The Volkswagen Type 2 Owners Club is a UK national club for owners and enthusiasts of the classic Volkswagen transporter van from the 1950 Split Screen to the current models. There are also some most welcome members from outside the UK.
The Club aims to help its members maintain their vehicles both as preserved historic vans and as restored, or otherwise reclaimed, going concerns keeping a family travelling and camping happily.
Our members are spread right across the UK and some overseas members too, and the Club tries to provide activities and events that everyone can attend and enjoy. We have a strong presence at some of the UK’s biggest VW events as well as running our own camps and meeting up at smaller events. We also get discounts at many companies associated with camper vans!
Please allow 21 days following payment for your application to be processed.
If you need your membership more quickly, in some circumstances we may be able to give you a temporary membership number – please email our membership secretary.
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The latest magazine has recently arrived with our 900 members! If you are enjoying the club magazine and have a story about a trip, an upgrade, a restoration or just a tip, send a contribution to our Editor at email@example.com.
There were no questions for The Mechanic this issue, but with the weather tuning cold and some members continuing to use their campervan through the seasons, that means heating. There are gas heaters on the market and these are becoming more affordable. Gas is also used for cooking in many campervans, so it’s time to talk gas safety!
Types of Gas Let’s start by looking at the different types of gas available in the UK and beyond. All European countries have their own gas bottle suppliers and each of these have their own regulators and adaptors. Campingaz is available all through Europe in small bottles which is great for quick trips or for solo travellers. We (Editors) use campingaz 907 bottles as they’re fairly readily available in the UK and abroad and they fit nicely in the cupboard under our storage trunk! LPG (or Liquid Petroleum Gas) is the most common kind used in campervans and motor homes and it comes in two types; Propane and Butane. Without going into the differences between them in chemical structure, here are the main differences: Propane Usually used in vehicles where multiple appliances will be running off it. Ideal for cold climates as it operates down to -40°C! It’s much lighter and less dense than Butane. Butane Operates more efficiently than Propane. It’s denser than propane, so a bottle of the same size will hold more gas. Butane can’t be used at temperatures below 0°C (It cools down to a liquid state). Different appliances may need one or the other of the main LPGs to operate effectively, so it’s always worth checking that before you buy. Gas Safety Rules The standard that applies to campervans is BS EN 1949: 2001 + A1:2013. If you ever want more information, it is worth looking that up. There isn’t the same level of regulations for fitting gas and gas appliances to motor homes and campervans as there is to houses, but would still recommend that anyone installing an appliance is registered. If you’re installing gas appliances into your campervan, the British Standard isn’t mandatory, unless you’re going to be hiring that vehicle out. If you are going to be hiring, ensuring that everything is compliant with the law is down to you, just as it would be if you owned a house or flat that you were renting out. You’re allowed to undertake work yourself if you’re not a registered gas engineer, as long as you’re competent. (The definition of competence is vague, but you’ve got to ask yourself whether you’d be happy to undertake the work and have the responsibility on your shoulders). There’s a lot that could potentially go wrong, and the stakes are certainly high, so it may well be worth getting a registered engineer to fit it. Registered gas engineers can charge anywhere between £30 and £100 an hour, but it’s worth looking around in your area if and when you need one.
Top Tips for Gas Safety Ensure the gas is turned off before you travel. If you’re using your vehicle for work purposes and carrying compressed gas, you must show a sticker to alert people. If you’re not using your vehicle for work, but still carry compressed gas, it is advised to have a warning sticker displayed whilst carrying the gas. Unless your campervan or motor home has a rotating rooftop device, you’re limited to carrying two 10 litre bottles of gas in the UK. All flammable gasses must be carried upright at all times. Make sure you’ve got a Carbon Monoxide alarm. They might not be stylish, but they’re potentially lifesaving. Note that LPG gasses are heavier than air, so will form a ‘puddle’ on the ground in the event of a leak. Floor vents must be kept clear. If parked up in snow/mud/etc then ensure that the vents aren’t blocked. Changing the bottle is the most dangerous time, always make sure that you know how to remove and fit the regulator and keep well away from naked flames when changing the bottle. Don’t use a naked flame to look for a leak (sounds obvious!) and check for pipe leaks by using water and washing up liquid solution, bubbles will appear at a leak. Make sure you have a fire blanket and/or fire extinguisher, as well as a fire alarm. If you’ve got an older VW it is recommended to carry an extinguisher any way, in case of a dreaded engine fire. Can you really have too many extinguishers in an old VW? The rules and tips for gas safety aren’t complicated and if you keep to them, the use of gas in your campervan is perfectly safe and an excellent resource.
