Happy New Year!

Here is to the travels of the past and those in the coming year.  May they be full of adventure and may you all travel safely!

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Hitting the road in 2017

A few weeks ago, before spring blossomed across Virginia, we took advantage of some free time during the weekend and hit the road in Moby.  Not a major trip, just really an excuse to get in the bus and go, we headed out for a family lunch in Culpeper, Virginia.  The day was a bit on the cloudy side, but it was good to be bussin’ again after the winter break.  We also took advantage of the drive to have some fun with a GoPro camera Martha gave me for Christmas.  Now, after a few weeks of learning (and some procrastination), I present my first video project and, hopefully, begin a new presentation format for this blog.

Roadside emergencies (Flat tire)

In June of 2014, Moby developed a flat front tire on the driver side while en route to to Maryland.  The cause, as it turned out, was a faulty valve stem that cracked where it passed through the tire rim.  Then last summer, on the way home from Assateague, MD, the front passenger tire lost its air less than 15 miles from home on our return journey.  The cause?  Again, a faulty valve stem that broke in the same place as the first.  I never encountered valve stem failure before, not even heard of it in fact, but I certainly understand that all parts fail sometimes, even those that seem to encounter so little stress.  The first flat I chalked up to this type of failure; just a possible defect in the part, perhaps something struck the valve, or I was a little overzealous in cleaning around it when washing the bus.  But to have two fail on the same vehicle?  That seemed a bit odd.

The guy at the tire shop informed me that in many cases, when new tires are installed, the stems never get changed and eventually succumb to dry rot.  It is possible that this Continue reading

Westfalia accessory tent

I posted long ago about the tent Westfalia sold as an accessory for their VW bus camper conversions and wanted to return to the topic with a focus on their setup.  Let me start by saying I always admired these canvas tents when I came across them at shows.  Often referred to as the drive-away tent, standalone tent, bus tent, or, in the more modern variations, the add-a-room tent, they always seemed so practical to me.  Four people can easily sleep inside and, sans people, there is ample room for extra gear, getting dressed, board games, or escaping the elements.  And those colors!  The great 1970’s color scheme always reminded me of a circus tent and is many levels higher on the cool-factor chart than the drab green canvas tents in which I slept as a kid. Even with today’s brighter colored tents, it remains easy to find your campsite with this tent.  With the arrival of Moby, we quickly adopted the tent as mandatory equipment because the space became so useful when camping with kids.

Yet, despite their usefulness stated above, drawbacks associated with this canvas dwelling Continue reading