Archive | April, 2016

April weather and NV200 tyre wear

27 Apr

april sleet

Since postponing a trip to Angelsey we have had frosts, windy conditions ,adding to the chill factor, heavy rain and today, sleet and snow. Yesterday, we had a thunder storm.On 20th April 2015, we were on the beach on the West Coast of Angelsey with dozens of people in their swimming cossies, sunbathing. What a difference a year makes.

Found some rather disturbing posts on the Internet concerning rear tyre wear and poor axle /wheel alignment.  see  or just google  axle problems NV200

nv200 axle

Most problems seem to be in the USA., but their version of the NV200 may have differences. Nissan do seem to have admitted some problems and recall is mentioned in some posts. Some axles seem to be made with alignment issues. This alledgedly results in tyre wear to edge of tyres but also what the Americans call “cupping” which I assume to be the centre of the tread wearing excessively.Apparently there is a shimming kit available in the U.S., but no built in rear wheel adjustment in USA or UK.

I admit that I have not been over impressed with tyre life on my Kampa, especially as I drive like the grandad that I am and not , as my older friends will claim, like the turbo nutter *******  that I once was.


Chernobyl. Some thoughts and comments.

26 Apr


On 26th April 1986, a massive failure in the Ukraine (USSR) resulted in a grade 7 release of radiation into the atmosphere.

We did not get to hear about it until some time later. I had just started a new job and was heading off, one morning in my new company Sierra Estate car when the radio  gave out the terrible news. With two small children back home, I got onto my brick sized car phone and like “E.T” ., I phoned home.

I think I alarmed my wife, but later, in retrospect, my warnings were possibly worthwhile. She kept the kids inside and out of the rain. The windows were closed and my little family retreated indoors.

A close friend, who was in the Police Force (correct terminology, back then) informed me that essential personnel had been issued with Iodine tablets to protect the Thyroid from effects of radioactive isotopes. On my way home I eventually tracked down some strong, Iodine throat lozenges and we all took some.

Much, much later, we were eventually informed that a cloud of radiation had indeed passed over the UK twice.


I find it interesting that this map shows fallout “from Chernobyl” around Wylfa Nuclear Powerstation in Angelsey and around other Nuclear facilities in the North West and South West. A cynical person would suggest a convenient cover up of our own shortcomings.

Much, much ,much later still, we slowly found out about radioactive vegetables being grown in parts of Scotland and radioactive sheep, banned from sale in Wales. I personally saw, weirdly paint marked sheep on the hills.

More recently we had another (known) grade 7 nuclear failure at Fukushima, Japan. Who in their right mind locates electrical powered essential pumps below ground level ,in a Tsunami flood zone? Do you know if your Tuna has been checked for radioactivity? Tuna spawn off the East coast of Japan before migrating across the Pacific to the West Coast fishing grounds off the U.S.A. Just right for the fallout zone from the water runoff at Fukushima.

So, what has this to do with Campervans? Answer: everything! Have we learned nothing since Chernobyl? My old Hippy traits bubble to the surface and I really could not support more Nuclear powerstations being built.

Tsunamis, earthquake, geological faults, terrorist attack,landslide and engineering failure. Need I go on.

In honour of those who died at Chernobyl and Fukushima trying to protect others.


Mike Stanton’s NV200 is ready to roll !

22 Apr

mike stanton cab seat

Mike has contacted us again with these fabulous pictures of HIS converted NV200 and what a superb job he has made! Just look at this re-upholstered swivel seat for starters!

mike stanton tablemike stanton trim

The finish and trim look very sharp.That worktop houses a diesel powered hob for maximum convenience and lots of heat!There’s a high powered chest fridge/freeze hidden away for that cold beer, if you get too hot.

mike stanton hobmike stanton worktop


With the pop top rear hinged, there’s loads of headroom at the hob and cab end.Light floods in through the side door window.

mike stanton pop topmike stanton comfy or what

I like the extra width achieved at the pillow end of the bed ,which looks very comfy.

mike stanton bedmike stanton management panel

It looks like heating and battery management is sorted.

