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What kept me from running-in our new California . . .

Johnny Rocket

Johnny Rocket

VIP Member
Messages
68
Location
Horsell
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 150
Good evening all.

My wife and I went on a 3 week tour of the Outer Hebrides last summer in a rented California, and came back so enthused that we bought our own soon afterwards.

My daughter, long having had designs on buying and converting her own small van, was NOT at all impressed, so she forced my hand by calling in a longstanding promise to help her select a van for her own project, and then to set about converting it.

So it was that last September she bought an ex-British Gas Caddy Maxi, and we have spent the last 7 months - me full-time, whilst she works - getting it ready for a 3-month tour of Europe, on which she departed yesterday. Meanwhile our new California is now slightly less new, and still remains to be thoroughly road-tested!

For anyone who's interested, please take a look at her channel (which I realise I could have posted in several other places . . . maybe even other forums; so apologies in advance if I've broken any protocols!) and if you care to, then please do subscribe, 'like', comment, and all those other good things which help to spread the word!


Thank you; one proud dad.
 
kurienp

kurienp

Top Poster
VIP Member
Messages
1,952
Location
Newbury, Berkshire, UK
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204 4Motion
Good evening all.

My wife and I went on a 3 week tour of the Outer Hebrides last summer in a rented California, and came back so enthused that we bought our own soon afterwards.

My daughter, long having had designs on buying and converting her own small van, was NOT at all impressed, so she forced my hand by calling in a longstanding promise to help her select a van for her own project, and then to set about converting it.

So it was that last September she bought an ex-British Gas Caddy Maxi, and we have spent the last 7 months - me full-time, whilst she works - getting it ready for a 3-month tour of Europe, on which she departed yesterday. Meanwhile our new California is now slightly less new, and still remains to be thoroughly road-tested!

For anyone who's interested, please take a look at her channel (which I realise I could have posted in several other places . . . maybe even other forums; so apologies in advance if I've broken any protocols!) and if you care to, then please do subscribe, 'like', comment, and all those other good things which help to spread the word!


Thank you; one proud dad.
Good one, one proud dad! Very good reasons to be proud! Excellent work on the build, looks good. Subscribed and looking forward to the adventure logs!

Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Tapatalk
 
Azteccamper

Azteccamper

VIP Member
Messages
676
Location
Swansea Valley.
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Lovely stuff. Will follow - my daughter and wife have hinted in the past that I need to do this as a project - great job.
 
BeagleMum

BeagleMum

VIP Member
Messages
1,504
Location
Wirral
Vehicle
T6 Beach 150
Good evening all.

My wife and I went on a 3 week tour of the Outer Hebrides last summer in a rented California, and came back so enthused that we bought our own soon afterwards.

My daughter, long having had designs on buying and converting her own small van, was NOT at all impressed, so she forced my hand by calling in a longstanding promise to help her select a van for her own project, and then to set about converting it.

So it was that last September she bought an ex-British Gas Caddy Maxi, and we have spent the last 7 months - me full-time, whilst she works - getting it ready for a 3-month tour of Europe, on which she departed yesterday. Meanwhile our new California is now slightly less new, and still remains to be thoroughly road-tested!

For anyone who's interested, please take a look at her channel (which I realise I could have posted in several other places . . . maybe even other forums; so apologies in advance if I've broken any protocols!) and if you care to, then please do subscribe, 'like', comment, and all those other good things which help to spread the word!


Thank you; one proud dad.
Nice one, subscribed.
 
ThomasHJ

ThomasHJ

VIP Member
Messages
990
Location
Netherlands
Vehicle
T5 SE 140
Good evening all.

My wife and I went on a 3 week tour of the Outer Hebrides last summer in a rented California, and came back so enthused that we bought our own soon afterwards.

My daughter, long having had designs on buying and converting her own small van, was NOT at all impressed, so she forced my hand by calling in a longstanding promise to help her select a van for her own project, and then to set about converting it.

So it was that last September she bought an ex-British Gas Caddy Maxi, and we have spent the last 7 months - me full-time, whilst she works - getting it ready for a 3-month tour of Europe, on which she departed yesterday. Meanwhile our new California is now slightly less new, and still remains to be thoroughly road-tested!

For anyone who's interested, please take a look at her channel (which I realise I could have posted in several other places . . . maybe even other forums; so apologies in advance if I've broken any protocols!) and if you care to, then please do subscribe, 'like', comment, and all those other good things which help to spread the word!


Thank you; one proud dad.
Lovely conversion! Compliments also to the camera(wo)man, the video looks great. What an adventure they'll have! Must have been a great thing, doing the conversion with your daughter and making her adventures possible. Extra points on the cool dad-scale ;-)
 
Johnny Rocket

Johnny Rocket

VIP Member
Messages
68
Location
Horsell
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 150
Thanks everyone for your appreciative and very kind comments.
Yes, it has indeed been a labour of love, and most rewarding; it's nice to do something so personal to help two great kids get out and start to explore the world after their opportunities for adventure were so curtailed during their last two years at university by you-know-what!
 
Last edited:
M

Mehdime

Lifetime VIP Member
Messages
116
Location
Ireland
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 204
This is a wonderful looking conversion (and I’m not normally a fan conversions). It’s a bit like a baby version of this one, which is my all time favourite van:

I hope she has an amazing time traveling.
 
