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About JonF

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  • Birthday 30/08/1961

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    Technology, wood turning, CaravanTalk
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  1. For anyone who missed it (it's only sent to members). As promised we are focussing this newsletter on Caravan and Motorhome Insurance. It's not got off to a great start. I just wrote almost the entire newsletter without saving and... you guessed it. It's probably not a bad thing because I think that I can summarise the whole start to the newsletter with the following: Our most common discussion topic when it comes to insurance is cost The most common problem is policy inclusions and exclusions when claiming The cheapest policies we ever came across were so often complained about, because of exclusions, that the members of this and many other forums were up in arms. We got sent so many solicitors letters by the company in question, demanding content be deleted, that we had to add their brand name to our bad word filter to get it automatically removed. But how do you work out what inclusions and exclusions you should be concerned about and which are just 'nice to have' when all you have is your experience and imagination. Fortunately, we have the combined and actual experiences of thousands of members going back to 2005 to help you make a decision. Our members are always willing to share experiences, good and bad if you ask. The CaravanTalk Insurance section is well worth keeping an eye on and not just once a year at renewal time. Insurance Questions Answered As promised we've sent some questions asked by members over to Caravan Guard and you'll find their answers at the bottom of this email. ---------------------------------- We have another article about buying a caravan, this time from our member BOAC and I think you'll be impressed with the level of detail and effort that he's put into it: Buying a Caravan? What you need to know in our articles section and the same article in the forum where you can leave comments. ---------------------------------- New Trade Members helping to keep CaravanTalk free! Keeping your caravan or motorhome safe is not just about insurance and we'd like to welcome the support of our new trade members: Purple Line - Beat crime with the Fullstop Security Range Tracker - Stolen vehicle recovery and telematics Phantom - Tracking for caravan, motorhome and car Calling all Dealers and Storage Sites We're busy trying to make sure that our dealer directory is up to date. Take a look here and get back to us with any updates. Please help keep CaravanTalk free and independent by taking a look at what our commercial partners can offer: ---------------------------------- Caravan Insurance Questions and Answers by Caravan Guard What inclusions and exclusions to a caravan policy are the most important? We’d always advise making sure your policy covers awnings damaged by storms. This is a common claim and can be an exclusion on some policies but is included with Caravan Guard. Usually, a caravan policy will have security requirements such as wheel clamp and hitch lock as a minimum, and maybe extra security requirements if the caravan is of higher value. If the required security is not fitted, theft cover will not be in force. A policy will usually advise the caravan’s water system has to be completely drained down over winter otherwise claims for cracked pipes and escape of water will not be covered in that period. Caravan Guard’s policy does allow owners to include or exclude certain cover elements such as European cover or emergency accommodation cover so owners can tailor their policy to meet their needs. What is claimed for the most with caravan insurance? The three biggest types of claims are: Accidental damage claims mostly involving no third parties – so mishaps such as reversing into walls or trees, taking corners too tightly and scraping a wall. Theft of caravans and their equipment Storm damage to the caravan and awning. Other fairly common claims include fire damage, snaking, tyre blow outs and detachments Will trackers reduce my insurance premium? Yes we offer a 15% discount for tracking devices which use GPS or VHF technology to locate a stolen caravan – you can see a list of approved devices we’re aware of on our website at https://www.caravanguard.co.uk/touring-caravan-insurance/tracking-devices.php. If a unit is Thatcham Category S7 or S5 (or was previously Category 6 or 7) approved we’ll generally accept it but there are one or two others we accept without Thatcham approval. Note we insist a device has to be professionally monitored which gives the best chance of recovery following theft. We don’t accept self-monitored devices. A tracking device is by no means a guarantee of a recovery after theft, but we do get the majority back. Our recommendation would always be to pick a proactive model. No-one can keep an eye on their caravan 24 hours a day. A proactive device will send an alert if your ‘van is moved or broken into. It means it can soon be established whether it’s a genuine theft taking place or a false alert. The quicker police can be notified of a genuine theft obviously the likelihood of recovery without significant damage is much higher. How does age impact your premium and why? With Caravan Guard we offer a 10% discount for over 30’s to reflect maturity of the driver. This discount reduces to 5% for those over 70. Of course we do analyse claims by age of driver and it doesn’t seem to have a huge impact in the same way it does on motor insurance. We have no upper limit for age of owner on our caravan policy. Is there a good make/model/age of caravan to buy to reduce insurance? Of course there are models that come fully loaded with security and safety features. Usually the top of the range models will come with tracking device (15% discount), Al-Ko Secure axle wheel lock (10% discount), alarms (5% discount), ATC electronic stability (5% discount) and even reversing cameras (5% discount). Most new models will have some sort of device that can earn you a discount. Many models have just the receiver for the AL-KO Secure lock, meaning if owners then purchase the optional lock they can get a healthy insurance discount and have the peace of mind on what we believe is the most secure wheel lock available. Brought to you by AlphaQuad (digital marketing agency for caravans and caravanning)
  2. Glad you found it interesting. It does advertise Caravan Guard but as they wrote the article for us and are being very supportive it seems only fair. We are inviting other companies with a similar reputation to do the same thing.
