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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.

    Hi Twister; glad you saw this as we were going to get in touch. I wish we didn't need the money as we'd love to see you inherit her, but unfortunately we really do at the moment. Hope Scatterbone is growing big and strong, if you're ever down near Dartmoor you're welcome to visit/stay for a bit...Kaiya would love to meet your hounds.... Skarra; you seem to be doing what we started doing originally...wwoofing etc...several years later and we're now living full time at the first place we ever volunteered...full circle. If we don't get the asking price on ebay we'll be sure to let you know. In the meantime good luck with the search and happy travels to you.

    Hi Vikki! Hope you and Julian and the lads are all well. Thanks folks for the nice comments...will update once we have the MOT sorted, should be within the next month or so when I can get back from Devon again. Should have mentioned the van is currently in Hertfordshire...

    Hi folks. Our cosy green home on wheels has been so good to us for the last several years, keeping us warm in the winter and giving us the freedom to go to some really beautiful places in the summer months without ever once letting us down. We've recently become part of a low impact woodland community in Devon so with a mix of emotions we have decided that as we're settled and have a more permanent home that it's time to let someone else make use of our wagon. We'll be getting her MOT'd soon and then off to ebay she'll go. It's a Merc 609d so it's a 6 ton truck. Year of registration 1994. It's classified as a motor caravan on the registration documents. It has power steering and is a long wheel base so there's plenty of room inside with the combination of a high roof. It has a solar panel for trickle charging the 4 leisure batteries, (plenty of power) and an on board inverter and is all connected with external hook up for caravan sites or for plugging in at farms for extended stays etc. The kitchen area has a three ring gas hob and an oven/grill along with a sink with running water and a fridge and small freezer. There is a huge water storage tank and on board shower too. There is a boiler which holds enough water for the sink and shower for overnight use. The water is heated while the engine is running so after a long drive two people can have a shower and there's usually enough hot water for a shower in the morning too. The wash cubicle also has a cassette toilet. All of these items were professionally installed and were present when we bought the vehicle. We have added a lovely woodburner made by Julian from on here which is ideal for the size of the vehicle. The bed is huge, (we've had five people sleeping on it comfortably) and easily converts to seating areas in various different arrangements depending on how you want the space organised. There's loads of storage space along both sides of the top inside and under the bed too so it doesn't ever feel cluttered. It has a massive roof rack and boxes on the roof which we used for firewood storage but as they are lockable these could be used for anything. It's a comfy drive, nice and smooth and cruises along quite happily on the motorway. There is a bike rack on the back door. When we bought the truck we had a mechanic cut away the rust along the sills and weld good metal back on so the usual crusty sills that you see on these Mercs are all good and sound. There are however a few spots around the truck which are rusty; bottom corner of the back door, the edge of the sliding side door and a small hole next to one of the front headlights which could be cut away and sorted with a newly welded bit of steel. The last MOT was no problem and we're not anticipating any issues with the next one but any advisories etc we will let the buyer know. She's been such a big part of our lives that we are reluctant to be selling her at all so we'd like her to go to like-minded people who will enjoy her as we have. We will put a reserve price on ebay of £4500 but we're open to offers. To see more photos go to my profile and look in the album 'our wagon' Any questions my mobile is 07964 225 064.

    That would be nice; I leave it to you to decide what to trade, but bear in mind that it could be something that I give to Fern, my pixie partner, as a gifted-gift. Any small token wouild be most welcome. Do you want to pm me an address to post your feather to? We have a fair few buzzards round here. They've been very vocal of late, while turning large circles high above. Perhaps they've been trying to tell us about your quest.

    Hi Folks. Julian; I still think of you often when I lie in bed and listen to the woodburner you made us ticking away, waves of warmth lulling us to sleep. I hope you and Vicky are well and the kids are happy and healthy too. Boxvan; thanks for the info on images. It's not my image but I know who owns it; we bought the van off her. I won't be going down that road though as it smells of bad karma to me and I like to stay on the positive side of things with all people where possible.

    Fester; I don't know you but I'll give you the benefit of my doubts. However - the way you worded your advert with a picture of a van that is not yours to sell does suggest possible skullduggery of sorts. Having spent months travelling all over the country looking for our van and seeing so many crap vehicles, I am very opposed to people advertising falsely. It's such a waste of time and travel expenses for the buyers.

