Posts by floatingshed

Welcome to UKHIppy2764@2x.png

UKHippy is a long running online community and of likeminded people exploring all interpretations on what it means to be living an alternative lifestyle -- we welcome discussions on everything related to sustainability, the environment, alternative spirituality, music, festivals, politics and more -- membership of this website is free but supported by the community.

    Update... There is no update!

    The whole area is still absolutely soggy (think paddy field!), nothing but legs in wellies can get close, no chance for pumps or any other kind of machinery.

    A bit off topic but... I need a small wood burner in my LDV as it seems I will be in it for quite a while, can anyone here do such installations? Ta.

    Thanks for all the messages.

    I am on the River Soar in Leicestershire between Loughborough and Leicester. The whole area is badly flooded and inaccessible.

    Can't really do a lot at the moment until the water level drops below the side doors, otherwise it will defeat any pump.

    I am not homeless, the LDV has a sofabed and I can use electric heating at a local campsite.

    It's just so dis-heartening to get to about 90% on a project and suddenly go back to zero, having spent ALL your cash on it.

    If anyone here has experience of re-floating a boat please get in touch. Thanks.

    Neighbours on next boat were keeping an eye on things whilst I was visiting my Mum, but were out for an hour or so when floods came up really fast. Nobody there to slacken ropes so the corner was pulled down enough for water to get in, once that happens it just gets worse...

    I had almost finished a new fit-out, interior tongue n groove timber lining, fully fitted kitchen (best kitchen I've ever had!), shelves, cupboards, new tv, Sterling battery charger, solar controller, 2kw inverter, the list and cost is huge.

    Now living in my old LDV convoy which was being used as storage/overspill.

    Last Christmas at this time my dog died, and I tripped over and made a bloody mess of my face. I'm really looking forward to next December 27th!

    The time has come, yes, I know it's not the best time to sell a large vehicle but it is VERY cosy!
    I paid £3200 for the lorry about 3 years ago (maybe slightly less than 3 years, don't have paperwork at hand right now!). I really need to sell for £3000 min.

    It is a great stealth vehicle because it still looks like a horsebox, chimneys etc have been kept small and as discrete as possible. It is very well insulated (walls and ceiling), just a small fire in the cast iron stove gets it toasty in no time.

    There are 7 x 100watt solar panels on the roof. 6 of them charge a bank of 4 x 125A/h batteries, providing loads of power for the lights, tv etc. More than enough in summer, and just about enough if you are a little more careful, in gloomy december. The 7th panel keeps the engine starter battery topped up so there's little chance of getting stranded after a lengthy park-up!

    There is space for two 19Kg Propane bottles to fuel the (tiny) caravan fridge, full-size LPG cooker and Morco instant water heater.

    The downside for some may be that the vehicle is not road legal. It's most recent MOT expired in 2014. The usual problem with these trucks is the cab floor, door posts and steps. These have been welded and are sound. The guy who did the welding looked at the entire chassis hoping for more welding work but was disappointed to find it in reasonably good nick. The truck has been regularly moved around a large campsite, no seized brakes or clutch to worry about.

    The campsite where it is kept charges approx £140 a quarter to store a vehicle of this size, or as a live-in it would be about £300 per month, but this would need to be negotiated with the site owner if a buyer wanted to keep it where it is (Leicestershire).

    I started a blog/website detailing the conversion. It is unfinished and not very polished but there are loads of pictures:

    Anyone interested?



    you have made a van that looks like a boat inside.

    The tv looks like something from the 60s, did you make it yourself?

    Ha! Do you know that hadn't occurred to me, I was aiming for my Granmother's bungalow!
    The TV is a 1952 Bush, the original electronics have been replaced by a modern tv, it is even colour!

    As I say the location is a campsite so the usual over-night rates apply, although it varies depending on whether the owner likes the look of you or not!

    The park up is "official" it is an isolated and picturesque corner of a very large camp site. It isn't free, or particularly cheap. I work from home mostly therefore I can justify the cost.

    The reasons for going back to a boat are many. I am not a fan of officialdom and although the waterways have their fair share it's nothing like the MOT/Tax, speed cameras, ANPR etc situation on the road. I am also something of an isolationist, the water always made me feel more comfortable. So, just down to my quirks really!

    A couple of years ago I moved from a narrowboat to a 7.5 tonne horsebox. I took a few snaps of the conversion on my phone with the intention of creating a blog. I have now pretty much decided that I want to go back to a boat, so my box will be for sale soon. This has prompted me to begin work on the blog, as a keepsake and possibly a sales tool.

    The unfinished blog is here:

    Comments and offers of large sums most welcome....!

    Luckily now that I am in a truck not a boat "that sinking feeling" isn't quite so serious.

    I am after recommendations for preventing my wheels getting stuck in soft ground.
    Through the winter I was on paving slabs but they are very impractical to lug around on travels.
    Is there a portable alternative for a 7.5 tonner?

    It sounds like you have bought a unbranded model generator? If so, you will find electrical engineers reluctant to mess about with it. Problem is getting spares for them. If it is just a diode to establish a inner magnetic field, it could be bought off the shelf. If it's a diaphragm for a engineered part, no chance.

