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Our Camper Vans
As with many of my webpages this is mainly for my benefit.
We first went camping in a very old rented Ford camper in 1989. We (Me Liz, Clive and Hugh) travelled for about a month in France. We always camped wild (Camping Sauvage) except for one night after coming down a mountain with weak overheated brakes. We went to the Chateau Queyras region - where Hannibal crossed the Alpes.
In 1989 we bought a two-year old Merlin Campervan which we had for six years. This died in a crash on a motorway in France after a rear puncture. We replaced it with a five year old Swift Kontiki in 1995. After we had travelled about 60,000 miles it slowly expired and was put out to pasture in July 2014 to be replaced by a one-year old Swift Lifestyle.
There are very many more pictures of our camping in vans in my France web pages
Rented Ford van Our Merlin Our Swift Kontiki New Swift van

Our first van, a rented Ford  
Somewhere in France Camping Sauvage with my brave family  
The Merlin Based on 2 litre Fiato Ducato petrol. 5 gears (total). No power steering.
In our first year together. No bike or kayaks
After installation of cycle rack Inside
First year with our kayaks on new roof rack; note the trolleys (made by Clive and me
The sad end of Merlin
In 1994 we had a puncture (rear offside)on a motorway on our way toward Grenoble. After a valiant attempt to keep control we faced the oncoming traffic and crashed onto our side. No one was badly hurt although we were taken to hospital for Clive to have stitches for a cut over his eye. The RAC looked after us. We came home in a hired car. Clive and I went out with a hired Transit to collect all that we could - especially the kayaks. The insurance company paid us the same for the van as we had paid for it six years earlier. These pictures show Merlin after the rescue truck had delivered him to the scrapyard.
Hugh sadly inspecting our sad Merlin
Rear offside Inside rear offside
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Brave Clive doing all the work sorting out the inside
Our smart Renault that got us safely home


Kontiki 600/5  
Made by Swift on a Talbot Express 2.5 litre turbo diesel with 5 forward gears. After 6 years of heaving it around the mountains I had power steering added. Our home for 20 years and 60,000 miles travelling, mainly in France. It took 3 mountain bikes and up to 4 kayaks on the roof.
Our first trip being towed out of a bog First trip on ferry to France
An early trip with family plus Mark Wells  
  Posing in front of Kontiki before it passed away
Off goes Kontiki. July 2014 Farewell. So sad goodbye and thank you.
New Van. Swift Lifestyle 624
Upgraded by Marquis from Swift Escape. 2013 model. 560miles. Bought July 2014. Fiat Ducato Euro V 130 bhp Multijet 6 speed (forward). 2.3 litre turbo diesel.
Our first trip to New Forest With bike rack but no roof rack yet
Our first camp together at Manorbier  









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