Christmas Campervan Hire

New VW California Ocean 6.1 for hire in 2021

Here at Active Kampers campervan hire in Sussex we are really excited as we have just ordered a new VW California Ocean 6.1 in Ascot Grey for hire from March 2021, from SMG Tonbridge (thanks Matt Weller). We already have two T6 California Oceans available (2018 and 2019 better known as Basil and Casper) but this is our first on the 6.1 Ocean. We haven’t decided on the name yet, suggestions welcome!

Since 2011 we have seen quite a few changes to the VW California, but this is one of the bigger ones. With the upgrade there is of course a face lift to the front of the vehicle, but more exciting are the improvements to the digital cockpit, smarter camping interior and the new camping touchscreen console (for the roof, heater and fridge plus services).

The rest of the campervan remains pretty much the same as before with the key features of sliding rear bench seat to 3/4 width bed and two burner hob and sink kitchenette with the excellent fridge, plus the amazing and comfortable pop-up roof bed.

We will be running with three vans throughout 2021 due to the increased demand. Contact us now or go to the booking page to check our van availability and hire our new T6.1 California Ocean for a UK or European road-trip, or a try before you buy long weekend escape.

Extra deep cleaning of our VW California campervans before hire

During the current Covid 19/Coronavirus pandemic we are allowing extra time for deeper cleaning of our VW California campervans between hires. Our cleaning routine includes: Clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces areas e.g. fridge, tables, kitchen work surfaces, hard-backed chairs, light switches, remotes, handles, gear stick, steering wheel, toilets, sink and taps. All cutlery, pots, pans, cups, plates and bowls will be dishwasher after each hire. Additionally all seat covers will be changed and washed and carpets vacuum washed. We believe the self-contained independence of a campervan is the perfect way to enjoy a holiday currently. 

Hire a VW California Ocean before you buy?

New 2019 VW California Ocean

In the ten seasons since our foundation in 2011 Active Kampers have introduced nearly 1,000 hirers to campervanning with a VW California, now the VW California Ocean. We have also sold 12 of these campervans, most to prior customers, as we have renewed our fleet in the autumn. Many more have bought a campervan after hiring too!

We know all the features and quirks of our vans as we use them ourselves for UK and European campervan road trips. Our favourite three destinations at the moment seem to be Dorset (great for a quick weekend break) with good walks and so many traditional English things to do. Cornwall of course, for beaches, surfing, coastal walks and quaint places. Finally, a year rarely goes by without a trip to South West France, from the castle studies Loire valley to the majestic snow capped Pyrenees, for beaches, SUP surf, kayak, wine, BBQ’s, multi day treks, so fantastic and very accessible via the nearby Newhaven ferry crossing or the convenient Eurotunnel.  So I guess we’re pretty experienced if somewhat biased on the merits of campervanning in the VW California!

Anyway we have these wonderful VW California Ocean campervans available for hire which is a great way of testing whether the leading compact campervan on the market is the right choice for you. When you hire from us you don’t just pick up the keys and drive off you get any advice you need from where to camp,  alongside a full induction of the vehicle features.

This winter and spring  is a great time to road test the California with quiet sites and brightening days and lower rates than the summer. Also we are taking delivery of a brand new 2021 VW California Ocean 6.1 with upgraded features. We are one of very few hire companies to have this model, which will be available from 1st March.

So if you are thinking of purchasing a VW California Ocean why not hire before you buy and please do road test it for a weekend with us first. Even if you are considering a different VW based campervan, e.g a bespoke conversion, it’s well worth hiring the VW California for inspiration and ideas.

Matt & Petra November 2021

New 2019 VW California Ocean for hire

New 2019 VW California Ocean

Are you interested in checking out the new 2019 VW California Ocean? At Active Kampers Sussex we are really looking forward to some new VW Campervans to add to our campervan hire fleet! Our first 2019 California Ocean DSG (auto) in white will be coming soon for hire. This will be our 12th VW California Campervan! It’s the first time we have chosen white too, it may take a bit more cleaning but we think it will look great. Interestingly white is the most popular campervan colour and 3rd most popular car colour. We have decided to call our new campervan Casper for obvious reasons.

From what I can see there are no noticeable changes from our 2018 California Oceans, which is great as they are pretty much perfect already. It has the same fundamentals such as the two berth bed convertible from the sliding lower bench seat and 2nd bed in the electrically raised roof. The small sink, with cooking on two rings (although you’ll find yourself using a BBQ often if you are like us) and a large capacity fridge cooler are also unchanged. The compact nature of the California combined with its high level of equipment, often ingeniously hidden away  and general high build quality are is stand out features. Extra space can be added using the side awning or a tent awning which is recommended for larger groups and when you aren’t moving around frequently.

If you are interested in buying a new VW California it makes sense to try one out for a long weekend and better still a full week, moving from place to place touring around to really appreciate the benefits of this super fun, flexible and well equipped vehicle. Once you have one you will bitten by the campervan bug!

Casper will be ready for hire in Sussex for festivals, campervan road trips to Cornwall, Scotland France and more from March, so get booking now!

A great independent and honest review of the 2019 VW California Ocean follows:

New 2018 VW California Ocean Campervan hire

We have ordered new VW campervans for hire from our East Sussex base arriving in January. After 7 years of hiring the VW California we are taking our first T6 version, introduced in 2016, know as the VW California Ocean. The VW interior is substantially unchanged, the notable improvement is the improved LED lighting. There is also better lighting in the upper bunk bed and built in front screen and side window blind. The big improvement is the more efficient and less polluting engine technology. We have opted for the 204 BHP diesel engine.