This issue, The Mechanic takes a look at an often overlooked but important issue, windscreen wiper condition.
Windscreen wipers are an invaluable part of any vehicle, providing the driver with a clear, unobstructed view of the road when it is needed most. Whether it is rain, sleet, snow or leaves covering your windscreen, the wiper blades will quickly and efficiently clear the obstruction, meaning you can continue your journey in safety. However, of all the parts of a car which are subject to wear and tear, windscreen wipers are perhaps the most fragile. Manufactured from thin rubber, they are designed to operate smoothly on the windscreen without damaging the surface of the glass, yet despite their fragility they are often required on a daily basis, possibly for long periods of time during wet weather. In winter they become frozen to the glass and in summer they are used to help to clean the windscreen, while being subjected to high temperatures. It is hardly surprising then, that windscreen wipers do not last indefinitely and require regular replacement. Often the need to replace wipers is overlooked, although regular servicing and MOT testing should identify if they are becoming worn. However, rather than relying on these tests to assess the condition of the blades, car owners should be aware of the common signs that the windscreen wipers are failing, especially with autumn upon us. So what are they? Streaking: blades that are in good condition should clear the rainwater from the windscreen effortlessly, in one complete action. This means there should be no streaks of water where the blade has failed to make contact with the glass. Unusual noises: windscreen wipers should operate with minimal noise or ideally should be silent. Sounds such as squeaks, screeches or scrapes could indicate that the blades have become worn. Irregular movement: wiper blades which are in good condition will move smoothly across the windscreen. As they become worn over time, you may notice that the blades judder on operation which is an indication that replacement may be necessary. Ragged or distorted blades: visually inspecting the condition of the windscreen wipers should be a weekly task for all vehicle owners. By lifting the arms of the wipers away from the windscreen, you can quickly assess the condition of the rubber. Ragged, jagged or distorted edges, where the blade makes contact with the glass, should prompt you to replace them immediately. Worn blades may not only hinder your vision, but can also damage your windscreen, which will in turn not only cost you dearly in a replacement screen, but also hinder your vision even more, making it dangerous to drive with the vehicle in such a condition. Replacement blades can be picked up very cheaply for all types of van, so there is no excuse not to check yours and change if required, but remember… “Buy Nice or Buy Twice”.
The Mechanic features some technical talk every issue and welcomes member submissions. This issue, The Mechanic takes a look at a very common problem for the T4 Transporter and how to fix or prevent it from occurring.
A common problem that T4’s and their owners’ suffer from is the clutch pedal mounting bracket cracking. This in turn then causes the clutch master cylinder to become loose and move. This may not be a huge problem in the beginning, but it will eventually break away completely, leaving you without a working clutch in your T4 van. As well as the damaged pedal, it can also damage the master cylinder beyond repair and/or crack the pipe work, covering your foot well and footwear in corrosive brake/clutch fluid.
