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What have you bought for your Cali today :-)

HowieDog

HowieDog

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
425
Location
Poole
Vehicle
T5 SE 180
It's been just over a year since we acquired our van in May 2021.
In that time, we've come to love it on many trips to visit and camp with our (grown-up) children in the West Country, visiting kite surfing spots all along the south coast from Kent to Cornwall and even overnighting on friends' driveways instead of driving home after a party.

The two big ticket items were suspension (last November) and electrics (this May).

Given it is a conversion on a Transporter T28 chassis, the van at 2.12m is a tad taller than a Cali. This makes access to some kite spots with height restricted car parks more challenging. And the nice-looking 20" rims sometimes provide more information about the road conditions than is comfortable.
After reading the many debates here and elsewhere, we chose VB-Air to replace the stock suspension because it doesn't invalidate the VW warranty and ROSMIA are only just up the road from my house. It provides a more comfortable ride and less 'lean' on roundabouts in both standard and Sport setting, self-levels the van on uneven ground and lifts it for additional ground clearance to cross fields. And we can "limbo" under a 6'6" (1.98m) barrier or into a multi-storey car park when required. (If you're considering this, be advised that the freshwater tank may need mods to make room for the air tanks for the compressor).

Over the last 6+ months, we've had progressive issues with the electrics. As a newbie, I accepted the conversion company's suggested solution, when I should have specified different technology. The 110Ah lead acid leisure battery was discharging continuously even without any load, and the solar panel failed to keep it alive, let alone charge it (turns out its cables were too thin and it fried some of its circuitry). As we often camp for several days without a hook-up, we replaced the lot with a 110Ah Lithium battery and associated Victron Energy components which also provide comprehensive real time and historical information about what's going in or out of the battery.
I've not seen a battery level below 85% yet.

Lastly, and I really did buy this today, we've ordered a GYBE Bus Tent (UK version). After a few emails with GYBE Trading GMBH in Germany, I managed to persuade them to supply to UK. Thanks to BREXIT I'll have to pay Customs Duty as well :-( which makes it an extravagance, but we really liked the awning. Awaiting delivery in June.
The Gybe is great.
 
Algor

Algor

Messages
404
Location
Stoke on Trent
Vehicle
T6.1 Coast 150
I'm thinking about getting Steve to do the same on my Coast when I collect it this weekend, was it expensive and how does it ride compared to standard suspension?
Cheers Ben
That depends on what you deem expensive, I would suggest you call them and they will give you an estimate. I have found the difference to be pretty big as a daily driver, it feels more stable, doesn't crash on potholes or speed humps, the biggest thing is traction, there is loads more of it! The weight distribution feels much better It isn't cheap and it isn't life changing but it certainly makes the ride more comfortable, pleasurable and has improved my confidence on the twisty bits.
 
McGons

McGons

VIP Member
Messages
37
Location
Lancashire
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
Bought a Cadac Dual Power Pack with Quick Release and a 6 pack of gas canisters. Normally use a 2nd 907 cylinder with our Cadac when cooking outside but reading the do’s and don’ts for Camperjam they state that no spare gas bottles should be brought onto site and that only external stoves with small gas bottles (2.2kg) are permitted.
Decided to abide by the rules :)
We bought the dual power pak to use with the cadac 2 cook 2 pro and it’s much better than using a single canister. Bought the 2 cook 2 pro last year after you recommended it!
 
s2bear

s2bear

VIP Member
Messages
792
Location
london
Vehicle
T6 Beach 4Motion
Nice bit of kit. May have to be patient when it warps through the heat.

I’ve had one a few years now and used it a lot. No warping at all, I think maybe because it’s such thick SS - You wouldn’t want to drop it on your toes like I did last week. Luckily it was all folded away in the bag so I could really feel the full impact, it felt really expensive

Dismantling it with all the ash in the bottom is a slight faff


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
RSMarco

RSMarco

VIP Member
Messages
130
Location
Cheshire
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 199 4 motion
Bought a Cadac Dual Power Pack with Quick Release and a 6 pack of gas canisters. Normally use a 2nd 907 cylinder with our Cadac when cooking outside but reading the do’s and don’ts for Camperjam they state that no spare gas bottles should be brought onto site and that only external stoves with small gas bottles (2.2kg) are permitted.
Decided to abide by the rules :)
Thanks for highlighting this, I didn't see this rule.
 
C

couplands

Messages
139
Location
Peak District & Cornwall , UK
Vehicle
T6 Cali On Order
Bought a Cadac Dual Power Pack with Quick Release and a 6 pack of gas canisters. Normally use a 2nd 907 cylinder with our Cadac when cooking outside but reading the do’s and don’ts for Camperjam they state that no spare gas bottles should be brought onto site and that only external stoves with small gas bottles (2.2kg) are permitted.
Decided to abide by the rules :)
Is this a Campervan specific rule or are there sound safety reasons not to carry a spare gas bottle..?
 
