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Challenges of long holidays in a Beach

Crell

Crell

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160
Location
Derbyshire
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T6 Beach 150
We have the Vanessa ones. They're really well made (by VauDe), the zips are easy to do one-handed and it's east to fit. We only leave the drivers side one in the van as with both installed it makes the rear dark. The Passenger side one only gets installed when needed. I did think I'd prefer the smaller / individual bags like the one above but I find the bigger (two single bags) are just a bit more flexible.
 
soulstyledevon

soulstyledevon

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T6 Ocean 204
I got some California Camping.de ones and have to say they were the final piece of the puzzle for us.
Still need to get a set of these.
Just waiting to find out what’s going on with my van
 
A

AGP

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1
Location
Guisborough
Vehicle
Just browsing
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.


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Hi there, which solar panel is this ?
 
L

ljneedham

Messages
1
Location
Nottingham
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
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.
Hi Matt,
Just following up on your mention of the NASA BM1...how does this actually work? Do you need to connect it to the battery? We are going skiing in our beach so this would be ideal! Thanks
 
MattBW

MattBW

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Bedworth, United Kingdom
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T5 Beach
Hi Matt,
Just following up on your mention of the NASA BM1...how does this actually work? Do you need to connect it to the battery? We are going skiing in our beach so this would be ideal! Thanks
It comes with a Shunt and small box that needs wiring to your battery. I removed the rear bolts and looseed the front ones to access the battery under the seat and fitted it in place under the rubber cover. The box sits at the rear of the battery space.

It then creates a bluetooth connection to an app on your phone. It's not perfect but its pretty nice. I was tempted by a victron unit, but they would have cost much more money (about £200). I also would prefer something in the seat base with a readout but I wasnt sure there was space in the cover in the seat base to drill the hole etc.

I posted a thread about it when I first put it in.
 
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