automatically.
5. Once the flame ignites, the pointer of the galvanometer begins moving into the green range. The refrigerator is operational. Keep knob depressed for approx. 15 seconds
and finally, release it.
As a basic rule, gas operation is prohibited in petrol stations and when driving the campervan.
To operate the refrigerator when driving the campervan, turn the rotary selector switch to
12V mode (battery icon). Make sure that the motor is running when using this mode.
To operate the refrigerator when parked in a camping site and with mains cable connected, turn the rotary selector switch to 230V mode (electrical plug icon).
In our Nomad
Rotate the knob selector inside the cooler and select the adequate option, depending on the case:
When you rent a campervan, one of the most important things to consider is where will everyone sleep. At Indie Campers there are a few options you can choose from.
A fixed double bed is set lengthwise against a sidewall of the Motorhome in this layout. In the back, most French beds share space with the washroom. A good bed (like the domestic standard of 4ft 6in wide) leaves only around 2ft 6in for the washroom. Keep in mind that the sleeper close to the wall will have to climb over their companion to get in and out of bed, no matter how comfortable the bed is.
Another, less common, variation sees the washroom arranged behind the bed and across the rear, so then there’s more space for both the bed and the reasonably palatial ablutions. The overall length of the campervan will be greater, though – probably 7.5m or more.
Present in our Atlas model, a top bed allows for an extra full-size bed to be hidden away when not in use.
To prepare the top bed:
Please note that when the top bed is pulled down, the living is no longer usable
The longest-established of all fixed bed campervan rental layouts, transverse fixed double beds live in the rear of all types of coachbuilts, but the bed also includes under bed storage.
Bed length is a consideration: while lengthways beds can be awkwardly short, widthways berths in motorhomes are typically more than two metres long. If you're tall, a transverse double is a decent alternative, but keep in mind that the person who sleeps against the wall will have to crawl over their companion to get out at night. The beds in high-top van conversions are shorter, but they frequently exceed six feet in length. Van conversions, on the other hand, have rear doors that open wide to let your holiday gear to be loaded into their under-bed loading area.
If you want to enjoy the freedom of camping in winter as well, here are some hints for you:
Campervan rentals, especially the first time, can be overwhelming. Finding a community of like-minded individuals with previous experience can help you answer any questions you may have. Here are some of the most common ways to connect online:
General tips to keep in mind:
When you arrive at a campsite, park as near as possible to the reception area and notify them of your arrival. Unless authorized by reception personnel, do not drive to a pitch and park.
To drive a vehicle on-site roadways, you must have a valid driver's licence. On your pitch, park as advised. You should allow about 6 meters of space around your car when possible.
When selecting a pitch, there are things to consider such as, do not pitch in a position in which your vehicle will obstruct others coming in or going out. Try to choose a dry area, reasonably level and preferably with a hard base. It is always good practice to chock the wheels of the campervan when parked on a slope or a slippery surface, even when the brakes are applied. In poor site conditions, try to keep engine revs as low as possible to try to avoid wheel spin and try to steer as straight as possible.
Leaving any Site:
Always tidy your pitch and make sure you do not leave bags of rubbish lying about. Check out at reception, pay your site fees, and thank them for an enjoyable stay.
Please remember that your campervan is much larger than a standard car or van when driving around.
When you rent a campervan, if you have a Category B Licence obtained prior to 1 January 1997 you can drive any campervan without a trailer where the maximum weight (MAM) does not exceed 7,500 kg.
If you have a Category B Licence obtained on or after 1 January 1997, you may drive a campervan with a MAM of 3,500 kg. You must pass the LGV C1 test to qualify to drive a vehicle with a MAM of up to 7,500 kg.
We want you to have a great and safe adventure! Please never obstruct the permanent ventilation openings in your campervan rental.
IN CASE OF FIRE
1. Get everyone out
2. Turn off the outside gas valve at the gas cylinder.
3. Disconnect the mains electricity supply.
4. Raise the alarm and call the fire brigade.
5. Attack the fire if safe to do so.
Do not leave children unattended with no means of leaving the campervan
Please make sure you are aware of the applicable laws and regulations of the countries to which you plan to go. Many European nations have different laws and regulations, and it is your job to make sure that your vehicle complies with them and that you drive safely.
The insurance is included in all our campervan rentals. You may choose from 2 protection plans: the basic and the Premium.
The Basic protection plan is included by default with your booking, and includes one driver only, 24/7 roadside assistance (only in the EU) and coverage for the damages caused to third parties. Additionally, a €2,000.00 deposit is required at the time of pick-up.
You can also upgrade to the Premium plan, which is exclusively available for drivers above 25 years old, and it allows you to include additional drivers and provides you with more protection. A€500.00 deposit is required at the time of pick-up.
Hugo Oliveira founded Indie Campers eight years ago after graduating with a double masters from NOVA Schools of Business and Economics.