Monday, 26 August 2019

Welcome to our New Vantage Neo. Part 2

Well we have finally got ourselves sorted out and packed and re packed a few times until we were happy.  

Lots of good advice from the Travels With A Neo Facebook page. I expect following our shake down tour of France, Italy and Greece we will have yet a few more adaptations to make but in the meantime here is what we have done.

  •  Chairs. At 90 cms in length it was crucial we could find some comfy chairs that would fit. These fitted the bill perfectly and they are comfy. They come in their own bags and although they are a tad on the heavy side we love them. Kampa Consul in blue.
  • Mirrors. Sorry but I need a super magnifier in the bathroom. We managed to find the same one we use at home and Dan fitted it for us in the bathroom.

  • Additional wall holder in the bathroom also fitted. Handy for the toothpaste.
  • Additional wall holder in the kitchen for bits and bobs.

  • The large locker under the bed fits all our bedding and a small safe. We also moved the jack and tools from under the front seat to this locker.
  • Warning triangles fit neatly on the seat bases, along with a spare bulb kit for continental touring.

  • The second warning triangle goes under the inverter.
  • A nifty set of hooks for our keys.

  • In the wardrobe Den has fitted a tie back for his camera bag.
  • A tie back for my documents and map folder.
  • All our clothes fall into the top lockers on one side. We use Amazon packing cubes which work really well.
  • Shoes and walking boots fit into the big drawer under the oven. We do have small feet!!
  • Walking poles fit on the inside back door wall and everything else slides into the boot. We take a gas BBQ & an electric hot plate. Two footstools, an outdoor table, a sunscreen for the awning and a small outdoor groundsheet. All that stores into the outside boot space, along with the silver screens. Tools and assorted fuses, pumps etc go inside the Truma locker on a special shelf which we asked to be fitted.
  • Awning poles and rafter fit neatly behind the drivers seat next to the table poles.
  • A couple of Ikea grey cushions which match perfectly and could double up as pillows completes the inside mods.
  • The only additional bit of kit is our Aldi  ( really cheap) cooler box which sits between the seats on site. Handy for wine, fruit and beer.
All in all we are very happy with Krystal. The automatic gear box makes life really easy and the slightly bigger engine has improved fuel consumption. The fridge is brilliant and the ice box actually keeps food frozen. I took Dan's advice and filled the fridge with plastic boxes which works really well. We love the bathroom and the kitchen and pantry is perfect for my needs. 

The one thing we have really noticed is how beautifully dry everything is, even in bad weather. The van is obviously really well insulated.

Next stop, our shake down European trip, France, Italy and then ferry to Greece.

Sunday, 11 August 2019

Welcome to Our New Vantage Neo. Part 1

The moment finally arrived and with great excitement we headed up North back to Leeds. 

This time we were heading for the Vantage factory in the centre of  Leeds. We decided to spend the night at the Premier Inn in Knottingly a 20 minute drive away. We were due at the Vantage factory at 8.30 am the next morning to meet our newborn a Vantage Neo who had already been christened Krystal. Why Krystal? Well, the diamond shape on the Vantage logo was a clue and because we had gone for the silvery grey colour, she would be new and shiny, just like a crystal. A twist on the spelling so Krystal it is!

Our brand new van was waiting expectantly while we were introduced  to the Vantage team and Dan who was doing the handover. We were given an over view of the day, so we knew what to expect. We also had our own list of things we needed to be covered.

So Krystal was ready for us.

The specification.

A Neo with: 

  • 180 bhp  with C matic gearbox
  • Cab air con
  • Cruise control
  • Reversing camera & Monitor
  • Front & rear mudflaps
  • Alloy wheels & all season tyres
  • Fixed rear pod
  • Leather trimmed upholstery
  • Fiamma 4m awning
  • External BBQ point & 240V socket
  • Tow bar
  • Cool air fan
  • Music port & amp
  • Avtex TV 21.5"
  • Ariel & Booster
  • Additional 100W solar panel
  • 800W inverter
  • Flyscreen for door
  • Shower room turbo vent
  • We also added a 240 & 12V point to seat base.
Quite a comprehensive list but everything was present and correct. We decided to have an alarm and tracker fitted later by Vanbitz in Somerset, as our insurance would not accept a tracker fitted by OSTT, which Vantage usually fitted. 

So there we were with Krystal in all here newness and glory.

We thought we knew all about PVC conversions and that we would easily understand all the controls BUT we didn't. Dan went through everything, masses to remember! One minor niggle our chairs wouldn't fit into the boot space because of the external BBQ point which had been boxed in. The chairs Vantage stocked wouldn't go in either, we would have to find another solution.

Following many cups of tea we were finally done. We moved our bedding and bits into Krystal, said goodbye to April our IH, the Vantage crew and then hesitantly taking control, it was straight out into the Leeds rush hour. A relatively painless experience though somewhat entertaining, we made it out of the city. Our friendly Madam SatNag did the business and Den soon learnt the controls and the beauty of an automatic. We were on our way to Moor Lodge and our first night away.

Moor Lodge on the edge of Leeds around 20 minutes away they were expecting us. A lovely campsite with a beautifully kept pristine loo block and facilities. Just down the road a great pub The Bingley Arms. Haunted it is said and with two priest holes! That night we really deserved a drink! Just happened to be "Two for Tuesday" night a welcome bonus and a good meal. This was followed by 40% off Wednesday, the next evening. A double whammy and two meals out. What could be better?

We spent a lovely two nights getting to know our new friend Krystal. Everything worked well including the TV, once we had worked out the controls. The wash basin in the loo was perfect and my new super magnifying mirror which Dan had fitted for us was just like at home.

The extra work top space in the kitchen was so useful. We were doing one more night stop in Cheshire to visit family before heading home. Then the fun would begin at home fitting everything in.

Minor adaptations in Part 2 to follow.