I've posting about my bikes and the rides I've done on them, but my time over the last couple of months has actually been spent mucking around with a 4-wheeled vehicle, my Trafic van.
The van was purchased after a couple of family holidays when we'd overload the old Multipla with bikes, kayaks and camping gear and the stress of packing it all just started to get me down. I did a lot of research on both the van to buy and what I wanted it to be capable of. As a result, I now have a long wheelbase Renault Trafic which has had the bulkhead removed, a row of Q/R seats installed and a couple of extra windows fitted. I always wanted to be able to use it for a bit of overnight "camping" and after doing some reading I found out I'd have to insulate it - well - in order to make it warm enough and to stop the condensation from giving me an impromptu shower.
Many hours of work later, I think it's almost complete. I've added some 12v sockets in the back so I can run a power washer or charge lights and phones and a super-duper 3W floodlight just inside the rear doors so I can have a bright "work" area before and after any night rides and for illuminating an area I might actually camp in.
With all of this effort going in, I was glad to eventually get a chance to use it "in anger" for a weekend in Speyside and on the Moray Coast. My initial impressions are very favourable. Despite leaving the cab windows a tad for some air, it is warm enough, dry enough and big enough for my plans. A full length camp bed fits easily beside a couple of bike in the back and there's enough room to manoeuvre myself around. My only bugbear so far is finding suitable places to stop overnight as there are so many signs "forbidding" overnight parking - but I'll persevere. Now I just need to decide where else I'm off to in 2012.
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