Saturday, 4 April 2009

Now you can have 8 seats and a kitchen sink

Where does this Story Start?

Okay here we go. This is my first Blog so please excuse the beginners standards.

(above: Blingo B*Witched Bongo)

Well owning a Ford Freda or as some of you know a Mazda Bongo (No difference, just a badge and seat colour difference) for nearly 2 years it has taken this long to decide what we do and don't want from our camping experiences and equipment.

I like many others have looked at many different conversions by many different designers, found many stunning, many a compromise and many just no damn use to us as a family of 5 plus the dog. I had an idea what I wanted 12 months ago but nobody, but nobody had anything I could either afford or completely satisfied our complicated request.

We have had loads of advise through the forums we have visited such etc. Been allowed to crawl all over there pride and joys, enjoy a fair few beers and some great company.

We then went away during the winter non camping months and decided, "We need to create our own kitchen unit that will allow us to keep our 8 seats, remain a 4 berth and be completely removable and returned to an MPV.

While out and about I came across a really useful but dated piece of camping equipment. I thought to myself, "Ahh now then, that may come in handy later on" and so the item was put away for a later date. What I didn't realise that this was the 1st piece of many that started the inspiration rocketing.

I know your thinking, "What the blummin heck is that". Well it has a 2 ring hob, a grill and an oven.

Then on another day, whilst looking through the cupboards at home, I came across another item. Something just when, "pinge" in the head. This could be useful. I know what your thinking, "She's off her tree this one".

The Metal, the shape, the durability and the ease to clean. It's gotta be good for a kitchen unit.

But, what other priorities does this unit have to comply with?
  • I have to keep my 8 seats
  • I need to be able to make the lower bed into a double
  • I need it to be accessible
  • It needs to have a twist action
I need it to be removable, for use in the awning and so the Bongo can be used as an MPV.

We then sat and drew lots of pictures, took lots and lots of measurements in the back of the Bongo, lived with the rear seat further forward than normal to see if we could cope. Looked for obvious obsticles, such as the wheel arches and seat height.

Eventually the idea was drawn. All we now need is someone who is pretty good at Laser cutting and fabrication.

We found a local company, and guess what they were called? Masda MetalWorkers Ltd. Fate was telling us these were the guys that could build our idea and have the experience and machinery to do a top class job.

We left the drawing with them, having discussed what materials we would like and it's purpose. They had never seen a Ford Freda/Mazda Bongo before and were intrigued with it's design.

They listened to us.
They made suggestions.
They were utterley professional and quick at their work.
They were more than happy to listen to our ideas and help improve the asthetic appearance of what we already had to work with.

The day came where we were ready to try the unit out. It was exactly what we were looking for and suited our needs perfectley. We wanted something modern looking, functional and most of all Different.

Well there you go. Everything and more than we could have hoped for. Now all we need is to get out and go camping.

Here's a few more pics of the finished unit.

Click here