Getting on...(camper van tales)

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Marilyn
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Getting on...(camper van tales)

Post by Marilyn » 29 May 2016, 08:19

Our holiday in the "tin tent" a few months ago, whilst lovely, highlighted that hubby and I were not finding the whole experience as easy as it once was. We are active sorts, and either take bikes or kayaks on our van ( and have taken both). And we have had fun ( oh...we have had fun). But...the passage of time, combined with me having suffered a bung shoulder, meant that some of the heavier tasks like loading kayaks and bikes especially, wasn't a joy any more.
We had a "conflab" ( a sort of meeting/discussion) and decided we didn't want to give up tramping about. Nor did we want to give up the bikes or kayaks. But we had to make things easier. If we didn't, we would gradually stop our adventures!
So...we sold the van ( which was a sad moment...rather like waving a child off into the world). Then we sold the car that towed it, and have been reduced to my sporty little get-about for a few weeks ( well, I call it my sporty little get-about...unfortunately hubby has trouble even getting in it and our shoulders touch as he drives it!)
So...we've had a think and bought a second hand camper van.
Nothing grand by any stretch. We picked one with low mileage over internal fit out.
So we now have "a project"! We will be adapting and updating it to suit our needs.

We collect it tomorrow. Watch this space...( and if anyone is clued up on this type of project, we welcome hints.)

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Re: Getting on...(camper van tales)

Post by LizG » 29 May 2016, 08:29

You nearly had me in tears. We've moved from tents to off road campers to a caravan with proper facilities. (We're a bit older than you, as you know). I was very pleased, when I wiped away the tears, to read that you've bought a bigger and better version. Yeah :grin:
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Re: Getting on...(camper van tales)

Post by Marilyn » 29 May 2016, 08:46

Eeee... It's actually smaller than we had, Liz. No more hitching and unhitching though, and might get some folding bikes to save the lifting.
First job is getting a fridge. ( van has no fridge!...I can't function without a fridge!)

Aw..don't cry old girl...this is going to be a HAPPY story.
Ha! I fancy a classy black and white interior.

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Re: Getting on...(camper van tales)

Post by Tizer » 29 May 2016, 09:14

That's great news, Maz, go for it! Can we have a photo of the van. I've no idea what an Aussie camper van looks like. The words always conjure up a classic VW camper in my mind but I'm guessing it's nothing like that. Yesterday morning the comedy writer Barry Cryer was interviewed on the radio and he described how his family used to all squeeze into a VW camper together with two dogs. Another interviewee told his story of his dad driving them all in a VW camper from Britain to St Tropez and how they turned up white and pink in their old clothes in the midst of all the beautiful suntanned people in bikinis and shorts. He said "We didn't care, it was great to have got there."

I might have mentioned before that one of Mrs Tiz's relatives, an engineer who died a few years ago well into his 90s, had always taken the family camping around European countries. When he and his wife got to their 80s they decided it was time to stop taking their tent...so they got a camper van and carried on travelling Europe!

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Re: Getting on...(camper van tales)

Post by Marilyn » 29 May 2016, 09:28

I don't think I have ever been suitable tent material, Tizer. I hate ants and am terrified of snakes.
We started out with a "camper" which had a bed we had to climb up to above the cabin. I always felt like I was sleeping in a coffin. ( no space to sit up in bed)
U
Yes I shall post pics. As I said, we chose the van because of low mileage over suitability of internal fit out...but let's say we saw the potential..and it suited our budget :grin:
We could have bought a swankier one with twice the mileage.
Hopefully this will do us another decade!

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Re: Getting on...(camper van tales)

Post by Stanley » 30 May 2016, 03:41

Sounds like a sensible move Maz and I wish you well with it. Has it got a first aid kit?
Best fortnight's holiday I ever had at home was when Mary and I hired a camper and visited every lighthouse in Scotland except Cape Wrath. We went in November, were perfectly comfortable and the road to Cape Wrath is closed in winter.
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Re: Getting on...(camper van tales)

Post by LizG » 30 May 2016, 07:00

Marilyn wrote:I fancy a classy black and white interior.
That does not surprise me!!

So the new one is 'winnebago' style? Enjoy the renovations.

