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I bought a big and joined the circus.


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3 hours ago, Pieman said:

That is absolutely awesome, fair play to you and I look forward to following your escapades!

I note you bought it off the Bleasdales too - I've been commentating on them in Rallycross over the last couple of years.  Jason won the overall BTRDA Clubmans title last year, he's got a stupidly quick Vauxhall VX220 that gets off the startline like shit off a shovel in every race and by the first corner is so far ahead he usually can't be caught!  Will let him know this awesome house on wheels is in good hands.

Had a good chat with Jason about rally cross as I was into it way back. Saw his race mobile. An absolute weapon. There was another build going on, weapon 2. Can't remember any details. Him and his dad seemed ok types and I was well happy with the deal I got.

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  • 3 months later...

I'll use this thread for any circus shite as my rig will be involved. The Puddlethumper tour Ft, Circus Vegas will feature* in the following high end places in the Brexit British Isles, although no islands will be visited. 

NEC  20 May to 5 June.    Huddersfield 8 to 12. Greenock 15 to 19.  Edinburger 22 to 28.   Stirling 30 to July 3.  Livingston 5 to 7.  Ayr 9 to 12.  Noocastle way aye man. 15 to 24.  Halifax 27 to 31. Paignton Green 5 to 30 August. Four weeks near Torquay I believe.   2 to 18 Plymouth. There are some choice places in that lot, still, square sausage and haggis looks on the menu.

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Saturday we started moving accommodations up to the field of udders as the shows x2 went on. 2 trips, 2 hours there and 2 back. First with an LDV Maxus minibus with a couple of crew and a rather large box trailer. Fuck me, that was shite. Second trip I took my Rig up. Ivor, boss bloke drove a Scania with two trailers. Me and another bod then hopped in the Scanny tractor unit for the trip back which was quite, erm, interesting. Wheel spins galore, obviously easy with no trailer, and power slides on a fair few roundabouts. On the motor way we were overtaking trucks with ease, no tacho innit. Next morning it was off back up with the LDV with a shower trailer and a couple more bods. Back down by about 2ish and then back up again with, I can't remember what now. Then a trip with a Daf LF with a drawbar trailer. Hills? Down to 35/40. Gruesome. Oh, by the way 2  shows still going on while the move is on. Last show finished about 4 and dismantling stuff started at 3. The whole lot was down by about 7/8ish. Everything in Hudders by 2am. It's a pretty slick operation.

The crew are nearly all Romanians because us Brits don't want to do it and the rest are Irish. Haven't met them all yet so probably other nationalities. I haven't met all the performers yet but there is a family from Finland who have driven a truck, a 4x4 and a caravan from there. There's a road trip. They do a crossbow act which is impressive. There are 3 young Brazilians that do the bike stunts . and they were a little surprised when I spoke Portuguese so had a chat about Brazil. They said my Brazilian Portuguese was shite, which it is. There a a fair number of acrobatic and dancing ladies whose nationality I have yet to establish, They are very fit young ladies as you can imagine, I hope.

It's at this point I was going to put  some pics up, coz we all love them, don't we. Sorry, aint appenin coz I was a dick and they are all upside down and although @Talbotwas kind enough to tell me how to sort it it was right over my head to be honest. It's all still a bit of a mystery to me. The next move is to Greenock this weekend and I have been informed it will all be there, at the latest, Monday morning. I looked on maps and in a car it's four and a half hours, so in a truck it's got to be 6 to 7 hours. Move all this by Monday morning? Blimey. 

I think that's about it for the moment. I'll be back when I can. Busy.

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A little bit about living in a flat on wheels on the road. It's not all about views and beaches. I've parked up on a small industrial site, for example, when I was sorting the van out. It was a dead end, so no through traffic, very little traffic and after 6 was quiet. It also had good aspect for the solar which is important off grid of course. There are quite a few laybys that are an old curve of the road around the west midlands. I've sat in one really good one for 3 weeks and nobody has said anything apart from a couple of ladies from some charidee asking if I was alright. Not sure why they thought I wasn't.

 At the moment I have two 260w panels and two 130 amp leisure batteries which I am going to upgrade to a Lithium set up. Cost about 2.5/ 3 grand max. 460amp battery 1500, invertor charger 500, controller etc another 5 ish. Lithium has the advantage of being able to use at least 80% of the charge. Also looking into a wind turbine as well which would be good in the winter on a pole on the side. Not the aeroplane styley but a vertical one. I've got an on board 4kw genny which I try not to use as it's Lpg and running off to get it at 10 mpg is something to do as little as possible as some Lpg stations I can't get in with the trailer on so have to ditch it somewhere. 

I'll chuck a bit more up about life on the road if anyone is interested in this stuff.

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As I am on an easy day I'll babble a bit more about life as an itinerant circus worker,  and maybe a bit about layby life. I think I'll start with a bit about living on the road. I think it was @Jim Bell who wanted to know about tank capacity.  Fresh water is 60 gals. Whether that is US or Brit measure I don't know. Grey holding tank is 45 gals. Black tank the same. Getting water. There are a few ways of doing this but it depends where you are. When I go to a petrol station to get fuel for example, I ask if I can top the water tank up and that can work but not always. As I was based in the Stourbridge, Hagley, Bromsgrove area I was able to take a couple of 25ltr containers to a friend to fill up and with a 12v pump I could leave them in the back and pump into the tank. I was in a layby near Bromsgrove and quite a few people would walk past with dogs and if I was outside I'd say hello. This often turned into a chat about how I was living and one couple asked if I needed anything and I said a bit of water would go down well and they told me where their house was, not far, and to help myself to their outside tap. I've also heard of using church outside taps and leaving a donation. Never tried it. Public bogs are another possibility. If you are filling a container then a variety of connectors maybe needed to get on the variety of taps. The old style push on the bath taps shower type are generally pretty good although a plastic bottle cut a certain way can be useful. Another way is to book in to a campsite for a night and fill up and empty grey and black tanks which is ok although in the season is not cheap but I'm a tight bugger so I don't do that.     You have to learn to use as little water as you can because you have to go and get it. With my grey shower/ sink water I either let it into the gutter or catch it in a bucket and chuck it in the hedge as it doesn't have anything bad in it. I keep the washing up liquid and bleach to a minimum. Black water. If you can find a sewerage manhole and can park near enough with the pipe that's on board to reach it then that's one way, but a bit tricky to find. Industrial sites are the best possibility but then you'd have to find a fairly quiet one and go late at night.                                                                                                     I decided to go the compost route and made my own out of the big rubber paint container that the roof paint came in. Buying one can range from £10, primitive single use, to £400 or so for a posh job. The paint tub is not far off the height of a normal bog so I added a seat and cut a funnel into the front for peeing into a separate  container. If you mix the two it will stink and be dreadful to get rid of. Lined with a bin bag and a layer of Tesco fine wood shavings rat bedding over the bottom you are ready to start. When finished put paper in a separate bag and cover the dump with said shavings. This absorbs any moisture and stops any smell and I can assure you it does not smell at all. With the size and way of doing it I can go 10 days or so before I have to get rid. The getting rid. What I do is hop into the edge of a field, or other convenient place, dig a hole, empty bin bag and bury. Bag in rubbish bin. 

Right, I've done power, water and waste so I'll leave it there for now. Any questions on a stamped address ten pound note to wherever I am. 

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  • puddlethumper changed the title to I bought a big and joined the circus.

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