Archive | May, 2014

Cornwall Next. But in the meantime………….

30 May

porsche 356 light metal coupe lem mans 1951

Anyone off to 24 Hours Le Mans in their campervan? Would love to hear of your plans. Or perhaps you are at the Isle of Man TT races. Let us know under comments.
We are just over a week away from heading for Cornwall. Really looking forward to it. The pic shows the Porsche 356 light metal coupe in 1951 at Le Mans. Aluminium bodied, it finished 20th overall. I bought a lovely 1:43 model of it yesterday for just £2.00 and a Porsche 550 Spyder by Schuco for the same money. Just lovely.

porsch 550 spyder
porsche 356 le mans 1951

Another convert to campervanning

27 May

vw t4 campervan

Spotted an old friend today whilst driving past his house near our former home. Pulled up for a catch up chat. He had recently bought a 5 cylinder , VW T4 in white. It had fixed roof, rock and roll bed and side cupboard conversion in a similar layout to Dinkum’s Kamper. The units were nicely finished in white. Two captain’s chairs in the cab with armrests. Looked very smart on new 5 spoke alloys. It looked a bit like the one in the photo above. Different colour and shorter wheelbase. I will try to get some photos from him to post on here.
The last time we spent any amount of time together was at his wedding, which was a fabulous event. Prior to that we had ridden our motorbikes to the Bol D’Or , 24 hours motorcycle race when it was held for the last time at Circuit Paul Ricard in the south of France in September 1998. It was a life changing trip for me. I quit a very good job shortly afterwards and altered my career path for the better. You may read more of this later this year. If you do, it will mean that you have bought one of Dinkum’s first book releases. Hope that you are tempted!
My mate is making more changes to his campervan which I hope to show on the blog.

What a Disaster ? Our Bank Holiday Saturday abandoned.

24 May

prescott hill climb

We spent a great deal of time and effort this week preparing for this weekend’s La Vie En Bleu taking place at Bugatti Owners Club, Prescott Hill Climb.
We got both the Kamper and caravan ready. Loaded down with party food , wine, picnic seats and table, we arrived at Notgrove Caravan Club site (now entitled Bourton on the Water) early Friday evening. A lovely peaceful site in rolling Cotswold countryside.
The highlight of the weekend (so far !(more on this below)) turned out to be a solo visit in the Kampervan with the Microlight caravan left at Notgrove. We returned to a beautiful old pub that we had seen on the run in, called the Kilkeney Inn near Cheltenham. I say “run in”, but the 110 mile journey down the M6 and M5 took a whopping 4 hours due to roadworks and hazards including a diesel spillage, lane blockages and traffic volume.
We had an early evening steak, chips and pepper sauce which was exceptionally good ! One of those memorable meals which pleasantly surprises you. It was that good!

This morning (Saturday) we got up early , feeling the cold and the rain, unpitched and caravan in tow drove the 12 miles or so to Prescott Hill Climb.
Initially we were directed wrongly onto a sloping grass field car park via a farm yard. Due to complications, we had to twice turn the whole outfit around in tight, muddy locations. That over with we then found the main entrance and were directed to “the Orchard” where we were supposed to camp. The flattest part of the campsite (shown clearly on the map above) was all taken up by panel van type motor homes. Very nice they were too.
The entrance to the sloping grass orchard was at the lowest point of the field and heavy rain had resulted in a rutted, muddy, vehicle stopping mess. On a single width, rainy track we had no choice but try to enter. We failed and after yet another turn of the outfit including unhitching the caravan, we returned to a spot adjacent to the Bugatti Trust (Museum). The marshalls then invited us to drive into the top of the orchard which was pretty well stocked with car clubs, tents and misc other campers. The grass was very long, very wet and the ground soft. I declined the offer to get stuck again.
A request to park on part of the motorcycle park was refused. We left the venue.

warthog in mud

With the almost new, kamper covered in mud, we considered dropping the caravan off , back at the CC Site but we did not want to attempt parking on the sloping car park we had seen originally. It would be impossible to have a picnic for 4 there. We returned home.
I think that my mistake was assuming that the public could only camp over on Saturday and Sunday. I did not ask the right questions and effectively arrived a day too late to claim a pitch. Normally overnight camping at Prescott is for competitors only. I have never been to Prescott before so did not know what to expect.
Would I recommend Prescott Hill Climb? Yes I would! The event looks fabulous from You Tube footage. I am just saddened that this year all my plans (and expense) came to nothing. I am not pointing the finger at anyone. Just be careful what you try to drive into a sloping, wet and grassy field!
Highlight of the rest of the weekend. The “luxury” picnic is relocating to our garden pavilion. The Monaco grand prix will replace the enticing Bugatti Club’s La Vie En Bleu. Life goes on! Let us try for a more positive Kampervan adventure next time………..Bother!

