VW Martin Dorey off-grid

VW has teamed up with camping expert Martin Dorey to compile a list of top tips on how and where to holiday off-grid in your campervan this summer.

British families are expected to staycation this year with one domestic trip booked every 11 seconds immediately after lockdown was lifted in June.

Interest on the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles website for both the California – and the new, larger Grand California – soaring by up to 250% since March 2020 when lockdown began.

While many hospitality businesses opened on July 4, campervans already provide the ideal solution to creating a safe personal space for you and your family – while giving you all the freedom of the open road.

The iconic California offers an elevating roof and fully-fitted kitchen with prices starting from £55,339 RRP inc VAT and OTR, while the new Grand California, available from £72,745, adds a separate wet room with toilet, sink and shower for the complete off-grid experience.

These campervans provide the ideal companion to explore some of the UK’s hidden gems this summer.

Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ Top 30 must-see places in the UK is a great starting point for staycation inspiration, offering a selection of popular hotspots and slightly more unknown areas to explore across the UK. You can view the full guide here.

VW Martin Dorey off-grid

And to help first-timers, or those who may be a little rusty prepare for the getaway, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has teamed up with camping expert, environmentalist and author of the Take the Slow Road travel series, The Camper Van Bible and Cookbook, Martin Dorey, to compile these tips on how to holiday safely in a campervan.

Top tips


Wild camping is truly wonderful. But you do need to do it properly. Get permission from the landowner, park up where instructed and be nice to everyone. In a socially distanced way, of course.


Take what you need and no more. Even in a big vehicle with plentiful storage like the Grand California, keeping tidy is the key to keeping calm. Too much clutter just gets in the way, causes arguments, and raises stress levels.


Have you got enough gas, water, and food to last you a few days off the beaten track? Empty your grey waste tank before you go as well.


Books, maps, and apps are your friend when it comes to planning an off-grid adventure. Read up a little and get to enjoy more of what you love. Seek out the secret places and find your own slice of paradise.


An easy way to check if the van’s level (for the BEST night’s sleep ever) is to half-fill a glass of water and put it on the table. Bingo! A DIY spirit level. The new Volkswagen California T6.1 has a built-in inclinometer to check if you’re on level ground, with the new feature accessed via the touchscreen.


Going to a campsite with freshwater, emptying facilities and washrooms every few days will help you to stay out longer. Plan a night on a (Caravan and Motorhome Club) site and set yourself up for the next few days of blissful, off-grid camping.


Eye mask and earplugs? You don’t need them! The Grand California and California have blackout blinds that will let you snooze on until dawn. But if the dawn chorus does wake you? Go with the flow. Make a cuppa, sit on the step and fall in love with nature. That’s what wild camping is all about.


Eat fresh. Eat local. Pack staples like rice and spuds, plus some useful spices (Smoked Paprika, 5 Spice), and pick up delicious, local, and fresh produce along the way. Simple is best with great ingredients.


Clear up when you arrive and before you leave. This is really important! If anyone thinks you’re the cause of mess you won’t be welcome back. And neither will the rest of us. Thank you!


Whatever it is you love to do – go and do it! Walking, cycling, kayaking, surfing, or just lazing by the river. Wild camping puts you right there.

Kate Thompson, Head of Press and Public Relations at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said:

“The promise of a potential holiday is on the horizon for many and our campervans offer the perfect way to keep you and your family socially distanced while still enjoy the great outdoors. With our award-winning campervans, an inspiration guide and Martin’s top tips, we hope our customers enjoy the safe staycation they deserve after the past few difficult months.”

For more details on Martin Dorey’s Take the Slow Road series, please visit: www.bloomsbury.com/taketheslowroad

Find Matin Dorey at the following channels:

Website: www.martindorey.com

Facebook: Bigmaninthewoods

Twitter: campervanliving

Instagram: martindorey

For more details on Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles’ award-winning range of products and services, or to find your nearest Van Centre, please visit www.volkswagen-vans.co.uk.