This is the CampervanCulture.com Arctic Overland film series. Over the next few weeks you will be introduced to a set of short films of a trip that was a long time in the planning. In fact this would be the third time we tried to do this trip but for one thing and another it just never seemed to materialise. When we realised that for the third time it may not happen again, due to the Brexit happening just before the planned departure date, we really didn’t know what to do. Rather than accepting defeat for the third time we put a shout out on our social media outlets and the orders started to flood in!
You all made this trip happen..
It’s now time to show our thanks to you all because buying from our web shop allows us to live this Vanlife. CampervanCulture.com is more than just another van parts web shop. As you all know, we run CVC so it allows us to make the money ourselves so we can invest this and make these short films happen and try to inspire people the best way we know how. Usually we are pretty secretive about the exact location of the camp spots we find but do leave subtle clues so you can find them if you really wanted to. In this series as a thank you to you all we are going to show the exact GPS ordinates of each place we free camp at so you can use them yourself if you ever wanted to do a similar trip yourself. Hell you could even just cherry pick the best ones!
OK, so now with all that said this is the lowdown of the trip ahead. The idea was to try and do a trip from London to up and over the Arctic Circle to see if we could find if there are any true wilderness areas left in Northern Europe/Scandinavia. We wanted to see if we could do this by being totally self contained and not paying to stay anywhere. As the series unfolds over the next few weeks, the three of us will show the set up we have and the gear we use to stay safe and healthy on the road. Travelling through what are supposed to be the most expensive countries in Europe really doesn’t have to be expensive if you do it our way, in fact this ended up being the cheapest trip we have ever done!
We want to make a final “Questions & Answers” video and get you as involved as we can. Please ask any questions you have in the comments section under the video and we will try to answer you directly in the Q & A final video that we will make at the end. Just say who you would like to answer the question, Jed, Lou, Isaac or Dan the question itself and where in the world you are from.
Now grab yourself a cold one, sit back and come and join us for the ride as we get a couple of thousand miles under our belt on the drive north to see what’s going on up there in part 1 of the CVC Arctic Circle Overland Film Series..
While waiting for our new Arctic Circle series to premiere we thought some of you (especially the newcomers) might like to catch up with our Morocco series from a few of years ago. Here is the whole series in it’s entirety. Enjoy!
A quick update as some of you may not be following Jed, Lou and Isaac’s journey to the Arctic Circle on our Facebook page. The video series will follow in the coming months but in the meantime here is some of what they have been up to. Thank you again for all the support you have all shown, you have made this trip possible!!! Oh yes, make sure you subscribe to our Youtube channel, you won’t want to miss this!
This summers CampervanCulture.com Arctic Circle Video Series is creeping up fast. We took this opportunity to give the CVC Westy a bit of a shake down with some off road driving and chill time. This would hopefully flag up any weak points with the van so they could get sorted before we head north in a few weeks. It also gave the opportunity to test out some of the new camera gear we bought with the profit we make from the web shop that goes directly back into making the videos you guys and girls like to watch and we love to make.
Because we are more that just a web shop here at CampervanCulture.com we took a week off over Easter and headed out on another video making trip. We don’t really go out with making a video as the main priority on any of our trips away we just usually film where we end up as most of the time we have no idea where we will be sleeping that night until we find it.
This time it was back to Wales as we had unfinished areas to explore and wanted to carry on from where we left off on our last Valley Of The Dams video. We started in the Brecon Beacons and found some really nice spots and some fantastic walks. Lambing season is early this year and it was nice to see lambs being born literally at the side of the road. We have never explored Pembrokeshire so we headed west and boy where we in for a treat with what that area had to offer. The weather was the usual four seasons in one day and as the days unfolded you would think that we were stringing together a video of a mixture of different trips from throughout the year.
This was more than just a trip away for us, it was a chance to try out some of our new product ideas and test out some of our kit in preparation for this summers long trip video series. These trip videos would not be possible without the amazing support you all show us by ordering from our web shop. We would also just like to say an extra big thanks for all of you that have sent us kind emails and messages recently in support of what we do here, it really does mean a lot and keeps us doing what we do here at CVC.
We are very much in tune with Vanlife and what Campervan Culture represents to us as both a family and as a business. At the very heart of what we have ever done here at CVC is getting out there having adventures and making videos, it doesn’t matter if it’s for a weekend or for months at a time.
Sooo.. the kids are off school for a week and what better way to take advantage of this than head out for a few nights wild camping. Mid February is a great time of year to head out, it’s started to stay lighter again in the evening and it’s usually too cold for fair weather campers to sleep out in their vans. The up side of this is that you can usually get away with camping in places that you wouldn’t be allowed to in the warmer months and everywhere is deserted. I expect any restrictions set in place to discourage free camping are not policed in the winter due to the enforcers being tucked up at home in front of the TV’s with their heating on thinking nobody in their right mind would be sleeping in a van below 0..
Come drive with us again while this time we head south west along the Dorset coast for winter walks, good food and stay at some killer free camp spots that we stumbled upon by pure chance.
It is worth clicking the HD tab if you have a solid internet connection and viewing in full screen.
A new year always encourages new beginnings and resolutions that head everyone in the right direction in life. At CapervanCulture.com we are no different. We spent the whole of 2015 putting most of our efforts into laying a solid foundation to the web shop selling only quality products so we could develop what we love to do the most and that’s to bring you the Vanlife travel videos that CVC has become so well known for. All the hard work has now paid off and we have just moved into a brand new unit here in South London to run the business side of things from the 4th of January 2016.
