Category Archives: Uncategorized

Globe Trotting Solar VW Bus


solar volkswagen bus

The VW bus you see here was thoroughly refinished and refurbished by the Dangerz, a couple who took the bus from scrapyard fodder to a solar-panel equipped, trans-continental adventure-mobile that saw them drive from Alaska to Costa Rica. It’s the kind of thing they’d make a movie about, and the kind of movie that would do OK at Sundance and have a bunch of people on Netflix say they love it but that probably wouldn’t do super-well in theaters. Taking a look at the Dangerz’ adventure blog, however, I suspect they wouldn’t have it any other way.

This is a car blog, though, and the main thing we’re into here is the 1967 VW bus (or, more accurately, a Type II) that the Dangerz converted to adventuring duty. Up top, a large solar panel provides electricity while the inside of the bus has been totally redone …

… very much in the spirit of a newer Westfalia-type camper.

Sadly, the Dangerz put their globe-trotting VW bus for sale late last year. Presumably, it’s already been sold, and that’s a shame to anyone reading about the bus today – I’m sure the 135 watt solar panel, propane cooking/heat conversion, and high-quality soundproofing/insulation under all that solid-looking cabinetry would have been a welcome addition to any US garage. Less sadly, though, the Dangerz were good enough to chronicle their bus build on their blog.

So, head over there for (many, many) more pictures of the Dangerbus, then come back and let us know what you think of their project ride in the comments section, below. Enjoy!

Photos: theDangerz, via Inhabitat.

Source: Gas2. Reproduced with permission

Outdoor living: Top RVs, campers and tents of 2014

RVs, campers and tents 2014

RVs, campers and tents 2014

Image Gallery (108 images)

Another year, another few dozen ways to escape urban life and set up camp in the wild … 2014 has been an interesting year for campers. From the heavy-duty off-road machines of Overland Expo to ultralight bicycle campers, and from familiar campground designs to new concepts of sea and air camping, the year has seen a large variety of innovative designs from around the world. Here are our picks for the best tents, camper vans, trailers and mobile homes of 2014, in no particular order.

Tentsile Vista multi-story tree tent

The Vista design lets you stack multiple floors under one roof for a temporary, multistory...

Since we first featured Tentsile in 2012, the company has continued to impress us with its suspended tents. Other manufacturers offer hammock-based tents, but Tentsile makes large, spacious aerials that are more like canvas treehouses, none more so than the all-new Vista. The non-weather-sealed nature of the design isn’t for everyone or all conditions, but the available multi-floor layout is certainly an interesting twist on the tree tent. The primary Vista tent protects three campers with a combination of detachable insect mesh and removable rain fly. The really cool part of the design is that you can add extra floors to make a suspended, multi-level “portable treehouse” for nine or more people. The basic tent without extra floors costs US$595.

SylvanSport GO-Easy ultralight camping trailer

The Roost says its Explorer tent can sleep two people comfortably, three adults 'if necess...

A compact, 275-lb (125 kg) gear trailer, the SylvanSport GO-Easy is designed to give the smallest cars and motorcycles the ability to haul all kinds of sports gear and tools. To add overnighting capabilities, SylvanSport teamed with Roost tents to create a flip-top tent camper with underbody storage. When you don’t need a tent, remove the foam mattress and canvas sides and Roost’s innovative two-person clamshell becomes a gear box. To add some of the comforts of home, SylvanSport offers options like Goal Zero solar power systems and the Road Shower. Combine the $2,000 price of the GO-Easy with the $3,000 price of the Roost tent, and you have an ultralight, ultra-versatile camping trailer for around $5K.

Tonke Fieldsleeper International expedition vehicle

The Tonke Fieldsleeper International is available in 4x2 and 4x4 Mercedes-Benz base option...

Prior to 2014, we knew Tonke as the Dutch company behind some the most stylish wooden trailers we’ve ever seen. This year, it added one of the most stylish aluminum trailers on the market not named Airstream. The Mercedes Sprinter-based Fieldsleeper International is built as an expedition vehicle, available in both 4×2 and 4×4 drive options. Its aluminum skin creates a more modern exterior style, but the interior still features the warmth of mahogany wood.

