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Challenges of long holidays in a Beach

MattBW

MattBW

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Hello Matt,
An excellent and informative thread.

So next time, is it leave the dogs in kennels and go naturist then?

Unlikely we will leave them but I would love a holiday without them, they make everything harder work as much as I love them. I don't think I could persuade my good lady but I may try.

I hadn't heard of technical clothing before. It's something that we shall now look into as like you we always take too many clothes. In fact, storage in the Beach is still something that we are refining. The main issue being that we have to learn to be ruthless and only take the very bare essentials. Something that neither of us is that good at.
V likes to pack for every eventuality and I like to pack lots of gadgets. We need to shed a lot of stuff and technical clothing may be a good way to get our bags a lot smaller. Often on shorter trips I'll have a tiny cube and V a massive canvas bag.

We didn't have any problems regarding battery power whilst touring in our SE but as the Beach only has one leisure battery we are going to have to consider solar panels. Altough many people swear by them, I have never been very keen on the roof mounted units as they involve drilling holes for the gubbins that's mounted internally. Its also necessary to puncture the rubber umbilical connection between boot lid and the body in order to run the cables inside. My experience on previous vehicles, is that any split in this rubber component can lead to corrosion in any nearby electrical connections and water ingress. My reservations may sound daft and be unfounded but I would prefer to at least start looking into something that is self contained before going for these fitted units. It would only be of use on extended trips to the remoter parts. Normally, we have found no need for solar panels as we either book an electric hook up or when wild camping, we stop when it is very late, go straight to bed and leave very early so as not to cause any hassle. Therefore we don't use the battery much when stealth camping.

The battery monitor has given me massive confidence in my leisure battery and I think solar only really works well when you are in one place for a long period. If you are driving daily or even every other day (maybe even every 3 days) you will never run out even on one battery unless you hammer the heater.

That said you can fit solar without drilling and always on is a bonus for lightly used vehicles as well as security aspect. I have noticed differences between my old van's 80w permanent roof install and this 50w suitcase one but in real world they arent far apart. Although peak is much higher on the 80w, the average not as far apart if I keep the suitcase in the sun.

Even a simple/partial shadow on a panel from a roof bar can decrease its power by 40%, putting anything over it too like glass or clear material will reduce its output too, that is just the nature of the tech. Then combine direction and angle and it can reduce further. So a permanent install means less control about having it in the right place for the sun, more chance of the output being degraded (not a problem if you have a bigger panel than you need) and it will only be optimum during the time of day when it happens to be facing the sun at the right angle. The suitcase one I turned occasionally through the day and it pretty much kicked out it's max amps the whole time when the light was available. It's just a matter of what suits you best.

We did love the off grid comms too but when we wanted to research online it was a frustration, the book filled the gaps adequately and we actually started navigating by signs and seeing where we ended up, just like the good old days ;)
 
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zeratul

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We did 19 nights in the beach in Iceland this summer, 2 adults and 3 kids. Not the warmest destination.
Our approach is to travel light: no external awning or external topper (internal one though), makes camp set up take 10 minutes. A table with 4 chairs integrated, a small gas bbq, 2 large crates of food + a full fridge, 2 large crates of clothes, 2 crates of stuff ( toiletpaper, gas cartridges etc), a small crate with swimming equipment, another one with more clothes, then the vanessa window bags full of clothes (underwear, microfiber towels, sweaters, pyjamas, ...), ... And then all sleeping quipment on top of that. We put the bench more to the front and store the rest of clothes in airplane handluggage-sized suitcases behind all that so they can be lifted from inside. We manage to store everything but one suitcase underneith the bed at night, the other one behind the steering wheel, as well as the children's chairs/boosters.
We took a popup tent, but never used it. Won't be taking it again.
Here's how we pack the beach
20170715_094912.jpg 20170715_151933.jpg 20170715_154334.jpg


And here is what our typical, minimalistic camp setup looks like
20170813_170646.jpg 20170805_163303.jpg

But this traveling light, it's a different approach and maybe not for everyone. We almost never sleep two nights in the same campsite, always traveling onwards. The children love it.

