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Buccaneer Clipper - First Impressions

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#1 Nick_Pam

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 08:05 PM

So.....

 

We took delivery of our 2013 Buccaneer Clipper on 18th May....the dealer (Bicester Caravan & Leisure - great PDI as everything worked from day 1) had booked us onto a local site (Greenhill Leisure Park) for the first night so we could make sure that everything worked.

 

It was a great site, the people were really friendly & helpful, so we decided to stay for the week, prior to heading off to Cheshire to see Pam's parents and do a bit of sight-seeing.

 

Last Saturday saw us heading north (M40/M5/M6) to Lamb Cottage Caravan Park near Winsford - again a great site - for a week's break, making a total of 12 nights spent "on board" (I had to nip home for a couple of days during the first week because of work commitments).

 

Our observations, based on the first two weeks ownership??

  • The BPW chassis seems to tow much more smoothly than the Al-Ko chassis on the Bailey Unicorn Barcelona we had previously - we had one IDC activation on a VERY bumpy "B" road in rural Oxfordshire but otherwise a pleasure to tow
  • The PowrTouch EVO AWD movers we had swapped over from the Barcelona seem to work better on the Clpper, but I couldn't explain how or why!!
  • We have a 50% rating on the new Avtex TV aerial so far, as it worked faultlessly in Oxfordshire, but was almost useless in Cheshire, so the jury is still out on whether it will work effectively enough.....however.....
  • The satellite pre-installation and the Avtex TV with built-in satellite receiver made it fabulously simple to access free-view - so much so that we bought a dish for future use on sites where the TV signal is weak (something we always said we wouldn't buy!!!
  • We had a pulsing water pump when using the bathroom tap, but a brief fiddle with the pressure switch seems to have resolved that....not sure if I did it correctly - I did try to follow the instructions!!!
  • The kitchen tap is positioned really badly in relation to the sink cover - we managed to turn on the tap and wet the sofa cushion 5 times whilst trying to close the glass cover!!!
  • Slightly confused why the EXT position on the water system actually fills the on-board tank, rather than supplying water directly to the tap as the name suggests!
  • The button to flush the loo seems to take a h*ll of a lot of effort to push at 03:00!!
  • We thought we should get duvets as well as covers when we ordered the bedding pack - Bicester C&L are chasing Elddis to find out what should have arrived!!
  • The Isabella Magnum awning we bought at the NEC on the day we ordered the Clipper fits beautifully and looks AWESOME!!
  • The beds are really comfortable - we both slept much better than on the Barcelona despite the torrential rain last Monday/Tuesday nights!
  • Will we ever use the remote controller for the Alde heating???
  • It seems really weird to be able to see out of the windows, knowing that, at least during the day, nobody can see in!!
  • The BPW wheel locks are marginally easier to fit than the Al-Ko equivalent, although fitting either is made much easier with the movers fitted.
  • There is definitely more storage on the Barcelona than the Clipper but as we only travel as a couple, there is still plenty.
  • With a surname like Buckley, it's marvelous to have that enormous letter B on the back panel!!!!! lol

All in all, a great way to test out the Clipper......and are we happy????

 

You bet your life we are!!!!

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#2 Nick_Pam

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 08:17 PM

Oh.....by the way.....I get 2 mph better fuel economy when towing the Clipper than I did the Barcelona.....

 

Not a lot you may say, but when the average is only 20 mpg, I am now enjoying a 10% improvement!!!

 

More aerodynamic, or a pure fluke???



#3 Gaz40

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 08:23 PM

Very nice outfit.

 

The exterior colours of the caravan and car, compliment each other perfectly. ;)

 

Enjoy your caravan and thanks for the feed back.

 

G40



#4 Cannondale

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Posted 03 June 2013 - 08:57 PM

Looks a lovely van, could fancy one now after reading your post :-)

 

Richard...



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Posted 04 June 2013 - 07:29 AM

Glad to hear that you are loving your new caravan. It's just a shame that they are so common ;) ,  I was the person that you spoke to at Lamb Cottage with the other Clipper. :)

 

A few comparisons from my experience based on your comments,

 

The BPW chassis is very free running and touch wood I havent noticed any IDC activations yet having been on a wide selection of roads. The noseweight is very heavy though. The built in jockey wheel gauge was off the scale at the dealers so they got a nose weight gauge to check it out and the reading if I recall was about 125 kgs so I make sure that the water heater tank is empty to help bring it down a bit.

 

I think we could have different TV's as mine doesn't have freesat built in, only freeview. Looking through the brochure there is no reference to freesat, maybe Avtex sent out a batch of the next model up due to shortages or something?

 

The water pump, well I have had loads of problems with mine with quite a lot of the parts replaced but It now appears to be working correctly. Quickly touches wood again.

