An informative Tour of Sussex Campervans, Horsham.

26 Mar

western diner

Got up quite early this morning to replace the Sat Nav. Must have been first through the door at Currys. Even though the route follows some of the London to Brighton route, we did not want to drive down to Sussex Campervans at Horsham without guidance from above. An £80 Garmin filled the gap in my life. We left  London as soon as we could but too late to make a morning visit to Polesden Lacey. We still got to Horsham in time for lunch. We chose a Western “Tex Mex” diner. It reminded me greatly of a little corrugated roof  Bar we used for a 3 week spell some three decades ago. Located at Englishtown, USAF base, New Jersey. The place was rough, tough and a bit of a man cave but served ice cold beer which kept us alive in that summer’s heatwave.

englishtown fleamarket NJ

I cut my teeth here driving a huge V8 Dodge Rental Truck , back and forth, filled with china pottery. The bar , like the Western Diner in Horsham was full of men wearing Cowboy hats. One place where you most certainly WILL NOT find any cowboys is at Sussex Campervans. 

sussex campervans

Based at Graylands Gateway, Langhurstwood Road, this company recently expanded and produces innovative and well thought out, campervan conversions. We viewed, Nissan NV200 versions, Vauxhall Vivaro variations as well as the ubiquitous VW models. All were very well finished, attractive and offered excellent value for money.

With a comprehensive range of textiles and colour combinations on offer, you are spoiled for choice as to whether you remain conservative or go funky with your décor and Pinterest palette.

There’s a lot of skill and  dedicated experience in evidence plus attention to detail and customer responsiveness.

We particularly liked the Vivaro Paradise Twin and Manhatton layouts. A beautifully lime green and very high spec , new version Vivaro definitely captured my imagination. Perhaps more importantly, my wife was also impressed. For her, the upholstery, trim and neat curtains stood out. see the photos below and make your own mind up. Visit their site here http://sussexcampervans.com/

sc vivarosc vivaro in bluesc nv200 onesc vwsc vivaro 1sc vw 2

You can read more about the Vivaro Sportive, built in Luton and supporting British Industry by clicking here https://www.first4auto.com/first-impression-vauxhall-vivaro-sportive-l1h1-2900-16-cdti-biturbo-16v-120-ss-ecoflex  

Another trip to London

25 Mar

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How things repeat themselves. In June 2013, around the 23rd, I wrote about transporting some IKEA furniture to a relative’s, in the unconverted van . I also wrote about the 7 inch screen sat nav I bought, to stand in for the NTec built in version which should have come from Nissan.

ikea drawerssat nav 7 inch screen

Well, we have just repeated the process, this time taking a wardrobe and two chest of drawers to North London. I found out that these are known as “dressers” in “American” which caused some confusion as an English dresser has a table top mirror or , can indeed, mean something else completely……

As we approached the City from the North, the sat nav started to warn me of low battery. The charger seemed to be malfunctioning. The maps were buried beneath mounds of Nordic timber products, so I was a bit alarmed at “human” navigating to the colder side of the River Thames! I had stashed away a multi-function emergency charger from Sainsbury’s petrol station. It did the trick, the new micro USB connecting like a space station power point. I was so pleased. Phew! We dropped off the furniture then cruised past the unexploded bomb site near to the Tower Bridge before heading south of the River for a joint Birthday party and new Baby celebration . A tiring but enjoyable trip in space-ship Dinkum.

 

Solar Eclipse, a sad turn of events and changing visit plans.

20 Mar

solar eclipse

I am always a little superstitious on days such as these. My children, who will never be “hippies” or “spiritual” in any way, think that I am a bit strange, to put it mildly! Today’s sad events, though have done little to dispel the myths concerning planetary interaction with wordly events.cat carriercat on a leash

 

One of the limiting factors which determine our Campervan breaks has been the nervous effects on our beloved pet cat. He can cope with 3 or 4 nights with a daily visit and chat with a kind friend and neighbour who tirelessly serves his catty requirements at home whilst we are away. One way around this is for my son to “cat and house sit” but it’s not always possible. So, we were planning (there’s that dreaded word again….) to train him to walk on a leash like the one shown above see http://tgnp.me/2013/01/why-im-leash-training-my-cat/  and to travel in a super hygienic cat carrier like this one above. Ours is a lovely blue and white. In the past “Edward Scissorhands” did have the odd day out with us in our Trigano Tribute. He did not relish the actual travel bit but quickly settled down to watch the birds in the hedges at Tittesworth reservoir near to Leek in the Staffordshire moorlands. For a cat, he behaves much more like a dog. He sticks right by you, both around the house and can watch me dig in the garden for hours. We were going to take him out with us and see if the low Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) in the NV200 campervan could be tolerated and ultimately take him with us.

snip k and c mod 

Sadly yesterday morning we had to take him to the vets due to his subdued behaviour. He coped well with the trip and settled down both there and back. We were called back to the vets for urgent injections  and again he coped well. We thought that we were progressing towards a cat in a Kamper scenario following his recovery. It was not to be. This morning he was rushed back to the vets and placed in an oxygen “pod” to help him breathe. He passed away within the time it took the eclipse to pass over. As anyone who has been a pet owner will know this a devastating event. A sad day.

cat too much turkey

“The Bear”.  October 2009 to March 20th 2015

Changing your campervan or looking for one to buy?