Tonke attempts to give Fieldsleeper International owners more off-grid autonomy by eliminating the liquid propane systems typical in RVs in favor of a roof-mounted solar array and auxiliary diesel tank. The 400- to 600-watt solar system powers onboard equipment like the refrigerator, stove, lighting and even air conditioning. The five-person camper includes a washroom with sink, shower and cassette toilet.

When we covered it earlier in the year, the International was offered with a 190-hp Mercedes Sprinter 519Cdi for $192,000, but now it’s listed with a 160-hp Sprinter 516Cdi base for a bit cheaper – $154,576.

XVenture XV-2 penthouse trailer

Schutt offers options like a full kitchen (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)

Simple problem, simple solution. The military-grade Xventure XV-2 makes the most of its small trailer form by pushing the pop-up tent high above the cargo box below using an elevated rack system. The adjustable height opens up more storage space in the cargo box – enough for an ATV, even – and makes everything inside that cargo box easier to access. As a few astute readers pointed out, it looks like the configuration could prove quite chilly in the winter, when the thin floor of the XV-2 could use the added insulation value of a trailer directly below, but that shouldn’t be as much a problem in the popular warmer months, or with a heavier sleeping pad. And if it is, you can always adjust it to one of the lower settings on the six-setting rack. The pricing information we received earlier in the year put the XV-2 with elevating rack system and roof tent at around $14,500 to start.

Wide Path bicycle camper

Wide Path is still working on prototypes with hopes of launching in 2015

There are dozens upon dozens of camping trailers on the market, but the overwhelming majority of them are designed to be towed by vehicles with motor. The slim, 88-lb (40-kg) Wide Path Camper, on the other hand, is built to be towed by leg power alone. The bicycle camper offers enough sleeping space for two adults and one child and includes a basic but functional interior with a folding table, convertible bed/seats and 300 liters (79 gal) of storage capacity. Add a few select pieces of gear like a propane stove and portable toilet and suddenly you have a fully functioning mobile home on the back of your 12-speed.

The Wide Path Camper was still in the prototype stages as of last month, but its Dutch designer hopes to have it ready for sale next year, starting around $2,500.

Amok Draumr hammock tent

The Draumr is available for US$379

While not quite as common a sight at the campground as a dome tent or RV, the hammock shelter is a widely available camping option offered by brands like Hennessy Hammock and Grand Trunk. Typically, these hammocks are strung between trees end to end, but the Amok rotates the Draumr around 90 degrees, creating a side-to-side hanging structure. This construction creates a flat, sleeping pad-cushioned bed designed to deliver a more comfortable night of sleep. With a few tugs of the adjustment straps, it also turns into a suspended chair.

The ISPO BrandNew Award-nominated Draumr is available now for $379, which includes mosquito netting, straps and a rain fly, but not the required sleeping pad. All in, the Draumr weighs less than 4.5 lb (2 kg).

MVP Aero MVP seaplane camper

Drop the cockpit awning and you have a cozy wilderness shelter for two

We’re already suckers for amphibious vehicles, so throw in a convertible overnight package, and you get one of our favorite vehicles of the year. Billed as the “world’s most versatile plane,” the MVP, which we checked out at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014, is part seaplane, part fishing boat and part floating/flying camper. The tri-phibious plane can land on dry land, snow or water. On water, it can motor along and act as a boat, and slide the canopy back and it offers a flat deck for fishing and observation. The wings also fold up, adding to its maneuverability on water.

At night, the MVP’s instrument panel lifts out of the way, creating a large, flat floor with the help of a four-panel origami deck that slides over top the seat wells. Tent fabric secures over the entire cockpit area, providing shelter for two occupants. A fitted inflatable mattress offers added comfort, and there’s also a hammock that sets up between the engine pylon and the tail.

The MVP isn’t exactly a practical camper for the masses, but one can certainly dream of using it on some pretty epic adventures. The aircraft is still in the prototype stages, but for those that simply can’t wait, it’s available for reservation at a price of $189,000. Delivery is not expected until 2018/19, however.