GrumpyGranddad

GrumpyGranddad

Top Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
3,292
Location
Wendover
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 199
Is this a Campervan specific rule or are there sound safety reasons not to carry a spare gas bottle..?
We normally carry a spare 907.
Here are their rules (in the Show Guide).

Boxes of wine and cans of beer it is then :)

B90EC542-0BA5-4A40-B93B-6999C3B99ED8.jpeg
 
C

couplands

Messages
139
Location
Peak District & Cornwall , UK
Vehicle
T6 Cali On Order
We normally carry a spare 907.
Here are their rules (in the Show Guide).

Boxes of wine and cans of beer it is then :)

View attachment 94686
I was more wondering if there’s a general safety issue carrying spare gas bottles. I’m ok with whatever rules Campervan want to impose (I’m not going…;-)) but curious about any wider safety issues.

I guess the main gas bottle in a van is in a gas safe housing whereas a spare is usually kept in the boot space or other non-gas safe part of the van. Is that the reason for no spares…
 
tuono001

tuono001

VIP Member
Messages
631
How do I go about cooking in/out of my beach? I normally have a 907 for cooking, but obviously it's not fixed in anywhere.
I cook out of the van with the bottle on the ground cooker on a table.
 
GrumpyGranddad

GrumpyGranddad

Top Poster
Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
3,292
Location
Wendover
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 199
I was more wondering if there’s a general safety issue carrying spare gas bottles. I’m ok with whatever rules Campervan want to impose (I’m not going…;-)) but curious about any wider safety issues.

I guess the main gas bottle in a van is in a gas safe housing whereas a spare is usually kept in the boot space or other non-gas safe part of the van. Is that the reason for no spares…
Hi @couplands
Not sure about the Camperjam policy but it’s probably a H&S decision with so many campers being in close proximity. On the general issue of carrying a spare gas bottle, others on here might advise otherwise but I believe it’s OK. Many of us do carry one. I keep the plug screwed in tight. I think that some ferries and the tunnel might have restrictions but rarely check?
 
Elly Swanson

Elly Swanson

Top Poster
VIP Member
Messages
1,881
Location
East Midlands
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
I have been looking at that as well and if I would need it for backpacking for two it would have been my choice. However we like to cook ribeye etc for four people and its a bit small. The fennek in comparison is heavy with 6 kg vs the firebox 1 kg While the price is similar for the two products.
Have you looked at the freestyle. The Bushcraft Shop in the UK are just waiting on their order from the US and you can order from the US but I don’t know what the duty would be. Here’s info on the freestyle:
if you’re over in Spain or France, bring your own purple meths as nothing here is as good. Depending on the type, It either burns feebly, or hotter but soots up your pans!
Thanks, that’s good to know.
 
campandfly

campandfly

.....
VIP Member
Messages
762
Location
Sunny Cornwall
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
We bought a folding solar panel https://amzn.to/3OomKqa which boosts our solar collecting ability when we cannot park facing the right direction or if its a bit overcast. As its totally portable we also use it for charging elsewhere with other projects.
We made a short connection cable which connects in series to our Victron Blue Solar controller https://amzn.to/3niXBSl it enables us to connect a second solar panel which folds up in the back of the Cali. I know its OTT but I love watching the App on the phone pumping in the watts.

.20211029_211514.jpg
 
bob_summers

bob_summers

Messages
784
Location
Donosti
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 150
We bought a folding solar panel https://amzn.to/3OomKqa which boosts our solar collecting ability when we cannot park facing the right direction or if its a bit overcast. As its totally portable we also use it for charging elsewhere with other projects.
We made a short connection cable which connects in series to our Victron Blue Solar controller https://amzn.to/3niXBSl it enables us to connect a second solar panel which folds up in the back of the Cali. I know its OTT but I love watching the App on the phone pumping in the watts.

.View attachment 94818
I’ve done the same although I haven’t got the fixed installation on the van. Just using it to charge a Jackery at the moment but I’ll make an adapter to plug into either of the rear lighter sockets to directly charge the batteries.

Fixed solar wasn’t worth it for me as the van lives 5 floors down under the ground so the benefit of keeping the batteries topped up at home is not there. Hoping this will extend the fridge runtime on the very rare occasion we’re on a site for a few days without moving. My favourite site doesn’t have EHU but we tend to drive to get shopping or something every couple of days anyway.
 
campandfly

campandfly

.....
VIP Member
Messages
762
Location
Sunny Cornwall
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Hi Bob

I’ve done the same although I haven’t got the fixed installation on the van. Just using it to charge a Jackery at the moment but I’ll make an adapter to plug into either of the rear lighter sockets to directly charge the batteries.