We have named our first California Ocean Basil, to continue the tradition of rather odd boys names! Basil will be available to hire from March and you can take hime on a VW Campervan roadtrip anywhere in Sussex, Cornwall, Scotland or over to France and beyond into Europe.

Check out our new VW California for hire at Paddle Round the Pier on Hove Lawns this weekend

This weekend, 5th & 6th July, for the fourth year in a row, Active Kampers will be showing two of our new VW California campervans from our hire fleet at Europe’s biggest free festival, Brighton’s Paddle Round The Pier. Its a great fun and participative festival – for example try paddle boarding, a try dive or enter the various round the pier events.  We really enjoy being part of it, especially given our love of outdoor sports and water sports like surfing and kayaking in particular.

Its a good opportunity to check out a VW California without any pressure. We’ll be there, laid back but ever willing to show off its many nifty and fine features.

We will be at stand Green 15, in the middle, just behind the big sand pit on the promenade. Come along its a great free event with a fantastic atmosphere.

by Active Kampers VW Campervan Hire

Tour De France Campervan – Active Kampers

tour de france campervan

tour de france campervan

Tour De France Campervan – Active Kampers

Every year we have at least one VW Campervan hire customer, who follows the tour over to France. Using a VW California campervan is a great way to follow the tour and see the breathtaking mountain climbs like Alp D’Huez in the Alps and the 2115m Col Du Tourmalet in the stunning Pyrenees in South West France. Just imagine all those hairpin bends to peddle up! These stages often decide who will ride into Paris on the final day with the yellow Jersey, so are unmissable. If you are fit/brave enough you can try doing the Etape De Tour, which is the day amateur riders are allowed to do a tour stage with all the roads closed as in the full tour. This year its on the 20th July in the Pyrenees, starting in the stunning mountain city of Pau.

This year we have the first three stages in England, Leeds to Harrogate, York To Sheffield and finally Cambridge to London. This adds another interesting dimension. The atmosphere is sure to be great based on the previous occasions the tour has come across the channel.

Tour De France Campervan – VW California

It can be busy following Le Tour, but the self contained nature of the VW California, with its kitchen, fridge, and excellent leisure batteries, means that you can stop anywhere overnight, subject to permissions. In France free-camping (unpaid) is easy, and also each town must provide a basic and very cheap municipal campsite, usually costing just a few Euros. I can recommend some stunning campsites from personal experience too.

So whats stopping you taking one of our VW California’s for your Le Tour Campervan hire this year?

Fancy a European Camper van hire road-trip this summer?

Its fun driving in stunning European scenery

Its fun driving in stunning European scenery

European Camper Van Hire – Active Kampers

Fancy a European Road Trip in a new VW California Campervan hired from Active Kampers? How about camping by an Italian lake, in the warm shade of a tree, or perhaps by the sand dunes of South West France surrounded by beautiful pine forest with miles of cycle tracks, or up in the stunning Pyrenees mountains watching the eagles circle? These are all recent European Camper van hire trips taken by Active Kampers VW California customers in Europe.

With your only worry what to do go next, trekking, surfing, sailing, mountain biking, or maybe just chilling out with a BBQ in the glorious sun. There’s a much better chance you’ll be using the side awning for shade not rain protection!

The South of France is only a day’s drive away from the channel ports. It’s a lovely and relaxed way of going on holiday, no airport security queues, just a gentle cruise through almost empty roads. Why not stop off at a vineyard or chateaux on the way?

Don’t take our word for it, this is what our customers have said…..

“Hi Matt, we just got back from our European tour and I’ve got to say how glad I am that we decided on taking one of your vehicles. Charlie was the highlight of the whole trip as you really have the best of both worlds when you drive around in it. I could drive across the motorways as easy as any other car and not have to stick to the slow lane with the trucks and old-fashioned motorhomes, but was just as capable of getting through the inner-city streets of the places we went or along cobbled lanes too (not to mention the hair-pin bends in Switzerland). Stephen and Andrea, Hove (France, Italy, Switzerland and Belgium) “

“Bertie took us on a fantastic holiday to the Alps and south of France. Bertie drives really well and we had a very comfortable time. ….It was so much better than camping in a tent. So easy to pack up and move on. …Would love to hire Bertie again.” Vanessa & Paul, Hove

Our vans have no limit to the miles you can drive. Make the most of them and take them abroad!

We can help you with your itinerary planning too.

European Campervan Hire and Touring

european campervan hire

June and early July is the time to head out for a European campervan hire road-trip in your VW California from Active Kampers and beat the mid summer crowds. Along with September, you’ll have the camping pitches to yourself, especially in France where holiday times are rigidly restricted to August. Imagine parking up by a deserted surf beach watching the waves sets roll in, or under the shelter of pine trees by Europe’s biggest sand dunes, at Dune de Pilat just South of Bordeaux.

Touring Europe in a luxury campervan is what the feature packed VW California is made for. With its high performance engine, fuel economy, comfort and ease to drive you’ll be speeding past the snail like motorhomes, sneaking under the beach front car park barriers and effortlessly sliding into the small village parking spaces.

We have planned road trips for you to give you a start. How about driving down to Northern Spain via the vineyards and castles of the Loire, sandy surf beaches and mountains of the Pyrenees? Or maybe driving through the stunningly pretty Black forest of Southern Germany and down to the Italian lakes, returning via the canyon of the Ardeche in France?

European campsites are usually fantastic with lovely swimming pools and good quality food offered. I’ve stayed in some stunning ones recently for as low as 10 Euros per night for one campervan. You’ll be getting the VW California folding chairs and table out and extending out the canopy of the awning for shade from sun not rain as in the UK!

Wherever you chose to go, a VW California Hire from Active Kampers in Brighton, Sussex will help you to have one of the most fantastic European touring holidays ever.


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