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2020: The Year of Motorhome Travel!

In 2020 it changed. No city breaks in Europe, no meetings on distant continents. Domestic travel is what matters, and staying safe. That’s where the idea of motorhome travel suddenly came up.

One morning we woke up with the idea. This summer we will buy a campervan and start exploring our home country in it. We want our vehicle to contain a kitchen, shower, sofas and of course a comfy bed  – we will buy a motorhome, just a small one. 

2020: The Year of Motorhome Travel!

2020: The Year of Motorhome Travel!

We soon noticed we are not alone in this, thousands of people woke up with the same idea at the same time. As everybody was looking for motorhomes it became hard for us to find the one we wanted.

The year 2020 really became the year of motorhome travel!

Finding a Motorhome

A motorhome, still just a dream...

A motorhome, still just a dream…

So we searched online and went to caravan sellers in different towns and finally bought one.

Afterwards we took coffee, sandwiches and something sweet from a gas station, just to celebrate that we did it!

Cheers! We just bought a motorhome.

Cheers! We just bought a motorhome.

What we learned is that new motorhomes are very expensive, far more expensive than we had thought.

For this reason we chose an older, used one. Wasting a lot of money in something we are not so sure about didn’t make sense to us. Maybe next year we will want to see different countries again and won’t even have time to use our van.

I, however, think we will keep using it.

Motorhome travel has been our dream since we tried it in Australia. We liked it so much that we rented campervans five times between 2011 and 2015, both in Australia and New Zealand.

In fact we were going to do the same again starting from Melbourne, but it changed. There’s no conference, no reason to travel. But we can do it back home instead.

So now we are owners of a motorhome. It maybe looks a bit outdated but we don’t care, we expect it to meet our needs.

Our Motorhome

Our little motorhome

Our little motorhome, yet big enough when you drive… 

So that’s the exterior, and this is what it looks like from the inside:

Our motorhome, the interior

Up to six people can travel and sleep

Finland by motorhome: view from my bedroom

View from the “upper bedroom”

Our motorhome: the kitchen corner

Kitchen, bathroom and sitting area

Typical view from our motorhome

… and it’s up to you what kind of view you have from the sitting area.

Then, to be able to travel, we just had to fill it with stuff.

Preparing for Motorhome Travel

Preparing the motorhome for travel

Our motorhome being packed for travel

The very day we came home I started filling the van with things we might need on the road.

Kitchenware, mugs and plates, food items, spices, napkins and of course candles to make dark evenings cozy. All those small things we might need. Time will show what is needed and what not. At least we will use these camping chairs, to sit back and relax after a driving day:

Motorhome travel: light-weight camping chairs and table

Needed for motorhome travel: light-weight camping chairs and table

So we have camping chairs and table for outdoor meals and soaps, sunscreens and shampoos in the bathroom. And of course boots, slippers and clothing for all weather. All these things will from now on belong to the van and be there all the time. We want to make it easy to set off.

 

Details of the packing project

All items you take into a motorhome must fit in somewhere and be behind closed doors when you travel.

Yet we found out one thing is needless in summer, candles:

Finland motorhome travel: staying up for the midnight sun

No candles needed in the Finnish midnight sun

Shopping in Corona Times

Most of the items already existed in our home and the rest we bought. As the corona restrictions were on we shopped it all online and had to wait a few days to get all stuff.

While I was busy planning the interior Clas kept examining the manuals that followed. As the van is Fiat and was born in Italy, most materials were in Italian.

But he could figure out how the water, gas and heating systems work, where the batteries and other gadgets hide and, above all, how you are supposed to use everything without being plugged in at nights (as we prefer rural travel).

Our motorhome: rear camera

 

Wait! People standing behind you

Our two sons acquired and installed things they said we absolutely can’t do without: a rear camera, fire, gas and some else alarms, and nice small details to all corners.

Then, after our daughter donated us her loved sofa cushion from the US, we were finally ready to set out on the road. Her cushion really matches with our colors:

Motorhome travel: to travel is to live

Our motto: to travel is to live

So exited about our new travel style! Where did we go then?

Motorhome Travel: Where Did We Go?

Helsinki

The Baltic Sea from Kopparnäs, Finland

A nature destination close the Finnish capital: Kopparnäs, Inkoo

This really changed our travel habits. Instead or driving two hours to Helsinki and back the same day, of course all the way along a busy motorway, we have now taken smaller roads instead, stopping for sights.

In the Helsinki region we have found beautiful nature areas to stay overnight. One of them was only two km from a seafront suburb, perfect for a beach barbecue, a good night’s sleep and waking up in the forest.

Photos from our motorhome trips to Helsinki and surrounding places:

 

Our campervan trips Tampere – Helsinki in photos

Ostrobothnia

Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park

Kauhaneva-Pohjankangas National Park

The longest trip until now was to Kokkola, Ostrobothnia where we finally had a chance to visit family after the long corona break.

As we normally take the morning train 3 hours up north and the last evening train back, we now spent four days on the same trip, extending a weekend by both Friday and Monday. For us, it’s not a big difference if we work in a motorhome or from somewhere else. So an extra bonus with a motorhome is that it’s just perfect for work at distance.

Again we took the side roads and went to national parks, nature sights and postcard-pretty towns with wooden houses. Places we have never had time to stop at.

Photos from this trip:

 

Our campervan trip to Ostrobothnia in photos

Where to Next?

Beyond the Arctic Circle

Beyond the Arctic Circle: Finnmark, Norway

Photo: Emma Lehelä

There have been some additional shorter trips since, but our long trip this summer will go to the Finnish Lapland, and we also hope to visit Norway. We will leave in early August, so stay tuned and check out our social media to hear about the trip.

Until then, have a nice summer, whether you are traveling or not!

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