This now leaves us enough elbow room to get back to what we love to do the most and that’s using our van and filming our adventures out on the open road. Everything that is left after we pay our income tax and living costs will be put right back into doing trips and filming what we do, so we get to give a little back rather than just take your money and keep CampervanCulture.com far removed from being just another UK and European VW van parts web shop with no soul. It’s always been this way but you will notice that from this video onwards we have put our money where our mouth is and you can see that profits have gone directly back into something you can all enjoy to watch for free. By choosing CampervanCulture.com you have allowed us to invest in better, more advanced film making equipment so CampervanCulture.com can develop our skills and we have all of you to thank for this so we can keep on doing what we do and have you all along for the ride.
This first video of the new 2016 season was made after we originally wanted to carry on from where we left off on our previous ‘Valley Of The Dams’ video. We really had a feeling that we had unfinished business out in Wales as it felt like we were just not ready to head home last time. This Christmas the weather has been terrible up north and out west so after sitting down and looking at the Met Office web site there looked to be a small pocket of decent weather towards the south east so headed that way for four nights and see the new year in.
Autumn is here so we decided to get out and about to admire the changing of the seasons. Wild camping was as usual excellent and we found some amazing places to camp for the few nights we were away. We spent most of our days around the Elan Valley exploring the many dams and lakes/reservoirs in the area and the evenings in remote wild camping spots around the fire.
If you are viewing using a solid internet connection it is well worth viewing the HD option.
If you are interested in any of the gear we use in this video it can all be found on the CampervanCulture.com web shop. Thanks for the support in keeping us doing what we do at CVC.
This last weekend is always marked down in the CVC calendar as the last weekend of summer. Every year this weekend gets good weather and the seasons turn the day after. We were not disappointed… We kept things pretty local as we were still packing up and sending orders out up until 3pm on Friday.
All work and no play makes Jack a very dull boy!
Here is a short video of what we got up to and some of the random things that we found going on along the way, I hope you all like it.
As the end of summer is fast approaching we decided to head out for the weekend with friends for some free camping and to do some foraging. Mid September in the UK is a good time to do this a there are lots of wild berries and mushrooms. The red camper in this video is not a Syncro, it’s a van we lifted using a set of Gowesty 2wd lift springs that we sell on our web shop click here. With this suspension set up it really did open up a lot more options for where this van could go this weekend and use free camp spots that would have not been accessible to a 2wd van otherwise. It drove all the off road sections with ease it has to be said.
It was a very relaxing weekend and yes we can make toast using one of the CVC stove top toasters that is the only one that actually works and toasts as it should rather than just giving hot bread.
Got a Facebook message from my friend Jan in Germany to say he was on his way over to the UK with his girlfriend Jenny, Martin and Sahara of Tigerexped.de. When he asked if we I wanted to meet up for teat I couldn’t resist throwing a day off and showing them one of our favourite wild camping spots. We did plan on doing some more off road driving but the weather turned bad with really heavy rain so the guys got kitted out in new boots and the girls got new coats to deal with the UK summer weather instead!
Just a quick video this time to see where we ended up.
We get asked all the time about what gear we use while camping. For us camping just isn’t camping without a real fire and to be able to cook outside is a real bonus. One thing that can make things a bit uncomfortable on longer trips is having a fire in a raised fire pit like the BushPig and having all the smoke blow in the side door of the van, especially if the awning is out. Having a fire under the cover of an awning out of the rain while being outside until now has been a bit of a no go for us especially when on a trip when you only have a few items of clothes and you want to make them last. You really don’t realise how much your clothes and hair can smell like woodsmoke until you go into a supermarket or something for supplies and you soon realise how much you pong! On this weekend trip we are using our trusty stove that can be found right here if you are interested in finding out more about it.
We have recently upgrade our awning set up to the ARB with the CampervanCulture.com fitting kit. We ditched the Fiamma simply because on the F35 pro there are to many plastic parts and 85% had failed in one way or another. Sure You can buy replacement parts for them but they are extremely expensive and not viable when you consider the value of your damaged awning and how much it would cost to repair the parts that are broken. We looked hard at the ARB and there just simply wasn’t anything around that worked correctly to connect the ARB to a T25/T3/Vanagon. You can find bastardised Fiamma brackets around that are bent, re drilled etc in an attempt to make them do but we found them to sit to close to the top of the sliding door so the door catches the bag/zip, they sat to low so the add on rooms for the ARB were to saggy on 2wd vans and you had to hunch over to walk underneath them. The sides of a Westfalia roof would still catch the rubber trim and they also rattled from the feedback we read about and that is enough to drive anyone nuts. Fitting roof rack brackets was especially hit and miss so we took all of this info on board and custom made out own fitting bracket sets so we could offer a complete ARB awning set and a range of add on rooms for the vans we drive on our web shop right here. We then approached ARB wholesale and they loved what we had done and allowed us to stock ARB products (ARB are an Australian company) and buy in stock to have here at CVC HQ here in the UK for quick dispatch. Being an ARB stockist is quite a selective process and we are really happy to be part of this right now as it allows us to bridge the gap of Camper van and overland travel gear. We have all had to put up with plastic or nylon made products for years as camper van owners and our goal is to change this with all of the products we stock.
Camping lighting has been another thing we haven’t been able to settle on now for a few years as lots of lighting set ups are either extremely power hungry or require batteries or fuel. This seams crazy when you have such a big battery bank in the vehicle so we are now settled on our CVC magnetic light bar kits here.
The campsite we used this time is Osney Lodge Farm. It’s a great cheap place that is close to home and very near London Gatwick Airport, ideal if flying into to UK. It is big enough to tuck yourself away if you want some quiet time or if you have kit just park up at the top of the meadow near the trees where the kids all hang out and play nicely. http://www.osneylodgefarm.co.uk