Archive | June, 2014

A Summary at 8 months

30 Jun

It’s almost exactly eight months since we picked up our converted camper van from Drivelodge. I am posting a selection of pictures below to save scrolling through the archives

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A memorable day on Saturday

29 Jun

kedleston hall

Yesterday, Saturday 28th June, we visited the National Trust property, Kedleston Hall near Derby. The main buildings were closed and huge mobile cranes were lifting, what appeared to be, massive domed roof sections onto the main building.
There was an equally massive Antiques Fair in full swing in numerous marquees , tents and awnings. We saw a tiny vintage caravan , still in use at one stall. There were all types of motor homes, self converted campervans and there was a very affluent looking old gentleman selling jewellery from a huge modern RV.
On the short(ish) drive over in Dinkum’s Kamper, we were not stopped once by checkpoints. No one asked to see our travel visas or “papers”. We enjoyed total freedom to go where we pleased, whenever we wanted.
How different life could become without our armed forces. Yesterday was “Armed Forces Day”. It’s not too late to donate. see http://www.britishlegion.org.uk/about-us/calendar-of-events/general/armed-forces-day-2014

On the way home, with a 1930’s gift tucked away safely in bubble wrap, we stopped for a little shopping. Parked on the supermarket car park was an NV200 Combi. All in black with black windows. It had what seemed to be a Drivelodge raisng roof. It looked very smart.
nv200 combi black

Oh ! It’s just a perfect day!

24 Jun

burghley house facade

Had a call from my daughter and her husband (of one year). Would we like to drive out to meet them halfway at Burghley House, Stamford for a belated father’s day lunch and visit?
Of course! The location was stunning. A gentle drive through Lincolnshire in the Kamper. A pleasant rest from painting the house!
Then, whilst waiting for a delicious lunch of Melton Mowbray porkpie, stilton ploughman’s lunch…….
I found out that we are going to be grandparents for the first time. What great news!
I smiled my way around Burghley. It’s the grandest of all the stately homes that we have been fortunate to visit in the last year. Even a little rain could not dampen the sunny mood
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Above and below are a couple of views from the sculpture garden area
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The Kamper again performed beautifully and we tested the sanitation for a quick comfort break for the first time. Perfect day !
lego grandpa simpson
Remind you of anyone????????

Swivel seats with a difference

21 Jun

3 seater cab

I think that all know how important swivel seats are in a campervan. But what if you have a need for a 3 seater cab? I know it’s not applicable to Nissan NV200 owners but there are lots of cabs out there with a twin seater passenger unit.
Sussex Campervans have come up with a fairly rare (unique?) design which offers a swivelling twin cab seat. It’s so good that I just had to post here. It’s on a VW base vehicle and also features a super engineered bed and much more.
It’s well worth a look! http://app.greenrope.com/c1.pl?86abf92c6c5ffdd1fdde54f2bc9775212b0e05ad07057b9f

Welcome Joe ! A new contributor. see post on June 1st 2014 below

16 Jun

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Had some lovely comments from Joe. Thanks ! It’s one of the most popular topics on the Blog. VW vs NV200 as a campervan?
In answer to some of Joe’s queries: There is a post on the blog comparing internal dimensions of a SWB and LWB VW with the NV200. After a lot of personal comparisons, my conclusion would be this. The NV200 is slightly smaller inside in width, height and length, but it’s not the whole story. The NV200 has a very flat floor from the very front of the cab right through the tailgate. With swivel seats in the cab, this makes for a very usable, occupant friendly layout. If I sit in a swivelled cab seat, I have to stretch out as far as possible with my hand to touch my wife’s outstretched hand when she is sitting on the rear passenger seat. It is a very deceptive “Tardis” experience.
Dinkum’s kamper is fitted with swivel seats adapted by Drivelodge. Drivelodge may be able to quote a price to convert an NV200 cab. You would have to contact them.
Zooom in Germany sell approved swivel seats for a significant £280 per seat . NOT cheap but they are approved. There is a UK importer and a fitting service is available I believe.
There is a post on the Blog outlining ,in part, how to convert you own seats to swivel. Some engineering DIY skills are needed however. Universal kits including swivel mechanisms and fore and aft sliding rails for the passenger seat can be bought on ebay but will need some cutting and carving to suit.
Trust me when I say that even the expensive Zooom option IS worth fitting. It makes the NV200 suitable as a brilliant campervan. Remember, you can get 60mpg ! It is worth the effort!
The Combi version comes complete with glass. You may be able to use the cheaper road fund licence if you use a combi as a base. Very good deals indeed are available if you choose a brand new NV200 panel van. It was cheaper to do just that for Dinkum’s Kamper

Our Current Outfit

14 Jun

snip k and c mod

Picture was taken heading south on the A5 somewhere north of Llangollen. The combination of Kamper and caravan gives us (in the modified Microlite LE caravan) a “fixed” full size double bed if we feel lazy, a gas hob and grill. A kitchen washbasin. Fridge, wardrobe and cupboards plus a shower/wc/washbasin. We stayed at the Caravan Club site, Cae Mawr, Marian-Glas, Angelsey which has no toilet or washroom facilities. With the caravan we can also quickly set up a satellite TV mini-dish which mounts on the nose wheel stem.
The only heating on the caravan is a 900 watt , oil filled radiator which we use in the winter months.
In this context, the Kamper is used for dining, reading and lounging. If it’s wet we can set up a dinette with two small sofas in place of the caravan bed. We have obviously also got access to all the facilities in the Kamper van.
The big advantage for us apart from the shower room /wc is the ability to get off site and use the kamper as a day van, down at the coast. With the low towing weight, low profile and super 1.5dci engine, it’s an economical package for diesel consumption too.

Why “current” outfit? We have decided to keep the caravan alongside the campervan. We would possibly upgrade to a more modern but similarly effective and equipped caravan. If we could find one! The 2014 Freedom twin does have a proper shower and blown air heating but it is a bigger frontal area to tow. The “Going Cockpit” could be a potential unit for me to adapt. Do you think you may know of an alternative to our modified Microite LE?
You can view the shower room on You Tube http://youtu.be/nSRHU2b70-k . We are viewing a new “LE” and a “Going” at Freedom,Stafford shortly. We are testing the Kamper van solo very soon too. Taking the bikes on the Thule tow ball carrier
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Please read this in conjunction with the post below

13 Jun

memorable

1. Watching a Naval Rescue Helicopter hovering on exercise off South Stack
2. Being told that the Caravan Club do not allow LPG on two vehicles on one pitch!
3. Seeing more than a dozen, Dutch registered, Aston Martins on the A5
4.Watching a tiny boy, wearing a cycle helmet, scooting his tiny pedal-less bike along Benlech seafront
5. Telling a Welsh lady, not to apologise for speaking Welsh in Wales! Something to be proud of surely?
6. The beef carvery at The Bull Inn , south of Benloch on the A5025
7. Thumb sized baby sparrows on the coast path in Moelfre. Plus nearby baby rabbits sunbathing.
8. Watching a middle-aged man being arrested in handcuffs at Newborough. What just happened……….?
9. Realising how many millions of year’s old is the Geology of Angelsey.
10. Seeing the jets from RAF Valley flying side by side in the blue skies of Wales.