 

We havent had any problems with the kitchen tap as such, it's just that the spout is in a strange position so you have to turn it to open the lid and then turn it back over the sink to use it. Also when the lid is closed any residual water in the spout drips over the glass top and behind the sink. We have bought a colour coordinated face cloth that we place neatly folded up to catch the drips. The crusader has a grate type thing at the back of the sink to do this job, why doesn't the Buccaneer?

To me the bathroom tap is in a bad place tucked down behind the fancy upright sink  and I struggle to use it with my large club hands.

 

I agree regarding the ext setting on the water switch not allowing you to use water from the Aquaroll without also filling the tank. It does seem a bit crazy. What is interesting though is that on arrival at Lambs Cottage which was the first outing after my water system had been repaired (again), I couldnt get the tank to fill at first. After looking around the tank I noticed that one of the wires on the top of the internal pump had not been pushed on properly and had slipped off. (they are spade connectors) As soon as I pushed it back on the tank started to fill and worked fine from then onwards. The feed to the water level floats must go through the internal pump circuit. So with this in mind I am now thinking that if you just want to use the aquaroll on the ext setting without filling the tank, disconnecting one of the pump wires would possibly do the trick. Something for me to try next time perhaps.

 

The toilet flush button is the same in ours, you feel like you might break it by pushing too hard.

 

We also find the matressess very comfortable but the width of them has shrunk a bit from the Crusader Super Cyclone that we had a few years ago.

 

I can't see me using the remote feature on the Alde heating as we just set the room temp that we want and then leave it alone. The night setting is an excellent feature though. The only problem is that if you accidently switch of the caravan 12v master switch which is unlabled and identical to the three switches next to it, and easy to do when switching the awning light on or off, the Alde clock has to be reset! Why they never included the battery back up on a caravan of this value I will never know.

 

The BPW locks, I haven't tried them yet as I found that the Alko one on my previous van was a complete pain in the backside to put on. I am using a traditional wheelclamp at the moment.

 

The Avtex tv aerial, is fractionaly better than an ashtray on a motorcycle. I have tried it on 3 sites and only got a watchable signal on one. If the signal in the area is strong you are fine. If not, good luck as you will need loads of it. In my opinion they are the weak link in 2013 Elddis vans and something that needs looking at if they are not to lose future custom.

 

I also seem to be getting slightly better mpg's than I did with my last caravan so may be they are a bit more aerodynamic as my last van was a bit lighter and a single axle.

 

Apart from the initial problems with the water system which cost me quite a bit of time and money taking it back and forwards to the dealer and the disapointing Avtex tv Aerial we are also very pleased with our Clipper :D



#6 CommanderDave

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 07:45 AM

Thanks for the time you spent giving feedback .  I keep thinking of a new Buccaneer if I stay with a caravan if I don't get something bigger .

 

 

Dave



#7 Nick_Pam

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 01:36 PM

Glad to hear that you are loving your new caravan. It's just a shame that they are so common ;) ,  I was the person that you spoke to at Lamb Cottage with the other Clipper. :)

 

The BPW chassis is very free running and touch wood I havent noticed any IDC activations yet having been on a wide selection of roads. The noseweight is very heavy though. The built in jockey wheel gauge was off the scale at the dealers so they got a nose weight gauge to check it out and the reading if I recall was about 125 kgs so I make sure that the water heater tank is empty to help bring it down a bit.

 

I think we could have different TV's as mine doesn't have freesat built in, only freeview. Looking through the brochure there is no reference to freesat, maybe Avtex sent out a batch of the next model up due to shortages or something?

 

 

I agree regarding the ext setting on the water switch not allowing you to use water from the Aquaroll without also filling the tank.

 

Nice to have met you!!! lol

 

Common???? Yours is the only other Buccaneer I've seen anywhere since we ordered ours and believe me I've been looking!!!! We used to see Unicorns (mainly the Valencia but plenty of Barcelonas) all over the place when we had one!

 

I checked our noseweight with my Milenco gauge and got 125Kg with empty hot and cold water tanks - can't seem to make any difference  to that, no matter where I put the jack/levellers/wheel locks etc, so I'll just tow as-is...the RRS can cope with upto 150Kg on the hitch, so it's no big deal.

 

We didn't expect a TV with built-in Satellite, so maybe we were just lucky (or maybe it was an NEC show special - we ordered at the February show). Agree with you (I think) on the TV aerial - can't see how it will work as well as / better than a directional one like the Status on the Bailey.

 

If you want to use water directly from an external source (Aquaroll etc.) just use the middle position on the water tank switch and it will not fill the on-board tank....just draw directly from outside.....the dealers taught me that one! Just seems that INT should be the on-board tank; EXT should be directly from the Aquaroll and the Mid position should be the one that fills the on-board tank, but I really can't be bothered to go and try to swap the wiring round!! lol

 

Glad you are loving yours - sorry you had water problems, but hopefully sorted now.



