Rebuilding Ruby, Part 2.

So, we’re a month into the Ruby rebuild, and here’s how things stand:

  • The engine case has been sent to a bloke called Andy for him to examine, and ascertain does it need line boring or any other kind of fettling.
  • We need to decide whether it will be rebuilt as a 1641cc, 1776cc or 1835cc – which will involve different heads, different barrels and pistons. A larger engine won’t be under so much strain when cruising at motorway speeds and carrying all our camping gear.
  • When we’ve decided on the engine size, then we can decide on carbs – we’re upgrading to twin carbs for a bit more oomph, and after conversations with the lovely people at Eurocarb,  we’ll be going for Dells or Webers.
  • Gearbox mounts are being replaced – new Rhino mounts going in, and the gearbox oil is being drained and replaced.  The gear selector linkage bushes are to be replaced to make gear changes less like stirring your tea – currently we play a game of gear change roulette at every change!
  • A new clutch kit is to be fitted.
  • The old exhaust has been removed – a stainless steel Vintage Speed tuckaway exhaust is on back-order from VWHeritage – apparently this could take a month, despite them saying that it is a week turnaround on their website.

And at the front end…

  • The steering box and column has gone to Simon (Rusting Hulk on the SSVC). He gave us a possible price range when we contacted him, from best to worst case scenario. Unfortunately, as we suspected, our steering box needs a lot of TLC, including new worm gear and peg, which will be replaced with NOS parts. The case and bracket will also be shot-blasted, and new bushes and seals fitted, and new grease and paint applied.
  • We will also be freshening up the steering with new tie rods, drag link, steering damper, and a new swivel pin kit.

Other things to consider…

  • Kulh-tek air scoops. Particularly important if we are increasing engine size, to try and keep it as cool as possible.
  • We’ve discussed a fire suppression kit. Although we discussed this at the Type 2 Bootcamp and the general feeling there was that it was not necessary in a well-maintained engine, we both feel that it would be worth it for added peace of mind. We’re considering VW Aircooled Works Fire Extinguisher kit, fuel lines and Fuel Tank cut off solenoid, as we’ve heard good things about it.
  • Uprated brakes. If we’re fitting a bigger lump, it’ll need more to stop it. A servo kit from VW Jim has been suggested to make our drum brakes more effective.

So, that’s how things stand at the moment. It’s a waiting game, and we’re hoping that we’ll have the van back on the road for at least part of the summer!

Are you doing any work on your bus at the moment? Let us know in the comments!

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We can rebuild her. We have the technology.

So, today was the day. We picked up Ruby-choo, and drove her to Accrington Beetles and Campers for her engine rebuild and other repairs and improvements.

That makes it sound very straightforward. Let me elucidate:

We drove to the barn where Ruby is stored. We realised that neither of us have the codes for various gates and doors saved anymore, as we have both had new phones since we first stored Ruby. Thankfully, Rooobarb’s memory is even better at retaining random information than we thought.

We took Ruby’s cover off and found that her gutters were full of spiders, and that she had been marking her territory on the floor of the barn. We also found that her battery was completely flat, so attached the booster pack and got her started. We then noticed that her back O/S tyre was flat, so used the compressor on the booster pack to pump it up. Whilst doing this, Rooobarb turned her engine off again. So she needed more booster pack to get her started. During this, Custard found a bar of dark chocolate on the bulkhead that must have been left there during our ill-fated last trip out in September. Result!

We set off, Rooobarb driving and Custard following behind, and Rooobarb announced that he was going to stop for some petrol. Turning the engine off whilst waiting for a man to finish filling his screenwash at the pump meant needing the booster pack again. However now, for whatever reason, the immobiliser, which has been somewhat of a mystery since we bought Ruby, decided now that the battery was being tampered with, and prevented the engine being started. Oh, and the battery seemed to have gone in the immobiliser keyfob. And the garage didn’t have the right size replacement battery for sale.

This meant having to push the van away from the pumps, down a slope, then up a slope into the non-functioning car wash, where it would have to be left whilst we found somewhere that sold a replacement battery. (Lady in garage: “How long are you going to be?” “How long does it take to find a really obscure-sized battery?”) Thankfully, the next garage down the road had one, although the LED on the fob still didn’t seem to be lighting up, and thanks to the traffic, it still took about half an hour to sort.

Back to the van, push to pumps, finally put some fuel in, attach booster pack, fiddle with immobiliser, get van started. We finally hopped on the motorway and cruised up to Accrington at a heady 55mph with the sun shining, to arrive with Dave and discuss our plans.

On Monday the engine will come out and be examined, we will see how much of our current engine can be used, what needs to be replaced, and start drawing up a plan for replacing other parts, such as the exhaust, clutch, gear linkage, and steering box. Fun and games!

Accrington Beetles and Campers

Custard has been a busy bee!

As you may well be aware from previous posts, Dave at Accrington Beetles and Campers is a good friend to Ruby and Rufus (and to Rooobarb and Custard!) and keeps them maintained, fixes them when they go wrong and is only ever a phone call or text away when we need a bit of advice.

Unfortunately, at the end of last year, Dave’s website was hacked and had to be shut down. As he was very busy with moving to a fab new unit and doing lots of restorations, Custard stepped in and built a nice shiny new website for him.

acc

Please go and have a read and a look at the photos and the stories there – there will be lots of updates from the new bigger unit, including lots of work on Ruby, as 2015 is The Year of The New Engine.

You can also keep up to date with Accrington Beetles and Campers on Facebook.

Please let us know what you think of the new site in the comments below!

I have not been paid to promote Dave’s new website. I have created it for him in exchange for spannering hours on our dubs. Bartering is good. Play to your strengths – I’m better with words than I am with tools!

Dubs at the Castle and Homeless Hounds

Yo Yo Yo!

Teddy Homeless Hounds

Right, first up, I should probably explain who I am. My name is Teddy, and I used to live with some ace people at Homeless Hounds – Dogs in Need who did look after me for a while in this place called kennels. It’s like a hangout for loads of different dogs, and some people come and take you for walks, and to go and visit their houses and stuff if you’re good. I went to visit Danni’s house, who is a friend of Custard, and Danni put some photos of me on her Facebook page, and Custard did fall in love with me (it is only to be expected, I am after all very handsome).

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So Rooobarb and Custard did speak to a lady called Emma, then came and took me for a nice walk, and then Emma had to do something called a home check, then that was it, I was off to my new home!

I’m having a really good time here, we go for lots of walks, and do lots of playing, and snuggling, and Mum likes to sit in something called a Beetle and read her books, and I like to sit with her, because I love being outside.

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I also get lots of post from my friends, including Loki and Frankie The Fit Dog, who is my Brother from Another Mother. He is a very good blogger, and I would like to be as good at writing as he is one day.

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I like to play with my humans, and wrestle them, and generally spend time with them. I am very much a Dog of the People. Custard is writing this right now sitting on the floor in the back yard because I wanted company. We are sitting on a blanket with a big hole in it, because I wanted the blanket out, but I couldn’t work out how to unfold it, so I chewed it a bit instead.

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Rooobarb and Custard were very excited this weekend, because they were taking me Camping. I wasn’t sure what camping was, but it involved filling the back of the car with loads of Stuff, and driving to meet someone called Ruby.

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Ruby turned out to be this AWESOME VAN that I wanted to climb inside and sit in, and Mum said that that was a good job really, because we were going to be sitting in her for a long time.

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I alternated between sticking my head out of the window, and sleeping on Dad’s knee. It was very hot, but I love Dad. Lots of people smiled when they saw me grinning at them out of the window. We stopped a few times at the services so I could have a drink out of my bowl, but I preferred drinking Mum’s Evian out of her hand whilst we were going along. I got quite a lot of it in her lap, and when we stopped the last time, Mum looked like she’d had a wee.

When we arrived it was still too hot, and very busy, so Mum was getting my lead on so that we could go for a walk whilst Dad parked the van. I had other ideas, and jumped out of the van window. Good job Mum had got my lead on me first. We got parked up, and I was too hot to do anything else. I made friends with a nice man in another van nearby and I wanted to sit in his van too. We rested for a bit and Mum and Dad got the awning put up and loads of other practical boring stuff like that.

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Then we went up to the show itself so that Mum and Dad could enjoy cider and paella and music and stuff. I decided that I didn’t want to do that, so I barked at some other dogs and got very grumpy, so we went back to the van. During the night there was loads of rain and thunder and lightning. I wasn’t bothered by that at all but in the morning Mum said “Oh bugger,” because the cargo doors had leaked and her’s and Dad’s shoes were all wet. I was ok, I don’t wear shoes.

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I also discovered that the doors of the awning aren’t like real doors, and I escaped out of them to find out why the lady next door was screaming. I decided it was probably her chocolate lab’s fault, so I barked at him. Nobody would grab my harness because I’m a Big Vicious Staffy.

I have decided that VW shows aren’t really my thing yet. There are lots of crowds, and noises, and other dogs, and I found it difficult to cope. I did very well and Mum and Dad said I was a Very Good Boy, but I think I would prefer some quieter camping first. We saw some cool veedubs though.

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My favourite bit was cuddling and playing with Mum and Dad near our van. And climbing all over them in the middle of the night when they were trying to sleep.

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If you are a Human who doesn’t have a Dog in their life, then you need to get in touch with Homeless Hounds. There are loads of PAWSOME dogs like me just waiting to come and make your life better. Tell them I said hi.

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Gotta go now, lots of adventures to have, squirrels to chase and rope toys to chew. Laters, homies!

 

Luv Teddy xxx

 

 

The Rise and Fall of Ruby Woo Part 2

In the first part of this post I recounted the tale of Ruby’s previous ownership and restoration, and I was most pleased when last week I had some comments on the post from Ian:

Blimey!

I know this van. My dad bought her as a panel van way back in the early 70′s from a garage in Coltishall Norfolk.
He cut all of the windows himself. He made a mould from timber to make the elevating roof from fibreglass and got Jeckles of Wroxham (a chandler) to make the PVC parts. He made all of the furniture inside, then resprayed it himself orange and white.

Now all this seems a bit odd as the van in these images seems to have no windows in it. Perhaps the registration got switched..

I am 52 now, we holidayed around the UK throughout the mid 70′s. I particularly remember touring the country of two weeks in the blisteringly hot summer of 1976.
He sold it at the end of the 70s for… £600!

I had a look back through the DVLA paperwork that I sent off for last summer, and found Kenneth John Fulcher on the photocopied registered keeper page of a logbook – the earliest piece of paperwork I have. This was Ian’s dad – so proves that Ruby was indeed the van that he’d enjoyed childhood holidays in. Glenn mentions that he had removed a Devon pop top and Bay-style windows from the van, hence the confusion over her differing appearance.

Ian says:

Different strokes for different folks.

All I can say is that Dad did a brilliant job in turning a working van into a holiday bus for us kids – although Glenn’s point that she was adulterated maybe today well founded. But then VW panel vans were not as affectionately revered as they are today. You wouldn’t get the same reaction by someone who did it to a Ford transit or Commer of the day… or would you?

Indeed, did anyone foresee the cult status that the splitty would attain today, or the prices that they would command? Will we look back at the mods that people are doing to buses nowadays and be horrified?

The bus gave Ken and his family many happy holidays, as evidenced by these fantastic photographs that he scanned in for us, having to go and buy a slide scanner especially!

LPW 219E before the conversion

LPW 219E before the conversion

LPW 219E converted prior to respray

LPW 219E converted prior to respray

LPW 219E with Ken, Sylvia and Neil.

LPW 219E with Ken, Sylvia and Neil.

LPW219E with Ian and Sylvia.

LPW 219E with Ian and Sylvia.

LPW219E with Mum Sylvia

LPW 219E with Mum Sylvia

We feel very privileged to be able to see some more of the history of our van, thanks to the photos from Glenn, Marc and now Ian. Thank you so much for sharing some more of Ruby’s history with us!

 

SSVC AGM at Victoria Farm and Stanford Hall 2014

Early May Bank Holiday can only mean one thing: Vicky Farm and Stanford Hall!

We had a great journey down, and arrived in good time to get a good pitch, get everything set up and catch up with a few mates before it got dark. As always there were lots of fab splitties to see:

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van awning

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Bleedingmoody

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Polly's Parlour

Thank you to Polly’s Parlour who made this gluten and dairy-free girly very happy with a delicious tub of raspberry sorbet!

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Single Cab Van

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Mark Pindar Gerry

Amazing Gerry! Please read the story of this restoration, what an amazing bus, built by a top bloke!

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Mark Pindar Gerry

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Mark Pindar Gerry

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Single Cab Van

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Hi-top Van

Darren Yip’s hi-top, a show and shine winner at Bus Types.

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Van

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Beetle

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Beetle

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Rikki James

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Beetle

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Rikki James

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Buzz Van of the Year 2013

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van

Another Rhubarb and Custard bus! With *flames*!

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van

Sunday morning saw the cruise to Stanford Hall:

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Stanford Hall Cruise

 

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Stanford Hall Cruise

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Stanford Hall Cruise

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Stanford Hall Cruise

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Stanford Hall Cruise

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Stanford Hall Cruise

SSVC Victoria Farm AGM Splitscreen Camper Van Stanford Hall Cruise

And the show itself was awesome, as always:

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

 

Please could somebody lend me £42000? I promise to invest it responsibly.

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show Hayburner

 

Always worth a visit to the Hayburner stand.

Stanford Hall VW Show Hayburner

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

 

Brilliant line up of Beetles:

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

 

The SSVC provided an awesome line up of buses, as usual!

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show The Stiff Shifter!

Stanford Hall VW Show

Stanford Hall VW Show

Bus Types 2014

We set off bright and early to pick Ruby up. The sun was shining, so we paused for a quick “Make Love not War” photo at the Leyland tank, before heading down to Oswestry Show Ground for Bus Types.

Bus Types 2014

We did a Pindy on the way:

Bus Types 2014

And arrived to find a very busy showground, but found just enough space to squeeze Ruby into, to get set up in order to enjoy a relaxed evening:

Bus Types 2014

Bus Types 2014

Bus Types 2014

Whilst the show was overcast and breezy for much of the weekend, there were lots of traders with a good variety of clothes, handcrafted goods, autojumble and food to enjoy, and some excellent Volkswagens in the Show and Shine field:

Bus Types 2014

Bus Types 2014

Bus Types 2014

Bus Types 2014

Bus Types 2014

We set off on Sunday shortly before the heavens opened, and Custard managed to drive Ruby back and get her under cover before she got all wet and dirty.

Bus Types 2014
Bus Types 2014

Bank holiday Monday provided ample opportunity for Rooobarb to get down and dirty with Rufus’s rear hubs, which are going to need some different castle nuts in order to fit on properly. Fun and games!
Bus Types 2014

See you at our next show – Stanford Hall!

Spring Dub 2014

I forgot to post my photos from Spring Dub, what with all the excitement of breaking down, but here they are.

We liked the fact that the show was indoors, what with all the rain and all that, but there were still some good cars to see outdoors too.

There were mixed messages about bringing dogs to the show, which caused problems for some owners.

A mixture of air and water-cooled vehicles, and a few traders, and it was good fun to meet up with some Twitter friends.

Just a bit of a bugger that we broke down on the way home, but that wasn’t the show’s fault! Thanks to all the veedubbers who stopped on the way home to see if we were alright!

There was lots to see:

Spring Dub Bay crew cab rust is not a crime

Spring Dub Yurt Glamping

Spring Dub Caddy

There were Mystery Machines:

Spring Dub Mystery Machine

Spring Dub Mystery Machine

Spring Dub Mystery Machine

Spring Dub Mystery Machine

And Golfs of all ages:

Spring Dub Yellow Golf Bagged

Spring Dub Golf

Including Mrs Doyle, Mk 1 Swallowtail Golf, belonging to our friends Carl and Claire:

Spring Dub Mk1 Golf Mrs Doyle

Spring Dub Mk1 Golf Mrs Doyle

Spring Dub Mk1 Golf Mrs Doyle

Spring Dub Golf

And Splitties of varying types:

Spring Dub Splitscreen VW

Spring Dub Splitscreen VW Loved all these cases:

Spring Dub Splitscreen VW

Spring Dub Splitscreen VW

Spring Dub BMX

Spring Dub Split screen twin cab

Spring Dub Splitscreen

The Pacha bus, built by the dad of one of my ex-pupils, who sadly passed away recently. RIP Craig.

Spring Dub Splitscreen Pacha Van

And many, many Beetles:

Spring Dub Beetle

Loved everything about this one!

Spring Dub Beetle Rat Look Patina

Spring Dub Beetle Rat Look Patina

Spring Dub Beetle Rat Look Patina

Spring Dub Beetle Rat Look Patina

Spring Dub Beetle Rat Look Patina

Spring Dub VolksRod

Spring Dub VolksRod

Spring Dub Beetle

Spring Dub Beetle
Spring Dub Beetle
Spring Dub Beetle

Spring Dub Beetle

Spring Dub Beetle

Spring Dub Beetle

Including badly behaved ones:

Spring Dub Beetle slammed patina Rufus

See you next time, at Bus Types!

Dubs in’t Dales 2013

Dubs in’t Dales was an end of summer camp out held in the gorgeous surroundings of the Camp Hill Estate, Kirklington. Rather than a full blown show, it was a quiet camping event, with fewer stalls, but still lots going on to keep campers happy.

We arrived as the sun was setting, to a healthy amount of campers, but still plenty of space for everyone. The weather was great all weekend, although we should have camped on the other side of the field, where the sun had opportunity to dry out awnings etc. as the cooler weather made everything very damp!dubs in't dales camping

Saturday morning gave good opportunities for mooching, with a couple of stalls, including the most fantastic stall full of random oddments and trinkets, which when put together made an Aladdin’s cave of curiosity:

dubs in't dales stall oddments curios

Close to the entrance was parked VW Lulabelle, with a delicious assortment of cakes and biscuits, including a gluten free chocolate orange cake that was rich, moist and delicious, and two generous hunks of it may have found their way into Custard’s belly this weekend.

dubs in't dales vw lulabelle cake

dubs in't dales vw lulabelle cake

Sitting at the entrance, enjoying our cake and coffee, gave us ample opportunity to catch up with Kate and Kevin, the organisers, and to see some campers as they came in.

dubs in't dales bay split camper vw

There was plenty going on for everyone, with the opportunity to take part in quad biking, Segway riding, zip wire, high ropes, and an adventure playground on the Camp Hill Estate. There was also lots of woodland to enjoy and explore, and the Orangery cafe. In the afternoon, there was a sports day for children and adults alike.

