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.


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.


IP68 connector



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


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


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.


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


Connection on ARB front bumper.


RCD (Residual Current Device) on wall of house.


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.





























Hoist for Roof tent

The last 10 years I have lifted the Roof rack and the Roof tent with somebody’s help on to the Land Cruiser. Usually nobody is around when I want to do it. Unfortunately my Garage is not high enough to lift on to the Car. The best bet is to fabricate some kind of a small hoist, which I can dismantle easily and stow away. Also it should save a lot of time.

My idea is to use the hitch receiver from the ARB bumper to connect the crane as the Land cruiser would act as counter weight and saves me having to make a solid stand up.

I purchased 50x50mm Box tube, the reason is the ARB hitch receiver is about the same size and I got my welding gear out.


It was a bit of trial and error until I found the best solution. First I thought I would make the complete hoist out of the box tube but it was far too heavy to handle it single-handed and if I need a helping hand what’s the point to make it in the first place?



Only the first section is out of the box tube.


It is very important the hoist can turn 360 degrees to handle the Roof tent and also the roof rack. I found a cheap bearing and some scaffolding tubes on the Internet that would fit precisely in to the box tube.


I found a cheap bearing and some scaffolding tubes on the Internet that would fit precisely in to the box tube.


A simple mechanism, made out of scaffolding fittings. I can add a longer tube if necessary.


I braced the 90 degrees angle for sturdiness and which can be altered very easily to compensate for the flexing.


The hoist is built in the simplest manner and can be dismantled in very short time for storage.


After painting, I have fitted it to the Land cruiser for a trial.


The bottom part fits in to the ARB hitch receiver.


I used the roof rack for the test.



It worked very well. I have no problem with the height for the roof rack but for the roof tent is it probably to low, but I can alter the height of the scaffolding pole. At the minute I won’t be needing to use the roof tent, therefore I can change things around later on.


I have no problems with the hand winch and cable. Also the brace is more then strong enough.

Iberian Adventure – Gibraltar

Gibraltar is not very far from Malaga and worth a visit. well we decided not to cross the border and stopped at La Linea de la Conception as we planned to travel further to Seville. The weather was very nice and hot about 35 degrees Celsius. A very nice Landcruiser 80 parked beside us but unfortunately the driver was not around . A view hours later we was heading up north to Seville.



Gibraltar – the “Rock” from the East



A very nice and tidy 80 series

Iberian Adventure – relaxing in Barcelona

The crossing of France was no problem at all and this afternoon we arrived in Barcelona in good spirit. The weather is fantastic. We have 30 degrees Celsius which is a bit of a transformation of the single figures which has shown on the Buschtaxi gathering. Now it is time to dry our mattress from the RTT and also time to relax and maybe later with a nice glass of Spanish wine.





Iberian Adventure

For our annual trip this year, we will travel across Europe from north to south (and back again). Unfortunately it won’t be as long as we would like – only 20 days to cram everything in we want to do.

If everything works out as planned, we will hit the road very soon. Our first stop is the “Buschtaxi gathering” in Storndorf, central Germany, where we hope to stay until the weekend. We have attended this gathering for the last two years and we enjoyed it so much we decided to re-jig our travel plans so we could be part of this again. The gathering is very popular and well attended. It’s aimed at owners (and want-to-be owners and fans) of all Toyota Land cruiser, Hilux and FJ Cruiser models, along with many other people from all over Europe.

After leaving this event, we intend to travel on to southern France. After a short stay there, we plan to head on down to Spain and maybe thereafter on to Portugal. We need to pack a lot into a relatively short space of time as we have already booked a ferry return from Santander (Spain) back home for the end of September.



The photo  shows the RTT and some boxes already in place. Spare wheels fitted and nearly ready to go.