    If you are selling a van, get some pics up here; don't bother washing it as everyone knows that vans get dirty and any serious buyers will see beyond a grubby van. What's more important to a buyer is an honest seller. Tell it like it is, warts and all. If a buyer feels that you respect them by telling the truth about what they will spend their hard earned money on, you are much more likely to make a sale. That may not be the case in some circles, but there are some very good folk on this forum and they deserve nothing less. If you don't feel the truth of this, then perhaps you'd be better off floating round elsewhere and selling to some other types. Having said all that; if you do have a good heart and belong here I wish you the very best of luck with it all.

    Hello; not sure who is advertising this but the picture at the top of this thread is our van and is definately not for sale!! The advertiser must have pulled the image off the net; it's the image we saw when it was advertised for sale in Scotland a few years back. The merc van for sale in the add on this forum will not be the same as the one in the picture; so beware before going on a long drive to discover something different!! I'd be interested to hear from the advertiser why they've used a picture of our van and not taken one of their own van; the van they are selling. Anyone who is interested can look back through my previous posts and see what I mean. Weird?!

    Hello; not been on here for ages but just seen this and I can help. Let me know if you are still looking for a buzzard feather.

    Hello Kaiya...after years of making my own chai mix from cinnamon bark, cloves, green and black cardamon pods, fresh root ginger, black pepper and star anise...and getting recipes from people i met while travelling in India, i was quite proud of my chai mixes....until i recently discovered that simply adding a pinch of standard, shop-bought garam masala to a cup of hot water before adding a tea bag and sugar/honey to taste works pretty much just as well. Simplicity is often the best way to go...but there's something nice about making it all up yourself too I s'pose.

    There are various websites like (but word of mouth when you are in an area is sometimes the best way), but depending on what you want to do with the land you will need to learn about the many planning permission for example. The best place to get an insight in to this would be the chapter 7 website.

    Ahh, someone put a deposit down for it withought even seeing it! Sad times! I have found another in South London, its not perfect, but its pretty good. I s has no MOT however. The owner claims that the only thing that needs fixing is the indicator stick, does anybody know how I would go about finding sombody to go and check it out to confirm this? Does the RAC or AA have people like this?

    Another thing, how difficult is it to move around fridge and oven and cooker units within the van? how much would you be looking at spending getting somebody to do this?

    Thanks for all the help people, you are being amazing!!

    Hello Jecca,

    I think the RAC and AA will come out to check a vehicle out for you but i suspect it won't be cheap. Have a look at their websites.

    Have you got a mechanic friend who could go with you? Or a friend of a friend even - if you offer to buy them a drink or pay a little for their time it would be well worth it.

    The first van we bought was a 207d. I was so keen to start living in a van that I bought it on ebay without even having seen it. While it was quite cheap, and even though we loved it and lived in it for about a year, we did have lots of problems with it and this could have been avoided if we'd been more patient....

    We were looking for alomost six months before we bought our current van....and I was checking ebay and gum tree and autotrader and preloved pretty much became an obsession! We travelled all over the country looking at vans and at times it was fairly frustrating to say the least. But we did learn a lot...about the tricks and games people play and about what to look for and what can go wrong with certain models, so that when we did eventually find the right one we parted with our money confidently, knowing that we were getting a good deal.

    If the owner of the vehicle is telling the truth about the indicator stick, I wonder why he doesn't sort it out himself - I'm sure it'd be worth his while because he could probably sell it for more with a full years MOT...and even if he's a busy man it shouldn't be too hard to sort that out. I'd question things like that. You could even suggest that if he's happy to put it through the MOT, that you'll pay for the MOT once it's passed and add that to the vehicle cost. If he's genuine there shouldn't be a reason not to do this.

    You have every right to negotiate until you BOTH reach a win-win situation. If someone isn't happy negotiating on these terms I would suggest walking away and finding someone who is.

    Good luck - I'll keep my fingers crossed for you.

    I love these pictures, thanks everyone for taking the time to post them. I've tried to upload some of our 609 in the snow but seem to be at my limit of space for pics.

    Does anyone know if it's possible to extend the amount of space we are entitled to here? I thought about deleting some previous pics, but seems a shame that older posts will then have missing images.

