Buying an RV in Europe…meet our camper!

Our new camper, buying an RV in Europe

Where to buy an RV in Europe

We’re in our new home! Queen’s Day in Haarlem was brilliant but expensive, and we are so happy to be settled in our camper.

We bought it online from BW Campers. After looking at photos of about a dozen different rigs, we decided to go with the cheapest one that was big enough for the four of us for a year. It’s not fancy and has a lot of mileage on it, but it was a few thousand euros cheaper than the next best one, money we’d rather spend on food. Our only real requirement was that we didn’t want to have to move the dining table every night to make up Scout’s bed. This one has a little couch that doubles as a bed. Most models on the lot had bunks that folded down from the ceiling, but instead ours has a shelf space we can use to store homeschool books.

I can’t tell you how relived we were to finally see the camper and discover we’d picked the right one. It’s a well-used older model (1999 with 242k kilometers!), but the layout is perfect, better for us than the newer models. At only six metres long, it is a compact and practical size. And nothing critical seems to be falling off it.

It took several hours to get off the lot. Rene took us through the camper systems and showed us how everything worked.  He also fixed a leaky faucet. Then we spent an hour on paperwork—insurance papers, warrantee information, and whatnot. It turns out the rig was warranted, as advertised, but that any repairs have to be done by B&W. In other words, if something breaks in Germany or Spain, it’s not  covered unless we drive all the way back to Amsterdam for the repair. That was unexpected but we rolled with it. Fingers crossed.

Getting comfy in the bunk

Driving in Holland

We’ve been driving around North and South Holland for a week now, testing out the camper, hitting IKEA for various supplies, getting a feel for European campgrounds, and enjoying all the postcard sights: tulips, windmills, cheese, and canals.

Mark and I are drooling over the upright Dutch bikes called “Oma Fiets”, solid commuter specimens built tough for daily use and to carry anything. Most have small round locks built-in over the back tire. From what I could see, most people keep a single key in the lock at all times, and then when they hop off, they just turn and remove they key, which makes the lock clamp closed. No need to lock the bike TO anything, for a quick stop anyway. I love this! I hate carrying and fiddling with bulky bike locks.

Scout took a few days to get used to the bike paths. At first she’d amble across bike paths, her mind in the clouds, which is freaking dangerous. She didn’t cause any accidents but was responsible for lots of swerving, swearing, and angrily dinging bike bells. Fortunately a week of near-death experiences seems to have made an impression and she is now treating Dutch bike lanes like the freeways they are.

Love the bike bells! This store had hundreds of them.

 

Lots of the bikes in the Netherlands are decorated with flower garlands. We bought some for Scout’s bike

Finally, on a totally unrelated note, this is an appelflap, our new favorite brekkie. It’s an apple turnover made from buttery puff pastry, diced apples, cinnamon, and then sprinkled with sugar. If you’re not in The Netherlands where you can find them on every corner, you should try making them at home. Here’s an appelflap recipe to get you started.

Dutch appleflap apple pastry

 Bye for now!

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