Berta at 2,000m at the Mirador Fuente del Chivo, Cantabria.
For those of you who are fellow campervanners or aspire to be, as we did for so long, it might be of interest to know a little about Berta herself. She’s a 2010 Fiat Ducato Sun Living campervan and we bought her second hand from a very nice guy in Galicia in March 2017.
Before buying her we had to make all the classic decisions, like all first time buyers I guess. Fixed bed or foldable bed, to stand up or not to stand up, toilet or no toilet, shower or no shower, L2 or L3, H2 or H3, less km or cheaper, etc etc, this list of considerations is endless. We both agreed we wanted a van rather than a motorhome, and we wanted a fixed double bed. Gonzalo was pretty adamant that we needed to be able to stand up and that we needed a bathroom, I wasn’t so sure, and as this seemed to be one of the biggest influencing factors we decided the only way to find out if we needed one or not was to rent before we bought. This was without a doubt the best thing we could have done and we’d highly recommended it – it’s well worth the expensive hire costs to settle any doubts. So, we rented a very similar van to Berta from Caravaning Cantabria in Cartes, Cantabria in December 2016, and quickly discovered that a) we loved it and b) Gonzalo was right, we did indeed need to stand up and have a bathroom!
To give another couple of perspectives on renting before buying, friends of ours rented a large motor home to tour Portugal before buying, and ended up buying a Vito as they felt it suited them better, and Gonzalo’s brother bought a small motorhome without renting anything first, and quickly decided it was not for him in general.
So, post rental, we knew what we were looking for, and in some ways that made the search more difficult, as we had high expectations! However, it also meant that after 3 months of trawling websites at all hours of the day, we knew when we saw her that she was the one.
She had some added extras already on board, a Fiamma bike rack being the main thing, although we’ve actually taken this off now as we don’t actually have bikes! Since buying her we’ve added a Fiamma roof rack for Gonzalo’s longboard (Fiat Ducatos come with fittings for this, which made it a lot easier), and we’ve recently forked out for the Fiamma F65S awning which is designed to fit into the roof rack – so no holes. She doesn’t have solar panels yet, but after fitting her with a new second gel battery, we haven’t yet felt the need for this. Next on our list will be some kind of mosquito net for the main door, and possibly in the future the Remi window blinds for the cab. We now spend a lot of time on van accessory websites dreaming away!
So tech spec, Berta is L3H2, and for those of you who are curious to know Berta’s internal layout, I always was when searching (I’m a map fiend and this counts as a map for me!), here it is: