Do you like to tinker and upgrade?

Oct 21, 2020
All my adult life, from around the age of 15, I've enjoyed tinkering. This would be on motorbikes, onto cars and then into classic cars and motorbikes.
It drives my wife mad as I'm always buying and selling bits and bobs, on my 1965 singer, last year it involved buying a Period Motorola Radio ( of the model offered by Rootes as an option), it had been converted to allow connection discretely to an ipod, I then bought another 3 in order to swap knobs and make it aesthetically perfect, sold the 3 off to cover costs.
Most recently, we have been considering swapping our Caravan. Much searching and viewing convinced us that we were going to fork out a lot of money to end up with something that would do the same as our current one..
The year after our van was made saw a couple of nice looking upgrades.
The front gas locker went from body colour and anodised locking handle to a Carbon Fiber type with chrome handle, bought new they are around £900. I've bought a used one for much less and fitted it looks very pleasing. Old one sold for a decent price.
This week, I've swapped the entrance door lock from the black plastic type to the type with a large chrome type handle, again, looks pleasing to the eye and seems to work a lot better.
All totally pointless really but keeps me happy 😊

Do you enjoy tinkering?

May 7, 2012
I am afraid when it comes to practical work I am very limited to the likes of changing a plug. I would love to be able to improve things but know my limits. Our caravan is more or less the same as when we bought it.
Mar 14, 2005
Do you enjoy tinkering?

I always have done. Thirty years ago I used to change my diesel engine cambelts every 30K miles just because I enjoyed doing it. My caravan is 22 years old and I've owned it for the past 12 years. I write a blog about some of the projects I've done on it. See it at
I see you own a Singer car. Over the years I've had three of them. The first was a 1937 Singer Bantam, then a 1949 Singer SM followed by a 1954 Singer Hunter. All great cars! I wish I still had them!
Jan 3, 2012
Another one if i have anything done to the caravan i get my caravan engineer on to it i am not good at practical stuff could not change the oil on the car or plugs
Jul 19, 2021
I enjoy tinkering, and have rebuilt and customised several VW Beetles /Type 3s, Vans and Golfs over the years.
Currently restoring and upgrading my MG F as a rolling project.
I also tinker with Retro Computers, mostly the Atari brand and upgrade memory, use modern SD card media to emulate hard drives , and add HDMI video output etc etc.
But I only fix our caravan when it needs it, no interest in messing with trim etc etc. THat may change as it ages and we want to modernise it.
Thinking about it, I have swapped out the broken original Daewoo microwave for a smaller Aldi special one which is much smaller and consequently has better airflow and no longer cuts out when doing jacket spuds like the old one did, so its either and upgrade , a downgrade, a mod or just being tight, you can choose :)
There is a guy on the next street to us and he has recently purchased an older (probably late 90's) Twin axle Eldis. I noticed that he has painted all of the old dark wood furniture a pale colour and retrimmed the flowery seat squabs and curtains. I'm really impressed and it looks really cool
Aug 24, 2020
I love tinkering and did loads of jobs on our old van - we've only had our current van a couple of months but I've already installed a small solar panel to keep the battery topped up in storage, and extended the toilet flush tank drain tube, so I can drain the tank into a jerry can at the end of every stay. Like Bluetonic I've also swapped out a non-functioning Daewoo microwave for a working one, although that job isn't complete yet - because the bottom of the new microwave is a different shape, I've had to make up some shims to allow the new one to be firmly secured.

Oh, and I've re-tensioned the front blinds.

Future jobs on my list include:
  • Installing USB phone charger sockets in convenient locations (bedroom and lounge)
  • Install a high-level third brake light (thought it a bit odd that Bailey didn't fit one as standard, but not many Baileys of the period seem to have one)
  • Install reversing lights - which I may or may not make come on when the motor mover is engaged
  • Extend the motor mover control umbilical plug-in to a location that's easy to access when needed. (it's currently tucked away behind the battery box, accessible only to a skilled contortionist)

And of course by the time I get to the bottom of that list, there will be some other things I want to do!

Not sure I'd swap out trim unless something was broken, although on the old van I replaced gas struts on the roof light, and would have done on the gas locker if we'd kept the van longer.
  • Like
Reactions: Bluetonic
Jul 18, 2017
We would like a WiFi or BT rear view camera installed primarly for being able to see traffic that hides behind the caravan to take advantge of the slipstream. Monitor must be able to clip over the read view mirror. However charging the unit is an issue as do not want to drill through the caravan bodywork.

I would also like to install Avtex AMR985 Mobile Wifi unit from the CAMC on our roof. Generally we use my phones with unlimited data, but sometimes it is a rain dance with the phone to get a signal to watch Prime, Netflix etc. I could do fit the Avtex unit myself, but too scared to drill the hole in case I go through a batten so will probably pay someone to fit it.

Lastly fitting an additional thermostatic fan for the fridge to help with air flow over the fins on very hot days like you get in France and Spain. I feel fairly confident I could build the unit myself even with my limited skills and crooked fingers. No need to use a soldering iron either.

Can't think of anything else to add except a butler to serve the cold beer. :D
  • Like
Reactions: Bluetonic
Jul 19, 2021
Is tinkering the same as repairing?
Had an afternoon at the storage yard yesterday, washed van and cleaned the inside. Serviced the Whale inlet thingy with new non-return valve and O rings
Fixed one of the front blinds by routing the strings correctly. Fixed the bathroom blind again.Replaced a screw in the kitchen blind frame, this may have been missing from new. Tightened up the shelf in the bathroom.

At some point I'm going to have to replace the Whale i_Van control screen as it is barely readable. but at £300+ it's going to have to wait.
I may take it apart and see if there is anything that I can do to repair it, but that will wait until it actually stops working altogether. It may be possible to buy a new screen from Ali Express although Whale say it's not repairable.
i-Van is the worst set up we have ever had on a caravan.
  • Like
Reactions: Kevin M