GiGiGoGo 7 – Weighbridge

Start Mileage 479 – End Mileage 494

As we are heading off to Devon and Cornwall once lock down opens up a bit in July, I thought I should check out where we are on the weight front. I’m sure we are well inside but as later on we will be thinking about towing one of our little boats, need to get an idea if we need to up-rate the rear suspension or not.

GiGi was loaded up with a lot of the cooking / chairs / tables / BBQ / sailing gear and various general gubbins

John at Veolia Lymington public weighbridge was super helpful, although he couldn’t understand why they only take cheques for payment either!

Results came in as follows:

3200kg overall

1500kg front – max allowed (I think) is 1850kg

1700kg rear – max allowed (I think) is 2000kg

20kg margin of error on the weighbridge apparently

So what are the main factors to take into account?

  • Full fresh water and no waste water – ok
  • 2/3rds diesel – perhaps add 30kg?
  • No Lesley – add 56kg (rounded up to 60kg) – up front
  • Have pizza oven to add at rear??
  • Food and drink in middle/rear?? 30kg?? a lot of beer, wine and gin…
  • More clothes and other tat 10kg?
  • Possible removable awning – this could be 30-45kg at rear depending on what we get exactly
  • Security stuff and solar panel from VanBitz – picking it up when we head of to Devon 4th July? 30kg?
  • Tow bar – possibly 40kg??
  • 2 x computer gear and ebooks etc 10kg?

All of that comes to approx 1895 on the rear leaving 105kg or so for the nose weight of the boat – it won’t be anywhere near that!

I’m building the boat myself and the trailer as well so I can balance it as perfectly as we need and just have say 25kg of nose weight to help keep it down. Perhaps we won’t need the suspension upgrade?

However as the weight of a lot of the additional kit is a reasonable distance behind the rear wheel, the leverage effect might mean we are closer than we think to the 2000kg rear limit.

We will check it properly again once we have the van fully kitted out as we head off on a bigger trip another time – it is going to be pretty close for towing!

We of course might shed some unwarranted weight once we are settled down though and properly know what we need to take with us – also if towing the boat, we can always put the sailing gear in the trailer taking weight off the rear axle.


GiGiGoGo 6 – 2020-06-20. Wanderings

Start Mileage 240 – End Mileage 479

Getting closer to going away properly early July if the Government relaxes the covid rules as expected (hoped for at least).

Loaded up and wandered up to Aldershot to call past work briefly.

We’ve got the fuel pecker card through the caravan club so as we need to fill up used the PetrolPrices app to find a nearby Esso or Shell.

Happy days, one just down the road – slightly different to use it as the card is swiped not PIN protected it seems and then you sign. I signed it without being checked – has Lesley’s signature on the card anyway.

Turns out the receipt also doesn’t show the actual price paid – we’ll see when the cost gets taken from the bank in a few days.

Brimmed the tank and mileage shows as 240 and the trip computer is saying around 24 mpg – this has slowly gone up from  22 mpg when we got her so the engine is loosening up a little I expect.

We’ll brim it again after a while and see what we are really getting. I’m also not sure of the tank size – I think they might be the smaller 60 litres option in the motorhome conversions to help keep the weight down? Usually 90 litres I think? We will find out.

52.54 litres – normall price around 111p/litre, so we should save 4p a litre I think so a couple of pounds off hopefully.

Lovey trip to see friends based outside High Wycombe, it really is easy to drive.

Had a few too many beers to drive back so for safety stayed there before heading off to Woodstock to meet with sister in law and husband for a walk and catch up.

The bed is amazing – incredibly comfortable. It has sprung slats with a memory foam mattress and is honestly as good as any bed you would have at home. This is coming from someone with long term neck and back problems – seriously a fantastic bed.

The whole leaving it made up and dropping it from the roof is simply a joy. Press 2 buttons and there it is.

Hammered down with rain overnight so noisy but with the blinds keeping the light out very well, a super nights sleep. Beer might have helped…

Away trips are going to be a breeze.

Lovely walk around the edge of Blenheim Palace using the AllTrails app – this is proving really handy and will get a lot of use I am sure.

We came across a field with a number of massive teasal plants in them – around 6ft or 1.8m tall!

teasel - dispacus fullonum

Managed to avoid the rain showers and had some tea and cake an tested the new chairs again – Kampa Skipper reclining chairs with detachable foot stools are the business.

As soon as we headed back and it hammered down intermittently but still, driving is easy and it was clear by the time we got back…


GiGiGoGo 5 – 2020-06-14 Landford Walk

Start Mileage 198 - End Mileage 

Lovely day and starting to feel less than totally crap and able to breath again, so we decided to head out for a short walk.

Loaded up G4 and headed to Landford – a little village in the north of Hampshire after we found a walk in the AllTrails app – this looks really useful and can’t believe we have never come across this before.

The new Rhino security post across the drive entrance is working very well – it hides away nicely in the ground and is clearly built like a brick shithouse – that is really not going anywhere.

