Posts by BaguetteMan

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    I hope you manage to post some pics. I'd love to see your project. Are you close to Perpignan? I spent a couple of weeks west of Perpignan - Estagel/Maury area - a few years back.

    I'd be inclined to rethink your approach to retraining. With a mortgage and a family to support, it sounds like - unless you win the lottery - you are going to have to work 40hours per week for a big part of your life. So you might as well do something you enjoy. You say you don't want to spent time retraining but, in the overall scheme of things, time spent retraining pales into insignificance. Especially if you retrain to do something you really enjoy.

    Does anyone know where abouts it is in Spain? It looks like good value for money although it would probably be a good idea to see what else is available in the area to get an idea of the local property market. The house looks like a converted agricultural building, if so, any buyer would need to ensure that correct planning permission was received and that the conversion is in accordance with the permission. All that said, it is quite beautiful. But where exactly is it? :)

    When you work on the driveway, are you close to his house/blocking his access or making noise that might be a nuisance? Just asking ...
    If you seriously feel threatened or that your property might be damaged by this man, have a word with the local police and ask them to record your concern. I know from personal experience that this can help a lot if there is trouble in the future. I would then try to avoid all contact with the guy, let the landlady sort it out. In a situation where the other person is potentially unstable, I would want to make myself as forgettable as possible - I would not want to give him any 'excuse' (in HIS mind) for doing me harm. Life's too short etc. .....
    I would be inclined to do what Alices Wonderland said above, find a campsite for the two weeks you say it will take to get him evicted. Keep safe.

    +1 What Rick said.
    But why not ask the guy who's doing the job? If he's done it before and is, as you say well regarded, he should be able to tell you exactly what you need. If he doesn't want to recycle sheet metal from a fridge or washing machine (lots of people do use it and it does the job well) and wants to use 'new' sheet metal, he will be best placed to tell you where to get the best deal. But I'd go with Rick's advice.

    Edit .....

    In fact, if it's a lot of welding, I would consider buying a second-hand welder and (after a bit of instruction/practice) doing it myself. Chances are you'll need welding doing again in the future. And if you get good enough, you might earn a bob or two on the side as a 'pet' welder :)

    When our washing machine broke down, we did a wash once a week, soaking the laundry in the bath in warm water and detergent for a few hours then finishing them off one-by-one in the hand basin. Didn't need as much effort as some of these inventions. The long soak seemed to be 'the secret' to a good clean wash.

    Easier said than done tho , well for me at least.

    As I said, it works for me. It takes time to get the mindset right. It takes effort to break out of the mould. When stuff you can't fix starts to worry you, you've got to keep reminding yourself to put it to one side, out of your mind. Focus on the stuff you can do, and do it well. Fill your head with your own life and don't give a thought about what others think. Every evening, I write down a list of things I want to do and then the next day I do as many as I can. Update the list in the evening then I'm off again next day. It keeps me really busy with all the good stuff I want to do. The lists help me get lots done and I go to bed (most days anyway) with a smile on my face. I'm lucky to have a partner who thinks the same way I do. That helps. Make the best of every day by focussing on what you can achieve rather than worrying about what you can't change or what others do or think.

    To the OP, a certain amount of what you say relates to state of mind. Do you want to be 'accepted' and 'approved of' by these people you mention? If not, why does what they think worry or upset you so much? Why not just live your life the way you want it and ignore what (you think) others think of you? (You may be wrong, maybe they don't give a toss what you think or do).
    I learned a long time ago that I have control over little except what I do myself. I resolved a long time ago not to worry (or even dwell on) issues that I cannot change. So I don't worry about all the political issues you mentioned. This works well for me.
    Make the best of what you CAN change. Make the life you want to live.

    I think I'll put this on E-Bay. For those seriously interested in stealth van dwelling, I am selling an invisible van. No point viewing as it's invisible. But take my word for it, it's perfect, you can't even hear it ticking over it's so quiet. £1000 and it's yours. As soon as you put the money in my account, I will park it on your street and put the invisible keys through your letterbox. Now no pushing! Please form an orderly queue!

    I've been following this thread and as a person who know nowt about many things including engines - and without wanting to put a cat in the works or a spanner amongst the pigeons (choose a metaphor of your choice) - if the Ford Transit DI engine is so reliable and bullet-proof, why was it replaced? Serious question. My Grandad used to say the Morris Minor was the greatest car ever made but that was probably nostalgia. He enjoyed spending half the weekend under it with a box of spanners or with his head in the engine......

    I did a lot of hitching years ago but it seems to be getting harder. People are more wary of strangers. Horror stories in the Daily Mail don't help ....
    Probably harder for males to get a lift than females, that's the way it used to be ...
    Best advice I got came from people who actually gave me lifts. Look clean, smile. Make eye contact if that's possible. A sign with the name of your destination helps so, if you make one, make sure it's legible from a car. Stand somewhere where it's easy for a driver to pull in. Carry a small/medium bag rather than a pile of suitcases - a driver won't want the hassle.
    I've never used them but there are websites that might be of help - including:
    and there are others you can google.
    Let's know if it works out ... good luck :)

    Great to see this. This is exactly the idea I have sketched out for my future small-van-to-solo-camper conversion. Thinking of putting a few above the position of the 2-ring stove to extract cooking smells and steam (=condensation) as well as general ventilation.

    ALERT ALL ESCAPERS!We drove up to North Wales to see this.Too much work for me but in a dream setting.Be Quick though.Auction next week in London.Structure sound in main,just needs roof,doors,windows and loadsa time.5 miles from coast ,mountain views.Old long cottage expanded ,not a bungalow.Mains supply in lane oputside.…le/property-57425605.html
    house for auction.PNG

    Just looked at the link, the asking price was £50,000 for the derelict cottage and 1.5 acres. It went to auction on 22nd February and sold for ..... £141,000 ........That's an awful lot of money for a derelict cottage and 1.5 acres.

    Baguette Man, I know a full-timer who lives in Bedford Bambi van, and they have a burner fitted. It's one of those tiny top-loading ones you see on eBay that use lorry exhaust pipe for the flue.

    As I mentioned above, in my experience, warmth is only half the chalange in getting a van liveable in winter. You also need to keep the moisture levels down inside. Your breath, the environment, and your gas cooker will put a lot of damp into the van.

    Opening hatches to light the stove to warm your old irons sounds like a faff when you're cold and everything is faintly moist. It will keep a bit of your bed warm for a bit of the night, but wont do a thing for the damp, won't dry your socks out, won't keep the stew warm for hours, etc etc.

    Good point. I must have a look on Ebay for the one you mentioned. The idea of heating the steel weights came to me when I remembered when my brother and I used to go camping in a field at the back of the house. We'd fry up some sausages for dinner and then take the hot stones from round the fire and bring them into the tent to warm it up. I can appreciate that a proper stove will do a better job of heating plus, as you say, dry your clothes and cook your dinner. :)

    I'm not a van dweller but I hope to covert a small van (Berlingo or Transit Connect size) as a solo camper van at some stage. I've been thinking about how to kit it out simply. Regarding heating, the van will be insulated as best I can, but will be too small for a woodburner and I don't want to spend money on a fancy heater. One thing I thought I would try is - just before going to bed - place a couple of big barbell weights on my two-burner camping gas stove (with ventilation open) and get them as hot as possible. The idea is they would act as a heat sink, so you could use something else that stores heat. Then turn off the gas, close the window and see if the heat stored in the mass of the steel will radiate back into the air in the insulated van and keep it warm overnight. What do you think? Would it work? Might be worth experimenting Boisdevie (the OP) .....