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Challenges of long holidays in a Beach

soulstyledevon

soulstyledevon

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Another thing i would say is, awnings are really useful and a massive pain.
Before we were 3, we never had an awning, apart from the wind out which is a must.
I honestly miss those days.
I think a separate awning is great if you intent to stay in the same place for quite a few days. But we enjoy the freedom of roaming wherever we choose and often move on after a night or two.


We have a Quechua Base Seconds, which i think is brilliant. But can't wait for the days when we can finally get rid. Im sure once our little boy reaches 4/5 we can stop bring it with us.
Perhaps I'm lazy, i dunno...?
:oops:
 
P

PhilSut1

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Thank you Matt BW for getting back to me about the solar. A shame, as looks like I invested in the wrong fridge option! Good tip about unplugging at night though. Thank you also Max-Felix for further guidance on solar.
 
MattBW

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I don't think its the wrong fridge, they are very good but if you want longer off grid stays then the compressor fridges are the ones to look at as they are so efficient.

One thing I have considered about the suitcase one is that if you move around a lot you may never get around to putting it out. A roof mounted may be less efficient but being always on will always be more efficient than still in the boot/trunk ;)
 
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soulstyledevon

soulstyledevon

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What fridge is it...?
We bought a Webasto compressor fridge this year. Absolutely over the moon with it. Very nice build quality and wow are my beers cold :D
 
Amarillo

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Tom
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I think a separate awning is great if you intent to stay in the same place for quite a few days. But we enjoy the freedom of roaming wherever we choose and often move on after a night or two.
We are staying on our site near Logrono for 3 nights. We were intending just to use the wind out with panels, but had to make an unplanned trip to a VW service centre. It took me 15 minutes to put up the drive away awning, and another 2 minutes to detach it. On our return we had an audience of other campers, including four Californias. I managed to reattach in just a couple of minutes.

The real pain is packing in the wet.



Follow my blog: www.au-revoir.eu
 
SE VanMan

SE VanMan

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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.

Can you tell me which battery monitor you have and how it works ?
 
MattBW

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Hey @SE VanMan apologies for the delay I missed this post for some reason...

I have the NASA BM-1 a bluetooth a little review here of it... https://vwcaliforniaclub.com/threads/nasa-bm-1-bluetooth-review.20041/

Its certainly handy to keep an eye on capacity and battery condition. I think with hindsight something with a screen on it would be better but I couldnt be certain if it would mount in the seat base without hitting the battery. Another option would be to mount it on the right side seat which has nothing under it.

We also now have the window bags we spoke about, really great addition to a beach.
 
SE VanMan

SE VanMan

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Great piece on the battery monitor, Thanks Matt. I'm about to start my first season in the Beach.. going away with the family this weekend, so much to learn and so much to discover that I need!
The window bags sound like a very good idea, I can't see exactly how they attach but have seen them in situ, and may be on my list soon!

Happy camping.
 
MattBW

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I got mine second hand from a lovely forum member and we love them. I am not sure if they are teh VanEssa ones they may be a different brand. I can check.

The ones I have, have metal tension bars that slot into the blind slots. They come with velcro too but we didn't find we needed any velcro, they seem to stay in place fine with the bars locked in place.

I can take some photos of the bars if it helps further
 
MattBW

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Some good photos here of the bags internals

image-jpeg.13954


https://vwcaliforniaclub.com/threads/cali-beach-camping-window-storage-bag-window-mounted.14038/
 
Emma Hughes

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Our Scotland trip was probably our longest stay in the Beach so far at over 2 weeks (when you include the Stratford Meet. Our lives tend to mean short trips of upto a week which we manage fine in the beach. We had an absolute blast, but those longer stays do present more challenges.

I thought I would put down some thoughts on what we found a struggle for future reference and in the hope that others may have some wisdom to share with us.