Watch your heads when you climb from the back into the seats. We hired one in New Zealand and I gave myself a couple of big eggs and a slight black eye. No I didn't learn! Looking forward to the photos.
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Re: Getting on...(camper van tales)

Post by Wendyf » 30 May 2016, 08:28

An exciting project Maz, bring on the photos!
I love caravans....I was raised as a caravanner from the age of about 7 when we got our first caravan. Every weekend and holiday we set off somewhere or other, it didn't have to be far from home. My dad worked Saturday mornings, so most weekends we would go to a local Caravan Club rally on a Friday evening and he disappeared back to Leeds to work. The timber firm he worked for acquired Bessacar caravans as a "bad debt" which is how he came to get that first caravan back in 1957. My brother has spent most of his working life in the caravan/camper industry, mostly on the design side of things.
Unfortunately Colin doesn't like them. :sad:

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Re: Getting on...(camper van tales)

Post by Tizer » 30 May 2016, 09:13

I'm not surprised Maz doesn't like snakes, you've got some dodgy ones in Australia compared with Britain. What does surprise me is that some people are frightened of frogs. I've got to visit a friend today who has asked me to clear the pond of tadpoles and frogs so it can be filled in. I don't think there are any frogs in the pond at present but lots of tadpoles We'll be doing a tadpole rescue and bringing them to our garden pond. We've had to do this before for another friend. What have harmless British frogs ever done that human beings should be frightened of them?

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Re: Getting on...(camper van tales)

Post by Stanley » 31 May 2016, 03:44

One of my dad's mates in Stockport was a signwriter called Harry White. He was a real character and always looking for a way to make a fast buck. After the war when aluminium sheet was plentiful and cheap he started making caravans and did quite well out of it for a while but like all Harry's schemes it didn't last long. I remember one problem he had when he bought some cheap aluminium sheet and found it was Duraluminium, a much tougher metal used in making aeroplanes. He managed to use it in the end but never made that mistake again! (LINK)
When Mary and I hired the camper I was impressed by the way insulation, double glazed windows and fittings had improved since my early experience of caravans. It was a wild November in the North but we were perfectly comfortable. The only problem we had was the pilot light on the heating blowing out in a full gale on Dunnet Head!
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Re: Getting on...(camper van tales)

Post by Marilyn » 31 May 2016, 04:56

Picked the van up today (Febby has had loads of work on and we couldn't get there until this morning).
Have sent Stanley some pics.
We need to have a big think, and then think of the best place to start. I would like new flooring in there..

Some things might look better after a scrub. It smells a bit weird at present too! ( the filter in the range hood above the stove top is pretty manky so cleaning that might do wonders)

Liz...hubby wouldn't go for anything bigger like a Winnebago. This is a campervan, not a motor home. No bathroom facilities, but then we didn't have them in our last van and don't mind legging it to the caravan park facilities during the night.

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Re: Getting on...(camper van tales)

Post by Stanley » 31 May 2016, 05:29

Here they are....

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

No dunny?
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Re: Getting on...(camper van tales)

Post by LizG » 31 May 2016, 07:31

Looks great Maz. If I know you it will be spotless in no time. Keep the photos coming as you update bits and pieces.
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Re: Getting on...(camper van tales)

Post by Wendyf » 31 May 2016, 07:40

It looks spotless already!

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Re: Getting on...(camper van tales)

Post by Marilyn » 31 May 2016, 08:27

It's not spotless, though I admit the photos look ok.
I sat in it this afternoon, on my own with a cup of coffee ( thinking thinking thinking) funny the things you notice -3 double power points - that's very generous to n a camper. It also has solar panels, and an (?) inverter/converter whatsit.
Whilst I have made a list ( Febby is going to freak), I still don't know if you start at the top and work down, or the bottom and work up!
The big cupboard has to be divided horizontally to enable a proper fridge to be installed ( currently their is a "cooler" in the bottom of the same cupboard that won't suit our needs). Will photograph that when we have decided what to do.
So if I want new flooring, I guess we do that after the cupboard has been hacked and before the new fridge gets fitted.
I also fancy a convection/microwave rather than just a microwave. ( note to self...microwave is pretty grotty inside!)

