Category Archives: Camping

Wakey wakey!

Yes, it is that time again. Hurray! Finally, after the long winter in our non-mobile houses, we can get out our beloved vehicles.

Checklist

Hopefully you all followed the article Time for bed/ to help put your vehicle to bed for the winter. Now that spring is in the air and we are starting to think about getting out and communing in nature, this is a key time to get things ready.

Doors locks – there’s nothing more annoying than a failed lock. get it fixed now before the season really gets going. Door lock issues can be very straight forward but a simple lubrication can be key. Pun intended. A non residue lubricant is best to move the dirt away as WD40 can leave enough gunk to create issues. We favour silicon spray. A little into each lock.

Windscreen wipers – did they perish in the cold winter freezing them to the windscreen. Inspect and replace now.

Water – check the radiator if you have one. Ensure that the bottles that you emptied in the Autumn / fall have no mice, carefully hidden Christmas presents or mildew. Clean with a weak Milton solution if it is drinking water or food related.

Batteries – check the charge on each battery with a good meter. A flat battery can indicate an earth leak. A failed battery needs careful investigation.

Carburettor – Or equivalent. Check for good operation, no stuck flaps or other deterioration over winter. If you are a professional, this will be straight forward. If you are an amateur, a test drive very close to home will highlight problems! But only after the other checks.

Brakes – your vehicle should roll easily, otherwise this can indicate jammed brakes. Parking in gear for long periods of time can be better for your brake health than a jammed set of brakes. Check the brakes for operation. Check the brake fluid level. If it has been more than 5 years, change the brake fluid as it is hygroscopic and slurps up water incredibly quickly. Water is not a good fluid for applying the brake pads to the disks.

Seals – inspect all door seals for any signs of damage, water ingress or other problems and sort them out now. Glue any loose bits back down with the correct glue.

Windows – ensure that they all open and close fully. Or at least as fully as they did last year if applicable!

Ignition – Once you are feeling confident, get in to your pride and joy and turn on the ignition to number 2. Look at the lights on the dashboard. Check there ARE lights! Are they what you expect / are used to seeing? Have you got fuel (for those with a working fuel gauge)?

Crank it over – don’t expect it to start immediately but things should kick into life within a few seconds.

A little test drive on your driveway will allow you to test the brakes, maybe the steering and other important parts. Softly, softly.

Stay local, take your phone with you and warm clothing. Just in case!

Once you get home, assuming that you have a big smile on your face, make a list of snags, get indoors, put the kettle on and start planning for your summer.

Check out the events page and come and see us at a meeting soon!

Busfest tickets 2020

Have you got your BusFest tickets yet? The world’s largest transporter show is on again on 11 to 13 September. Details are at https://www.busfest.org/busfest/

It is also our club’s foremost event with over 70 club vehicles and over a hundred people in our dedicated club field in 2019.

https://www.busfest.org/busfest/ has the details of what to expect at the show. Over and above that, our dedicated club field has a members only marquee with tea and coffee, we normally have cakes, biscuits, a safe environment for the kids to run around together. For those who enjoy, we have a BBQ including vegetarian options too.

Come, see the show, enjoy the funfair rides, buy the auto jumble, eat the chips, then return to the quiet (ish) club field. Don’t forget to click on the club option and use the discount code available from the membership secretary membership@vwt2oc.co.uk.

Please note that the code is for members only.

Busfest has started

The biggest show on the planet in terms of numbers of Transporters attending together. Yes, Busfest is under way. www.busfest.org.

The VW Type 2 Owners Club have their own field. Experience the buzz of the premier event of the year and also return to a tranquil oasis of calm when it all gets too much.

The club have their own marquee complete with complimentary tea and coffee mornings. The marquee is open to all club members and those in their vans and dogs are always welcome. Here is our Chairman with Abbie in the marquee:

This year like last year, we are planning to do evening burgers and morning bacon butties – veggie options available, on a first come, first served basis. Once they are gone, they are gone!

We hope to see you there!

