Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Buying a vintage caravan ... ! x


I am dreaming of my very own little vintage caravan to hook up to the car and take away with Mr Moo and me on little adventures! 

I am yet to find my little van, but am having fun looking and learning about caravans and so thought I would share a few handy tips that I have gained! 

Image from Google

ooh ... being suitably distracted by this caravan ... its a cross stitch kit from Past Impressions 
Me thinks it needs to go on my Christmas list!!

So my tips ...

My first tip, is probably the most important.

Pop to see the Vintage Caravan of your dreams before you buy ... !!

It seems so obvious when I say it, but do please!! There are so many tempting vintage caravans for sale but ... give yourself a radius you are happy to travel to view a caravan. You will find out so much more about the lovely Caravans, and you can make sure its definitely the van for you!!

Or, as I have done on the ones I viewed ... fall more in love with them!

 I have been so tempted at times to bid for a van I am unable to visit, but the more you visit the more you will be sure of what you want from a caravan!

Take someone in the know ... !!
It is worth taking someone with you that knows a little about caravans, knows where to look for damp, is happy to look at the underneath of the van, and can ask those questions you'd never think about. 

We take Dad, he will not proclaim to be an expert but he knows a little after Mom and Dads own adventures in a van. With Vintage Vans the floors are wood and being a carpenter by trade Dad knows what to look for!
A damp meter ... !!

A brilliant little machine that finds out the damp, if there is any, in the van. Being Vintage they may have suffered damp problems. If the seller says they have dealt with any damp problems the van has previously suffered from, the damp metre will tell you how successful they have been!

Check around the windows and skylight, check down the inside of the seams, check in the cupboards and under the seats.

Water can get in around the seams, around the awning seams, around the windows or if the seals have rotten through the edges of the window openings. Ask if they have replaced the seals of the windows? Have they resealed all the seams, before painting the van?

If there has been any damp or leaks, ask what work they have done to rectify any issues.
I have to say though that none of the vans I have looked at have any damp, they have all been good solid vans!

 Take something to lie on ... !!

Yes, get on the floor and look underneath! Look at the metal work, has been painted? Has the suspension been cleaned up and freed of rust? As the floor is wood by the edges of the van will be joists supporting the ends of the floor boards, are these soft? Feel the floorboards themselves, are they soft?

Ask about the brakes, have they been replaced? Ask about the tyres, are they new? When were they last replaced?

Try the workings of the caravan ... !!

If the van is hooked up, switch all the lights on! Close all the curtains! Try the gas, if you buy the van it would be strongly recommended that you get the gas serviced see if it all works! Some of the old vans may have gas lights, ask if these still work as they may just be there for decoration, which is good!

Try the water pump, obviously to see if it works, but it is something like this that may have a little technique to get the water in the pipe! At one I saw recently we realised you had to pour water into the pipe before it would start pumping water though it! Its a Vintage Van so there will be little quirks!

See if you can make the bed! Just so that you know how it all fits together and all the bits are there!! If its a fourth berth with a hammock, how does the hammock fit?

Sit on the seats!

Open the cupboards, look under the seats!

Open and close the windows ... !!

I love all the nosiness when looking at a caravan, opening and closing the windows mean you can check the windows work, see what the seals are like have they rotted, are they clean, have they been replaced!

 Ask lots of questions ... !!

Mine include ... and I ask these before I visit as if the answers raise concerns I will decide whether or not to visit.

Do you usually cover it while not in use?
A cover protects the caravan against the elements, and will be worth an investment when you find your perfect Vintage Caravan ... after all we want them to last many more years!

Has the caravan been regularly services, if so when was the last service and were any issues raised?
The service will check the electrics, gas, tyres, brakes, chassis, jockey wheel, as well as many other things on the van! I have been recommended, and I pass this onto you too, while you can do all teh checks when you visit a service will confirm all is ok with the caravan.

