Friday, February 13, 2015

Roadtrip 2014: Cleaning your teeth, how do I do it

Keeping fresh and clean is important for most people, and that includes me.This time I thought I would tell you about the simplest thing.

I always follow a ritutal of cleaning my teeth before bed time, and after breakfast time. It is important to feel fresh in my mouth, and they say it preserves your teeth.

I use a simple method to preserve fresh water. I have water in 5 liter buckets that I use to distribute into smaller buckets like 1 liters. And then use it to drink and also wash my teeth.

I usually put some toothpaste on the toothbrush, and make it stick with my tung. And then put just a little water in my mouth (keeping it in). After that I insert the toothbrush and wash the teeth with a close mouth, carefully. After a while I let some "yuck" escape the mouth and so on, dripping on the floor. After I´m ready cleaning the teeth. I thoroughly wash the mouth clean from the toothpaste with pure water. You should not swallow any of the toothpaste, its not good for you, usually contains fluoride, that's bad for ya. I also clean the tongue with the brush.
Early morning after eating breakfast, cleaning my teeth with toothbrush,  some toothpaste and water, leaning forward to not get any dripping "junk" on myself.

It´s just like doing in at home, but you have to use less water. Unless you want to go refill water to often.

This is the island Ängsö, the sun is shining, loving it.. Getting the mouth clean after sleeping in my car.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Roadtrip 2014: Ängsö morning, installing solar power and relaxing

Still in Ängsö: Early morning and time for breakfast. Using favorite müsli in a cup, and then pouring water on it. Sounds pretty bad to use water instead of milk or processed sour milk but.., nah, it´s ok, I´m used to it. Along that goes some pretty fresh fruit like peach.

Breakfast-time! Dry food, a peach and water works when you don't have a fridge with you

Well. I do have a icebox with me, but don't use it for anything other than bed support you can see in the picture. You also see the depth of the mattress from Ikea.
Time to connect the extra battery to the main power, (generator and solar power). I didn't have time to do it earlier (before heading out). I have some common tools with me. There is always more time when you´re out on the road somehow.

I´ve made this chipboard for the solar power, I have showed it to you earlier., That is.I have used on other road-trips. 
Solar controller (and some switches I rarely use).

Solar Power i now connected, and charging. Yey! :) The led for the sun is shining! About 13.65 volt on the extra leisure battery. Normally about 12,7 volt when not charging it.

There were bugs flying all over the place.. I´m not so found of them.. (to put it nicely). They are brakes (broms in Swedish), probably not called brakes in your country, perhaps more like gadfly or horsefly in you language.. :) However, they were not attacking me! Very strange, there were like piece between us, they were just checking me out. Their stomach seemed full somehow. I was really glad for that!

Okey, so to recap, it is early morning, the sun is low,  and I've put the car in the shade of a tree (and a toilet house). Then using pretty long cables to put the solar panel in the sun. Works great to have a portable adjustable solar-panel. Totally recommend it.

Next I sat down in the car for a couple of hours writing on the computer while listening to some great podcast on the carstereo (earlier downloaded from the Internet, mp3 style). Free power from the sun. I really enjoy it! Quiet solitude. This is what I love. Relaxing and contemplating. After a while people started showing up to look at the caste nearby, and they probably thought I was a strange fellow.. with a bed in the car :-) (not normal for people moldered in a box)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Roadtrip 2014: Sleeping place Ängsö

I decided to move, go back. Cause I remember driving past a smaller rv on the way to Långholms bridge, and I thought it might be nice with some company.

However, they were gone when I got back.
Woila, I this will be the spot for the night.
Woila, I this will be the spot for the night. 

Late evening, the sun is going down. I´m flexing my chest or something.. pathetic..
Late evening, the sun is going down. I´m flexing my chest or something.. pathetic..

Listening to James Altucher and Arianna Huffingtong podcast, downloaded from the Internet. Making some notes.. Great program!
Listening to James Altucher and Arianna Huffingtong podcast, downloaded from the Internet. Making some notes.. Great program!

So what to eat this evening?  PP.. Peanuts and Peach :) Yeah I know.. not to healty.
So what to eat this evening?  PP.. Peanuts and Peach :) Yeah I know.. not to healty.

Cows in the late evening at Ängsö
Then later I decided to go for a little walk.. and look what I found, cows.. the small ones were curios of me. 

Little baby cows, they were very curios who I was. :-=
This picture is with flash. Unfortunately I must have destroyed their night vision, hope you can forgive me cows?

So tired man! Zombieman!
In the middle of the night some kids with cars came AGAIN!! WTF... Two cars came putting their headlight at me (when I was sleeping, waking me up). Steerign me down. I looked out behind the curtains.. And after a while they started to burnout in the gravel, spinning around and around with their cars (old Volvo 740), and after a while they drove away. Sounded like they were looking for a barbecue or something.. After that I had a hard time getting back to slep.
This is how a tired man looks without any sleep. #Zombieman.

