We have been easing VW campervan Jade into your consciousness with some trip reports and she has also been available to hire for a few weeks with a start date of around now. Jade hits the road on her first hire this weekend so we thought we would tell you a bit about the work that has gone into her to make her ready.
You will probably have seen our posts from the Isle of Man where we took Jade over for the TT races. She was away with us for 11 nights in total and we were able to give her a really good test drive.
The first observation is that at 2 litres, Jade has the biggest engine of all our vans. She drives really well and would be our first choice if we were taking her on a long trip to somewhere like Cornwall or Scotland. This is largely because the bigger engine makes it easier on a long drive.
Secondly we found Jade really easy to live with. Everything is intuitive. It does help that we have the experience of having three other campervans but still Jade is easy to use. The rock and roll bed is the easiest to deploy of all our vans and the roof is very straightforward to put up. Mind you it is in all the vans.
Although Jade is almost identical internally to Ruby she does have some slight differences. The table, for example, folds in half which gives you more options on how to use it. Also the bed in the poptop in Ruby is held up out of the way by straps whereas the fittings for the straps aren’t there in Jade and two wooden batons are used instead.
When we first saw this our natural inclination was to think “hmm we will need to sort that out” but having used it for 11 days actually the wooden batons are staying for now. They make life simple and work effectively. Let’s face it they have been doing the job for almost 50 years.
We have had the interior completely revamped in Jade. Brand new upholstery in an original VW T2 Westfalia pattern. The new upholstery looks terrific and really finishes off the van. What’s more, the bed is really comfortable.
Today we had a new Sony CD radio with dual bluetooth connections fitted together with some great speakers. People will be able to play the radio using DAB or hook up their own phones and the set has the added advantage of being able to play your phone calls through the speaker system as well as any sat nav apps that might be used.
The new dual electric system we have installed will allow Jade to be connected to electric hookups on campsites for use with things like hair dryers and kettles but also provide a 12v connection from the leisure battery to keep the electric cool box going, even when “wild camping”. The same is true for the USB ports.
Anne has also been busy making some new curtains and Jade has some nice green check ones to match the colour of the van.
We still have one or two improvements planned. For example the interior lighting is provided by a portable LED lamp we bought from GoOutdoors as the new lights hadn’t been delivered at the time. We found this lamp really good/useful and gave off plenty of light in the van at its lowest setting. It recharges from an USB port so we don’t really have a problem with it.
We also need to decide on whether to install a fridge or coolbox. Our own personal preference is for a coolbox which is how it is configured right now but if we can find the right fridge we may yet change that. A coolbox is more versatile than a fridge, typically has more capacity and can be taken in and out easily. Also a campervan fridge is really just a coolbox made to look like a fridge. The jury is out on this one but time will tell.
At the end of the day these vans are fairly simple machines and people hire them because they are fun and cool and not because they have all mod cons. We always get people waving at us when we drive along and returning hirers tell us they don’t really want to hand back the keys because they’ve had a fab time 🙂
All in all we are really pleased with Jade and she is going to be a great addition to the fleet. All our vans are different and they each have their own attraction for different people. Sometimes it is as simple as the colour. What we can say is that whichever van you hire you will have a great time and we look forward to seeing you over the 2022 season and beyond (we get lots of repeat customers 🙂 )