Caravan waxed and bikes trial-fitted on the carrier.

18 Apr

DCFC0011.JPG

Cleaned all the algae and road dirt from the caravan then painstakingly waxed the whole lot, including the roof. Should be set up now for the whole summer. Glassfibre responds well to wax. It makes it much easier to wash and prevents a lot of the streaks forming.
Then decided to make sure that my wife’s new French bike from Carrefour would fit onto the towball mounted carrying rack. Sorted ! We are now set to head off almost anywhere.
We cannot take the bikes if we tow the caravan unless we find a different rack. Still got to decide if we are keeping this particular caravan first before we commit to another rack. Great for day trips out cycling with perhaps an overnighter (or two ! or three) at our favourite cycle paths.
Going away for Kamper van break very soon. Saw about 8 to 10 lovely VW buses and campervans convoy past on the route to mid-Wales today whilst fitting the bikes. They seemed to have a VW Touareg 4 x 4 as backup. My favourite was a lovely left hand drive Westfalia (?) version . Immaculate in a lovely green colour. Everyone in the whole convoy was smiling.vw westy
Were you in that convoy? Please comment below. We would love to know where you were headed.
We will have to use the trailer board when carrying the bikes. The tail lights and number plate are obscured and we do not want to get any points on our driving licences

Compact, small or Micro?

12 Apr

DCFC0055.JPG

We are consistently getting large numbers of viewings of postings where comparisons are made between the sizes of VW and Nissan NV200 camper vans.

I did an internet search for “small”, “micro” and “compact” camper vans and found massive differences in the interpretation of where the “size” line is drawn.

Compact: “closely and neatly packed together.”
Small: “of a size less than normal or usual.”
Micro: “extremely small, very small in comparison with others of it’s kind.”

So where does this leave the Drivelodge Nevada? Dinkum’s Kamper. The finished package is slightly smaller than the short wheel base VW’s. It’s slightly smaller than quite a few other camper vans. I would place this Drivelodge version of the NV200 into the “compact” description. “Closely and neatly packed together.” It is very comprehensively kitted out. “full size” washbasin and hob, bed compatible with the regs for motor caravan. Fridge freezer like those fitted in most other campervans. Even blown air heating. As said before, the swivel seats open up full use of the cab floor area. Something which cannot be said of some bigger camper vans such as the much loved Bongo.
To all those viewers wondering if they could make the move to this slightly smaller camper van from say a VW version, I would say “go ahead”. It’s a most usable and economical package. Sweet !
As always, ALL comments welcomed!
??????????????????????
The above picture is NOT our camper van. It shows the lovely swivel seats from our German friends at zooom.biz but it does show how much space can be put to good use !

A little more preparation for the year’s travel

6 Apr

DCFC0015.JPG
Our little caravan is currently covered with a light dusting of Saharan sand, blown North in recent weather conditions. This sand contamination is not something new. In my handful of decades of sweet life, I have seen this at least once per decade. The caravan needs a spring clean before we head off in search of sun, exercise and fun.
It was, of course winterised in a clean state and it’s fibreglass body is frequently waxed including the roof which is no easy task. Although in good condition, ideally it would look great with a respray in Nissan White to match Dinkum’s Kamper. Regular readers will know that the caravan has a shower room and toilet which I converted to a wet room so that we can stay on Caravan Club Cert ified Locations (CL’s) where there are little or no facilities.
I searched the internet recently for “all things Freedom caravans” and came across this picture below of a cleverly resprayed Microlite. The sculptured body panels have been painted black to look like much larger window areas which transforms the caravan’s appearance. I love this look. What do you think ? Please comment.
Plus, what a fabulous, customised VW crew cab pick up ! It makes me want to take up surfing again but with my belly, even a belly board would take up too much fibreglass! LOL (secretly shedding a private tear for lost physique…………)

freedom microlite le with respray

Is this vw /caravan combo cool? or is it COOL?
Now, here is a cool kamper:DCFC0052.JPG

