We have been busy over the winter with new Westfalia upholstery for campervan Ruby. The seat covers were made by specialist VW upholsterers J&S Upholstery in Adwick Le Street. It must be said they have done a terrific job.

In fact the new seats have totally transformed our Ruby. She is now lighter and airier and what’s more the repairs to the springs have made the front sets ever so comfortable. Like new in fact.

You only have to compare the new pics with the old to see the difference.

new westfalia upholstery - front seats
Front seats before
new westfalia upholstery - bed
new westfalia upholstery back seats
vw campervan seat and table

Back seats before

We also had a matching spare wheel cover made. All in all this revamp looks like a terrific success. We are off to Castleton in Derbyshire this weekend to give Ruby a run out so look out for photos from the site.

Ruby is now ready to rock for the season ahead. If you are thinking of having a staycation this year you could do no better than hiring one of our vans. They aren’t only used for pleasure. Companies hire them for corporate events and the BBC is even using one as a mobile studio at this year’s Lincolnshire Show. All our VW campervans are great but when it comes to new Westfalia upholstery Ruby is the business 🙂

Anne’s Vans is a Lincoln based VW campervan rental business based downtown on Great Northern Terrace. People come from all over the country to hire one of our vans, leaving their with us whilst they shoot off on an adventure of a lifetime. Check out our trips pages for ideas on where to go in the campervan

Ruby is getting a fresh new look with brand new made to measure VW campervan upholstery from J&S Upholstery.

Bit of a road trip today to Doncaster with Dave (Coops) our mechanic. Actually it was Adwick Le Street not Donny itself and we were visiting J&S Upholstery. Joanne at J&S is a class act when it comes to upholstery for air cooled VW campervans and it was a real pleasure to be able to spend some time with someone as knowledgeable as her in this space.

We spent a good hour there chatting about vw campervan upholstery. Jo is giving campervan Ruby a makeover. Ruby is, as I’m sure you are well aware, a beautiful burgundy coloured van and probably of all our vans has the layout we like the most.

Ruby was converted in the Westfalia workshops in Germany and still has much of her original interior in place. When we bought ruby we decided at the time to get her an interior makeover but events overtook us and before we knew the season had started.

This winter with more time to plan, Ruby is now getting that makeover. The front seats are being stripped down and the metalwork redone. The seat were definitely starting to show wear. They will also have some welding repairs done to the springs, new padding and a brand new colour scheme that keeps to the colour theme but makes for a lighter environment inside the van.

The featured image is of Coops sat with Joanne discussing the finer points of campervan upholstery.

Joanne and her husband have a really fantastic 1960s splitty that adheres perfectly to the original including a lovely green coat of paint. The image below is of the interior showing the original toilet. These were little more than buckets and this is the first time we have seen one like this (we must get out more).

Sticking strictly to the original design means no electric hookup and no leisure battery. Joanne and her husband get as far as Germany in their van.

VW campervan Ruby will be all ready for the new season when we open up on April 1st. April bookings are already well ahead of last year which is good, innit 🙂 If you are looking for an adventure in a supercool campervan you know where to look.

Campervan on Christmas Day. Anne did a park run with our son Tom on Christmas Day. Boultham Park, Lincoln. None of the rest of the family could be persuaded to go. We were very proud of them and had a hearty family breakfast on their return.

Amazingly they spotted a lovely blue VW campervan parked up near the park run and decided that Anne should have her photo taken with it. Even more amazingly the blue matched her running gear.

Whoever took their van out on Christmas Day would come from hardy stock. Heating wasn’t invented when they made the VW campervans. They are air cooled not air heated especially when it is near to zero degrees Celsius out 🙂 

When we bought Campervan Bertie, our second van,we had to go to the other side of Chester to pick him up. It was just before Christmas and I well remember the lady of the house horse fed us with delicious homemade sausage rolls before we set off home. I was in a comfortable climate controlled car and was headed Liverpool to meet Anne.

Dave the mechanic drove Bertie back to Lincoln. The poor lad had to stop every now and again to defrost his hands.He hadn’t brought gloves with him and the weather was freezing.

The photo is of Anne and Tom wearing their Santa hats in front of the campervan. We won’t say who won. It’s all about taking part.

I’ve thrown in a photo of this campervan Christmas Tree decoration as it seemed appropriate. It’s one of my faves

We don’t hire our vans out over the winter but the new season will soon be upon us and bookings are already doing well for Spring. If, like many others, are thinking of a bit of a campervan adventure in the UK this year then a campervan is the ideal vehicle to get you there.

vw campervan tree dec

Up until now we haven’t paid much attention to the carbon emissions of our vans. Some vans just stay local and some go as far as Scotland or Cornwall. The furthest any of them has been is Betty who went to Berlin where as you might imagine she received a great welcome.

