#VanLife | Blog 079 | VW-T4 Camper Conversion Complete
Over the past 12 to 18 months I've been busy with the VW-T4 build, all of which can be seen on my YouTube channel (hit the video playlist below).
It's been an absolute labour of love for me, learning new skills, meeting new people, connecting with hundreds of other like-minded individuals on Instagram through my other profile (@Rookie_VW_T4), which you're more than welcome to come and take a look at (if that's your thing).
With all that in mind, it was a joyous and also sad time when I realised it had all come to an end, essentially, the build is over, and it's now time to start enjoying my endeavours out on the open road.
Whilst I'd been building out our van, my wife had been working overtime on and off with her own job to build up enough funds to take us both away to Thailand to celebrate my half-century birthday. However, having experienced a short trip to Amsterdam and all that entailed with COVID rules and regulations, testing, and the changing nature of governmental responses, we decided not to go ahead with those plans, instead, we'd do a road trip across the UK (mainly the North of England and Scotland), which is where I'm typing this today, from a Beefeater in Darlington, 3 days into our Big 50 Tour!
Having started our journey in County Donegal on Friday night with the sole purpose of fueling up the van (£99) to the top, we then set off for the Stena Line ferry in Belfast to Scotland the following day. In preparation for our long haul journey, I visited our local tyre garage to get the rear valves fixed, as I'd foolishly purchased one of those cheap pressure sensor kits and couldn't get the security nuts off the valves to pump up my tyres. In them changing the valves they found two slow punctures, so that was fixed, however, not before my gear selector failed on route to the tyre place. So, I had to slowly divert in 3rd gear to my other mechanic who helped me put on the new selector kit.
Peter my Mechanic worked his magic on the van, easing the little hard silicone ball into position by first popping it into boiling hot water to soften it up and make it more pliable.
A healthy dose of copper grease mixed with oil (he swears by it), along with some brute force and a large crowbar and we were good to go!
But, just like us men, when we visit the doctor it's usually when we're suffering a whole host of ailments that we feel we shouldn't be bothering them with, we blurt them all out while we're there.
Peter was good enough to help me remove my after-market DRL lights so we could get to the high-beam bulb that had blown a good 4 months earlier. Driving down country roads at night was like trying to navigate by candlelight in a storm! These DRL's aren't the brightest on the old looms, and I'm not going to bother upgrading them as it's just a wiring nightmare in there already. We couldn't access the rear of the light fitting with the unit in place, so off came the front grill; out came the headlamp and an H1 bulb swapped out for a new one, making me road legal again, ready to brave the dark country roads of England and Scotland.
With the van being finished, up to a point, there was always a few things that needed the final flourishes, such as window covers for the nighttime heat retention and privacy. Blinds for the sliding door, and a Jackery Explorer 1000 for backup battery power and something to plug our laptops into. The previous two weekends have been a flurry of activity in and around the van. I managed to wire in a second-hand Maypole LED Lightbar, fit a direct feed into my Campark DC40 dashcam to control it from a rocker switch in the dashboard, which looks so much more preferable to having power cables hanging down from the camera into a 12v socket, fitting of the IKEA blind to the side window, as well as the purchased sliding door window mount.
As with all things, there's always a problem isn't there? I ordered the window mount with the intention of fitting the blind behind it. But, I hadn't factored in the window mounts to the blind! They're longer than I thought they would be and poke too far forward for the plyboard to be fitted securely to the door frame, so that's £55 wasted. Also, whilst were using the van and the blind, I need some velcro straps to secure it when driving and just generally using the van, as the opening and closing of the van door is putting pressure on the material, as it's obviously only ever intended to go up and down, not side to side. Back to Amazon I go for those as they just don't seem to be available anywhere in the real world shopping environment.
More posts are to follow, expanding on the adventure we're having across the UK for the Big 50 Tour, be sure to keep up to date!
Keywords: amazon, belfast, blog, blogger, build, campark dc40 dashcam, camper, conversion, county donegal, england, gear selector, hightop, holiday, IKEA, jackery explorer 1000, maypole led lightbar, northern Ireland, rocker switch, scotland, the big 50 tour, vlog, vlogger, vw t4, white van', youtube
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