Curtains works great!
Early morning, the car getting warm by the radiation from the sun. The curtain helps keep the heat from sun out, reflectix would be even better. So nice to lay and read, until the car get too warm from the sun. After a while I decided to move the car into the shades.

Sleeping place for the night..
Sleeping next to a toilet is always nice in case the stomach get bad. But that rearly happens actually. You have to get to know your body on a roadtrip.

Love to walk and explore new areas. Something philosophical about it!
Decided to take a walk.

Walking bridge towards the lake Mälaren. Nice!
Walking bridge towards the lake Mälaren. Nice!

Birdtower, Ängsö/Engsö
I found a Birdtower looking at the sea Mälaren. I Did not have any binoculars with me though. Very nice scenary!

Enjoying life
Me enjoying the view from the bird tower. Listening to Tom Shadyac and James Altucher podcast on my phone. I can recommend that episode!

Old oak trees, used to build big ships once in a time.
Went back to the and found som Old oak tress. Used to make ships once upon a time. They were not far from the caste.

The parking lot from another view. This is where I slept for the night!
Parking lot I "tried" sleeping in. You can almost see the marks in the gravel of the spinning cars that woke me up.

Engsö or Ängsö Castle. Nice place to visit.
This is the Ängsö Castle. When I was young my classmates and I went tent-camping nearby this place and did ghost walking around here in the middle of the night, scaring the S%!# out of each other. :-) Walking three laps around the church and knocking on its door twelve a clock in the night and so on..  :) Happy memories! And obviously we survived! Yes there are lots of rumors about "ghosting" of this area.

To be continued..

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Roadtrip 2014: Heading for Ängsö

Finally I was back on track. The sun was shining, and I was heading for the island Ängsö, a nature reserve about 20-30 km from Västerås (where I live). I like to be close to home first night, incase I´ve forgotten something important.

One of the first thing you need to consider for a happy roadtrip is temperature. For a roadtrip to be succeed I think the weather is (very) important. No moisture and cold and you sleep well in the car... and everything stays dry and nice. Rain is really bad news, at least when on a vacation and you feel your time is limited before you have to go back to work. If it gets to cold in the night you wake up freezing, and you need to put on some more blankets and so on. I prefer an even temperature, not so easy in a car without any extra isolation.

Some pictures of the swedish landscape.

Evening and everything was finally packed into the car. Heading for a nice sleepover in the car. The weather was perfect!
Roadsign: Welcome to the nature reserve Ängsö. A lovely place where you often can find peace and quietness.
Scouting for toilets is always necessary, nice to know where they are in case you need to do number 2.

Here you can see the Ängsö castle in the background and some roadsigns. Långholms brygga is a place where I´ve slept before. Heading for that place!

Parkinglot at Långholms brygga. Parked the car a bit away from the other, do like it peaceful and quiet.

Went out the the pier..
Fantastic views from the pier.

There are some nice walking trail you can go from this place. This time I didn't really feel I had the time, prefer to do it in the mornings or when the sun is shining.

Last time I slept in this place I got very disturbed by some adolescents, arriving in the middle of the night with a couple of cars. Making a lot of noise, drinking and lighting a fire. I don't know why, but I always run into this kind of kids that think life is about making sounds. Lets just say that my ego has had enough of them..

Even though this place has toilets I had to much memories from the adolescents last time, so decided to try to find another place for the night.

More in the next post.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Testing out the bike holder on the car

Since my car lacks towbar (hitch?), I must use something else to hold my bike. I do like to have a bike with me on the roadtrips. A bicycle is one of the best way to explore a place! Walking is nice but takes to much time. A Bicycle has just about the right speed to see everything. I also like that it is a silent transport, so that I can listen to the nature or some podcast along the way.

This bike carrier is installed using the straps on the tailgate. I also used it on previous Kia car. Worked very good on that car. I bought the bike carrier on Biltema for 499 Swedish crones (about 70 dollar). It is suppose to fit most cars with a boot cover that is sloping somewhat. It is pretty easy to install on the car, you just have to adjust the straps to fit and do a tidy installation, so the straps doesn't hook on to something when you drive.. I have adjusted the lower tailgate attachment, the original doesn't really do the job as good as these one.

The Kia in Lysekil, with the trustworthy Miyata bike on the back.
The bike carrier mounted on the old previous car (Kia Pride). This picture is from Lysekil, last summer

Will it fit? Nobody know...
Here I´m trying it out the "new" car. It fits! YES!

Biltema cykelhållare för baklucka
Another view so you can see all the details on it. :) You can poke somebodys eye with them, reversing. Nah, just kidding.

Voila, seems to work great. Now I can bring the bike with me on the roadtrip!
Okey, so the window wiper is a little in the way so the supporting bar gets a bit low, but seems ok. You can see my "improvements". New stainless steel attachments is installed instead of the original ones. However I have to protect the car paint from getting scratches so I have taped it and also used rubber from an bike tire and some old balloons on the holders.

