Archive | June, 2013

Final Draft of Work to be carried out

28 Jun

nissan nv200 dimensions

Description of the conversion requested.

Why “requested” ?
In all conversions, especially where space is at a premium, it may not always be possible to physically fit various bits of equipment in the exact position desired. There is obviously some leeway given to the converter for the job to run smoothly and without too many delays waiting for queries to be discussed.

1.Fitment of a Drivelodge, front hinged raising roof with wind deflector.

2.Cupboards and worktop fitted to offside. (Classic side conversion). Width adjusted to allow for a 2 berth ¾ double bed width.

3.Smev combi washbasin and gas hob with glass lids and cold water tap and pump.

4.Water bottle(s) and leisure battery under the worktops serviced via sliding door.

5.12v Battery charging with 240v electric hook up system. 12v and 240v power points.

6.Refillable Gaslow LPG bottle in ventilated gas cupboard to rear offside.

7.Propex 12v/240v blown air heater under the bed/seat

8. Pull down rear seat with 2 off lap/diagonal seatbelts, converting to ¾ bed for two. Upholstered to match the existing cab seats. Grey and charcoal.

9. Both cab seats fitted with swivel mechanisms. Sliding rails added to passenger cab seat. To be left in original factory upholstery

10.12v LED lighting to raising roof and all habitation area. 12v Spotlights for reading.

11. Black glass to be fitted to both sliding doors and both sides of van rear. Offside rear will not have the metal removed as wardrobe will obscure. Glass purely for appearance and symmetry.

12. Wood veneer in Light Alder to cupboards/worktop with matching vinyl to floor.

13. Full insulation to habitation area.

14. Porta Potti located under bed/seat.

15.Curtains and rail to all glass. “Blackout” curtain material. Grey.

16.Windout awning fitted to nearside. Preferred colour white with grey/silver/charcoal graphics.

17. WAECO CR50 compressor fridge under the combi hob.
Finally, Possibly the front and rear bumpers can be colour coded.

July 2nd is the start for ” Nano Volante” , Dinkum’s camper

28 Jun


Just had confirmation from the converters this morning. I have to take the En Vee up to North Yorkshire on Tuesday 2nd July for the start of it’s conversion into Dinkum’s camper van. It will be named “Nano Volante” from the initials “NV” which means flying dwarf. Dwarf because of it’s diminutive size and flying because it should be swift in character and travels afar. Rail tickets are booked for the scenic return across the Pennines then we are off to France with the microlite caravan to see several stages of the 100th Tour de France.
I shall try to publish the final design draft for the conversion before we go on holiday. The LPG filler socket and connecting hose have arrived. We have fabric swatches as examples for the upholstery and curtains and hopefully it will go as smoothly as these conversions go. Certainly the conversion will be in experienced and skilled hands!

Trying out the NV200 cargo capacity before it’s converted

23 Jun

ikea drawersnv200 cargo space

Hoping to take some IKEA furniture to a relative’s house tomorrow. There are 2 x single wardrobes, 1 x bedside cabinet and a 1 x 5 drawer cupboard. Pretty sure that it will all go in. This will probably (hopefully !) be the last time the “caterpillar” is used as a van before it “pupates” into the “butterfly” of a camper van.(sorry!)
Determined not to do any damage especially after putting a few clumsy scratches on one of the alloys when I removed them to prevent damage during conversion (pupation !) ………….
It will give an opportunity to try out the new Sat Nav in the NV too. Got a sunshade on order for the Sat Nav to help with viewing in the Fiesta. Hope it functions as well in the En Vee!
What is the biggest cargo you have had in your En Vee? Anything unusual? How does your Nissan connect integrated Sat Nav perform? (pretty good, I would think?)

Tried out the new Sat Nav today

21 Jun

sat nav 7 inch screen

My trusty old Medion Sat Nav finally gave up the ghost recently. I just do not want to travel to France without a replacement so I bought a new one from ebay. I just wanted a dedicated Sat Nav without too many other features and so it is a budget PNavi model from China.
I wanted a bigger screen than on the old Medion (which was simply excellent , by the way) so I chose a 7 inch diagonal screen.
It has a choice of two mounts, one for glass using a conventional sucker and one for fitment to some air vent blades.I tried out both mounts in both of our current vehicles. In each case the best solution for such a big screened device was to fit the sucker to the side window (which prevents the tanned arm syndrome if you love to drive with your windows open as some of our contributors do !) and position the Sat Nav across the screen pillar. There is zero obstruction in view in both the Ford Fiesta and the NV200. I positioned the screen at eye level for minimum head turning whilst driving. The mirror views also remain totally clear. Following an initial 12 mile test drive, so far I am pleased with the performance of this super value for money Sat Nav. Need a few more miles and situations before I can confirm these first impressions but for £51 all in, what more can you say?
NOTE: The picture is not the actual PNavi that I have bought. It is for representation only

Have you chipped your NV 200 ?

19 Jun

nissan logo express service

There are tuning chips available from about £75 and appear to be aimed at the lower powered NV200 diesel. The tuning kits go up to around £400 and beyond and offer increases in power to about 105 bhp , increases in torque AND increased fuel economy depending on how you drive. They claim not to be detremental on engine life.
Have you fitted one? If so or if you have opinions on chipping then please comment below.

Saw these as a smart alternative to curtains

18 Jun

lugbuy com blinds

What would you prefer on your En Vee ? Curtains, cassette blinds with built in insect mesh or your suggestions? These blinds at look the business, I think. Perhaps a bit fiddly after a few glasses of red?

Is it going to be the 4th of July for independance to start?

17 Jun


The converters now say another week (or so ) before they can take the En Vee in at last. They have a Kangoo , a Transit and a Suzuki Carry in at present and we are next in line for the full treatment.
I think that the 4th of July will not be far off the actual start time. Just enough gap for us to hitch up the caravan and head for the Tour de France on the 7th July.
A camper van or motorhome is a much better mode of travel , in my opinion, for the Tour as you can head from stage to stage, camping overnight at the superb Municipal sites or the convenient Aires then pulling off the road alongside the stage itself with all conveniences to hand. Not so easy, even with a small (tiny?) caravan. Never mind, at least it looks like some progress should be made before the short Summer is out.

Monday Monday Monday

13 Jun

london cab nv200

Should know for sure on Monday when we can take the En Vee to the converters. Coming home by train and Taxi. Did not see many campervans actually on site in Cornwall. Mostly bigger motorhomes.

Another previous motorhome holiday

13 Jun


Here is another photo of a previous motorhome holiday. We toured the Rhine and the Black Forest in the mid eighties.
The 24 ft Minnie Winnie had factory fit LPG., 3 double beds and all creature comforts. It was a luxury way to camp. Totally different from the forthcoming En Vee !
But, we enjoy our Microlite caravan just as much and the En Vee will be much more convenient to access those out of the way places! The En Vee will certainly do more than 14 mpg too

Returned Home from Sunny Cornwall

12 Jun

audi and musketeer.jpg

Just had a much needed week in our little Freedom Caravan in Sunny Cornwall. The photo shows our very first outfit consisting of an Audi Coupe GT and an old Sprite Musketeer. It shows us parked up (illegally !) in Paris in 1986. We were on a life changing 3 week break to the Loire valley and the Lot et Garronne areas with our two very young children. It was life changing because I decided to leave my very good job at the time and start a whole new career path. Things happen after a camping holiday!
Physically fitted the new number plates to the NV and the donor car today. Phoning for a progress update tomorrow for the conversion. It’s got to start shortly…… shurely????????
I cannot see the campervan being completed in time for our planned trip to the Tour de France on 7th July. Oh hum…..