Viva SkegVegas

The family show just outside Skegness in Lincolnshire is only two weeks ago, are you going? http://www.vivaskegvegasvw.co.uk/

Lincolnshire’s largest VW show is at Revesby Country Park starting on 16th August 2019. The VW Type 2 Owners Club will be there with the club stand, do come along, say hello and have a natter.

This is a laid back, family oriented classic car show, not a festival!

Busfest – last call!

This is the last Friday for tickets for Busfest, the world’s largest VW transporter show. The pinnacle of the year and the largest event for the VW Type 2 owners club as well.

If they are already full then you have missed out, but last chance to buy tickets from https://www.busfest.org/tickets/. As always, club members get an exclusive £20 discount to this exciting and fun event at the Malvern Showground near Gloucester.

Our club has a dedicated field, so that you can come back from the bustle of the show into our enclave and relax with other club members. Last year we had 60 vehicles and expect to have more this year. Our club field will be offering baps for Saturday and Sunday breakfasts (bacon and egg) and the club BBQ will be out in force on the Saturday night with burgers, both meat and vegetarian with cooked onions.

We also have the tea urn in the large club marquee and this is used to shelter from the sun or rain of the day and huddle up in the evenings for a natter over a glass of something.

In 2018, we had a George Formby singer, kids playing together and a lot of laughing. We did also get out and see the show!

All of this is free of charge to club members and those in their van in the club area.

Busfest 2019

As we enter June, the club committee are working hard finalising the plans for Busfest 2019 at the Malvern Showground. This is one of the premier events in the transporter calendar and usually sees 7,000 people attending.

If that number fills you with dread, you are in luck! The Type 2 Owners Club has our own dedicated field holding 60 vehicles that means you can stay small, spend the weekend with just club members or go large and venture out to the many stalls.

The early bird catches the bargains and also the quiet times. Everything is organised with military precision having been run by the same group for over 25 years. It is a brilliant show to look for parts for Type 1 (Beetle, Ghia, Thing) and Type 2 (Split screen, Bay, T25, T3, T4, T5, T6) vehicles. Or just kick back and enjoy the atmosphere.

Just 4 of the vans from the 2018 club field at Busfest!

The owners club will have a large club marquee for members only in the club field. Last year we served tea, coffee, burgers and sausages. We had a ukulele performance from “George Formby” and about 50 vehicles were there. Plenty of dogs, children, stories, fun and laughter were there – everyone is welcome and the field coped well with mobility scooters.

You don’t even need to bring a van – come in the car and a tent. Bring a (small) motorhome.

Book early to avoid disappointment and book using the club link on the web link above. Discount code available from the club secretary if you did not find it in the club magazine.

Next club meeting is only 3 weeks away now!

Are you coming?

Three weeks to go to our first big club event of the season. Great Bourton in Oxfordshire sees our second trip for the club weekend. Last year we had a dozen vans, 25 people, the FA cup final on the TV, live jazz singer and a royal wedding all accompanied by a free BBQ.

People brought cakes, beers, a table tennis table and a bucketful of fun.

We are hoping for more people this year, come along and meet people, share stories about your vehicle and your adventures or your plans to get a VW transporter.

You can bring a tent, a motorhome, it does not have to be a VW. Bring the kids, bring the dog, bring chairs, bring cake. Obviously.

 

First club camp of 2019 – are you coming?

Now that your bus is awake (see last week’s article Wakey Wakey), you can think about a spring camp if you haven’t already got your year mapped out already to include all of the club camps listed in our Events page.

Next up is the April Fool’s camp, less than 3 weeks from now starting March 28th at Sixpenny Handley near Salisbury just nestled into north Dorset.

Come and join the members having a spring weekend!

Events from 2018 and looking into 2019

What a busy club year! If you take a look at http://vwt2oc.co/wp/events/ you will see that the club has had one of its busiest years in a long time. A lot of places and shows with the club stand, the club gazebo and most of them had club camping.

