Category Archives: motorhome work

Solar Panel fitting

We fitted the 85 watt solar panel we purchased at the Newark Show this weekend. We purchased the panel and regulator from a very helpful company whose website is http://www.solarpanel4u.co.uk/Home.html. Total cost was under £300, which is quite a saving over getting one fitted (fitting seems to be about £400) and its so easy.

The location for the solar panel

It took about 2 hours to fit. We decided where to put it, which was at the front of the van across the roof. One of the downsides of a van conversion is the roof is ribbed and curves so a flat panel is not going to lay flat. I did not want to have any gaps which might allow wind and rain ot get under the panel and so I used bedding mastic to build upto a level platform. two small holes were drilled for the cables. Its important to use silicon whilst putting the cables through to make the holes water tight.

The panel was then lowered into place and and angle iron was used to screw it to the room, again using silicon to seal. Negative and positive cables were taken from the battery and via a 10amp fuse on the positive attached to the regulator. The cables to the solar panel were then connected.

The panel in place

The battery was almost fully charged but even so the panel pumped in .5 amp. I think its going to be a great asset to the van

Time evaporates

I got up quite early this morning, logged on and then went to a new forum a good friend of mine, Chris from Devizes had put me onto. The site is called http://www.nikoncafe.com/vforums/ and is mainly USA based. Compared with a lot of the UK forums I go on it is very upbeat and positive.Two hours have now vanished as I have read loads and even posted on it, I think it will take up a lot more of my time.

Yesterday was spent in argument with Shona – fantastic. I think we have spent long enough on one site and we are ready to move on. Problem we have is our two sons are saying they are coming to see us next week and it will be an ideal site as it has very good facilities. We will have to see how it all goes I guess.

I am going to try to fit a second TV today. I am mentioning it as I have been trying to get around to it for ages and I thought that if I mentioned it to the world I would get on with it. I also need to rewire the front TV as at the moment it powers off the starting batteries which is no good at all.

Towtal…ley pleased

ust got back from Towtal of Stoke having had the A frame bits fitted to Shona’s little Hijet.

Left Selby at 6 this morning and arrived at 8.30am to be greeted by Bill and Pearl the head ponchos of the family business. I got to meet their daughter, their son and their grand children who all work in the business, it was a real family affair.

The job was set to take 6 hours but in fact only took 5 and the price was exactly as quoted – fantastic. They have a living room style waiting room and I sat chatting to a chap who had brought a vehicle up from Elite motorhome hire for a towbar. In fact they were really busy and there was a stream of customers all day.

What I did not realise is they do much more than just towbars, they do heating and satellite and many many more bits and pieces. There were cars already fitted with A frames and even a hydrogen set up for either petrol or diesel engines giving more fuel economy.

A funny thing happened on the way back up the M1 in that I suddenly smelled burning. The idea that something had gone wrong with the fitting and I had a picture of flames under the bonnet in my mind. The smell though was strange in a familar sort of way. As I passed the old steam train being transported up the motorway I realised it was the smell of years of the burning of coal 😆 .

All in I was totally pleased with the days job at Towtal. The job was incredibly neat and tidy which was something I was worried about as I like the front of the Hijet and really did not want it butchered. I fully recommend them.
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a very neat job –see the Towtal website by clicking here

towtal

We are at Towtal today having the A Frame fittings put onto Shona’s little Hijet. It was a 110 mile drive this morning and surprisingly the little MPV handled superbly. Drove non stop and got out feeling fine, really surprised and relieved. I say relieved because it helps make up our minds about just having the one car. Next weekend I have to shoot down to Essex to photograph a wedding and I was pleased to have the Xsara with us. I shall still use the Xsara and whilst in Essex get her new MOT but then sell her.
After that I think a bit of travel would be in order. I keep joking that I am starting to hate the current site we are on but that is because we like it so much and will be sad to leave but as we look on the map there is the Yorkshire Mores just North East and the Pennines, Dales and all sorts all around us and I think they need touring.

Start of the day

We have just filled up the domestic lpg, then its a bacon sarnie and then around to empty the waste and fill with fresh water. We then be sorted for the next few days. We will fill before going to the coast at the weekend, a trip we have planned with a load of friends.
Jess has woken up feeling a bit ill, being sick a couple of times and then falling back to sleep, hopefully she will be back to her jolly self when she wakes up again

Servicing nearly finished

Well we certainly have not rushed things but the end is nearly in sight. Yesterday Duncan came over and finished the air bags. When I saw the old ones I was so glad we had – wow they were shot. Now there is 55lbs in each so thats over 200lbs off air helping the suspension and we also pumped up the tyres by about 100lbs so it will be really interesting to see how she drives after this.

www.starspangledspanner.com

Upholstery

The water pipe repair has lasted perfectly, no more leaks and no constant pump coming on. It never feels right to have to switch on the pump to get water, I like to have it left on all the time. Yesterday Graham and Suzanne came to see us to give us a quote on doing the upholstery in the RV. Although it is not that bad a revamp would really lift her up. We shall have to see what sort of price they come up with though before we can seriously consider it.

Nice day

We had a nice day yesterday. We spent the morning framing photographs ready for delivery on Monday. The extra room in the RV proved very handy for that. We then went to Maplins to buy a freeview box and whilst we were there we also bough a satellite system. Its an 80cm dish complete with lnb and free to air receiver all for £49 reduced from £120.

On the Euramobil we had a crankup which is great and so easy to tune in but in winds I would always worry about – a great big dish on top of the roof banging away. This dish will fix to the ladder and not be so bothered we hope. The question is how easy will it be to set up.

Karen and Paul came around for dinner and again the extra room in the RV worked well. Shona cooked a lovely chicken curry, she is enjoying having an oven again.