The CJV (Christmas Jumper Vehicle)

Over the last year our little Beanster has become overly sensitive to uncommon noises. Beeping smoke alarms, the sound of rockets on space films (Interstellar), and even wheelie bins being blown about in the storms we’ve endured recently, have all been enough to put her on red alert. She sits bolt upright, her eyes scanning the ceiling as though looking for the source of the worrying noise, and if it continues, she seeks out the nearest human lap for reassurance. After discussing this with other dog owning neighbors we considered getting her a “Thundershirt“, but it turned out we already have a much cheaper alternative to hand: her Christmas jumper. It doesn’t fit quite as tight as a real Thundershirt and its design isn’t particularly appropriate now that the festive season is well behind us, but it does the job, and unfortunately we’ve had to use it extensively since getting our new campervan.


Protected by her impenetrable Christmas jumper, Beanie keeps watch from the central console of our camper van

When I say “new”, the camper is a new conversion but the base vehicle is – wait for it – nearly 18 years old. Despite its age, it’s in stunning condition both cosmetically and mechanically, having spent its life on Japan’s much more vehicle-friendly roads. It should be a perfect fit for our impromptu nighttime hill walks and enable us to do more island-hopping than ever before, but as we soon discovered, it has one little drawback: it beeps continuously when reverse gear is selected.


You’re not putting it in reverse gear again are you Dad?

“Don’t worry” said the guy from Direct Campers in Kilmarnock as he showed us around the vehicle, “it only beeps on the inside. No-one outside the van will hear it”. Well I’m afraid that’s exactly the wrong way round, because one of the furry passengers inside the vehicle has a bad case of beep-phobia. Fortunately the Christmas jumper coupled with judicious use of tasty biccies has enabled us to work around this shocking design flaw. And it is shocking, because everything else about the van seems to have been designed with Beagles in mind.


The worktop is nice and low down – lower than the one in our caravan – making it easy to jump onto and nick things from!


And while you’re up on the worktop, you can stick your nose right through the side windows to thoroughly sample the outside air.


With large windows all round it’s easy for the alert Beagle to keep watch for any illegal activities such as cycling, children with excessively bright jackets, non-Beagle dog walking etc. and respond with appropriate woofing.


That said, the rear windows are externally reflective so if your Mum happens to be cuddling you like a big silly furry baby, no-one outside need ever know..


The horn is also readily accessible, so it’s easy to raise the alarm when your teatime meal is late.


And finally, the vehicle has a deceptively large amount of floor space. This provides somewhere for the humans to sit, because they sure as hell aren’t going to be sitting on the comfy chairs ;)

So we should be all set for some great Beagle adventures in 2016, just so long as we only ever drive forwards, or have a snug-fitting Christmas jumper to hand!

5 Replies to “The CJV (Christmas Jumper Vehicle)”

  1. Susan in Delaware

    Silly beagles! I got a preview of the photos with Susan’s FB post, but they are so much improved with the beagle point of view commentary. Thank you as always, Paul!

  2. Allison

    I see by the sticky out tail that Mr. B was very comfy on the drivers seat. That rogue tail really made me laugh!

  3. Paul Post author

    @Susan: Yep, they are silly indeed, and the top spot for silliness seems to change on a daily basis.

    @Allison: While Beanie was busy checking the whole van out, Biggles quickly found the most comfortable locations and plonked his bum on them :)

  4. Julie - JB, Cassie and Buzz's Mum

    Beanie looks so cute in her jumper!! JB was frightened of the ventilation fan in our cars. It was OK on low speed but if you turned it up in hot weather and it made a wooshing noise he tried to get out the back window!! And the hot air blower to clear the windscreen in my car was the worst – he nearly had a fit if I used it when he was in the car, so we had open all the windows on cold damp days. Great to sit there freezing to death just to clear the windows and to pay for expensive features in the cars we couldn’t use!!

  5. Paul Post author

    Yep, I was sickened when Beanie seemed to be scared of the van, and equally relieved when it turned out to be just the reversing beep rather than the vehicle itself. We’ve had a few runs in it since then and she seems to be getting over this particular phobia, thanks in no small part to that cheap Tesco xmas jumper.

    We’re looking forward to trying an overnighter in the van soon – just need a bit of decent weather (!)

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