The single biggest plus a n all this, is that it gives hubby a project. He can't do everything of course ( we need to use professionals for some things. )
But on those days when he annoys me because he can't amuse himself, I can send him to the van.

:geek: I have a huge container of sticking plasters and antiseptic cream..

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Re: Getting on...(camper van tales)

Post by Tizer » 31 May 2016, 09:10

Wow, it's impressive what they can fit into a camper van these days. And solar panels too!
Lots of work for Febby - as well as the plasters and cream you'd better get him some good safety glasses, ear protectors, gloves and a safety helmet! :laugh5:
Yesterday we saw a classic VW camper van driving nearby and it was pulling a little caravan that looked like it had been made to match the camper.

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Re: Getting on...(camper van tales)

Post by Cathy » 31 May 2016, 09:31

A very good move. You'll soon be King and Queen of the road, without any of the physical and time consuming hassles. :smile:
I know I'm in my own little world, but it's OK... they know me here. :)

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Re: Getting on...(camper van tales)

Post by Stanley » 01 Jun 2016, 04:22

Image

Lots of good memories of the camper.... 1991, parked up near Scrabster...... I wish you the same....
Only advice about fitting out I would give is start by having the vehicle properly inspected and getting the foundations right! Big advantage if you don't have to rebuild the bed every day.....
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Re: Getting on...(camper van tales)

Post by Marilyn » 01 Jun 2016, 04:42

We spent 2 hours today with a professional, Stanley.
He us preparing us a quote (which may bring us down to earth with a bump but it needs to be done).
He was very impressed with the standard of all the wiring/solar/battery storage stuff and said everything had been done correctly. Once the quote comes in (and I have handed hubby a large glass of something to enhance happy thoughts), he will need the van for a fortnight to fit in with his cabinet maker/electrician etc.
So not as much to worry about as I first thought.... :laugh5: hopefully!
And I'm not cleaning a thing until they have done their stuff because it would be a waste of time.

Did you sleep in the bed above the cabin, Stanley? Not much head room up there. We had one like that and you had to do a very clever roll out of bed and get your foot on the ladder. Miss it and you would end up with one foot in the sink....

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Re: Getting on...(camper van tales)

Post by chinatyke » 01 Jun 2016, 05:51

Love it Maz. I'd love to mooch around Australia in that, just going anywhere the open road leads...
You see very few camper vans in China and I've never seen one caravan in 12 years here. Perhaps an opportunity for someone?

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Re: Getting on...(camper van tales)

Post by Stanley » 01 Jun 2016, 06:02

No Maz. It was classified as a six berth, one double at the back two singles on the sides and a small double in the Luton. We had enough room to leave the back double made up and it was a big advantage. I hate having to make the bed before you can go to sleep!
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Re: Getting on...(camper van tales)

Post by LizG » 01 Jun 2016, 06:26

Marilyn wrote: I also fancy a convection/microwave rather than just a microwave.
A friend of mine changed her caravan microwave to a convection/microwave. She says it's the best thing she ever did. Can't wait to see the end result.
Liz

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Re: Getting on...(camper van tales)

Post by Tizer » 01 Jun 2016, 09:16

The classic VW camper with a trailer caravan that I mentioned above looked something like photo No.2 on this web page: LINK
The Sealander `semi-aquatic caravan' sounds like fun too!

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Re: Getting on...(camper van tales)

Post by Marilyn » 01 Jun 2016, 09:33

There are some beauties in there, Tizer. Wonder how they get the approval signed off on them though ( very strict laws here). Nothing to stop you having one on your private property, but you couldn't take them on the road without a very limited permit ( possibly a public event) which would be issued for daylight hours only on a particular day.

China...imagine the mayhem on the roads in China if even 20% of the population owned vans, drove them on the roads and had to find storage for them when not in use?

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Re: Getting on...(camper van tales)

Post by chinatyke » 01 Jun 2016, 09:49

Marilyn wrote: China...imagine the mayhem on the roads in China if even 20% of the population owned vans, drove them on the roads and had to find storage for them when not in use?
Never thought of that. Stack them up outside their apartment blocks?

[I'm not in thinking mode today, I've just tried to take some photos in the bright sunlight but couldn't see the LED screen so took pot-luck. Only afterwards did I realise that my camera had one of those old fashioned view-finders that you can look through!]

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