Audi-Heimplanet Q3 tent camper

Audi and Heimplanet team up on an inflatable car camper design

Two innovative German brands teamed up for something a bit different at Volkswagen’s 2014 Wörthersee festival. Heimplanet custom-fit its inflatable tent technology to the hatch of an Audi Q3 2.0 TDI. The design created an extended car-tent living space with vestibule and also allowed for a freestanding tent set-up. The inflatable tent and Q3 combo certainly wasn’t the most rugged camper design of the year, but it was rated up to wind speeds of 43.5 mph (70 km/h).

The Audi-Heimplanet inflatable car camper was clearly designed as an eye-catching showpiece (a role it filled quite nicely), and we don’t expect to see Audi dealerships advertising the Q3 “overnight package” anytime soon.

2014 EarthRoamer XV-LTS xpedition vehicle

The 2014 EarthRoamer XT-LVS has a 300-hp turbo diesel V8 and standard 37-in Michelin tires...

A beastly, intimidating contradiction on wheels, the 2014 EarthRoamer XV-LTS combines one of the more rugged 4WD expedition vehicle platforms out there with a carefully-detailed, luxury-level interior and front porch. In designing the truck, Colorado-based EarthRoamer fortified a commercial-duty F-550 chassis for rough, off-road use, bolted a composite living module to the back and outfitted it for comfortable off-grid living. The design includes a cozy six-seat living room, sleeping space for four to six and a bathroom with a sink, full-height shower and cassette toilet. Occupants are furnished with utilities by way of a solar-driven electrical system, engine-powered dual alternators and a 90-gallon (340.7-L) fresh water tank. It appears to be an extremely cozy space to retire to after hard days of fighting through mud, boulders and dust with the 300-hp V8 turbo diesel and 37-in tires. The model we stepped inside at Overland Expo even included luxuries like a wine cabinet with engraved wine glasses, slide-out Keurig coffeemaker, and exterior tailgating package with retractable 46-in TV.

The 2014 XV-LTS sold out, but EarthRoamer is now advertising the 2015 model at prices between $312,000 and $560,000.

ADAK Trailer

ADAK Trailer at Overland Expo 2014 (Photo: C.C. Weiss/Gizmag)

It’s not at all rare to find a gritty, all-terrain expedition vehicle furnished like a luxury apartment on wheels. In fact, there are two on this list, including the EarthRoamer we just looked at. When you’re spending six or seven figures on a large, motorized toy, there’s no reason you can’t have it all.

It is rarer to find that mix of any-terrain readiness and luxury in the far more modestly priced camping trailer segment. Most off-road trailer manufacturers we’ve covered seem to put all their R&D money into building a bombproof chassis and body ready to take on everything Mother Earth can throw at it, leaving live-in accommodations to a simple fold-out tent or small, spartan teardrop interior.

Built by a group of outdoorsman tired of inferior campers quitting when the road got rough, but too seasoned for a skimpy, uncomfortable shelter, the ADAK Trailer offers an admirable combination of rugged exterior and spacious, comfy interior. The design uses a mix of aluminum and composite to hold up to rough, choppy roads and off-roads. Inside the trailer’s 116-sq ft (10.8 sq m) cabin, campers find three beds, a bathroom with toilet and shower, a tankless hot water system designed to work in the middle of winter, and available wood flooring and cabinetry. When we originally covered the ADAK earlier in the year, pricing started at $49,000.

Volksleisure T5 camper van

The Volksleisure VW T5 camper includes a kitchen unit and fresh and waste water tanks

After more than a decade of focusing on camper conversions for vans from manufacturers other than Volkswagen, Wellhouse Leisure presented its first production-ready VW camper van this year. The first offering from the brand’s VW-centric subsidiary Volksleisure, the little people mover packs enough versatility for both everyday and holiday use. It’s Wellhouse’s electric rear bench that makes the Volksleisure camper a van that you can overnight in on the weekend and get the kids to school in come Monday morning. The bench slides the length of the cabin, allowing it to work as a live-in camper, regular people mover or big-item hauler. The camper van offers sleeping space for up to four people, along with a kitchen area, refrigerator, dining table, and 35-L (9.2 US gal) fresh and waste water tanks. Volksleisure’s T5 camper is currently listed at a £47,850 ($75,000) base price.