There is a quick and affordable repair/prevention method by fitting an additional angled bracket that strengthens the existing pedal bracket. The kits are readily available online and can be found with a quick search. The kits contain an angled bracket, three M8 bolts (one longer than the other two), an M8 nyloc nut and four washers (one larger than the other three). Fitting Guide 1 Start off under the bonnet and locate your brake servo unit. It is the big round unit below the brake master cylinder and brake fluid reservoir. 2 Remove the M8 bolt (13mm head) from the lower right side of your brake servo and replace it with the longest of the three M8 bolts supplied in the kit, along with the largest M8 washer. 3 Now move inside the car and into the driver’s foot well. Locate your clutch master cylinder, located between the clutch and brake pedals and remove the two M8 mounting bolts (13mm heads). 4 Place the new clutch pedal support bracket into position, ensuring that it goes over the protruding bulkhead bolt you first fitted. Now loosely fit the bracket to the clutch master cylinder using the two remaining M8 bolts and small M8 washers supplied in the kit with your support bracket. 5 Now fit the other small M8 washer and M8 nyloc nut to the longer bulkhead bolt you fitted earlier and tighten. 6 Now tighten the two clutch master cylinder bolts you fitted loosely earlier. 7 Job complete. Enjoy a strong clutch pedal and relax knowing that this failure has been repaired or prevented
For this edition of Member’s Motor, we look at Paul and Vikki McManus’ recent purchase of Beryl, their 1973 Early Bay Window. I’m Paul, I work as a designer in the civil service and Vikki works in HR with the NHS. We have 3 children: Ella 20, Dylan 18, Jonah 15 and Buxton, our 3 year old Cockapoo. I have always wanted to own a classic vehicle. My dad was an engineering fitter by trade and a talented mechanic. I have fond memories of watching him work on the family cars and he took myself and my siblings to the annual Steam Rally at Shanes Castle in my native Northern Ireland. My love of classic cars was nurtured there and a favourite family photograph shows me sitting on my Dads Citroen DS Safari! Vikki’s first car was a VW Beetle which her mum christened, Baldrick! We decided that we wanted to buy a VW camper whilst we were walking Buxton in the grounds of the local cricket club, when a gentleman pulled up in his late bay. The brief conversation we had with him continued as we walked, and a seed was planted. I tend to research things fairly thoroughly before committing. It was important the van suited our lifestyle and it was something we were both keen on. My research led me to Westfalias, which I understand were one of the few companies that purchased mini buses to convert, others opting to buy panel vans and cut their own windows. I particularly liked the interior styling of the Westfalias. It was then the question anyone who’s bought a classic vehicle has to answer what condition and how much?! We did consider a project, but as we looked further, we came to the conclusion that a fully restored Westfalia Bay was what we wanted. Our search criteria was fairly specific and I was able to locate a few options online and discovered our van on Facebook; it’s a 1973 Westfalia Continental, first registered in 1974.
I contacted Adam, who had restored the van and was very impressed by his knowledge and the work he’d done. I asked if it was possible for him to send me a video and he and his partner Alex kindly did so a few days later. I kept Vikki fully informed on the vans I’d found and we both agreed Adams van was one we wanted to go and view ourselves. We set off to Doncaster in August 2021 and met up with Adam, one of the pictures shows Vikki standing next to the driver’s door and her smile says it all. It was love at first sight! I had a slight concern that Vikki might find driving a classic off putting, but it brought back lovely memories of her Beetle and she was hooked. The van looked even better in real life too, Alex, Adam’s partner, had chosen the upholstery and we loved the nod to the plaid interiors of the late 70’s bays and how it toned with the overall colour scheme. The interior is completely original aside from the upholstery, the floor and the fridge. I agreed a price with Adam subject to an independent review, but was somewhat embarrassed to get a second opinion, as to my untrained eye it appeared to be a stunning restoration. Adam was more than happy to have someone review his work however and Nick, an aircooled specialist in Doncaster, put the van on the ramp and inspected it thoroughly. Nick was so impressed by the van that he refused to take any payment for the review, saying he was delighted to find someone with Adam’s expertise locally and reviewing such a van had been an absolute pleasure. This was my first taste of the special bunch of people that VW owners are. Nick runs a Splitty and his mate has a show winning bay. Nick said Adam’s van would provide stiff competition for his mate’s van, so I was more than happy!
