Lightweight, Pop-Top Caravans with all mod cons.

12 May

eriba eribelle

The Freedom Microlite is now cleaned and serviced, ready to go again. I have not managed to be as thorough as usual due to a still aching arm following a fall from the roof of the caravan. I have also re-kitted the cab curtains on the NV 200 Kampa. We have been thinking of “updating” our 1996 LE but searching around for a low height caravan which will not obstruct our view of the Village Pool has not turned up many options. If you add in a shower room then the choice falls even further. We did come across the Eriba Eribelle similar to that shown above behind a lovely VW campervan. The layout is similar to the Freedom LE Microlite but has what seems to be larger washroom with more headroom in the “potentially” shower area. Having done it once, I could fairly simply fit out an Eribelle with a more plush shower/washroom. Would love any feedback from Eribelle owners. Just click the comments button beneath this posting please.

Did see the picture below of a proud owner Cleaning His Roof !!! That got my danger alert sounding ! But it has to be done.

eriba eribelle roof cleaning

Please see their website  at   

http://erisistibelle.blogspot.co.uk/2011/08/eribelle-glimt-van-plezier.html

We also liked the new TAB 400L but it would block our view from the frontage of the house. I do not like paying for storage as I think it defeats the object somewhat of value for money holidays.

What do you tow behind your campervan?

 

A new conversion commences.

9 May

mikmel 1mikmel 2

Some time ago, a contributor wrote in with plans for campervan conversion based on an NV200. The couple have now sent in their first pictures of a very high spec NV200 Combi Acenta which they collected a short time ago. Their plans include leather cab seats and a list of goodies for the habitation area which are tantalising ! This is going to be a NICE ONE ! The convertors are Coast2Coast who appear to have focussed previously on VW base vehicles. We have been promised photos of progress with this metallic black beauty! It’s a 110ps engine with air con., all the airbags, a built in sat nav., 6 speed gearbox and the lift up rear door which comes with the Combi. Although more expensive to buy than an NV200 van, the combi has road fund licence of £130 per annum compared to the £200 plus for a van. This should carry over once converted. Thanks to Mel and Mik ! Watch this space.

Currently there are several convertors promising photos of their versions of NV200 campervans but they are at different stages with some being self conversions, taking some time to complete. It’s a niche choice at present, but demand for these super compact Kampers seems to be gaining momentum!

Freedom Caravans moving to Little Haywood

7 May

snip k and c mod

We were passing through Stafford today and called in at Freedom Caravans to have a nosy at the latest versions of our own little “LE” model which dates from 1996. We were surprised to see that they are well under way in moving to Haywood Garage, Main Road, Little Haywood not far from Stafford. Apparently their telephone number will remain the same as previously according to posts on Facebook. The current site is being taken by ALDI supermarkets for a new store.

see

http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2015/01/09/30-jobs-for-stafford-as-new-aldi-store-gets-go-ahead/

and

http://www.haywoodgarage.com/contact-details-c7.html

Some more pictures from Cape St Vincent, Portugal

7 May

photo 4 One of our most frequent and well respected, contributors pictured in front of a matching pair of Panel Van conversions at the most Westerly point in Europe. Loads of French visitors again reported. photo 3 Another picture of our perfectly proportioned friend sitting on a giant chair outside the visitor centre. Before you write in, Daz, I know that “Dinkum” does indeed resemble this scale when sitting on a normal dining room chair………   That’s why we are so very comfy in our Microlite with the Pop Top Down………… photo 5 This “overlander” almost certainly provides for a huge habitation space. A good DIY-er can put together a super low cost motorhome using a 7 1/2 tonner  if you can cope with the “new age traveller” image. Not sure how well received you would be on some Caravan Club sites that we have experienced! I love the “Ice Cold in Alex” feel to it ! But, each to his own. One of the pleasures of using a campervan is the travelling itself. I enjoy driving and I think that it would be great fun to cruise down across France and Spain to Portugal. Seeing the sights. Stopping for lunch with the roof up and a sunny picnic, calling at village shops and trying new foods as you go. Not to mention the wines , beers and local liqueurs as you go. Pitch up early and relaxing for the evening. Swapping stories with fellow travellers (that want to “mix”. Some don’t and that’s OK too !). Being retired helps and allows this type of travel. We should count our blessings and enjoy!

