Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Life on four wheels. Family on two.

I don't often get carried away with technical details about camper vans but today I am going to indulge myself. So if you were expecting whimsical wonderings about living the life in this post, apologies. This is about the stuff that camper van people get more than a little obsessed with - how to carry it all, not go even slower and yet still retain that groovy retro charm we all adore.....
So. I have been searching for a neat solution to the problem of carrying four bikes on the van for our trip to France and Spain. Most people know that the Fiamma T2 Bike racks will only carry 2 bikes. Now that the girls are able cyclists on almost grown up bikes, we need to find a way of carrying them so they don't have to travel inside the van (the bikes not the girls). The last trip we went on, to Ireland, was ridiculously overpacked and showed us how badly we need to sort out our living space. So we've been looking for a way to carry lots of things and not clog up the inside of the van. The answer of course is a trailer. I bought an old Westfalia trailer on ebay for £100 not so long ago but was loathe to muck about with it because I didn't want to mess with its 'integrity'. Yeah yeah. Even so, I needed a lockable space for camping gear and some way of carrying the bikes. The solution, if you are still awake, a pair of standard bike carriers from ebay (£10 each), a piece of ply, some hinges and a few nuts and bolts. There. Sorted.
The only thing of course is having to keep the speed down with the trailer on those French motorways. I don't think it'll be a problem.

Oh, by the way. We are still looking for brilliant suggestions for places to stay, eat and play. Our route is the Atlantic Coast. Over to you. Answers on a postcard....

4 comments:

  1. Fab idea ! We're off to Ile de Re in our T5 in July. 4 bikes on the back. Never been , but plenty of cycle paths,shuttered houses, beaches,sea food & wine I believe.Can't wait ! our signed copy of your book coming with us too of course ;) Have fun !!

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  2. Not far from Vigo, in unspoilt Spain, there is a beach called "Barra Beach" its off the beaten track, you park up, walk through a little wood and your toes are in the sand. There is a little hut in the woods for food or you can try a small family restaurant situated where you park. Its lovely! We were told by some locals where we were staying " its totally natural " Fantastic my wife and I thought, so we drove our T2 over, parked up and trotted down. When we got to the beach with our 4 and 2 year old girls, we suddenly realised what by " totally Natural" they meant. Oh yes! it was all hanging out, but still lovely and friendly and basically, empty. Pretty good surf / kite surfing as you get a good wind on that side. Highly recommended for me.......I would just like to point out that my speedo's, where worn at all times and my girls never batted an eyelid at some of our fellow Beach goer's. My Wife however, practically died laughing.......... take care, Bish.

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    1. Great Suggestion Bish. Not sure I'll be removing my kit any time soon but sounds idyllic. It goes on the list! Thank you.

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  3. I know that you are usually the type to look for wild-camping opportunities for staying in your van, but sometimes you just need a shower.

    If you get to that stage when you are near Noirmoutier (near Nantes) then I can heartily recommend Noirmoutier Indigo Campsite (http://www.camping-indigo.com/en/noirmoutier-indigo-campsite-france.html). We stayed there 2 years ago while touring the area in our Bay Window. The camp site is spread out, you camp under the trees and the beach is never more than 50m from your pitch.

    The island of Noirmoutier (like the Ile de Re) is home to lots of salt production and has (as well as a bridge) a causeway joining it to the mainland that can only be used at low tide.

    Have a fantastic time!

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