18 Mar

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We would find it difficult to love our Kamper more than we do already. Recently serviced for the season ahead, it’s ready for use. That does not stop us from keeping our eyes peeled for something else. Something different. More space perhaps? or an ingenious way of radically changing our view of what we want from a Kamper or Motorhome. Very shortly, we shall be visiting Sussex Campervans to satisfy our curiousity. For  a start, they have very recently provided an NV200 to a very pleasant Lady who has been in touch with us. She wanted 24 hour access to a Porta Potti , even with the bed made up,which is a very sensible option in my mind. She approached Sussex campervans and they have sorted it, along with other special requirements. Usually, we visit the NEC shows to keep informed of developments but we missed the last event. We also keep tabs of the pre-used market and often peruse ebay , Gumtree and Preloved to monitor all things Kamper. There is a Drivelodge , Citroen Berlingo conversion on ebay right now which is worth a look if you want something manageable and different  see

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/191538475346    ????????????

Our Drivelodge conversion is an absolute Gem. As converters, Drivelodge do a great job. It’s always good to keep looking around though. Don’t you agree. 

Jeremy Clarkson and camping

14 Mar

topgear motorhome With Jeremy Clarkson in the news. I thought it topical to mention his involvement with caravans and motorhomes. I actually named a business I started “Top Gear”. It’s now defunct ,after a run of over 24 years. Hope that’s not an omen for BBC’s program. Reminding me very much of one of my fellow petrolhead , school chums “JPJ” ., I have to secretly admire JC’s forthright comments. Even though I disagree with some of what he says and does, it takes me back to an earlier (simpler? ) time. microlite balloon They made an example of the Freedom Microlite, actually a Predom N126 version but even that did not put me off. We still have one.They also raced another of my early passions, a Winniebago motorhome racing Their’s vs ours from ages back ????????????????????? I am ashamed to say, that I have been known to get a bit frisky and physical when cornered. My problem is small man syndrome. A response to bullies from childhood, perhaps? (Have you noticed how quiet a yapping ‘lil dawg goes if you let it OFF that protective lead………) What’s your excuse Jezza?

I do hope that we don’t lose Top Gear. A refreshing change from all the PC beige stuff being churned out elsewhere?

ps Jeremy did once say something like ” caravanners are the only people who take a c__p in their own wardrobe” . Naughty but funny. We do need to laugh at ourselves sometimes.

Comments welcomed.

An overview

10 Mar

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Before we can head off to the Capital and combine a visit to Sussex Campervans, we are again carrying out some building work. Here’s a rare picture from on high of our family NV200s. I would much rather be in the Kamper watching the seabirds off Holyhead. As an aside, the policeman in that passing car is a fine footballer, I believe. The team manager was stood alongside me as I took the photo! This post is another diversion ,I a afraid, until we can get in the swing with our travels. We did go on a short trip to an Antiques fair near Stafford on Saturday and Sunday. Were  we were almost scammed? Read more below

isirdi homme au journalisirdi femme journal

At the Antiques Fair, we spotted two large, cheaply framed “paintings” , on sale for £375. In fairness the dealer claimed to know nothing about them. Strange, as they both were labelled as “Gerard Isirdi” with an address in South East France. When we researched on the internet, they were posters costing 55 euros each (£44 approx.) Real value about £120 the pair? Lovely images, I hope that you will agree. A fairly hefty margin though. Be careful out there!

see http://www.isirdi.com/  The Kamper often doubles up as an Antiques “van”. It can also take vast amounts of rubbish and recycling to the tip. I use massive cotton dustsheets to protect the fittings and décor. It’s too useful to ignore.

 

It’s that time of year. Where do you want to go ?

28 Feb

angers evening

I am not absolutely certain but my hopes are, that Spring is in the air. On our walk, yesterday, we saw buds on the hawthorns and the sparrows (yes, they appear to be thriving once more!) were loudly chirping their enjoyment of the extra sunny days. So, putting aside our self induced workload, our thoughts are turning to where to go next. We act on impulse with these matters and at the moment, I feel drawn to our old favourite Camping du Lac de Maine in Angers, France. The 4 star campsite is within walking distance of the scene above. The walk takes you along the footpaths alongside the River Maine, across a bridge and you are there.

camping du lac two

I love the familiarity of the place. We have always found the energy to cycle there and come back fitter than when we arrived. We have met people from all over Europe there. A great place to start the year’s camping season. The site opens on the 25th March. My wife still wants to visit Scotland but our worries over her severe reaction to midge bites does put a dampener on it. There are ways round this, though and so we are not ruling out a trip to the North.

camping du lac

Straightaway, our thoughts turn to whether or not we take the caravan too? Do we travel solo with the bikes on the back rack and take the Tunnel awning? The benefits include faster travel, cheaper ferry and possibly reduced stress? When at Angers, in the past, we have usually NOT travelled out from there, using the site instead as a single resting place and not using the vehicle day to day, preferring to cycle to the hypermarket and into the city centre. I would not hesitate to leave the bikes there whilst visiting the Chateau or the markets. If the weather is on top form, the large awning would be ideal, coupled to the Kamper. We shall see. LOL

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It’s an exciting time. Full of anticipation.

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