Welcome to our website.
Written mainly to keep as a record for ourselves, of our travels. in Trustyrusty, our camper. The information contained are our opinions and observations on our travel’s . All are welcome to read or follow what we do. but please be aware, there maybe inaccuracy in the information. So please check all facts before hopping off to use them.
We are a retired couple, or at least I am. Teresa is nowhere near it, and the way the pensions are going will never get one.
Me ? Spent 8 years or so riding around India on an Enfield Motorcycle.
I have driven all the way, around Australia and criss crossing it, twice!! In an old Holden estate car.. exactly like this one. No digital photos available for mine. all done on a 35mm camera.
Holden HQ Estate, or Wagon as the Aussies call them
Nissan camper van, and Honda Motorcycle. Respectively. The Holden was the best tool here without a doubt, and did most of it. You can’t beat these for massive long distances. Straight 6 engine, with auto box, Simple technology, like Trusty..And bullet proof like her. But I expect a classic car in Auz these days, and pricey.
Owning and living on a narrow boat on the canals of England, these are just a few of the things I have done? Not much in way of savings amassed and definitely no property.
Teresa ?? Ex retail manageress of several charity organizations, and well known High Street Stores, Qualified Hairdresser, Beauty Consultant, Carer, Bar Person,and very good cook.
They used to rob you with a Spear !! Now, They do it with a Pen
We got fed up with the Rat race in UK, never ending envelopes coming through the letter box, Demanding money with menaces.
Council tax, Electricity, and Gas bills. Rent, general living costs.
After lots of deliberation, we decided to exchange the letter box for a camper. and a totally different way of life.
The Silver Lining
Since we purchased Trusty, we have saved over 20 grand, in landlords rent, 2 grand in council tax. 6 grand on gas electricity.
These are the figures based on actual spending in our rented flat in the UK, for 4 years . So 28 Grand better off, or less poor. Doesn’t mean it’s in our pockets. Just not in anyone else’s. We have used it to Travel. And live in the last 4 Years.
“Update now 35 grand”
Its not all plain Sailing though. Some serious sacrifices have to be made. From everyday living. Comforts That you take for granted in a home or flat. No longer either exist or have to be greatly overhauled or modified.
But its worth it for the Freedom you gain, and after all if its no longer for you. or health takes a turn for the worst. or homesick etc You can always return and get a flat. Or a boat.
The choice of van and why?
A camper you say? Well That’s How it began, just go out and buy one and off you go. Great you say .Oh Oh! Not so simple
First off we have very modest means and next to bugger all savings, so choices were limited for us Also we did not want to spend a small fortune, on an expensive camper and find out the life was not for us.
We looked at no end of total rubbish, on eBay. dozens of them, and to be honest they ranged from reasonably well done but very pricey, to absolute junk and well pricey.
Self builds vs old A class.
A class Well at our budget level, most were beyond us being able to buy one and do the first trip. They, also like the self builds, ranged from junk to good to all of them being too pricey for there age and what they are. So we decided to build our own.
The First thing for us, and a must!! For most Travelers is reliability. Many modern second-hand campers or vans need some sort of electronic wizardry to keep them on the road. As they get older with more miles on the clock, things inevitability will give out. OK if your in the UK and a million outlets at your disposal, but not so good if your in France or Morocco etc.
Its great if it does 40 mpg , but no good if an injector, or a pump,or a sensor goes, and it has to go to a main dealers for a re-calibration. Even if you can fit the parts yourself. and find an outlet,dealer, etc
Trusty averages around 30/35 Mpg on a good day, With being almost fully loaded all the time. And I can fix her with a bit of chewing gum and a piece of string.Well almost !!
So far to date we have done over 27.000 miles without any serious problems.And mileage is going up all the time
Updated Mileage..now 40.000 and rising.
So far minimal problems,. On the first trip.. we had a front wheel bearing giving problems on the way back to UK. Fixed it temporarily, and it got us back from Le Man area to UK where I replaced it. Then a blow out rear on the nearside rear wheel on the 2nd journey returning to Portugal,and on the motorway in France..That was Interesting to say the least!! put the spare on, which wasn’t much better.I Missed the fact that the rear two tires were 6 ply, and should be 8..put on by previous owner..I had already replaced the Front with new Firestone’s.So a quick couple of new Firestone’s fitted in France, (same price as UK) at Montaubourne…
Wore out a front ball joint on the second return journey..replaced for mot back in UK.. Fixed the Exhaust-stopped it rattling, loose bracket…and corroded..Replaced exhaust in UK for the next mot…bits and bobs..small stuff,
Apart from that no issues, until I bumped into the back of a French car in Dieppe, 10 mins off ferry. 5 years on. But its got us all the way through France/Spain, and to Portugal, with Tones wonder Patching.Patched it up on route, in Spain and Portugal.
Please read on.