Putting a toe in the water

Discussion in 'Introduce yourself' started by SteveG, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. vwalan

    vwalan Well-Known Member

    so ajs are now being made in china , they used to sell regent or was it raptor ,either cz or something m,bikes .
    wasnt fluff brown or sammy miller tied into ajs at one time .
    fluff i think .he was involved in easy rider that brought my dax in if my memory is correct.
    might be cheaper to just buy chinese instead of perhaps paying extra just for the name .
     
  2. SteveG

    SteveG Member

    Despite being made in China the reviews on those AJS's are pretty good.
     
  3. vwalan

    vwalan Well-Known Member

    i never knock the chinese .
    i used to import vw and audi parts for a living . very often china was the place things were made even 30 yrs ago.
    amazing what other manufacturers were also using cjina . and south american country,s for parts .
    dont think there is a car made in the eu that isnt stacked with chinese parts . the more expensive the vehicle the more likely its really made in china just put together in the eu.
    it was just i knew the ajs were owned by fluff brown family at one time and the ajs think it was raptor was being sold in gambia etc under another name . it was the original manufacturers name .
    i used to pop in to andover place when i was up that way . i bought and sold vw parts from another parts store in andover .
    mind i used to buy from sammy millers shop as well. mind that was back in the 80,90,s .
    like i have said i,m very pleased with my chinese dax and was with the other chinese m,bikes i have had .
    when i bought my dax it was 1300 quid a honda 70cc dax was still available new but cost 2500quid . yes they arent the same quality really but almost half price ,but nearly as good quality.
    i think you do have to give each bike a good check before you buy it . some are better than others .
     
  4. chrisjones18

    chrisjones18 Well-Known Member

    That looks like the old Honda engine in the Caldwell.
    125 Honda in mine,
    It's been outside since Dec 2016 and only tiny pitting in 1 or 2 places, can't be that bad.
     
  5. SteveG

    SteveG Member

    We took a trip out to the local Honda bike dealer this morning to take a look at the Honda MSX125 (which is known elsewhere as the Grom) and the thinking at the moment is that we'll go with one of those - possibly a new one. They're small (but not too small - looks like it'll be fine 2-up for short trips), light (101kg) and also have a reputation for being fun. The new one has a few nice to have features like ABS as well.
     
  6. SteveG

    SteveG Member

    Ok so the working plan is to do an initial 3 months - September to November hopefully - as that means we can stick with our current insurance while we work our a longer term plan (which might include renting a house in the Dordogne for a few months over winter). So for that reason we're not planning to make extensive changes to our motorhome, but are thinking about this lot once we get back up to Scotland (where our motorhome lives) in a weeks time:

    Motorbike: It looks like we'll probably buy a Honda MSX125 - probably a new one.

    Gas: Looks like a Gaslow system is the best option. Haven't decided quite what to go for yet, but might just go with their 6kg kit and fit that myself. It comes with various adapters etc. I'd retain a UK bottle as well.

    Electrics: Our motorhome is based on a Transit and currently has a single leisure battery (100AH or so) under the passenger seat, however I think it might be possible to get a 2nd one in there (the drivers seat has 2 batteries under it already) if we relocate the 12v charger. Also planning to get a couple of solar panels fitted.

    Mattress: The standard mattress is just about ok for 2 or 3 week trips but is too soft for longer so the plan is go get a better one made - possibly a pocket spring one - although it'll partly depend on timescales to get it made.

    Other than getting the van MOT'd and serviced that's pretty much it I think. We've toured on the continent quite a lot before so have the various hose fittings etc. We're planning to join France Passion as we've heard good things about them.

    Once we get the electrics etc. fitted we'll do a weeks shakedown up the west coast of Scotland to check all is ok with the electrical upgrades and the gas changes.

    Anything you think we're missing?

    Any recommendations on someone to do the electrical work within easy reach of Edinburgh?

    Cheers
    Steve
     
  7. SteveG

    SteveG Member

    Well that's us both now jobless, as I handed back all my corporate chattels earlier. We need to hang around in London until the end of the week, then it's back up to Edinburgh to start prepping the motorhome for the trip.
     