Safari Condo Alto R1723 teardrop pop-top

At camp, the pop-up roof provides standing room inside

Combining two timeless camping-trailer concepts into one seamless family tag-along, the Alto R1723 by Safari Condo is a pop-up teardrop camper designed to get the family outdoors. The 83-in-high (2.1-m), 1725-lb (782-kg) teardrop design gives the Alto R1723 drag-cutting aerodynamic performance on the road and garage clearance during storage. The electric aluminum roof pops up at camp to offer 82 inches (2.08 m) of interior headroom, more than enough for the average person to stand up and walk around, a convenience that smaller, lower teardrops lack. The trailer sleeps three or four and includes home-like comforts such as a flush toilet and shower. The large windows let you experience the grand scenery of the outdoors while remaining under the roof.

The Alto R1723 starts at around CAD$28,500 (US$24,500), and Safari also offers the smaller R1713 for CAD$1,000 less.

Knaus Travelino camper concept

Our only question about the Travelino is its odd shape; something more traditional like a ...

Much like automakers do at every major auto show, German manufacturer Knaus Tabbert has been using the annual Düsseldorf Caravan Salon to showcase ideas for the future of the industry. It followed up last year’s much talked about Caravisio concept with the 2014 Travelino trailer.

While we aren’t really sold on the odd, broadsided shape of the black-and-white Travelino, the real highlight is the interior. The caravan offers very versatile use of its limited space through carefully designed and placed equipment. In place of a dedicated bathroom, a folding-panel wall and slide-out cassette toilet provide indoor privacy without permanently occupying floor space. The indoor and slide-out outdoor kitchens share a portable camping stove, eliminating the need for fixed cooktops.

The Travelino launched as just a concept, so there was no accompanying price information, but it’s easy to see how some of its features could find their way into production camping trailers.

Marco Polo Activity light camper van

Mercedes revealed the Marco Polo Activity alongside the latest Marco Polo at the 2014 Düss...

Manufacturers around the world have come up with very clever ways of packing all kinds of amenities and comforts into small, portable vehicles. But there’s really only so much equipment you can fit into a camper while keeping it light, spacious and comfortable. And not every overnight trip requires a full bathroom, kitchen and living room. If you’re sleeping in a ski resort parking lot or adjacent to a surf break so that you’re in prime position to take advantage of first tracks/early morning waves, you don’t necessarily need a fully equipped RV, just a roof and a comfortable place to sleep.

In that spirit, Mercedes-Benz dropped some of the usual camping equipment to make a lighter, simpler camper van in the form of the Marco Polo Activity it revealed in Düsseldorf. The Activity has a three-seat bench that extends clean across the width of the van thanks to the absence of the kitchen unit. That bench folds down into a bed for up to three, and two more people can sleep below the pop-up roof. If you need to cook your own meals, you can slide the bench forward on its rails and store a stove, cookware and plenty of other gear in back, then eat on the included folding table in the cabin. What you give up in equipment and amenities, you gain in versatility and spaciousness. The Activity was released at a starting price of €38,960 (US$49,000).

Action Mobil Global XRS 720 6×6 camper

Action Mobile showed the Global XRS 7200 at the 2014 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon (photo: Mess...

Our second rolling, all-terrain luxury apartment, the Action Mobil Global XRS 7200 introduced at the 2014 Düsseldorf Caravan Salon was this year’s exercise in no-expense-spared expeditioning opulence, the type of vehicle one only considers if the very thought of “roughing it” is a much bigger deterrent than a seven-figure price tag. The 720-hp, 18-ton MAN-chassised 6×6 is eager to travel to any part of the world and stay there about as long as its occupants can handle. Once inside the spacious, climate-controlled cabin, they’ll immediately forget about whatever harsh, desolate reality surrounds the exterior walls. The cabin is appointed in materials like stone and metal, includes a master bedroom, is hydrated by a 720-L (190-gal) fresh water tank, and keeps everyone entertained with a multimedia system that’s more impressive than what many people have in their living rooms – 40-in HD TV, satellite internet, Apple TV, Bose audio, and a large-capacity hard drive for storing multimedia content. There’s even a bidet and washer/dryer. Not a bad living situation for the middle of $#@#$in nowhere.