We had two cold days with lots of pouring rain. The slide out awning offered all we need to cook, we ate inside and they watched a movie while we were cooking. In the morning the children are 'upstairs' while we convert the bed back into seating area. Works perfectly, for us.
 
Stoneybroke

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France this year in our Beach we ditched bags, using Really Useful Boxes of various sizes (chosen for fitting under/on multi-flex) for most stuff, even clothes, with packing cubes for smalls. Worked better than I had expected.
 
Amarillo

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We've fully reconfigured our packing of our 3 seat bench Beach for phase 2 of our figure of 8 trip around the EU.

The multiflex is just forward of its rearmost position so that the 12 volt rear socket is just available. The bench is pushed forward so it will fold down to the fully extended multiflex.

Behind the bench seat, and *exactly* to the level of the top of the multiflex goes a large underbed Ikea case, with 2 toy storage boxes on top (not filled with toys).
https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00G9XG90C/?tag=eliteelect-21
Next to those three bags go 2 x 907 bottles in a fibreglass lidded box, and on top of that goes the dog food crate.

The lower bed mattress goes on top of all that, with the multiflex pad reversed and on top of the mattress to protect it from dirt.

Under the multiflex go our four Muji stackable drawers, 2 x 24 cm, 1 x 18 cm and 1 x 30 cm high. Between the drawers goes the double hob, and either side of the drawers goes the children's pop up campervan tent and the large collapsible container.

Above the multiflex goes the Cadac and drive away awning. Bedding goes on top of everything. Base clothing (underwear, shirts, trousers, etc.) go in the window bags, fleeces and raincoats hang on hooks. Small items go in seat back pockets.

Very please so far with the new packing regime, especially not having to move the multiflex or alter the forward position of the bench. Child seats are still a faff, but unavoidable.


Follow my blog: www.au-revoir.eu
 
zeratul

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Looks like a great trip across Europe you are making. Impressive.

I also played with this idea of not ever having to move the bench and leaving it in the bed position. But it leaves very little living space. If you are traveling in a cold climate, in rain, and just need the space to sit around the table, it's impossible.
But I've installed the hack described elsewhere on this forum to be able to move the bench without folding it flat, just pull a little cord, and the Nr2 below the bench it moves, backrest intact. Gotten very used to it, it takes 1 minute, twice a day to move it. Plus a couple of minutes to move things around, of course.
 
podge

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Oh and Satnav
The offline satnav was a gem too, we did use Waze and Google when data was available (on A roads usually) Interestingly, google and Waze wouldn't give us directions over the Applecross pass, when we wanted to go but only some 4 hour long route around. The trusty RNS315 though was happy to oblige.
It did at one point tell us the M6 was closed on the way home though and wanted to send us through the middle of nowhere but I assume that was someone in the office inputting an incorrect piece of data.

On this one, you should be able to download maps and all location data for use offline in Google Maps. The download remains valid for about 30 days before it gets removed by the app - but you can do everything you need to with Google Maps - without any data signal.. You can on IOS anyway
 
X4 VWC

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Take a look at Icebreaker clothing ... you can wear their T-shirts (or even pants) for 2-3 days without any problem. Sounds gross, but actually works. At first, I was hesitant to spend £60 on a T-shirt and £30 on a pair of pants (yes, really, but watch out for sales for better prices) but I can't wear anything else in the summer now - they're so comfortable, and I can pack far less on trips.
 
P

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Very interesting post - thank you. Please can you tell me more about the solar power solution you use for the Beach - where you can buy it and where you fix it? We have the VW cool box and it only stays powered up for about 8 hours without hook up, which is frustrating. Thank you
 
calimera

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+1 Icebreaker clothes . We use them for skiing -brilliant .
 
