For Sale: VW Camper Van, cheap but needs TLC

Edit: This van is now sold.

If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you may remember this post where I told you all about the VW Camper van we bought and moved into. Well, five years later it is now time to sell the van. Unfortunately it is not in good condition any more and really needs someone who knows what they are doing to buy it and fix it up.

This van is currently in Portugal, but we will be driving it up to London in September ready to be sold (it is UK registered). As we won’t be in the UK for long I’d like to at least provisionally arrange the sale before we arrive.

Basic specification: VW T4, 2.5L Petrol (with GPL conversion which doesn’t work properly and not economical to fix), Automatic gearbox (replaced a couple of years ago), Left Hand Drive (imported from Germany, great for travelling in Europe), first registered 1993 (K reg), LWB (Long Wheel Base), fixed high top, Westfalia California Club conversion.

I’ll list some of the major parts and their status:

  • Side sliding door is very broken, it’s fine when it is closed but falls off when you open it – there is a technique for opening and closing it, but it really needs fixing.
  • Engine is doing quite well. Approx 291,000 km (approx 181,000 miles).
  • It does have some kind of problem that no-one seems to understand, it sometimes makes a sound and jerks a bit when changing gear, usually when going up a steep hill – the guy at the auto-gearbox garage said that it wasn’t a problem with the gearbox.
  • There is a leak in the radiator system and it needs topping up after almost every journey – I keep trying to get it fixed but it is never completely fixed.
  • Ignition switch is a bit dodgy, but there is a technique to starting it which works fine once you know it.
  • Fuel gauge doesn’t work most of the time. Fuel tank is 80 L but recently I’ve only been able to get 60 L in it, don’t know why.
  • Temperature gauge doesn’t work most of the time
  • Fair bit of rust, but so far nothing which is a problem for the MOT
  • Fridge is broken
  • Tap leaks a little bit (only when turned on)
  • Twin burner gas stove works fine
  • Fiamma wind out awning works fine (this is attached to the side of the van), really useful to give some shade in summer.
  • Also includes a full awning, although we have never used it, we didn’t take it with us travelling as it took up too much space inside the van
  • Mains hookup works fine, with 2 European type sockets in the van.
  • Heater in campervan part doesn’t work (heating in cab when engine running works fine)

The “rock and roll” bed is great, we find it very comfortable and fairly easy to set up. There is lots of cupboard space and storage space. Driver and passenger seats are “captains chairs” which swivel round to allow 4 people to sit around the table, and provide space to make the bed. There are two tables, a small one which is attached and easy to just lift up, or a larger one which is stowed away in the top bed area.

Seats 4 when driving (it has 4 seat belts), and sleeps 4, two on the main bed downstairs and 2 in the bed above which pulls out on runners, although it is designed for children, not for claustrophobic adults! The mattress for the upper bed is missing – we just use that top area for storage.

The layout is great with the kitchen at the back, which can be used even when the bed is out.

There is currently an 80 watt (at least, it might be 90 watt, I can’t remember) solar panel attached to the roof and a 1000 watt inverter which I am allowing for in the price, I could remove these if you don’t want them. This is connected to the two existing leisure batteries which power the lights, tap and 12v socket, and the inverter for using some mains powered equipment (we use it for a blender).

MOT until end of September. I’d prefer to sell it without a new MOT. The last few years it has cost around £1000 to put it through the MOT. If you want to buy it with an MOT I would be happy to sell it for £1000 extra and put it through the MOT for you. (Based on a firm sale with deposit, only cancelled and deposit returned if it can’t get an MOT or would cost too much to get an MOT)

Edit: This van is now sold.

How to save money on your fuel bills

It’s all over the papers: gas and electricity prices are rising, and rising fast. Which makes now a great time to think about eating more raw food! Yes, when you eat raw food you save money on fuel used for cooking. And you get more nutrition out of the food, which helps with the rising food prices.

You might not think of winter as a time to start eating salads, but raw food isn’t just about salads. Using chilli and other spices you can make raw food that makes you feel warm inside. Also, raw food doesn’t mean cold food; food should be at room temperature (not straight out of the fridge), but you can warm food up gently. Soup is a good example of this, you can make a raw soup and warm it gently, using much less energy than if you were cooking it. You shouldn’t let your food get over about 40 degrees C, think about body temperature (37 deg) if you have trouble remembering.

Here’s a spicy chilli sauce recipe you can use to heat up any raw dish:

Grind up coriander seeds and cumin seeds. Add some fresh chillis, garlic, flax oil (or other oil), garam masala (or other spices) and blend (or grind, probably could do this in a pestle and mortar if you chop the chillis first, and save even more energy).

Positive Advertising

I saw an advert in Kentish Town tube station today, it went something like “Need Energy? Try fruit.” I couldn’t believe it! It was sponsored by Camden NHS (National Health Service). I’ll try and take a photo of it next time I’m over in that part of town…


Just found a great new website There are loads of route planning websites out there but they are all for driving, this is the first one that is specifically for walking routes. On the surface there might not seem like much is different, but try using a normal route planning site and end up taking a 3 mile detour when you could have just walked ‘the wrong way’ down a one way street! They also plan to add lots of off road walking routes which would be wonderful.

What are you searching for?

For all my websites I get detailed visitor statistics and one of the things I can see is what search terms people used to find this blog, some of which I found amusing:

recipes for brockley soup

That’s the users miss-spellings of broccoli, which just happens to be a place round the corner from where I live! So no broccoli soup recipes on this site yet, just some photos of the Brockley Nature Reserve!

chocolate bar made with magic mushrooms

Well that one definatly sounds interesting, I haven’t tried it yet, but maybe I should ;-)

what fruit contains the mineral zeolite

I thought I should answer this one. According to Wikipedia “Natural zeolites form where volcanic rocks and ash layers react with alkaline groundwater”, so as far as I know, you won’t find them in fruit.

And finally:

aligator riding

What connection this has with my blog, I really have no idea!!!

What’s in a name?

I was out on one of my walks around the area (looking for more places to find wild food!) when I came across a shop called “The Organically Minded Grocer”. I was mildly excited “will this be the closest organic shop to where I live?” was the question on my mind. Well, my excitement didn’t last long, as I looked through the fresh fruit and veg I didn’t find a single organic item! On further inspection I found some organic herbal tea and a tin of organic something or other, but nothing to satisfy this raw food eater.
I can just imagine the following conversation:

“Yeah, I’m organically minded too.”

“That’s great. Can you recomend somewhere local I can get some organic produce?”

“Ah, you misunderstand, I don’t actually eat organic, I just think about it.”


Ok, if you know me, you will know that I ignore the news – in general I don’t watch TV, read newspapers, listen to the radio, etc. This week I’ve been listening to the radio because Lifescape magazine is doing a thing where they have challenged a DJ (James O’Brian) on LBC radio to go vegetarian for two weeks. We sent in some raw goodies for him to try so I’ve been listening to see if he comments on them.

Anyway, this means that I’ve been exposed to the news for the last week and can’t help having a rant about a couple of things I head. Firstly, Gordon Brown’s pre-budget aniouncement – he’s suddenly become environmentaly aware and is going to give a “green” budget, one of the measures he is going to put in place is a tax on budget flights, (which I think is a great idea). But then a couple of days later, I hear that the government has approved plans for a new runway at Heathrow airport, which will allow up to 500 extra flights per day. Is it just me or do those two stories contradict each other massivly? If they are going to allow more flights, charging a “green tax” does not mean that they will pollute less! I’ve never believed that the government was working for our best interest anyway, and this obviously proves that they are lying all the time, but why does no-one seem to care?