Hi from Europe - my new Niewiadów Predom N126D (Cadet)
I would like to introduce myself and my new little fiberglass caravan that I'm going to pick up in a few weeks time. I'm from Sweden, but spend quite a bit of the winter months in southern Spain. My car is a VW T4 Caravelle that I've had for 8-9 years, which has taken me and Ms. through Europe once per year. Ms. has got a flat in Spain and I've got a cottage in Sweden. We try to drive different ways every year for seeing different places. The shortest distance one way is 3,700 kms (2,300 miles), but it tend to be longer The car is an 8-setter that easily can be converted to a temporary camping-car. It's served us well, but the space has become a bit too small since we started to travel with our two cats in a bespoke cat cage during the last two journeys. We've believe a small caravan could suit us well as a complement to our existing camping-car.
Here is a photo of our new little fiberglass caravan:
It's a brand new Niewiadów Predom N126D without an inbuilt fridge. Isn't she beautiful? We already have a compressor cooler-box that we use in our camping-car that we also will use in the caravan. Once the caravan has been picked up from the caravan shop in Holland, it's going to be customized. One or two AGM-batteries will be installed and I might even fix a thin solar panel on top of the roof lid that can be elevated. An electric fan heather and more power plugs will also be installed. If there later on will be a need for a heater that runs on gas, then I'll install a Propex Gas Heatsource HS 2000.
Very nice! I'd like to see how your interior looks. Also how is it put together? Does it have a single seam down the middle, or seams to join the sides to a cent portion, or what? It's really great to find out about how other folks solve the problems and face the challenges of making a trailer work.
Welcome PerH. I really like your camper and so happy that you shared it with us. I'm happy that you can get away and enjoy so much diverse and beautiful scenery. I'm looking forward to more pictures and stories about your adventures! Best wishes, Michael
Welcome! We too pull our fiberglass camper with a Caravelle, called a Eurovan here. We love it and wish VW still imported them here. For us, we use it to carry our belongings, and, like you since we camp with our cats, our cat supplies.
I also belong to the VW forum you post on. Small world isn't it? Information on that forum saved us when our Eurovan broke both cooling fans in rural West Virginia while pulling our camper.
Thanks for all your friendly lines. It's nice to know that CindyL also tow a fiberglass caravan with a VW Eurovan.
I'll have to share more photos when we picked up the caravan from the dealer in Holand. The photo I've posted was taken by the dealer, showing me what the caravan looked like when it arrived from the factory in Poland. Meanwhile, her is a link from a seller in Germany that shows what the interior looks like:
The main difference between the caravan at mobile.de and ours is that we ordered one without a fridge. We got an extra unit instead of the fridge. We also asked them not to put the stickers on the caravan, since we thought they were a bit ugly. We might put on decoration of our choice instead.
Travelling with cats can be a bit complicated, since it can be pretty warm in Spain during the summer. When it's 40 C (104 F) in the shade, then one has to keep driving for the AC to cool down the car. Furthermore, our female cat is not ideal to travel with, but we can't leave her behind. She looks a bit like the breed that is called "snowshoe" and we found her in the street in Spain 2˝ years ago, when she aprox. was 3-5 months old. During her early years she seams to have learned to hide from danger by getting up in engine bays of cars, which is a very dangerous idea. She's also a bit nervous and I'm the only person that can pick her up, but just for a shorter time.
Within 2-3 months with us the little girl started to scream for boys and she was extremely laud. After singing opera for four months, we took her to the vet for her to be sterilised and be legal to travel. After she was sterilised she became very reluctant to get in to the ordinary pet transport box. It's happened that she's delayed our departure for a day, due to trouble to get her into the small transport box.
The two ordinary pet transport boxes are attached to the big bespoke cage I built for the car, and the funny thing is that when the small transport boxes are part of the big box, then our female cat is not afraid of them. In fact she regards it as a safe place. When there's a danger outside the car, then she jumps into the big box in the car and hides deep in one of the small transport boxes. The same transport boxes she's so reluctant to get into when they're on the floor in the flat in Spain.
Our male is much easier to travel with since he didn't have any ruff experiences during his early years. He's a Birma that was given to us from a breeder in Madrid after being castrated and taken off from breeding. He's a pedigree and champion that originally came from another breeder in Italy. I must admit that he could be a bit aggressive when he came from the breeder, especially when touching his fur. Nowadays, I can pull his fur quite a bit before he tells me off.