Some of the work carried out during the restoration includes: Paintwork taken back to a bare shell. Welding repairs to body and chassis. Running gear and steering overhauled with new parts where necessary. Braking system has had a full replacement of all hydraulic and friction components. Engine stripped down to bare casings, cleaned, inspected, and rebuilt with all new bearings, seals, refurbished cylinders and pistons, reconditioned genuine cylinder heads and finished off with a genuine Ernst exhaust. The original Solex carburettor has benefited from a strip, clean, and rebuild. The fuel pump has been upgraded to an electric version with safety cut off. The ignition has been replaced with an electric item to eliminate the constant and often problematic maintenance of the points and condenser. A large, fully functioning fridge is in place of the old cool box. Underslung fresh water storage tank twice the size of the original has been fitted. 240v mains hook up with the addition of a leisure battery for off-site camping. All seating has been recovered and the rear bench seat has been fitted with three seat belts. 12v socket for charging of phones etc and an iPod compatible stereo. New pop top canvas with side opening windows
As soon as Nick confirmed the van was indeed the superb restoration we believed it was, we paid the deposit and I began clearing the garage to ensure she had a new home. We drove over to Doncaster again in late August 2021 and I drove the van home over the M62, which I understand is the highest motorway in England. I have to admit, I was slightly nervous, having only had a brief test drive up to that point, but she never missed a beat and coped with the hills without issue! Strangely enough, I saw 3 other cars at the roadside that day with overheated engines and another on fire! Since getting her home we have named her Beryl. She is painted Beryl Green and Lotus White, so ‘Beryl’ seemed like a good fit. I have installed a period VW Stereo and the batteries are linked to a Noco Genius 2 x 2 to keep them in tip top condition. We bought Beryl at the end of the season but have managed a day trip to see Vikki’s parents in Thornton Cleveleys and an overnight stay with Buxton our Cockapoo at Bolton Abbey in Yorkshire. We loved staying in Beryl and look forward to many more trips and shows in the coming years, perhaps we will meet a few of you along the way. Paul and Vikki
August 14th 2021 saw the return of RAF Odiham’s Family Day. The club had several vans in attendance as part of the show’s classic car event and members camped for the weekend at a nearby pub. The day involved displays from resident Chinooks, Typhoons and also the Red Arrows, who put on an excellent 40 minute display. This event is getting better and better each year and we are privileged as a club to be invited to attend. Photo credit to David Eaton.
After an extensive consultation process, the Department for Transport has introduced legislation to mandate E10 petrol as the standard 95-octane petrol grade from 1 September 2021 and in Northern Ireland, this will happen in early 2022. They will also require the higher-octane 97+ ‘Super’ grades to remain E5 to provide protection for owners of older vehicles. This product will be designated as the ‘Protection’ grade. The change in fuel applies to petrol only. Diesel fuel will not be changing. Petrol pumps now show new labels designating the grade, the maximum ethanol content and an advisory cautionary notice. Other information regarding the introduction of E10 petrol may also be provided by fuel retailers such as the ‘Know your Fuel’ sticker (shown at the foot of this article). For some time, service station pumps have had E5 and B7 labels consistent with the BS EN16942 standard that has been adopted across Europe. This standard also sets out the labelling requirements for other renewable fuel grades such as E85, B20, B30, etc. that can be found across Europe either on service station forecourts or for captive fleet use. At the filling station At the petrol station, a circular ‘E10’ or ‘E5’ label will be clearly visible on both the petrol dispenser and nozzle, making it easy for you to identify the correct petrol to use together with the warning text “Suitable for most petrol vehicles: check before use” The ‘E10’ and ‘E5’ labels look like this: Labels on modern vehicles New vehicles manufactured from 2019 onwards should have an ‘E10’ and ‘E5’ label close to the filler cap showing the fuel(s) they can use. What fuel should I use? Almost all (95%) petrol-powered vehicles on the road today can use E10 petrol and all cars built since 2011 were required to be compatible. If your petrol vehicle or equipment is not compatible with E10 fuel, you will still be able to use E5 by purchasing the ‘super’ grade (97+ octane) petrol from most filling stations. Our recommendation The Federation recommends that all vehicles produced before 2000 and some vehicles from the early 2000s that are considered noncompatible with E10 – should use the Super E5 Protection grade where the Ethanol content is limited to a maximum of 5%. To check compatibility of vehicles produced since 2000, we recommend using the new online E10 compatibility checker however, please note that many manufacturers are missing and there are some discrepancies regarding particular models. Additional information on vehicle compatibility issues is available on the FBHVC website. What is ethanol? Ethanol is an alcohol derived from plants, including sugar beet and wheat. Increasingly, waste products such as wood are also being used to manufacture ethanol. Therefore, it is renewable and not derived from fossil fuels. Why are we using it? Principally ethanol is being added to fuel in order to reduce carbon emissions as Britain heads towards its target of net zero emissions by
According to Government experts, this will reduce greenhouse gases by 750,000 tonnes per year which, they say, is the equivalent output of 350,000 cars.
