Archive | March, 2016

Campervans, Hippy Philosophy and Planet Earth

30 Mar

earth and moon

A few decades ago, on holiday at Pentewan Sands, Cornwall, we awoke to a misty, damp day with fog drifting gently from the sea over the campsite and motor home. We could hardly see the breaking waves but we could hear them. We put on our walking boots and as a family, headed up from the beach to the clifftop footpath leading towards Mevagissey. We had only climbed, perhaps 50 metres or so when we stepped out of the mist  into bright, warm sunshine and a blue sky greeted us. Rabbits were scurrying about enjoying the heat of the sun. Captivating.We were looking down on a “duvet” of white, gently swirling sea fog hovering above the bay, stretching from Mevagissey to Fowey in the east. It was magical but I had no camera to capture the moment. Our perception of the day ahead was transformed. Our view of everything completely changed by a very short walk and a different perspective.

Laying in various motor homes, campervans and caravans, I have often thought of these wheeled devices as “spaceships”. Life support units fulfilling all domestic requirements. Almost complete worlds within worlds. Sounds pompous? Yes it does but extend that view of space ship Earth and it makes our conflicts appear futile.

see YouTube

You wouldn’t imagine so many scientists, cosmologists and NASA personnel to be borne again hippies . Or would you?


With a hopefully, long warm summer ahead ( don’t laugh!) it is a must to “burrow” into the landscape and enjoy the sights, sounds and world around us. Campervans for ever !


Family holiday time

28 Mar

sprite family caravan

This weekend, the family came around for a long Easter weekend at home. The weather was typically mixed for this traditional British holiday , so we did not miss the type of day out as seen above. We actually had a Sprite Musketeer , early in our family life and had some great times. The earliest our children went away was at aged 3 months.

We had a grand tour of the Elddy and found it very comfy for 4 adults plus baby. The Kitten did not join us today as he had trees to climb and sheds to explore. Plans are already forming for joint holiday breaks. With the 4 berths available, two in the campervan and two in the caravan we could link together using the awning or perhaps even hire a chalet or Glamping unit. Either way, we try to relive our past fun times and perhaps encourage the little one to want to go away with  us to give mom and dad a bit of a break later on ! So much to look forward to !

Need convincing that Spring is here? This is it.

20 Mar

martin 19 3 16

Frequent and valued contributor, Martin, sent these Summery pics from a very Sunny Scotland. With a mass of daffodils shouting “Spring” in the garden, it’s convinced me that it is time to get camping!

libby 19 3 16martin 19b 3 16

Who wouldn’t want to spend some quality time in the outdoors with this smart outfit? Whether a campervan  or towing fanatic, it just incites you to head for the horizon. Scotland is enticing at anytime but especially in weather like this! Where are you going and in what?

Tyres again and best ever Blog viewing numbers

16 Mar

marshal caravan tyre

New tyres now fitted to the caravan. I cleaned the alloy rims inside and out and waxed them with “Shield” . Also did the tyres with a similar tyre treatment and it all feels “non-stick” and silky to the touch. That should keep the road dirt and field mud from adhering. It worked on the campervan wheels and tyres. They are still washing up really easily and it’s ages since they had detailed cleaning.

The tyres are made in China. If I had known before, I would have probably bought AVON , made in England,instead for similar money.

I found my trusty old little brass grease gun and lubed the hitch shaft, then changed the rear numberplate for my best one. The wall cupboard catch adjusted to close correctly and the shower room wall cabinet catch lubed to operate without huge force. On a glass mirror door, it needed doing. Finally ordered a two into one waste water hose and a pair of decent levelling ramps (wedges) for those grassy sloping pitches we sometimes find ourselves on. The campervan desperately needs a spring clean, so that’s next on the what to do list. Hoping to have finished spending now but still well within the budget for the caravan swap. The Elddy is a goodun. Thanks Nat at Leisure 7, Halifax.

On Sunday, the Blog had someone viewing, on average over a 24 hour period, once every 2 1/2 minutes. Another record broken. Thanks to everyone for your interest! Probably North Wales for first outing. As soon as possible. Campervan is still in every day use and behaving well.

Some pics of our Elddy

14 Mar

elddy 2elddy 3

Had a few requests to see a tour of our “Elddy”. Soon to be fitted with new tyres . Wheel bearings checked out and brakes OK. Almost ready to roll in earnest.

elddy 5elddy lounge

The only faults found are the two, matching, little “dings”, one on each side. Possibly prods from awning poles? Oh, and a “wing ding” on one alloy which probably resulted in a tyre swap. One tyre turned out to be a 2012 not 2010 as reported by naughty contractor… Here are said dings:

elddy ding 1elddy ding 2

On a more pleasant note, the TV and aerial work really well,even in our terrible reception area. Not got every channel but enough to satisify that Gogglebox urge. Will take the mini Sat Dish on longer trips away for now.

