Archive | October, 2014

Sussex camper car info reaches USA

22 Oct


This shows the layout from Sussex Campervans, the well known converter. Whilst looking around the web I found this link to a site in USA
There’s some interesting comments. Why does the US put up with 24 mpg US gal fuel consumption on the NV200 when they could be experiencing over 50 mpg on the DCi diesel version which we have in Europe?

Sussex Campervans have done well to get these comments about their conversion. Well done Daniel ! Another good conversion.

Almost four decades of marriage and a sunny day out .

19 Oct

Celebrating almost 40 year’s of marriage this weekend so headed off in high spirits and even higher winds to Benthall Hall near Much Wenlock, Shropshire. (I still say Salop. Is that OK?) Benthall Hall is so good, they named it twice, rather like New York.
Despite the wind blowing unhindered across the flat fields of Shropshire, it was very warm when we arrived. After a short walk from the car park and my wife dragging me away from a lovely old Morgan plus 4 sportscar, we arrived at the Hall itself. The path looks too narrow to take a car but in reality it would easily accomodate your dream ” Downton Abbey” vintage car. The light was brilliant for October with the sun low in the sky but showing the sandstone of the building at it’s best.
Neither the tea room nor the Hall was quite open, so we waited for a short while, looking around the gardens and enjoying the warm summery weather. I alarmed and surprised some kind National Trust folk by bursting into the kitchen looking for the entrance. The last time a forced entry was attempted was by Cromwell’s troops in the Civil War , quite some time ago. Probably even longer than my wife and I became betrothed……..
The front door was opened promptly at 1.00am and we enjoyed a couple of hours looking around this gem of a National Trust property. Still tenanted by a branch of the Benthall family, it originated in Anglo Saxon times. Damage from the Civil War can still be seen and is well documented. The guides were some of the friendliest we have come across on our tours of N.T. properties and that is really saying something!
This pic shows some of the “five gables” on the frontage. If you blow the picture up by clicking on it you will make out high tension electric pylon and cables from the nearby power station. Very apt but inobtrusive when considering the industrial past in Iron Bridge, Coalbrookdale and more recently in Telford itself.
Is it worth a visit? Oh yes! The Church is being revamped by the N.T. following 3 years of negotiation with the Diocese. We shall be going back in February for a first look round. The Hall closes for Winter so check opening times before trekking too far.

An urgent trip to London. A Bavarian Projekt NV 200 Evalia.

12 Oct

campvan eu

Bernd contacted the site and I was directed to his website showing their NV Evalia campvan see . It’s an attractive looking vehicle which can be fitted with a variety of functional utility packages to produce a very different camping car.Well worth a look! Thanks Bernd.

We were called down to London with an urgent(ish) family health issue. One of those days when you know you should not hurry but you still do out of concern.But we started off with a surprise on the motorway

hole in motorway
This hole was not the surprise. I was hoping to show the dash cam video but we lost the footage……. oh poo. We had gone down the south bound side of the M6 Toll to escape the crowds but as we approached the toll booths near to Rugeley/Lichfield (?) coming towards us in the wrong direction down the slip road to the booths was an older Mercedes Benz with two people on board. We flashed our lights and gave frantic arm signals for them to turn around. In my mirrors I saw the car execute a very slow and dangerous “U” turn, hairpin left onto the carriageway. The traffic was moving at a full 70 mph. The idiot was lucky not to get kill himself and others. This was early afternoon on Thursday 9th October. A new low in my driving experience.
The Kamper coped very well with the high cross winds and with a round trip driving at 70 mph where safe and possible, we achieved 46 mpg including a lot of stop/start congestion on South Circular and M25.
thurrock services

On the return trip with the family panic over, we popped into Thurrock Services on the M25 for a comfort break. Getting back out onto the motorway was a much lengthier process. Who in God’s name designed the access roundabout? It is genuinely appallingly bad ! It took 30 to 35 minutes to exit the services. The continuous stream of cars into the adjacent Retail Park just prevents access onto the roundabout.I shall avoid Thurrock services like the plague in future. It would have actually been quicker to pull off the motorway , find a stopping place , drawer the curtains and use our on-board porta potti. I am amazed that the London taxpayers put up with this atrocity

After a busy week an Autumn Trip to Lyme Park, Disley

8 Oct

lyme park disley

After an almost continuous 8 days of work, preparing for the predicted change in the weather, we were ready for a relaxing day out in the Kamper. The long dry spell had left our shed and timber pavillion looking forlorn and the log pile was in need of organising and sawing. So, whilst I set to with paint brush and logging tools (not simultaneously of course) my other half decided to decorate the most needy of 3 or 4 rooms in “Chateau Dinkum.” Then to top off a busy spell we had a response to our to let advert and a big rush job to get a very pleasant, post grad gentleman into our bijou ( read tiny) flat.

(c) National Trust, Lyme Park; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
We had about a 2 hour drive, in wet and windy conditions to Disley, on the A6 near Stockport. We survived the dreadful and aggressive tailgating on a short stretch of the M6 roadworks and shot off eastwards towards Congleton and Macclesfield and the much more “friendly” rural “A” roads. A big change in the weather. On our last day out to another National Trust property at Dudmaston Hall, I was too warm in shorts and short sleeves. At Lyme Park, it was decidedly chilly, damp and grey. The grand house itself cheered us tremendously though and we got off to a good start with a coffee and scone in the former servants hall.
The character above is Colonel Thomas Peter Legh (pronounced Lee). He fathered 7 children by 7 different women. If you look at the expression on the horse’s face it seems to be annoyed with the frisky Colonel. I hope he had not made a pass at his own horse! He famously recruited huge numbers for the Napoleonic wars (hope I got that bit right…….). He apparently kept his Ladies in comfort at Golborne Hall in Lancashire and elsewhere. And I thought that it was hard going just getting a campervan converted…………

After a very interesting talk from a guide about the family history behind Lyme Park, we took a leasurely stroll around the huge house, which had grown like topsy, being added to in great chunks of masonry over several hundred years. The place had a lovely atmosphere, welcoming and friendly. We could probably have driven our campervan through the huge entrance doors if we could have got up the steps. I was talking so much to the individual room guides so much that we ran out of time to see “the timberyard” area but we did get to photgraph the deer herd in one section of the 1300 acres on our way out.
We took the scenic way home via Buxton and Leek. The moors looked particularly dramatic following the storms.

NV200 Evalia (Combi) and van bits for camping

3 Oct


In response to inquiries (Hi Marco !): On Dinkum’s Kamper, the pull over seat/bed (aka rock and roll) and the cab seat swivel mechanisms were both constructed in house by Drivelodge, Keighley tel 01535 637777 see  ask for James or Joanne and say I referred you to them. They may possibly help out with just a bed or a swivel kit??

You could also try Sussex Campervans 01403 336368 see

You could of course try adapting a VW type Rock n Roll bed/seat to fit your NV200. A 3/4 bed for VW will only be marginally bigger than some custom made units for the NV200. Try Clearcut 01271 373853 see

My German friends at have an alternative called the weekend bed see and the video at        Zooom also sell TUV approved cab seat swivel mechanisms.

drivelodge bed one

This is the custom made Drivelodge frame in place. The cupboards are about 20 mm narrower than VW type cupboards with no detriment in reality. It is a super bed seat with lots of storage underneath.I have not, as yet found a supplier of off the shelf bits for the NV200 but this may be changing soon…….