Everything looks good! Seems to be working! The Miyata bike will be with me on the roadtrip! YES! :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Installing extra battery in the car

Well since I am about to go on at roadtrip I need extra power. The car battery just wont be enough when it rains and a lot of electrics (computer, charging mobile phone, camera and so on, at least that is my motivation for getting it) is used. I don't like to have to start the engine to charge the battery all the time, it´s bad for the environment.
This marine 80 amp 12 volt Tudor Exide (lead) battery was bough about a year ago. I keep it in the apartment on the winter so it wont get frozen. I continuously charge the battery with a ctek charger about every month since a battery like this gets damaged if it gets below a certain voltage.

The battery is connected to the car battery through a big switch. It can then be charge from the car alternator when the switch is on. I installed the battery cables earlier, you can read about it here.

Since I did the same thing on my previous car I didnt think it was a big thing. Here you read about previosly installation.
Well getting ready, now in the car, but not connected fully..

Sunday, August 24, 2014

First night in the Starlet! (Björnön)

After installing the bed I decided to go try it out. I decided to go the island Björnön, that place is usually very nice. I now the area and so on. That island is very close to my home (about 12 km), and there are a bridge so you can drive over to it.

I think it is the third time I sleep in this parkinglot. However the first one with the Toyota Starlet car. I was exited to try it out! Will the bed be ok? Is there something I need to improve and so on..

Of course there was a car in the middle of the night that found it fun to skid around in the parkinglot, waking everybody. Small stones were flying, but it did not hit the car (I think). Thankfully. You wake up by hearing some engine sound, tires turning and stones flying. Always the same story.. When you are newly awake you don't get what is happening the first seconds. Well after a while I could go back to sleep again.

I have put an bungee cord in the top of the boot cover and then put a bluish fleece blanket. I kept the hat-rack and slept under it. You can see the cushion (pillow?) and the mattress.

A view of the driver-side of the car. As you can see a black fleece blanket has been hanged. 
These were my neighbors for the night. A family with some small kids. An old Mercedes bus towing a turquoise car. I cant even se what kind of car it is? What is it for? Knowbody knows.. Was this a family with to much stuff? :)

Here you get a view of the parking lot. Behind the trees is the sea Mälaren.

Inside the vehicle. Me lying. The curtain solution works great!

Black fleece blanket as side curtain

The car is pretty stealth. Of course you suspect that somebody is inside the car but, if you don't look you will not notice anything special.

Early morning, rise and shine. I slept ok even though the car skidding in the night. But it takes a couple of nights before you sleep really well. The body needs to get used to the "new" environment and so on. It really takes some time for the mind to relax and be comfortable.

Well everything went smooth, I think this solution will work very well on my roadtrip! Next I will install an extra battery. More on that later!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Preparing the Toyota Starlet for sleeping in it

How am I gonna sleep in the Toyota Starlet you may ask?

Let me tell you. The approach to the "new" car was a bit different than the Kia. On the Kia Pride I could push the front seats forwards (max) and recline the backseat to make it "almost" flat towards the backseat. That solution was not possible with the Toyota Starlet. Yes! Of course I tried it, don't make me out to be a fool. ;)
So... on the Toyota I decided to remove the front passenger seat. (Yes, I might have showed this before, but it was a long time ago, and you probably have forgotten it haven't ya?)
I also removed the sitting seat ( in the back so that the backseat could be folded almost flat to the boot floor.) Are you getting anything of what I´m trying to explain here? I guess not, ...
Ok, so when the seat was out, I had to find something to support a bigger board (that I took from an working office desk, which I earlier scrapt). So.. I found a cooling box and a plastic box that fitted not perfectly, but "ok" according to my "standard".. I will explain more in the pictures that follows.

Here you see that the passenger chair has been removed. Here are the board (wood) put on top the cooling box and another plastic box. Not totally flat but "ok". LEAVE the fashionistas opinions outside the car.. :)

To smoothen things out I put a sleeping underlay on top of the whole thing. The pieces that is missing from the underlay I blame on Rasmus, a dog (poodle)  that I had before. On top of this goes the mattress.

So here the foam mattress is put into the car. It is an Ikea Moshult mattress that is suppose to be "firm". And yes. it it pretty firm. The size is 80x200 cm. That turned out to be a perfect size. You can also see a sleeping bag, and a warm fleece piece to the left.

Okey, so here the bed is ready to sleep in. As you can see the bed is not totally flat. It's a little like sleeping on a small hill with some slope. I figured that more blood in the head (because of the slope) would only make me smarter.. (win-win?) When sleeping the feet are closest to the dashboard.
A good bed I must say. I will use it on the 2014 roadtrip. Coming up! The only problem that I have found is that the gear-stick is under the bed, so you have to drive the car lifting somewhat the bed up, when changing gears that is. No big problem I would say..
What else?
On this picture I have also fitted the new curtain holders to the handles in the roof. Works super I must say! Also Ikea stuff.

This solution I am very happy with!. Since I used parts that I already had, the only thing costing was the mattress and some sheet and cushion. About 5-600 Swedish crones or 70-80 dollar (yes everything i more expensive here in Sweden than in the states, more taxes and so on.) I think it will work nicely on the holiday roadtrip. More info about that coming up soon.

Til next time, bye!