Pricing info out of the Düsseldorf show put the XRS 7200 at €850,000 (US$1.1 million) to start.

Look through our gallery for a closer look at the interiors and features of each of these campers and tents. And if you’re wondering how this year’s designs compare to last year’s, take a trip back in time with our best of 2013 camper round-up.

Classic VW bus reinvented as a green machine

When the classic VW bus was at the height of its popularity in the ’60s, ads bragged about the fact that it got 24 miles per gallon.

Fifty years later, that’s actually still a lot better than some similarly sized vans, but it isn’t exactly carbon neutral. Brazilian designer Eduardo Galvani decided to reinvent the hippie bus as something truly sustainable.

The Nimbus is just a concept, but Galvani has sketched out all of the details.

The design uses a micro-generator to keep an electric motor and battery powered as you drive, which Galvani claims can keep the van going for 200 miles.

Solar panels on the roof and regenerative brakes add extra energy.

Though Galvani was inspired by the shape of older vehicles, every aspect of the technology is new, down to a special self-cleaning paint so the van doesn’t have to go to the car wash.

“The main characteristics of the Nimbus are from the age we are living in now, a clear global transition between the old and the new economy, between the old and the new ways of ecological thinking and practices,” Galvani says.

The van is big–about 14 feet long, and taller and wider than the VW bus.

Because it’s made from carbon fiber, titanium, and other lightweight materials, the gas mileage is high. Galvani estimates that the car would get 181 miles to the gallon if built.

Galvani estimates that the car would get 181 miles to the gallon if built.

Inside, the van has room for five passengers and everything you might need for a modern road trip: Wi-fi, USB ports and outlets, a mini-fridge, and a tablet that lets passengers do everything from control lighting and temperature to find a map, videoconference, or browse the web. The car would even have its own operating system, Nimbus OS.

Galvani doesn’t have plans to make the Nimbus, but he hopes it can inspire car manufacturers to make a better van—one that could ultimately be used both as a personal vehicle or as greener form of public transit.

This Fascinating Stillborn VW Prototype Would Have Been Revolutionary


This Fascinating Stillborn VW Prototype Would Have Been Revolutionary

By the late ’60s, VW was in a legitimate full-on panic about replacing the Beetle: somehow, they never really managed to figure this out. The Beetle was just selling too well for too long to worry until it was almost too late. Eventually, the Golf saved the day, but there was a brief moment where it looked like VW’s salvation would be much weirder.

After VW bought NSU and Audi in the late ’60s, the much more conventional water-cooled, transverse front-engined Golf/Rabbit was derived from NSU/Audi designs and saved VW’s bacon, as well as set the company’s fundamental technical DNA to this day. But this was a sort of last-minute desperation plan. The goal of replacing the Beetle as VW’s core product went back much further, and almost culminated in a surprisingly sophisticated and unusual car, the EA266 prototype.

This Fascinating Stillborn VW Prototype Would Have Been Revolutionary

The EA266 was developed with assistance from a Porsche team led by Ferdinand Piëch — the same one who would later become Chairman of the Volkswagen group. The EA266 was a very novel and innovative little car. It broke with VW’s traditional tech in some of the same ways as the Golf would, using an inline, water-cooled engine, but unlike the Golf, which used the Mini and contemporary Fiats as templates for its design, the EA266 must have been looking at exotic sportscars, because it was mid-engined, with the drivetrain placed low and in the middle-rear of the car.

The 1588cc inline four was laid flat under the rear seat in a longitudinal configuration with the transaxle directly behind it. The cylinder head was on the left side of the car (facing forward), while the radiator, fan, and other various bits were to the right. The whole unit was sealed in its own little compartment under the rear seat, sort of prefiguring the way the Porsche Boxster/Cayman would tackle this issue in the future.

This Fascinating Stillborn VW Prototype Would Have Been Revolutionary

It’s said the design was inspired by a 1961 Porsche 911 prototype, the Porsche 695, which was a sort of mid-engined proto-911, with room for four inside and the engine under the rear passengers’ butts.

