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What we looked for when designing a family-friendly campervan

Designing a campervan that fits around family life can be hard, that's why we wrote this blog. To took you through our thought process having just finished one!

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So as you may or may not be aware we (Lewis and I) are the owners and directors of Taylored Campervans hello. Now since we began these adventures many years ago (which started as a dream in New Zealand whilst we were working for Wicked Campers which started our bug for Campervans and road trips!) we have had 3 children. We have Dougie 6, Mabel 4 and Dorothea 8 months. Now that’s an interesting number to try and navigate around in the normal world but an even more interesting number when attempting to design a campervan around it!

We asked ourselves what is it that we really need. In our last Crafter Conversion, we had a dining space set up which dropped down into a bed, which was amazing! We spent many an evening after playing on the beach coming back and having dinner in that camper. We loved it! It was super comfortable and having a set dining space meant the children would struggle to drop food absolutely everywhere in the van. The one downside to this was when we packed up for a trip away we struggled for places to put our bigger items, such as bikes, buggies… you get the picture. So when the Sprinter came into our lives we wanted to prioritise having a decent boot space so we had an area to unload all of our junk into! This has already served us well! It has firstly provided a set area to put our car seats in to allow us to swivel and fold seats.

Now car seats are a whole other subject! We have always had Isofix seats and some of them spin around and are just really great seats. The downside to these seats is that they are very cumbersome and you don’t probably automatically account for them when designing a campervan. But once you’re parked up and wanting to get your lunch bits out they are massively in the way, and so we have a lovely accessible boot space to put them into without it impacting our use of the space. We needed a double RIB Seat and a double front passenger seat due to our family size but this means that the RIB bed easily folds down to make a decent-sized bench seat, plus the front bench swivels to make even more seating.

Our children also love to climb up to the bed space to eat snacks and generally chill out which also works out great, there’s plenty of room for them up there and the overhead lockers mean that they can access the stuff that they want to.

Another factor we needed to incorporate was a hose/shower point. Now when we all go on our mad forest/beach walks we always come back absolutely filthy. This shower point means that dirty hands, toes, arms ears can be washed off before entering the campervan.

We also wanted to include a cooking area as we do use these facilities a lot! Children are usually constantly hungry and always demanding some sort of snack so being able to cook is a big must. The beauty of the Wallas XC Duo Hob & Heater cooker that we have installed is that it is both a twin hob and an air heater. Another must in our eyes so we can make the most of the campervan all year around. This clever system runs off of the diesel from the van's tank so it illuminates any use for onboard gas. Other benefits of the Wallas are no open flame, the hob can be completely closed off stopping little fingers from touching it and has a thermostatic control for the air heater.

We really wanted to create a campervan that could create off-grid living! The Wallas system was a given due to it running off of diesel, we have also installed a decent size solar panel at 315W MIPV panel. These panels are really reliable and fully flexible so can account for most van roof contours, have awesome low light/shade ability and UK made! To join alongside the solar we opted for a pretty big 300Ah lithium battery just to ensure we are always with power.

So there we have it, our beautiful MWB Sprinter campervan! This one was snapped up at our latest show at Westpoint Arena so we have another one going through our workshop hopefully ready for the Summer. We cannot wait to go on some crazy trips with the children and make amazing (and a little bit stressful) memories! :)

Our take home from this article is:

  • Really think about the things that are essential to you in your trips away!
  • Where will you store things like car seats and buggies when they’re not in use?
  • What will you be using your campervan for the most?
  • Do you want to be able to use things on board wherever you are?

Thanks so much for taking the time to read this! Happy Camping :)

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