For the past couple of weeks, the men in my part of north London have been comparing sizes. “What have you got?” someone might ask casually. “I’ve got the Rimor Europeo,” I explain, leaving a beat before adding: “The six-berth.”
“Really? How big is the water tank on that baby?” comes the reply. “About 250 litres,” I say. The other will nod, impressed. That’s a lot of flushes.
It used to be barbecues that were the guy thing, but round here the complexity of your Weber no longer matters — status is conferred by the size of the camper van (and the capacity of its on-board water tank) that you have booked for that most middle-class of festivals, Latitude being a splendid example
For instance, in a blatant piece of last-minute one-upmanship, my friend Mike sourced his up in Birmingham from a used vans dealership earlier this week. It’s an eight-berth. He reckons he only had to back it out of the driveway and he was in London.
Size matters, you see.
Ask Homer Simpson:
Homer: I’d like to see your finest RV. Do you have something that’s better than the Land Behemoth?
Salesman: Yes, we do. That would be the Ultimate Behemoth.
Bart: Does it have its own satellite dish, sir?
Salesman: It has its own satellite. The VanStar One, launched last February, just for this thing, that’s all.
Bart: Whoa, man!
Homer: Does it have a deep fryer?
Salesman: It has four of them — one for each part of the chicken.
But it’s not all about how many fryers you have. There is another consideration. My Rimor (hired from motorhomesuk.co.uk) may be lavishly appointed, with a large-capacity lavatory, but it isn’t cool. As my wife says, it’s a domestic appliance on wheels. Mr Fridge, she calls it.
Volkswagen of course have their of van hire business but there are various specialist camper can and motor home rental businesses worth considering
Almost the first thing I saw on arrival at Latitude was the vintage, bright-orange VW Kombi which, by a miracle of camper-van origami, also sleeps six. Mr Orange is a hip van, but he has no plumbing. So, there’s the festival dilemma in a nutshell. Cool or convenience? No doubt we’ll know the answer to that by the end of the weekend…