  8. vwalan

    vwalan Well-Known Member

    depends really if you use camp sites ok . if more wilding then you will be wise to get about 500watts solar and a similer amps in batteries .
    i wouldnt fit gaslow . too many problems .
    an inverter could be nice for 240v things . but only low powered items if you only get a low output inverter.
    i used to use a 2kw inverter but now manage with a 1kw . but have been caught out with the house vacum etc doesnt work in the trailer now.
    alot really comes down to suck it and see.
    we all live slightly different lives etc .
    i admit i only long term . but when away from home cant stand camp site prison/camps but have sometimes used them if need be . rather be away from most of the m,homers anyway. you will find your way.
    think the last campsite i used was in 2009 in l,hospitalet de l,infant in spain . that was only a one nighter .
    really was by default . but never mind . could have lived for aweek on the cost of that one night . ha ha .
     
  9. SteveG

    SteveG Member

    Thanks for the advice Alan and I definitely agree that it's not a one size fits all game!

    I don't think 500W of batteries and solar is really practical in a motorhome like ours to be honest. I have a low powered inverter (and might well get something better, as I will likely want to charge our laptops when we're not hooked up) but don't really need a 1 or 2KW one as I can always hook up the generator if I needed to run something with that big a draw, as it's not likely to be a long term need. We also tend to move a lot so will get some battery charge that way.

    The plan is to mainly use Aire's and maybe the likes of the France Passion sites but we will likely use campsites from time to time - although the ones we like and have used before in France in particular aren't that cheap. Hopefully they'll be a bit cheaper out of season though!

    I think I'm going to stick to my minimum set of changes for now as I don't want to throw too much cash at a motorhome that we might replace if we do decide to travel longer term. Who knows - might end up with something a lot bigger where I will want all that wattage of panels and batteries!
     
  10. vwalan

    vwalan Well-Known Member

    you may find in winter many campsites are closed . the aires turn off the water etc .
    1kw is almost needed for drills etc . remember many electrical things say they are ex amount watts but that is very often what they give out . not what they need to work.
    many say 600watts but realy need 8-900watts to work.
    mind i still use gaslights in mine . cook on gas . heating is gas . shower is gas. but 240v fridge , telly 12v . charge computer etc off either 240v or 12v .
    my truck is 24v so i have a 24v -12v battery charger. by durite ,works ok. but last few years havnt driven around so much .
    i do have a diesel generator but only use it if welding or grinding etc .
    did carry a slightly smaller genny but when i decided carrying a inverter welder might be handy i bought a chinese diesel genny . its great .
    did use it for welding my trailer leaf springs when i broke them in maroc . and used it for other folks in emergency times .
    i find gas fridges very often let you down if in hot climates over 32 degs . many stop working .
    best fridge but not quite a fridge . was an easy cool box that worked on water . a cup a day . in africa used more water , but the faster it evaporated the cooler the box became .
    trial and error is the way.
     
  11. BigMomma

    BigMomma Well-Known Member

    Sorry to disagree Alan but I have been using 'Gaslow' now for over 8 years, never had a problem. I do believe that many years ago when they used the 'rubber' hoses these tended to block with residue but they no longer use the rubber hoses.
     
  12. vwalan

    vwalan Well-Known Member

    best you have a word with snail then . i know they have had them changed once . then later had problems with sticking valves when in spain .
    bit like bulkhead regulators i wouldnt have one of them either . again loads of problems it seems .
    i use orange high pressure hose. change it when neccasary.
    use simple bottle top regulators or adaptors to regulators .
    still use a calor 21mm clip on adaptor and the old fashioned butane regulator . the reg fits french bottles ,german , and moroccan bottles .
    on my cepsa bottle i use an adaptor to camping gas then from that to the old uk butane reg .
    if using propane then uk regulator or adapt other bottles to the uk reg.
    plus the bottles are all refillable , calor or flogas etc dont chuck bottles away . they refill them .
    mind in spain its normally cheaper to exchange spanish bottles than fill with gpl.
    and in morocco you are far better off having moroccan bottles exchange 12kg ones for about 45 dirham.
    gaslow are just expensive as well. mind so are other ones of that type.
     
