Category Archives: Camping

Another one in the bag! Club camp completed – BusFest

The Club on tour – Three Counties Showground, Malvern, Worcestershire

September 9 to 11 2022

Well, we did it! Over 100 club members and their families were in the club field plus a few elsewhere. Burgers, bacon butties, teas, coffees, biscuits.

Over 40 new members and a lot of renewals down at the membership stand.

6 new people onto the newly renamed Management Team.

Everyone seems to have a fabulous time and we handed out bubbly prizes to the winners of “Best van”, “Best van interior” and “Best van story” to club members as voted by club members.

Ask The Mechanic – Gas use

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.

Club Event – RAF Odiham Family Day 2021

Can it be a year already?

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.

Tales from the driving seat – Wonderful Wales Part 3

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

Another one in the bag! Club camp completed – Odiham

The Club on tour – Just Kampers, Odiham, Hampshire

June 10 to 12 2022

6 members were in the dedicated club field with more coming over to say Hello. 15 new members joined on the day, lots of money raised for charity for the Phyllis Tuckwell hospice. Live music from multiple bands, open air cinema on Friday (Breakdance) and Saturday (Karate kid), a big raffle with prizes worth up to £700 each.

Another great weekend at JK.

Tales from the driving seat – Wonderful Wales Part 2

We head into Aberystwyth to pick up some
essentials; dog food, milk and petrol! Not
wanting to waste the trip into town, we head
to the seafront and take a drive along the
promenade. We are pleasantly surprised by the
lovely Victorian buildings and a funicular cliff
railway too!
Stocked up with supplies and the tank full to
bursting with petrol, we head north and are
looking forward to today’s route which will take
us on a B road that follows the coast around the
southern part of Snowdonia rather than going
through it and then into the National Park to
camp for the night.
The start of the coastal road happens
immediately after crossing the river/estuary at
Machynlleth via an old stone bridge and then
turning left off the main A road and following
the river on your left. As roads go, this one is
beautiful. The surface is smooth, with a stone
wall on one side and a cliff face the other, it
undulates over and around the coastal features,
giving us amazing views over the river and sea.
As we get closer to the coast, the road becomes
lined with old oak trees, growing out of the cliff
and hanging over the edge.
Our first stop on this route is a small seaside
town called Aberdovey. There is a golf club, a
beach and beach related stuff. We drive through,
noticing people pointing and commenting at
the camper… this often happens and I sometimes
wonder if they are pointing at something falling
off! But you get used to it and you soon realise
that driving a bright blue camper van with an
exhaust that announces your arrival everywhere
you go is going to get you attention.
The road picks up as it comes out of Aberdovey,
but its only a short run before the next small
town called Tywyn. On our way in we notice
the large amount of static caravans surrounding
the area. The town is pleasant and has all the
makings of a seaside location, with a decent
looking Co-Op if you need supplies! The beach
is clean and there is also a narrow gauge steam
railway here too.

From Tywyn the road heads inland to avoid
another river estuary and make the crossing via
a bridge.

There is a ferry that can take you across, but
we took the road to save time. Once you cross
over the river, the road heads back towards the
coast and is it does, starts to climb. As the road
meets the coast you are met with one of the
most beautiful coastal roads we have driven.
There are numerous lay by areas to pull over and
appreciate the view, which we did.
We followed the coastal road until reaching
the larger town of Fairbourne. To continue
from here there are a few options; a ferry direct
to Barmouth, a modern road bridge several
miles inland or an old rickety wooden bridge
that resembles a seaside pier… guess which
option we went for?! The old wooden bridge
at Penmaenpool is a toll bridge, costing 80p for
cars and £1 for motorhomes. We are technically
driving a Motorhome, despite being car sized,
but I don’t mind paying the extra 20p to keep
the bridge maintained. The crossing is bumpy as
the wooden sections are uneven, but we make
it across safely without encountering any trolls
who want to eat us for their supper!
After crossing the bridge we head into Barmouth.
Barmouth is a seaside resort with everything
you would expect; amusements, chip shops,
sandy beaches and a long promenade. It was
busy. Really busy. We stopped for a while on the
promenade and watched the crowds but didn’t
venture out of our own space inside the camper.
From Barmouth we follow the road all
the way to the end of the coastal route at
Penrhyndeudraeth and make our way up to the
campsite which is only 5 minutes up the road.
Nearby is the village of Portmeirion; a tourist
village, designed and built by Sir Clough
Williams-Ellis in the style of an Italian village,
which is now owned by a charitable trust. We
didn’t visit as we didn’t have any time left in the
day, but it’s worth a look if you’re in the area!

