The weekend of 25th – 28th May was Daphne’s first big trip; we drove from Edinburgh to my hometown in South Yorkshire for a family wedding (Friday and Saturday), and then back up to south-west Scotland to squeeze in the final evening of Knockengorroch World Ceilidh on Sunday, before eventually getting home on Monday evening. Coming in at around a 600-mile round trip, this was our first drive out in the van longer than about 15 miles, and also our first night sleeping in it!
I haven’t yet got round to furnishing the van, so at the festival Jordan and I slept on one of those semi-inflatable camping mattresses plus a load of miscellaneous bedding we borrowed from the flat. Obviously not a long-term solution, but fine for one night, and some valuable lessons were learned.
- We can’t open the back door from the inside as the handle is missing! Have a little chuckle at the idea of two sleepy and rather intoxicated people trying to get out for a pee in the early hours, discovering there’s not a way to open the van from the inside at the back, and clambering over the seats to get out of the passenger door… Hopefully Halfords can provide a replacement if one can’t be sourced from the scrapyard/free internet!
- Ditto the driver-side seatbelt clicker (I keep getting stuck strapped into my seat) and the bar-thing that allows you to move the passenger seat forward and back!
- There are holes in the roof where roof-rack bars obviously used to be! Long-term I think I’ll get a roof rack put on as it’ll be handy, but as that’s an expense and not a high-priority one, short-term I have used duck-tape and am hoping for dry weather (I live in Scotland, what could go wrong?!)
- The cage under the van where the spare tyre should live is completely rusted to s***. I’ve been keeping the spare in the back of the van, but that was no use when I was trying to sleep – note to self, spare wheels don’t make good pillows! So at some point, sooner rather than later, I’ll need to sort a storage place for that.
There is absolutely no way a futon will work in this van – it’s just too small a space for the heavy, clunky movement needed to unfold a futon. I’ve been scouting about on t’interweb and found this conversion project: http://www.campervanconversion.co.uk/tasks/bed-system/vauxhall-combo-conversion/bed-system so Plan B is to do something similar. I’ll be sourcing the wood from the usual sites so that it isn’t new but repurposed and rescued from the bin. This should give me plenty of space to store the stuff I’m going to need, and still have a sofa-bed system.
Rant warning – Jordan and I wandered around the campsite at Knockengorroch late on Monday afternoon, and I was genuinely sickened to see just how much stuff had been just abandoned! I know this isn’t exactly a rare occurrence at festivals, but Knock is like, a proper hippy festival! There was me feeling rotten about using single-use coffee cups and plastic water bottles (in the stress to pack for the wedding I’d left my reusable ones at home), when people had just left their stuff in the middle of the field! If it’s broken or empty, at least put it in the bin if recycling isn’t a convenient option, and if it’s still in good working order and you don’t want it, then donate it, but don’t just brazenly litter the beautiful landscape or expect someone else to tidy after you! Aargh!
On the plus side, from the debris I managed to salvage/scavenge this mattress pad thing which will be perfect for part of the bed system, just need to give the covers a wash!
I’m going back to posting once a week now folks!