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Reader Sue Kay had an unusual neighbour when she was pitched up on a CS in Chester
And the moral of this tale? Always visit your family by motorhome if you want a bit of excitement. And don’t forget to take along your camera! Sue Kay Via email
IF YOU CAN’T FIND ONE, BUILD YOUR OWN I thought that we would write in to Practical Motorhome to share the surfboard rack idea that my husband and I came up with for our 2003 VW Compass Calypso motorhome.
Site facilities included a helipad!
in snow. And there I was, without my camera to record it for posterity – and to show our nieces. Never mind, though: even without picture evidence, they thought
I really should know by now that you must never go away in the ’van without a camera. We were using our home on wheels to visit the family for Easter, so naturally I wasn’t expecting anything out of the ordinary. It just goes to show how wrong you can be!
On a rainy Tuesday night we pitched up at the C&CC’s Cannock Chase site. The next morning a white world greeted us as the site was blanketed it was hilarious.
More excitement was to come, too. On Good Friday, in the rural peace and quiet of a CS near Chester, we had just finished our hot cross buns when there was the noise of a circling helicopter above us. By the time we looked out of our rear window it was zooming right in on us.
As our motorhome rocked in the air currents caused by the lowering aircraft, the helicopter flew in low over the fence and landed on the pitch next to us. I would have loved to have taken a snap of this but, of course, I had no camera. Thank goodness my husband remembered that his mobile phone had a camera on it and he took a shot of the whirlybird (above) just as it took off on its travels again.
After we purchased the ’van we wanted to fit a surfboard rack to the roof. However, despite a long search, we were unable to source a roof rack to suit our needs. We could only find rails that were rounded, rather than, square.
My husband therefore came up with an idea, and we ended up making one ourselves using two aluminium box section lengths with end caps, some rubber fitments from a zimmer
Reader C Scott used eyelet bolts to create a surf-board rack on top her VW ’van
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8 | July 2012 | www.practicalmotorhome.com frame and four eyelet bolts. It might sound mighty strange but it works perfectly – and it looks good, too, as you can see from the photo (below). But
This DIY surfboard rack looks great and only cost to make best of all the whole thing cost us less than £50. C Scott Bournemouth, Dorset
BE CAREFUL WHEN BUYING YOUR ’VAN I’m writing in response to a letter from a reader named Gerald from the Workshop section of the May 2012 issue, in which the correspondent believed he had been mis-sold a 4000kg ’van. I agree with the reply given, that Gerald may well have a case of mis-selling against his dealer.
Gerald would need to clearly demonstrate to his dealer’s local Trading Standards team – by using detailed pointof-sale and mutually signed order papers – that his dealer definitely knew ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ of Gerald’s situation (ie, that his licence did not cover him for a vehicle with an MTPLM greater than 3500kg) and that the vehicle on offer was therefore not suitable for him.
If Trading Standards think there might be a case to answer, Gerald will need to be formally interviewed on record and will later need to attend court as a witness. There must also be some proof that the said dealer already has a track record of similar incidents. If these criteria are met then they can move on to the next step.
They can then justify the cost of the case as ‘in the public interest’ to pursue, with a very strong chance of winning.
We reserve the right to edit letters; please tell us if they’re not for publication.
things we’ve talked about most this month... SUMMER IS ON ITS WAY Get ready for the forthcoming season with our inspiring reader articles, including trips to the Pyrénées, Dorset, Normandy and more. You’ll find them from p .
HOW TO BUY A CLASSIC VW Everyone here at the magazine has a soft spot for classic VW campers. Read our feature on p , then see our video on what to look for when buying, at our You Tube channel, www.youtube.com/ pmotorhome
TRIBUTE The Tribute brand is well known for its budget coachbuilt van conversions, and we’ve put the through our exhaustive live-in test; find out how it fared on p .
CAMPING FURNITURE Our team has thoroughly enjoyed testing out camping tables and chairs this month – read their verdict on p .
DEALING WITH GARAGES Do you worry that you’re not getting best value out of your local garage? We do – so the Weekend Workshop in this issue show you how to (see p .
WELCOME ABOARD FROM THE EDITOR
“It’s a fabulous destination to while away a weekend”
Unsung destinations Cambridge isn’t easy to visit in a ’van. Only one of its many park-and-ride sites accepts motorhomes, while the city’s one-way system and pedestrian-friendly layout is not for ’van driving. However, with one of our Nightstop pubs just a handful of miles north of the city, and a little know how, it’s a fabulous destination for whiling away a sunny summer weekend (p ). Cambridge isn’t the only unsung destination for visiting in a ’van this summer. This month, we visit Cumbria’s beautiful Eden Valley (p ), lesser-known destinations in the Pyrénées (p ) and more. Plus, our test of camping chairs and tables (p ) should help you kick back and relax.
Finally, no other ’van conjures up images of long, lazy summers better than a classic VW camper. If you’ve ever hankered after a classic T , our expert shows you what to look out for. Enjoy the issue!
This month on practicalmotorhome.com
For the very latest advancement in VW camper technology, check out our Jeremiah’s video review of the amazing VW Doubleback on our YouTube channel www.youtube.com/pmotorhome www.practicalmotorhome.com | July 2012 | 9