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2019 - On the other side of the world in a FAMILY VAN!

By the Tiliky family

In March 2017, we made a slightly crazy decision to leave everything, sell everything and head to the other side of the world. We are the Tiliky family: Titouane (9 years old), Liloane (7) and Kynan (5) and their parents Aurélien and Yvette. A little family from the Haut-Doubs region of France.

So we needed to choose a destination and new lifestyle. When we asked the kids if they wanted to go explore the world, they said, “Yes... But in a motorhome!”

Until that time, we had never really been a motorhome family. Our experience was limited to two campervan rentals in Portugal for the Easter holidays. We loved how the campervans could go anywhere, both in town and in the countryside, and were more discreet than a motorhome. So we started looking for a campervan that would give us the comfort of a little home: kitchen, toilet and bathroom. But vehicles with all of those characteristics and 5 registered seats are hard to find!

We eventually found a Family Van. And we had also chosen our destination: South America! But first we headed off to test the vehicle in Spain for three weeks, which helped us be sure of our choice. We had a rack fitted to the roof so we could attach a roof box as well as extra water and diesel tanks to increase our autonomy. A lithium battery combined with a solar panel, installed just before departure, meant we could bivouac at the same spot for several days without a problem.

In September 2017, our Family Van was renamed Banana by the kids and it has become our home for what we are calling our ‘Tiliky-trip’. We headed out to sea on 15 November 2017 aboard a cargo ship heading to Montevideo. Banana travelled in the hold and we travelled in a cabin. After 44 days at sea, with stops in Africa and Brazil, we moved our belongings back into Banana for our South American tour.

From Montevideo we travelled to Buenos Aires, Péninsula Valdès and even Ushuaïa, and now here we are on the roads of Chili! We have already met some wonderful people and made some great discoveries!

The people we meet are always amazed to see the five of us living in such a small space! But we have well-established logistics and everything has its place. And it’s amazing how much stuff we can store in it!

The campervan has truly become our home and the kids love living in it. From the first time we got stuck in the sand to our first flat tyre, this is what adventure is all about! We particularly love the heating, hot showers and little kitchen. The best thing is the sliding side door, which gives us the impression of having a window looking out on the world!

Having travelled 14,000km, including some 4,000km of ripio (gravel road), we do not regret our choice at all. Campervans can definitely go anywhere, much more so than a motorhome. Banana has faced difficult situations but absolutely survived the formidable South American gravel roads. We still have thousands of kilometres to travel and so many countries to visit...

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