    Hope everyone's well. Winter's almost done and soon spring...then summer...sunshine...festivals.....

    you would obviously be able to stay on site coz you have to maintain the campsite.[/quote]

    Is there any evidence anywhere of this? I mean, it makes sense to me, but the law is often different. If there's no planning permission on the CL site and tourers have to move off every 28 days, wouldn't that mean that there could be an issue with anyone, even the owner/maintanence people staying on site permanently?

    This is all very interesting. Keep up the discussion and ideas!

    Here's a couple of pics of the burner Julian conjured up for us in his magical cave of metallic wizardry....

    He knows a place to get the flue pipe - it cost about 60 quid in total for the two lengths. Not as cheap as the flexi stuff, or a piece of truck exhaust, but we decided it was worth it in the end.

    And all carefully protected with aluminium and no curtains or carpet anywhere near!

    The burner really is the heart of our wagon. It works like a dream..the draw is superb, it keeps us warm all night, we cook on it and it sings and whispers and makes magic burner music to help us get to sleep on windy nights!

    Anyone thinking of getting a burner should definately get in touch with Julian to talk things over. He's a lovey bloke, very reasonable price wise and he'll go out of his way to help you get what you want...

    Happy autumn/winter to all you crazy hippies :)

    We've made a few changes, got some t and g up, Fern made some new curtains, covered the sofa, etc...and Julian made us a burner which we love to bits...thought we'd share some pics...


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    Nice one Twister - you've beaten us to it with getting pics on here. We're OVER THE MOON with our wonderful burner.

    It was a great day, so nice to meet such lovely peeps - Julian and Vicky and the kids and Zee and Twister...and Julian and Vicky really went out of their way during what was a very busy day getting two burners installed, trips in to town to get bits and bobs etc...and all with light hearted banter and laughter a-plenty...funny how some people instantly feel like old friends.

    We've been really busy since getting back as we're getting last minute things sorted before we start full timing it in our we will get some pics on soon...but for now just to say that Julian really does know his stuff and a huge amount of experience and care has clearly gone in to his wood burners. I just can't stop looking at ours and even yesterday on such a hot day i had it fired up for as long as i could bear it - (with all the doors and windows open!) 'to boil the kettle' was my excuse....:whistle:

    I've no idea how to measure the heat output but i'd love to know. It throws out a huge amount of heat anyway and the damper works a charm giving good control over the burn speed, (something which i'm still learning about), and the draw is excellent up the's the bollocks basically!

    The wagon looks like a timber yard right now..we were inspired by a guy at Julians yard who's fitiing out a narrow boat with t and g etc, so we're doing the same to our ceiling; once it's done i'll get some pics on here of the burner. It is very pretty with the curly/twisity handles that Julian made - the perfect balance of form and function with plenty of charm...

    ...and that's enough rant from me - as you can most probably tell i'm a little bit chuffed!

    Thanks again Julian ;)

    Cool, that's why your called zero lol... I've been to see Tony a few times, non duality is the only thing that keeps me sane and ancored in an apparant seperate dualistic world. That's all conceptual of course, I cud talk about non duality non stop its the most fasinating thing! :)

    Well, it's mostly because i like Gong...and in the teapot trilogy zero is the character that keeps on going round and round again and again, over and over...having all sorts of adventures on the isle of everywhere.

    Non duality is very interesting - when i was at college someone told me about Jean Klein...then i heard about Krishnamurti. I tried to read things they had spoken about but at the time it just seemed to offer nothing to me, probably because i wanted something to distract me more! So i got in to tibetan buddhism and yoga and all sorts of other things...round and round.

    Then, about 14 years later, i picked up the network of thought, one of the krishnamurti books and something clicked..and although i'm still very much the same as before, something definately resonates with the whole (no pun intended) non duality/advaita thing.

    I wonder if Tony just has a better way of expressing things - easier and more accesible than other/older speakers? He does hava a way with words - and it seems to have a lot to do with language, it's a delicate thing to talk about because it's beyond concepts...he does a decent job i reckon!

