T.V LIFTS FOR SIDE UNITS

T.V LIFTS FOR SIDE UNITS

We love gadgets. This new television lifts ticks all the boxes for us.

If you want a T.V in your camper but don’t want to constantly see it, our new t.v lifts let you hide it next to the fridge until you need it.

THE 2014 CAMPERVAN AND MOTORHOME SHOW

THE 2014 CAMPERVAN AND MOTORHOME SHOW

February 2014 was a big month for Rockinvans.

With the launch of our new website we wanted to show off a new conversion and what we can do to the public. Frazer and Callum were both there to answer all your questions. Here’s a few pictures of the 4 days.

The end of an era

London to Scotland in a VW Camper Van

The end of an era

It’s a time to say goodbye… a time to mourn and grieve for the original classic VW campervan.

There have been more than 10 million Transporters over six decades, but Volkswagen has announced that the iconic campervan ‘bus’ will be no more.

Brazil, the last place still producing these Transporter vans, is to stop production on 31st December 2013.

But… why?

It’s not so much that Brazil doesn’t want the camper. New laws around air bags and anti-lock braking systems mean that the company are unable to carry on manufacturing VW campers past 2013.

The same thing happened back in 1979 when Germany could no longer meet the European safety requirements.

Popular culture

Damon Ristau, director of The Bus, a documentary following fan of VW campervans, said, “It has a magic and charm lacking in other vehicles. It’s about the open road, about bringing smiles to people’s faces when they see an old VW van rolling along.”

We couldn’t agree more.

Who cares whether the VW van has a reputation for being somewhat unreliable, they are so much more than a method of transport. They’re embedded into the Western culture so far that even toddlers can identify the bus as a VW.

VW Transporters have appeared on everything from album covers, remember Bob Dylan and the Beach Boys, to blah blah.

Even the technology legend, Steve Jobs, once owned a van. He sold it in the ‘70s to buy a circuit board for the Apple computer. Who knows, without the iconic camper, iPads and iPhones might never have happened.

Other common uses

However, the VW bus isn’t all about glitz and glamour. It has many different uses, particularly in other parts of the world.

For example, in Brazil, the only country where it is still being produced, the van is used to transport everyone from soldiers at war to children at school. While we might convert campers into Rockinvans, the Brazilians are more likely to turn them into food carts.

What next?

Volkswagen unveiled a concept van, the Bulli, at the Geneva Motor Show in 2011. Due to its retro styling it was pitched as the successor to the Transporter. There are rumours that it might now go into production in 2014.

Even so, it won’t be the same as the original.

The Future of Campervans

The Future of Campervans

How future gadgets might shape campervan holidays

Where the future in campervans lies

 

Where does the future lie with Campervan and Motorhomes? Campervans and Motorhomes have been around for nearly a century now; from the first time someone thought it would be a great idea to add an extended body to their Ford Model T in 1915.

If you’re a campervan lover, but struggle to live without your phone, tablet or laptop for more than a couple of hours, you might like what campers are doing to keep up with modern life.

Wi-Fi

As internet addicts, it would be ridiculous to think that we could spend any time at all on a campervan holiday without Wi-Fi access. We use this to chat to friends on Facebook and Twitter, but also even to text these days, with apps such as Whatsapp overtaking SMS.

The internet is also used for anything from directions to listening to music. It only seems logical that the next steps for all campervans is to have Wi-Fi connectivity.

 Alternative power

We’ve seen electric cars starting to penetrate the market, but there is still a lack of power stations. How long do you think it will be until we start waving goodbye to the traditional combustion engine found in campers?  Volkswagen’s new electric van is called eT. This van can even drive itself.  Perfect for our International visitors, “Skye Please”

Electric Van Concept

Battery power might be more economically friendly than diesel, but it does have some disadvantages. In order to produce enough power, the camper would need quite a few batteries, which take up valuable space and add unnecessary weight.

eT Concept van

A more viable option might be hydrogen fuel cells, as the only emission from these is water!

RFID tags

You may have heard of Radio Frequency Identification tags, you may not. Either way, you probably will in the near future. This technology was once seen as only useful for tracking farm animals, but it is now being incorporated into just about everything, from how much you spend in the supermarket to our preferred driving position.

Campers might start utilising this technology to personalise each holiday, so that every single campervan hire is completely unique to the renters. Crazy, huh?

Is there any technology that you would like to see incorporated into campervans in the near future? Do you think that tech will change how you travel?

History of the VW Transporter

History of the VW Transporter

The History of the VW Transporter

VW transporter in factory

The VW Transporter is one of the most famous and iconic vehicles to have ever been manufactured with a history dating back to just after World War II. VW T4 campervans are our personal favourites, but it all started out with the Volkswagen Type 2, also known as a ‘split-screen’, which is still one of the most popular retro campervan models to date.

VW in factory

The Type 2 was dreamt up by Ben Pon, who visited the Volkswagen factory as Germany was re-building post WWII. This factory, the Kdf-stadt back then, was under British control after the war and where Major Hirst starting reproducing the VW Beetle. It was renamed due to its close proximity to Wolfsburg Castle.

It is thought that he noticed the Plattenwagen, which was designed to shuttle parts around the factory, and got the inspiration to sketch what became known as the VW Transporter.

The popularity of the Type 2 even led to a second-generation T2 version of the original, released in the late 1960’s. However, after the T2, campervan enthusiasts had to wait over a decade until the next VW Transporter hit the market. The T3 or the T25 as it’s also known, came just before the T4 in the 1980’s.

VW T4 Campervan on the beach at Loch Lomond

VW T4 campervans are still a top favourite for a variety of uses, from light commercial to minibuses and camping. Production of the T4, which sported a revolutionary front-mounted water-cooled engine, started in 1990 and continued for 13 years until 2003.

