Bluebell is a ‘79 Bay Window, Devon Moonraker
conversion with a full side elevating roof.
When we first decided to take the plunge into
campervan ownership, we had our hearts set
on the Moonraker conversion as the interior
space was excellent both in the elevated roof
and the interior build.
We spotted Bluebell on eBay and watched her
sell very quickly, much to our disappointment.
But then, whilst searching further, we noticed
that she had been relisted and jumped at the
chance to investigate. So after a short phone
call confirming some minor details, we were off
on a trip to Frome in Somerset for a viewing.
When viewing we found Bluebell to be in
original condition, apart from some interior
wooden surfaces had been replaced for pine
and the exterior paintwork had changed from
Sand Beige to an unknown Blue. This was
perfect, the bodywork and paint had been
worked on within ten years, keeping it fresh and
clean (with receipts for work). After a test drive
through the countryside, a deposit was paid
and date set for collection.
We had several trips away in the first few months
of ownership and during a trip in Wales had
our first spot of engine trouble, only firing on
3 cylinders. We spent some time investigating
but couldn’t work it out so decided to limp
home (back to the southeast!) and investigated
further. It turns out that we had a burnt valve
and so the start of restoration commenced. We
took the opportunity to give the engine a good
overhaul and carry out required repairs and
paintwork in the engine bay area.
Once these repairs were completed we got
an excellent year of camping from Bluebell,
including a trip back to Wales for a friend’s
wedding and a 20 day trip around the
Southwest during the summer.
Winter came back around and we decided that
Bluebell’s bodywork and paint and needed
attention in a few places, with the white, top
half of the van needing most of the attention
around windows and roof guttering.
After talking to a good friend (who also
happens to be a classic car restorer) we had
set a date to get Bluebell into the workshop to
begin the strip down and repairs.
These repairs included removing all glass,
repairing all window frames, replacing any
scratched or dull glass, removing the elevating
roof (it is huge!), repairing roof areas and
replacing the pop top material.
This work had to be done to keep her looking
fresh and clean, but we really needed to give
the interior some attention as well as the wood
was rotten in places and looking generally
tatty and the original upholstery had also seen
better days. So we took the decision to remove
the interior and started looking for campervan
interior design and build companies.
So with all top half work completed, Bluebell
was sent to The Campershak in Ormskirk to
have a new interior fitted in the same Devon
design, but with some modern and personal
tweaks, including a new overhead side locker.
Work completed on the bodywork and interior
in time for another excellent year of camping.
Winter had arrived again, now phase 2 of the
bodywork and paint was to be done. This time
the work would incorporate the underneath
of the van… this turned out to be around an
extra two months of work!
With all work completed, we have had another
excellent summer of camping and looking
forward to a winter where the work required
on Bluebell is reduced somewhat!
Despite all the hard work and effort, we
wouldn’t change our campervan and the
memories we have with her.
Here’s to more memory making and we
wish our members happy memories in their