Thursday 31 May 2012

Has my bus been Banksy-ied?

Has the mystery superstar graffiti artist tagged my bus with one of his trade mark rat stencils?

Can i now sell my bus to Angelina and Brad for a cool million, actually they could just take the engine lid its sprayed on as you can see the rust coming back through where i filled it not two months ago.

Or perhaps its an inside job, perhaps the fact it is sprayed in the exact same shade of halfords cheapest primer as on other bits of the bus give away it as a forgery? You decide.

Wednesday 30 May 2012

240v Electrics, Inverters and Relays

Loads of space for a second Battery installed with the Lucas 35amp relay (blue box) That engine bay could do with a clean.
I am never going to be running a plasma TV or Xbox in the bus but thought it essential we have a 240v socket for mobile phone/sat nav charging on the move. I thought i would need a 'Leisure' battery that holds a charge longer than a normal car battery, however asking all the bus owners i know was confident that a second hand car battery would do the trick for my less demanding power needs.

300w Inverter mounted under the bench seats
 So a second hand Bosch battery (£15 on ebay) a 35Amp Lucas relay (£10, ebay) and a 300w Inverter from Maplins (with USB input) was all i needed. I ran the power leads to the inverter behind the rear bench seats and through the drain plug under the spare wheel mount into the engine bay.

That was easy enough but i was not to keen on frying things installing it myself so took it to Eastern Auto Spares in Nacton Ipswich who wired it all in and put in additional fuses to prevent overloading.

We now have a USB powered bus!

Monday 28 May 2012


Today we got the new curtains back and Naomi from Suffolk Bugrs did a great job with the Kente material, all the way from Ghana courtesy of mummy.

Naomi informed us on getting the material that there was only enough to do some of the curtains, and because of the thin nature of the material we were best to have the pattern on the inside of the bus. After i died the existing curtains with two packs of Dylon dark green fabric dye i felt more confident about a crucial element of the buses look. We could have had  them reversable or cover the outside with more material later (would have to pop over to Accra however and hope we could find the same shop/supplier)but i am delighted with the overall effect and at least the pattern will not be as prone to sun damage on the inside.

Have enough material left to do the top of the sink cover and two lap cushions, and then we plan to recover all the rear seating in dark green vinyl eventually, probably after Naomi has recovered from organising the Alive & V Dubin event.

All covered and tucked in for the night!

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Bus Envy

Had to post this snap of my neighbour, Martin, and his lush '65 (?) Splittie that he has lovingly restored. Of course i suffer from slight bus envy, but that's outweighed by having such a knowledgeable and helpful mate on the street. It has to inspire you when you are getting fed up scraping off paint and wrestling with bodywork, to see Martin cruise by; although it makes me laugh when he is so critical of his bus, pointing out that this line is not straight, and that patch of paint is slightly discoloured. I guess that's the curse of having such a pristine bus, you have to keep it up. If you notice he keeps his distance when passing the old cheese grater!

Monday 21 May 2012

Cruise Meet : Jimmy's Farm Ipswich to Felixtowe

It was a great day, my first mass VW cruise, so impressed with the turnout (must of been over a hundred VW's of all shapes and sizes) and got such a buzz driving in a massive convoy and bringing Felixtowe to a standstill (Not hard as some argue its been at a standstill since at least 1950, one of my favourite sayings is Harwich for the continent, Felixtowe for the incontinent!)

Check out the shaky cam video of the event :

We met at Jimmys Farm just outside Ips' at 11:30 straight of our first night camping in Wickham Market ( )
Jimmys Farm is the site of this years Alive & V Dubbin event organised by our club the Suffolk Bugrs so it was a great opportunity to see the lay of the land. No sign of Jamie Olivers mate, Jimmy himself, who is apparently into the scene; but its a no brainer that his rare breed farm is a top location for the event.

Spot the minger in the line up! Barbara did us proud however and their were plenty of other battered bays

Sunday 20 May 2012

Campsite Review : Orchard Campsite, Wickham Market

Gorgeous location and popular with lots of V Dubbers so you know its going to be a cool site
This was our first proper camping expedition in Barbara since I spent a night alone in her on a windswept moor outside Bradford on my 41st birthday last November (I will leave that particular tale just hanging there for now.....) I decided to choose The Orchard Campsite outside the cutesy Suffolk market town of Wickham Market for her first proper test as its about twenty minutes from our house and is one of the few sites in Suffolk that allows open fires.

On arriving it was obvious the site is popular as it was nearly full but did not feel crammed or cramped. Other campers told us the owners don't like to overfill it and it is often closed for bookings when there is still space they could cram punters into. Genorous and gently sloping site dotted with mature fruit tree's (in blossom and looking lovely) and large ponds and good facilities.
Who planted that bloody tree in my bus!

You can hire one of two gypsy caravans.....flake bars included (that jokes for the over 40's)

It was clear this place is popular with the VW camper crew as there were two other early bays, a Brazilian bay and several  T25's and T5's. Straight away we realised that having a camper on a campsite is like being campsite royalty as Carl, owner of one of the aforementioned bays, came over to say hello and we hit it off straight away. (Carl's bus is the all Burgundy bus in the foreground of the pic at the top of the page)and we got instant access to their more established and better equipped 'enclave' and ready lit fire and luxury gazebo's and awnings.

On the negative side, our stay coincided with a football match  involving a certain West London team of over payed and privileged aledged adulatorating lumps (cryptic clue) and a team from Germany. It was broadcast on a large flat screen outside the wash areas and although the TV was not loud, the boorish group of blue shirted adults and their bored and fed up progeny were very loud. Oh well, i just went to the bus and pumped a bit of Lee Scratch Perry and decided to give up on putting the awning up and had my fist larger of the night from my mini fridge (Life's not that bad). Meanwhile the little 'un was having a great time in the nightly mosh pit of kids going for free glow bands that were tossed up in the night air by the friendly and warm campsite staff.

That night was great spent around the camp fire of Carl, Rachel, Steve and Denise of the Bootiful V Dubbers club (That's right, its in Norfolk, but there eye brows were separated and everything! ) Lovely people who played some very cool tunes out of their equally cool early bays. Definitely going to the White Noise VW event in Norfolk now on their recommendation. They really liked the site but were only annoyed like us that the owners do not allow you to bring your own firewood. Shame I had half a tree and an axe in the back of the bus, although some of it might of got accidental 'singed' towards the end of the night on our friends fire. (Hope this doesn't get me banned)