Billy - our rather lovely VW T4 Bilbo Weekender is
And - Aint he cute
The are over a hundred photos here showing just about every detail known to man or woman.
If you want to be in touch with us after the auction (for instance to agree a buy it now should the reserve not be met) then you will need to get in touch with your email address whilst the auction is running. Ebay will not allow any communication through their system once the auction is over.
martin at crocodileproductions dot co dot uk
This is a little walk around her in my garden.
You can also reach me on my mobile 07747 634007, but I am not often able to take calls and reception is dodgy so text is preferable and I will most probably have to text you back.
THE BORING FACTS
First Registered: August 1996 (P registration)
Mileage: 135,000 M
MOT: 11th August 2017
Road tax: Has to be renewed on purchase
1896cc ABL Turbo Diesel Engine
Manual 5 speed Transmission
Number of Former Keepers: 3
Total Service History
Don't forget to study the hundred or so photos which are in a web page and the showjust about every detail in glorious colour.
This is a 'road movie'. Not quite as exciting as Thelma and Louise but close.
Bilbo, those lovely people in Surrey know a thing or two about campers, camper people and also about vans. As a result they produce campers that will suit a variety of tastes and needs. The 'Weekender' is a fine example of exactly this as, and I'm reading from the brochure here:
'Bilbo's bed / seat system - "roll-over" bed / seat system is, when down, 6'1" X 4'9" (1.9 X 1.48m). The system can be removed from the vehicle by removing 4 bolts, with supplied ratchet.'
As a result it's a camper at weekends and a van during the week. I've removed the cooker unit as I had to move something that needed the space but not had to remove the bed which is very solid and would be a two-man lift.
The spec is very good: Cooker, Cool box, 240 volt hook-up with mains charging, running water with electric tap, leisure battery, overhead reading lamps, courtesy lamp over cooker, easy to operate pop-top with fly screens and opening vents, masses of storage, sliding windows, rotating passenger seat, captain's chairs with adjustable armrests, masses of storage, power assisted steering, five speed gearbox, twin tables, five seat belts - four lap and diagonals, one lap belt, remote control radio MP3 player with USB and jack plug inputs, highly practical vynil flooring and full insulation.
It's all in outstandingly good nick as well which helps.
She also has a really decent stereo which not only receives radio signals but also an iPhone plugged in(other phones are also available).
I invested in a really decent camera and lens so that I could furnish you with those pictures I mentioned - over a hundred of them which are available in a web page and they show every panel in close up.
PAINTWORK and BODY
He's very tidy indeed. She is not perfect and I don't use extravagent terms.
'Like new' should be reserved for things in shops and showrooms, 'immaculate' should be left as a means of conception and 'perfect' should only be used to describe 'her indoors' and even then only when there's a good chance of her overhearing. Instead I prefer 'solid', 'sound', excellent' and 'better than you'd expect'. I can also live with 'cleaner than a new nappy', 'as unmolested as a students floor' or 'more rewarding than an afternoon strawberry picking'. They all say something tangible and believable.
So here goes: Nicer than a gift from Chancellor Hammond, cleaner than a monkey's armpit and as special as a nine bob note.
Being a bit more serious for a moment he's in a very good state with no signs of any rust and is very original, in fact, he's one of the least molested examples I've ever owned. Please don't expect a 20 - odd year old van to be like new - it's not possible.
Do please look at the photos and the video; as you can probably tell from the above - they are far more descriptive than I can be...
Also you're welcome to come and have a look and see for yourself - In fact I encourage it.
The 'other' reason he's for sale can be found here
I'm no mechanic so I can only speak as I find things to be. However I've owned a fair number of these in the past so know what to look out for in the broadest sense. I'm afraid
I can find nothing mechanically worth noting and he has always behaved impeccably. The MOT was passeed with one advisory notice "NSR tyre near legal limit" but both rear tyres have been replace and are a matching pair - as are the front tyres. I'd happily climb aboard and go anywhere in this van and be pretty certain of a 'happy outcome'.
In reliability terms there's always a proviso and this is it: if it's mechanical then, one day, it will go wrong... it's a truism that's so slick it cannot be denied - from Beagle 2 (languishing somewhere on Mars) to Chenobyl; the theory is proven - so top up your RAC membership and be aware that you're likely to shell out years of wasted payments but, one day, it will pay off, and you'll be the happier for the advice. Make sure you have some tea on board and you won't mind.
I have in my sweaty mits a simply stunning service history. The original VW service book was completed up till 102,000 miles but she's been serviced since and all receipts are present. The last was 4,000 miles ago - there are pictures so please take a look.
The registration document shows 3 former keepers.One key does everything. There are two.
The Waffly Bit
For every ten campers I view at least eight prove to be unsuitable in some way - it's the occasional exceptions like this one that I buy.
It's a way of life thing - if you travel to buy a camper and aren't satisfied by meeting interesting people then you'll be wasting a great deal of your time. It's simply that most people haven't noticed that their lovely old van is falling apart as it's done so over a number of years, it's only when I find one like this that I put my hand in my pocket and grin like an idiot.
Of course there are other benefits: this time I was able to visit severeal sights of interest, met some lovely people on my way and had a very selfish time of it but that's why I do it and as a result I get to pop about the countryside meeting many different people that I don't actually mind when the vans are wrong and it's such a bonus when one like this pops up. It's all just part of something bigger.
Just in case the movies above don't work in your browser you can access them directly through youtube.com through the following links.
Did I mention the pictures? There are over a hundred of them in a web page and they're very detailed indeed.
I'm a writer who's younger children (21, 19 and 17 yrs) found out where my study is some time ago (the much older ones have flown) and decided to dedicate their entire existence to making my life a misery. Now they're away at school and univerity I find the memory of those days comes a tumbling back...