In 2021 the fossil fuels used by our vans started grabbing our attention. Carbon emissions have already begun to affect our lives and that of our customers and VW campervan lovers across the globe. However there have been two significant events in the UK in particular that made us sit up and take notice.

E5 to E10 petrol

Firstly the move in unleaded fuel from E5 to E10 is a cause for concern. This change is designed to have environmental benefits. Ethanol absorbs CO2 as it is produced. But, in turn, this will affect our vehicles. The additional ethanol it uses can cause long term harm to the carburettor and fuel pipes, a problem that cars with modern technology don’t have.

Our answer is simply to continue using E5, usually super unleaded or premium unleaded fuel. Whilst E5 is more expensive it does less harm to the vans and comes with the benefit of better miles per gallon. We can also supply an additive that helps lessen the damage if only E10 is available. We look to offset the carbon emissions caused by this stance.

COP 26

The other major event was the COP26 summit on climate change. From the outside, it became clear the difficulty that governments have in agreeing on a climate plan for our Earth. The world in which we live and for which we have no alternative. The only thing we could think of was to see what we could do ourselves.

Changing to electric cars might be one thing but these are expensive and still come with issues. People worry about whether there are enough charging points on long journeys, the mining of precious metals used in their manufacture and the fact that carbon based fuels are still used to generate the electricity they use.

The other point is that our vans, being vintage, are unlikely to ever really be converted to electric. Even if they could they would lose the funkiness, the quaintness, the reasons our customers hire them. There isn’t actually room for the batteries.

Our Solution

So our conclusion is that whilst we wait for governments and technology to get it right we should do something that we think can help. Something that should hopefully help make an impact. Our answer has been to plant trees.

Our calculations tell us that on average each of our vans in 2021 generated 1.73 tonnes of CO2. Some will have generated more and some less. It depends on how far you drive and therefore how much fuel you use. 1.73 tonnes feels like a good average. We are talking just under 4,000 miles a year.

So our three vans in 2021 will, we think, have generated 5.6 tonnes of CO2. We asked around to find see whether anyone we know could recommend a scheme. Some we quickly discarded but Ecologi seemed to fit with what we wanted to do.

Ecologi

Ecologi offer different subscription plans to cater to your business’ or personal carbon emissions. You can also offer to plant a tree in a rainforest for as little as £0.12. Their projects include mangrove tree plantations in Madagascar as well as Mozambique, Nicaragua and numerous other places.

Mangrove trees in Madagascar
Mangroves in Madagascar (Credit: Ecologi and Eden Reforestation Projects)

They say that a woodland of 500 trees will reduce CO2 by 10 tonnes. We have now invested in such woodland. That will cover our base carbon emissions with room to become carbon positive. We feel much better for it and hope this rubs off on our customers. We care about the environment and we have no doubt you all do too. It works out at around 10 trees per van hire.

From the 2022 season onwards we are going to donate a clump of trees for every hire we have.

What’s more we are giving our customers a chance to contribute. Through our booking website you can optionally donate a clump of 25 trees for £4.90 or a thicket of 50 for £9.80. You can decide. You don’t have to donate anything but if you are putting in some long miles it may help you feel even better about your holiday.

Every time you make a donation your name will appear as the donor. If you donate directly via this link you can enter your own name or if you do it through our website when booking a van we will do it for you and let you know when it is done.

Check out https://ecologi.com/annesvans. You can see how many trees we have planted and where they are.

We plant trees with Ecologi

Tired but happy after our annual trip to Woodhall Spa Country Park in a campervan. Felt as if we were the only ones there. Amazingly we got there early and were soon set up although it did take us a while to realise that we had the awning inside out which was why we couldn’t find the guy ropes!

Our usual form on arrival for this weekend is to get pitched and then send someone for fish and chips from the chippy in the village. However the Smiths, who were the only ones in the group coming by car as they were kipping in a “luxury pod” hadn’t arrived and as the chip shop was a good 20 minutes walk away we all set off anyway. 

Fortunately as we approached the campsite barrier and to everyone’s joy, the Smiths arrived so we about turned to the vans and got the wine out whilst they drove off and fetched the nosh. 8 lots of haddock, chips and mushy peas!

As night fell and the temperature dropped we moved into one of the vans (ok motorhome) and had a bit of a singsong – old rugby songs which for some reason you never hear these days.

Next morning we cooked our own breakfasts and met to walk into the village. The weather forecast was not good and indeed it rained solidly from around noon to 10pm. This didn’t dampen our ardour and in fact Anne went swimming in Jubilee Park Open Air Pool. Because of the rain she was the only one in the pool!! Was warm enough 🙂

A stroll around Woodhall involves the usual things of stop offs at coffee shops, couple of beers in the pub, lunch at The Tea Shop In The Woods and then back to the vans for an afternoon kip. We also usually buy a few bits and bobs from the deli on the main street but every time we passed it there was a long queue – pandemic social distancing rules inside the shop!