Club Stand

The club stand at Volksweald July 2018

As we move towards 2019, it would be great to meet more members and welcome back repeat visitors to club events. If you would like to join us, come along, we don’t bite. Our emphasis is on using the vans, having fun and sharing (knowledge, information and stories. Don’t ask to share sausages though).

If a member would like to organise a club camp, please contact events@vwt2oc.co.uk and talk to the events manager. Please remember that a club event is at least 8 people, 4 vehicles, a stand, tables, gazebo, maybe the club marquee, BBQ and a host of other equipment. It takes a lot of planning, preparation and time to make an event happen. If you want to join in, come along, we provide the framework either as a standalone event or as a club presence at a VW show for fun times.

That bit about us not biting? It might not be true. Woof.

Europe’s best campsites by lakes and rivers

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/campingholidays/11642919/Europes-best-camping-sites-by-lake-and-river.html

In this extract from ‘Cool Camping Europe’, editor Jonathan Knight chooses his favourite sites near the continent’s lakes, rivers, reservoirs and waterfalls

From France’s Lake District to the wilds of Slovenia, staying in yurts, wooden caravans and treehouses, here are some of the best places to enjoy the great outdoors.

Müllerwiese, Germany

A family-run, family-friendly oasis, Müllerwiese is a small but perfectly formed operation that’s been running since 1972. On the edge of a picturesque German village called Enzklösterle, the area resembles nothing more than a large, pretty household garden, with around 75 pitches stretched along the River Enz. Away from the riverbanks, you can pitch in a grassy, car-free area, purely for tenters, or rent one of two log cabins edging the camping field. The Enz provides a gurgling soundtrack, fir trees offer shelter and facilities are appropriately modest but adequate, accompanied by a playground in the garden. Quaint Enzklösterle on the doorstep will keep you busy and the vast Black Forest all around will keep you busier still – visit the tourist office directly opposite the campsite to get started.
Location: Campsite Müllerwiese, Hirschtalstrasse 3, D-75337 Enzklösterle, Germany
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

Müllerwiese, Germany. (Credit: Cool Camping)

Quinta de Odelouca, Portugal

When it comes to waterside lounging in the Algarve, it’s usually a mad dash to the beach accompanied by a swarm of other British sun-seekers. Backtrack into the forested Serra de Monchique, the region’s mountain range, and it’s a totally different story. Above the coastal crowds, Quinta de Odelouca overlooks a tranquil river basin, gradually widening into a vast reservoir. Almost all of the 25 pitches come shaded by olive trees and the basic but clean sanitary facilities offer something for everyone – there’s a baby-changing room, disabled-friendly showers and a chemical disposal point for the caravanning community. There’s even a saltwater swimming pool, perfect for cooling off on summer afternoons. With high peaks puncturing the surroundings, the site is a perfect base to do some serious hiking or canoeing.
Location: Quinta de Odelouca, Vale Grande Baixo, Monte das Pitas, São Marcos da Serra, Portugal
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

 

Quinta de Odelouca. (Credit: Cool Camping)

Camping Val d’Or, Luxembourg

Luxembourg boasts a total area of just 999 square miles but, tucked in the valley of the Clerve River, Camping Val d’Or boasts perhaps the finest acreage of the lot. Spread around the riverbanks, the campsite is an oasis of greenery with the water at its heart. Shallow, rocky and gently flowing, the Clerve occupies children for hours and, while there is room to pitch along its edges, campers can also cross a wooden footbridge to more spacious pitches hidden behind tall hedges – best for peace and quiet. Not that the place is a riot at the best of times. The village of Enscherange has a population of 140 and it’s a five-minute drive to the nearest restaurant in Drauffelt. It’s an easy and scenic train journey to historic Luxembourg City, though, with day tickets costing just €4 (£3).
Location: Camping Val d’Or, Um Gaertchen 2, Luxembourg
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

 

Camping Cal d’Or. (Credit: Cool Camping)