  3. As we've just posted a new article on cutting the cost of caravan insurance premiums we thought we'd open things up for others to have their say. Good ideas can then be added to the article or another one put together.
  4. We've posted a new article covering how to reduce your caravan insurance premiums. We've put a topic in the insurance section for discussion.
  5. To keep this topic up to date for new readers and manageable for our server I've started it again here: Same forum section
  6. For those of you who may not have seen it, here's the latest newsletter with the spelling mistake that got past me. I don't mind admitting to my mistakes See if you can spot it... Is a new normal slowly emerging in the world of Caravanning? Dealers are open, manufacturers are manufacturing and sites are opening... very soon... probably... (our topic on this subject has had more than 58,000 views). There's quite a lot of understandable concern about advice and guidance for park owners. For example, when the care home sector are being advised to avoid showers for residents (jn their own rooms) you have to assume that public showers will not be open! Our Corvid 19 section now has over 9,000 posts - not sure if that's a good thing? ----- Next month the topic for our newsletter is going to be Caravan Insurance. One of our new commercial supporters, Caravan Guard, will answer your insurance questions on the forum but feel free to reply to this email with your question. In the meantime they have a One Month Free discount for new policies - click for a quote and details. We'd also like to welcome ProTec Covers following a great demonstration of their Easy Fit system for caravan covers. We'd also like to thank them for their work in providing PPE equipment for the NHS. ----- Buying a Second Hand Caravan - a new article from Andrew Jenkinson is live on CaravanTalk, see what you think and let us know on the forum. We're very keen to know what you think about visiting caravan dealers at the moment so we've added a quick poll. Just click here, it only takes a couple of seconds to fill in. Nearly there --- A brand new Caravan Services Directory starting with Dealers and Storage. It's working well on our test server and should be live in a couple of weeks. If you're a dealer or a storage site drop us a line and we'll make sure you're on there. Our local vets resumed operating and Ted the cockapoo is now very unlikely to provide any puppies for those of you who expressed an interest following the last newsletter (we'd have needed quite a few litters). Quite a few members asked for a photo of the puppies to cheer things up, take a look at the bottom of this newsletter for a photo of our Canine Security Squad (CSS). ----- Interesting topics from the forum selected by the CaravanTalk team: Coachman back to Pre-Covid production levels - great news! Bailey and Prima back to work - completed caravans heading your way Bad news from Swift - hope it gets better soon First time caravaner... bought a lemon - advice from members when things go wrong Duration of repair warranty - what is reasonable? Eurotunnel refund - or not... Towing Myths - doesn't hurt to remind yourself before going back on the road ----- Please help keep CaravanTalk free and independent by taking a look at what our commercial partners can offer: . ----- Brought to you by AlphaQuad (digital marketing agency for caravans and caravanning) and by Ted and Missy who contributed to this newsletter by eating my network cable.
  7. Looking at some of the recent topics a new article by Andrew Jenkinson is very relevant. It's in our articles section (link below): Buying a Second Hand Caravan If there's anything you'd like to comment on or add to the article please feel free to do so here...