What work did you do in the refurbishment?
If the van you are looking to buy has been refurbished its good to know what work they have done, this should all be confirmed as you look around the caravan.

What is the unladen and laden weight of the Caravan?
Your car will only be able to pull a certain weight of caravan, your cars service books should give you the details of the total braked weight you car can pull. Apologies now if I state the obvious, the unladen weight is the weight of the caravan without all your bits and pieces, the laden weight gives the weight of adding in all these bits. The caravan club recommends that you limit the weight to 85% of the Kerb Weight or Maximum Allowed Weight of your car.

Would you mind telling me the reserve price?
If you are looking at a van on ebay, and there is a reserve price, ask what it is. The reserve price may exceed your budget.

Could you confirm what is included in the sale i.e. gas bottle, awning, hitch and wheel lock etc?
If these are included in the sale then it will be something you won't have to buy once the caravan is yours, if they are not included you need to add them to your shopping list!

The towbar ... !!

If your car hasn't got one obviously you need one ... ! My quotes have ranged from £225 to £300, and one great tip my Dad gave us at the weekend was to let the garage know that you are buying an old van as New Caravans have different connections these days. You will only need a single plug towbar if you are only going to be using electric to power the lights and plugs!

Well, I think thats all the tips I have learnt so far on my hunt for a lovely Vintage Caravan!! No doubt there is still lots to learn ...including once I have it how to tow it and look after it ... and of course enjoy it!!

Feel free to ask any questions ...and I will attempt to answer them from my limited knowledge!

And if you have brought a vintage caravan, do feel free to add your own tips, or correct any of mine, to the comments below ... I am still learning!!

bye, bye for now,



Monday, 9 September 2013

More boodling ... !! x


Oh my ... I have just heard some fabulous exciting news ... !!

If you have heard and seen boodles yarn you will have seen this glorious bag ...

Courtesy of Google and Avec website

 Well ... the pattern is being released to Hobbycraft stores on the 1st October!!


bye, bye, for now!!


Remember to have a nose at my Workshops for Learning to Crochet, Making Crocheted Bunting, Snowflakes for Christmas and the Classic Granny Squares!! x

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

A little bit hippie ... ! x

I spent this weekend camping at a wonderful little gathering in Warwickshire, it was good to get away from the routine of life and have a little time for me to relax and chill out ... a lot of that was thanks to a little bit of meditation and tibetian singing bowl bathing over the weekend ... !!

As I was planning my break away, I remembered the summer edition of Simply Crochet and the barefoot sandals and gorgeous headdress ... so I had to make!!

Unfortunately, I didn't wear the sandals as to get from the campsite to the events field you had to walk along a dusty path!

But ... the headdress was worn on occasions, and it got some great comments too!

As with any festival, there are always so many tempting stalls to buy such wonderful goodies!! And I was tempted by this beautiful velvet coat ... a bargain at £8.00!! It looks amazing on, and I do feel a little bit of upcycling will be required ... maybe a big crocheted flower me thinks!!

And from the same stall ...

... this wonderful upcycled skirt, I fell in love with the details of the buttons and the lace!

Oh and while I think about it the next item purchased was also from the same stall (!!!), it was a wonderful stall full of lots of upcycled clothing, items ready to be upcycled, beautiful jewelry and crockery!

So ... when I saw this trio for sale and heard its cries of 'bye me, bye me' I had to oblige!!

And so after a relaxing weekend, yesterday saw me returning to reality and catching up with all those weekend jobs, there were a couple of parcels to post ( I will tell you about these another time once the recipients have recieved them!!), washing to be done, and a home to tidy. 

Yet, it was also time to catch up with a few magazines too ... so on the sofa I sat with a mug of tea and the cats to read!


What a fabulous weekend!

I am looking forward to the gathering next year!!

bye, bye,


Remember to have a nose at my Workshops for Learning to Crochet, Making Crocheted Bunting, Snowflakes for Christmas and the Classic Granny Squares!! x