"Can I borrow a ruler?" "No"
"Where's my pen?" "Ask your Mother"
"I'm hungry." "Tell your mother"
"Freddy hit me." "Hit him back."
"Harry bit me" "Bite him back" (Harry's the dog)
"Can I have some paper?" "Help yourself, it's on a roll in the lavatory."
The blank page was also giving me a bit of gyp - staring back with an aggressive tone of voice - so getting out of the house became the logical way forward. None of them seemed to mind, come to think of it they were positively encouraging... mmm, must ask about that.
In the end I lost it (my patience and my marbles) at about the same time as the royalty cheques got a wee bit thin on the ground so I went back on my 'tools' (I worked in the retail car industry for 11 years from about 20 yrs old) and started trading cars via Ebay.
Cars are jolly boring though - all electronics and three letter acronyms - and, loving a bit of excitement I got back into VW's, old Morris Minors and the like. I now buy one car a year which 'she-who-must-be-obeyed' drives and walk past everything else that's modern.
Instead I buy about three or four campers plus a few interesting 'old-timers' through the course of a year, drive them around, twiddle with this, fettle that, play with the other.
This means that now I can gather up my portable, (you can read some of the results if you want by clicking here and if music's your bag then you can listen to some of mine by clicking here),take some tea, a duvet some bits and bobs, a small tool roll and just disappear in a cmaper or head to an hotel in an old classic. It's marvellous. I go where I want, when I want, I start when it suits me, stop when it suits me and, best of all have no pesky kids under my feet - I'm told I love them really. And my lovely wife? Well she often finds a camper, books a ticket and an hotel and packs me off to look at something, usually an overnight stay and when I get back there's often a whisker from a man's moustache on my pillow. I'm clean shaven.
So these days my wife does the silly things; researches and finds the campers, takes the kids to school, books the family holiday, finds new contracts, runs the finances and so on while I do all the crucial, important things like the wine run to France and collecting the campers and make all the critical decisions like who's going to win the six nations, whether Collingwood really is the name for every boys' hero to adopt and whether Bradley Wiggins should be deported - a perfect arrangement.
My other alter ego can be found by clicking here
I'm a very open sort of character so if you have any questions at all please feel completely free to send them through. Don't be surprised if the answer is shockingly honest.
You're bidding to buy not to pop over and kick the tyres. That said if my description's wrong then I would never dream of holding you to a transaction and, more than likely I'd be searching the maps for the nearest cliff (usually found at Wimbledon).
It is very rare indeed for me to end a listing early nor do I discuss reserve prices. There are good reasons for this, please just bid no more than you want to spend and if my modest reserve is not met then I can always arrange a second chance offer through the Ebay system.
We're five miles from Arundel (great day out -historic castle and seat of the Norfolk family) there's a railway station there (half-hourly trains from London Victoria, regular services from Brighton, Southampton, Bognor and so on) and we can collect you. Arundel is about an hour's drive (due south) from Junctions nine and ten on the M25.
I can sometimes deliver - rare these days unless you're pretty - but I charge (not a lot) please let me have a postcode and stats for a quotation. The vehicle will need to be the major part paid for prior to this happening.
No old vehicle is going to be perfect, they're often over a quarter of a century old, but I will always describe any faults I know of and give a proper assessment of any rust, damage or anything at all that is relevant and of which I'm aware. Please don't expect something that's not possible, they're all old vans and, in the end if it's made of metal eventually it will rust and if it's mechanical it will one day wear out. All vehicles are somewhere on the curve that runs from the showroom to the scrappie (one wide-boy to another), it's a case of trying to guess exactly where the latter point is in relation to the bundle of bits you're buying.
My 'job' is to use my experience to judge which ones are just too close to the wrong end and to reject them, buy the others and serve (or save) them: you simply wouldn't believe how many times I've travelled several hundred miles to view a camper described as perfect only to find it's been hand painted in hammerite or has a conversion from BnQ and has liquid metal holding it all together and then walked away.
The process only works because I can walk away (my wife dreads the telephone ringing and the words "I've walked") and come back in a car I buy around the corner, or catch a train and ponder. I've bought in Holland, Germany France, Northern Scotland, Ireland and so on. Distance is no problem and adds immensely to the fun.
Just to be absolutely clear: there is no VAT payable on the vehicles I dabble in. I am registered for VAT as a writer and as such when ebay asked for my VAT number I duly filled it in not realising that it would mean them classing me as a business. I'm not too worried abiout this as, although I don't carry any stock, have any premises or deal in any official capacity I'm quite happy to put all of my financial activity through my self employed accounts. This means that if ever I make a profit I will pay VAT and any other taxes due on that amount from within my bit but there is no VAT to add to the final bid price which is all you will be asked to pay. Do ask if any of that is unclear.
I always prefer cash but cleared funds of any description are fine. I can accept Paypal payments but they charge 4% which is horrendous so would prefer to avoid it or you can use the 'send money as a gift' option.
Winning bidders please get in touch within twenty-four hours of the sale ending.
I obscure all registration numbers to prevent vehicle cloning/identity theft. The police turned up once asking if they could see my 'getaway' car - a 1964 Morris Minor! If you need the VRM for some reason I'll happily supply it when I know who you are and why you want it.
If you wish to view the vehicle feel free to get in touch. We will need a land-line telephone number and a postal address with post-code prior to making any final arrangements - the internet is an odd place and I have children and animals to think of.
Naturally should you choose to bid without viewing then you'll be buying against the pictures, the honest description, the movies, any contact we've had and your confidence that I see things the way you do.
I wish you the best of luck and, remember -
HOME IS WHERE YOU PARK IT.