Ever since I bought my van I have always longed to take a Euro­pean road trip and now it looks like it’s final­ly going to hap­pen. Dur­ing the sec­ond half of Sep­tem­ber I will be trav­el­ling along the Atlantic coast of the Euro­pean main­land on what I hope will be an epic surf trip. My surf bud­dy David Wat­son “T‑Rex” will be join­ing in on this trip in his van, “The Hut”. Both of us will be cross­ing from Poole to Cher­bourg on the 21st Sep­tem­ber 2016, me with my 9′6″ Coco Mat NSP board and David with his 10′ clas­sic, shaped by Chris Jones of Newquay. We are now at the stage, with just 6 weeks to go, of plan­ning and preparation.

I realise when tak­ing a road trip through Europe, most peo­ple will prob­a­bly plan a route before­hand, arrang­ing camp­sites and spe­cif­ic site-see­ing stops along the way. The dif­fer­ence here is we are going to be com­plete­ly flu­id in our plans. The main aim of the trip is to try some of the great surf spots along the Atlantic coast and as any­one who surfs knows, con­di­tions for this can­not always be guar­an­teed and we’ll be look­ing for good long­board con­di­tions too, not 10 foot bar­relling waves. We’ll also be look­ing to avoid any weath­er that resem­bles some­thing we are use to in the UK so there is every chance we could make a B‑line direct to Por­tu­gal when we arrive in France. This does­n’t mean there won’t be any plan­ning at all though, I have just recent­ly been cre­at­ing a new map in Google My Maps which gives us the loca­tions of surf breaks, camp­sites and surf shops along our way. I will be adding to this before we leave with oth­er infor­ma­tion we might need.

As for prepar­ing the van, that’s unfor­tu­nate­ly a bit lim­it­ed to bud­get. I was hop­ing I would be able to pur­chase a solar pan­el sys­tem before leav­ing but too many oth­er costs have arisen just recent­ly, like new dri­ve­shafts and tires to get it through the MOT. I have also just pur­chased the kit to replace the 5th gear so I can hope­ful­ly cruise a bit bet­ter on the faster roads. I fig­ure, based on the fact that we will be on the road for a cou­ple of hours a day that my split charg­er will be fine in charg­ing my two 115AH leisure bat­ter­ies. As for oth­er amend­ments, I think/hope it will be fine, I’ve been away every week­end since April and have real­ly adapt­ed the van well for my stays away.

I have cre­at­ed this new sec­tion on the web­site and will update as the trip evolves. To all those doing some­thing sim­i­lar, have fun! Will catch up soon.


The Gold Coast of Devon on the first weekend of July


Reimo Charly Sun Canopy

About Author


A complete self-confessed VW nutjob. My VW T4 is actually my first and only VW I have ever owned but I love it. Having bought my van as a straight forward panel van, I enjoyed the process of converting it how I wanted. Now the van is all done, it's getting out and exploring I love to do.


  1. Hi Shark­bait and T‑Rex hope your Surf­ing / Camp­ing hol­i­day is going well. I have seen the “Hut’s” trans­for­ma­tion for the hol­i­day and I am impressed. I would like to wish T‑Rex a hap­py birth­day for tomor­row and hope he does some­thing real­ly spe­cial to cel­e­brate. Look for­ward to read­ing the update when you write one. Take care the both of you and have lots of fun.

    1. Hi Shark­bait and T‑Rex I take it you are both back on British soil safe and sound. Hope your adven­ture turned out to be as excit­ing as you both hoped it would be. Hope your VW Vans stood the test of time and your adap­ta­tions were per­fect for you. Wel­come home Lads and well done.

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