DavidofHook

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Have a look at Rohan clothes too. Designed for travelling. Trousers and shorts have many and deep pockets with zips so they are secure. All can be worn for days without making you smell bad. T shirts are the same. All lightweight stuff. They also make soft containers for storing stuff while you travel, very handy, means you can fins stuff easily.
I am a Rohan bigot, I think that their stuff is brilliantly, we use it all the time when we are camping and walking.
 
flying banana

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did 3 weeks scotland. here's a shot from the orkney. a beach on the beach. I find getting rid of the woman cuts out a lot of unnecessary luggage. we were wet alot. we had a dog too. but it was awesome.
 

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MattBW

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Very interesting post - thank you. Please can you tell me more about the solar power solution you use for the Beach - where you can buy it and where you fix it? We have the VW cool box and it only stays powered up for about 8 hours without hook up, which is frustrating. Thank you

The VW coolbox is an "always on" solution, so its not very power efficient and not good for longer stays without mains plugged in. You would probably find even a solar panel would not extend your stays very long with the regular beach battery. I use a Waeco compressor fridge which are more efficient (they only run when needed).

My solar is a cheap 50w suitcase style solar panel, I've fitted a fused CTEK adapter straight to my leisure battery and a similar connector and extension to my panel making it plug and play. In Bright direct sun it kicks out about 2.7amps, in practice this sits between 1amp and 2.5amps input. On very grey days its next to nothing. My fridge uses an average of 1.3amps per hour so generally it will extend my stays considerably.

The VW Coolbox probably pulls quite a lot more amps so a good way of extending the battery life is to unplug at night and plug back in when it gets warmer. You'd probably need quite a lot of panels to keep up with the coolbox during the day.
 
Max-Felix

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We did four weeks in a Beach and five in a Cali SE and both are fine. Just pack super carefully and think what you really need. The more you do it the more you can refine, trim, be clever with the storage.

If anyone but anyone is thinking I should go solar then do it! Absolute best thing we did for our Cali full stop - I recommend simply shelling out for Roger's set up although if you are a bit DIY minded you can (as I did make my own set-up) save a fair bit.

One 100w panel and fit to the rails, absolutely go for the Victron Bluetooth set up with app so you can monitor it from your phone - it is truly brilliant and you have a wonderful smug feeling of endless peace of mind knowing you never need worry about power again, hook ups (both the hassle and cost!), battery deterioration, etc. Easy to fit and remove too. Go for the larger controller so you can add another 100w if ever needed.


IMG_1868.JPG

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Amarillo

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If anyone but anyone is thinking I should go solar then do it! Absolute best thing we did for our Cali full stop
+1 for solar panels. They charge the battery reasonably well in cloudy weather but not in the shade of trees. I've yet to test them in short winter days.


Follow my blog: www.au-revoir.eu[/QUOTE]
 
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Max-Felix

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No, just confused as the post quoted me posting a link...
 
Amarillo

Amarillo

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No, just confused as the post quoted me posting a link...
Odd - on Tapatalk it doesn't show up as if I had quoted any part of your post. It was my intention to quote one small portion.

However, I was posting after a bottle of Nowack's Champagne, so anything's possible.

I hope all is fixed now. Apologies.

Follow my blog: www.au-revoir.eu
 
soulstyledevon

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Have a look at Rohan clothes too. Designed for travelling. Trousers and shorts have many and deep pockets with zips so they are secure. All can be worn for days without making you smell bad. T shirts are the same. All lightweight stuff. They also make soft containers for storing stuff while you travel, very handy, means you can fins stuff easily.
I am a Rohan bigot, I think that their stuff is brilliantly, we use it all the time when we are camping and walking.

Another Rohan fan here.
I love their T-shirts, shirts, under layers and jumpers. Such great kit and it never needs ironing.
They have a store in Stratford.

As someone said above. Boxes for everything. Since our last trip we are ditching the suitcases for our clothes for boxes to fit on the sliding draw.
Also the sliding draw i made has been the best modification I've done so far. It really helped us stay organised and seem to eat up all our kit with ease
 
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