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We're all about exploring the world and getting you out there! That's why we're offering a 20% discount on RV rentals to a range of our favorite trips. Offer is limited to 2021 road trips!
Semi-integrated: The fanciest RV rental you can get! They are as of now the most famous sort of RV rental available. In semi-integrated RVs, the transition from the driver's taxi to the living region isn't entirely straight and the rooftop over the driver's taxi inclines down. This implies you will not have as much headroom there as you would in the remainder of the RV. This more limited RV rental brings about a lower focus of gravity, so the driving experience is nearer to that of a vehicle. Current semi-integrated models regularly have an all-encompassing window where the rooftop begins to incline downwards, adding additional light to the RV rental. Four individuals can sit serenely at the eating table. No different from the camping buses, the driver's seats can as a rule be turned and are additionally essential for the seating bunch. Though, the sleeping possibilities are limited compared to the alcove RV - beds are usually located in the rear or as a loft bed above the living area. Sometimes, a seating group can also be converted into a sleeping area. Space is available for couples or smaller families.
Pros and Cons of a semi-integrated RV rental:
Suitable for 2-4 people
Comfort level: medium to high
The camping bus: The original form of the caravan. Its most famous representative is the Bulli, the VW campervan. From families to sportsmen and hippies, all have spent vacations or long trips on a camping bus. Its most remarkable advantage is its size.
Pros and Cons of camping buses:
Suitable for 2-4 people
Comfort level: low
The compact van: Growing in popularity. The manufacturers can hardly handle the demand. Compared to the camping bus, the compact van differentiates in width and height and is still more compact than most RVs. Above all, they are narrower and often shorter. Six meters is a typical length. The second difference is the presence of a full wet cell with a sink, toilet, and shower, which is rather rare to find in camping buses. Great comfort may not be expected, but that also depends on the number of passengers. Two sleeping places are common, but there are also models with four and more sleeping places.
Pros and Cons of extended camping buses:
Suitable for 2-4 persons
Comfort level: medium
A Built-in toilet is made up of two parts: a permanently fixed toilet and a waste holding tank that is accessible from the outside of the RV rental.
Preparing For Use:
A chemical camping toilet also consists of two parts, but they’re separated by a gate valve: (1) flush water tank in the upper part of the toilet and (2) fecal tank in the lower part of the toilet. With a manual or electric flushing system, no sewage, water, or drain connection is required. The feces are decomposed by a sanitary liquid.
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!
Steps to properly use a chemical camping toilet when you rent a RV:
1. Preparing the freshwater tank
The freshwater 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.
2. Preparing the holding tank
The holding tank should be filled with an appropriate sanitary liquid, which is highly recommended, preventing unpleasant odors. You can use Aqua Kem Green, for example. Begin by putting the chemical toilet cleaner into the holding tank. To do this, you should lift the toilet seat, pull the sliding handle (to open the access to the lower tank), and pour the liquid directly into the toilet. You can also pour the liquid directly into the lower tank through the drain spout - to do this, put the tank on its side, turn the drain spout upwards, unscrew the lid, and pour in the sanitary liquid. However, we recommend the first option, 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.
3. Using the chemical camping toilet
Important: The toilet paper used in chemical toilets must be water-soluble to avoid clogging.
Please note: The emptying of the camping toilet is only allowed at designated places, like campsites, caravan parks, gas stations, or public toilets, never on the street or in a green area.
If your chemical toilet doesn't have a waste tank level indicator, there's no exact science to knowing when to empty the tank. You will have to open the slider and look inside - when you think the tank is full, it's time to empty the holding tank. Depending on the capacity, outside temperature, and frequency of use, the camping toilet needs to be emptied at least every three days.
Emptying the waste-holding tank of your toilet in these simple steps:
Emptying Toilet - Black water tank
It is only permissible to 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 caravan 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.
For larger groups and longer trips, a built-in gas stove is more convenient. It works similarly to the one you might find in your home. Steps to use it:
The don'ts of a gas stove:
The portable gas cooker can easily be stored away. It works perfectly for a smaller or mini RV, as they take up very little space. Steps on how to use it:
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 up, 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. 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.
