Shakedown Trip No 1: Crail in Fife

First proper trip out in Nelson is half way through, a four day trip to the East Neuk of Fife as the first test of the set up for the camper, and a good test it turned out to be. First night saw me arrive in the dusk, with 25mph winds and rain straight off the sea, when I got to the campsite it was very exposed and cold but I steeled myself and tried to put up the full awning, not really a good plan single handed, as soon as I unzipped it a gust of wind ripped it out of my hands an flung it along the side of the Landy, thankfully I caught it and had a bungie cord in my pocket so quickly wrapped it up again, and did a rethink.

Finally after carefully laying out all the poles in the right place with pegs in and guy ropes secure in advance I was able to, one by one, unfurl the legs and pin them down with the now invaluable bungie cord holding the undeployed sectors together, finally got the whole lot out and pegged down. So now I had an awning with no sides in a rain and gale so had to start the process step by step of adding each bit of awning one by one and trying to peg it down as it tried to fly off across the field, ended up with freezing fingers cursing and tired – basically putting the awning up in a wind is not a one man job !

However once up I popped the roof, turned on the Esbacher heater, radio on radio 2 and warmed up with a big mug of tea, felt better after half an hour in the Landy and a follow up pot noodle and a bar of chocolate 

So the Esbacher heater, the pop roof, the gas cooker, pop up kettle and the stereo system all worked brilliantly and in reality I did not need to put up the awning except as dry storage for all the various boxes and bikes. So warmed up I set about securing the edges of the awning to the truck with various combination of bungie cords, pegs, heavy boxes on the flapping edges and even used the bikes as anchors, a great help in this endeavour was the outside LED lights back and side of the truck and a trusty head torch. Finally all was secure even if flapping a bit, I had two sets of guy ropes out on each quarter and the rain was mostly staying on the outside even if the Landy was rocking in the wind and the living space was cleared of the many boxes of stuff I had thrown in !

Perfect timing then for Lee to turn up and offer to help move the cups around in the cupboards !!

So cosy in the cabin we used both the lower and upper beds for spreading room and had a good sleep, all the way through to about 8am our first proper night’s sleep in the Landy was a success. In the morning I was able to get the new multi-Fuel Coleman stove up and running, the wind had died down so we could open up the awning and the campsite was awash with the smell of bacon, coffee and toast – super civilised as the sun broke through the clouds and the waves rolled into the beach in front of us.

After breakfast I discovered that there was an electrical hook up but it was too far for my cable, a kind site manager lent me an extension (add that one to the list) and we were fully powered up with the solar cell working well to charge up the batteries.

A bike ride to the village of Crail secured fresh fish for dinner, a couple of nice pottery cups (Lee rejected the lightweight plastic things I had packed) and some super banoffee cheese cake washed down with excellent coffee.

Back to the Landy I pottered around with tools and roof rack fixings, ratchets and straps and investigating the water system, finally got the exterior shower head to work properly (actually put some water in the tank was a good start, we had run out), while Lee went exploring on her bike.

Finally with all my boxes organised and things in “the right places” we were able to make a good effort of salad, fresh trout, and chocolate eclairs, washed down with a little Chablis in Lees case, as the sun went down. Work seems like many miles away despite this week that being China, Taiwan and Hong Kong for me, we are in the warmth of the Land rover doing internet, and my first blog for the website – lets see how it looks on the site.

  • So todays list of things we love about the Landy so far
  • The pop roof is super easy to use and gives lots of headroom and a comfortable bed
  • Esbacher heater saved the day when I did not find the power hook up
  • The power hook up is great for heating and laptops etc
  • Coleman stove on the back door shelf is great for bigger meals but the gas hob inside is really handy for morning coffee and evenings when buttoned down against the elements
  • The awning is a handful to put up but creates great useable space
  • Our stereo system give a great choice of radio or playing music from ipods, phones or computers
  • Seems like from the number of visitors we have had over “for a wee look around” Nelson is the talk of the campsite!



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