Sunday, 17 June 2012

Pimp my van

This weekend Mackayak and I were booked to go to Sanday to do a weekend of kayak coaching with pool sessions and outdoor sessions from Friday night onwards.  The famous Orcadian weather gods, however, had other ideas and, with a lovely F5 forcast, we decided to pull the plug on the event on Thursday.

Part of me was very relieved as I am very tired at the moment, there have been too many adventures in too short a time, although it was a shame that we had to disappoint people.  A weekend at home, however, did mean that I had plenty of time to sort things out for me (for a change).

At the top of the list was Phyllis Paddlewagon.  She needed a good tidy up and also some thoughts on how she could be improved.  The bucket BBQ also needed some adaptations to ensure quality sausages on future expeditions.

My beautiful fairy lights had, for sometime, been attached to the wall of the van using some parcel tape I found in a drawer one day.  This needed upgraded to at least gaffer tape.  I decided attaching them to the roof would also be a vast improvement.  Upon poking around in a heap next to the fire place, I also found some cardboard stars Mackayak had given me for passing my 4*.  Phyllis needed stars.  Lights in, my thoughts turned again to leisure batteries and after consultation with one who knows about these things (including the electronic transfer of wiring diagrams and discussions of smart charge relays), a kit was ordered off tinterweb.  Next I rummaged under the seat and found a set of seat covers.  They had only been there since last October.  I put them on!!

IMGP1447 Seat covers

After a little bit of tidying, I unearthed all manner of things in my hallway, including a set of solar powered fairy lights.  Frankly, they had Phyllis’ name on.  A whole load more gaffer tape ensued.  I stepped out of the van to admire my handywork and nearly fell over laughing.  ‘Tart’s boudoir on wheels’ sprang to mind.

IMGP1449  I may have overdone this! 

A few other ideas formed in my mind, but as no shop that sells any of the DIY items I need, is open beyond 12pm on a Saturday in Orkney, they will have to wait for another weekend.

In the meantime I thought ‘Stealth Camping’ and using some off cuts from my bedroom curtains and some sticky backed velcro I ‘acquired’ from Hairyaker, I set to work.  My sewing machine wasn’t happy trying to get through 4 layers of material and the cursing was heard far and wide.  After an hour or two, the job was done and I hung my curtain and tested my solar powered lights (they only come on at dusk or if you cover the photovoltaic cell with a bin bag!).

IMGP1457 Cosy van!

I discovered, at dusk, that the fairy lights had flash setting, it had to tried.  I almost cried with laughter at the effect and immediately had to visit eBay to order some additional items to complete the look!

IMGP1455 Phyllis Paddlewagon von Discobus evolves

Next weekend, I might actually make some more practical adaptations, like building a shelf or two!


  1. Replies
    1. She's no bad! I love her very much, just wish she was a 2.5L sometimes when I am decelerating up a hill on the A9.

      I have some more adaptions to make over the next week or so, I am considering silk drapes. Ha ha ha.

  2. Absolutely fantastic! Phyllis looks amazing - and she must be so much fun to live in :o)

    Kind Regards