So once you’ve leveled up as a larper, what kind of vehicle do you go to events in? Estate car? Van? Bedford Truck? What kind of reasonably priced automobile do you recommend that can handle a bit of mud and carry everything you need for an event?
Ford Focus Estate. Surprisingly tall inside, comfortable to drive. No lip on the boot so you can haul stuff in and out easily.
Please note whichever vehicle you take the amount of kit will fill the available space. Having a packing plan at least in your head, with the things you need to get to first where you can reach them is useful. being able to pull your tent out while you leave everything else in the car is good if it’s raining.
Nissan X-TRail. Has handled all of the sites and all the weathers so far. Crazy amounts of room.
Skoda Fabia. Small enough to be drivable in a city, big enough to store two people worth of kit, set dressing, tentage and assorted weapons. Also incredibly fuel efficient.
Renault Kadjar with a roofbox.
Ford Fiesta with a roofbox.
The back seats (at least the main seat cushion) of many cars can be taken out pretty easily (mine are held in place by 2 bolts that have odd shaped heads, but a £2.50 screwdriver bit set sorted that out). This adds a surprising amount of extra space, especially in small cars. (On the fiesta the big advantage is it lets the seat backs fold down completely flat, which gains me a huge amount of extra room)
I used to have a Ford Fiesta 59 plate which carried all my gear (Carp fishing bed) a few boxes of kit, cakes, me, 4m bell tent. But did worry about the car grounding out on the field as they groves on the road get DEEP. Now have a Dacia Duster but not field tested yet, although a few friends have and said its a dream.
These days, Vauxhall Meriva. The back seats fold down individually, which allowed for Small 1 in one seat looking puzzled at the tent etc packed next to him.
This model was described to me by the salesman as “a small car impersonating a big one”. It’s got a large boot space.
Now with roofbox (NOT a Thule, thank you… ), because Small 2 is occupying a seat. May be able to fold down central seat section to allow tent poles/ camp tables to slot in there, but the roof box allows space should allow for space taken by Small 2 and accoutrements.
A roof box sounds like a good idea. We camp IC and my Fiesta tends to need three trips to properly carry all that three of us need for IC camping.
Skoda Yeti 4x4, plenty of room (rear seats are removable) and the confidence to get on and off the field.
Not larp’d yet. But after 13 years of reenacting I now drive a Renault Master LWB. Because all that kit and a full medieval camp takes up a lotta space!
And I still have room for a tonne bag of firewood too.
If you need to specifically get on and off the field at Anvil, then a 4x4 plus winch wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Alternatively learn how to drive in muddy conditions and ask for help if you get stuck. The smell of burnt clutches lingered well into time in at one event last year.
I have a nice SUV with decent torque and a roof box for reference.
I rent a combi-van for myself, or a larger van if transporting my stuff, plus others of my group.
I confess to needing so much transport space because I’ve got a weakness for camp and tent dressing, it’s one of my little joys, even if it is a bugger to set up and take down, it brings me PRIDE.
So far I’ve been making do with a small hatchback, but it’s far from ideal, and nearing the end of its life anyway, so I’ve done some careful looking at options for replacement.
What I want doesn’t seem to exist.
Almost all cars, even rather big ones, have an official maximum payload of 400-500kg, and I worry that a lot of us might exceed that when loading up for Empire.
I want weighing built into the suspension so the car can tell me how much it’s carrying… it’d be a tiny extra cost to manufacture a car that way, but a big expensive effort to add it afterwards.
“Normal” ground-clearance seems to be enough (no need for “serious off-roader” amounts) but it’d be nice to have suspension that adjusts to the heavy load and keeps the vehicle at its normal ride-height. (There are various kinds of air-suspension that do this, but it’s not common.)
The passenger version of the Fiat Doblo (short wheelbase version) comes close to what I want. Good points:
- Carries close to 1000kg, depending on model.
- Lots of space inside.
- Not impractically big on the outside: I’d be reluctant to go bigger in any dimension.
- Because it has rear seats and rear windows, the National Speed Limits for cars rather than vans apply: 70 vs 60 on dual carriageways, 60 vs 50 on single carriageways. (Rear seats can be folded or maybe removed… or perhaps even used by passengers occasionally.)
But other things I want are:
- 4wd that copes well in the mud (and for mud I’ve wondered about something like snow-chains rather than driving long distance on knobbly tyres).
- Electric (preferably able to cover 450 miles without more than an hour of charging-stops).
Some others I wondered about:
- Cabover-style Mitsubishi Delica: good off-road (4wd very like the Pajero), lots of space (can carry a 4ftx8ft board), good outside dimensions… but low payload (400kg), inefficient on fuel, and old (they’ve not made that style for years).
- Skoda Yeti: also a bit old now, capacity fairly good, payload not so good.
- Nissan e-NV200: a bit too long, electric but the combination of range and charging-speed could be frustrating, not 4wd, good capacity, payload between a normal car and a Doblo… not sure if it’s available as a passenger or dual-purpose model or only a van.
Finally, a tip that might be useful: removing the front passenger seat can make a huge difference if you need to fit a big long thing into a car. I used to do that to fit a bike into an old Mini (proper little 20th-century Mini, not one of the big Maxi-sized 21st-century things that appropriated the name but don’t deserve it).
Oh, didn’t know you had another! Sorry to’ve been so out of touch.
I was going to be in a ford focus, till it died. Now im using a Kia Ceed. Will let you know how it goes, has plenty of space for me and my kit, also one or two passengers if packed well.