Friends. Meet Ruby! Our new (well new to us!) Camper van. We are thrilled! Before I fill you in on how we found her, let me show you around.
Ruby is a VW T5 LWB (that a Volkswagen Transporter 5 Long Wheel Base- I had no idea how many versions of a VW camper there were before this process began!!) She was registered in 2005 and has done a rather petrifying 175k miles, although apparently this isn’t a problem, she got a thumbs up from our two mechanic friends and also had an encouraging once over at the garage today. She’s had her gear boxes, clutch, cam belt etc replaced and has a full service history.
She’s got 3 belted seats up front, the passenger pair swivels round to make the living area into a cosy 4 seating dining area. We’ve got a fridge, two ring hob, two seater sofa that converts into a quickly into a bed, porta potty with buddy seat which also doubles up as foot rest. We’ve got some cool LED lighting and INSANELY enough storage to put the entirety of Blubell’s bits and bobs in without touching the side wardrobe space!
To pop or not to pop up. For some reason (happily) Keith has over an inch of clearance above his head when he is in “lounging mode”- which was surprising as every other T5 we sat in that weekend he couldn’t sit up straight in. I think its to do with the seat choice being perhaps lower. We don’t have a pop up at the moment, but it is something that we may look into adding later on, we will have a go for a few months without and see how we go.
Storage wise, and Ruby is a TARDIS. Wow, we are properly converted to the VW way of thinking. There was me panicking that I would have to sacrifice my hair straighteners and my moules pot- but oh no, they are packed and ready to go! The whole of the back floor space is storage and goes all the way under the seats and bed (even when in bed position) There is storage for pots and pans under the seat AND we can keep our double duvet and pillow on the parcel shelf- no having to go to a sleeping bag for us! Hurrah!
The space under the seat/bed is perfect for an underbed storage box and this houses all my kitchen bits and bobs including cutlery and plates/bowls etc. Dried food will go into a couple of wooden wine boxes that we have left over the wedding and will sit on the parcel shelf and move to the front seat when we go to bed. Beer and wine will sit in the bottom of the wardrobe!
A really cool feature of Ruby is that she has a double sliding door- this means we can open both sliding doors, so if its really hot and I’m cooking I can have the door behind the hob open! We can also remove all seats so we can revert to a van – handy for big set ups/ tip runs etc.
We measure in at only 2m high so can fit in car parks with barriers etc. We are selling our car so Ruby is going to be only vehicle! Yay to cups of tea in between schools! LOL
The only thing that is missing is a bike rack, so we are going to add a tow bar and get a bike rack that fixes onto the tower and allows you to open the tailgate with bikes still attached.
Finding Ruby felt a little bit like being in the right place at the right time. We’d just started our search and were feeling positively overwhelmed by the choice and the distance between the vans on sale! Then randomly we found one that somehow we had missed and well I’ll be blowed, it was in Norwich! Viewing was arranged and then nearly cancelled as we were sure we would need Pop up and it didn’t have that. But then we felt bad as we didn’t want to mess the guy around by cancelling so we decided to go anyway. On the way we came up with the idea that if it ticked all the other boxes then we should go for it as pop up can be added. And it did. So here we are! We’ve managed to book a little trip away later this week, but tomorrow we are going for a drive out and lunch somewhere pretty hopefully. Very excited.
Will take more pictures tomorrow- and can’t wait to do our first trip blog from Ruby later this week!
PS. You may remember that we were going “on tour” with Dad and Jenny this weekend to their place in France. Sadly Dad got a really nasty chest infection last week which knocked him out, so we postponed the trip- happy to say he is much brighter now – but still, Get Well Soon Pops!
Until Next time