Author Archives: Al@campervanculture.com

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Fox shocks & Gowesty Springs – a few months in…

Background

I have fairly recently fitted a set of Gowesty Camper Products progressive springs and Fox 2.0 shocks to my van. It took a lot research before i decided on a shock and spring set up due to a few reasons which i will explain.

Jargon (Techy stuff)

My main reason for looking for a new set of springs was that for sometime i had been running spring spacers to lift my van. This is a very common way of gaining some ground clearance on a syncro, It’s a great cheap way of gaining some ground clearance, but it has its compromises.

By adding spacers you are moving the position of the spring which gains you ground clearance, however the range of movement in the spring does not change, it is just moved in relation to the other suspension components.

I wanted to fit a set of springs that would give me the ground clearance i required  without any/bare minimum of spacers The Gowesty progressive springs seemed to fit the bill. I have fitted the 2″ lift version on the rear of my van and zero lift to the front (i’ll explain why in a minute). Continue reading

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We’ve teamed up with Go Westy!

We’re proud to announce that we are now able to offer Go Westy Camper products to the United Kingdom. We’ve teamed up with Go Westy to bring you quality parts made by quality people.

We have a selection of parts available right now on our webshop. Have a look here for whats available: http://www.campervanculture.com/product-category/gowesty/

We will be adding much more to the store as time goes by so keep an eye out for some really tasty parts landing real soon!

Also, if there is something you have been yearning after from the Go Westy range, then make sure to get in touch. We can take pre-orders on products if we don’t already have them in stock so that you can guarantee getting them added to our next shipment.

Here’s to the good ol U S of A

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Morocco Expedition – Fes

I awoke quite early the next morning with thoughts of the days hustle and bustle. There was no chance of getting back to sleep so I decided to get up, put some tea on and see what was going on around the campsite. It had obviously been quite cold over night. The water in the stream that runs along the boundary of the campsite was pouring steamy vapour amidst the shafts of bright sunlight that filtered through the foliage of the tree canopy. Our rendevous with our guide for the day wasn’t until 10am so after a bit of tidying up around our camp we had plenty of time left for multiple cups of tea and coffee as well as a substantial breakfast. At the meeting point we found the rest of the people we would be sharing the tour with; a couple from Germany traveling with their teenage son and another German couple enjoying their retirement. The taxi arrived and we were greeted by our guide; a towering stature of a man. He must have been at least 6’ 6” and had more ear hair than I think I’ve ever seen on a single person before. Continue reading

Phew..! We made it.. Webshop Open.

Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for your patience while we have been moving servers. Its a been a roller coaster of a ride getting everything moved over and running again, but we’ve made it.

Thanks also to all the people that emailed wishing us luck and encouragement, you are all amazing!

The webshop is fully open again and now we’re on the new server we will be adding lots of new and exciting products over the coming weeks, so keep your eyes peeled.

There’s a few exciting bits of news that will be announced too that we’ve been itching to tell you all.

Thanks again for all the support

The CVC team 🙂

Shop Closure – Don’t worry, it’ll be open again soon…

Hi everyone, we have decided to move our site to a different server to make everything run a little bit faster, smoother and more stable for you all.
This means the webshop will be closed for a little while until we get everything swapped over and up and running again. It shouldn’t take too long, so please bear with us.

Keep checking back if there is something you want to purchase, we’re hoping the shop should be back again in no more than 24hrs.

If you’re really desperate to get hold of one of the products on the site then please drop us an email at shop@campervanculture.com and i’m sure we can sort something out for you.

Thanks everyone

Wish us luck….

Brand New 2nd Generation Difflock T-shirts

All you guys love our Diff-lock T-shirts so much we decided to release a new style. We’ve reworked the graphics and the logo into a more stylish and striking design to keep you lot looking as cool as possible.

VW Syncro Diff lock panel design on the front with a Campervan Culture graphic on the reverse.

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The shirts are the usual highest quality Gildan heavy weight cotton with top quality screen printed graphics.

Get em while they’re hot!!
http://campervanculture.com/shop/culture-2nd-gen-diff-lock-t-shirt/

Morocco Expedition – Madrid to Orce

From the Gorge near Madrid we headed South towards a place called Orce to meet up with a fellow Syncro owner and Campervan Culture subscriber Dave, we nickname him Dave the Cave, makes perfect sense as he lives in a cave but more on that later.
The journey was smooth and interesting, passing through many beautiful and mountainous regions as we knocked mile upon mile off of the journey.

We finally arrived in Orce in the early evening just after dark. Dave had said it would be difficult to find his house (no surprise there really) but he had previously sent us his address which Alan had put into his Sat Nav. Unsure as to whether the Sat Nav would actually manage to get us to Dave’s actual address we decided it would be worth a go, so we set off into the hills from Orce.

Twenty minutes later we had arrived where the Sat Nav suggested Dave’s house was, but it didn’t look much like a cave. We gave him a quick phone call and found that we weren’t in the right place, we were close but not close enough. Now that Dave knew we we’re nearby he said he’d keep an eye out for us on the road and after about 5 minutes a man leapt from the darkness out into the beams of our headlights wearing a Campervan Culture Difflock T-shirt!

We did some quick hello’s on the road and set off for Dave’s cave. One dusty dirt track later we pulled up outside and were warmly welcomed into Dave and Carole’s gorgeous dwelling. The houses in and around Orce were originally ancient farm workers homes carved into the hillside. But when the water dried up in the valley everyone left in search of better working and living conditions. Since then the cave houses have been gradually bought up by people wanting something a little bit different from the norm for a home or holiday accommodation.