The move will bring the UK in line with many European countries which have been using E10 fuels for a number of years already. In some parts of the world, such as South America much higher levels of bioethanol have been in use since as early as the 1970s. What might happen? 1 Corrosion / Tarnishing of metal components 2 Elastomer compatibility – swelling, shrinking and cracking of elastomers (seals and flexible pipes) and other unsuitable gasket materials 3 Air/fuel ratio enleanment Some historic vehicles use materials in the fuel systems that are damaged by ethanol. These include some cork, shellac, epoxy resins, nylon, polyurethane and glass-fibre reinforced polyesters. In later cars these have largely been replaced with paper gaskets, Teflon, polyethylene and polypropylene which are all unaffected by ethanol. Very old leather gaskets and seals are also resistant to ethanol. As the ethanol molecule is smaller and more polar than conventional petrol components, there is a lower energy barrier for ethanol to diffuse into elastomer materials. When exposed to petrol/ethanol blends these materials will swell and soften, resulting in a weakening of the elastomer structure. On drying out they can shrink and crack resulting in fuel leaks. If your fuel system has old hoses or any degradation of components, then ethanol may appear to advance these problems very quickly. You may experience leaks or fuel “sweating” from fuel lines. Some fuel tank repair coatings have been found to breakdown and clog fuel systems, although there are plenty of ethanol resistant products on the market. What can we do? The most important thing is to ensure your fuel system components are regularly inspected and renewed as part of a routine maintenance programme for your historic vehicles. Ultimately owners should look to renew fuel system components such as hoses, seals and gaskets with ethanol safe versions as a long – term solution and more of these are entering the market through specialists every day. If you should decide to make the necessary vehicle fuel system modifications together with the addition of an aftermarket additive to operate your classic or historic vehicle on E10 petrol. The FBHVC strongly recommends that you regularly check the condition of the vehicle fuel system for elastomer and gasket material deterioration and metallic components such as fuel tanks, fuel lines and carburettors for corrosion. Some plastic components such as carburettor floats and fuel filter housings may be become discoloured over time. Plastic carburettor float buoyancy can also be affected by ethanol and carburettors should be checked to ensure that float levels are not adversely affected causing flooding and fuel leaks. Ethanol is a good solvent and can remove historic fuel system deposits from fuel tanks and lines and it is advisable to check fuel filters regularly after the switch to E10 petrol as they may become blocked or restricted. If your vehicle is to be laid up for an extended period of time, it is recommended that the E10 petrol be replaced with ethanol free petrol which is available from some fuel suppliers. Do not leave fuel systems dry when storing, as this can result corrosion and the shrinking and cracking of elastomers and gaskets as they dry out. Engine tuning Ethanol contains approximately 35% oxygen by weight and will therefore result in fuel mixture enleanment when blended into petrol. Petrol containing 10% ethanol for example, would result in a mixture-leaning effect equivalent to approximately 2.6%, which may be felt as a power loss, driveability issues (hesitations, flat spots, stalling), but also could contribute to slightly hotter running. Adjusting mixture strength (enrichment) to counter this problem is advised to maintain performance, driveability and protect the engine from overheating and knock at high loads. Modern 3-way catalyst equipped vehicles do not require mixture adjustment to operate on E10 petrol because they are equipped with oxygen (lambda) sensors that detect lean operation and the engine management system automatically corrects the fuel mixture for optimum catalyst and vehicle operation. Additives and vehicle storage. Ethanol has increased acidity, conductivity and inorganic chloride content when compared to conventional petrol which is typically pH neutral. Ethanol can cause corrosion and tarnishing of metal components under certain conditions. These characteristics are controlled in the ethanol used to blend E5 and E10 European and UK petrol by the ethanol fuel specification BS EN15376 in order to help limit corrosion. Some aftermarket ethanol compatibility additives claim complete protection for operating historic and classic vehicles on E10 petrol. The FBHVC is not aware of, or has tested any additives that claim complete fuel system protection with respect to elastomer and gasket materials for use with E10 petrol. The FBHVC therefore recommends that elastomer and gasket materials are replaced with ethanol compatible materials before operation on E10 petrol. However, corrosion inhibitor additives can be very effective in controlling ethanol derived corrosion and are recommended to be added to ethanol in the BS EN15376 standard. It is not clear if corrosion inhibitors are universally added to ethanol for E5 and E10 blending so as an additional precaution it is recommended that aftermarket corrosion inhibitor additives are added to E5 and E10 petrol. These aftermarket ethanol corrosion inhibitor additives often called ethanol compatibility additives are usually combined with a metallic valve recession additive (VSR) and sometimes an octane booster and have been found to provide good protection against metal corrosion in historic and classic vehicle fuel systems. What happens if I fill up with E10 by accident? Don’t panic – your car will continue to run, just fill up with E5 at the next opportunity and avoid storing your vehicle for long periods with E10 fuel. E5 Petrol E5 petrol can contain between 0 and 5% by volume ethanol. Other oxygenated blend components may also be used up to a maximum petrol oxygen content of 2.7%. There is a variation at the pumps, not just between brands but also between different areas of the country, some will contain a lot less but the absolute maximum is capped at 5%. E10 Petrol E10 petrol contains between 5.5 – 10% ethanol by volume. Other oxygenated blend components may also be used up to a maximum petrol oxygen content of 3.7%. Again, there is a variation at the pumps, not just between brands but also between different areas of the country, some will contain a lot less but the absolute maximum is capped at 10%.
