Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Being Home and New Van!...

I always look forward to being home...

Yes its exciting, stimulating, adventurous and never boring cruising around in a van or catching fresh powder every day. But theres nothing like coming home to family, friends and your favourite curry house.

We took the shorter and more direct Dieppe to Newhaven ferry back Saturday morning and was in Horsham by 10:30. Kerry's parents were there when we got back and we all had a hug.

Breakfast in the sun
We normally spend every evening seeing a different person, group of friends or family, and this time round was no different. We double booked on more than one occasion but over the few weeks we have been back we have seen pretty much everyone
We have also moved on the van. Whilst we were traveling round we identified some very certain requirements for any future van. And with winter looming (yet still months away) we decided to get a new one.

Its based on the same Ford Transit base but from a model before the blue smartie van. Its got all the systems and amenities we think we need. Running water for start is very nice, double glazing to keep in the heat from the gas fired blown air heating and a gas boiler for hot water and a shower.
New van with a bit more insulation

Electrically it has a 240 and 12 volt system running from a 100aH battery. The split charge relay is already wired in to the ignition and the radio actually has an antenna! (Unlike ole bluey). The fridge in the van can run on 12, 240 volt and gas. I intend on buying a butane gas bottle that can be filled up with LPG at some fuel stations. This combats the difficulty in finding replacement compatible bottles ok the continent.

We have been living in it for the past 2 weeks outside Kerry's parents house and it's very comfortable. 

We decided we definitely needed a fixed bed and preferably out of the way so we don't have to make up a bed each time we stop. This van has quite a claustrophobic double bed over the cab. There is about 2 foot of space from mattress to ceiling, and I must admit I've woke up in the night freaking out and ended up on the sofa below. Hopefully with time I will get used to it.

Food challenge that I failed at!
The engine sounds good and its got quite a bit of service history with half the amount of miles of the blue van. I shall have to give it a service mechanically soon though for peace of mind.

We also discussed and decided to invest in a proper bicycle rack for any new van. £150 from Halfords and its doing the job at the moment. It will be nice to be able to leave the van and cycle off on adventures as it's normally pretty difficult to get a parking space in towns and public transport can be expensive/confusing abroad.

The blue van has gone up on eBay and I'm sure it should sell what with the work I did to it and the glorious British summer we are enjoying.

We are headed 'Up North' to County Durham in a few days for Kerry's Dad's 50th Birthday. A new 120W solar panel has just been delivered for the new truck so we should never have to plug in to 'shore power'. Hopefully I will get the time to fit and install the panel before our 3rd Festival of the year... Global Gathering

Van with bicycle rack!

First camp out with the van and good friends


  1. Dont forget that butane freezes around -1 !! This may be a problem for you during the winter months. Propane does not.

  2. Love the new bus. Get better locks fitted on this one. :-)