Taking the plunge - lots of questions!

scbunurse

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Hi - off to test drive a Bailey Autograph tomorrow - very excited as it's taken us 30 yrs to get to this point!! I found Jims book very helpful but one of the things that has influenced our decision is our insane desire to take our grandchildren with us and I do have a query....

He says not to buy a bigger van on the offchance that you will use the berths a few times a year but while we are quite happy to put the children in a tent there doesn't seem to be any option, if we want belted seats for them. than buying the same number of berths. Everyone we have spoken to say belts can't be fitted retrospectively, or to side facing seats (some of them are still needing car seats because of the tighter restrictions recently) and so can't use lap belts. As you'll see from my username I'm a childrens' nurse so this is non negotionable! We also need the rear lounge for other reasons...
Anyone who has any wisdom on this?
Also - does anyone know whether or not it is realistic to run a sewing machine while wild camping (we live in the highlands of Scotland so looking forward to a lot of that. Not sure how well the battery will hold up. Crazy dressmakers seem to abound in the States but can't find much info over here. Sorry to arrive with a flurry of questions but it seems like a great site and I'm looking forward to getting to know some of you.
 

funflair

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Hi

You should be OK with the sewing machine as long as you have solar panels and the sun is out, you would need an inverter of course to make 12v to 240v and I would go pure sine wave for the inverter.

You are right that you could not retrofit seat belts so you need to buy a van with as many belted seats as you know you are going to need.

Martin

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jtp890

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We have a 2 berth Dethleffs 7014 with 4 belted seats, up for sale in Feb
 

EX51SSS

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welcome animated smiley3.gif
 
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scbunurse

scbunurse

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Hi - thank you for the welcomes and responses. The van is fitted with a 100W solar panel so we'll see what the Scottish sun can do in the winter! I'll test it out first on site so I don't plunge us all into darkness! jtp890 probably wouldn't be big enough for our crew but thank you anyway.
 

TheBig1

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a single 100w solar panel will keep a single 100ah battery topped up in summer with normal use. running a sewing machine motor and lights using an inverter off site will take a huge chunk of the available 50ah (50% maximum discharge as more than this will damage the battery)

your plan to use a sewing machine whilst wild camping will need more batteries, a decent inverter and more batteries
 
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scbunurse

scbunurse

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I did wonder - been doing some research but most of the info seemed to relate to people living in vans in the states not over here. That's helpful - thank you.

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pappajohn

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Can you buy 12v sewing machines ????

If not, without an inverter to change 12v battery power to 230v mains power you're in a no go situation.
Unless on mains electric your 230v sockets are just covering holes in the furniture....they will not work.
 
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scbunurse

scbunurse

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I don't imagine so lol!! I knew I'd need to get an inverter. (I do have one for my camping so could recharge phone and laptop in car) but will need to get a better one - sounds like I will need another battery as well......
 

pappajohn

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I did wonder - been doing some research but most of the info seemed to relate to people living in vans in the states not over here. That's helpful - thank you.
Here or there....there's no difference.
It's still a motorhome except theirs are usually far bigger than here.

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May 7, 2015
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What about buying an old hand cranked sewing machine to take on your travels? I believe if you get a good one the stitches are even and well formed. Good luck!
 
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scbunurse

scbunurse

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They all seem to be huge with about four batteries and a roof covered in solar - I just wondered how much I needed as not intending to live in it full time. I will mainly be sewing in the short day times as it's dark by about 15.00. Unfortunately that means not much sun to charge the batteries either....
 
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scbunurse

scbunurse

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The kind of work I do uses lots of different stitches but I maybe need to plan to take projects that just need assembling and get a hand machine..

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Errm? any good at Darning?
Everytime I take my favourite Pullover off Maureen skips it in the bin;)
If I mention her darning the holes (that keeps the sleeves together) she turns pale, and reads me my pedigree:rolleyes:

Errm! Welcme to the mad house by the way(y)
 

Silver-Fox

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I knew I'd need to get an inverter. (I do have one for my camping so could recharge phone and laptop in car)

You can charge phones etc via a usb socket and its more efficient than using an inverter.

Welcome as well :HelloThere:

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scbunurse

scbunurse

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rangitira -“Asking a seamstress to mend is like asking Michelangelo to paint your garage.”
I think van has a usb socket - will check tomorrow -my inverter dates from the days when only a few of us had mobile phones!!
 

Silver-Fox

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rangitira -“Asking a seamstress to mend is like asking Michelangelo to paint your garage.”
I think van has a usb socket - will check tomorrow -my inverter dates from the days when only a few of us had mobile phones!!

Its really easy to fit a couple of usb sockets or get a converter from cig lighter to usb (y)

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scbunurse

scbunurse

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yes - we have them in the cars and I have a powerbank which I keep charged up for emergencies - it was a 'freebie' so naturally I expected it wouldn't work but has been surprisingly useful!
 

Duffer

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Cigarette lighter / aux socket plugs with USB outlets on them are only a couple of quid on ebay and are invaluable for charging all the gizmos we travel with these days.
 

funflair

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The kind of work I do uses lots of different stitches but I maybe need to plan to take projects that just need assembling and get a hand machine..
A quick look at the spec of a couple of machines suggests a power consumption of between 50 and 100watts which doesn't seem that much to me unless you are sewing all day non stop, I assume there will be some pinning or tacking in between machine stints.

A bit more solar and possibly another battery and you should be OK.

Martin

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scbunurse

scbunurse

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You're right Martin - in a 2hr sewing stint I'd probably only spend about a third of that actually stitching. There is the pressing tho' and I'll have to get out of the habit of just leaving the iron on.....I believe it's possible to get gas ones;)
 
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You might find the iron draws too much power. That's the only thing I couldn't use whilst off grid.

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