Archive | July, 2014

A scorching time in Cornwall

30 Jul

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!

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.
Another lovely glimpse of Falmouth
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

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

see in UK or

in lovely France

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
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

Noise Vibration and Harshness

9 Jul


picture from 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

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.