We get asked all the time about what gear we use while camping. For us camping just isn’t camping without a real fire and to be able to cook outside is a real bonus. One thing that can make things a bit uncomfortable on longer trips is having a fire in a raised fire pit like the BushPig and having all the smoke blow in the side door of the van, especially if the awning is out. Having a fire under the cover of an awning out of the rain while being outside until now has been a bit of a no go for us especially when on a trip when you only have a few items of clothes and you want to make them last. You really don’t realise how much your clothes and hair can smell like woodsmoke until you go into a supermarket or something for supplies and you soon realise how much you pong! On this weekend trip we are using our trusty stove that can be found right here if you are interested in finding out more about it.
We have recently upgrade our awning set up to the ARB with the CampervanCulture.com fitting kit. We ditched the Fiamma simply because on the F35 pro there are to many plastic parts and 85% had failed in one way or another. Sure You can buy replacement parts for them but they are extremely expensive and not viable when you consider the value of your damaged awning and how much it would cost to repair the parts that are broken. We looked hard at the ARB and there just simply wasn’t anything around that worked correctly to connect the ARB to a T25/T3/Vanagon. You can find bastardised Fiamma brackets around that are bent, re drilled etc in an attempt to make them do but we found them to sit to close to the top of the sliding door so the door catches the bag/zip, they sat to low so the add on rooms for the ARB were to saggy on 2wd vans and you had to hunch over to walk underneath them. The sides of a Westfalia roof would still catch the rubber trim and they also rattled from the feedback we read about and that is enough to drive anyone nuts. Fitting roof rack brackets was especially hit and miss so we took all of this info on board and custom made out own fitting bracket sets so we could offer a complete ARB awning set and a range of add on rooms for the vans we drive on our web shop right here. We then approached ARB wholesale and they loved what we had done and allowed us to stock ARB products (ARB are an Australian company) and buy in stock to have here at CVC HQ here in the UK for quick dispatch. Being an ARB stockist is quite a selective process and we are really happy to be part of this right now as it allows us to bridge the gap of Camper van and overland travel gear. We have all had to put up with plastic or nylon made products for years as camper van owners and our goal is to change this with all of the products we stock.
Camping lighting has been another thing we haven’t been able to settle on now for a few years as lots of lighting set ups are either extremely power hungry or require batteries or fuel. This seams crazy when you have such a big battery bank in the vehicle so we are now settled on our CVC magnetic light bar kits here.
The campsite we used this time is Osney Lodge Farm. It’s a great cheap place that is close to home and very near London Gatwick Airport, ideal if flying into to UK. It is big enough to tuck yourself away if you want some quiet time or if you have kit just park up at the top of the meadow near the trees where the kids all hang out and play nicely. http://www.osneylodgefarm.co.uk
We didnt really know what to expect as we did very little research about the place but we do thank Doug and Elvis for giving some top tips on places to visit. You have to love a country who”s national sport isnt football or rugby but rock climbing and hiking, my kind of people. Most people spoke really good english, no litter of graffiti anywhere and an all round awesome place. Before you watch the video I am just going to say NO LOUISE DIDNT STEAL THAT REALLY hehehehehe…. We bought the item in question a few days earlier as we thought we had bought a device for repelling insects, but it turned out we bought a device for mourning the dead…. Wonder why we were getting strange looks in the evening and nobody would talk to us. What the hell am I on about? you will have to watch the video and see….
This summer Jed and his family were plagued by aggressive wasps on the tour they did of europe. With temperatures logged above 45*c driving around with the windows wound up was to prove a bloody pain in the backside so we have tried these nifty wind deflectors out. This way you can drive around without sucking the nasty wasps in or letting loads of rain in when driving in the rain with the windows down kind of a poor mans air con system. They are a good price and if you are in the UK you can buy them here, or if your from outside the UK do like it says in the Video and email JP mentioning Campervanculture and they will get back to you with a reasonable world wide shipping cost.
Personally I would have been chuffed if they were bought for me for my birthday or at Xmas and at only £30 per set what self respecting camper van owner wouldn’t? They do them for a wide range of other vehicles too as well as acrylic head light protectors, T4 and T5 bumper protectors, rear spoilers….
Today Jake and Jed hooked up in the vans and took the kayaks off the roofs.
We paddled a good few miles and found a nice pub called The Swan right next to Swan Island in Twickenham. You just wouldnt think you are in London, we felt like we were away on a trip.
We tried out the iDry as we hadn’t used it yet and thought it could be useful as we both use iPhones. The iDry is designed to keep your iphone dry while doing water sports and as keen kayak users we thought we would try the iDry out and review it.