Hire the campervan that makes everyone smile
Available for trips across the UK
Welcome to The Chaletvan's very own website. Some people call her 'The Shed on Wheels' but they're just rude. She's a true chracter who turns heads on motorways and in carparks up and down the country, so I (her humble owner) thought it time she get her own website. You can learn more about her and hire her for your own adventures.
About The Chaletvan
It all started with dinner and a dare. Barry Stimson, native of about as far south as you can get in England without getting your feet wet, was at dinner in France with his wife Caroline, and asked her for a new challenge. Barry is an artist and something of a mad inventor. He made kit cars in the 70s, there is a Daily Telegraph article about him entitled 'Type my name in, you'll find nutters.' Caroline is an artist too, and a part-time rescuer of wounded magpies and other damaged birds. She proposed to Barry that he make a campervan in the style of a Swiss chalet, and so he did.
Cut to a few years later and me, its current owner, was staying with a friend near Wales, where my dog, Bruce, had gone for some 'Don't chase sheep!' training. My friend was the proud owner of an ambulance campervan, converted by her very handy husband, Dave. My friend encouraged me to get a campervan of my own so I could join them on adventures. We had two bottles of wine, we went on Ebay....
Since then I have taken the van around Europe, made a film in it, fallen in love in it, made music in it, taken it to Scotland, Cornwall and Wales and have rented it out for others to travel in or to sleep in at our family farm in Lancashire. And I have waved and smiled for photos countless times while driving it along many roads. She's a happy little van.
How many people does the van sleep
Two and a dog, a few turtles or a happy child. The bed is 1m80 long, so if you're six foot four and like to sleep like poker straight you might suffer, but it's plenty big enough for a couple to curl up in. For animals and small people: improvise.
What's the cost?
The daily rate is between £60-80 per night, depending on the season and length of hire. I think it's pretty cheap compared to a regular car hire plus accommodation, but then I believe in good karma, and so far the van has attracted good people wanting to hire it.
Where do I have to pick the van up from?
The Chaletvan has two homes: on a farm in Lancashire, conveniently located a 10 minute drive from the M6, or in central Edinburgh, a 10 minute walk from Waverley Station.
Is there a toilet?
If you want one there is a chemical toilet, yes, that I can provide, but I personally don't use it and prefer using services, cafes and campsites.
What's included in the hire of the van?
Fun things! The van is not a swanky luxurious van, it's a van for people who want to get out there and spend time up hills or on beaches, and then come back to fry some eggs, play a bit of ukulele or backgammon, dance around under the stars or under the duvet. So there are two camping chairs, a camping stove and table, a coolbox, a bluetooth speaker, a camping lantern, battery lights, bedding, a portable photo printer if you want it, games, books, plus an Alistair Sawday's guide of super nice alternatives to motorway service station cafes! There is also a USB shower that I've still not figure out how to work, a washing up basin and a bunch of pots and pans. Oh, and there is a spare battery kit with spark leads, those reflective foily things you put in the windows for the rare times when the UK gets really hot, and some high vis vests in case you ever get stuck by the side of the road of just really like yellow.
A wee film made out of The Chalet Van
In the summer of 2019 I travelled across Europe in the Chalet van with my dog, Bruce. It was to be my final summer as a European citizen and I wanted to bear witness to a special moment in time. Armed with a trusty old iphone, I set out to tell a story about a changing political landscape but ended up in the middle of my own story of love, loss and moving on. It's rough and scrappy but full of the joys of summer and the sorrows of saying goodbye. You can watch a little trailer for it right here.
Get in Touch
Yes, furry friends are welcome too. The van can be collected from Lancashire or Edinburgh. For more information, drop us a line.