A message from the Algarve

4 May

algarve motorhome park one

We received a video and some pics from a highly respected contributor from the Algarve Motorhome Park in Portugal. Here is an example view which comes for just 8 euros per night. They had met up with a couple from Derby who were full timing and had been there since September. How nice is that? There were lots of French visitors on-site too. One was towing a vintage 1940s (?) Renault 4CV:

photo 1photo 2

We only managed to travel to Frodsham and Sandiway in Cheshire yesterday. We had a great time but would much prefer to be in Portugal. A place we have never visited but now seriously considering making that move after hearing from our web buddies! Makes our efforts yesterday look a bit tame. LOL

 

What turned you towards Camper vanning?

2 May

summer holidaygypsy-caravan

I am old enough to remember a super TV series called “Out of Town”. Featuring the late, great, Jack Hargreaves, week by week you would be shown the old country crafts and ways of farming and nature. In some footage, Jack is featured, either walking with a pack horse, riding in a 2 wheeled trap or travelling the green lanes in a gypsy caravan. The final shots at twilight of a kettle hanging over a log fire with Jack and his dog relaxing in the countryside just made me want to travel too.

We could not get away this weekend as my shoulder is not yet recovered from my accident so my thoughts are elsewhere. I hope that you enjoy reading.

Daniel at Sussex Campervans recently sent me footage of one of their early conversions the “Summer Holiday”. Inspired by Cliff Richard’s 1960s film of the same name, I too was motivated to travel by that naïve but fun , movie. Whilst growing up, our family holidays usually involved a tent, a caravan and/or a motorhome or campervan. We were once visited by a United States Army Sergeant, Bill Briggs. Stationed in Germany, where he met my father through the Boy Scouts’ Jamborees , before retiring back to the U.S., he toured Europe and the UK in his Winnebago Brave like this one:

winnebago brave  050719-M-1834M-001

Although quite ugly, this motorhome took Bill and some of his family all over England and beyond. It looked massive on the driveway of my parents’ small home. It all just fuelled the fire…………. I was smitten! Sergeant Briggs used to wear a hat similar to this shown above. He may have been a training or drill Sergeant in the Marines? Strike a cord with any readers out there?

Going to try to polish the rest of the caravan with my left hand. I would give my right arm to be ambidextrous………………  (sorry !)  Please feel free to send in your memories and why you are a fellow “camper”.

ps   we currently await news of completion of at least 4 x NV200 conversions with photos promised from some very pleasant blog followers. Really looking forward to passing on their experiences.

 

 

A Health warning and a Denial (tongue in cheek!)

30 Apr

freedom microlite airship

Please read this in conjunction with the post immediately below.

Firstly, a big thanks to Libby and Martin for their kind comment.

The picture above is the Top Gear team flying the continental version (Predom N126) of our Microlite LE caravan beneath a superb Lindestrand “airship”.

The Denial: I have not, despite some suggestions from “friends”, started a new Xtreme Sport AKA Caravan  Base Jumping!  Plus: the holding up of  marking cards is just not  funny!       

  BASE-Jumping-at-Navagio-Beach1(Pic thanks to http://www.xtremespots.com/free-fall-sports/base-jumping/navagio-beach-zakynthos-island-ionian-islands-greece/  )

This courageous young man now makes me look like a scaredy cat!  Although I used to periodically work at heights up to around 1,200 feet (holes in the ground. don’t ask……) and having witnessed far too many accidents which make my own look very silly and trivial, I can no longer even consider a harness and safety chain. I could not do what this fella is enjoying.

As soon as my right arm is fully functioning again, I am going to remove the shiny cream, “skunk” stripe from my caravan roof by completing the polishing. Luckily my arm is strong enough for me to hold a glass of Vino for the weekly neighbours’ get together this evening.

Let’s be careful out there!

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