When travelling, we have to find places where we can let them out at least every other day. They normally don't walk that far and they're getting more and more used to travelling. The idea with the caravan is that they will get more space and it will be cooler then the car too, so we can stay away for a bit longer.
Here is a photo of our two Pan European travellers:
The boy is to the left and the girl is to the right
I also thought I can share a video showing our Birma at the countryside at my cottage in Sweden during the summer. He's really got hold of the countryside life, hasn't he?
Beautiful cats! We are cat lovers ourselves and have too many, but they were all rescued from a bad life. Only 3 travel with us, the 3 pictured. They are Munchkin cats, or dwarf cats. Two are tabbies from the same really bad farm situation, where the farmer was going to shoot them, until the rescue group came in and raided the farm of its cats. The other is a white Balinese Munchkin, also from a bad situation, a hoarder's house. They are indoor cats and stay in the camper. We have air conditioning in the camper though. The female and white male do not mind camping, but the other one is really timid, and normally spends most of the time under the covers. The white male is almost like a dog when he is riding in the Eurovan, looking out at the scenery. They have been to South Dakota, Yellowstone Park, and Florida with us.
I also included an image of the Balinese on his back legs in a begging position, which is something that Munchkin cats do naturally. You can see the short legs in this picture too.
Thanks for sharing, PerH. The floor plan for your new camper is very similar to that of my 30 year old Burro. I guess it's hard to improve on a really good basic design. Like you, I do without a refrigerator, and prefer the extra cabinet space. I find for my needs a cooler does the job quite well. Please keep us informed when you get you unit in so we can enjoy it with you.
We picked up our new little caravan in Holland by the end of May, on our way from southern Spain to Sweden. I changed and improved quite a few things on the caravan during the summer, before we went back to Spain again in mid September. Ms. thought a was a bit mad that carried out that much work on a brand new caravan
This is what it looked like when it was parked outside our countryside house in Sweden during the summer:
The water container was originally placed in the cupboard underneath the sink.
I found two water containers that could be placed in the single seat base next to the kitchen pod instead.
This is what the cupboard looks like when the water container is gone:
Our caravan was ordered without an inbuilt fridge, so we got another cupboard underneath the cooker where the fridge is normally installed.
We had a compressor cooler box from before that we use in the caravan too. The cooler box fits well on top of the single seat next to the kitchen pod, but it's placed on the floor during transport.
Since we're travelling with two cats, I also had to make a box where the plastic box for the cat toilet could be placed. The wooden box was made with a shelf on top for magazines etc. It was also made quite tall, since our male cat sits like a "ballerina" on the edge of the plastic box when doing his hard bits.
The trays for water and cat food got its place at the other side underneath the big table. I also put in plastic covers underneath the front and rear windows, so it can be kept clean easier. It also protect from the cats to put their clues in this part of the interior.
I bought a nice little cat-house that our female cat was inspecting when I took the photos:
The caravan was not equipped with a battery. A battery was needed for the compressor cooler box. I placed an AGM-battery in a box in the seat base of the sofa, next to the kitchen pod, where it sits just behind the wheel axle. I also put in a CTEK battery charger, which one can see in the upper left corner.
The 12v system was very sinple and had one fuse. More power sockets were needed, which required more fuses. I built this 12v central that is placed in the single seat base, where the tow-bar electric is taken in in the caravan. The solar panel regulator is only used as a 30A battery low voltage protector.
I put in a LED-lamp above the kitchen pod, for getting better light there. It was also space for a small loudspeaker on the shelf above the kitchen pod.
It's handy to have some 12v cig-lighter sockets, so these two were put in:
More 230v power pugs were wanted, so I added a few and also put in a thermostat that regulates two power outlets, which is placed in the seat base, where a fan heather and a heated matt are connected.
I wanted to have a 230v power plug outside the caravan. Therefore, I made this power cable that includes an RCD and that ends with a CEE-power plug that can take an adapter to Schuko power outlet.
The caravan didn't have shock-absorbers, but it had mounting points for them. I put on a pair of shock-absorbers, which prevented things to jump around as much as before.
The frame for the gas-bottles didn't fit composite bottles from Scandinavia. I had to make a new frame. I made the frame, so the centre support for each bottle can be adjusted to fit different bottles.
If we just have one gas-bottle in the gas-box, then there's space for either a barrel-shaped BBQ or a "washing-machine" that consist of a plastic barrel with a lid.