From Kate Moss to Tom Cruise, Sir Paul McCartney to Eva Longoria, camping, glamping and sleeping under the stars has been rising in popularity for some time for the world’s celebrities. But some of them take it even further, kitting out their own campervan or motorhome to take to the road. And why not, we say – it’s one of the best ways to see the country and to make sure you’ll always have a place to stay, whether it’s in a five-star park or gathering the family up for some wild camping.
The VW campervan is a particular favourite for the slebs, as we can wistfully see. Jamie Oliver, Richard Hammond and Jenson Button have all shown exemplary taste in buying one of these, even if Jamie Oliver did then soup his up by adding a Porsche engine. Tsk.
Richard Hammond is best known for his presenting role on Top Gear, a programme that can be said to occasionally be somewhat tough on caravans, but he didn’t let that stop him from buying a VW van for a family holiday last year which he described as ‘quite possibly my favourite [holiday] of all time’.
Jamie Oliver is the subject of our most wistful VW campervan envy, as he was paid by Channel 4 to take a VW to Italy on a ‘personal adventure’ before his thirtieth birthday. The six-part series, Jamie’s Great Italian Escape, saw the chef add a specially built kitchen to a 1959 Samba VW for a trip around Italy to rediscover his love of cooking. Nice way to do it, we think.
But there seems to be a thing with chefs and VWs, as John Quilter uses one to search for the country’s best ingredients (and surfing spots) when he has time off, while Martin Dorey, of the BBC’s One Man and his Campervan, uses his to drive around Britain sourcing and making local dishes for his Camper Van Cookbook.
Meanwhile Formula One racing driver Jenson Button is well known for his love of the VW campervan, driving around in a 1966 VW with Lewis Hamilton in 2010 to give out free tickets to the Formula One British Grand Prix. He also owns a 1956 model and makes a point of joining in with the camping at Silverstone for the Grand Prix.
Other celebs who enjoy a spot of campervanning include Dolly Parton, Matthew McConaughey, the Beckhams and Robert de Niro, although ‘campervanning’ may be stretching it a bit.
Robert de Niro has a $2 million RV which he uses on film sets as his dressing room and make-up area while filming – there should be plenty of room as the RV is three storeys high (and has 11 plasma TVs). And David and Victoria Beckham regularly take to the road in a top of the range motorhome to get away from it all and escape the spotlight.
‘People might find it hard to believe, but it's a simple pleasure they both enjoy enormously,’ a source close to the couple told a UK newspaper. ‘Their lives are so hectic that it's a rare chance to forget about Brand Beckham and concentrate on each other.
‘They just arrange for the kids to be looked after for a few days, hit the road, and get back to nature.’
Sadly a motorhome along the lines of the one Posh and Becks has will set you back around £260,000, although we can but dream…