Volkswagen had been toying with the idea of front-engined campervans since the ‘70s as they had enjoyed success with their passenger cars, but the van ended up being delayed until the launch of VW T4 campervans.

It is actually this model of campervan that officially launched the ‘Transporter’ name as its predecessors are only colloquially referred to as Transporter campervans; the VW T4 is the original vehicle to use the name.

VW T4 campervans stayed relatively similar in the whole 13 years of production, with only one major change in 1994 when the front end was re-shaped. The move was required in order to fit the larger six-cylinder VR6 engine into the bay.

The two different versions of VW T4 campervans are known as T4a and T4b by super- fans, keeping in traditional with the Type 2.

There are a vast number of engines to choose from since the re-model: the T4a can be powered by four engines (I4, R4, I5, R5) in either petrol or diesel, but the T4b also saw the five-cylinder TDI engine.

VW T5 Campervan

The VW Transporter didn’t end with the T4 in 2003, its successor the T5 was released in the same year with a much more streamlined design. It underwent a re-design in 2009 to improve power and install a dual clutch transmission. Rumours have it the T6 is now not too far away also.

VW T6 Campervan

Because of their popularity, it’s easier to get your hands on gold dust than a VW T4 campervan these days! If you don’t want to miss out on the experience of a T4, but don’t have the funds to buy your own, book a camper with Rockinvans.

Worlds Most Environmental Campervan

Worlds Most Environmental Campervan

Here at Rockinvans Campervan Hire Scotland, we’re all aboard the Eco-Friendly train, and we vigorously salute the valiant efforts of the Toyota Prius Hybrid in the war against smog. So when the Pruis Camper Conversion was recently unveiled at the Tokyo Auto Salon, you’d have thought we’d have been all ‘ooh’s and ‘aah’s and admiring glances, but instead all it provoked was a collective intake of breath: the sort of kind that comes only from unfortunate taste. Now, we hate to pee on anyone’s campervan-ey parade, but this conversion just doesn’t tickle our road-tripping taste buds: it’s just a bit too much like a good car wearing a bad toupee.

The Toyota Prius masquerading as a white haired Elvis….

The odd detachable shell adds more than 20 inches of length to the prius, 22 inches to the height and is made of reinforced plastic. Now, we’re no experts in aerodynamics, but we can only imagine that the sheer size and weight of this less than dainty structure plays all kinds of naughty havoc with the fuel efficiency of the Toyota Prius…which is what it was designed for, after all. It’s all just a little confusing.

What we can’t deny is the clever use of space (there is quite a lot of it, mind you), and the array of bedding/seating options available. The back seats of the car can be slid down in order to create space for a double bed in the back, while the top section (the bit that looks like a bad wig, remember?) can house a further double bed. Somehow, the folks at Toyota have even managed to squeeze in a retractable coffee table or ‘side sofa’ to the Prius camper.

Our favourite feature? The back door: that way you can sneak out after a comfortable night sleep, and avoid the gaze of the gathered group pointing and staring at your odd new creation.

The Rockinvans verdict: a clever use of space, but it just aint sexy. Sorry Toyota.

Now taking bookings for 2030

Now taking bookings for 2030

We’re often shown images of the cars of the future, the electric engines, the driverless parking, but what about the campervans? What will we be packing up at the weekends to holiday with our friends and robots?

Designer Christian Susana has come up with a new vehicle design called Colim (Colours of Life in Motion). The whole concept is based on the flexibility it offers. The driver pod at the front of the vehicle can detach to allow you to explore the town at night, allowing you to park easier without lugging your whole vehicle with you. The fuel efficiency this allows, be it battery, diesel or even nuclear makes this an exciting concept.

The futuristic interior allows plenty of space for the family. You could easily fit your futuristic bike inside to go exploring the countryside.

Not bad when you consider the earliest campervans.

I want my Doubleback, Doubleback, Doubleback

I want my Doubleback, Doubleback, Doubleback

I want my…Doubleback, Doubleback, Doubleback.

Thirty years ago, camper vans with elevating roofs were born into the world, and here at Rockinvans we are delighted to have two of those babies within our ever expanding family fleet. Thirty years on however, VW have (quite literally) kicked the a**e out of those designs, with the beautiful monster that is…the DOUBLE BACK. Pictured below, the Doubleback is the weird, rebellious but bloody brilliant lovechild of a traditional Daddy Transporter, and a big ass Mummy Motorhome: providing a refreshing hybrid of practicality and space.

surfs up

This new addition to the campervan world is based on the VW Transporter 2.0TDI 140PS Long Wheelbase but has mutated to include an electrically extending pod: creating almost two additional metres of functional space when stationary. The durable Doubleback is created from aircraft industry standard materials – and boy do we love it when things are created from aircraft industry standard materials, it makes us feel butch.

Spacious interior

Want lots of space but don’t fancy navigating a chunky motorhome around country roads, or parking it in the city? Boom. Doubleback. This beautiful revolution seems to answer the road-trip enthusiast’s prayers: merging a genuinely spacious and comfortable camper with all the benefits of a smaller vehicle.

Interior of Doubeback

 

Upon arrival at your destination, the pod can be slid out electronically in a slick 45 seconds, creating 2 usable rooms. Now you can lie back in bed while your camping companion fries the bacon. Hello luxury. If you like bacon but love sports, the Doubleback just keeps on giving. This jumbo camper can internally carry 4 bikes or a scooter or a full set of longboards, and parking them inside means added security and peace of mind.

So, how do we feel about this new creature (as if it isn’t clear already)? The creators of the Doubleback have dubbed the slogan: “Revolutionary design, Revolutionary functionality”, but at Rockinvans, our sentiment is simple:

“WE WANT ONE”.