"OK- let’s do it!" - I said to Ana 6 months ago when she suggested to buy a motor home, move into it full time and go wherever we feel like. Back then I knew absolutely nothing about camper vans, I wasn’t ever even in one. Though I did have 10 years old VW van I used for going to concerts and camping in the summer. The only difference between that van and every other van was that I occasionally put a mattress in it. So, I had no experience with motor homes but the decision to move into one was easy and it felt right. Problems like: where are we going to park, how are we going to heat it, what about the toilet or if there was a shower, were not much of our concern neither did we know answers to them.
We decided to start looking for our new home in online ads. The only thing we were sure about was that it has to have a garage for our bikes. We couldn’t imagine going anywhere for longer than a week without our bikes. We started with all the Croatian and Slovenian ads but those vans were either too expensive or too old, and they rarely had a garage big enough. As we couldn’t find anything interesting I started looking for it on German and Austrian pages (www.mobile.de) were the choice was much bigger but somehow all those we liked were far away north, 1000+ km from us.
After few weeks an ad from Hungary, with a charming description, appeared and we liked it right away. The camper had a garage, it was about the year we were aiming for and it was quite cheaper than its German competition. We decided to take a day and go check it out even if that meant only a touristic visit to Balaton. On the other side, we really wanted to meet an owner since his name was quite amusing to us - Gabor Czorba.
We liked the camper van the moment we saw it. The interior setup was exactly how we wanted it and in a very good condition. There were few marks of careless parking on the outside but nothing that couldn’t be fixed or would effect the quality of life. Plus we could use it to lower the price a bit more too.
A week passed by and we returned to Hungary, both with a kidney less, but with enough money to buy our new home. The procedure was fairly simple. We checked the vehicle out in the local city, got temporary driving plates, insurance and headed back to Croatia. Two hours later we enjoyed our drive back to Zagreb thinking of where do we want to go first. Crossing the border also went smooth, nobody asked a thing.
Few weeks of bureaucracy issues in Croatia gave us exactly enough time to get ready for the transition. I learnt all the basics from my experienced friend and officially moved into the camper van end of March. I could by then start the gas for cooking and heating, water for toilet and I bought few more things you don’t ever think about living in the normal house.
My first overnight in the camper was without Ana, since she was running a marathon in Bratislava at the time, so Zvonko and I went to Premantura Rocky trails race. Ana joined us few days later in Buzet where we were hired for marking the 100 miles of Istria trails.
I’ll soon write a bit more about our camper van research, buying and all the equipment for those who might be considering doing the same. These are the questions I was wondering about in the beginning and you might be too:
1. Is it better to buy an RV or convert a van?
2. Does RV have electricity, WC, heating?
3. How much gas does RV uses?
4. How much does the insurance and registration costs?
5. Can I park it wherever I want?
6. Can I cook in it?
7. Do I need a special driving licence to drive it?
I’ll answer all those on a first boring, rainy day.