Spring is sprung, big changes all around

OK, guesswork time over…

With all the parcels and deliveries recently, the house was becoming a bit of postal depot recently. Time to get stuff out of the boxes and get them fitted where they belong rather than clutter up the place! First up the box from Paul at Type2Detectives. I had been in contact with Paul for a little while about getting some upgraded shock absorbers for the bus. I had looked at various different options but in the end, I opted for some T2D special Bilstein shock absorbers.

A full set of Bilstein shock absorbers should make a big difference
A full set of Bilstein shock absorbers should make a big difference

What they have achieved with these Bilstein shocks, is a shock absorber with a very stiff compression stroke which helps eliminate tyre scrub and bottoming out whilst the rebound stroke is quick smooth and controlled. The overall benefit is a much smoother ride and better handling and reduced body roll whilst tyre scrub becomes a thing of the past. Can’t wait to experience the difference…

a good solid pair of used original heat exchangers from FBIVW
a good solid pair of used original heat exchangers from FBIVW

Next up, I had also been in contact with Graham at FBIVW about getting a good solid pair of used original heat exchangers. Although the camper already has heat exchangers fitted, they are not as effective as the last pair on my old Canterbury Pitt camper? I suspect they’re probably modern repros? Strange how sometimes newer items don’t perform as well as the older originals!

Time for a road trip

Having already insulated the bus in terms of both heat and sound, I know one thing Lorna hates the most is the cold! The insulation we fitted already makes a massive difference, but adding some more efficient heater exchangers would be the icing on the cake! Happy wife, happy life! 🙂

any excuse to go to Stanford’s, my fave map shop in London
any excuse to go to Stanford’s, my fave map shop in London

So why all the changes? Well, we’re gonna take some time off and head out on a road trip shortly, so now seemed like the perfect time to get the shock absorbers upgraded, and extra heating fitted. Especially when the road trip destination is the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. We loved our last trip to Scotland. Can’t wait to go back and explore a bit further north this time, along with some of the western islands.

Must be from when I was a kid in the Scouts back in the day, but I do love a good Ordnance Survey map, so whilst working in London, it was a great excuse to pop into Stanford’s, the world’s largest map and travel retailer and get some road maps of the area.

map detail of the Isle of Mull in the Highlands of Scotland
map detail of the Isle of Mull in the Highlands of Scotland

Looking forward to getting all the prep done and getting on the road again, can’t wait. Make sure you follow the adventures on my Instagram account!

6 thoughts on “Spring is sprung, big changes all around”

  1. Hi, I’m just wondering how you got on with these Bilstein shocks? Did they make a difference? How was the ride after fitting, is it much harsher? I’m considering going for a set. Thanks

    Reply
    • Hi Mark, yeah I really like them. In my opinion, they give a slightly firmer ride, but not too harsh or anything. As I got used to the change on our recent road trip, they did give me much greater confidence in the handling of the bus. OK, it’s not a Porsche or anything, but the improved ride quality and cornering was noticeable! Over the 1,800+ miles we did, the increased comfort of the ride was hugely appreciated 😎

      Reply
      • Awesome, thanks for coming back to me. We’ve just restored our bay westy, and it’s lowered (though not hugely) but with stock suspension and tyres. With no-one else on board I rarely get tyre scrubbing, just very occasional, but with the family and all of our camping gear on board we suffered it really bad on a recent trip down to Dorset every time we hit an undulation at 30mph plus . Do you think these would help? I’m not too concerned by handling (though an improvement would of course be welcome!) but the scrubbing issue needs to be fixed as it can’t be healthy! I’ve ordered some slightly lower profile tyres for the front to give a little more space, and I’m thinking with these on the front too I may crack the issue. Did you have this issue at all prior to fitting and did it resolve the issue? Thanks again for taking the time to respond 🙂

        Reply
        • Hi Mark, No problem.

          Without seeing how the lowering was done, tyre/wheel sizes etc. it’s a bit difficult to say? Stock suspension set-up and tyres sounds like it could be too ‘big’ if you’ve lowered the bus?

          You’d need to check you have the right size shocks in the first place. Check the c/c distance between the centres of the top and bottom fixing bolts (front and rear) and see if your shocks have sufficient travel (this is useful guide… https://www.shockwarehouse.com/news/how-to-measure-shocks.cfm) then you can know what combination of wheels/tyres/shock absorbers will work properly.

          The reason I ‘upgraded’ was I was unsure how long the previous shocks had been on the bus, and had always found them a bit too bouncy for my taste. The new ones however, are great with my set-up now! 😎

          Reply
          • Thanks for this. The shocks up front are the originals, and it’s on adjusters. I’m not sure how the rear lowering is done, but I know without investing in some spring plates it’s about as low as it’ll go (I think it’s dropped about 3 inches all round). I’m changing the front tyres from stock to 175, 70, 14s to free up a little more space so I’ll see how I go with that first but I think next year after we’ve recovered from rest costs I may invest in a set of these and if the back needs to come down some spring plates too.

            Cheers

            Reply

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