Archive | September, 2017

We fail to help out a fellow Campervan user.

4 Sep

Got back to our Kampa in Market Drayton today after a shopping trip to find a rather nice , dark blue VW campervan alongside. The bonnet was up so I queried what was wrong. Flat battery. No worries, says I and dug out my jump leads.

All coupled up and with a few extra revs dialled in from my faithful Renault K9K engine, I thought that our “neighbour” would soon be on his way. But , despite several attempts and checking for good jump lead connection, the VW would just not spin over quick enough and we had to abandon the rescue attempt. With the RAC on it’s way, all was not lost but I felt a bit of a failure, especially as the VW owner appeared to be from the Armed Forces and just back from a 4 month tour ? A new battery had been fitted on his departure to goodness knows where but it had been left in a flat condition, which may have been it’s ” Waterloo”. Instructions left with his wife to get it charged and keep running the VW had fell on deaf ears apparently. Hope he got it fixed.

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The e-NV200 and 4 cubic metres extra volume!

3 Sep

My brother, just back from a month in France ( jammy devil !) reported seeing a two tone coloured e-NV200 on the back of a transporter in Paris. A deep cream lower half , including the bumpers and a sexy grey upper colour. I searched for news of this but instead came up with this Hi-Volume, all electric delivery Nissan. Now, what a superb campervan that would make.

It was my brother’s Metallic Grey works van that inspired the Drivelodge Nevada, which has become a lovely motor caravan. As soon as I sat in his van, I knew that it would work as a campervan. He loves them too.

see https://cleantechnica.com/2016/11/01/voltia-maxi-electric-urban-delivery-van-based-nissan-env200/

I always find it hard to swallow when I see the claim that electric cars are “zero emission.” This is nonsense !

If the electricity use to charge the vehicle battery is not from solar or wind or wave, then it’s either from fossil fuel being burned at a power station or from nuclear sources which use huge amounts of energy to produce the concrete mountains of the reactor and of course the very long lived half life of the radioactive waste.

“Zero emission “????  Stop lying !

Having said all that, I may be convinced to go for an e-NV200 campervan at some point. With electric uphooks readily available at most campsites and a leisurely travel regime, it could just work. Worried about battery life though and the need to renew that expensive powerpack. How green is it to recycle a vehicle battery??

I like Toyota’s duel fuel , Hybrid electric vehicles. Will this be the gap filler prior to the huge ban planned for 2040?

 

A familiar revisit to Erddig Hall , Bryn Y Grog Antiques and an unknown farm.

3 Sep

Today, Sunday, the weather is very damp but still quite warm, so yesterday’s decision to make the most of some of the last (?) of the summer sunshine was correct. We abandoned plans to complete painting our old style wooden window frames and headed for the comfort and familiarity of a walk around Erddig Hall near Wrexham.

Now, we live directly alongside the A525. This runs through Whitchurch all the way past Bryn Y Grog Antiques to Wrexham. Erddig Hall is somewhere behind Bryn Y Grog in a loop of narrow lanes with poor visibility. The lanes are high sided and the vanishing point whilst driving means your speed needs to be drastically reduced to avoid nasty encounters with other travellers. Because of the confusing similarities in these lanes, I set my little Garmin sat nav for Erddig. Boy, did it make some stupid decisions !

It initially tried to send us via Nantwich and a sizeable further distance. We eventually turned onto the loop of lanes at Marchwiel and expected to arrive within minutes. The Garmin took us on a weird, convoluted trek through the dodgy high risk roads. Eventually we reached the end of an unmade, dirt road with our indicated path being a green lane, overgrown with grass and meadow flowers. OK with a sump guard and high rise suspension but not so cool with low profile tyres. I have not changed the settings and these glitches just seem to appear from nowhere now and then. Is it me or does this not bode well from artificial intelligence (A.I) , “driverless” cabs and lorries ? Surely they will use the same satellites and Garmin (garbage ???) road mapping software??

We had three, near misses in the lanes. Two young men, driving way too fast. I tucked into the side and both shrieked past, one of them actually laughing at the close call. The third was a middle aged lady, going so fast that she could not stop and in an obvious panic, she swerved hard into a steep sided bank of earth and must have damaged her paintwork, sills and doors. She did not stop but just carried on regardless. It leaves me puzzled…………..

After resetting the destination back to Marchwiel we did find signs to Erddig and enjoyed a National Trust lunch and a walk in the very warm sunshine. Lovely ! Our membership had expired unexpectedly and we had to renew there and then.

We called in to Bryn Y Grog Hall to top up our winter supply of small hardwood “logs” for our cooking range. They sell offcuts just the right size to slot through the front of the cast iron stove. A huge heavy bag fo not unreasonable money. I did of course, burst the bag on my way out to the Kampa and had to pick up the spilled timber with a red face. Nothing new there then !!!!

Bizarrely, looking forward to the colder weather when we test out our slow cooking recipes on the cast iron range and also my ideas for a temperature boosting system for baking pizza and breads in the tiny oven. 

Next stopover in the Kampa though, will be this week’s Tour of Britain Bike Race, already underway. Better get my maps out and my larger but more “sensible” , cheaper sat nav. Aimed at truckers, it usually does the job. Like a good ,honest, human, lorry driver, not some half baked “A.I” software…………………….