  13. BigMomma

    BigMomma Well-Known Member

    I did speak with Brian before he commenced his trip, he had the old 'Gaslow' and was considering whether to get them replaced, it is advised to change them every 10 years, but I do not know if he did change them. You are right about the 'initial' cost of having 'Gaslow', although the cost is greatly reduced if you can fit it all yourself, but depending on how much you use the gas you can recover the cost very quickly with LPG/GPL being very cheap. It is also a matter of convenience and storage capacity, the Gaslow bottles fit into the existing gas lockers and not everyone has a vehicle that accommodates space for additional bottles as well as everything else they want to take with them. But as I have always said, there is no right or wrong way to do it, you make your choice as to what bests suits you ;)
     
  14. Sueboo

    Sueboo Active Member

    We've had Gaslow now for around 6 years and really pleased with it and no probs.
     
  15. vwalan

    vwalan Well-Known Member

    depends where i think i might be heading as to what bottles i take .
    only take two bottles .
    mind there are places around that fill bottles portugal is really good .
    turkey used to be good for filling bottles ,lots of garages had filling adaptors .
    these days a uk and a spanish does me .
    but its good you are pleased with what you have .
    i dont mind my bottles being filled if need be .
     
  16. chrisjones18

    chrisjones18 Well-Known Member

    Autogas 2000 system on ours with no problems.
    It's all a personal choice, i love a refillable system.
     
    coolasluck likes this.
  17. vwalan

    vwalan Well-Known Member

    i have a refillable system.
    mind i can just exchange the bottles if i want to.
    but in spain or morcco better to just exchange its far cheaper . hee hee .
     
  18. Dunroamin

    Dunroamin Well-Known Member

    I suppose lpg systems are ok if you only go where you can get it.If you prefer the Campos to the Costas then and the Algarve to the Barragems then ok.Its 29 degrees here in the Midi Pyrenees,how much fun is it cooking in your van? Your plastic fantastique comes with an absorber fridge that eats gas like it is going out of fashion,or do you pay for EHU ? No Air con! When we are in SW Europe we have 1 Spanish and 1 German bottle +3 3.5 kilo camping gas which I fill from the Spanish and when in Morocco fill the German (propane) from a Moroccan bottle.When its hot we cook outside,cos we can.Oh we have a compressor fridge and can last at least 6 months when all are full. I dont know who told you Alan that you can fill gas bottles in Turkey but they are not telling the truth.Forget it ,no garage in Turkey for the last 15 years will do it,nasty illegal!!!! And dont you go telling everyone about your 240 volt fridge cos everyone who knows you knows you dont turn it on!!! No cold beer there!!!
     
  19. vwalan

    vwalan Well-Known Member

    of course i have the fridge on . it keeps my food i take from uk fresh . too expensive abroad.
    i dont like cold beers . so hardly ever put beer in the fridge .
    turkey used to do it . in the 80,s and 90,s seen it myself .
    before that when there with my parents in the 60,s they used to tip from one bottle to another to let you have gas. mind they very often were smoking a fag at the same time.
    but yes things change .
    best place for filling bottles in spain used to be the gas depot down near the beach in malaga . been knocked down several years now though. down by the river south side .
     
  20. BigMomma

    BigMomma Well-Known Member

    Just because many do not have 'self builds' does not confine them to 'cooking in the van', we have an external gas point so just like you we too can cook outside, or use the traditional 'Weber Smokey Joe' which means you can cook using charcoal or be really adventurous and burn logs :giggle: As for LPG, We have two 13kg bottles (52 Litres) which lasts for ages, including running a very gas efficient fridge :thumb: Do you not use LPG ? I discovered that it was very available all over so you don't have to restrict your travelling or locations, you just need to be aware of when you need to refill so that you can plan that into your travel route before going off grid again. I do appreciate that most production built Motorhomes, Fantastic Plastique's, Ice Cream or Burger Vans, whatever you wish to refer to them as, are not generally built for 'off roading', but that doesn't stop them from parking up in remote locations or at Barragems etc. There are obvious limitations but that's the thing, you make the choice of vehicle by your choice and type of travel adventure :thumb: There is no right or wrong way, you do it the way that suits you and let other's do it the way that suits them, sounds reasonable doesn't it :wasntme:
     

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