Delia is a beautiful rhubarb and custard camper from 1972. She’s bright and airy Dormobile conversion and, in camper terms, a dream to drive, with a cute, characterful horn and a wide bus-style steering wheel.
Delia was a TV star in a previous life, acting as home and transport for Rory McGrath and Paddy McGuinness in Channel 5’s Rory and Paddy’s Great British Adventure, and its follow-up, the Even Greater British Adventure. None of this has gone to her head, though; she’s a sweet-natured and very attractive van for a more glamorous bit of camping.
She’s got loads of floorspace when the rock and roll bed is folded back into its seat configuration, so if you have trouble packing light, she could be right up your street — especially if you plan on sleeping upstairs in the flowery pop top using the two sturdy canvas bunks.
Another two can sleep downstairs in the comfortable, fold-out double bed, and if you’re travelling with infants that still leave space for a moses basket on the floor between the bed and the front seats.
The exterior colour scheme is carried through to the inside where the seats were re-upholstered in the last couple of years, and the drivers side of the van is given over to a generous working area for preparing food. There’s a double ringed gas hob and a sink with an electric pump, so you don’t need to manually pump the water yourself. (As with all camper vans, the sink is good for washing up but we would recommend using bottled water for brushing your teeth.)
With the top popped up and the bunks rolled back into their storage positions to each side, there’s loads of room to stand while cooking, so you won’t spend the whole of your break bending down.
We supply you with a kettle, pans, cuttlery and crockery, so you have everything you need to eat inside the van. There’s a neat stowable table that slots into place, and a fold-down seat behind the passenger seat, which means you can sit on either side of the table for more sociable meals.
If you want to take her out in the cooler months you’ll be glad that she’s been fitted out with an integral gas heater that circulates warm air around the cabin to keep you snug without having to keep the engine running.
She also has a leisure battery that puts out enough power to charge gadgets like tablets, phones and GPS devices, and of course there’s an electrical hookup that will take mains power from your chosen campsite right into the van itself. Once connected you can use regular three-pin sockets to power mode demanding devices like laptops and radios.
There’s a built-in radio with CD player and auxiliary jack to keep you entertained on the road, playing out through a decent set of speakers set into the space below the back seat to fill the rear of the van with sound.