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About Paulines7

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    Over 500 posts
  • Birthday 07/08/1944

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  • Interests
    Caravanning, wildlife, gardening, football on TV.
  • Towcar
    Vauxhall Zafira
  • Caravan
    Lunar Clubman

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  1. Jiffy, I find the overnight ferries very tiring and as I have spinal problems, their mattresses aren't comfortable for me. Poole can be difficult to get through. On our last trip from there, we were stuck in a huge traffic jam. I rang them up and explained that we wouldn't be there for the required booking in time. They asked where we were and said that we were only 10 minutes away and not to worry. We got there 10 minutes before the sailing time! Once on board, we saw an outfit driving into the ferry terminal at the very last minute. Fortunately, they were let on as well and the ferry sailed dead on time. This must happen quite often with the traffic in Poole. We thought we had allowed ourselves plenty of time too!
  2. Moorgate, thank you for your reply. I have now booked 1 night at the Riva Bella. It cost me 22 Euros as I couldn't fathom out how to put the the ACSI card on the booking form. I didn't know I could Camping Key Europe vouchers either as they are new to me having previously had a Camping Cheques Silver Card. I assume the CMC send them out in the post? Jiffy and Mr Plodd, I did look to see the cheapest sailings but it was still a lot dearer than the CMC. Cherbourg would add another 180 miles to our trip as we are going down to the south of France. We are coming back from Le Havre as that is cheaper. We also wanted to avoid early morning sailings and overnight sailings and the ones we have booked are ideal. Had we not been going so far, we may have booked the afternoon sailing from Poole to Cherbourg as there is nothing more beautiful than the trip out of Poole Harbour past Old Harry Rocks. We often went that way but then they stopped it for a few years. I am glad they decided to start doing it again. Thank you all for your help in this matter.
  3. I looked on Brittany Ferries booking site for a trip in September from Portsmouth to Caen and returning 16 days later from Le Havre to Portsmouth (car, caravan and 2 persons). The cost was £374. I then contacted the Caravan Club and the cost for the same trip at the same times was £258.3 and it included 4 site night vouchers. What a considerable difference! We haven't been abroad for a few years and I was wondering if the small commercial campsite just outside Caen still opens of an evening for those that arrive off the ferry from Portsmouth at 9:30pm? I can't remember the name of it. Does anyone know if they still accept one nighters please?
  4. With people booking weekends, it prevents people like my husband and I from being able to stay for a week or two. I have often rung a site only to be told that there is no vacancy for the Saturday night. The problem is that we cannot book too far in advance as my husband has cancer so we don't know when he is going to need treatment or even be well enough to travel. However, as the main sites seem to be getting more expensive, we are using CL's now and some commercial sites. Perhaps we have been lucky but they can normally accommodate us and at lower cost.
  5. What about a separate small tent if you have 2 lads. It would only take a few minutes to put up. If you have a girl, maybe she could sleep in the dinette area. If more than one girl, they could both go in a tent. If you are without your awning, could you not make your bed up just before you go to sleep so you have somewhere to sit in the evening? If the awning is up, take a small fan heater with you and sit out there.
  6. We rarely use the CMC main sites unless we really have no alternative. They are just so expensive these days. A few years back someone recommended a private site in Cornwall 2 or 3 miles from the coast. We have been there twice a year since then and it is one of the best sites we have ever stayed on. Pitches are two or three times larger than the CMC sites and some have water and drainage. It is a quiet, family run site with no clubhouse. Off season it can be as little as £12 a night. The owners much prefer to charge a lot less outside school holidays so the pitches are not left empty. People return year after year. We are CMC members still as our caravan insurance is with them. We also use CL's and find them a lot cheaper than the main sites and they often have lovely views in beautiful locations. I think the CMC main sites are very much over priced.
  7. Thanks for your reply JTQ. The rust seems to be coming from where the two bits join so maybe there are metal springs inside that leak out rust. Painting them may be an option if all else fails. DACS , thank you for your answer. I was thinking about a caravan breaker as they may have new caravans that have been involved in an accident and are written off. I wonder too if any caravan makers would sell me some but I don't know if caravans are still made in the UK nowadays.
  8. I used Dettol Antibacterial Mould And Mildew Remover but it made the catches worse and caused the rust. I looked on Amazon but couldn't find any suitable catches but I didn't search EBay so thanks for that tip. I will also ask my nephew who used to build Elddis caravans in the north east 20 years ago. he has an old van himself so he may have some suggestions. Thanks for your help Steven.
