Today we have had the warmest of the year so far. Weather is calm and sunny, so I took the opportunity to waterproof the raising roof with “Storm” waterproofer. Martin, a regular contributor to this blog warned of leaking on his Drivelodge roof. We have never had our roof up in the rain and so before we even commence wet weather camping it was time to prepare the roofing material just in case. The “Storm” waterproofer is a clear, water -like fluid which is brushed onto the material. I was particularly careful to get the stitched areas well sealed. The standard of stitching on my roof was excellent. As good as on an expensive tent. The treatment is quite strong in odour (like a solvent smell) and dried quite quickly , meaning some care was needed not to miss any areas. So working methodically, from large step ladders , it did not take long. I removed the cushions and used doubled up dust sheets to protect the felted roof of the cab and other decorative patches. Once dry, it is difficult to tell that the job has been done. The material perhaps feels a little more slippery to the touch. I also took the opportunity to clean and wax the usually hidden painted areas under the roof lip and around the hinges and mechanism. Another job box ticked ! Oh, it took 300 to 400 ml from a litre bottle to treat inside and outside of the roof fabric.
Prior to owning and driving the Dinkum Kamper, I was a little concerned about the 1.5 litre Turbo Diesel capabilities. I need not have worried. Our version has 110ps and 240Nm of torque. It copes with the Drivelodge campervan conversion easily. I have no doubts about towing our little Freedom Microlite Caravan with it. The Whattowcar website indicates a very comfortable towing match.
We used to tow with our Fiesta 1.6Tdci Mk Vii. No worries and excellent fuel efficiency achieving 45 mpg towing overall. Now a close friend has bought a similarly sized caravan to ours with a maximum tow weight of 750kg. His towcar? A nearly new Ford Fiesta 1.0 Ecoboost. It’s towing capacity is listed as 900kg. The engine gives 101ps and a torque figure of 170Nm. the torque curve of this little 3 cylinder engine is quite broad. Much broader than a conventional petrol engine due to it’s turbo characteristics. I shall post reports of my friend’s experiences , towing with this innovative (much patented!) motor. I want it to work well. I love compact solutions and believe this is where the future of motor camping lays.
Until I can find time to insert more dedicated NV200 info., here is a pic of my friend’s E Type jaguar.
He very kindly loaned it to me for several month’s and I got to use it when the weather was warm. My friend lives in the Middle East and is the biggest “petrol head” that I know. Our friendship goes back more decades than I wish to recall. Amongst his fleet of exotic cars (and motorcycles) was this lovely “F” reg open top Jag.
At the time I also looked after three motorbikes for him. A BSA Rocket 3, a 750cc Custom Triumph Triple and a Rotary Norton. I could only ride the Rocket 3 as my perversely short legs prevented me from daring go out on the Norton and I am truly too embarrassed to be seen out on a Custom high barred ‘Bike. Sorry any Harley dudes out there. I admire them but don’t like ridin ‘em.
The Rocket 3 reminded me of the glory days in the early seventies of Percy Tait and others racing at Mallory Park. Oh the sound of the BSA triples at full chat!
Sadly the Jag has been sold to a gentleman in Germany and the bikes are elsewhere due to my home relocation.
My friend came over for a short visit to the UK recently to swap a TVR V8 for an MGC fastback and to buy some motorcycle tyres for his Enfield (bravely ridden in the middle east……. rather you than me “Miffy!”
Although he claims to not like motor caravans, (he did not say that when he lived in our old Minnie Winnie for 3 months whilst his cottage was renovated!) he loved the Drivelodge Nevada. Not what he expected at all. He was chiefly impressed with the overall equipment level in such a compact package plus the finish standard from Drivelodge. Praise indeed from a man used to driving and owning some very exotic motoring names.
Would I swap my Kamper for an E Type Jag? (plus some dosh, of course!). No way !That said what a nice way to spend some time on a warm weekend. Roof down, shades on, loads of torque and sweet handling. And that’s just the kampervan !
Following on from the laptop issues, we have again been busy with unexpected business activity which have delayed this year’s motor caravan plans. We managed yesterday (the first official day of spring) , to drive to Newtown, Powys to visit the Laura Ashley outlet. In Newtown , we and our neighbours as guests, came across the Welsh Historic Rally which actually too place today. We saw a MK I Fiesta, a Ford Anglia and a MK II Escort all in Rally trim. Aaaaaaah the nostalgia! The joy of motoring ! It brought out the “Toad of Toad Hall” in me. Today I have actually been looking at Classic Rally cars for sale on the “interweb”.
Our thoughts also turned to this years voyage abroad. France of course. The pic shows our previous trusty Trigano Tribute adjacent to the River Garonne.
We did a fair mileage on Saturday. Found a lovely pub in Wales run by a Chinese guy and had a lovely pub lunch including huge king prawn, asparagus chicken and garlic with very eggy fried rice. The weather was lovely and shades had to be worn!
The Kamper handled well enough to slide the rear passengers about a little (sorry ladies!) Nothing a bit of Velcro wont put right though. We did not hold anyone up on the twisty Welsh and Shropshire “A” roads. The engine is lovely and free now it’s just bust through 5,000 miles.
Oh the joy of it all ! More soon
I have been without my Laptop for considerable time. I spilled a glass of whisky on the keyboard and 2 replacements later plus a mod to the motherboard and it’s back in use.
In the absence of NV200 news, here is a picture of the type of kart in which I learned to drive (aged 12 years).
The campervan certainly does not handle like a Kart, you would get much closer to that experience driving a Classic Mini, but with decent tyres and alloys, with the suspension nicely weighted with all the camping and other equipment, Dinkums Kamper handles well. It feels secure in the bends with last second variations in direction not causing drama. It is quite easy to produce wheelspin on wet roads when accelerating from standstill. The 110ps SE engine management certainly kicks out the torque. We shall see how a different brand of tyre performs in this respect next time. More posts to come shortly.
Spent the Valentine weekend in London.The trip down took place in constant rain and the spray kept our speed down to 55 to 60 mph.We again managed 60 mpg until the roads became truly running with standing water and consumption rose to around 53 mpg.On the return trip, in sunny,dry conditions,we wanted to get home quickly and so for the first time we cruised home effortlessly at 70mph.We achieved around the same 53mpg.It.s good to know what is achievable driving in different fashions.Not particularly scientific comparisons as we were heavily loaded with 5 internal house doors aboard plus a full tank of fuel going down but much lighter on the return.The Sat nav also says that the Speedo reads a little low.Going to check this out
Sorry folks, my laptop has broken again. My cheap tablet is a poor alternative. Should be back posting more regularly shortly