In the evening we pop back into
Penrhyndeudraeth to look for some dinner
and find several takeaway options including
a Chinese, Indian, kebab and chippy. What a
fantastic selection. We opt for the Indian and
head back to the site to rest up in preparation
for the next day – Snowdonia!

We set off from our site the next morning
heading for Anglesey. It’s a shorter trip today,
taking in the sites that Snowdonia has to offer.
On the route we pass through Beddgelert,
which has an interesting story. The town is home
to a legendary site called Gelert’s Grave. In the
legend, Llywelyn The Great returns from hunting
to find his baby missing, the cradle overturned,
and his dog Gelert, with a blood-smeared
mouth. Believing the dog had savaged the child,
Llywelyn draws his sword and kills Gelert. After
the dog’s dying yelp Llywelyn hears the cries
of the baby, unharmed under the cradle, along
with a dead wolf which had attacked the child
and been killed by Gelert. Llywelyn is overcome
with remorse and buries the dog with great
ceremony, but can still hear its dying yelp. After
that day Llywelyn never smiles again.
You can park in the village and walk to the site,
however the morning has brought much rain
with it and so we decide to carry on with a
journey.

We follow a road that takes us past a beautiful
lake called Llyn Dinas, there are a few spots
along the side of the road to stop and if you’re
brave enough, take a paddle

The road starts to meander and climb slowly,
this becomes more apparent as you come past
Llyn Gwynant. There are some tight bends on
the climb and I notice views in my mirrors!
We eventually come to a small car park
which boasts a view of Snowdon. The Peak of
Snowdonia and the highest peak in England
and Wales at 1085m. We get a few snaps here
as the clouds break over the mountain and also
take advantage of the ice cream van parked here
too… it’s never too cold or wet for an ice cream!
We continue our journey through Snowdonia,
past Snowdon, and Pen y Pass, where there were
many cars being turned away as it was so busy.
We climb up and over the pass that flows in the
valley on what started as a miners track, down to
the village of Llanberis. You can walk Snowdon
from here as well and if your legs aren’t up to it,
take the train up too!
From Llanberis we make our way out of
Snowdonia, the landscape changes quickly
from Mountains to flat land and trees. We arrive
at Bangor, singing the famous song as we do
and then travel over to Anglesey on the Brittania
Bridge. We notice the large amount of farming
and gorgeous rolling countryside. We stop at
some beaches at Cemaes in the northern part of
the island and on our way to our campsite stop
off at a lovely harbour in Amlwch Port.
The next part of our journey will see us leaving
Wales and heading north towards the Scottish
border, stopping over in the Lake District
en route.
Phil Aldridge
“Tales From The Driving Seat” is on Instagram
@talesfromthedrivingseat and blogspot
www.talesfromthedrvingseat.blogspot.com

Reader’s Road Trip – Linda and Stewart Shuttleworth – Driving with Dennis

It was a real treat to head north in Dennis the
Dormobile last month. We had three glorious
weeks in Scotland in July (despite the roadside
Yellow Storm Warnings on route!). We broke
journey in Crianlarich and travelled on to Skye the
next day. Probably busier than usual, the island
was far from overwhelmed and Dennis loved the
rolling single track roads. We did notice a huge
expansion of motorhome hiring since last year.
We were surprised by our 1978 T2 having become
a rarity and a conversation piece; several people
asked to take his photograph! All of which made
the campsites even more sociable than usual.
Set up in Glen Brittle, we hiked up onto the
rugged Cuillin Ridge and got our only soaking of
the trip on the way down. From Dunvegan, we
used our bikes to explore a landscape that is still
only a generation or two away from the crofting
life. There was a whole trail of makers and artists
on Skye and we dropped in on a weaving shed
and a print and glass gallery.