A day out in The Peak District

5 Apr

DCFC0005.JPG

Had a lovely day out today to Buxton Pavillion. Another Antiques search for my wife. The weather was dreadful on the road between Leek (in the Staffordshire Moorlands) and Buxton. Very low cloud and extremely poor visibility. We saw far too many drivers not using headlights, let alone foglights. The silver grey vehicles in particular, being very difficult to see until the last few metres or so. Apparently Silver grey is the most popular “colour” for cars. They blend in wonderfully to foggy damp asphalt and no horizon conditions. Should we introduce IQ tests alongside the driving test ? I wonder……..
Had a very pleasant couple of hours at the Antiques Fair, then a coffee in town before heading up to the Goyt Valley and the reservoirs off the Whaley Bridge road , high above Buxton town. We parked up for a sandwich and a read of the newspapers and the sun popped out for a short while. Saw some mountain bikers and some road race cyclists having great fun. Just off the far shore there were a dozen or so kayakers braving the chill. Then as I was photographing the Kamper, one of two yachts turned over and the rescue inflatable attended. You can see the incident in the above picture, directly in line with the centre of the campervan, high up in the image. It was soon back in action, circling the Lake.

DCFC0002.JPGDCFC0006.JPG

The drive home up through the Valley is narrow, twisting and has some unguarded drops on the passenger side. Once marshalled on a 12 car road rally here in the early 1970′s. Now it’s a great place to view wildlife or watch crazy teenagers jump off one of the bridges (against all bylaws of course !) into the waters. Well worth a visit if you like rambling, cycling or just for a picnic. Not quite Loch Lomond but still beautiful to experience.
Almost forgot. On the way down from the Whaley Bridge road to the dam, a hare ran across our path. It looked fresh and full of life. Spring is upon us!

Almost ready to properly commence the year’s touring

3 Apr

david carvey pic of cornwall

This lovely photo of Cornish coast by David Carvey

Pretty sure that this is close to the National Trust beach at Chapel Porth, the home of “belly boarding” in the 1960′s. I watched the solar eclipse from the cliff tops here. A marvellous experience.
Despite being retired, we have had to recently refurbish the second rental property but it’s almost complete ready for carpets. Then we shall probably head off for Cornwall with the Freedom Microlite caravan behind. We can test out the new tunnel tent/awning and see how we cope without cruise control. Retrofit cruise control can be fitted for just under £600. Not convinced if this is worthwhile despite being very desirable when towing in my opinion. Hence this trial run. If it’s a pain, we could still get it fitted before the French trips later this year.
We have been known to turn left not right when actually leaving the village and head for Wales or The Lakes instead of our intended Cornish destination. We rarely book sites in advance especially out of season.
I can taste the seafood from Rick Stein’s chippy already !

Old meets new. Nissan campervans.

29 Mar

nissan vanette cargoDCFC0051.JPG

Whilst picking up yet more building materials on Friday, I met up with a chap driving a converted Nissan Vanette Cargo. I parked alongside and we had a quick chat. His van, a “Star” with raising roof, had a fore and aft side sofa opposite a kitchen with side cabinets on the nearside. It was in lovely condition and he got it for just £2,000 ! It looked a real bargain to me. He had bought a few weeks before and is currently holidaying in Wales for the first time. He had bought an awning for £45 from ebay. The photo shows a similar base vehicle to his. The mid-engine Vanette handles quite nicely. There were two facelifts and even an LDV re-badged version. He had owned classic VW’s before but found the running costs to be high and the performance not so good. Let’s hope that this camper runs as good as it looks. It brightened up another busy unscheduled working day !

Visiting the Diamond that is North Wales

25 Mar

north wales panarama
Yesterday, we visited the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty ( see http://www.clwydianrangeanddeevalleyaonb.org.uk/where-is-the-aonb-/) which was fairly recently extended into Llangollen and beyond. The diamond refers to the shape on the map joining Wrexham, Denbigh, Ruthin and Mold. We went to all four to seek out antiques. On the way home we diverted via the downhill stretch of the Horseshoe Pass, into Llangollen and skirting past one of my favourite ruins, Castell Dynas Bran

castell dinas bran llangollen
castel dinas bran
see marksadler.com
What a superb photograph ! The Castel ruin can be seen in the distance atop the mound. It’s a challenging climb up, so be warned ! I think the photo is taken from World’s End. My father trained in Surveying there and nearby when I was a small boy.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.