Fixed solar wasn’t worth it for me as the van lives 5 floors down under the ground so the benefit of keeping the batteries topped up at home is not there. Hoping this will extend the fridge runtime on the very rare occasion we’re on a site for a few days without moving. My favourite site doesn’t have EHU but we tend to drive to get shopping or something every couple of days anyway.
I use one of these in the garage as we don't have power. I can charge it with that panel or at home.
 
B

BigJohn

VIP Member
Messages
103
Location
Surrey
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 204 4 motion
Fitted the cupboard shelves we got from Calitop. We liked these because you can choose whether you want a cutout corner for each shelf, and the cutouts are pretty small so you get maximum shelf space. Not convinced we have the spacing right yet - time will tell! 20220619_142312.jpg20220619_142249.jpg
 
Pitstop Penny

Pitstop Penny

Messages
87
Location
UK
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
We purchased a Kampa electric collapsible kettle from Camperlands, as gas is expensive and we thought we’d save it for our daily brews. And a projector screen, projector hanging kit from the VW Cali shop and an Anker Nebula. We’re all ready for our first trip to France since purchasing our Cali Ocean three years ago!!! Our first trip outside of the UK, too.
 
GillianC

GillianC

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
1,284
Location
Basingstoke
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
Picked up this little beauty at the Nostalgia Festival, Rowlands Castle. A very tranquil
Setting so might camp there next year.
Hand felted. Possibly hang from the rear view mirror or on the window.
Excuse the filthy windows, we had some sort of dust storm.
I have the makers details if anyone wants them.

279D8E8C-7B50-4F1E-A2FB-988EA1B34F8F.jpeg

72B6E44F-4AF0-49CA-918B-DDD3A51EE02A.jpeg

611E25FF-3E16-40F7-A624-B2E9A3F0AE6B.jpeg
 
S

subthree

VIP Member
Messages
1,226
Location
England
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 150
Fitted the cupboard shelves we got from Calitop. We liked these because you can choose whether you want a cutout corner for each shelf, and the cutouts are pretty small so you get maximum shelf space. Not convinced we have the spacing right yet - time will tell! View attachment 94839View attachment 94838
I have the same shelves and also ordered 3. However, I find 2 shelves perfectly adequate. And I do not have the safe, which I think I can see in your photo.
 
M

Mrs Big John

Messages
16
Location
Redhill
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 204 4 motion
I have the same shelves and also ordered 3. However, I find 2 shelves perfectly adequate. And I do not have the safe, which I think I can see in your photo.
Hmm, that would make sense to just take the bottom shelf out, thanks for the suggestion. I think we'll have a try of the options at the weekend but I like that idea.
 
campandfly

campandfly

.....
VIP Member
Messages
762
Location
Sunny Cornwall
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Hi,
Looks like the link is broken. What is it exactly?

Hi,
Looks like the link is broken. What is it exactly? I'm much interested!
We have no power available in our garage or an option to install solar.
So without going for a long drive to charge or top off our leisure batteries we decided to buy one of these and have been using it for quite some time.
https://amzn.to/3OtCQPn

We can run lights, charge allsorts of other things mobiles, laptops, tablets, lights, some power tools ( I have used an orbital polisher) even tried a low wattage kettle https://amzn.to/3O7p9ps and fan heater. I also charge up some of my sporting kit and even an electric bike.

But mostly I can fully top off the leisure batteries and it also overspills a bit and charges the starter battery. Or you can use it to charge your starter battery directly with a CTEK car battery charger https://amzn.to/3bbuttk . It has a 1000w inverter so we use it as EHU (Electric Hook up) with our normal power cable to get our fridge nice and cold.

We have had so much use out of it. It has a 12volt cigarette socket 4 USB sockets and a C type socket. It has 240v 2 x English Plug sockets + 1000watts and can be charged either by mains at home or elsewhere when you are out. It can also be charged by solar panel and comes with a cable.

We went to Scotland for a month in winter and it was overcast most days so solar was useless. Only way we could top off the leisure batteries was go for a drive or find a campsite. So when we were wild camping without driving we could plug into this as EHU and give ourselves a couple of extra days easily. We also charged it up when we were in a campsite. On one occasion we were stuck in snow 2 days with overcast days so our solar panel was not producing anything worthwhile.

We have found so many uses for it and can even use it at home if need be.

So if like us you don't want to go for an unnecessary drive especially with the cost of diesel ATM and don't have handy access to power we found it really handy. We also made up a short cable to plug into the EHU and run a cable through the window while camping to charge up our leisure batteries. Its given us so much more flexibility we highly recommend it.
https://amzn.to/3OtCQPn
 
kave

kave

Messages
1,471
Location
Boras Sweden
Vehicle
T6 Beach 4Motion
Our fennek bbq has arrived, looks really high quality:
IMG_0754.jpg
 
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