It should be noted that some Super E5 Protection grade fuels do not contain Ethanol as the E5 designation is for fuels containing up to 5% Ethanol. To re-iterate, product availability varies by manufacturer and geographical location. Diesel labelling The renewable content of diesel fuel will not be changing and service station fuel pumps will continue to be labelled as B7, designating a biodiesel, Fatty Acid Methyl Ester (FAME) content of between 0 and 7% by volume. New vehicles manufactured from 2019 onwards should have a ‘B7’ and or higher content label close to the filler cap showing the fuel they can use. The ‘B7’ label looks like this: For media enquiries, please contact: Wayne Scott at Classic Heritage PR, 07759 260899 firstname.lastname@example.org About the FBHVC: The Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs exists to uphold the freedom to use historic vehicles on the road. It does this by representing the interests of owners of such vehicles to politicians, government officials, and legislators both in the UK and (through the Federation Internationale des Vehicules Anciens) in Europe. There are over 500 subscriber organisations representing a total membership of over 250,000 in addition to individual and trade supporters. All our directors operate in a voluntary capacity supported by our secretary. Website: www.fbhvc.co.uk
Continuing our 2020 Social Distance Summer Road Trip, we left Wales and headed north to Scotland, but we had to reach the border first and decided to spend a night in the Lake District on our way north to break up the journey. The journey from Wales to the Lake District was long and uneventful. 200 miles in a VW Camper at 55mph is quite a slog, but we are used to long durations on the road and somehow in the camper it never seems as bad as being in a car. Maybe that’s because the camper feels like being at home? At least you can pull over pretty much whenever you like and make a cuppa! On arrival at the Lake District, we hit Windermere. We aren’t staying here, but it’s the starting point for a road through the mountains that I have wanted to drive ever since coming to this location by accident four years ago; the Kirkstone Pass! For those who know the Lake District well enough, you may know there are two places called Troutbeck. One of them is close to Penrith and has a campsite, the other is near to Windermere and doesn’t! Four years ago I drove to the wrong Troutbeck and haven’t been able to live it down. The Kirkstone pass pretty much runs between the two, but we weren’t brave enough to take on the pass last time we visited (first time towing the camping trailer and didn’t know if we would make it!… bearing in mind one of the roads on the pass is called “The Struggle!” and so we took the long way round instead. From the Windermere side of the pass in the south, it’s a long uphill jaunt along harsh mountain roads with tall, threatening, exposed rock faces, narrow sections and tight bends. After what seems like a lifetime with my foot flat on the throttle (I don’t dare back off incase we can’t get going again!) we make it up to the summit of the road, which is surrounded by even taller mountain peaks and rocky landscape
The area is partly submerged in cloud, but there is a cafe at the top and there are bikers gathered (cars too) who have been enjoying the twisty black stuff. The road back down the other side towards the North is very similar; steep, twisty and narrow! One main difference now is the pedal choice. Instead of the right one being hard to the floor, I am covering and pumping the middle one in the hope that we don’t get brake fade! (That’s a story for another day!) The route down treats you to magnificent views over Ullswater in the distance and when you do eventually reach it, the road follows the undulating contours of the shoreline, providing a few places along the way where you can stop and enjoy the views over the water, maybe even have a paddle. We don’t stop as we are keen to get a decent pitch secured for the night and head to our campsite at Troutbeck Head. To get to the site from Ullswater you have to climb the hill at Aira Force waterfall, which is understated at steep. Don’t forget to look in your mirrors to appreciate the stunning views! We have visited Aira Force waterfall in the past. It’s a very popular National Trust attraction and has a