FRANCE 2017-6

We had another enjoyable day in the Camargue. Very hot day again. Unbelievable it is September now. We travelled to the south coast to a small town called Salin-de-Giraud. Not a lot there and everything closed over lunch time. We moved on and head to Port-St-Louis-du-Rhone, which is just around the corner. We discovered we had to board a ferry, which brings us over the River Rhone as on the river delta is no bridges.

Very nice port and a lot of yachts. Some folks must have a lot of money. We have seen a very nice sailing boat which came over from the Caribbean. Must be lovely to sail around the world.

Very nice place and we have spend the hole afternoon here before we headed back to our camp site.

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FRANCE 2017-2

On the edges of the Beauce plain and the Loir Valley is the town of Chateaudun and is presided over by a massive and beautiful chateau. It is definitely recommended to visit which we have done. The view from the castle and the surroundings with many 16th-century houses  is stunning. We could not ask for better weather.

 

A couple of days later we moved on heading south again, passing by Vendome, Chateau-Renault, Amboise, Blere, Loche and got totally lost near Chatellerault thanks our backroad driving. In Poitiers we decided to go on to the toll motorway as we lost to much time.

We passed by Limoges and on to the back roads towards Perigueux we found a lovely camping side at Antonne-et-Trigonant. We stayed only one night as we want to move on to the Atlantic coast.

Again back on to the toll motorway, passing by Bordeaux, which we have visited a view years before and close to the Spanish border near Biarritz we found a camp side in Ondres on the Golfe de Cascogne which was a total  disaster as soon we had the roof tent sorted it started raining for the whole night. Not very enjoyable. Also the Camp side was not up to our taste and we moved on as soon we could.

New Pedders springs installed on my Land cruiser

The other day when I had my head under the LC I noticed the left hand spring was broken.  Last year I installed new Pedders shock absorbers but never bothered to change the springs as well. The Pedders shocks are heavy duty but I’m not sure if this had anything to do with the broken spring. It seems to me not so long ago when I have installed the Old Man Emu springs but after I have checked the mileage on it, I discovered it was more then 50 000 miles. So they have not performed as badly as the LC is very often heavy laden and used offroad a lot.

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It did not took very long for a new set of Pedders (7845) extra heavy duty springs to arrive and with a pair of Urethane 20mm Coil Spring Insulator which fit perfectly to it.

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The Pedders springs are slightly higher than the OME’s and definitely stiffer but the diameter of the coil is still the same.

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It took a bit an effort to install the new springs as they not compress very well but eventually I have succeeded. Pedders claim this springs are suited for constantly loaded vehicles but I plan to install an auxiliary tank in the near future, this is not an issue for me as Io will have plenty extra weight on the rear axle.

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I hope the pedders coil springs perform so well as the OME’s. Only time will tell.

Continuous Battery Charger

The Land Cruiser 100 series alarm system continually consumes a lot of power, so when the car is not in use for some time, this drains the batteries.

I had an idea to connect the car on shore power, similar to the marine environment, when the LC is parked up at the front of the house.

I required a specialist charger of which I can permanently fit into the LC, which is also built for harsh environments, and needed to be waterproof.

I purchased a Blue Power IP67 Battery Charger from Victron Energy as it is an Adaptive 4-stage charger (bulk, absorption, float and storage) of which is also maintenance free. I also bought IP68 plugs for the connections.

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IP68 connector

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I added an extra connector to make bumper removal easier, when necessary.

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Blue Power IP67 Battery Charger, designed to charge batteries 14-225 Ah (including a Start Interrupt Function)

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A relay was added to prevent the car from starting whilst it is connected to power. This is an added bonus to prevent me driving off whilst connected.

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This is the layout of the charger on the right hand side of the Engine Bay.

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Connection on ARB front bumper.

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RCD (Residual Current Device) on wall of house.

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Voilà! Continuous charge!

An Alpine Jaunt – Buschtaxi 2015 – Photos

Here are some more photos from the Buschtaxi gathering 2015 in Storndorf, Germany.  A huge variety of Toyotas were present. Toyota  40, 55, 60, 80, 100, 120 and 150 series were on show, along with the FJ-Cruiser which is a bit a rare sight in Europe. I also noticed the trend for Roof tents has abated a bit, with everyone moving towards camper style hinged or tilt roofs. I’m not surprised really, as the weather in central Europe is rather too cold for using the Roof tents throughout the year. I’m also considering getting, in the foreseeable future, getting my 100 series converted. Obviously there is a cost implication to consider, but it is also a big job to convert. For a start the roof will be cut out, and there is no way to restore it back to the original condition once that has been done. As I have no plans to sell the Land cruiser anyway it is definitely an option for me.

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An Alpine Jaunt – Buschtaxi 2015 – Third and final day

We have had an enjoyable time and have been spoiled with the fantastic weather. Also met old friends and have made new ones. The organization and program was perfect. There was so much to see. It would of been great if we could have enough time to see everything. Unfortunately we had to move on, and start our journey back home.

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