  9. Our Lunar Clubman caravan is 23 years old and still in good condition inside and out. However, the grey plastic locks/handles/catches on the windows have deep seated mould and where I have tried cleaning them, there is also some rust on them. Ideally I would like to replace them completely but would need about 15 of them. Does anyone know where I could buy them in bulk as they could work out very expensive in a place where they are sold singularly? If they work out too expensive to replace then has anyone any ideas on what I should use to clean them please? Your help in this matter is much appreciated as our caravan still has a lot of life left in it and they are the only things that look grotty in the caravan. Thanks.
  10. I disagree. I think that foreigners such as the British visiting France or Spain are targeted more than the locals, probably because many of them carry a lot of cash. When I see reports of people having been robbed in their caravans or motor homes, I am always amazed as to how much has been taken. I don't see the necessity for carrying so much. We get through between 30 and 40 Euros in cash on our 2 or 3 week visits. We pay for almost everything by card and keep that well protected. The only thing we spend cash on is if we buy bagettes or cakes from a patisserie. If we need more cash then we go to the cashpoint. I was robbed on a train when returning from holiday in the Channel Islands in the late1960's. My boyfriend and I were Mickey Finned. They took all my money, which was just over a pound and was my fare back home from London. They couldn't get to my boyfriend's wallet because I had my arms around him and was slumped across his chest. Although I didn't have much money stolen, from then on, I carry very little cash. I am just pleased that the incident occurred on my way back from holiday and not on the way there as all my holiday money would have gone. There were not ATM's in those days so people carried more cash.
  11. We stopped for lunch at the Baie de Somme a few years back. It was about 3pm and we were the only ones there apart from two French cars. We noticed that they kept driving around us, even going the wrong way where it was one way. We carried on getting our lunch and whilst we were eating it, we noticed one of the drivers walking towards our caravan, approaching from the rear. He saw that we were busy eating and turned and walked back to where he had come from. His mate was hanging around in the area too having got out of his car. I am certain that had we been asleep that these men would have attempted to have robbed us. It was very scary so we very quickly got out of the caravan and drove off. It has certainly put us off ever stopping at the Baie de Somme now. We also stop for lunch earlier now and make sure that there are several other caravanners around. The thought of staying at this aire overnight, or any other aire in France, really scares me.
  12. I am urgently seeking an annexe for our 1995 Isabella Statesman awning, as we are taking our son and grandchildren to Cornwall next month. The annexe has to be Pre Unicut so that the zips fit. Isabella no longer make these particular annexes so my only hope is to find a secondhand one. I just wondered if anyone on here had one to sell? I have searched the web including the auction sites but cannot find any. Your help in this matter would be much appreciated. Thank you.
  13. We always go this way. The road has been improved significantly in the past 15 years and now has long sections of dual carriageway.
  14. We have just returned from 14 days in Brittany and yes, we had our tv, Sky box and sat. dish with us. When we first arrived at the site, we were allocated a pitch and were doubtful as to whether we would get reception there, despite asking for a pitch that would be suitable. The first thing we did after levelling the caravan was to try to get Sky as we were staying for 2 weeks and wanted to keep up with news and weather occasionally, as well as watching the two England football matches. The reason why the other Europeans were keen to set up their sat. dishes was probably because they too had international football matches. Our pitch was totally unsuitable with many trees along the southern and eastern boundaries. We realised too that our caravan and car would take up all the pitch and there was no room for the awning. We decided to stay for one night and then ask about moving pitch. There were plenty of much larger empty pitches in different areas of the site which were in perfect situations. When we went into the office the following morning and asked to move, we were told that the larger empty pitches were not free but reserved for their regulars! We then said that we would move on elsewhere. Suddenly, out of the blue, she was able to find us another pitch that was twice the size of the original one and in a better area of the site. It was ideal for our sat dish too. We moved pitch and stayed there for the remainder of our holiday. We had a couple of wet and windy days when we didn't feel like going out and it was good to be able to watch the occasional programme on tv. I wouldn't have liked to have been without it for 2 weeks. We don't tend to watch it in the evenings though and enjoyed sitting out as dusk approached and seeing how many bats we could spot.
  15. I have just come across this thread and wanted to add that when we had a dog, we took her on the Portsmouth to Caen route every year and used the daytime sailings. We put her in the caravan when we arrived on deck and she was much happier in there than being cooped up in the car. We left her with a couple of bowls of water and to begin with we went down halfway through the trip to make sure she was all right. We realised after doing this on a couple of trips that it was better not to disturb her as she was always asleep. I have certainly found the Caravan Club cheaper than booking with anyone else especially if buying Camping Cheques at the same time.
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