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Sunday, 25 March 2012

Tillie is home

So a bit of updating to do...

Thankfully I wasn't murdered in Arundel and I did pick up Tillie the VW T2. After purchasing a bargain train ticket for £10 it was soon obvious why it was cheap. 45 station changes and a 6 day journey (ok slightly exaggerated) and I arrived at the station in Amberley.

The seller met me there with Tillie, so there she was sitting pretty in the train station car park

Had a poke around her (hadn't got a clue could have been made of paper mache for all I know), then the owner drove her down the road, handed me the keys and said here you go...

Gulp. I haven't actually driven one of these before.... So after an initial search for the hand brake (what that handle??), get familiar with which side the indicator lever was (there is one lever, that was a quick process) and a quick poke around with a large spindly gear stick she moved to layby entrance towards the road. ARGHHHHH, after 2 yards I screamed, it has no brakes...!!! Seller kindly informed me they are just slower and harder to kick in than a modern car...

So said thank you very much, watched the seller run off at 100mph giggling, and it was just me and Tillie and a 166 mile journey home

First stop after 5 mins for petrol (i had cleverly checked what to put in it, so altho paraffin was evidently acceptable, unleaded petrol was more readily available) After 10 mins of turning one of the 400 keys supplied (see campervans have so many parts replaced you end up with the entire collection of VW keys available) I couldn't get the petrol cap off. Luckily there was a mechanic next door to the garage. I dragged him over and the very clever man manhandled tillies petrol cap off (he is now bound and gagged and stuffed under the seat for the next time Tillie needs filling up)

So journey home was pretty uneventful, nice and slow (60mph max), and FREEZING. My hands were like blocks of ice. But at least I had the lovely retro radio to listen too. Err maybe not, no sound actually comes from it but it does looks the part

It started to go dark so I decided to play pick a button. I had a choice of 3 , all with a picture of a light on them. I went for the middle one. So apologies for anyone on the M40 who went past a campervan with fog/side/full beam as I haven't a clue which one I used. I'm sure I was fairly noticeable tho, as when i finally got home I realised the interior strip light was on the entire way.

Pulled into Coventry and she was fine except when i slowed down or went into neutral, she was revving her heart out. Managed to manouvere up the pavement onto the newly prepared drive (mud, slugs and grass as it's not exactly finished yet), sure the whole neighbourhood thought I had brought back a formula one car from the racket.

Anyway she is lovely, just has a few quirks at the moment

After a quick email to the seller, a bit of wd40 and some 3 in 1 oil on the throttle pedal she seemed ok now

So off we went to join the other campers at Nottingham just for an overnight camp, and chance to play with Tillies bits

Bit of home comforts and Tillie was snug as a bug (apart from the wind whistling through one of the windows somewhere and obvious lack of heater)

Now the dogs (well Homer) was a bit wary of this 'sleeping in the car?????!!'. Homer has issues with small spaces, he thinks his body is twice as large as it is and he won't go in small spaces. The bed was pretty high, so he went into some strange reversing technique walking all round the front cab and finally taking a run and jump, falling off and scrabbling back up onto the bed

Yay finally!

After saying hello to everyone, conning scep into taking me and my mutts in his car to the pub, we had a nice meal and a few beers. Funniest moment was in car when Scep commented 'Bloody Bill, why can't he dip his blummin headlights???!' Only to realise 5 minute later that Bill wasn't actually behind us, however Scep did actually have his head light still strapped to his head on full beam, which shone nicely in the mirror....There is a nice home waiting for Scep where they will mash his food and change his sheets daily, should the need arise

The campfire was cancelled for after, so bit of an anti climax, but at least I got chance to snuggle in Tillie. EHU all working, gas lines ok (gas heater not working atm but I had a fan heater) so snuggled with a book and got some sleep in her.

Campsite was a bit garbage and the pair of blokes who owned it were a bit strange (anal in more way than one) They were very precious about the 1m square of space they had allocated to us all.

Next day took all of 5 mins to pack up and we were off home

Minor panic when I realised Tillie eats fuel like I eat cream cakes. Had to do a 10 mile detour to get petrol from a local Morrisons. This was a bit traumatic as the island was a bit small, and I appeared to be the only vehicle on it that had to do a 3 point turn to get round to the petrol station entrance. Bloody steering is muscle building

I let the mechanic out from under my seat to do the petrol cap and we filled up and coasted home (actually still revving our bllx off)

So first trip all done!

Loads of info/videos about Tillie here from the original advert


  1. Hi Val. Having just looked at all the info on original ad, I can see why you bought her. She's a beaut even without heating, petrol cap probs etc etc. These old girls are bound to have a few 'quirks' which can be overcome/got accustomed to. May be wrong but would imagine you would use her for more local camps??

    I've been wanting a campervan for ages; saw a itsybitsy daihatsu bambino yesterday. As I'm only 4' 10" tall in me socks, thought this would be ok - WRONG. This van seemed claustrophobic and drove like a sherman tank! Sadly (sigh) will keep looking for a van cos can't now pitch/strike me tent. Bloody awful these sodding mobility probs!

    Sorry for that (blush blush) but I wish you all the very best with Tillie. God bless all who sail in her.

    With Mr Men, Tillie, now Toerag - I promise not to ask about the kitchen!!!!!!!!!!!

    Atb...AA x

  2. Yep idea is local camps (about 60-70 miles max) but OH trying to twist my arm atm to take her to Cornwall..

    Kitchen on total back burner, Tillie needs some filler first!

    Good luck with your van search, you'll know when you find the right one (because it will be double the money limit you have for it)

  3. Double yer money - goddit in one babe! Had decided a realistic affordable limit only to discover that this would only get me a pile of scrap. Back to the drawing board (sigh's heavily).


  4. As a newbie VW T2 owner i love the blog, really enjoyed the observation about all the headlamp buttons, that got me as well....only found out the other day one is for the interior lights!
    My bus is in a poor state compared to yours...check it out here :


CRAFTY POST - My revolting conservatory-camping-store-room, really needed a makeover....

Finished!  So I get asked, where do I store all my camping kit? The answer is