    Sorry, I don't understand how any of what you just said can possibly relate to an engine flooding. Please explain. Ta

    Hello again,
    Thanks for the help...

    Today I was a bit more careful about starting it. I gave two pulls of the cord with the choke operated, nothing!
    Then I reset the choke and gave it a couple of pulls, after 3 or 4 there was a bit of coughing and spluttering and it caught.

    Seems to be running ok but if i switch to smart throttle or whatever its called it runs fine for a few seconds then slows right down as if about to stall, then picks up again and repeats this cycle. It doesn't fill you with confidence!

    Something has changed. It used to spring into life immediately on first or second pull with the choke out!

    I just tried to start it. A couple of pulls on the starter and there's a smell of petrol and no glimmer of it starting.
    The plug is wet with petrol, there is a small clear tube from the top of the chamber where the air and fuel get mixed, petrol is dribbling out of it. Definitely flooding!

    The airway seems fine, I tried starting it with the air filter removed but it made no difference.

    When it runs it can be a bit "lumpy", if it has a high-ish load it runs smoothly but if it is not being taxed it sometimes sounds like it is going to cut out, other times no problem. It tends to run smoother and quieter on LPG but seems to use a hell of a lot of gas.
    It is equally stubborn to start on gas, which can't flood in quite the same way, if that gives anyone a clue...

    It doesn't smoke at all in normal use. After half an hour or so of trying to get it to start (blistered fingers and pounding heart!) it smokes for a few seconds while it is recovering. Last night when I switched it off it did the old fashioned "backfire"! I assume it was the generator not a sniper across the lake!

    As for the make and model, well it appears to be a Chinese copy of a Honda! It has no manufacturer name on it just: ev20i
    It is very solidly made and got me through last winter with no problems.

    Thanks for the advice so far.

    I'm sure if you shop about on some of these old industrial estates, you will find a couple of old boys that tinker with such things for pocket money. Worth getting it serviced. Often it's fuel filters and re calibration of fuel/air intake settings. Have you washed out the air filter? Confined engines such in loads of dust.

    The air filter is a bit of sponge in a box! Its very clean, must be fuel trouble but its a black art as far as I am concerned. If it had a keyboard and a mouse I might have more luck!


    I know they are nasty things and best avoided, but there are times (approaching) when solar doesn't give me enough power to run my main tower PC for the 5 or 6 hours I need for work, and a generator is required. This isn't every day but if I get a graphics or video job I need to be able to work at a moment's notice.

    I have two, neither is working well. The best one is petrol/LPG 2000w and when it runs it sorts me out a treat but it is constantly flooding and giving me blisters trying to start the damn thing.

    Is anyone close-ish to me (Leicestershire) who understands these devilish contraptions and can help for a small consideration? Its all engine stuff, not electronics.


    Thanks for the encouragement.

    My boat is a 42ft narrowboat getting too old now and needing work. However the main reason for the change is peace of mind. I had a partial sinking about 3 years ago (oh, the mess!). Was untied and left to drift by yobs. Had a load of stuff nicked. Went to sleep on a river and woke up in a lake (flooding). All this, combined with the ludicrous cost and fascist views of the "charity" that now runs the waterways, means its time to move on.

    Do you know how long it is possible to stay in a layby used by over-night truckers? Not that I want to live in a layby but they are useful and I know a busy 'A' road that has just been by-passed, it has several large laybys that are now unused, the once busy road is now a country lane again!

    I've been taking photos along the way so may put a little slide show together when the finishing touches have been added.

    Ironman... Your truck looks great, reminds me of Bilbo Baggins' house! Wish I had skills to trade with.

    After 15 years of living in a boat it's time for a dramatic change!

    I have acquired a 24ft Horse lorry and have been busy converting it into a luxury apartment!
    Having lived afloat I understand the requirements of living off-grid and in a limited space (although this will feel like a mansion in comparison).

    My main concern is where to park, for how long and what to expect... villagers with pitch-forks and flaming torches?
    All the external horsey-ness has been retained, might even put rosettes in the windows, straw poking out of the corner of the ramp and maybe a dribble of wee! :D

    I have no intention of going anywhere near cities.

    Your experiences are most welcome.

    Thank You.

    P.S. Just realised I will have to change my username!

    Well he was an idiot then, or making it up! Maybe trying to put people off, it is getting busy on the water.
    British Waterways are nazis certainly. So stay out of their way and off their books, and remember when you come to a junction and there is a sign saying "ALL CRAFT >>>" the other direction is usually not a navigation and therefore not their jurisdiction.
    Just sayin'.

    Just this mornin speakin to a guy living on the Worcs Avon in a narrow boat - nice, but defo not wivout bureaocrasy/red tape n can be expensive too. He had to pay £60 to travel that river for a fortnight... :S.

    I've been on a boat now for 12 years, I can't imagine anything better. I tried vans, that was fun but I always thought that something was missing, and I don't like the level of red tape/legal twaddle associated with vehicles and roads. Then, when I found a boat it all just felt right...fabulous life. I only wish I were doing it in Canada!