Just back from the shakedown trip to Belgium and Holland.
Route for the trip was Edinburgh to Hull to catch the Ferry to Zeebrugge, drive to Antwerp for the Marathon festival and then relocate to Brugge as a base for cycling in Belgium before relocate to Den Haag for cycling in Holland then return via the same ferry.
Camping in Antwerp was excellent very near the start of the running race and an easy cycle to the city centre via a tunnel under the river, there is a nightclub at the back of the site so stay near the reception for a quiet evening. I had my own windmill to keep me company
Camping in Brugge was also great, an easy cycle into the city and the city itself is a great location, Nelson attracted a good deal of attention and we felt safe to leave him locked up there while we explored the surrounding country on the excellent bike network.
Finally the campsite at Den Haag was also a great find (I will add in the GPS locations and names in the next edit) easy ride through parkland to the city and a great access to the costal path. Low wind and great weather really helped with the cycling.
As a shakedown it was a great trip, we coped well with Colin and I sharing the accommodation with the upstairs and downstairs bed arrangement, a few things to fix were
- Longer power lead needed as the 10m one is too short (now twice) fan heater is a good add
- Exhaust for the diesel heater is on the wrong side of the truck as it exhausts into the awning and needs a silencer
- Some pillows would help when reading and relaxing
- Insulation covers for the side window and the back window would be useful, and better fixing for the front covers
- Radio is suffering from a bad earth I need to source and fix.
Once again the awning and the sides really helped when it was occasionally wet or windy giving a usable space outside and a wind shelter, although we did not hold on to it once and it ended up blowing over the top of the truck, amazingly without breaking. The ability to plug ipad into the radio and listen on the internet to radio from the UK was a nice luxury which we appreciated, the storage boxes on the roof and the water carrier worked well as you can see below
Final learning was that the slog back to Edinburgh is a long one, a model for next summer may be to park Nelson in secure parking in work (Munich or Verona) and to use Easyjet to go back and forward for different trips.