Surfing road trips are easily one of the best types of staycation. Exploring the incredible coastline the UK has to offer, with no fixed destination and waves on tap. (If the swell is good). Plus if you have a cool camper van with all the home comforts it makes the experience undeniably better!
One of the most iconic van trips and one that is close to the heart of Circle One was undertaken by Jeff Townsley himself, founder of Circle One Surf Co. In the 60’s Jeff had become a skilled and respected self-taught surfer and had saved enough cash to fulfil his ambition of travelling to new foreign surf spots. He purchased the most iconic of surfing transport, a VW split screen camper van, ditched the day job and set off on a European and African surfing adventure with a few close surfing buddies. He spent the next couple of years living the surfing dream, chasing waves in France, Portugal, Spain, Canaries, Morocco and soaking up the local culture wherever he went.
With 2021 forcing us to stay a little more local, it’s worth looking at slightly different holiday styles and UK surf trips. But for the great adventure, you need the perfect vehicle. We think we have found the ultimate surf trip wagon!
We caught up with Ben at Rolling Homes to find out more about their Expedition camper van model.
A little about the van..
The new Expedition is designed to go anywhere. There will be no stopping your adventures with this rugged all terrain vehicle.
This camper has all the equipment and comforts of our whole Rolling Homes range has, but this one has a twist. This Expedition camper will allow you to go anywhere you want. With extra underbody protection, diff locks, 4 motion and many more options, this camper really makes your adventures unstoppable.
What you get:
Side kitchen layout with 4 berths and 4 seats all with 3 point seat belts
Award winning handmade lightweight units, we are the only company using real wood in the UK with Corian work surfaces, industry leading storage space and a fold away table
Fully Insulated camper with eco-friendly sheep wool
50ltr fridge freezer, twin burner hob with neat integrated sink, water tank and pump. Sealed gas locker with regulator and gas safety certificate
75 Amp leisure battery that runs all 12v fitting and ultra-low power LED lighting with full safety certificate
Blackout curtains on a twin track system behind timber window panels and cab blinds
RIB crash tested bed system with two three point seat belts
Deluxe SCA elevating roof, the only roof suitable for two adults TUV and VW approved
Blown air heating system
3 year warranty on conversion and vehicle
DAB touch screen, Bluetooth radio, electric windows and mirrors
SWB VW T6.1 T28 Euro 6 90ps Bluemotion
Bilstein Lifted Suspension
This camper van in incredible! So what about you Ben? How do surfing and VW camper vans fit into your lifestyle?
Basically when I see any free time heading my way I get excited about a trip in the camper van. Even if it is an afternoon off-work I pack myself, my dogs and mountain bike into the camper and head off to the woods to get in some trails. If it is a weekend or longer I pack myself, my wife, our two dogs, our two bikes, my surfboard, her bodyboard and our inflatable SUP (you know-for good measure) into the van and head off to find some waves.
I am a regular guy really, my family business just happens to be Rolling Homes, the VW Camper Conversion specialists. We have established the business through our passion for high-quality design and innovation which has enabled us to create a range of award-winning T6 Campervan Conversions. So when I say I head out in my van, I am lucky enough to be rocking around in the a Rolling Homes show vehicle.
I suppose I didn’t chose the van life, the van life chose me. A major part of that life involved surfing from a young age. I don’t think my dad actually planned on me surfing but I remember popping up on bodyboards, so he eventually caved and bought me a surf board. I surfed all through school and Uni but then somehow life got in the way and I parked my board for a while.
After obtaining the pleasure of rolling around in the show van it immediately reignited my passion for surfing, the freedom and independence you get with a van is quite inspiring. And there is definitely an added bonus of having the creature comforts after coming out the water. A comfortable van, a hot cup of tea or chilled beer depending on the season. It also helps that my newly acquired Circle One longboard fits comfortably inside the van.
Can I talk about my surfboard and my van now?
Right well my board is a 9’ Bamboo Round Pin and I am so excited about it! I wanted a new board for ages and couldn’t decide whether to go shorter or longer. I decided to go long, I am not getting any younger and my days of shredding, (or at least trying to shred), are over. Now it’s just cruising and my days of cruising are very much ahead of me and my Circle One bamboo board is the perfect ride.
My van is a Rolling Homes Expedition camper, (as mentioned above). It’s a VW T6.1 4Motion with lifted suspension, a rear locking diff and sits on some O.Z Racing wheels. Obviously these had to be wrapped in BFGoodrich tires. I have put it to the test many times on so many epic surf adventures and it has never let me down. The truest testament was maybe when I drove it to the Arctic Circle, a trip over a Christmas break and we camped in -40C without a problem! I was even a bit too hot! And before you ask… No I wasn’t brave enough to surf there haha… I cannot wait to get out for more surf trips this year!
Looking for a camper van? Find out more about Rolling Home campers here, or check out the surfboard that Ben rides here.