That evening we dined at the Abbey Lodge pub which was a fair old trek from the campsite so we booked a taxis to shuttle us there and back. Good job really as it was still chucking it down.

We were the last to leave the pub and Anne nearly got in the wrong car – the people said to her “you should have gone to specsavers”. As soon as we got back to the vans that was it. Straight to bed, all healthily tired.

On the last morning we traditionally have a big cookout. People bring out their bacon, sausages etc for cooking on Dave’s Teppanyaki grill. Fortunately it had fined up and we enjoyed our last alfresco meal in relatively warm conditions.

Now we have packed up and made it home to start the unpacking process. I counted three waves from other motorists between Wooddall and home. All part of the fun of heading off for the weekend in a vintage VW campervan 🙂

We love this area. You have to like the great outdoors but if heading off in a campervan is your idea of fun then you will have no problem liking Llanberis. Not only are there some classic walks around here but you can also use Llanberis as a base to go off for the day. We have stuck a few ideas down here.

  • The beaches of Anglesey especially Llanddwyn
  • Caernarfon Castle
  • The Snowdon Mountain railway (although you should walk really)
  • Portmeirion
  • Harlech Castle
  • Conway Castle
  • The Ffestiniog and Welsh Highlands Railway
  • The Slate Museum in Llanberis itself
  • Beddgelert

There are loads of other places to go and things to do. Lots of castles and trains by the looks of it. In llanberis there are plenty of pub and restaurant options including the famous climbers’ caff Pete’s Eats. llanberis actually has one of the best Indian Restaurants we have been to anywhere.

We haven’t recommended a specific campsite here as there are plenty to choose from. At just over 200 miles this is about the furthest we recommend going in one day’s driving but it is worth it. This is a week’s trip and not a weekender.

VW Campervan Ruby is an iconic 1974 Westfalia conversion – some say the best interior of any of the 1970’s campers. She was completely professionally restored in 2012 and has been professionally maintained. She had a brand new Volkswagen Heritage engine fitted in April 2015 and a new gearbox in 2017. In burgundy over cream livery our latest campervan is a real head turner.

Ruby is fitted with 4 inertia seatbelts – 2 on the front seats and 2 on the rear seat, plus a lap belt. She has a rock and roll bed that sleeps 2 adults, a side seat and a bunk in the pop-top roof that would suit 2 children or 1 adult. There are windows in the roof to enhance the experience of sleeping up high!

Ruby has a cooker, a sink with on-board water tank and a cool box to keep your wine or beer chilled. She also has a little wardrobe and other storage space, making the most of all the nooks and crannies within the van.

Fully kitted with pots, pans, cutlery and crockery  Ruby is ready to go. If you would like to chat about hiring Ruby by all means call us on 01522 438888.

Our second VW Campervan is Bertie, a 1978 VW T2 “late bay” Devon Moonraker, which has been lovingly restored to a impressively high standard. VW Campervan restorations don’t really come much better than this.

Bertie’s colour is a beautiful pastel blue with bespoke American white oak interior. The upholstery has to be seen to be believed in VW branded blue and cream.

Bertie sleeps four inside (2 adults 2 small kids) on a quality upholstered full width rock and roll bed, a bunk in the pop top and a hammock over the front seats.

Other features include a TV & DVD player, Sink, Smev oven, Pull out gas burner system, on-off touch LED lighting, 240v hook up and marine leisure charging system, electronic ignition and Noise Killer soundproofing

A Retrosound Model 2 classic radio with i-pod and Bluetooth connectivity ensures you can safely use your phone in hands free mode, play your own music and provide sat nav.

Bertie has chrome eyelids, wind deflectors, handle protectors, VW badges, door handles, door pulls, rear jail bar.

Check out our top tips for making the most out of your VW campervan holiday. If you would like to chat about hiring Bertie by all means call us on 01522 438888.

VW Campervan Betty is a classic 1971 conversion from the Devon Moonraker workshop with a walk through aisle for easy access to the rear.

In her original orange and white livery Betty attracts attention wherever she goes. She had a brand new Volkswagen Heritage engine fitted in 2020. 

Betty has 2 inertia seat belts on the front seats and 2 lap belts on the rear seat plus a rear facing jump seat that can be used to sit opposite each other when you are eating in the van.

A ¾ sized rock and roll bed offers a comfortable night’s sleep for 2 adults and a pop top allows you to stand upright inside the van.

The 2 ring gas cooker with grill, a sink with on-board water storage and a cool box to keep your wine or beer chilled provide all the facilities you will need for your trip. She also has a little wardrobe and plenty of other storage space, making the most of all the nooks and crannies within the van.

Fully kitted with pots, pans, cutlery and crockery  Betty is ready to go. If you would like to chat about hiring Betty by all means call us on 01522 438888.