Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Camping Recipes

The sun is finally shining over the UK, even treating the grey sky of Birmingham to a glimpse of summer.

Any self respecting camper will already be planning a trip this weekend, as its not very often this weather lasts in the UK.

We’ll certainly be kidding ourselves that the weather is a lot nice then it actually is, enduring the cool breeze on our bare legs simply because the sun is out, so we’re sure you’ll be too.

If you’ve already started packing your best shorts and Hawaiian shirts for a long weekend in Kings Lynn, then you may want to start thinking about summery foods to add an extra element to your experience.

Salads get a bit of bad press amongst campers, many families opting for bacon sandwiches over a freshly tossed plate of crunchy salad.

There really is no need to abolish salad from your holiday diet. It’s cheap, easy, only requires a fridge or cool box to store it and it’s also the perfect compliment to the total meat festival you often encounter on campsites, especially if somebody’s brought along a BBQ.

As a keen camper, you’ve probably got a hob and sink combi or some form of stove equivalent, so we’ve got a robust salad that will sit as a stand alone meal and certainly fill you and your family up as well as being tasty and healthy.

The beauty of owning a hob in your camper is that it allows you add the most filling components of a good salad, such as pasta, rice and cooked meat; so here goes…

Beef Salad

2 sirloin steaks

300g fusili pasta

5 tbsp of red wine

1 shallot

Olive oil


1 tbsp of chopped parsley

Large bag of mixed salad leaves (we recommend bistro salad)

1 pack of cherry tomatoes

Marinated olives

Balsamic vinegar

Bag of fresh spinach leaves

Parmesan cheese shavings

First up, you need to marinade the beef. This can take between 1 and 2 hours, so try and remember to do this early on in the day.

Simply add the 2 sirloin steaks to a dish and add half a chopped shallot, the red wine, parsley, 6 tablespoons of olive oil and finish with a sprinkle of black pepper.

Next, boil the  fusili pasta until al dente. It’s times like these you will really start to appreciate your hob and sink combi, allowing to use the hob to cook the pasta and sink to drain. Once ready, simply leave to cool.

Grab a large bowl and add the mixed salad, spinach, olives, pasta and cherry tomatoes (we recommend you chop both the olives and tomatoes in two).

Last boring part. Finally chop the remaining half shallot and mix with 3 tablespoons of olive oil, 3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar and a pinch of sugar. 

Now for the fun bit. Heat a pan until smoking hot, remove the steaks from the marinade and place in the pan. Cook the meat to your liking unless you like it well done, in that case please stop reading this blog and become a vegetarian!

Finally, it’s time to add the all the elements together. Arrange the medley of mixed leaves, spinach, pasta, tomatoes and olives on plates, finely chop the steaks, pour over the dressing and sprinkle over parmesan.

As the salty olives, dressing, piping hot steaks and cheese infuse together and the smell engulfs your camper, we’re sure you’ll soon become a fan of salad: we certainly are! 

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Van Insulation

We know that our furniture designs are unrivalled in the contemporary market, thanks to our extensive history in furniture manufacture, it is a major selling point for our vans and conversions to provide the same luxury a modern home can.

After stripping the interior of a van the first hurdle is to fit a lining. The van lining may look like the most basic of steps, but it is in fact one of the most important.

A van lining not only provides a stylish surface to cover the metal cocoon, it can also provide insulation and sound deadening, giving you premium comfort.

When discussing the conversion process with our clients, we offer a range of different lining options, from sheep or rock wool insulation to PUNF foam and WB barrier matting.

Sheep’s wool insulation is a great way to create a cosy camper: why? Sheep’s wool is made up of thousands fibers packed closely together, with enough tiny gaps to trap air, heat up and in turn keep your van insulted.

Of course, sheep’s wool is natural, provides great and most importantly in a vehicle, sheep’s wool extinguishes itself when set a light.

Rockwool insulation is another natural solution to insulation, combining natural rocks and minerals, which are then heated to form a tightly interlaced roll of fibers. The benefits of Rockwool insulation are similar to sheep’s wool, providing 4 major advantages:

  • Fire resistance
  • Noise reduction
  • Long lasting durability
  • Sustainable

With each of these benefits in mind, Rockwool insulation is not only hard wearing and economical but it is also 97% recyclable, leaving you safe in the knowledge that your insulation is as ethical as it is practical.

In addition to both our sheep’s wool and Rockwool linings, we also use PUNF foam for even more acoustic advantages. PUNF foam is a flexible acoustic barrier concept which provides exceptional performance, especially when used in a van conversion.

Married with one of our state of the art sound system installations courtesy of Rockford Fosgate, is a match made in heaven, for unrivalled acoustics ideal for trips away.

After developing the perfect combination of insulation and acoustics for your van, it is simply a matter of choosing lining boards and carpet, available in a range of colours including: Silver, Smoke, Heather, Graphite, Anthracite, Ocean Blue, Navy Blue, Prussian Blue, Sand, Wheat, Stone and Burgundy.

With an abundance of different linings on offer, Leisure Hubs can provide the ultimate insulation and acoustic preference; paralleling the premium furniture designs and entertainment systems built into your camper, for a complete home away from home.

