In the week that prices for the newly on sale Mercedes V-Class Marco Polo camper van are announced, I can't help daydreaming just a little bit.....
A camper van does sound like a good idea. At least it did to me. The freedom of the open road, a home to go with you wherever you travel, without resorting to the dreary misery of a drag-along caravan, or subjecting your unwilling family to the rigours and compromises of camping under canvas. That's what I thought, anyway, when I bought one.
Keen for family adventure, I ordered a brand new VW camper van, specifying it in pink to prove to my wife and daughters that this was for them to enjoy. I went further, gave it lilac leather seats and shiny cupboards in the funky kitchen. It cost very nearly as much as the basic version of the new Mercedes V-Class Camper - starts at £53,180 for the V220d Sport, rising to £57,190 for the top-spec V250d AMG Line. But they hated my pink VW Camper van. And to be fair, I can with the benefit of hindsight, see their point.
Thing is, unless you love driving a severely compromised vehicle, stopping in a windy carpark by the sea, wrestling the pop-up roof into place, firing up the tiny gas stove, boiling water in a tiny kettle to make tea, drinking that tea and staring through rain-streaked windows at seagulls eating discarded chips, it's not all that much fun. And the problem with that is that I do. I love the whole business of it.
We would no sooner leave the front gates than I would be pleading with the girls to let me stop and set up home. Park, roof up, kettle on, table out, tea ready. Perfection. They compared it to playing Wendy house, which they claimed to have outgrown. They may have had a point.
Ok, Mercedes spec theirs better than I did mine. And one could be yours for between £53,180 & £57,195
The only problem now is that I look at this new Mercedes jobbie and find myself wondering if..... well, it'll drive better than the VW and that interior looks kinda cool. I could use it to sleep in when I'm filming late somewhere. It could be a mobile office. I could save a fortune on hotel bills. These are the exact arguments I used to persuade myself into buying one last time. Truth is, I like playing Wendy house. But my girls don't so I'll leave that dream on the shelf. For now…