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The idea of someone living in a cave conjures up all manner of images in your minds eye, but none of which would probably be close to the reality of these houses. From the outside they have an almost ‘Hobbit’ house feel to them in that they are a fairly normal looking house frontage, however all the rest of the property disappears into the hillside. Inside they are cosy, warm and very welcoming. Barely a straight line is to be found with the render on the walls gently smoothed into arched ceilings, original features such as a large bread oven carved into wall of what is now the bathroom (originally the kitchen in times gone by).

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Carole had prepared us a delicious feast of chicken and chorizo paella ready for when we arrived so we all sat down for the meal and swapped stories of the local area for our account of the ferry crossing over to spain. Amongst these stories was talk of a place nearby called Castril and a spectacular walk that follows a deep gorge along the path of the river that formed it.

With full stomachs and after probably a few too many Rioja’s we all left for our respective beds with thoughts of what the next day would bring.

The next morning, once the sun was up it was possible to see everything in the area surrounding us. Once again whatever it was that we might have imagined wouldn’t have come close to the reality of it. There are literally hundreds of cave style dwellings in the area, all blending subtly into the landscape with only the chimneys giving away their locations.

The town of Orce is also a stunning place with it’s large and very impressive church, well kept castle ruins and unspoiled streets with people going about their daily business. We happened to arrive on market day which provided a good mornings worth of meandering and perusing of all the produce on offer, later we headed to Galera to have a look around the most densely populated area of cave houses. There’s barely a piece of hillside without some form of house built into it, every inch of the rock faces seem to have a house frontage.

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Castril is positioned just on the edge of the Parque Natural Serras de Carzorla and was our place to visit. Dave took us to a walk along a gorge that he had been to many times, he asked if we were all good with heights before we set off so we wondered what was in store for us when we arrived.
The heights weren’t too bad, but we could still see why he asked. An elevated boardwalk along the cliff walls of the first half a kilometer or so of the trail, providing a stunning aspect to the steep sided gorge carved from the rock by the river below.

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Further along a small suspension bridge has been built and tunnels have been carved through the rock face to enable the path to continue following the river as it winds it’s way along the valley floor.

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After a good wander around we made our way back to Orce to get some dinner on, sort out a few maintenance niggles with the vans and hide away from the cold night by Dave’s toasty wood burner.

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Web Shop – Temporary Closure Notice

Closure: 12th December 2013 – 1st February 2014

As many of you will already know, Alan and Jed are off on a trip to Morocco for a couple of months (Dec 13th – 1st Feb). Jake has also recently relocated to Canada to start a new life on the other side of the pond.
As a result of all of this going on at the same time we have made the difficult decision to close the store for orders while we are away in Morocco. The shop will remain online for browsing, but we will not be taking any orders during this period.

We’re really sorry if this causes any inconvenience to anyone and as a small gesture of apology once we return (1st Feb onwards) we will be making sure everyone will get a good clutch of stickers included with every order.

You can still take advantage of the free shipping offer before the 8th Dec for pre Christmas orders.

We hope that you all will keep an eye on what we are doing and where we are going via our Morocco Blog. We will be updating this with news, pictures and video as often as we can whilst we are away (internet connection dependant). Once we return we will be getting all the video together and releasing a mini series covering our trip in full.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year to you all, we hope you have a great one.

The Campervan Culture team.

Gearbox & Front Diff Check Up With Aidan Talbot

MASSIVE THANKS have to go out to Aidan Talbot

I’ve just been up with Aidan recently and we pulled out both my front diff and gearbox and gave them both a good going over. I had a massive gearbox failure last year and had to buy a replacement box from our friend Jason in Denmark (thanks again Jase). I needed my van back on the road as quick as possible at that point so Aidan just gave it a good assessment and it was found to have Pinion bearing wear.
So this time it got stripped down properly and rebuilt to Aidan’s exacting standards. I must admit its given a real sense of confidence, at least i know i’ve done everything i possibly can to prevent anything going wrong whilst we are away in Morocco.

I asked Aidan to take the front diff to bits also as i wanted to know firstly if there was anything wrong in there, but secondly i wanted to know if there was anything that could be contributing/causing the ‘prop ringing’. The front diff had a few little surprises as it happens which made me very happy that it got taken to bits for a check up.

Oh and please excuse the state of my face in the movie, my engine bash plate fell on my face when we we’re removing the gearbox….hurt a bit that did!

Here’s the video of the front diff:

Gearbox movie to follow……

North Devon and Exmoor

After slaving away in a field for 3 weeks working for Glastonbury Festival a well needed break was in order. So Alan and Harriet headed off for a bit of wild camping and wholesome camp fire cooking by the coast as a mini get away from it all. In true CampervanCulture style they just headed off in the general direction of Exmoor and after talking to the locals in a random pub they got the heads up on some great wild camping spots. Our usual rule of thumb of supporting the local economy in the places we wild camp was applied and all in all another great get away was had.

Ah well back to more summer festival work for Alan and Harriet now for the rest of the season to save for the CampervanCulture.com Africa trip later in the year.

Business meeting, CampervanCulture style…

Given the weather has been so good, we decided to take the opportunity to meet up and discuss our new range of clothing that should be with us on Thursday this week as well as sorting some new designs to follow right after. Amongst many others the new reversing light option we are due to take delivery of next week was also discussed, the new cool sticker range available next week, totally amazing Westfalia Joker roof bed pillow/kiddy guards in grey and brown, all the cargo docking systems that Al has been working on so hard plus lots more. I think we might have a summer trip planned to visit Jake@ CampervanCulture.com in Cornwall so that will be an epic video to share.

Oh and we spoke a bit about the North Africa trip later this year….

In CampervanCulture.com style we whipped out the cameras around the board room table and had serious talks about spread sheets and sales margins while filming it all…

Enjoy!