Surftrip in a Van : Gilles


Here is Gilles’ interview, a surfer dad who travels with his partner and their two children in a California van ! These two surf passionate travel with their little family and share their stories on the forum . We have asked him a few questions about their passion for camper-van trips!

1/ When did you start to travel in van? What has motivated you to buy and own one?

I’ve always wanted to own a van for their convenience. However, beginning to surf has totally convinced me to buy one . I have bought a T4 in 2005 that I have sold last year to buy my actual van, a California (beach model). It offers two elevated berth and three on the floor. There is enough space to cook and tidy up our things. It is ideal with two children and allows us to go on vacation without breaking the bank.

2/ Where have you traveled in your van?

When we did not have any child, we went to Morocco. We have headed to Spain, Portugal, French coastline from Brittany to the Basque Country, Corsica and the French Rivera. The main purpose is to be able to surf.

3/ Do you think that the van is the perfect equipment for surfing?

I have to say that it is very convenient, mainly for the surfers who do not live close to the sea. It allows to go anytime, to move freely depending on the waves and to stay  on the spot without worrying about booking something.

4/ How many persons are in the van?

We are 4 when we travel. My children are 3 and 5 years old. They are super glad to come with us because they know that they are going to discover new beaches and sleep in different places. Plus they adore to sleep in the elevated berth, it is sort of a shelter for them ! Sometimes that directly ask to go on vacation aboard !

5/ How often do you travel ? How do you plan your tours?

It really depends on the waves ! We mainly go during the week-ends, mostly the long ones. We go to see our family with the van sometimes and stop halfway to sleep in a nice place. It allows us to discover new spots and we have the feeling to be in holidays even if we only go two or three days.

6/ Does this way to travel allow you to share more moments with your family?

Yes because the four of us live in a tiny space so we are very close. This implies that you have to be organized to keep the vehicle tidy ! But this allows also to spend time with my children , it is really pleasant to share that much with them.

7/ What do you think are the best assets of this type of vehicle?

To be in the right place at the right time, be independent and to be able to modify your route depending on your desires and the climate. No planning ahead. We do as we please ! It is also good for the children as they can spend some time outdoor and play together.

8/ What feelings do you have when you go on the road?

It is a liberating feeling of freedom every time. I like to discover new landscapes and to sleep in widely different places : close to a Vineyard, in a forest, on a cliff in front of the sea. Watching the ocean from his window is such a privilege ! As we have no TV, nor internet, we pay much more attention to what happens around us. It allows us to spend more time with our children, observe the environment, watch the sunset : do things we are not used to do at home.

9/ How would be your dream camper-van? What features?

I’ve never asked myself such a question ! I think that we have everything that we need. We do not have the “all-comfort” version and we have to deal without the shower and toilets. But I think those are part of its charms ! The adventure in the wilderness !

We thank Gilles for having answered our questions ! Discover some pictures that he has brought back from his last trip in Spain, Basque country and Galice : Pictures that make us want to go on vacation!

Find out your ideal motorhome or camper-van to the following address :

Joseph T

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