  • Weather
    • We got some regatta waterproof overcoat and trousers, made Scotland's weather no issue.
    • We need something similar for the dogs, drying them was a constant battle.
    • Damp used clothes created smells, relegated to the roof box but this was quite the challenge and the most annoying thing for me.
  • Clothes and laundry.
    • We took far too much clothing with us. A lot of space was taken up with things we didnt use, mostly shirts and tshirts. Socks and underwear we got right. Many of these clothes (cotton tshirts etc) didn't dry easily if they go wet creating damp smells.
    • We are pondering taking far less clothing and adopting technical clothing that we can wash and dry quickly. As Scotland was regularly damp drying was a major issue.
    • Laundry is usually something we put in a cloth bag but after 1 week it was scarily full, Combined with wet socks it got unpleasant pretty fast. The bag ended up in the roof box. Because of the rain it wasn't easy to wash clothes because they generally didn't dry.
    • We are pondering a trasheroo style laundry bag that could be fixed to the outside of the vehicle, although technical clothes that dry fast and can be washed may be the answer.
  • Roof box
    • Used to carry the awning and a cadac SC2 I put it towards the sliding door so I could reach, but this caused the roof to raise slightly loose on that side. It was not possible to open with anything significant inside so had to be emptied. With hindsight less clothes and the awning on the shelf was better. I've seen some put their hookup cable in the battery area under the bonnet, may consider this.
    • Had to carry a ladder to get into the roof box, initially annoyed me in the van but when camped it was under the van and occasionally served as tables, airers and all sorts. Actually strangely useful..
    • The beach gas struts really struggle with all but the lightest of roof boxes, if you plan to take one, you need to plan for emptying it. A tailgate box would maybe suit us more.
  • Floors
    • We have striped club carpets but also have added some muddle mats (Dun Elm) over the top only £15 each. They absorb a lot of water and dirt especially handy with dogs. The van cleaned up better than expected in no time.
  • Tailgate Awning, Storage and Slidepod
    • We used the awning a couple of times only, it was a welcome place to cook or sit whenthe rain came but likewise it was a pain when it was wet to put away. The Outdoor Rev dried incredibly quickly and in fact could be quite easily shaken dry. The roof box was a blessing for wet stuff like this.
    • The slidepod eats up masses of stuff, all our non re-fridgerated food, pots pans, plates, bowls the lot, cooking outside wasn't an issue unless the rain was sideways as the tailgate protected you.
    • We only really need to store our clothes, bedding and personal belongings. Bedding and some belongings squeezed behind the rear bench, clothing on the shelf.
    • Seriously pondering the VanEssa window bags which we saw at Stratford, that may be the answer to our clothing storage and may constrain us to packing less and only what we need.
  • Power, hookup and solar
    • The NASA BM-1 has given me lots of confidence in my power useage and how long we can go without hookup. We used this to decide if we needed hookup or not which we probably had for 3 nights out of 12 in Scotland mostly at the start. Driving around always helps but the heater does take a lot of amps so it was good to know. Battery never got below 75% the whole trip with heavy use of the heater.
    • Solar panel, suitcase solar was great, we only used it a handful of times (there wasn't much sun) but it performed brilliant and because it wasn't fixed I could move it through the day to maximise the output. Even this little 50w panel put out more amps than my fridge used so although not off grid with heater use it certainly would extend a stay. Pondering a 100w flex panel to stick under the mattress. Combined with the BM-1 I got smug satisfaction watching how many amps were going in for free :)

  • Items that never got used.
    • Solwise Wifi Extender and Rocket, Fon wasnt really a common thing in Scotland or rather it was never close to sites (usually someones house in the middle of nowhere), and often the Pitch was so far from the Wifi hotspot even the extender was no use. I've carried this so often and I think its only ever actually proved useful once. Maybe I will only take it in future if I'm certain of Fon spots close by. With such poor 3/4g cover up there I was hoping this would be invaluable it wasn't.
    • Fiamma light bar (for the Fiamma awning), this is brilliantly bright and nice but has been superseded by my cheap Philips solar lights which take up less space and don't use my 12v power. It sat there for two weeks getting in the way. Useful for longer stays in one place and will be left behind for travelling trips in future.
which philips lights do you use?

thanks
 
Bello

Bello

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Perhaps another clothes washing tip when you visit some warmer countries: https://goo.gl/images/yRDngL
We use this bucket to put in our socks, shirts and undies with some hot water and soap. Close it up and drive around as we always tend to do when on holiday. (It’s the driving that does the washing) Once on site we rinse it with clean water and let it dry. Fits on the bottom shelf.
 
Stuart

Stuart

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Perhaps another clothes washing tip when you visit some warmer countries: https://goo.gl/images/yRDngL
We use this bucket to put in our socks, shirts and undies with some hot water and soap. Close it up and drive around as we always tend to do when on holiday. (It’s the driving that does the washing) Once on site we rinse it with clean water and let it dry. Fits on the bottom shelf.
This is genius!
 
MattBW

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    • Seriously pondering the VanEssa window bags which we saw at Stratford, that may be the answer to our clothing storage and may constrain us to packing less and only what we need.
I got some California Camping.de ones and have to say they were the final piece of the puzzle for us.
 
podge

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I'm lining up to get some on my two seater beach from there as well - after noticing that they do more slimline bags that accommodate the two seater bench as well

upload_2018-5-30_11-7-0.png
 

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