Agricampeggio Madonna Di Pogi, Italy

Tuscany may not strike you as a secluded getaway – Pisa and pizza-seekers swamp the place in summer. Yet at the region’s eastern fringes, you can truly leave the beaten track. Nestled in the heart of the Val’d’Ambra, verdant hills stretch for miles around while inland lagoons puddle the valley floor. Comprising eight wooden “caravans” and five wooden “tent houses”, Agricampeggio Madonna di Pogi offers ingenious glamping accommodation fully furnished within so you can travel lightly and sleep deeply. When the weather’s nice, the private lake is perfect for a cooling dip or a spot of fishing in the shade of the cypress grove. Some of Italy’s most iconic Renaissance sights are easily reachable too: Florence, Siena and Arezzo are all within an hour’s drive.
Location: Agricampeggio Madonna Di Pogi, Via della Madonna, 52, Pogi AR, Italy
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

 

Camp Liza, Slovenia

It pays to bring along your own personal kayak to Slovenia’s Kamp Liza. With so many others lying around, without one you might feel a bit left out. The site offers access to two rivers: the emerald-green Soca and the clear, wild Koritnica, making it a serious boon for aqua aficionados. Surrounded by the peaks and pastures of the Bovec Valley, the campsite is a large, laid-back space with relatively basic facilities – there are lavatories, hot showers and disabled bathrooms, but they’re a bit limited. Groups are directed to the lower terrace, next to the burbling Soca; families gather in the central area, while tenters head to the farthest field. It’s a couple of kilometres to 800-year-old Bovec, a centre for adventure sports, with an array of cafés, shops and traditional restaurants, as well as a daily market.
Location: Kamp Liza, Vodenca 4, 5230 Bovec, Slovenia
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

Camp Liza. (Credit: Cool Camping)

Camping De Roos, The Netherlands

Meandering through the sprawling, grassy meadows of Camping De Roos, the River Vecht is the perfect centrepiece to nights under canvas. Many cycle here along the river’s towpath, a journey punctuated with a refreshing dunk to cool off en route. Upon arrival, campers truly are spoiled for choice with pleasant places to pitch up. An undulating space scattered with trees, bushes and winding paths, the site has an intimacy belying the wide variety of pitches. For something special, two designated trekkersvelden are tucked away amid the chunkier trees, exclusively reserved for anyone arriving by bike or on foot. Situated in an area of breathtaking natural beauty, preservation is a priority, with timed showers, recycling bins and an on-site shop chock-full of healthy foods, planet-friendly cleaning unguents and the most local of local produce.
Location: Camping De Roos, Beerzerweg 10, 7736 PJ Beerze-Ommen, the Netherlands
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

Camping de Roos. (Credit: Cool Camping)

Camping Milin Kerhé, France

On and around the Brittany coastline there is no shortage of camping destinations but Camping Milin Kerhé stands out from the pack. Not many sites can boast such an idyllic setting: pristine terraced fields hugged by dappled woodland with a salmon-rich river meandering languidly through. The general laid-back air of the place is mirrored in the camping options on offer. Tents, campervans and motorhomes are all welcome, while hanging tents slung up in the woodlands are pre-arranged for campers travelling light. It’s echoed too in the varied activities, from volleyball and boules to kayaking on the majestic Trieux or following nature trails along its banks. Campfires are very much encouraged and riverside picnic tables are set up for family barbecues. If you do decide to leave, the beaches of the coast are a mere 30 minutes away.
Location: Camping de Milin Kerhé Rue du Moulin 22200 Pabu
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

 

Camping Milin Kerhé. (Credit: Cool Camping)

