Starting big

This story happened on: 19/01/2018

This by way of a Blog, my first. My wife and I love travelling and we are neither of us very fussy about 'mods and cons'. We both ride motorcycles and as much as we would have liked a campervan we haven't found anything that our late in life mortgage situation could allow us to afford, beyond some very dodgy old sheds on wheels.

We are based in the Lakes and love Scotland. We did the North Coast 500 on two wheels each last year with a 2 man tent and primus. 

So we decided to look again and the Romahome came up as a possibility. Friends have a T5 but we aren't up to that sort of money. We also looked into a self build but small was the idea. 

Then a van popped up on our eBay radar with only a couple of hours to run. A 2004 Mk6 Ford Transit professionally converted in 2014 with less than 22,000 miles from new. High and long.

It didn't sell, the reason given was that it doesn't have either a shower or a toilet (a tucked away Portaloo and an awning). We were told it was open to offers. So we set off over the Pennines to view the considerably larger potential solution.

Rust would have killed the deal. It's Turkish built (a good thing) and is fairly solid. We have a Waxoyl booked in next month. The van was very clean, hardly used, fully equipped with an unused Fiamma awning, unused microwave, 3 way fridge, sink, double hob, ramps, TV/DVD and a whole lot of bits and pieces. It has lots of stowage space and the side door has been closed off to allow a huge bed/seated area with a kitchen at the rear. We did notice a bit of a leak on the front Mini Heki skylight. It has since proved to be the roof/skylight seal and a new one is being fitted by a local campervan converter next week. He did a temporary job for this weekend away. Needless to say we made an offer on the van and collected it the next day.

My wife is 60 next weeksurprised As a treat I planned a couple of nights away in the van to secret locations. The weather forecast in the North West heading into the Borders wasn't ideal but it looked safe enough. 

1615 on Friday off we went. Up the A6 from Kendal with a very full van. Shap was interesting with snow having drifted across the road piling up to the nearside. It wouldn't have been so bad but someone decided that just such a moment was ideal to force an overtake!

Our first stop was Woodhead Farm just off Jnc 41 of the M6, North of Penrith near Catterlen. What a wonderful site. The toilets and showers befitted a 5 star hotel! Julie showed us new guys the ropes and we were soon settled in warm and cosy with a bottle of vintage champagne to celebrate. There was hard snow underfoot but it was no issue and everything in the van worked as it should. I'd checked everything through before we set off. The 90hp 2.4 TDDi did well enough.

The next day brightened hugely as we headed into Scotland and along the Solway Firth Coastal Route. We know this area reasonably well. We stopped at Caerlaverock Castle and really enjoyed walking around and taking photographs. On to Dalbeattie before heading back towards Dumfries and stopping at Mollance Farm for the night. Another very pleasurable evening with good facilities although the showers were temporarily OOA. The DVD on the TV player was broken and I didn't manage to raise a signal on the TV so cribbage and wine won again. Except this time I won the cribbage, just.

Just as I was cooking a full English this morning the snow started. I aborted the cooking and set off before we got snowed in. We finished breakfast in a A75 lay-by. The journey back was a little challenging with heavy, un-forecasted snow. It cleared completely by Jnc 36 of course.

So home we are now reflecting on a very successful weekend. The van was great. I've an oil and filter change to do and I'll fit a new auxiliary drive belt. The inlet manifold will come off and be cleaned too. I've ordered a dehumidifier and there the skylight to be done but the package has been great. It's a start. The van from moment one has been christened BFG.


Chrystal commented on 28/01/2018 13:53

Commented on 28/01/2018 13:53

What a lovely story.

Hope you have many adventures. 😊 

jonray57 commented on 30/01/2018 09:39

Commented on 30/01/2018 09:39

Good read and well done in finding such a low mileage, bomb-proof Transit. It's not even run-in yet, so I'll look forward to hearing about your future travels cool

NickyKnix commented on 07/02/2018 11:20

Commented on 07/02/2018 11:20

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your story and hope you have many more happy trips to come.  smile