Archive | July, 2014

A scorching time in Cornwall

30 Jul

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Just returned from a very sunny and hot Cornwall. We did over 360 miles just visiting all our favourite spots. This is the 250th post that has been published!
Perranporth was packed with VW buses of all types and eras. Wonderful stuff.Living the surfer dream. We caught a well supported Marie Curie Classic Car event at Trewithan House. I bought a tasty Alpaca burger. Highly recommended!
The camper van was recognised by at least two passersby. One, a delighful lady in a tiny bikini hoped that we had fire lighters onboard, for her barbeque at Chapel Porth beach. A pleasant young man found us munching fish and chips on the large car park at Mevagissey, drinking alcohol free beer with the roof up. He was intent on buying an NV200 camper van as his next vehicle.
Also contacted on our return by a chap who has just bought a Lunar Vacanza!. Hope that he responds again with lots of details and pictures. You can see his comments by scrolling way back to the Alloy Wheels post last year.
On the way home we had a young couple in an all black VW transporter camper, photo our QR code and we were viewed online on the M5 roadworks! Got lots of smiles and laughter in their cab. Hope that it was supportive!

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Saw this delightful little toddler with his granddad at Falmouth Harbour. He got into the row boat by himself and new exactly what to do, positioning himself carefully in his favoured seat at the transum.
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Another lovely glimpse of Falmouth
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and my wife says that I am moody…… Just look at these clouds above The Beacon, St Agnes after a full week’s very hot weather. There were lots of tourists from the Netherlands and Germany enjoying the best that the South West can offer. We came across two Dutch 4 x 4 overlander adventurers in a narrow lane nearby but did not manage to get a quick picture. Their camper vans looked as if they had just returned from Morocco!

No, it’s Cornwall next. May be France later.

18 Jul

snip k and c mod
Another change of plan. Told you that we lead an unstable (exciting……..) life.
Stuck the infamous Freedom caravan roof lining back in place on our Microlite LE. The headroom is low enough as it is without sagging felt around one’s ears.
Booked a site close to Chapel Porth, North Cornwall. Cameras at the ready when we return as no Wi-Fi where we are pitched.

Where to next?

15 Jul

monbazillac
Regular followers will know that we frequently get bogged down with building refurbishment. Delayed once again due to painting the outside of our cottage, we will not manage to get to Cornwall before a trip to France beckons. On the 25th July, this year’s Tour de France reaches Bergerac. I am trying to convince my other half that it’s worth the extra mileage to go. Monbazillac is famous for it’s very sweet white wine. Adjacent to the vineyards which produce Sauternes dessert wine, Monbazillac is a super wine. Nice on Christmas day to start the ball rolling!
chateaux monbazillac
We first visited the area in 1982 with our two very small children. We stayed at Henk’s Camping Les Ormes in Villereal not long after he opened, I believe. Delightfully Dutch run….. What a great camping experience! The surrounding fortified towns just defy description.
tour de france route
If the OH agrees, then the plan is to see one stage near the finish in Bergerac and then enjoy a full day at the side of the next day’s time trial route in the Kamper van. Better book that ferry…….

La Fete Nationale. Le Quatorze Juillet. Bastille Day !

13 Jul

bastille day paris
Bastille Day has become a day of celebration of French culture. A topic close to my heart! Just hours away from the French holiday.
Can Can dancers perform in New York below in previous years

bastille-day-60th-street ny press dot com
With Tony Gallopin in Yellow on Le Quatorze Juillet it’s going to be another big day! We were in Angers at this time last year. The music from the City could be heard above the massive fireworks display from the campsite at Le Lac du Maine. The celebrations were magnificent.
Germany's Tony Martin celebrates as he c

We heard on the UK Motorhome grapevine today that an electric NV200 campervan will be seen shortly. How revolutionary is that?

nissan eNV200 concept

please visit http://www.conceptcars.com

see http://www.nissan.co.uk/GB/en/vehicle/electric-vehicles/e-nv200/discover/main-features.html in UK or

in lovely France http://www.nissan.fr/FR/fr/vehicle/electric-vehicles/e-nv200/prices-and-equipment/prices-and-specifications/prices-and-specifications-evalia.html

Bon Fete !