The engine made between 100-105 HP (reports vary). That was pretty damn good for the late 60s, when, for example, a Beetle was making about 53 HP, and most other small economy cars of the era weren’t doing much better.

This Fascinating Stillborn VW Prototype Would Have Been Revolutionary

A VW museum description of the car lists the goals of the development project as

– maximum interior dimensions

– minimum interior dimensions

– economical purchase price and operation

– interior design maximizing operational comfort and convenience

I’m not exactly sure if the seemingly contradictory “maximum/minimum” interior dimensions thing was a joke or just confusing, but they sure as hell figured out a way to deliver on that one. Just look at this cutaway of the car:1

 This Fascinating Stillborn VW Prototype Would Have Been Revolutionary

This Fascinating Stillborn VW Prototype Would Have Been Revolutionary

Amphibious? Shoooooo looks it.

The protoype was a little bit bigger than the 1st-gen Golf that replaced it, but not by much. It has a bit of extra height to accommodate the engine without sacrificing interior room, but it’s overall still a small car.

So, it looks like it would have been very competitive from an interior and cargo-space standpoint, and an inline engine is likely a good bit cheaper than VW’s traditional flat engines (half the number of cylinder heads, you see). But what’s really exciting to think about are the performance and handling possibilities of the design.

VW was even thinking a great deal about all the possibilities of the design, coming up with sketches of an eventual van, sport coupe, and roadster versions. This would have been a very different — and to my way of thinking, much more exciting — modern VW.

This Fascinating Stillborn VW Prototype Would Have Been RevolutionaryExpand8

What’s the story with this alternative logo? It’s as radical as the car which is pretty sweet and something I didn’t know about, so thanks.

It’s built like a tiny exotic sportscar — very low center of gravity, mid engine, surprisingly good power — this thing looks like it could have been a blast to drive. It’s reported to have a top speed of about 118 MPH, which was genuinely fast, especially for an economy car of the era, and the handling characteristics were said to be excellent, with McPherson struts in front and a multi-link rear.

Who said they were excellent? Well, a few journalists at the time did get to drive one of the 50 prototypes built, and they seemed to have loved what they drove. In fact, they loved driving the EA266 so much more than the later Golf prototypes they drove that VW allegedly had journalists sign non-publication agreements about the EA266 after the project was nixed.

And that brings up the big question: why was the EA266 cancelled? It was very far along in development, just about ready for production, when it was completely and summarily killed by VW’s new boss, fresh from VW Brasil, Rudolph Leiding. In fact, it was killed within three weeks of his taking office, and this was from a man who had always been a champion of novel VW-based variants like the Brasilia and the SP-2, both of which even had a front-end design named after him.

this guy [Leiding] then went on to demand that Porsche destroy all prototypes, which they did using, wait for it…Leopard 1 tanks of Porsche’s own design to crush them. every single drawing, photograph, note, and napkin with a sketch ordered to be burned…they even cut up Piëch’s prototype engine.

Holy crap. They brought out the tanks to get rid of these, and burned the freaking napkins. That’s pretty intense. It’s not really clear why Leiding felt the need to be so draconian about making an un-person of the EA266, but clearly he did. It may just have been the need for a new leader to make his own mark, or resentment at Porsche’s involvement.

This Fascinating Stillborn VW Prototype Would Have Been RevolutionaryEven ignoring the drama-queen destructive impulses of Leiding, there were likely more rational reasons VW could have decided against the EA266 path. The car was quite complex and sophisticated for what was to be a high-volume, entry-level car, maintenance access would likely have been tricky at best (removable rear seat, or no access, like a Boxster?), and there were persistent cooling and noise issues to deal with.12

Boxsters are actually quite easy to work on for most engine-in-car repairs, there’s a huge access panel behind the seats and the top moves into a service position, giving good access to the top of the engine.

This Fascinating Stillborn VW Prototype Would Have Been RevolutionaryStill, I would like to believe that VW could have solved these issues in time, and it’s very hard to shake the feeling that we were denied a very interesting and exciting take on a mass-market economy car. The idea of a practical, cheap, mid-engined hatchback — or, even better, a whole family of mid-engined cars — is just too appealing to ignore.