    This is just a long winded way of saying, yeah, i agree. It's fascinating :sleep:

    Nice link. I went to one of the open secret meetings yesterday. Tony Parsons is engaging, funny and well worth a listen to...although doing so could well leave you with absolutely nothing! :)

    If anyone's up for the next one it's in April, see the open secret website for details - get in touch if you fancy hooking up...perhaps a few of us could go for a brew after and discuss the wonderful absurdity of is-ness....?

    just a thought...:whistle:

    These are great! The Cheshire cat one is magic - did she write that herself? Do another one :thumbup:

    I'm doing the same! Picked up a violin i made in ireland recently (i studuied violin making at uni) and decided to learn again as i'd not played for years. When i was a kid i had some lessons but didn't want to learn it then!

    So i've been learning to play traditional irish /scottish tunes by ear as i can't read music and don't want to learn really.

    Could i recommend a fiddle player called Martin Hayes? He has a few cds out and he plays in the style of county clare, ireland, which is where he's from. It's a very simple style, often fairly soft and slow, (although he plays fast too sometimes!) and it's accompanied only by a guitar player, dennis Cahill, who plays so softly it's almost like the tinkling of tiny ot's just the fiddle that you really hear - great for picking out a tune and trying to copy it yourself!

    All his stuff is good - there's an album called under the moon and another called the lonesome touch. I think it's the lonesome touch which has as it's first tune a really simple lovely lilting jig which is easy to copy and sounds lovely..

    Anyway, enough of a rant from me...enjoy and good luck - i just can't find enough time to play now that i've started. It's so much fun :whistle:

    Looks great! Do you need an extra couple of pairs of hands at all, before/during/after? Also - is there space for vehicles/motorhomes or just tents?

    Another good idea is to have a little book or sheet of paper with pictures of theings like chickens, ducks, pigs, cows, sheep, eggs, fish...whatever you don't want to eat...and you can show this to people who can't understand your language and point to the pictures, shaking your head, pointing to your mouth...thry usually understand. Then have pictures of vegetables, fruit, rice and bread etc...and point to those pictures, back to your mouth...saying OK! with lots of smiles etc....we found this useful in remote villages around the world...but still ended up not being able to avoid eating some meat. In parts of Mongolia, pretty much anywhere outside the capital city, they only eat mutton...and in parts of, even when you get people to understand you only want vegetables in your noodle soup, they cook it all in meat fat and serve it in a broth with bits of meat floating in it! There are times you have to abandon even militant vegetarianism!

    At the moment i'm a part time dog walker and do some gardening work. Believe it or not i get 9 quid an hour walking dogs, 7.50 for a half hour walk...and 10 quid an hour doing the gardening. I do about 4 hours dog walking a day...and love it...all the dogs are magic and i'm lucky enough to be in a place where all the walks are either through beautiful woodlands, open fields...and occasionally along some nice canal tow paths.

    Of all the many jobs i've had in my 34 years, and there have been many, right now is hard to beat!

    Thanks all of you - i wasn't expecting so much information! It's great that this site is able to connect people who can share experiences and help each other out. You're all wonderful!

    Thing is...the seller of the 608d i was going to buy and have to repaint has decided not to sell it after all, so he's taken it off ebay....

    But all these tips will no doubt be useful to others, nothing is for nothing!


    I used tractor paint from a local agricultural supplier on my van many years ago- went straight on lovely with a brush and lasted years. and wasnt too expensive - Ford tractor blue and John Deere yellow.

    Another good idea, nice one Grendel.

    Yoursinuk - do you have a link to your ebay supplier please?

    I'm starting to like the idea of the nato green really...rather than a shiny gloss finish, a matt one. Thing is i haven't even got the van yet and it might never happen, but this is all part of my consideration as it would need a lick of paint at the very least...

    Thanks for all the advice folks. I'll look in to the nato paint, sounds good. I know absolutely nothing about painting vehicles - do i have to rub away the existing paint and paint on to bare metal or can u just go ahead with the nato paint and apply it straight on top of the old paint job? I'm a lazy bugger at heart...and i don't need a perfect finish, just tidier than tatty, if that makes sense.

    Hello folks,

    Does anyone know the cheapest way to repaint a van? I was wondering about hammerite, but not sure if it's a great idea as i believe it can reject certain paints. Is there a paint which can be used directly on top of old paint, either hand painted, sprayed or rollered on?

    Any advice appreciated, thanks!