Mike has obviously put a huge effort into attaining this standard of finish. Congratulations on your achievement!

Thanks for sharing this with us. You now have an economical, high spec campervan for lots of fun times.There are not too many NV200 campervans out there and this one is special.Welcome to the “club” Mike.Enjoy yours with pride!

Since posting the above, Ryan , of Ryan and Mel fame has commented below. You can see their Blog here   trust me! it’s well worth a look!

sorry the link is cut and paste. WordPress does this to me sometimes……




Happy Birthday, Your Majesty.

21 Apr

the queen

The Queen celebrates her 90th Birthday today in Windsor.

She has served this country for some 64 years.

For what it is worth, I believe that she has done a good job. A task that I would not thank you for if given to me.

At our weekly get together tonight, we shall all raise a glass to The Queen.

Happy Birthday, Your Majesty.

Visit ideas for 2016

10 Apr

steam trains

cheddar region somerset

North Wales has a superb number of steam railways to visit. Those above are based at Ffestiniog. You can base yourself at Caernarfon and steam all the way to the top of Snowden. Get a beer and food on board. All the staff that we have met on previous visits have been exeptional!

Then there is Somerset. Cheddar, Wells and Glastonbury. Cheese, scrumpy, farmer’s markets and ghostly pubs! Or more steam trains alongside Loch Lomond. That trip is planned in already for Autumn.Glenfinnan-Viaduct

Glasgow to Mallaig, unless you stop off overnight at Fort William. That’s Glenfinnan viaduct shown above, as seen in Harry Potter films. There are loads of cycle paths which we have not yet tried out including the N.Wales coastal path, the Tarka trail , in Devon and our old favourites around Newborough Forest in the South West corner of Anglesey. Spoilt for choice. Definately. Further afield, at the start of July, this year’s Tour de France passes through Cherbourg, Granville and Angers. If that does not tempt us then nothing will. 

On the basis that even a hamster kicks all the rubbish out of it’s cage, the campervan had a much needed interior spring clean. Used a bargain buy, raspberry, yes raspberry scented dash polish. It’s like driving in a fruit corner yoghurt pot………….

Accuracy of weather forecasts

6 Apr

weather girl

Call me cynical but I am wondering how much butt covering is going on during the forecast discussions to “protect” forecasters from flood, hurricane and 100 year weather events victims.Our recent forecasts have consistently been very pessimistic to say the least. We could have enjoyed 5 or 6 days away in reasonably fine conditions but rather naively we chose to listen to the doom and gloom mongers and did not take off with the full camping tackle.

Accurate forecasts are an essential part of getting away in the campervan. Here is one of the best websites to try:

weather models

Anyway, we are taking an old rambler friend’s advice and ignoring the forecasts.RIP., Mike.  Buying some decent outdoor walking attire and going for it. Still checking out the weathergirls but not necessarily listening too closely!

Ready to roll at last. But……………

3 Apr



Rainy Weather Accidents

Well, we have cut down intrusive trees. Repaired concrete fence posts and gravel boards. Cut logs, visited the tip and entertained family and friends. Coated caravan almost completely with wax and now ready to roll.

cat window

Kitten has been “helping” in the garden and has found a great vantage point in the window box where he can watch out for the local “Top Cat”, spot any food preparation in the kitchen (for his own ends), and destroy any flowers braving the cool April weather. He has yet to be acclimatised to his travel home and we intend testing him out in the caravan to see if he can keep his claws off the interior veneers. He can get comfy pretty much anywhere:

cat squash

But the 7 day weather report for our favourite options, shows, at best , 3 dull days around mid week. It’s not really too tempting with views similar to the leading photo and so we may delay our first Spring getaway a little longer until at least some dry spells appear.