Dub Dub and away

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m-plates
January 5th, 2015 3:30 pm
Hidden behind the front passenger seat of a VW Camper is the M-Plate, an amazing place to find out everything you wanted to know about your VW when it came off the production line.

Using a website like m-plate decoder you can decode your own M-Plate

We have taken details from Poppy's M-Plate and discovered that her original colour was Chianti Red.

a phone call into John has informed him of this and we have decided that Poppy deserves to go back to her original colour.

It is well worth checking your own M-Plate to find out a bit more of the history of your own campervan

 
Christmas Lunch
December 20th, 2014 10:44 am
Today Joseph has decided to host a Christmas lunch for his staff, and strangely we got an invite to it as well.

Joseph is a very generous person who likes to look after his team and he has decided to take everyone to the local Turkish restaurant and then down to the local pub after for a few drinks to celebrate Christmas.

When I ask Joseph why he has invited us to the event, he smiles and says that he likes to look after his big customers, that now worries me, am I spending that much with them? I suppose as I now have 4 campers in the fleet plus a private campervan as well that Dub Dub and Away must represent a fairly large customer for Jacks Garage.

A few other customers and supplies join us in the restaurant and the food starts arriving. It is a good lunch and the discussions and jokes fly around the room. It's a nice gesture by Joseph and well received by all.

After eating, we all traipse off to a local pub and after a few rounds of beer and wine things start to get dangerous. The younger mainly Spanish  mechanics and panel beaters start to order shooters between each round, it may well be an age thing but I just can't keep up with them but surprise them at the same time by doing Tequila as my shooter rather than Jägerbombs.

It takes three rounds before I decide that it may be safer to retire and leave the boys to it, a wise move I think.
how long will this all take?
December 17th, 2014 1:00 pm

Today John and I met up for a discussion concerning when he can start Poppy and how long it will all take to do.

John asked when we would like her back, our response is simple, ideally before the start of the 2015 season.

There is is a long pause as John consults his master book, the one where every van that he has ever worked on and future work is done is consulted....

"There are a few people ahead of you" he says
"How many?" I ask
"quite a few, at least 6 rebuilds plus other minor work to be done" he replies, "Let's see what we can do and hopefully it will be before Easter"
I look at him and gently enquire "Which Easter?" this results in laughter around the workshop as everyone knows that their schedule is already brutal but as we consider John and his team the best VW panel beaters in London it's no wonder that their good reputation is causing a slight queue to build.

I then go and sit with Viadas to discuss the mechanical side of Poppy's rebuild.
"what do you need as a minimum?" he asks
"simple" I reply "A new off the production line engine, full overhaul of the steering and suspension and a rebuild of the gearbox as required"
"that is simple" he laughs, "everything replaced or rebuilt, and as an option whilst the gearbox is out do you want me to fit overdrive to it to give better fuel economy?"
we agree to the overdrive and also the rest of the mechanical side of the rebuild, which will be done once John finishes the body work.  He then offers me a cup of coffee and opens another packet of biscuits... a sign that a deal has been reached and the price is going to hurt my bank balance, but let us be honest, she will be worth it.

HOW MUCH !!!!
November 17th, 2014 10:04 am

The estimate is in and the moment of truth is upon us, is it cheaper to buy a good quality campervan and finish it off or start from scratch?

Based on the costs for Moneypenny, who was in very good condition when we bought her, but still required some tidy-up work, a new engine, new pop top bellows, new curtains, seat covers and various other small things vs. a full ground up rebuild the costs are fairly close.

It's going to cost slightly more to do the full rebuild (including the purchase price) but the upside is by replacing the rotting panels and having her brought back to fresh off the factory floor condition will pay dividends in the long run as we won't need to do any body work (baring accidents) for a good few years.

A good cup of coffee later and some work with a spreadsheet has resulted in the call to Jacks Garage "Yes - book her in for the works"

Now - where did I put the bank managers private number and which brand of champagne did she like again.....



 

My panel beater is a hero!
October 31st, 2014 1:14 pm
My panel beater is a hero
A champion
He went to the Chelsea Games
He went forth 
But to the mechanics he was First 
Everybody loves him
He's the reason I own a Campervan hire company
After all this time they still want to see him work
Every year we have a mad race 
When I drop a van in I start the clock
John against the Rust

"Respect "

"I'm getting older" he says 
"One day I'll lose against the rust" he says
"Don't worry" I say "you will never lose"

it takes 119.5 days to build the perfect Camervan

Good things come to those who wait !!!

(modified from the swimming race Guinness advert)