Archive | February, 2016

A bit more on Barefoot Caravan

24 Feb

barefoot-1barefoot artist impbarefoot size

If you would like to see a New , British, stylish iconic compact Caravan, get to the N.E.C. show ! I thought it was worth another mention. (There is a post below. Go on click down and read a bit more of the Blog !)

The Freedom Microlite exits Chateau Dinkum at the weekend but to cheer ourselves along, we have ordered an Ego-Mover Titanium (see pic below) for fitting shortly by Autofit. There is a Caravan Club offer currently and I did not fancy fitting it myself.

Ego-Titanium-XL

Payload for the “new” Elddis is only around 150kg and so this motor mover at just 23kg makes a smaller hole than some of the latest competitors. (You don’t get this sort of hassle with a campervan do you…………………)

Gratuitous sexy VW Photo

21 Feb

samba eriba combo

While we wait a short period for the caravans to be physically swapped (see the following 2 posts below) , here is a photo of a very lovely and desirable VW Samba with an equally beautiful Eriba Puck. What a magnificent combo. Now, would you dress in 60s flairs, grow a bandito mustache and get your loved one back into mini skirts to re-live that wonderful decade or perhaps go “Happy Days” style, back to the 50s for that woodland picnic. It just makes you want to drive away does it not ? Inspiring ! I would love to own this outfit ! Risking an upset from the Vee Dub purists, If it has not already got one fitted, I would track down an air cooled Porsche 911 2.4 , preferably an “E” engine and pop it in the back. Fab, just Fab Man!

see http://www.thesamba.com

Just been reminded why we originally chose Microlite

20 Feb

winterhoff hitch lockwheel-clamp

The old Freedom Microlite was not really worth enough to justify caravan insurance, but the replacement Elddis probably is. The insurance companies seem to want a variety of security products fitted whenever your back is turned. One or two actually desired 24/7 security guards for the storage area. Personally, I would have thought that a “crazy” elderley farmer with 12 bore and twitchy hands would be enough, quite apart from Mad Max rolling barricade and dogs running free…………….. Anyhoo !!! I do need some security products and they are not cheap. Then for a more modern caravan you will need these:

wastehogaqua roll

The Microlite functioned beautifully with two 10 litre water bottles and a couple of old style waste water containers. Oh, if you want these fitted for a cool   £950 or so:

powrtouch evo m If your leisure battery is showing signs of gathering dust then you can add:

leisure battery

You have not finished just yet, the insurers also like to see alarm system, tracker, wheel locking products etc. I am thinking of living in the Elddis just to keep my premium sensible. I bet that, even with all of these you may still hear a sucking through the teeth from the robbers (sorry Insurers !)  and they will want your photo printing on the caravan roof in high viz colours!

Is it too late to turn back to our friendly little Eco Trailer? Yes, a handshake goes a long way in this household. So that’s a big no.Seriously though, joking apart, there are serious financial implications in swapping away from these little classic caravan gems. Let’s hope that the actual improvement in comfort etc is worth all the effort. 

On a lighter note, our old 1960s caravanning friend, Jack Moffatt, “Moff”., for his waste water, used a plastic bucket with a hole drilled 3/4 of the way up the side, so that it never needed emptying! Not very sociable, not eco friendly or Caravan Club complient…………. but funny as hell !

 

 

 

Two exciting days

19 Feb

elddis pickup nat

On Thursday we were told that our cheque had cleared our bank, so we loaded a rear number plate and two sided tape, brake cleaner for the Winterhoff hitch, towing mirrors and a 7 pin to 13 pin adaptor. The M6 North was appalling! Three accidents ( one serious requiring Air Ambulance)  in sequence between Sandbach and Knutsford delayed us by at least 2 hours. We eventually collected the replacement, Elddis 302 SE from this lovely gent above, in sunny Halifax. Thanks Nat !

elddis pickup 3elddis pikup m1

Having never had a Winterhoff coupling or fitted a 13 pin adaptor, a bit of fiddling about soon got us moving and the creaking from the stabiliser hitch very soon vanished at all but crawling pace. The M62 east was so badly congested we went East and picked up M1 South and home via Derby. All this delayed us quite a bit more and we pre-arranged late arrival at the caravan storage. It was still in darkness and barricaded , Mad Max style with a large truck when we arrived but the kind folk at the farm let us in and we dropped the Elddis off until the Microlite is sold.

Then:

leaving carnon downs     This morning, first thing, our “first refusal” couple viewed , then purchased, the Freedom Microlite ! So sad to see this little ‘van depart but it stays in the village and will be well loved and used as intended.

So now, we are planning to get a decent motor mover fitted to the Elddis , for manouvreability rather than due to the effort in man handling. It may even allow us to keep it on our frontage tucked in behind a convenient gable end. Happy days !

Microlite caravan Spring cleaned.

17 Feb

IMG_0376

Dragged the caravan home from the storage facility and cleaned off the light dusting of airborne dirt. Not too bad at all. Restuck the slight sagging of the ceiling felt, which is easier said than done, but successfully put right. A very common problem with Freedoms. Ours is 20 year’s old don’t forget. Now looks respectable enough once more. I used foil backed foam of the  right thickness, under the fabric and removed any old foam backing which had deteriorated. Easier in an “LE” due to the support offered by the shower room partition, the roof cupboards and the wardrobe. Tackled section by section, methodically, in sequence, it can be done using spray adhesive and “keyhole” surgery ! First viewing in a day or so is booked in !Then ‘twil be advertised and put on show alongside our main road if not bought as a first refusal offer.

