1. A Holiday
We take the Van on trips, such as to the Dark Forest in Dumfries and Galloway, Moray Coast, Ayrshire, East Lothian, Arran, the Lakes, the Yorkshire Moors & Dales etc etc. We have two boys and so are able to load up bicycles and a football and just head out to see what we can see and to be where we can be.
2. A Getaway
The other summer, my wife realised that the boys would both be off at the same holiday camp. “Quick!” she said. “Book some time off work.” So we took a week without any notice and headed up to Skye. In less than 4 days we were able to see so much of the island and to do a fair bit of hill-walking/scrambling. And for the avoidance of doubt … it was sunny and gloriously hot the whole time, and we only had midges on one day!
3. Work Accommodation
My wife works late shifts and is on call overnight so she takes the van and if called in, she is able to be back in almost immediately. Once in the van, all she can do is go to sleep – no distractions of TV or housework to keep her from getting to bed! Best of all, despite sub-zero winter temperatures – she never gets cold due to a very cosy duvet.
4. A Meeting Room
We help co-ordinate a national series of workshops and we meet up regularly with the other facilitators to discuss strategy and plan events. We meet in Dunkeld as a relatively central place for us all … and we just all pile into the Jerba VW T5, turn the seats round and have a proper meeting venue (with coffee brewed up on the cooker). We have even had a formal presentation white board and all!
5. Cycling Sportive Transport
I do a lot of Sportives and for the ones that are too far to get to for the ridiculously early starts, I take our Jerba van. I park up the night before and start the day with a fresh brew of coffee and some porridge. It is then just so civilised to get the bike off the bike rack and wheel it round to the start line.
6. A Party
Yes, we once had a party with a bunch of friends, complete with pizza, fizz (not for the driver … #drinkaware) and good quality sounds. (I would say “good quality music” but the bands and songs were my choice, so probably not appreciated by many!).
7. Runner Transport
Similar to the Sportives … my wife has run quite a few marathons, half marathons and 10kms. So, again, a drive to the event the day before has allowed her to park up, have a good night’s sleep and be at the start line (and first in the queue for the portaloos) without having to trek for miles.
8. Road Trip
Each summer on the last day of term, my wife collects the boys from school in the van. A quick change in the back of the van into “civvy clothes” and they set off on their annual road trip, usually via the Lake District and popping in on friends and family. I manage to meet up with them for the middle weekend, sometimes by chasing after them (#drivesafe) in my car or sometimes by plane, train and walking, depending on how far away they have managed to get.
9. Furniture Removal
It has been used more than once for house moves for friends & family. We cleared out my late mother’s house which was out in the countryside. Some items were going to different siblings, some to charity and some to the recycling centre. Oh, and my mother was a true hoarder – there was a lot to take! Not a problem – it’s amazing how many items of furniture, bags of clothes and boxes of books etc you can load up in a T5 (happily, we had opted for the long-wheel base version).
10. House Annex
We have been on a few weekends away with friends and run out of indoor bed-space – never a problem. We stay with my parents in law at Christmas, and one year they invited not just us and other family, but some friends as well. They have a large house, but even they ran out of space. Again, not a problem – we set up the van as an annex guest house. Actually, there was a problem – there were genuine disagreements, as we all wanted to be the ones who got to sleep in the van. Even at Christmas it was warm enough – my wife had insisted on two convector heaters being installed in the Jerba fit out.
11. Reunion HQ
We meet up with friends from university and their families. Of the main group that meets up, one couple has a Jerba T5 as well. So we set it up a neat terrace of “van – tent – van” and sit chatting as, presumably, the children all run around, play football and cycle …. or maybe they just sit in one of the vans and play video games.
12. Star Chasing
Well: aurora borealis chasing, to be precise. My wife and our younger son have been known to pile into the van and just head out at night when alerted to the potential of an aurora borealis sighting. I am not sure if they have ever seen the northern lights, but they have certainly woken up and had breakfast at some amazing sights and locations the next morning!With a Jerba T5, it certainly is the luxury end of holidays. It has saved us countless pennies on accommodation when running the workshops or attending festivals all around the country. I am amazed at the quality cooking and coffee we can get out of the stove (helped in no small part by my wife!), and the ease with which the van is converted from double storey bedrooms to kitchen and dining room, to living room, to transport, to … well, just scroll back up through some of the uses we have found and you’ll get the idea.Now, let me just reach for the keys and satnav again …