The don'ts of a portable gas cooker:
Coolboxes will take considerably longer than your regular domestic refrigerator to cool down. One thing to remember is that coolboxes will not perform well when in a hot car or small space, as the cooling components will overheat. They also all require an air gap around the cooling fan and vent area.
Most coolboxes can run from either 12v and 240v mains. Some cool boxes have thermostats or eco and max power modes, but these max and eco modes on some coolboxes only function when running on 240v. There is also a simpler version of the coolbox and this is the simple insulated cooler. They require no power and are ideal for days out and parties/BBQs.
The refrigerator can operate on three power modes:
Select the desired power source by turning the energy selector switch according to the situation. To regulate the cooling temperature, rotate the knob. In 12V mode, there is no possibility to regulate temperature.
The refrigerator should only be used in 12V DC-operation (Backup battery) while the engine is running or driving, otherwise, the backup battery would be discharged within a few hours!
In Gas mode: (Atlas only)
To operate the refrigerator when not driving the RV rental or 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 model:
Rotate the knob selector inside the cooler and select the adequate option, depending on the case:
French bed layout: The design is most commonly seen installed inside low-profile RVs. This layout refers to a fixed double bed arranged length ways against a wall of the RV.
A decent bed (such as the domestic standard 4ft 6in wide) leaves only around 2ft 6in for the washroom. Most French beds share space in the rear with the washroom alongside, so the ratio of bed to washroom width is crucial.
Then there’s the washroom door. Sliding or tambour doors often work best, but you still need room to access the ablutions, so the bed usually narrows towards the foot to make space. This ‘chopped off’ corner can see the sleeper on that side with a leg dangling; some are far worse in this area than others.
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 RV will be greater, though – probably 7.5m or more.
Top Bed (Atlas model)
In order to prepare the top bed you will need to:
Please note that when the top bed is pulled down, the living is no longer usable
Transverse fixed bed: These models will often be usefully shorter than fixed single bed or island bed RV layouts but they will boast some of the most commodious garage storage available.
Length ways beds can sometimes be rather too short, these occupying the full breadth of the vehicle — are usually more than two meters long. While a transverse double is a good option if you’re tall, don’t forget that the person sleeping against the wall will have to climb over their partner if they need to pee at night.
The van life gives you the opportunity to enter the nomad community via the internet. Internet resources are great spaces to share experiences, ask questions and find useful information, as well as connect with others. The most common ways to connect online are:
When arriving at a campsite, you are required to have a current valid driving license to drive a vehicle on-site. Park as close to the reception area as possible and report your arrival. Do not drive to a pitch and park unless directed by reception staff.
When you select a spot, try to choose a dry area and do not park in a position where you will obstruct others coming in. If you have no alternative but to pitch on a slope, ensure that when you leave you are driving down the slope. It is always good practice to chock the wheels of the RV rental when parked on a slope or a slippery surface, even when the brakes are applied.
As you leave the site, always tidy your pitch and make sure you do not leave trash bags lying about. Check out at reception, pay your site fees, and thank them for an enjoyable stay.
Please take into consideration the following:
If you rent a RV online and do not know the area, be sure to know where the actual pickup location is. Failing to understand this can make the start of your trip very stressful, add time to the trip, impact your ability to pick up the vehicle, and add considerable cost.
To rent a RV or campervan is not like hiring a car. As a general rule, you can’t pick them up from an airport, because of the space required to have large numbers of big vehicles on hand. Also, the depots are usually out of town, in areas where space is easy to come by and rent is cheap. This means that you will often need to travel a reasonable distance to get there, and catching a taxi or an Uber might not be an option.
Always keep in mind that your RV rental is much larger than a standard motor car when carrying out any maneuvers.
When traveling in your RV rental, do not obstruct the permanent ventilation openings which are fitted, your safety depends on them. In case of a 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.
FIRE PRECAUTIONS: DO NOT LEAVE CHILDREN ALONE WITH NO MEANS OF ESCAPE
The insurance is included in all our motorhome hire. 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.
Please make sure that you are familiar with the relevant laws and regulations that apply in the countries in which you choose to travel. Different European countries have different laws and regulations, and it is your responsibility to ensure that your vehicle complies with these regulations and that you drive within the law.
Hugo Oliveira founded Indie Campers eight years ago after graduating with a double masters from NOVA School of Business and Economics.