sizeable car park, but on a day with decent weather it gets extremely busy. Here’s a top tip: Visit the waterfall on a really rainy day. It will be virtually empty and the falls will be even more spectacular! Just make sure you pack your waterproofs as you will get wet! After checking into the site and enjoying a cuppa, we head back out down to Ullswater and see if we can find a spot to stop on the shoreline to let Ruby (our springer spaniel) have a paddle. It’s rammed. It’s summer, it’s the school holidays and people have been in a covid lockdown for 4 months! We follow the road around Ullswater and up to Penrith to get some supplies. If you’re in the area, this is a great spot to pick up essentials before heading off into the wilderness for a few nights. Within 5 minutes of each other, there is a Morrisons, an Aldi and a Booths! There’s also a Pets At Home and a Go Outdoors. So everyone, including travelling pets, should be well catered for. With stocks of essential supplies and the fridge filled with dog food (should really be cold alcoholic beverages in there), we head back down to Ullswater again and Bingo!.. The crowds and families have now left as it’s tea time, so we park up and head down to the shore. I pack a towel and my swim shorts… just in case.
When we get down there, the views are simply stunning. There are some beautiful and picturesque places in the UK, but this has got to be up there. It is hard to believe that we are still in England, this could easily be the Italian lakes! The sun is shining on the mountains on the other side of Ullswater, which is flat calm and quiet. Ruby needs no persuasion and is straight in the water. I follow in my flip flops… wow! That is seriously cold!! Feeling brave, or possibly just delirious from driving all day, I don my swim shorts and head in. After 5 mins of walking up and down up to my waist with excuses about how it’s too cold and how I will develop hypothermia, I go for the dunk. I’m in. It’s freezing! As I paddle I start to loosen up and feel the refreshing water washing over me. After 5 minutes or so I realise that the water is so cold it is making my skin tingle and I feel bits of me going numb. I carry on a while before making the decision to get out whilst I am not shivering with teeth chattering together like one of those wind up toys! I dried myself off and we headed back to the camper. Ruby got to have her favourite towel dry and we head back to base at the campsite for dinner. We have a short walk in some nearby footpaths before the sun goes down and head to bed in preparation of another long day that will take us further north and across the border into Scotland! Phil Aldridge “Tales From The Driving Seat” is on Instagram @talesfromthedrivingseat and blogspot www.talesfromthedrivingseat.blogspot.com
If you have an air-cooled van and experience the dreaded “click” when trying to start your van, it could be that the original wiring and ignition switch now has a higher resistance than it did back in the 70’s and cannot cope with the current required to turn the engine over using the starter motor. One way to counteract this is to fit a relay that takes the current load and the ignition switch activates the relay. A relay sourced for this application can be purchased from Just Kampers; JK part number J12928. Parts required Suitable cable for wiring the relay – suggest Halfords 12v 17A cable sold in 4m reels Several crimp connectors The relay itself – JK part number J12928 Method It is advisable to always disconnect the vehicle’s battery before carrying out any work on the electrical system.
Mount the relay in a safe place as close to the starter motor as possible.
Take the existing wire from terminal 50 on the solenoid and extend it to reach the relay position.
Connect this extension from terminal 50 on the solenoid to terminal 86 on the relay.
Now connect terminal 85 on the relay to a good earth on the vehicle body/chassis.
Connect terminal 87 of the relay to the live terminal of the vehicle’s battery.
Now connect terminal 30 on the relay back to terminal 50 on the starter solenoid.
Whilst every attempt is made to ensure that these instructions are as accurate and clear as possible, the author or club itself cannot be held responsible for misinterpretation of these instructions or for any subsequent accident or damage caused through mis-fitted parts.