Latest moves for Spring

13 Feb

 

ÿÿ

Our much loved and trusty, Freedom Microlite LE is going up for sale. We were going to continue customising the interior but this week we spotted a viable alternative.

elddis 302

We spotted an Elddis 302 for sale at a local dealers and following a quick viewing approaching closing time, it resurrected our interest in this model caravan. We had a search of the internet when we got home, then early next morning, we visited a dealers in Yorkshire and finding a very clean SE version, in excellent condition, we bought it!

elddis-xplore-302-3

The Elddis 302 is the smallest, lightest caravan made by the company. Known to be a “Tardis”, the “L” shaped interior plan offers a very usable habitation area in a very compact caravan. Our NV200 should tow it comfortably. I now have to Spring clean the Microlite before putting it on the market. Let us see if one of the half dozen passersby, who have expressed interest in buying it, actually stump up with a cash offer. It is quite unique , having a functioning shower room. There is an almost untouched Raclet awning and it is all good, ready to go. I shall post more on this as we progress. We should now have a more luxurious “base” at the campsite for our days out to the beach, forest or coast paths in the campervan, especially for those longer spells away.

Another DIY conversion

12 Feb

allan 2

Allan and Susan have been in touch with a few pics of some of the work done on their own NV200 conversion. I think that they had their priorities right, starting  with this neat heater instalation and remote valve operation.Looking forward to seeing lots more of this DIY self build.

allan 4

Passenger swivel. Something to watch for.

9 Feb

marchington one (350x248)
KDR seat rails for for and aft adjustment

In the 1970’s . I used to Rally the Mini Clubman you see above. The car doubled as my road car and my weekend road and stage event competition car. The version seen here was the third re-shelled version. To make it almost bearable for road use, I had to make the passenger seat adjustable for fore and aft. I fitted slide rails to the Corbeau Rally seat so that my wife could sit alongside me, but my co-driver (please get in touch (“SOGGY”)) preferred to sit well back from the roll cage. He was Brilliant by the way and for the record. Thanks Steve ! Anyway, when I bolted the rails up solid, the whole thing just locked up and would not slide. I performed more key hole surgery as this car was a devil to work on. the rails had to be parallel, level with each other and running true together as a pair, to a close tolerance. The much battered floor was anything but perfect and so spacers were made from tubular steel and the whole set up with shims, spacers and washers (HT Bolts essential of course). It took a few trial runs to get it all to run smoothly without sticking.
Apparently with the NV200 I bought, which had no slides, the seat base is less than perfect and Drivelodge had to perform similar shimming operations to get it to function as well as the driver’s set up. Be prepared if fitting DIY swivels. The good bit is, no the superb bit is that we now have twin swivel seats in our camper ! YES!

This post was previously published. Re-posted by request. Please also see the post below for more information.

DIY swivel seats for nv200 Cab

9 Feb

capital seating universal swivel baseKDR seat rails for for and aft adjustment

My 2013 SE dci version has no fore and aft adjustment on the passenger cab seat. We would need a pair of seat rails to convert to swivel seats. The picture above shows just one example of “universal” seat rail from KDR Seating available on ebay. We would also need a pair of “universal” seat base swivels such as that shown from Capital Seating on ebay.
Rails of this type lift the seat by between 15mm for slimline to 25mm for standard rails. The swivel base will add between 35mm to 55mm to this raising the passenger seat by up to 80mm. By carefully selecting your seat rails and base swivel you can lift your seats sufficiently to clear the centre console etc when revolving the seats to face away from the screen. You will probably have to shuffle the seat back and forwards on the rails as you turn the seat to miss the steering wheel and so on.
There may be some drilling to do and possibly some cutting and welding to make a neat job of the swivels.It may take 2 or 3 (or more!) trial fitments and dismantling to get everything to work correctly. You will save money this way but will not get TUV approvals, for example.
Seat rails can have locking on each rail which keeps the seat more secure but means that the distance between the rails is pre-set to cope with the operating levers supplied (different widths are available to suit different seat sizes and designs) Alternatively, one rail is locking and the other is just a slave rail without locking. This means that the distance between rails can vary a lot more but the seat may be arguably less secure.
If you try this for yourself, check all dimensions prior to ordering any parts and if in doubt consult a qualified engineer.
A very quick guide shows that the driver’s seat needs lifting about 80mm which is a 55mm swivel plus a 25mm spacer and the passenger seat requires about 65mm raise which could be done using a 55mm swivel and a slimline pair of 15mm rails.Has anyone got more accurate and proven dimensions please? NB this is only a guide.

This post was first shown on 19th May 2013.

Would you like a New Barefoot caravan to tow behind your Campervan?

5 Feb

Footprints-Sand

Without a doubt, walking Barefoot on warm sands can be a very sensual and enjoyable experience. The all new, UK built and designed, Barefoot caravan appears to be just that. A sensual, curved embodiment essence of caravan. Lovely to look at and definately making a statement at £21,950 to buy. I cannot wait to see and experience one in the flesh. Spinneys near Holmes Chapel is the only distributor currently but next appearance is in February at the NEC Show.

barefoot

Best viewed here  http://www.practicalcaravan.com/reviews/caravan/34118-barefoot

STOP PRESS   I contacted Spinneys near Holmes Chapel to view a “Barefoot” as the Caravan Club article in their magazine named them as the sole UK Distributor. Spinneys were unaware of the “Barefoot” ???