Midlands Motorhome Sale, Stafford Showground

13 Jul

hillside dalbury
hillside dlabury layout
Just returned from the Motorhome Show at Stafford. For me the outstanding vehicle on sale was, of course, an NV200. The Dalbury from Hillside, Derby. First shown at the NEC Show in February. It’s a super, nicely finished conversion at a very keen price indeed. see http://www.hillsideleisure.co.uk/
hillside dalbury review video
We were shown around the Dalbury by a very pleasant gentleman from Derbys., “m’duck!” but you can see a video review here http://youtu.be/ZKAklxE9DNk

Noise Vibration and Harshness

9 Jul

nvh

picture from http://www.fev.com please visit

We ran the tyres in yesterday. After having the tracking checked and reset for a significant £47 we had a lovely day delivering birthday presents with a late evening visit to IKEA thrown in.
The Kumho tyres from Hot Hatch Corner are without doubt much quieter than the previous set. There was less “bump/thump” over road deformities too.
My wife noticed the reduction in tyre roar and commented that the wind noise from the mirrors and door seals (?) was the main source of noise following the tyre change. Overall it made for a much quieter and restful drive. The roof strengthening , internal body felting and campervan trim all help reduce travel noise and it’s now a very pleasant experience indeed. Not that it was too noisy before but now even better!

NVH or Noise , vibration and harshness is a complex engineering subject which is often used in the context of vehicle travelling experience. Noise comes from the engine, the wind shear, tyre roar and chassis/body shake, rattle and roll. The less NVH., the less tiresome the trip. The more luxurious the experience.
Tyres are now rated under Europian rules with regards to wet grip, noise generation and fuel economy
Example below
Tyre-label

Disaster avoided. Just ! Tyres renewed

7 Jul

kumho tyres
In the last couple of days, I noticed that the front tyres would spin up on damp , uphill starts. Worse, I noticed a hot rubber odour when we pulled up after a short, low speed journey. I immediately checked the tyres and pressures and topped up just one rear tyre. The front tyres were getting close to the depth marker so today I had them professionally checked out.
Hot Hatch Corner confirmed that the 2 front tyres needed replacing. One rear was OK but the other near the legal limit. With a possible two to three thousand mile continental trip looming, I had all four replaced.
wheel alignment
When the tyres were removed it became obvious that one front had a small patch down to the wire casing !!!!!! I often check the treads and pressures , so I must have been repeatedly unlucky when stopping with the patch out of view. I felt very neglectful and embarrassed.
For a little more comfort we swapped the 205/40’s for 205/45 aspect R17 XL rubber. On the way home, the ride was a little more comfy and less tyre noise. Running them in for 100 miles at maximum of 50 mph and will see if this first impression bears out.
It’s booked in for a full, four wheel alignment check tomorrow! The first set did 9,460 miles.

Tour de France Update

6 Jul

tour de france crowds
I could not bring myself to show pictures of “Cav’s” finish line crash………….
I do not have many heroes, but he is one of mine. Devastating !
Instead, just one picture of the amazing number of spectators lining the entire stage mileage. Let’s hope that the Tour of Britain, in September is supported equally well !
How did all the spectators on Holme Moss and other moorland climbs get there? There is significant omissions of the motorhomes normally to be seen in France. Parked off road alongside the route, they provide much needed spectator comfort and convenience.
The roads in Britain are very different indeed from those in most of France. We have had to cram a lot of viewing into just 3 stage routes too.
A motorhome or campervan in France makes spectating there a real pleasure and of course, a huge privilege. What a great start to this year’s Tour! (Except for our hero, Cav., of course!)

Tour de France 2014 starts tomorrow in Yorkshire

4 Jul

tour de france stage two
This year’s Tour de France starts tomorrow in Yorkshire. The second stage comes closest to us at Sheffield. It looks to be a huge carnival weekend ahead !
motorhome in the alpes
Are you one of the “motorhomers” or campervanners who brave the narrow mountain roads of the Alps or the Pyrenees to spectate? Are you prepared to give away your favourite locations for viewing in the comments below? How long before the race arrives do you park up? Come on someone……. give us some “golden” tips!

May the 4th be with you……….

4 Jul

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Yes it’s Independence Day in the USA. What better way to be truly independent than to own a campervan!
Just finished exploiting the longest dry, sunny spell, for ages, by painting Chateau “Dinkum”.Phew, another massive job completed. Now ready for some free time. Cornwall , at last !!!!!!! Then trying for the only Time Trial Day on this year’s Tour de France on the 26th July , Bergerac to Perigeux. Hoping to watch close to Monbussiac so that we stay at Camping des Ormes, Villereal. Not trying to see the finish in Paris. Far too hectic. Last time I nearly got mulched on my motorbike on the Peripherique (ring road).

Happy holiday to our American cousins. (namely Emily’s family! Oh and Happy Birthday Abe !)