Whilst Rooobarb wandered around the site and took some photos, Custard chose to find a patch of sunshine and curl up with a book (Archie’s Mirror by Geoff Turner, if you’re interested. It’s very good, and only 99p for Kindle)

dubs in't dales mint green bay window vw

dubs in't dales orange late bay window vw

dubs in't dales betsy boo t25 vw camper

dubs in't dales camper bay window blue vw

dubs in't dales chalkboard hi top bay window black vw

dubs in't dales bay window vw stickers red

dubs in't dales red 9 brm speedwell wheel

dubs in't dales deluxe trim splitscreen vw mint white

dubs in't dales splitscreen vw turquoise graffiti aircooled

dubs in't dales camping splitscreen vw

dubs in't dales custard reading

Early evening came, and it was time for a cruise through the Dales in our VWs, much to the amusement, amazement and bemusement of local residents!

dubs in't dales convoy bedale kirklington

dubs in't dales convoy vw bedale kirklington

dubs in't dales vw convoy bedale kirklington rhubarb and custard

dubs in't dales vw splitscreen convoy line up camper

dubs in't dales beetle blue splitscreen camper

dubs in't dales camper splitscreen bay deluxe green blue yellow

dubs in't dales camper vw splitscreen

dubs in't dales r u low enough rule?

dubs in't dales vw 1600 rear light

dubs in't dales splitscreen camper deluxe graffiti

dubs in't dales barn door vw splitscreen istanbul

dubs in't dales splitscreen vw camper deluxe graffiti

dubs in't dales steering wheel karmann ghia dashboard

dubs in't dales convoy splitscreen sunshine lei driving bay

We drove back to the campsite, had a spot of dinner, then it was up to the barn for another evening of top quality entertainment, including Pip Mountjoy, a superb female folk singer whose CD we bought for lazy Sunday morning camper music.

dubs in't dales band evening

dubs in't dales band pip mountjoy folk evening

Then, it was all change again, as we were encouraged to follow the organisers to the glamping yurt field, where there was a fantastic bonfire and fireworks, mmmm, toasty!

dubs in't dales bonfire  dubs in't dales fireworks

This was followed by more music and merriment in the barn, but we had no problem finding our way back to the van, thanks to Custard’s handy decoration with lots of solar-powered fairy lights.

dubs in't dales tent awning fairy lights grotto

Sunday brought more sunshine, and the show and shine, with a nice variety of air and water cooled vehicles on display.

dubs in't dales golf red

dubs in't dales golf mk2 green

dubs in't dales chrome vw badge polished red

dubs in't dales splitscreen camper vw line up

dubs in't dales kubelwagen trekker vw

dubs in't dales deluxe vw black chrome rust

dubs in't dales beetle gold resto

dubs in't dales vw volkswagen swag caddy

The entire weekend was a fantastic, laid back, chilled out event, with plenty going on – more things to take part in than some shows, if they took your fancy, or the opportunity just to chill out and enjoy the end of summer before the wet weather comes and vans have to be wrapped up. We will definitely be attending Dubs in’t Dales again next year, we just hope it stays the small, relaxed event that it was this year that made it so enjoyable!

Type 2 Detectives Bus Bootcamp

We knew pretty much as soon as we bought a VW that we wanted to learn how to maintain it and how to carry out basic repairs. After the great start motor debacle that started on the way to Camper Jam and carried on pretty much throughout the summer, we had some idea of how to solve one of the many problems that will no doubt beset our aircooled ownership over the years to come, but if anything else was to go wrong, would we know what to do?

That’s where Type 2 Detectives come in. A garage based near Cambridge, they’re renowned for their high quality workmanship and approachability, as well as the range of workshops and help they are prepared to offer to anyone who is thinking of buying, or has just bought a type 2 VW.

We booked our places well before the summer, and by the time the cooler weather of September rolled around, our plan of camping in Custard’s grandparents’ orchard overnight before the bootcamp was starting to look a little less romantic!

After a long, but mainly uneventful drive down, we tucked ourselves up in Ruby on the driveway, with an extension cable and wifi from the grandparents, ready to be up bright and early for the next morning.

