Passenger swivel. Something to watch for.

9 Feb

marchington one (350x248)
KDR seat rails for for and aft adjustment

In the 1970’s . I used to Rally the Mini Clubman you see above. The car doubled as my road car and my weekend road and stage event competition car. The version seen here was the third re-shelled version. To make it almost bearable for road use, I had to make the passenger seat adjustable for fore and aft. I fitted slide rails to the Corbeau Rally seat so that my wife could sit alongside me, but my co-driver (please get in touch (“SOGGY”)) preferred to sit well back from the roll cage. He was Brilliant by the way and for the record. Thanks Steve ! Anyway, when I bolted the rails up solid, the whole thing just locked up and would not slide. I performed more key hole surgery as this car was a devil to work on. the rails had to be parallel, level with each other and running true together as a pair, to a close tolerance. The much battered floor was anything but perfect and so spacers were made from tubular steel and the whole set up with shims, spacers and washers (HT Bolts essential of course). It took a few trial runs to get it all to run smoothly without sticking.
Apparently with the NV200 I bought, which had no slides, the seat base is less than perfect and Drivelodge had to perform similar shimming operations to get it to function as well as the driver’s set up. Be prepared if fitting DIY swivels. The good bit is, no the superb bit is that we now have twin swivel seats in our camper ! YES!

This post was previously published. Re-posted by request. Please also see the post below for more information.

DIY swivel seats for nv200 Cab

9 Feb

capital seating universal swivel baseKDR seat rails for for and aft adjustment

My 2013 SE dci version has no fore and aft adjustment on the passenger cab seat. We would need a pair of seat rails to convert to swivel seats. The picture above shows just one example of “universal” seat rail from KDR Seating available on ebay. We would also need a pair of “universal” seat base swivels such as that shown from Capital Seating on ebay.
Rails of this type lift the seat by between 15mm for slimline to 25mm for standard rails. The swivel base will add between 35mm to 55mm to this raising the passenger seat by up to 80mm. By carefully selecting your seat rails and base swivel you can lift your seats sufficiently to clear the centre console etc when revolving the seats to face away from the screen. You will probably have to shuffle the seat back and forwards on the rails as you turn the seat to miss the steering wheel and so on.
There may be some drilling to do and possibly some cutting and welding to make a neat job of the swivels.It may take 2 or 3 (or more!) trial fitments and dismantling to get everything to work correctly. You will save money this way but will not get TUV approvals, for example.
Seat rails can have locking on each rail which keeps the seat more secure but means that the distance between the rails is pre-set to cope with the operating levers supplied (different widths are available to suit different seat sizes and designs) Alternatively, one rail is locking and the other is just a slave rail without locking. This means that the distance between rails can vary a lot more but the seat may be arguably less secure.
If you try this for yourself, check all dimensions prior to ordering any parts and if in doubt consult a qualified engineer.
A very quick guide shows that the driver’s seat needs lifting about 80mm which is a 55mm swivel plus a 25mm spacer and the passenger seat requires about 65mm raise which could be done using a 55mm swivel and a slimline pair of 15mm rails.Has anyone got more accurate and proven dimensions please? NB this is only a guide.

This post was first shown on 19th May 2013.

Would you like a New Barefoot caravan to tow behind your Campervan?

5 Feb


Without a doubt, walking Barefoot on warm sands can be a very sensual and enjoyable experience. The all new, UK built and designed, Barefoot caravan appears to be just that. A sensual, curved embodiment essence of caravan. Lovely to look at and definately making a statement at £21,950 to buy. I cannot wait to see and experience one in the flesh. Spinneys near Holmes Chapel is the only distributor currently but next appearance is in February at the NEC Show.


Best viewed here

STOP PRESS   I contacted Spinneys near Holmes Chapel to view a “Barefoot” as the Caravan Club article in their magazine named them as the sole UK Distributor. Spinneys were unaware of the “Barefoot” ???


Just returned from London once more

2 Feb

london zoo tiger

Had a very windblown return trip from London yesterday. The cross winds South of Birmingham were amongst the most suddenly violent I have experienced. We had another long weekend and had two grand tours of the City. Being driven by someone else was a massive treat! Saw many of the big tourist draws in passing. London Zoo was a great experience and despite grey skies, the rain held off the entire day apart from a short spell whilst we had lunch indoors.

On the way down last Thursday, the Dartford crossing bridge had been reduced to just one lane due to a collision. The road  required resurfacing so we took the M11 from the M25 and then onwards via the Blackwall Tunnel. If you are heading for S East London, this can be a viable alternative, I discovered. 

london zoo otters

This bird appeared to be lining up the otters for tuition of some sort. They can all fish really well, so I wonder if it was for a flying lesson?

village nv200

Following a family birthday celebration in Dulwich, I parked up in a loading zone and the campervan came in for lots of interest as we took away helium ballons, booze, food and lovely gifts. I had to give some “tours” of the Kampa and the QR codes even came in for some attention. So, if you are reading this from following the QR code, thanks for your interest!

The pic is historic and not from this weekend.

Getting ready for cycling from the Campervan

26 Jan


Having cut out alcohol completely until my B.M.I. differs from that of the Pilsbury dough man, I have started using my exercise bike to try to get ready for Spring holidays. I have fitted a frame to the exercise bike to take the Laptop and it looks not unlike this Peloton machine above, Except mine is in white. I also fitted a cheap, wi-fi cycle computer, calibrated to the flywheel size to show distance and  speed. Gardening wire can come in useful.I think that the Peloton machine comes with all singing, all dancing technology but mine is much cheaper but screwed together solidly. Essential…. for my “build”

To make it less boring, I listen to music and watch “virtual” cycle trails as I pedal. Up to now I have used my favourite trail around Lac de Maine thanks to YouTube but intend trying trails from Cape Cod Canal and if I can find one, a ride around Mohonk Mountain, NY State.

cape cod canal     Cape Cod Canal

mohonk bike trail    Mohonk Mountain

My kids have challenged me to get into shape for mid-year as a last ditch effort to stave off  “old campervan man” syndrome. How very dare they!

Burn’s Night. What’s on today?

25 Jan


Off to Heanor Antiques in Derbyshire today for one of favourite activities: driving around in the campervan and hunting for that elusive bargain. The Emporium is not too far from Kedleston Hall.

A National Trust treasure in it’s own right but got to check if the house is open in these wintery times.

It is Burn’s night again tonight. I shall be enjoying my haggis in my own non-traditional fashion tonight. Could not get the n eighbours that interested in a full blown party night ( some of them don’t even touch Scotch Whisky!) . A “Dinkum” all day Haggis breakfast for me then and a conventional one for my darling other half. Sadly, no alcohol for me at present, as part of a health campaign.. Sticking to it quite well at the moment!

Talking of hunting. Click on this small picture of an exotic, brightly coloured flying creature seen near  Loch Lomond by Martin. Shoot one of these and you would make millions ££££££

haggis in flight

Out and about. Biodiesel and NV200

20 Jan

flooding river dee holt

Recently visited Frodsham in Cheshire and Wrexham in North Wales. Here is a picture of the River Dee in flood near Holt, close to Wrexham. There was a surprising number of caravanners and motor homes pitched up despite the very cold weather and localised floods. It was so cold after walking around that we left the gas heating on and used the engine heating for just top up. The cab gets warmed from every angle.

With my Master Chemist son elsewhere, our bio-diesel “plant” is sitting dismantled in the shed. Must get it up for sale on EBay. If you are interested contact me via the comments box and I will email the details. Come to think of it, I should post the photos on the Blog. It may be of interest?

I have a couple of hundred litres of washed, dried and processed Bio-Diesel made from vegetable oil, ready to use. All I need to do is pump it into the tank via my super expensive filter system to give a last “polish” before use.

I would use it at around a 20% mix in diesel. Hard facts on the internet are difficult to find and judge but based on past experience with a late model  Fiat 2.3 Turbo Diesel  and the superb economy we got using Bio-Diesel, it may be worth a trial in the NV200. Any Couriers reading this with experience on NV200????

popular mechanics biodiesel

Something like this pic from popular mechanics. Pretty sure that my clean stock would also fire up my neighbour’s oil fired central heating but he’s not keen to try it , even as a test.




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