We had the fridge/freezer on overnight plugged in to the mains – I have to say it is amazingly good. We will have no worries keeping frozen food in there (mainly ice for G&T of course) and it is massive. Along with all the other storage in G4 we will never have any problems keeping supplies stocked up.

Captains Log GiGiGoGo

GiGiGoGo 3 2020-05-24 Lymington Sailing Chop

Start Mileage 156 – End Mileage 169 – Trip 13 miles

A lovely day although the wind looks a bit dodgy – gusty and shifty.

Spent a couple of hours starting to lash up an extra dolly cradle for Pork Chop from a left over old section of square ally box section.

Getting him out last time was a bit tricky and the thought was an extra set of wheel so he is properly stable and add a pulling rope and we should be able to concentrate on pulling / pushing him with less wasted effort controlling up and down. The ramp is quite long and steep especially at low tide and when coming back in quite knackered it’s not ideal having to then battle our way back up!

My thinking – whack a dinghy trolley jockey wheel in the middle and stick a couple of little fixed wheel for some lateral support and see if it will work. The length of section I had left over was 220 cm so barely long enough but hopefully it will do the job. I quickly rivetted some chopping board on the top and bolted the jockey wheel (rusted solid unfortunately) in place to try it.

Got to Lymington and more people around but still not a lot!

Quick prep ready to go out and the wind was all over the place – S/SW round to N/NE. After several false starts when the wind shifted horribly we managed to push him out and and go straight out into the river instead of our usual paddling out backwards then downwind down the river.
Felt like a nice blow and we were just getting out of the river when it died then came back 90 degrees off. Had a few blasts up and down the end of the river then it changed again so we went out towards the starting platform in the main channel – lovely, nice blow. tacked round to blast back up and doing our normal 16-17 knots we suddenly just stopped dead – I thought we had somehow snagged a lobster pot and swung round 90 degrees. The wind had shifted 180 degrees with equal strength.

As we had arrived late we had missed going out before high tide so having not really enjoyed the shifty wind so much, we thought we would head back in as the tide was going out pretty quickly.

Dear god. Stop, start, tack every 30 seconds max, stop, start.


Anyway we got back t the ramp and heading in quite nicely and carefully when the wind shifted and took us straight back out! Spun him around and headed back with the wind behind us, got the port rudder and daggerboard up and swung across the ramp whereupon Lesley hopped out and caught us happy days!

Heading back in like that sometimes is a bit rough if it gusts as we barrel in quite quickly as we really can’t de-power…

Using the single dolly but with Lesley pulling the rope attached to that made the trip a lot easier.

We then tested the new dolly contraption for fit across Chop – hmm not quite. If I lift the main support pads about an inch it might just work but may need to add a little width extension on somehow. However, the basic plan will work! We can attach the new dolly to the long handle from the main dolly almost perfectly by the look of it so a bit more bodging then hopefully we can get it functional.

We need to make this as easy as we can for sure.

Back to G4 for a hot shower again – bloody marvellous!

Another great little trip out getting used to her.

Get home to find we hadn’t started the Velocitek Speed Puck and I’d knocked the head camera so we had 1 second of video. Also forgot the GPS watch so clearly the Plank Award for Divotness beyond the call of duty is firmly mine. Probably for perpetuity….


GiGiGoGo 4 – 2020-05-25 Mudeford Kayaking

Start Mileage 169 – End Mileage 187

What a beautiful day, got up got ready and loaded up some food in GiGi and headed off down to Mudeford about 9:45.

We put the fridge / freezer for the first time on the electric plug in on the drive for half an hour to see how good it is.

As we entered it looked like quite a few people were already there but luckily found a great spot by the dinghy park with loads of room and easy access in and out.

We got the inflatable kayaks out and realised that the electric inflater doesn’t quite fit the Boston valves but it saved quite a bit of work anyway. Need to put some electrical tape around it and it should be good to go.

Had a wonderful hour and a half paddling over to the beach huts then along to the Hengistbury Head Outdoor Centre – there must have been hundreds of swans – lockdown is clearly working out well for them!

Loads of motor boat traffic going in and out up the channel – most wearing no safety equipment and clearly speeding….

Over on the other side we saw a herd of mares and their new foals by the waters edge.



We pootled back round along the houses and saw some dogs being taken out for paddle boarding – awesome!

Got back to the van and had a fantastic lunch on the shore – we need to get a new table and our new chairs should arrive shortly which will be good. The Brunner Axia table is completely out of stock everywhere though so no idea when that will turn up.

Bit of a read by the beach and job done – what a lovely day!

Before heading off we checked the fridge and freezer – wow. Icicles! Totally amazing running on gas. Bodes well for when we can get out on some longer trips and we’ll be able to take some frozen food with us no problem.

We got back home and one of the storage  boxes had moved meaning we couldn’t open the offside garage door – luckily we have easy access from inside GiGi and from other side meant we could clear it quite easily but must get something to stop it moving into the wrong place. Moving the kayak bag there will be the best bet as it is quite heavy to drag out anyway.

Once again, a cracking trip in 4G – we could not have made a better choice of van!