After a quick breakfast cooked on the stove (I really don’t think my grandparents were expecting us to be quite so self sufficient!) and an even quicker wander round the orchard to help ourselves to some apples, we set off for Burwell, along some of the bumpiest roads that the fenland had to offer:

Fenland bumpy road

We knew we’d got to the right place – but we didn’t seem to fit in with the colour coordinated parking!

type 2 detectives squareback moon eyes orange

type 2 detectives bay window vw

We arrived to bacon butties and filter coffee, and a good chat with a few people about their buses and where they’d been this summer. After a brief introduction, we split into two groups, one to do the engines session, and one to do electrics.

We started with Paul, looking at electrics. The first piece of essential advice that he gave us was to maintain your VW at a high standard. IT may take some work to get it there in the first place, but it should then be easier to maintain, rather than constantly trying to deal with the myriad of problems that can arise due to poor maintenance. The second piece of advice he gave us was to never be without your probe!

sealey automotive test probe

An electrical probe allows you to test for and isolate all sorts of problems, using power from the battery. The session took us through how to read a VW wiring diagram, which was incredibly useful, and gave us key pointers about wiring colours and codes. We also looked at common electric problems and how to diagnose and fix them, including specific issues that people mentioned they had with their buses.

After this, it was time for a quick coffee break, with wonderful cakes and biscuits (including gluten free treats for me!) provided by The Pudding Bar.

The pudding bar t2d type 2 detectives boot camp

The pudding bar t2d type 2 detectives boot camp

This was another opportunity to talk to fellow owners, to have a look at the vehicles currently in the workshop, and to put our name on a probe to buy at the end of the day (Paul sold it well!)

type 2 detectives boot camp deluxe vw bus

type 2 detectives still life

After the break, it was off to see Andy, who talked all about engines. There was a Type 1 and a Type 4 engine on display, which meant that people with all ages of aircooled vans could learn the specific techniques that applied to them.

type 2 detectives type 1 engine vw bay

type 2 detectives type 4 engine

Andy gave us practical demonstrations of how the aircooled engine works, how to check and change a fanbelt, how to carry out an oil and filter change, how to check valve clearances, change sparkplugs and maintain the ignition. Again, the importance of good maintenance was stressed, especially checking fuel lines and ensuring that all tinware and rubber seals are in place.

After lunch, it was back out into the workshop again, to learn how to safely remove an engine and examine it, and the jobs that can be done whilst the engine is out. Andy then showed the split owners problems that are specific to splitscreen vans, whilst Paul did the same for the bay window owners.

type 2 detectives splitscreen vw bus

type 2 detectives bay window vw bus

We then went through the most common reasons that a van breaks down and how to fix them. After that, there was a final Q&A session, where people could get advice relating to specific situations they find themselves in with their buses. There was also an interesting discussion relating to fire suppression systems. Andy is of the belief that if you keep on top of maintenance and keep your engine and electrics in order, there is no need to have one fitted. In his words “VW didn’t let the vans leave the factory randomly bursting into flames!” But having one fitted adds an extra level of security and peace of mind – supplement it with good quality fuel hoses and clips, make sure your fuel filter is not in the engine bay, and keep on top of maintenance, performing checks before journeys and addressing any small problems before they have the chance to become big ones.

Finally, it was time to place our orders for any items we wanted for our VW first aid kit, collect our precious Bootcamp bibles and set off on the long journey home into the sunset!

roobarb type 2 splitscreen vw camper

I would heartily recommend the bootcamp to any aircooled VW owner. We’ve already used what we learned to help us successfully diagnose and fix an ignition problem a couple of weeks after the bootcamp. We also now have a basic tool kit with spares to carry around with us, which makes us feel better prepared for any issues which may arise. The bootcamp was a long and information-filled day, which coupled with a long drive there and back, made it fairly intense. However, the information, knowledge and skills that we gained by being there will stand us in good stead for our future years of VW ownership.

T2D also offer a follow up workshop, tailored to your individual requirements and those of your bus, as all buses are slightly different and have their own foibles and oddities. This is certainly something that we are considering for the future to help us better understand how to maintain Ruby and her personal peculiarities!