Lima Escape, Portugal

On the western edge of Peneda-Gerês National Park, the appropriately huge Lima Escape (capacity for 400 campers) seems to maintain an intimate atmosphere while still showing off the park’s vast natural beauty. Pitching up in mixed woods of oak and pine, campers can rest near a babbling stream that snakes along one edge, or pick a point overlooking the open Rio Lima, resembling more a long, slim lake than a river. Two tepees, two bell tents and two tree houses are the summation of their glamping options and poach the best views on the site, each with their own wooden terraces. Ramblers and mountain bikers will love the surroundings. Peneda-Gerês is spread across four dramatic granite peaks, and is especially popular in late spring when its wild flower-lined trails are in full bloom.
Location: Lima Escape, Lugar de Igreja, 4980-312 Entre Ambos-os-Rios, Ponte da Barca – Viana do Castelo, Portugal
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

Forest Days, Spain

Four fully furnished bell tents, raised on wooden platforms are the sole accommodation in this Pyrenean glamping site, each separated from one another to provide space and seclusion. Inside, super king-size beds are accompanied by bedside tables made out of enormous round logs, while outside, guests have their own vista-viewing dining space and a hammock for relaxing. Venture down the track and a pleasant walk reveals the majestic Vall d’Ora River, where an old, disused lock has become a re-wilding waterfall, with pools on either side perfect for swimming. Off-site, the traditional Spanish town of Solsona boasts a well-preserved centre, complete with towering Catalonian cathedral and a cluster of good eateries. Alternatively, head to Panta de Sant Ponc, a vast lake that’s ideal for kayaking and cycling on the perimeter route.
Location: Forest Days, Navès, 25286, Solsonès, Lleida, Catalunya, Spain
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

 

Forest Days. (Credit: Cool Camping)

Lo Stambecco, Italy

On the Italian side of the Mont Blanc Massif, Lo Stambecco is a campsite popular with walking types and anyone with an eye for stunning views. Directly opposite its grassy slopes is a steep shoulder of mountain – the silhouette for setting suns – while rumbling through the valley below, a gushing river of glacial melt water. Dips (and sips) are not recommended, though – your extremities wouldn’t thank you for the exposure. On the edge of the tiny village of Valnontey, the campsite is a popular stopover on one of the great Alpine walks – the Alta Via from Champorcher to Courmayeur – and has a variety of pitches, some on the open grass, others venturing into the pine cover that engulfs much of the hill. Facilities are good and there is a cosy bar and reading area with a selection of board games.
Location: Camping Lo Stambecco, Valnontey, Cogne, Val d’Aosta, Italy
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

La Ribière Sud, France

Known as France’s Lake District, Périgord-Limousin Regional Park is dotted with sparkly bodies of open water – some with natural beaches perfect for wild swimming and many with countryside cycle routes. In the park’s north-easterly corner (on the site of a former tree nursery) La Ribière Sud boasts 22 acres of woodland and meadows. Run by two English expats, Ann and Harry, the site’s centrepiece is a wonderfully painted, genuine Mongolian yurt with a refined, gipsy-chic interior and wooden struts delicately illustrated by the hands of nomadic craftsmen. The giant bed and welcoming candlelight is difficult to turn down, but you don’t have to stay in here if you’ve brought your own canvas – there are plenty of pitches in the shade of the towering poplars outside, all with electricity.
Location: La Ribière Sud, Haute-Vienne, Limousin, Limoges, Chalus, France
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

La Ribière Sud. (Credit: Cool Camping)

Camping Lagos de Somiedo, Spain

High up in the quiet and unspoilt Spanish village of Lago, Camping Lagos de Somiedo is a compact campsite by the side of a stream. Cars are confined to an entrance car park, so the camping area is free of clutter. For extra seclusion, there’s a private patch of grass across the water, accessed by a rickety wooden bridge. Facilities are basic but clean; a rustic wash-block has showers and lavatories, and outside washing-up sinks, while elsewhere, there’s a small bar and a “mini-farm” with animals and a quaint old water mill. Within a Unesco Biosphere Reserve, the area boasts some of Europe’s most rare and exciting wildlife, from birds of prey to the Cantabrian brown bear.
Location: Camping Lagos de Somiedo, Valle de Lago, Somiedo, 33840, Asturias, Spain
Contact: coolcamping.co.uk

‘Cool Camping Europe’ is available at coolcamping.co.uk