New NV200 London Cab

20 May

new nv200 london cab

Early in January, Nissan revealed the new London Black cab. Apparently, Taxi drivers had been complaining that customers were not hailing the Mercedes van cabs “because they don’t look like a cab.”
So the Vice President of Nissan says that their’s does and here it is. I personally prefer the New York version from last year but I do see what they mean. A Cab is a Cab and looks like……. a cab!
Much prefer Dinkum’s Kamper though.
house of japan ny taxiDCFC0051.JPG
Comments welcomed.

“Chickened Out” of going solo this time

20 May

chickened out

Left it a little late to book a single night’s pitch on a decent site and consequently we have reserved one night (to start the bank holiday weekend) without a shower block or toilets.
Thus the caravan is coming with us after all, as we shall be entertaining guests later in the weekend and the other half wants to look her best. So on board shower/ wet room is a must.
With my seamstress wife’s curtains now lined and looking very sharp indeed, (Photos coming), we can properly try out the sleeping arrangements and report back. Should be an interesting and enjoyable few nights.

Deciding whether to keep the caravan or not.

16 May


Parking space at our village home is at a premium. Some of our neighbours have no off road parking at all. We adore our little caravan. For such a small package it offers a cooking space, a fridge, a good sized bed and best of all a wet room with shower facility , toilet and wash basin. It does, however take up a car parking space which we may want to use for something else.
Some of our favourite camp sites do not have shower blocks and if we stay for more than a night or so, then the caravan wet room comes into it’s own. Can a wash basin “wash” compensate?
Having said all that, one of the main advantages for us in a campervan is the pure convenience of not having to pitch up and unhook/hook a caravan. The Drivelodge Nevada, for us, totally fulfils the requirements of a superb all year round day van with full capability to picnic for 4 people. Now we are going to properly test it out to see if we could live just with the Kamper van and do away with the caravan completely.
We have been smitten with delay after delay since taking possession of the campervan from Drivelodge but, at last we have the chance to move forward with our plans and put it to full use.
Over the next few weeks we will be posting updates on how we cope with living in Dinkum’s kamper for longer periods of time. We shall see.

Visitors to this Blog. Thank you!

12 May

QR Code for Blog
The Dinkum’s Kamper blog is getting lots of visitors. The best yet has been an average of 1 viewing every 3 minutes over a rolling 24 hour period.
I have added two QR code stickers to the Kamper to assist passersby to visit the Blog. It will be interesting to see just how effective these will be. The Kamper looks as if it has just received discreet tattoos!
A QR or Quick Response code is a 2 dimensional matrix barcode which can be used to identify anything from a car part or to direct people to a website (as in our case). It can be used by people with suitable phones to take a picture then use the image to open the website.
If we can increase the visitor numbers just a little more, we can put into place the planned changes and improve the content on offer.
Thanks to all visitors ! Past and present. Please feel free to comment
Is your flag shown below? Do you have NV200 Campervans in your country? Please send a picture
world flags

Too wet to spring clean the Kamper

10 May

santabanta monsoon

Had a late (fun and memorable!) night celebrating Kate’s birthday yesterday and planned cleaning out the kamper today in preparation for the next few weekends motorsport events. But……….. wet weather prevails so it will have to wait until a dry weekday. All the waxing has paid off though, at least the rain has washed off the exterior of the Kamper and the caravan.
picture above from

Happy Birthday Kate!

9 May

happy birthday

Today is the Birthday of a dear friend and neighbour. Kate graced us with her presence at our first picnic for four which has it’s own post below in the archives. She is no stranger to Dinkum’s kamper.
She and her husband are coming with us to the Bugatti Owners Club hill climb, La Vie En Bleu.
bugatti type 35c If the planned picnic there goes as well as the first(see post Novemer 2013) then we shall have a superb time! With her liking for sparkling wine , I may nickname her “Bubbles”! Not that she drinks to excess of course, I hasten to add. That is usually left to the males in the party group…………..
Best Wishes for many happy returns Kate !

Biodiesel Fuel and the Renault Euro 5 spec engine

8 May


I have a couple of hundred litres of home produced Biodiesel fuel in storage following a previous project using a “shed” based plant put together with my son (A highly qualified Chemist!)
In the past I have used Biodiesel in Fiat (2003 onwards) and Ford (2009 onwards) engines without problem. We may have had one issue using this biodiesel AND straight vegetable oil/DERV mix in an old Peugeot 106 diesel. The fuel pump did fail on that vehicle but it was at the end of it’s useful life and worth very little.
It is almost impossible to find genuine facts about type of fuel pump fitted to the SE engine. Some bloggers say it is now Bosch but others say not! There were claims made that Renault (who make the engine fitted into the Nissan NV200) allowed up to B30 biodiesel “in some countries”. (30% bio in DERV ). The EU allows up to 7% (B7) biodiesel in Derv (diesel fuel) at the pump, so this must be taken into account.
I am a big advocate for the use of biodiesel. Past experience shows engines run slightly better and more economically. Technically, though, the subject is a minefield of opinion and variability in quality. I am 100% confident in the quality of my stored biofuel but without a lot more research , I am still uncertain whether to build up to around B20 (20% biodiesel mix) in my NV200. Comments welcomed below please. Especially from experienced biodiesel users