Those looking to spice up their camping need look no further than hire company, KN Campers who have a couple of VW T4 Campervans for hire

Type into Google, ‘VW Campervans for hire’ and unsurprisingly, you’ll find page after page of very nice Splits and Bay Windows available for rent; for weekends, weeks, festivals, school proms, weddings, bar mitzvahs and so on. You’ll spot a few T5s in the mix and even one or two T3s but you’ll have to look hard to find many offering anything based on the T4 platform. There doesn’t seem to be any real reason for this, other than the fact that those looking for retro tend to want an older Bus and those looking for the latest tech and comfort look for the T5, with the venerable T4 sat, lonely, in between but KN Campers is set to buck that trend. This new hire company, run by couple Kevin Shuck and Natalie Weaver, currently has a brace of trusty T4s on its fleet and plans to add a T5 over the winter, ready to offer the casual Camper customer impeccable service and quality over the winter and ready for spring.

VW T4 Campervans for hire

” They have an implicit understanding of what makes a good Camper “

Kevin and Natalie are lucky enough to work for themselves – Kevin is a freelance ventilation engineer and Natalie a dental hygienist – so their work allows them the flexibility to develop their new venture. Kevin has always been a VW fan, particularly the newer models while Natalie is a fan of the more retro examples, like Bays and Splits, so between them, they have the VW scene pretty well covered.

Their natural skills compliment each other perfectly; Kevin is the practical one, converting the Vans into Campers and carrying out all the relevant maintenance and preparation work. Natalie looks after the administration of the whole operation, manages the website and most of the bookings and adds a sense of style to the Campers as well as the public face of the business. They also have an implicit understanding of what makes a good Camper, having spent six months living in one in New Zealand five years ago. Any relationship that can stand living in a Camper for six months can stand pretty much anything, we reckon.

The idea for KN Campers came about shorlty after they’d returned to the UK. Kevin was doing some work for a company that converted Vans into Campers and was using a T4 for his work, so he knew what good vehicles they were. He gradually converted the T4 himself for him and Natalie to use as and when they wanted to. Kevin then found himself needing a Van for work, so went for another T4 without hesitation.

VW T4 Campervans for hire

Both hire vehicles have been built to the same spec and standard of finish. Whichever you rent, you’re in for a good time

However, within a few weeks, he found himself on the receiving end of a company Van and was faced with a dilemma; sell the T4 or keep it and do it up. As they already had one, they didn’t actually need another but let’s face it – it’s not all about actually needing a Van, is it? So Kevin embarked on a programme to convert it to the same spec as the first version, with the intention of selling it on and making some money. However, when it came to the crunch, he couldn’t bring himself to actually put it up for grabs. That’s when they came up with the idea of renting them out, so that others could enjoy the VW camping experience without having to make the full commitment.

So, KN Campers was born and with it, Chilli and Pepper joined the fleet. The name was a simple amalgamation of their initials; NK didn’t have the same ring as KN and it wasn’t long before they twigged it sounded like Cayenne, as in Pepper. As they are both, by Kevin’s admission, foodies with a preference towards the spicy end of the scale, it felt just right and it was natural to christen the two Campers so.

VW T4 Campervans for hire

The full camping interior in both Vans contains all you’ll ever need for either a long or short holiday

Both the Campers are spicy enough to make them interesting but not so hot that they will bring tears to your eyes. They are virtually identical in terms of their set-up, as designed and built by Kevin with help on the electrics and window installation from Fast Fit in Bromsgrove.

Each is based on a mechanically-standard – but well maintained – 2.5-litre TDi short wheelbase T4 and features a ¾ rock ‘n’ roll bed, storage, cooker, fridge, sink with cold water feed, 240V electrical hook-up as well as on-board 12V power, swivelling passenger seat and a Kyham sun awning. There is also a host of options, including bikes and fitted bike rack, roof bars, DVD player and sat nav and even bedding for those who want to travel as light as possible.

VW T4 Campervans for hire

A welcome pack is also thrown in when you rent a Van from KN – that’s our kind of hamper!

” Kevin and Natalie’s approach means prices are on the reasonable side of the fence “

As KN Campers is located in Worcester, it’s pretty much slap bang in the middle of the UK and currently, hirers collect Chilli or Pepper from this base. However, for next season, Kevin and Natalie will be offering a delivery service or collection from airports or train stations, to make the customers’ experience as pleasant as possible.

Once booked, each Van is fully prepared for collection, including filling all the tanks – fuel, water and gas bottles – and putting together a welcome hamper to send the guests off on their trip in style. This includes a selection of essentials like beers and a bag of locally-produced snacks as well as luxury items such as tea, coffee, sugar and milk to make the first night’s stop just that bit more enjoyable.

VW T4 Campervans for hire

The odds and ends you’ll need for a camping trip soon add up so it’s just as well all of these bits are part of the package

This year has been KN Campers’ first and while they have been busy, they have also learned a huge amount about what makes a good VW Camper hire business. For example, one of the first things they learned was people want four-berth Campers more than they want two-berth examples, like Chilli and Pepper.

Therefore, one of the main winter projects is to install a pop-top roof in each, to allow four people to sleep in them when away. The aforementioned plans to add a T5 to the fleet will cater for those who want something more modern, even though the two 2.5-litre TDi T4s are renowned as excellent drivers. Naturally, the T5 will be built by Kevin to the same exacting standards as Chilli and Pepper and will also feature a pop-top roof. He also hinted that somewhere in the future, a T2 might also join the fleet, for the old schoolers out there.

VW T4 Campervans for hire

Should you find yourself at a loss at any time, you can always crack out the draughts or cards

Bookings for the T4s, and the T5 once it’s ready, can be completed on KN Campers’ website (link below) or through CamperBug, the community rental website. Both feature an availability checker to see if either Chilli or Pepper are available for specific dates.

Unlike many hire companies, Kevin and Natalie aren’t out to necessarily make their fortune or build a swimming pool in the garden. They are looking to make enough money to cover the costs of converting the two Vans in the first instance and see how it all goes. This approach means that their prices are on the very reasonable side of the fence; weekend hire costs from £180 – £220 depending on the season (there are three) and for a week, it’s from £350 to £450. That’s typically at least 30% cheaper than comparable hire of a Bay Window, for example, for 100% of the fun.

VW T4 Campervans for hire

No one plans to have an accident on holiday but it’s always smart to be prepared for one

VW T4 Campervans for hire

As much as the cab area remains basic, it’s still nonetheless functional, reliable and comfortable. Perfect for racking up plenty of miles

VW T4 Campervans for hire

Sleeping for two at the moment, but pop-tops meaning each Van can sleep four are on the way

VW T4 Campervans for hire

Kevin and Natalie will have both Chilli and Pepper at this year’s Busfest, so if you’re a subscriber or an early reader, get along and check out the Vans in the flesh

 

KN Campers: www.kncampers.co.uk

CamperBug: www.camperbug.co.uk

 

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