Johnny Rocket

Johnny Rocket

VIP Member
Messages
68
Location
Horsell
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 150
Well, it could be a while before we achieve a fit-out as complete as that one, but we've begun, and the first 'prototype' is out testing as we speak. I'm honoured by the comparison - thanks!
 
soulstyledevon

soulstyledevon

https://www.instagram.com/kennycalifornia
Top Poster
VIP Member
Messages
4,776
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 204
Great job.
I’ve given her a follow on Insta.

I love to see the Homebrew vans. Its proof you don’t need to spend a fortune on adventure travels.
I built my first van in 2004 after falling out of love with unreliable T2s. The T4 was so cheap and unbelievably reliable compared to todays vans.

I hope she has a great time :cool:
 
willwander

willwander

VIP Member
Messages
1,429
Location
Yorkshire
Vehicle
T6 Ocean 150
It’s all about the insta !

Love it. Great job by dad. Hope she has a great time.
 
AMH70

AMH70

VIP Member
Messages
103
Location
Stansted
Vehicle
T6 Coast 150
Absolutely amazing. You must get over and visit her in your Cali ❤️.
 
Johnny Rocket

Johnny Rocket

VIP Member
Messages
68
Location
Horsell
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 150
Absolutely amazing. You must get over and visit her in your Cali ❤️.

Well, now that I have ‘nothing left to do’ (so some are saying, but the reality is far from it ;-\) we might just do that before too much longer!
 
ChalkyC

ChalkyC

Messages
9
Location
London
Vehicle
Looking to buy
Wow - how lucky is your daughter!! It looks brilliant!
 
Anthony1

Anthony1

Too young to be old
VIP Member
Messages
899
Vehicle
T5 SE 180 4Motion
Good evening all.

My wife and I went on a 3 week tour of the Outer Hebrides last summer in a rented California, and came back so enthused that we bought our own soon afterwards.

My daughter, long having had designs on buying and converting her own small van, was NOT at all impressed, so she forced my hand by calling in a longstanding promise to help her select a van for her own project, and then to set about converting it.

So it was that last September she bought an ex-British Gas Caddy Maxi, and we have spent the last 7 months - me full-time, whilst she works - getting it ready for a 3-month tour of Europe, on which she departed yesterday. Meanwhile our new California is now slightly less new, and still remains to be thoroughly road-tested!

For anyone who's interested, please take a look at her channel (which I realise I could have posted in several other places . . . maybe even other forums; so apologies in advance if I've broken any protocols!) and if you care to, then please do subscribe, 'like', comment, and all those other good things which help to spread the word!


Thank you; one proud dad.
hello

I am thinking of doing the Outer Hbrides and possible the Shetlands in a couple of weeks time. Did you wild camp or can you just turn up for a ferry or do you have to book.

PS. The Caddy is a superb mini camper. And your daughter's is a stunner, although setting the bedup iin the rain could be a bit of a trial. Instead of flipping the top bed board over, why not store it the right way then, just slide it. It would mean keeping the matress inside the van. I will never complain about making the bed in the Cali ever again. Lovely woodworking and engineering though.
 
Johnny Rocket

Johnny Rocket

VIP Member
Messages
68
Location
Horsell
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 150
hello

I am thinking of doing the Outer Hbrides and possible the Shetlands in a couple of weeks time. Did you wild camp or can you just turn up for a ferry or do you have to book.

PS. The Caddy is a superb mini camper. And your daughter's is a stunner, although setting the bedup iin the rain could be a bit of a trial. Instead of flipping the top bed board over, why not store it the right way then, just slide it. It would mean keeping the matress inside the van. I will never complain about making the bed in the Cali ever again. Lovely woodworking and engineering though.

I’ll give you a shout later and answer your questions properly, but in 3 weeks away we stayed on a site only 3 nights, all on Mull, as they’re not so enamoured there with the wild brigade!

Happy to run you through our route etc. too.

We pre-booked our CalMac ferries, but also changed a few at short notice, and added extra legs, turning up on spec, and had very few issues or disappointments!

Fair comment on the bed board, and yes, it shouldn’t need the flip, BUT for the fact that it is assymetric in planform (the rear edge follows the rear body curve so as to maximise the length) and so it does! I basically ran out of headroom to flip it, and should have measured and planned and designed better.

I was a bit cross at this, although Alice was cool (and not YET wet!).

I’ve spent 30+ years designing and engineering in an industry where every element of a design and the metallurgy and treatments were all fully defined on the drawing before starting work; this project has been a bit (well a lot) more free-form and freestyle!

It’s not the finished article either; rather a constantly evolving working prototype, which is what my career has revolved around!

Watch out for the coming instalments of the van on the road - we did quite a lot more work to get her ready in the 10 days between shooting that video and departing.
 
Loz2286

Loz2286

VIP Member
Messages
89
Location
Bucks
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 150
Wow! Really great little conversion with some neat solutions to challenges. Well done both of you. Love the videos too. Liked and subscribed.
 
Johnny Rocket

Johnny Rocket

VIP Member
Messages
68
Location
Horsell
Vehicle
T6.1 Ocean 150
Thanks for all your approving and appreciative comments folks - the girls' latest update, and their first proper on-the-road report on their adventure, has just gone live - enjoy it!:

 
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