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  1. As Wonky says, it’s perfectly normal. It’s known as a “floating” roof. The internals are bonded, but loose aluminium is laid on top. It’s actually better than a fully bonded roof as it allows the different materials to expand/contract at different rates, so doesn’t cause issues at the joints. That’s Coachman’s explination.
  2. Sort of. Last year, the Laser 575 was called the Xcel (along with high spec twin axle model) but came with a spec between VIP and Laser Xcel. For this year, the 575 and the new 545 are called Laser Xtra. Whilst the VIP575 continues, the VIP545 has been dropped. I was fortunate enough to have been at the launch at the factory last week - thankfully I took loads of photographs to check what is what, otherwise I would have been even more confused in my old age than I am already!
  3. The 545 has been revamped and is now called the 545 Xtra. It’s an 8’ wide model and rather than having the ‘his n hers’ doors into the bedroom, you can walk around the end of the bed into a central corridor, where the shower is on one side, and the washroom on the other. The new model in the VIP range is the 540.
  4. I would certainly be getting the dealer to send them to you. Much will depend on the dealer of course. For years we dealt with a brilliant one where nothing was too much trouble and any parts were with them in a matter of days (and if appropriate sent on to me to sort out myself). They didn’t take any nonsense from manufacturers either (I witnessed that first hand). Fast forward to now, and for reasons I won’t go into (or bore you with), the current place that we’ve had the misfortune to deal with couldn’t be much worse - the the point of us seriously considering getting rid altogether or somehow funding a change of caravan.
  5. Am I missing something here? Two brand new caravans with defects (however minor) and you’ve accepted them or are looking to sort them yourselves? There’s no wonder the manufacturers continue to produce the rubbish that they do. If your brand new car arrived with a dent in a door and scuffs on the bumpers would you accept them? I appreciate that it takes time, effort and finance to return them to the dealers (who put their bills into the manufacturers), but........
  6. Having the fridge set to mains when towing shouldn’t make a jot of difference as it will only work when you are connected to a mains supply. As others have said, you either need to switch the fridge to 12v/battery or if it has automatic detection, it will switch to 12v automatically when connected to the car and should only draw power when the engine is running (and with Smart charging systems it might only do that at random times too.). The master switch should automatically turn off when connected to the car too. Does your car have adaptive cruise control? If so, that’s what the near/mid/far switch will be for, nothing to do with the parking sensors I doubt. It seems that all manufacturers have things that work in different ways. Most switch off the parking sensors when a trailer is detected (so long as they’ve been programmed properly), but it would appear that some don’t (as read above - Audi), some might have the fronts working, some don’t etc., etc.
  7. I would suggest that the 2015 one is vastly overpriced in normal circumstances, but at the moment prices are stupid and it’s a seller’s market. Caravans that ordinarily would fetch just a few hundred pounds are going for £2-3,000 at the moment!
  8. It would have to be in true Top Gear style though with a series of tests as the Volvo is undoubtedly the quicker of the two, but the Senator would win a “drift” hands down. 😉😂
  9. Being ‘progressive’ too, you could really have fun with the Senators (on nights!!) but never had ends swapping. Like you say, each to their own.
  10. The 3.0-litre 24valve Senator was my favourite all time Traffic car. They were so predictable which meant that you could throw them anywhere and know where they would end up. When they first arrived, they were so much quicker than the cars that they replaced (2.9 Granada’s in the main). The engines were designed to use oil, they almost had an oil change between garage oil changes, and that was stated (the consumption) in the handbooks. Whilst the Volvo 850 T5’s were more powerful and quicker, they were ‘wild’ and had awful torque steer. It was telling that Volvo ‘de-tuned’ subsequent versions. Being front wheel drive, they could also suffer dreadful under steer at times, and tyre wear (on the first ones, until we got used to them) was colossal, 4,000 miles I think was a record!). Thankfully, later models (V70 and S70) were much more controlled and refined, by which time I’d progressed to Mercedes Vito vans!
  11. One thing to bear in mind is that air awnings are heavy due to them being an all-in-one thing. We have a Kampa Rally 200 (very basic and with poles) and a Kampa Rally Air Pro 200, so both the same size, but I would suggest that the Air Pro is twice the weight (and bulk) of the basic one. Just a thought if your parents would be putting it up. A very nice gesture though.
  12. Coachman Caravans was sold to Swedish company KABE in the past couple of days.
  13. But the C&CC didn’t do anything “virtually” for 2020. The Tow Car Awards event was cancelled, so based upon past testing where vehicles were actually tested, they produced a “Used Tow Car Awards” article jointly with What Car? The dates have been set for the 2021 event, but whether it takes place is anybody’s guess. I too found the CMC Tow Car of the Year awards absolutely bonkers. I have far more respect for the C&CC cancelling the event and not pretending. There are some cars that on paper look fantastic, but when tested are dire, and vice versa. You can’t do it virtually with any credibility.
  14. Returning Class and Overall Winners are included in the Tow Car Awards, so the same might apply to the Tow Car of the Year? And as for selecting the cars, the manufacturers are asked to submit them, sometimes with a bit of guidance. For example, a few years ago, BMW were asked for a 320d (before the “d” was a dirty word), but they chose it send a 335d! Fantastic car, and a great tow car for the weight class, but not one that most people could afford (me included!).
  15. I cannot comment on the lunches etc., but I do have a bit of “inside” info on these events, and you’re quite right, Ford are hopeless at PR. I know that certain models have been requested from Ford for the What Car?/C&CC/Practical Caravan “Tow Car Awards” (not the TCOY!), and rarely any of them arrive. They’ve even sent vehicles without tow bars before. The XC90 wouldn’t have been mentioned because only NEW or “extensively updated” vehicles take part, and to my knowledge that doesn’t apply to the XC90 this year.
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