Oh well. Maybe we’ll get lucky and the Large Hadron collider will accidentally tear some space-time hole in the multiverse, and that hole will lead to a world like ours, but one where VW sparked a revolution in fun, cheap, mid-engined cars. And maybe also delicious sandwiches materialize in your hands on command. What a glorious world that would be.

VW says Wolfsburg factory made more than 836,000 cars in 2014

FRANKFURT: Volkswagen on Tuesday said its main factory in Wolfsburg made more than 836,000 cars in
2014, an increase of around 29,000 vehicles compared with the year-earlier

More than 409,000 Golf models were assembled and more than
247,000 Tiguan models were made at the plant, which is also the company’s
headquarters, Volkswagen said.

Current VWT2OC camping and show calendar

VWT2OC will , at the moment, be attending the following shows and organising the following camps in 2015.

23rd – 27th April 2015

St.Georges Day Camp

CCC Site Winchcombe-Brooklands Farm

Alderton Near Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, GL20 8NX

Please book through the Camping & Caravanning Club (see below)

Site Telephone Number 01242-620259

Saturday 13th June – 21st June 2015

Seaside Summer Solstice- Camping & Caravanning Club Site

Norman’s Bay,Pevensey,East Sussex, BN24 6PR

Again ,please book through Camping & Caravanning Club (see below)
Site Telephone number 01323-761190

To book the two camps above go to:-

www.camping& or phone 0845-130-7633 0r 024-7647-5426

To be put near Derek,Christie & Dusty telephone the site warden & ask nicely.

15th-17th May 2015       MMM Southern Motor Home Show Newbury Berkshire

14th-16th August 2015  MMM Western Motor Home Show Malvern 3 Counties Show Ground

Hosted by committee member Ken Brimson.Book via website

Go to club camping to find VWT2OC click & you will be put with fellow members.

5th/6thJune 2015-Just Kampers Open Day 

Book directly through Just Kampers

Look for club flag & camp round it.

4th-6th September 2015   Busfest    3 Counties Show Ground Malvern

Book club camping via Busfest Website www.Busfest.Org


24th-28th September 2015  AGM/Valuation Weekend

Stratford Racecourse,Stratford on Avon

Camping book through Bob & Maggie Ward (See Driving Force)

Valuations book through Mike & Carolyn Tout (See Driving Force)


The Club Promotional Stand will be at ;-

17th May   Dub’s At The Park  Easthampstead Park,Bracknell

31st May   VW Expo 2015-Stonor Park Nr.Henley On Thames

5th/6th June   Just Kampers Open Day

2nd August     Volkswagen North West-Tatton Park-Cheshire

9th August      Beach Buggin Southsea,Portsmouth,Hampshire


New legislation to improve motorhome safety

Motorhomes fitted with rear travel seats, which are built to European Type Approval standards, are set to become safer across Europe when new legislation comes into force at the start of November

The new rules mean any manufacturer that builds to European Whole Vehicle Type Approval (EWVTA) standards – and most large British and European manufacturers do – must subject the backs of forward-facing rear seats to ‘pull stress tests’ that replicate the forces seats are subject to in a crash.

Motorhome manufacturers across Europe have been subjecting their seats to the tests in advance of the new rules coming into force. Front seats in motorhomes are already fully tested and approved. Now the only difference between the tests carried out on motorhome passenger seats and those for cars are those related to head restraints and the fittings for child seats.

Head restraints are currently not mandatory on rear seats of motorhomes and nor are Isofix anchorage points. Isofix are used to fasten childseats to the frame of a vehicle. Some motorhomes now have Isofix and many now come with rear seat head restraints, despite neither being mandatory. But, where head restraints and Isofix are fitted by manufacturers into motorhomes, they have to comply with the relevant European regulations concerning passenger vehicles.