For more information about van linings or other features of Leisure Hubs conversions, please visit our website.

Monday, 15 April 2013

What is a Rock and Roll Bed?

At Leisure Hubs, we’re all about comfort, whether we’re developing cleverly designed interiors to maximise your space, inserting additional padding into (often hard) roof beds, or adding an integral rain forest shower to a conversion to keep you and your family and friends fresh.

One of the key features of any van conversion, is the rock and roll bed installation.

A good rock and roll bed is the only way to stay comfortable and relaxed when out camping, especially when away for several days at a time; nobody wants to struggle sleeping or experience back pain over a good week.

In the interest of keeping Mum and Dad from moaning all the way through a holiday, we supply only the best bed systems on the market, offering top manufacturers such as Touch of Class, Bebb and Ribb and Cannon Forge.

A Rock and Roll bed allows the back seat of your camper to be converted into a bed with a ‘rock and roll’ action, providing a functional mechanism which transforms in seconds.

Another term you will come across when searching for a rock and roll bed is ‘crash tested’. A crash tested bed does exactly what it says on the tin, it has been tested to remain safe during an accident, leaving your passengers as safe as possible.

Purchasing a bed which is not crash tested is still legal to use but you are running the risk of the seat/bed being unsafe during an accident. Non crash tested beds still have their place in the market though, as they are a much cheaper option and ideal for those who are only using their camper as a 2 berth; allowing both people to sit in the front when traveling and only using the bed at the back when stationary.

Each bed system we supply promises premium comfort and a functional design, with the choice of both crash tested and none crash tested concepts to choose from, depending on your budget and preference.

When considering a Leisure Hubs conversion we offer a range of different options, including rock and roll beds combined with slide rail systems for the ultimate in convenience.

For more information about the features in our conversions please visit our website

Friday, 12 April 2013

Camper Jam

Although it’s quite far away, we’re already getting excited about this year’s Camper Jam!

Brought to you by the good people at Volkswagen Camper and Commercial and VW Bus T4&5 + magazines, Camper Jam promotes the camping lifestyle in all its glory.

With everything from ukelele workshops and great food to live music and the vans themselves, Camper Jam offers an experience the whole family can enjoy.

We’re looking forward to showing off our campers and kitchen pods so much, we thought we’d give away a couple of tickets!

All you have to do is like our Facebook and we’ll keep you updated with the rest of the details.

Get involved early and you could win two weekend passes worth £80!

We'll be blogging more about what we have in store for Camper Jam, so stay tuned...

Monday, 8 April 2013

Wild Camping

We’ve covered quite a few of the UK’s camping hotspots so far in our ‘Where to Camp?’ series of blogs. But sometimes, to really experience the great outdoors in its most natural and primitive state, wild camping is the solution.

Wild Camping is simply camping without boundaries, not being confined to the walls, rules and regulations of a campsite.

If you’ve got all or most of the facilities in your campervan then why pay for a campsite?

Granted there are many advantages to using a campsite which exclude the range of facilities, such as the atmosphere and new people you meet on site, but to really get to grips with nature, wild camping is the ultimate freedom. 

Of course, there are some legalities to get around when wild camping. In England, you must ask the permission of the land owner to wild camp, but there are many exceptions, especially if you are situated far away from a local campsite.

Most land owners simply require you to leave the site as you found it, clearing all litter, burying toilet waste, taking into consideration local wildlife, not making too much noise and keeping your stay to one or two nights.

On the other hand, in Scotland, the rich countryside is your oyster, with wild camping being completely legal, although some landowners may enforce certain rules upon their land or remain except from the law.

It’s up to you to respect landowner’s wishes in both England and Scotland as it’s more than likely you’re the one going to the toilet on their property, so maintaining a high level of etiquette and understanding is essential and you should always be prepared to leave on short notice.

Legalities aside, the benefits of wild camping are in abundance, allowing you the unrivalled freedom of pulling up your handbrake near enough anywhere and enjoy the scenery. It also allows you to make the most of your campervan, utilising each of its features rather then opting for the easy option of going to an on site restaurant or communal showers.

Not only do you get to grips with nature but you also keep costs at an all time low, not having to pay for a campsite or its facilities, leaving you extra money in your pocket to spend on important things like premium sausages and real ale.

Leisure Hubs van conversions are a great way to provide all the essentials for wild camping; our built in rain forest shower especially.

For more information about Leisure Hubs van conversions please visit our website.     

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

VW Transporter LWB T5 4Motion…Sold!

After converting one 4Motion with the full works, we move onto the next; our very own T5 4Motion has been sold to a lucky customer.

We’ve spent the last few weeks converting our customers van to the highest spec, and after putting images online and having it on display in our workshop for a few days as a finished article; we’ve managed to sell our own 4Motion.

Inspired by the design of our latest conversion, we must have impressed our customer, as they’re looking for a full conversion, with all our premium furniture, state of the art technology and of course, the shower!

We can’t wait to start work on the new conversion; nothing beats somebody having control over the design and helping them create their dream conversion.

As soon as we set to work, we’ll be updating our Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and our blog with new images for you all to see the conversion process and elite quality of craftsmanship in each of our conversions.