IMG_0923elddy fridge wardrobe

There is a foldup table in the wardrobe but to save weight we may just use the freestanding one from the campervan. There are two blown air vents. One near the main door and one in the lounging area. Nothing in the shower room surprisingly.

elddy shower cornerelddy shower room

elddy kitchelddy heki

The kitchen has a 3 burner hob, grill and oven. Large basin and water as hot as you choose. There is plenty of light from the tall side window and the Heki roof vent. Altogether, a proper little home from home. Compared to our previous Microlite though , it feels big to us. Watching how we load it. Spare wheel now in the gas locker. The security devices are not that light and even the “lightweight” E-Mover comes in at 22kg. Unlike my natural body type (Endomorph…… Deffo !) I like to run lean and mean. LOL


Motor Mover fitted

11 Mar


On Thursday, the contracter came and fitted the new motor mover to our replacement caravan. Although the supplier knew the caravan model well in advance, there was a bit of a panic from the fitter because the mover(s) had to go behind the wheel rather than in front. This was due to the design of the BPW chassis.Standard fitment for Elddis. Anyway, using drop plates which I apparently could have been charged £75 for?, a good job was done in less than 2 hours. The cross connection behind the wheels did mean that the spare wheel carrier had to go and the spare tyre now resides in the gas cupboard. I intended running light on gas bottles anyway, preferring to use just one bottle so not a big issue, but it could have been if we intended using two larger gas bottles. We almost always use electrical hookup and it just makes sense to use that form of power for hot water and heating.I tried out the mover and it works just fine, as described. Although new to me, these movers seem almost universal now. Definately essential on our frontage with it’s sloping access. True to form, despite the warning from the fitter, I managed to bash the top of my right foot ,Victor Meldrew style when I disconnected the spring loaded mover from the tyres. That operating handle can catch you out faster than the till in Open all Hours! Oh, the other thing mentioned was the age of the tyres. The spare is unused, dated 2013 but the other two are originals, dated 2010 probably correct for our 2011 model. So now, under the latest 5 years old and swap ’em rule, I have two new ones on order for peace of mind. Just imagine, what the insurers following an incident could say if your tyres are older than the advice allows for. One website says change at 3 years old ! with 5 years maximum. I have not as yet found any hard scientific, engineering, evidence that this is needed. Just some “statistical” unsupported statements from those with vested interests.



Drivelodge. News from Martin.

5 Mar

drivelodge custom 1

The skilled makers of our NV200 “Nevada” , Drivelodge, have come up trumps with this high top to fit Ford Transit Custom and what a classy, smart piece of kit it is. They “only” make pop top roofs and hightops (say it quickly, that’s a hell of a job in itself!) and have stopped doing full conversions but I cannot wait to see what conversions will be done on this fabulous compact Ford. Thanks to Martin for reporting in. We have been focussing a bit too long on caravans and have been swept along with non campervan material for too long.

drivelodge custom 2

drivelodge custom3

A lovely looking high top, ripe for conversion.


A quick wash wax. The best way to check bodywork?

5 Mar
Restaurada por Jose Reynaldo da Fonseca

This is a Carnauba Palm from South America. The wax from the leaves goes into car wash/wax amongst other things. It is claimed to be a super wax for vehicle protection. So, cleaned the caravan and checked for bodywork and paint damage. Found very little. Thank goodness. Didn’t fall off the roof this time. Thank goodness. Didn’t have time to wax the already shiny finish so used Demon Shine for a cheating, quick “boost”. Thank goodness for “chemicals”.

Checks almost completed on the Elddis

4 Mar

nv200 vs bongo

The photo shows the NV200 parked next to a lovely Mazda Bongo. Not a huge difference in size. I believe that the swivelling cab seats in the NV200 actually offer some advantage over the Bongo but then I am biased. One things for certain though, the efficient Renault  engine and very low frontal area means that “solo” , the Nissan can achieve much better fuel efficiency than the Mazda. The Bongo is a lovely vehicle to drive. Auto versions with the bigger engines are particularly pleasant.

It is a remnder though, that with the hugely increased frontal area of the Elddis caravan compared to the super Eco Freedom Microlite will mean that there is a price to pay for the new found luxury of the Xplore 302. We achieved just 30mpg bringing it home from Halifax. We could get 44mpg regularly with the Microlite behind the campervan. I may do some maths to compare real costs per mile.

elddis pikup m1

Today, in between wintery showers, we coupled up the gas bottle and made sure that the hot water, blown air heating, cooker, hob and grill all worked well using gas. It really does feel like a sophisticated place to be. The caravan has only had one owner before us and has obviously seen only light usage. It is as described in the advert from the dealer. How refreshing !

Solo, the campervan offers huge scope for days out away from the caravan base. Good economy, compact dimensions and useful kit onboard, make for a low stress outing in those narrow lanes in Cornwall, Wales and Scotland. Can hardly wait to put the campervan to good use in the Spring!

Checking out the Elddis

3 Mar


Security devices fitted and discovered the CRIS markings on the windows too. (Thanks for pointing out this feature Martin.) Only thing to be checked out now is all the gas fueled equipment. The electrical heating and hot water all works well. Had to remove and clean a rear sidelight bulb and re-insert a  push in water pipe fitting under the washbasin. Ready to commence a big spring clean of the bodywork. There is evidence of careful usage. Even the toilet cassette does not seem to have been removed and refitted many times. One wall cupboard door catch needs adjustment. The TV/DVD fits nicely and I cannot believe how good the aerial is. Even in our poor reception area the picture quality is very good indeed.

On the campervan, I noticed that a tyre wear check may be needed for peace of mind. The tread depth at the edge of these Michelin tyres was not very deep to start with. I also took out the dash cam cards to re-format and sod’s law applies, I missed a super dangerous near miss, in the village when a lady driver came straight out into our path on a bend without ever looking in our direction. Full on emergency braking and swerving onto the wrong side of the road, narrowly avoided a big coming together. All this and no dash cams live! Just confirms to me how valuable these devices are but you have to keep on top of them 24/7

kampa rear camera