  8. Family run Coachman Caravans of Hull is the first UK touring caravan manufacturer to reopen its factory and return to production following a temporary closure due to Covid-19. Following a period of over ten weeks shut following government guidelines on the 24th March, Coachman Caravans took the lead and returned to work on Thursday 4th June. Amazingly, the high- end caravan manufacturer is producing pre-Covid-19 levels of production from the get-go. Despite closures of manufacturers and dealerships across the industry, the UK staycation is expected to boom in the coming months, with Coachman Caravans already seeing the uptake. Elliot Hibbs, Managing Director, commented, “We’re all excited to get back into the factory and producing. We have spent the past few weeks putting safety precautions in place to ensure our staff members are kept safe and we are confident now is the right time to return to work. “Whilst we expected our closure and the effects of Covid-19 to have detrimental effects on the business, we have not seen this. Our order book is full until the end of the year and we had less than 2% of orders cancelled during lockdown, many of which have now been replaced,” added Elliot. Throughout the forced closure of not just manufacturers but dealerships too, many of Coachman’s 35 dealerships across the UK have continued to retail through online platforms and by using virtual tours. A combination of the UK’s desire to holiday at home in the safety of their own caravan and these new found marketing techniques to allow people to browse and buy from their sofas, has seen both new and used caravan sales remain relatively strong, with a rising increase in sales over the last two weeks. Coachman Caravans has followed all government guidelines in order to restart production, with the inclusion of thermal imaging cameras at entrances to the site, PPE for all staff members and the allowance of 2m social distancing throughout the premises. You can discover more about Coachman Caravans 2020 collection and the dealer network here, coachman.co.uk.
  9. Just a quick poll to see what you feel about visiting caravan dealers over the next couple of months. Just one click required and we'll feed back the results to dealers... Thanks, Jon.
  10. This should arrive in members email inboxes over the next day but just in case... Where do we start? Good grief it’s been different!!! (sometimes there are just not enough exclamation marks) We’d been planning and rolling out a whole series of changes to CaravanTalk and then the lockdown hit. But not to be defeated by a little pandemic we’ve kept calm and carried on. Here’s what we’ve been doing: We pretty much all know that the NEC isn’t going to be ready for the next Caravan Show so we’ve repurposed the top of our forum to be ‘The Digital Caravan Show’ and are inviting companies to show you what they’ve got. Early days yet as we only told them today but keep your eye on the section in the coming months. If you know any companies who may be interested why not forward this email to them. It pays the bills (mostly) but we don’t like banner advertising. We are trying to encourage companies to post information and advice at the top of sections and topics (for a fee) so we can do away with the adverts. It’s much more effective for them and better for you. The whole front end of the website has been rebuilt so that we can more easily add content which will be something that we’ll be doing more of this year, and looking for budding authors to help out. Hint! Now, this was a challenge but we’ve also rebuilt our ‘Caravan Specifications Finder’. It’s a bit different but the new version means that we can more easily bring it up to date and make sure that your new awning fits. For good measure, we’ve also rebuilt the dealer and storage finder tools. More to come on this but it’s a start. There’s a new section in town with nearly 6000 posts. Caravanning and Coronavirus (Covid 19), no surprise there then. Yep, the forum’s been slow on Saturday mornings. We’ve added some expensive go-faster chips to the server and it seems to have done the trick. We’ve bought chastity pants for our rapidly growing puppy Missy as we can’t take her companion Ted to the vets for an alteration. If anyone fancies a cockapoo puppy, let us know, we need a plan B. ----- Interesting topics from the forum selected by our very own moderators: Power my 12v TV from Solar panel or Battery Adding a new window Electrical confusion Avondale renovation Funniest thing you've seen Dream Outfit Unidentified Object Coronavirus virtual caravan tour Broken door handle on Swift Challenger Stay safe everyone!
  11. Apologies, as mentioned before the thread is getting a bit long and causing some system issues. Could you ‘pick up the thread’ in new ones please. Thanks, Jon.
  12. Hi All, As so many good questions, answers and comments are getting swamped by the size of this thread we'll be locking it soon and asking members to start new specific threads (parks closed, infection control etc). Hopefully, this will help members and visitors get to the information they need more quickly. Please feel free to go ahead and start or continue new topics in advance of us locking this one. Thanks, Jon.
  13. Hi All, As so many good questions, answers and comments are getting swamped by the size of this thread we'll be locking it soon and asking members to start new specific threads (parks closed, infection control etc). Hopefully, this will help members and visitors get to the information they need more quickly. Please feel free to go ahead and start or continue new topics in advance of us locking this one. Thanks, Jon.
  14. Just bringing this topic under a more neutral heading/title
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