We had been keen to follow the last stages of Euro
2020 despite being away, which meant listening
to a crackly quarter-final radio commentary on
the road to Crianlarich (did they just score??) and
also the semi-final at Dunvegan (the only pub in
the village wasn’t open on a Wednesday…).
At the small site near Staffin, we asked about the
nearest pub for the Sunday night final and the
lovely owners told us that they had a couple of
spare TVs and they could lend us one to set up in
Dennis. So with a low tech but safe hook-up and
a bent wire aerial, we watched the match! A first
for us.
More hiking and cycling to explore the stunning
Trotternish ridge and the coastline, before
heading down to Loch Rannoch and a campsite
near a remnant of the ancient Caledonian forest
and some hot and sunny Munros. The evening
midges were repelled successfully with some Miss
Haversham-style headnets!
Three nights with friends and family around
Glasgow and north Ayrshire also gave us the
chance to do a washing load (!) before our final
week down in Galloway in Scotland’s overlooked
southwest. If you get the chance, see if you can
book a space at quirky North Rhinns campsite. It’s
not many miles from Stranraer, but it’s another
world; 12 or 15 pitches tucked among a small
wood, well looked after by the enthusiastic and
sociable owners, who would love to host a T2 rally
sometime!!
Linda and Stewart Shuttleworth

Another one in the bag! Club camp completed – Banbury

The Club on tour – Barnstones Caravan and Camping Park, Banbury, Oxon

May 12th to 16th 2022 saw the Club’s annual AGM, BBQ and Club Camp (ABC camp) in Great Bourton. Convenient for the M40 allowing many people to join us, we had nearly 30 vehicles after some late dropouts due to mechanical trouble. Over 60 people spent the weekend together with a lot of laughter, plenty of burgers and maybe the odd glass of something.

In addition to the AGM and BBQ, we also had the FA cup final televised in one gazebo, Eurovision later in the evening and some singing from our resident jazz singer Lorna.

On the plus side, 5 people joined the Committee. On the minus side, Derek Leary stepped down from the Committee after several decades shaping the Club into what it is today. We’ll miss you Derek (and Christie).

Upcoming event – Just Kampers Weekend! – 10th to 12th June 2022

The hugely popular JK Weekender is back! Having been cancelled due to COVID, last year’s tickets are still valid in a rollover way to this year.

Set in a field next to the JK headquarters just outside Odiham in Hampshire, Mark and the team give us a chilled out, music, outdoor evening movies, stalls, displays and of course their shop.

Our club enjoys a dedicated club field for members only which includes a disabled toilet. We get plenty of space in a prime position and the club lays on a club tent for congregating is you feel sociable plus we are doing our famous BBQ on Saturday evening – come and get a free burger and have a natter!

If you are lucky, our very own Events Manager Lorna will be singing again! Check out the Events page on this site or see the latest edition of Transporter Talk

See the source image



See the source image

Another one in the bag! Club camp completed – Cheddar

The Club on tour – Petruth Paddocks, Cheddar, Somerset
April 22 to 25 2022

The first club camp of the season saw us down in the pretty down of Cheddar at Petruth Paddocks, hosted by the wonderful Jules.

What did you miss? Burgers, fire pit, marshmallows, bacon baps. Cheddar village, Cheddar gorge, the caves. Locally made cheese, 16 club member dogs, 33 adults, 2 children, live singer on Friday and Saturday and a lot of laughter.

Here is some feedback from a member:

“We have been VWT2OC members for a few years but had not previously got involved in meetings or attending camps. What have we been missing? The St George’s camp at Cheddar over the weekend was a fantastic event. The campsite was beautiful, clean and friendly; the club negotiated camping rates that could not be beaten; the Saturday evening social around the firepits, with burgers provided and lovely entertainment from Lorna was fantastic; and the coffee, tea and bacon rolls provided on Sunday morning was very welcome. I had nothing to do than enjoy myself. Big shout out to Lorna Williamson, Nick Gillott, Malcolm Marchbank and Val Lewis for all the hard work planning, organising and delivering the camp. You are stars. We were already booked in for the May BBQ & AGM, now we are looking forward to it more than ever.”

Here are some photos from the weekend: