Archive | April, 2013

Update on expected progress

28 Apr


We are hoping to re-run previous trips to France (which we did in our previous Ducato Trigano) in July, during the Tour de France. We are trying to meet with neighbours and greet them on top of one of the Tour Climbs with a burger! To do this, we need the nv200 well before this, to ensure all is functioning.The photo shows a campsite close to the Pyrenees. We are also going to visit my brother’s place to stretch our legs. Will almost certainly take the caravan too but will await this decision until we have tried the van solo.
The converters should be ready for us this week and we can expect a 2 hour drive then a train trip home involving a taxi ride, two changes of train and a bus ride.Should have plenty of time to complete.
Yesterday, the spare wheel “basket” had well protected threads and ony needed a finger of grease if you are really fussy. Up to now Nissan seem to have considered lots of little details which is encouraging.We noticed that the sliding doors are much quieter to close than on the Ducato we had. This can be important on a quiet, crowded campsite late at night.
If I get the chance, may try the alloys out and check that they fit OK at this stage, so that we have plenty of time to sort out any issues.

Found the camera.So here are some pics.

27 Apr


The anti-roll bar nuts, brake hose fittings and exposed bolt heads will all be getting a dab of protective waxoyl. From experience, it just helps when you come to do maintenance in a couple of years time. At the rear of the van, there are the towbar nuts and bolts and the spare wheel drop down cage mechanism but overall it is pretty well protected on the underside. Just noticed that the Thule towball is removable. More pics and Video Clips to follow now that the camera has shown up.

Perceptions of Space. The nv200.

26 Apr

average human dimensionsperceptions

On Thursday night, the crowd from the pub insisted on seeing the unconverted van so that a “before” and “after” comparison could be made. Some of them simply could not see that there IS enough space within an nv200 to make a functioning Camper Van. We all laughed when one neighbour actually climbed in and lay down on the load space rubber mat to prove to himself that the van was long enough!The nv200 is only marginally smaller than a VW T4/T5 (not the LWB versions) but the perception amongst some is that the nv200 is much, much smaller. I have to tell you that for some strange reason, this irritates me! LOL

Detailing whilst the underside is clean

26 Apr


Firstly welcome to our most recent interested parties, Stefwen,Philippe and Stefaan.
( Have you seen the Freedom Microlite ( aka Predom n126) further down the Blog?)

Planning on brushing a little Waxoyl on a few bright and shiny suspension nuts, bits and pieces underneath the van whilst it’s all still clean and salt free. Not doing a major spray at this point until the converters have completed. Also going to do something which I have done on the little caravan that we tow which works well. I plan to take off the spare wheel from under the van, wax the steel rim and treat both sidewalls of the new Goodyear with tyre protector. This keeps the worst of the road dirt off , in case of a wheel change and helps when cleaning periodically.Will make sure all exposed threads on the mechanism are waxoyled too (if they need to be !).
I shall be treating the spare wheel purely as an emergency, get you to a garage , temporary replacement and limit the speed as you would a spacesaver tyre,which some manufacturers provide. The difference in diameter between the original steel rims and tyres and the new Alloys/low profiles, which will go on eventually is only 5mm and so, I believe that this type of emergency usage is acceptable.
We have chosen the upholstery fabric for the “rock n roll” bed and will put up a picture when I find my camera………….

Bulkhead removed and Converters on standby !

25 Apr


I think I must have had a Spanish weightlifter who fitted my bulkhead. The fittings were really tight,especially for such small diameter threads (!) and I found evidence of “thread lock” compound on some but not all bolts (?). Took my time and got ’em all undone and drilled out the “snap off” bolts to just reach through the heads and they then came undone with small mole grips. All the tips worked, thanks Guys!No scratches incurred !
The bulk head is in two parts, upper and lower with two “baffle” plate brackets which hold the bulkhead to the rear of the cab door frames. Mine is now for sale. It’s painted black at the factory and as new. Apply here in comments! Otherwise going on to e-bay shortly.
Also phoned the converters and awaiting completion of a job on a Scudo next week before our van can be slotted in. Not in a massive rush and willing to wait for a good job by a well respected outfit.Also found a choice of 3 upholstery fabrics to be narrowed down to match in with the existing seats. We do not wish to have the cab seats covered because of the fitted airbags and hence just need to match in on the rear seat/bed.More details on all this later.

Got the van. Very early first impressions.

24 Apr

sade diamond life

In the words of the very lovely and talented Sade: “Smooth Operator!”

The Thule swan-neck towbar was fitted this morning and following a technical hitch with the paperwork transaction, which was very swiftly settled, we collected the base vehicle this afternoon. (The chauffered lift was enjoyable.Not been in a Land Rover for ages. Great fun)

The journey home was only around 50 miles with some motorway but mainly “A” roads. On the standard steel rims and Goodyears the handling is light and crisp, very like a decent modern car. Noise levels were very acceptable (the bulk head is still fitted) and the radio coped easily with road , wind and engine noise.Even empty, the suspension coped well with pot holed roads at legal speeds. No complaints on that front. The engine (110ps dci) and 6speed gearbox offer a very smooth driving experience. It pulls like a train! Plenty of torque (with van empty) at low revs, feeling quick off the mark up to 60mph in 6th gear.I believe in running in an engine with careful restriction of maximum revs until the engine feels to have loosened up properly. It has paid off on my last 2 brand new vehicles with low oil consumption and reliability with performance after a thousand miles or so.
A most pleasant and enjoyable first drive. Already feel sure that this was a good choice of van. I think that I am in love !

Send in your photos and see them “Up in Lights” !

24 Apr


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