All posts by Dom Reid

Glide-Rite Air Suspension

My air suspension is one of the best things on my wagon, it’s like driving cupped in a waterbed, makes cruising along a pleasure. I also have a posh airbed that pumps up in seconds using the 240 volts that fits snugly width ways into the van, so when I’m sleeping on an airbed with air underneath keeping the wagon up it’s like the double cheeseburger of rest, a double air nights sleep.

However on the negative it needs occasional fixing, so luckily I found the people that made the suspension in the first place, went to visit and got some professional attention whilst spending a day at the workshop.

I found out that I needed some new parts, a filter needed replacing and the air pressure needed re-setting, but it is now ready for another 200,000 miles as that’s how many miles it has done so far!

I enjoyed spending a day at the liverpool branch of Glide-Rite, it’s a professional space but they’re warm and welcoming, I had stuff explained to me well and they were open about what needed doing, so I left feeling like I had made a few friends rather than simply having a van fixed.

I also got to see some of the other stuff they now do, so it’s worth checking them out to see how they can improve your campervan as air suspension has come on a long way, am glad to have benefitted from some of it.

Lake District Week

One of my favourite places in the lakes to swim is the small, stone, Birks Bridge  over the River Duddon in Dunnerdale.

I like it so much because the water tumbles down into various small pools, frothing up water that is like a chilly jacuzzi if you can manage to climb into them, then down into a gorge that narrows under the bridge where it speeds up and gets deep enough at points to jump into.

Be careful though because there are rocks just under the surface, that can be very dangerous if people were to jump from the bridge in the wrong place.

But  on my way there I stopped first near the southern end of the river to swim in some of the pools and for various reasons took a while to make it down to the bridge on Friday, but when I got there I was just as happy as when I first found the place.

I put on a pair of clear goggles and a pair of boots, I wanted to be able to see underwater and the boots were so I could walk over some of the sharp rocks, then got into the water around thirty metres down river from the bridge where the rocks get low enough.

The water is crystal clear, but at first too fast to swim against so I swam down to the bottom where the water is slower. The air is the same in that is is slower near the ground than high up because of the resistance it gets from objects. The water is also slower at the edges, so I made it quite a way up the river and then stood up and walked a short distance using the booties I was wearing to get over the rocks.

Near the bridge the water gets faster, but I managed to get under the bridge and past it to stand on a stone that is nearly at the surface, it felt like quite a mission as the water was quite fast after a few days of heavy rain.

Under the bridge the water can be quite deep, there are eery spaces where some tolkienesque gollum figure would be happy chewing on fish, there’s an arch that you can swim under, nooks and crannies, then when the water is slower you can clamber up the stones into the pools higher up, but this time the water wouldn’t let me.

I was cold when I got out as I must have been in there half an hour, I almost lost my balance because I was colder than I thought, but I felt invigorated as always and left feeling happy that I found my favourite swim spot again.

Glambulance Final Tour

It’s time to part with the Glambulance, it helped me find somewhere new to live, has been a lot of fun, but am using it less than it should be used right now, so am off on a last tour around the lakes to say goodbye.

I called it the Glambulance because it was a Glasgow ambulance in it’s past life, has seen a lot of lives saved and a bit of action, but proved perfect for a retirement having fun.

It is a Mercedes 416 Sprinter with a 5 cylinder 2.7 litre turbo engine, so it has enough torque to get up hills, the power to get you there quickly if you want, but if you are frugal on the power it can be economical.

It has had many parts replaces, the air bags and the suspension recently given an overhaul and bits replaced by the people who actually made the suspension in the first place, a new clutch, alternator, water pump, starter motor, it had some of the injectors re-seated, the turbo was repaired and it has over £1000 worth of spare parts should anything else go wrong.

As for inside it has a large bed that can be turned into 2 side seats, 4 seat belted seats, 3kw of inverted 240 volts and a lot of storage space and surround speakers, plus LED lighting that’s soft blue in the ceiling and multi coloured changeable LED circles at the front. There are outside lights, a night heater for winter and a ceiling fan for summer.

The idea is that it is versatile. There is a lot of space to store what you want, so if you want a cooker it can be stored and placed on an IKEA table in the space in front of the bed, a shower can be hung over the back door and filled from a river and if you need to toilet you can put one in a box, but personally I never needed one so I kept the portaloo in a garage and never used it, I keep a large water container in one of the overhead storage lockers so there’s water, so with a gas cooker that I keep in the space over the cab I can make a cuppa, which is about all I want to cook in the can. Having said that I have made a full fry up in there, but I normally take the (portable) gas cooker outside if I want to do anything like that.

There is a large air bed that pumps up using the 240 volt inverter, so with this on top of the air suspension I might have had the best nights sleep I have ever had.

I left out the things that normally take up a lot of space, so there’s space which can be used for many things, if you need to store tools and work there is the room for them and the electrics for any power tools, if you want to store sports equipment there is room for the gear and seats for 4 people, or if you want to meander on your own there is room for some guitars and surround sound speakers to send you to sleep.

The negatives are some rust around the bottom of the doors, hence the low price.

The selling price is £8500, so either send an email to dom@openg.net, or call 07799532823

Two Years of lido relaxation!

Tis almost two years since my last post, so I took a look back over the years since I set-up Cyber Gypsy and had a few thoughts before heading back into the world of on-line personal biography writing.

My original reason for starting this site off was partly because I didn’t really want to.  I was quite against the idea of typing into a screen at regular intervals to an audience Continue reading Two Years of lido relaxation!

What Winter

Whilst roasting in the Tooting Bec Lido sauna the other day someone referred to the current weather as a heat wave. The water, hovering at 5 degrees seems to some to be a balmy bath compared to what it could be at this time of year, so people wander about virtually naked but for a lick of cloth and occasionally a pair of Liz Taylor sunglasses, chit chatting as if we were in Benalmadena minus the palms.  Anyone looking in through the  security fence might see people who are locked in for their own good. Continue reading What Winter

English Summer

I can’t believe it was the 19th of May that I returned to Blighty, it seems like an age since then.

I have done few of the things I had lined up for my return and many of the things I had not, for instance I have only been to one festival though I had lined up myself a good few more to attend, yet have been busy work-wise plus have been helping a fellow turn his pub into an art gallery. Continue reading English Summer

Patpong, Nana plaza, dentist chairs and The Atlanta Hotel!

On my way to the airport from Roseville (how lovely Roseville sounds and it is, a leafy flowery suburb of Sydney) I stood on the train platform in the bright, breezy Autumn sun and watched the myna birds pivot on the track-side bushes, the cockatoos flap like rags, rosellas flash and spark in noisy conversation, the world was alight colour. It was at that moment that I realised I could make Australia my home. Continue reading Patpong, Nana plaza, dentist chairs and The Atlanta Hotel!