Chris Evans – My Kings of the Road – No7 – Volkswagen T5 Transporter

The VW Camper T5 is the best all-round vehicle I’ve owned. Whenever I’m not testing a car or treating myself to one of the old brigade, the T5 becomes my daily driver

The VW Camper T5 is the best all-round vehicle I’ve owned. Whenever I’m not testing a car or treating myself to one of the old brigade, the T5 becomes my daily driver
I spent longer hunting this down than any vehicle I can remember. I travelled far and wide to ascertain whether or not to go for the more classic and cute T2, which is gorgeous but not if you actually have to drive one anywhere. Or to forsake the nostalgia and go for modern cool and 100mph plus. This is how I got to the T5, though the story didn’t end there. Next was the decision to go new or used. I went for used to see if we got on before perhaps going bespoke for 2015. There are various power options, the 180bhp auto box being the dream. The best I could find in the two months I gave myself was a 140bhp manual with only 17,000 miles and one owner. The result was BUZ as he is named after his number plate suffix, and the best all-round vehicle I’ve owned. Whenever I’m not testing a car or treating myself to one of the old brigade, the T5 becomes my daily driver. From now on I will always have a T5 in my life and it may well always be the one we already have.

New from £36,238

Read more:
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Leisuredrive launches Crusader CT campervan for 2015

Slide out toilet in classic layout

if you like the manoeuvrability of a campervan but aren’t sold on the restricted toilet facilities, then camper conversion specialist Leisuredrive has a model for you. The new Crusader CT is a camper based on the VW T5 SWB with a 2.0-litre engine and comes with metallic paint and air-con. It uses a traditional side kitchen layout but the ace in the hole is the slide-out electric cassette toilet. The toilet can be brought into play when needed, with privacy provided  by dark, tinted side windows, and features an electrically operated flush which uses a heavy-duty electric pump. The toilet can even be used when the bed is down and in the sleeping position. When done, slide it back in out of the way. The key feature is the waste cassette empties from outside the camper so there’s no chance of unfortunate and smelly accidents inside.

Other features include a large, top-loading fridge which operates from the mains or 12v electric supply, Tambour wardrobe door access, window blanker to offside rear and it’s available in elevator or high-top formats. Base price is £39,999 onwards or you can supply your own VW T5 and have it converted, prices starting at £27,990.

Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show prepares for 2015 show




Olympic champion Sally Gunnell, and TV presenter Matt Baker are among the main attractions at this year’s Caravan, Camping & Motorhome Show.

The start-of-season holiday showcase will feature a host of well-known personalities with a love of the great outdoors at the NEC on 17-22 February.

“It’s fantastic to have such well-known personalities coming to our show and I am sure they will be a hit with visitors of every age,” said Andrew Whalley, NCC Events managing director.

“All of them have a passion for the outdoors and visitors to our event will see how a caravan, motorhome or tent can be the enabler to getting outside as a family, enjoying quality time together and being active.”

The show is set to host more than 350 exhibitors, showcasing the latest season’s models from the major caravan and motorhome manufacturers to holiday inspiration and accessories.

Highlights will include the Learning Zone, cookery demonstrations, onsite campsite and activities including a show first ‘outdoor-style’ fashion show for kids and adults.

The show, formerly called the Caravan & Camping Show, changed its name in August 2014 as a result of consumer research and a strategic review. 

The name change is designed to make the show all encompassing for visitors and better attract people to their specific areas of interest, organisers said.

The new show will be zoned accordingly, with distinct caravan, camping and motorhome areas, supported in pre-show activity and show content.

TV and radio personality Matt Baker will also make an appearance on opening day. He will play host to a range of activities on The Caravan Club Stand. If that wasn’t enough, professional surfer Melodie King from Cornwall, will appear throughout the event in the Expert’s Theatre.

Sally is better known for her golf medal winning run in the 400m hurdles at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. She is now seen as part of the BBC Sport team and has made appearances in numerous TV shows, A Question of Sport and Total Wipeout. Sally will appear on Wednesday 18 February.

Professional surfer Melodie King, is one of the sports rising stars, being only 17-years-old and currently placed fifth in the UK in the under 18s ladies division. Melodie will be present for the entire event. Two time BAFTA winning presenter, Matt Baker, will appear on Club Day, Tuesday 17 February.