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About utccman

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    Over 100 posts
  • Birthday 08/03/1966

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    Abbey Vogue 600

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  1. Ha ha - OK, you can have your 1 moan per day - how long it lasts is up to you You will have to keep your adults only CL as I don't have a TV (even at home) so couldn't use that connection When you can get out carry on enjoying your caravanning.
  2. Some pessimists on here haven't read your first lines of "constantly researching" as they are trying their best to put you off. Let's be honest - running a slightly larger car (for towing) is not that much more expensie than a smaller car but some will tell you otherwise. Shock horror to think that your 3 children have suddenly appeared and you don't know how to look after them on holidays etc. Let me put the answer another way:- Yes - caravanning is very good value for holidaying and weekends away with the children as a family. At least you won't have to put up with moaners on an adults only site
  3. Yes - caravanning can be a cost-effective pastime. Weekends away can be had with very little extra outlay. Joining a club (CMHC or CCC) and their local centre rallies / meets are very affordable. These are usually also good to get your children instant friends for the weekend. OK, you might have to use your on-board facilities but why not. The list of must-haves with a caravan is not really long:- Towing mirrors (both sides are essential) Number plate for caravan Aquaroll (other brands are available) Watermaster (ditto above) Mains battery - hopefully already on the van Step Crockery / cutlery / bedding / cookware etc Gas bottles Mains lead Levelling ramps (numerous small planks will do) Toilet fluid Outdoor furniture (at least chairs for all) Most of the above can be bought used from retiring caravanners / ebay, facebook Some people will tell you that a super expensive awning is a must - but is it? If the van comes with a motor mover great - but we have never had one. Do not buy "caravan toilet roll" the 2 ply stuff from any supermarket is fine (only 2-ply). Of course I can show you how to waste a small fortune on "must have" unnecessaries......... Use cheaper sites when you can and remember the golden rule........ The daft question is the one you never ask.. Enjoy using the van and the children (and you) will love it
  4. As always with anything to do with caravans every question gets both positive and negative answers. Some people love a Fiamma Caravanstor whilst others will loathe it equally. We like our Caravanstor and have never found it difficult to unwind/erect or put away. We have end panels which we sometimes use (which take about 2 minutes each to put on) or even use 1 end in the centre to make a bbq area. We also have a porch and a full size awning and can say, hand on heart, never argue putting these up or consider them a chore - life is too short to waste time arguing or moaning. We use a 'bungee' cord over the top of the canopy to stop the top flapping and use 1" ratchet straps to act as a tie down kit. Not lost one yet in over 10 years of use. When winding back up it is best with 2 people and the caravan step in the centre of the canopy next to the van to aid the final rolls. I am only 5'6" and this works for us (missus stands in the doorway to assist holding it then - though not strictly necessary). Whatever you decide, enjoy using it and think about it positively. The 1st time someone says "I don't like this" - the negative attitude will prevail.
  5. The site near me (CS) has been told if he does not want to open this year he will be de-listed as closed and have to apply to become a CS from next year again. Perhaps the same is true of CLs.
  6. I think the benefits of an onboard water tank really will depend on the type of caravanning you do. We do a lot of rallies and steam / classic shows and take the 'van to these with it full. As quite often it is late on a Friday evening when we arrive we know we have got plenty of water (40 litre cold and 10 litre in hot tank) so saves looking for a tap in the dark. Sometimes we don't even fill and connect the aquaroll as there is no need. In these circumstances the benefit is there. I suppose if you only go on sites with facilities, etc the benefit is limited. Our van came with the onboard tank as standard and it is also brilliant for overnight stops travelling long distance.
  7. Welcome ACDC. Trust you are well. Enjoy the forum
  8. Thank you all. Been out today and not seen the posts till now. As per Beejay's post, the emission zones is the confusing part as the Crit Air website shows a map of France with many areas appearing to show you need stickers in these areas, perhaps you don't. I agree with the "cheap so get one" approach and have no problem with that in principle. An issue could arise as we may be changing our towcar sometime in May which leaves little time to get a sticker before we go to France late June (especially if they can take 5-6 weeks to arrive and you need to scan the logbook). I think i am going to have to apply as late as possible and see if the sticker arrives before we leave. I doubt we will go to any cities (unless forced to e,g, emergency).
  9. We will be travelling to the Dordogne at the end of June and touring round from there. A friend has just advised me to get a Crit Air sticker. We will definitely not be doing cities or large town centres as part of our holiday but will venture into Sarlat and Cahors. I ask if we would need a Crit Air sticker as we will be travelling down via Le Mans and Tours, etc on route and being tourists whilst in the Dordogne . As always thank you for your assistance,
  10. We live just off the A35 between Dorchester and Bridport. It is already very, very windy. I would not want to tow across past Litton Cheney today. Stay safe Coatline
  11. When we are away in the van we never have a TV nor listen to the radio - we are away. Also, as has been mentioned, you don't always know the area you are in. I also do not know the area this happened. What if it was calm where they set of from, etc, etc...... I have towed in extreme weather and didn't want to - but did. Probably all of us have 'driven' in extreme circumstances which rationale at the time said things will be fine and have gotten away with it. None of us know the circumstances leading up to this journey. I would also expect the driver is also wishing he/she had not started their journey. Safe towing to everybody and in all weather.
  12. And of course won't be completely infallible as not all fatalities are caused by excess speed - not will it assist at temporary limits. Classic cars will become even more valuable at this rate, might have to find a suitable tow car.
  13. We are booked in at Vezac (Dordogne) the day after and I was hoping for an easy (ish) journey. We travel on Saturday 27th June so not a peak holiday weekend. It's about 200 miles to the the municipal at Vaas so that equates to 4 - 4.5 hours or the easier option of Beaumont sur Sarthe municipal at 160 miles. It looks like a 300 mile drive on Sunday for us. Not a problem really but was hoping for closer to 200. My own fault really as I 'forgot' the French time of 1 hour in front and thought we docked at 1pm - only been going there 30 years................ Thanks as always for your time and replies
  14. Hi This will be our 1st time using Cherbourg (after umpteen years of Eurotunnel) as our arrival point in France. Silly question to some but I am looking for advice on disembarkation time and customs clearance. With the Eurotunnel it is drive off and on the motorway minutes later. Is it the same with Cherbourg (ok main road)? We dock at about 2pm and I would like to get to Tours area for the night but perhaps I may have to think of Beaumont sur Sarthe for an overnight stop. Any ideas gratefully received. Thanks
  15. I would always be wary of ACSI pitches with a twin axle 8m van after numerous interesting pitches offered to us. We always rang in advance and informed them of our van's dimensions and build. To be fair this has always been in France. One site owner told me in very good english "if it does not fit on my ACSI pitch you can leave" - we did. Now we don't bother with ACSI as it is a holiday and I can't be bothered to struggle or argue. That said, if I ever go single axle ACSI all the way
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