Sun Canopy That Converts Into A Drive Away Awning

I have a large heavy drive-away awning that works very well and I use that when we travel with the boys and they sleep in that. But, when there are just the two of us … well, it’s a bit of a palaver. So I looked for something that I could use with our roll-out canopy and without it if I want to leave a standalone awning or if it is just too windy to risk £500 worth of aluminium and pvc canvas!

I looked at the quecha base seconds – but just couldn’t get my head around using it with my existing kit.

This arrangement gives me three configurations (numbers match picture numbers below):

  1. Sun canopy attached to side channel (on rollout awning)
  2. Sun room using sun canopy and attached as above (#1)
  3. Drive away awning using #2 above plus an attached tarp and a candor strip to de-couple the awning from the bus (the attachment clips are clip on grommets).
  4. Attach the sides and front of the sun-room to the roll-out awning using velcro tapes

I think I now have all the canopy combinations and permutations I need for travelling light – and at a price that is half the price of the specific, add-on sides and front for the roll-out awning.  I’ll report back after our next trip!

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Fructaholics Anonymous – Sugar: The Bitter Truth

Thanks to a reference from Jonathan Gittos (many thanks Jonathan), I have just watched this video. It really is worth watching the whole 1.5 hours – you will NEVER look at sugar the same way again. I had heard of much of this stuff before, but the missing bit for me was just how dangerous fructose is to your health. I, for one, used to drink gallons of orange juice thinking I was doing myself a lot of good – nope  – real damage!

Incredibly enlightening – if you want to do one really meaningful thing today, this week, this month, this year – watch this video!

 

Thermal Topper for T5 Popup Roof

There’s a lot of debate on thermal screens, toppers etc. for your Cali. I chose this one because of price, convenience of fitting and simple logic; I wanted better thermal insulation up top. Works well, simple for me to fit even on my own and rolls up into a neat bag that can be easily stowed. Another big advantage that I have found is that you can put it up when you need it. i.e. if you are getting too cold and decide you want to add the screen in the middle of the night. I have even done so in a storm!

http://darenpucerscreens.co.uk/

And how it is attached at the back. It’s put on starting at the back and working around the sides and front using a long handled broom to push into place. Bungie cord secures the two ends at the back. Green mini tarp is only if it’s very wet – otherwise there is a useful breather space at the back.

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VW T5 LED Headlamps

I’ve just changed my Phillips 110% headlamps for some Dubflecta LED lamps. Results are good – very bright. Just have to sort out the warning light problem. These lights are meant to be Canbus error free – emailed Dubflecta and waiting for a response.

I thought it might be useful to add a description of how to put these lamps in. It’s not difficult but it’s not trivial either.

  1. Remove rubber sealing cap from around the back of the headlamp assembly.
  2. Locate the 3 pronged electrical connector and remove (simply it pull backwards towards the rear of  your Vdub)
  3. Locate the spring fastener and push this down and back – it will then spring off.
  4. Remove old bulb. Note thick tab is the upper, vertically oriented tab of the three locating tabs
  5. Put the new bulb in place. Best to locate the bulb connecting wire behind the spring fastener i.e. inside it towards the front of your Vdub.
  6. Then ease the spring over the bulb body and place the bulb with thickest tab vertically up. Pushing the spring back on requires a little bit of a push, and you should feel a noticeable click back into place to secure the bulb.
  7. Then attach control unit to the bulb wire (has a locating lug to assist this). Place the whole assembly inside the headlamp housing and reseal the rubber housing cap.
  8. Repeat, test.
  9. Voila!vwh4.JPG
  10. I’ll report back on bulb issues/ performance.

Ramsons, Ramsons Everywhere

We had to pop down to the area around Swansea for a quick visit. The place was carpeted with wild garlic. Walking though the woods it even smelt like you were immersed in a garlic scent bath. The ramson buds were particularly tasty. Here I fried them with our breakfast of ham and eggs – absolutely delicious!

Hop Shoot, Cook

Last year, around 10 months ago, was the last time I collected a fist full of these delicacies. Today on my lunch-time walk, I spotted a bevy of hop-shoots just waiting for me to pick. They really are nice. A subtle flavour when blanched and then sauteed in butter. The blanching helps get rid of the hairy texture – which I actually quite like. They are meant to be one of the most expensive (when sold) foraged items you can find (apart from truffles!). They are good — but not that good. Worth having a try if you find them. Most of the ones I have found tend to grow up hedges made of other plants, and so look like weeds. They have a distinct leaf shape, and the hoppy aroma when you squeeze the leaves between your fingers is a sure give-away.

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