Been going over for 3 weeks each summer for the last 5 years. Can't believe how different the country is from one part to another. Wen't down to Monaco this time and then back through the Alps. Had a great time. Look forward to your write upT:
OK just got a little time to start writing this up. The format will be as follows....
2008 - A little history.
2009 - The Grand Plan
Changes and the reasons why
The plan changes again
Content - daily updates for 21 days
Pictures will be insertes a.s.a.p.
In 2008 our son was 21 yrs old, and as we did not know what to get him as a "coming of age gift" my wife (Michelle) and I discussed such options as a quality watch, a good holiday etc but were a little unsure so we thought we would ask him. His reply was a surprise but he basically said that if we were planning to be generous than he would like a campervan but not an old one. After discussion with Michelle, we decided that it was practical, fitted in with his BMX life style, and would offer the opportunity for many happy memories. Further discussion lead to a T4 being confirmed as a suitable option as it offered the availability of a rust free and structurally sound body shell, low maintenance, diesel economy etc. So in March 2008 a 1993 2.4d swb 112k mile van with tailgate was purchased. History was a little thin and no documents showed a timing belt change so that was a priority. Looking around on the net for ideas brought us to the T4 forum, joined and began searching for interior designs. As with a lot of people on here we found a basic concept and interpreted it to suit his needs and budget.
The conversion was pretty straight forward the rear seats were removed and we produced a functional if somewhat basic interior.
interior pic to follow interior pic to follow interior pic to follow
kristopher had already began planning his first big adventure a 3 week trip around France during the summer and planned to call in to meet while we were on holiday in France. However before any big trips the timing belt needed replacing. I asked a couple of local garages if the would change the belts but both declined stating either it was to fiddely and time consuming and that they could have a couple of other jobs in the shop during the time it takes to do a T4 2.4d. I thought that it cant be that difficult (i have done several golf timing belts) so I would have a go myself. To cut a long story short the engine would not run right and I could not understand why. I ended up spending every other night for 4-5 weeks setting and re-setting the cam timing, slowly convincing myself that I must have set the cam timing wrong and "dinked a few valves". I eventually got it running with a lot of smoke, swallowed my pride and spoke to the local diesel specialist who mentioned pump timing and after 4-5 weeks of sweat and tears he reset it for £30 ! and the job was completed. Why did I not have the confidence to see what I had done was right ? why did I not seek advice sooner ? I guess that's just me.
So a couple of weeks later Kristopher set of for his tour of France and covered Normandy, Brittany, Loire valley and Dordogne. Kristopher and his girl friend Rosie were so happy when he called in to see us at the campsite we were staying on (www.lestaubiere.fr) they stayed nearly a week as it was free food, free beer etc courtesy of mam & dad. As we were due to leave kristopher & Rosie said that they would head North with us and visit Saumur in the Loire area, We drove in convoy for a couple of hours untill a service station outside of Potiers, kisses and cuddles all round and the "take care " message parents feel obliged to give. 12 hours later, lying in bed in Dunkerque the mobile rings at 23:50h and Kristopher starts the conversation "i'm in hospital but I'm OK" and goes on to explain that he has cut his hand from the tip of his index finger right up and into his wrist. A seemingly simple task of opening a bottle of wine has resulted in 40+ stitches and a hand that cant be used for 4 weeks. He has loads of insurance cover but you can't leave "a man down " to fend for himself so as its a long journey back down we go back to bed ready for a 600km trip back down south early in the morning. we call in at the ferry terminal to explain, and change our crossing. Norfolk Line were fantastic about it , highly recommended. Arrive at Saumur visit Kris in hospital and discover that he will need to stay in for a day or two. Again the Hospital have been very good and provided a room for him and Rosie to stay in so we get to stay in the van for a couple of days. Despite the length of the wound and the large number of stitches none of the elastic bands in Kristophers hand were damaged and is told he will make a full recovery. Maybe its an age thing but I see the accidents he has (and he has had a few broken bones cuts etc) as just that, accidents that could maybe have been prevented, but he see's them as just the risk and price to pay for having a good time
So in a long winded way I have got to the main point of this write up .......The van was fantastic, comfortable bed, table, chairs, cooker etc ............ at this point Michelle and I are totally sold on the Camper van v's tent and decide that maybe we want one as well.. So we get Kristopher out of hospital a couple of days later and drive back North. Again the van is a dream to drive along the auto route ........... Michelle is in the Cabby and i'm in the van, we swop Michelle drives the van and finds it easy so decision made ...........its a T4 van conversion for us in 2009.
So we reject summer fun in Michelle's cabby .....below for a Van ? But its a change of lifestyle more than a change of car !
Hope the injury is healing well now. My wife and i have two t4's one each but sadly due to a hand injury i've been unable to drive mine as yet but can't wait to get into it and get out on the roads.
We have literally just returned from France last weekend and we travelled from Roscoff to Argeles sur Mer on the coast of Spain down by Perpignan a trip of just under a 1000 miles and we loved every minute of it except for the fact that the wife was knackered with the drive ( sorry Sharon ). We both intend to repeat the journey to Southern France again next year in a t4 so can't come too soon.