#8 Surf01

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 04:18 PM

I think you have a similar water system to our Lunar.  Switch to ext to fill up the onboard tank.  We now leave it in that position until the night before we leave and then switch it to internal tank.   That way the internal tank drains and is only topped up to the minimum of about 5 or 10 litres so you are not emptying 40 litres of water onto the pitch for the next person to wade through. :D



#9 point blank

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 05:32 PM

 

Nice to have met you!!! lol

 

Common???? Yours is the only other Buccaneer I've seen anywhere since we ordered ours and believe me I've been looking!!!! We used to see Unicorns (mainly the Valencia but plenty of Barcelonas) all over the place when we had one!

 

I checked our noseweight with my Milenco gauge and got 125Kg with empty hot and cold water tanks - can't seem to make any difference  to that, no matter where I put the jack/levellers/wheel locks etc, so I'll just tow as-is...the RRS can cope with upto 150Kg on the hitch, so it's no big deal.

 

We didn't expect a TV with built-in Satellite, so maybe we were just lucky (or maybe it was an NEC show special - we ordered at the February show). Agree with you (I think) on the TV aerial - can't see how it will work as well as / better than a directional one like the Status on the Bailey.

 

If you want to use water directly from an external source (Aquaroll etc.) just use the middle position on the water tank switch and it will not fill the on-board tank....just draw directly from outside.....the dealers taught me that one! Just seems that INT should be the on-board tank; EXT should be directly from the Aquaroll and the Mid position should be the one that fills the on-board tank, but I really can't be bothered to go and try to swap the wiring round!! lol

 

Glad you are loving yours - sorry you had water problems, but hopefully sorted now.

 

I was joking with them being common refering to our two being on a small site at the same time lol.

 

My cars nose weight is 135kg max so I am ok, I just don't like to get too close to the limit if I can help it. The 125kg on mine was with 2 full gas bottles, a full hot water tank and the other bits and pieces that I carry in the front locker like a lump hammer, rock pegs etc.

 

Thanks for the tip with the water setting. I will try the middle position on the water switch again when I am away next week as I thought it was just for using the supplied direct mains connection without the aquaroll. As at matter of interest what labeling is on your water switch? My original switch had ext and tank while the new replacement has ext and int as shown in the handbook.

 

Chris



#10 Diavolo Rosso

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 06:11 PM

Chris - the water switch on our 2013 Clipper shows "Ext" - for filling the inboard tank, and "Int" - for drawing from the tank to the taps. As Nick says, the central (unmarked) position is for drawing to the taps direct from an external source, Aquaroll or "Aquasource" connection, bypassing the tank.

We love ours too - glad we weren't on site with you and Nick though, it would have been like an owner's club meet! :)

Regards,

Al.

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 06:38 PM

Thanks Al. It's strange how my original switch had ext and tank on it. I initially thought that my new switch labelled the same as yours was an older, incorrect version. I now feel happier knowing that it now has the correct one fitted.

 

Chris



#12 Nick_Pam

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 07:04 PM

Chris - the water switch on our 2013 Clipper shows "Ext" - for filling the inboard tank, and "Int" - for drawing from the tank to the taps. As Nick says, the central (unmarked) position is for drawing to the taps direct from an external source, Aquaroll or "Aquasource" connection, bypassing the tank.

We love ours too - glad we weren't on site with you and Nick though, it would have been like an owner's club meet! :)

Regards,

Al.

What's up with an owners club meet???? lol there must be more than three of us!!  :lol:


 

Thanks for the tip with the water setting. I will try the middle position on the water switch again when I am away next week as I thought it was just for using the supplied direct mains connection without the aquaroll. As at matter of interest what labeling is on your water switch? My original switch had ext and tank while the new replacement has ext and int as shown in the handbook.

 

Chris

Chris

 

Same as ours....

 

Nick



#13 Diavolo Rosso

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Posted 04 June 2013 - 07:22 PM

Could be an idea Nick - it would make a change from being swamped amongst certain other makes!

Mind you, it's quite nice being a member of a more exclusive club! :)

Al.

#14 GB1309

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 07:14 PM

Seriously late to the party, sorry for that but been away in our 2012 Clipper and caught some great weather in Cornwall. Despite not being SOLID I hope you will still speak to me! Lol.
I agree with all your comments and share your enthusiasm. This one is much better that the Corsair we had before which was a nail (Friday afternoon build I think.)Well, having said that I rebuild the shower unit after the wall panels became detached. We don't use it but it was the principle!
I tow it with a LRD4 which is awesome unit. We are not as colour co-ordinated as you but our Santorini Black matches the decal stripes at least!!!
Nose weight I cannot get below 105kg (Witter bar as I do not trust that single pin alone!!)I carry as much as possible in the D4 and the towing is very stable.
Had same issues with pressure switch and also finds that air locks on changing aquaroll can be quickly cleared by temp switching to Ext and back. You have to bleed all the air from all taps and shower line and even then the pressure valve will still bounce sometimes.

Cheers, hope to waive on Motorway someday.





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