Saturday, 19 April 2014

Marj and her Electrickery

Imagine….you are now the proud owner of our Totally Tropical Marj and you can use her for just about anything…..  She could be your own hobby room (maybe you have a secret obsession with those Lidl weekly bargains for obscure crafty things and need somewhere to explore your creative side…) Or, maybe you are the proud parent of a budding garden fairy who would love to have their very own
Fancy yourself as a Festival Goer??
garden hideaway.  Just maybe you fancy setting off for Glastonbury in vintage charm with tropical style, receiving admiring glances from fellow festival goers.  Or maybe, you are going to put Marj to work and set her up as your vintage nail and brow salon…. The possibilities are endless, so who knows?!? You do!! 
Are you dreaming yet?!?  So, hold that thought…..
Over the past few months, whilst working on our Totally Tropical Marj, we have had many many discussions about the type of power we think people may need in their caravans.
We are hoping that, if we explain it all to you, (as far as we understand it!) you could let us know what you think - bearing in mind what you plan on doing with Marj. So, here goes….
Traditionally, caravans were powered solely by gas (apart from the road lights that would be powered from the towing vehicle). The gas would generally power the cooker hob, grill and fridge (if there was one) and the internal lighting.  Some caravans also came with gas heaters. 
Whilst in the process of transforming Marj, we decided that the gas lighting could mean nothing but trouble.  For one thing, gas light mantles and accessories are now quite hard to come by and we are not sure how useful or safe a gas light would be.  So, we have opted for no gas lighting.  
Marj had a mixture of electrical installation - 12v for her lights and 240v for her sockets.  12v will work off a battery, so in a caravan you would have something called a leisure battery that would be concealed under one of the seats and used to power the lights and with the use of an inverter, possibly the sockets too (but it would depend on what you plug in as to whether it would work).  
We have pondered for many an hour over the requirement for 12v power.   If you are at a standard sort of caravan or camping site you can usually book a pitch with electric hook up and negate the need for using a leisure battery.  At home, if you have an electricity source outside or the ability to plug in to an internal home socket you will not need 12v supply.  
But, 12v power could be useful if you have no other source of electricity. So when you are at Reading festival or Glastonbury (or Glastonbudget - look it up - its brilliant….) then you could make use of a leisure battery for your lights.  But, do you really need this ??? Wouldn’t it be just as easy to use portable lights or torches ???
In the end we decided that Marj would have 240v electricity supply for her lighting and sockets and gas for her hob and fridge. If you want lights and don’t have electric then get a torch!!!  - And then along came ‘The Boatman’ and he has made us think the whole thing through again…
We love The Boatman
The Boatman is Jeremy and he is one of our favourites !!! We have mentioned before that our vintage adventure has led us down many an interesting path and we have come across some very brilliant people….well, Jeremy The Boatman is one of those people.
Getting the electrics in the caravan sorted is not the sort of job that most electricians are used to doing.  As fate would have it, one day I was stuck at temporary traffic lights in Dursley idly reading the sign on the car in front - “The Boatman electrical fault finding blah blah, “ - when it suddenly dawned on me that this person could be just who we need.  So, after a short period of stalking, The Boatman was persuaded to come and meet Marj, Hilda and Rita.  Being a boatman he ‘got it’ right away - he was even used to calling the vans by their names! 
Now, used to living on a boat, Jeremy was all too familiar with the need for electricity when no mains power source is available - yep - the leisure battery to the rescue! So, together we have hit on what we think is a brilliant plan….  When you buy one of our caravans, she will come with mains powered 240v lights and sockets and no leisure battery.  However, if you wish the lights to be converted to 12v this can be done as a ‘bolt-on’ and likewise if you want light and socket conversion.  
Dreeeeaaammmm, dream dream dream - If you owned Marj, where and what do you think you would use her for?? What source of power do you think would be most useful?

We would be really interested to know what you think.

 Mary & Lisa x 


  1. Love the 'bolt-on" idea! Gives everyone options.

  2. We think that giving people options is a good thing too!!