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millerhouse12

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About millerhouse12

  • Rank
    Over 500 posts
  • Birthday 08/10/1944

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Cramlington, Northumberland
  • Interests
    Cycling, caravanning, photography and video
  • Towcar
    Skoda Superb Estate Mk 111 2. 0 TDi 190
  • Caravan
    Swift Challenger 530SE

Recent Profile Visitors

1,142 profile views
  1. millerhouse12

    Westfalia Detachable Tow Bar

    My Westfalia was fitted in January of this year and has the attached loop for the breakaway cable. I find the hook fairly easy to fit but the cover for the lock snapped off while the fitter was demonstrating the operation to me! Westfalia supplied a replacement but it is just a loose press-on cap and not as convenient as the original attached cover would have been. Initially, I had great problems with the breakaway cable, particularly with detaching it as the space for my hand was very tight and, of course, you can't see what you're doing unless you lie on your back & look up. I solved this by enlarging the cutout in the bumper - it's underneath, so isn't readily visible. It's now much easier to fit & detach the cable. I did initially try a shackle, but that didn't help much. My previous cars have had a Brink & then a Witter, both of which were easier to use, but were always visible. Now, when there's no caravan attached, the rear bumper has nice clean lines which I like. John M
  2. millerhouse12

    NEWCASTLE TO IJMUIDEN FERRY - SPECIAL OFFER

    Hope you didn't fall in the water when boarding - the ferry terminal is on the North Shields side of the Tyne! John M
  3. millerhouse12

    NEWCASTLE TO IJMUIDEN FERRY - SPECIAL OFFER

    We live only 10 miles from the DFDS ferry and have used it for a number of years - when we first started using them, the free caravan offer covered June but it is much more restrictive now. Last year & again this year the quoted price was way over £1000 making it totally uneconomic to travel with them. We travelled from Hull last year and have booked with P&O again this year for literally half the price (plus the extra fuel to get there). When I saw this DFDS offer, I did a trial booking which still came to over £1000 going out early June and returning early July. I tried a few dates but the price stayed much the same. Might help if DFDS showed more dates & prices. DFDS prices seem to have taken a giant leap recently so I doubt we'll be using them again despite their convenience for us. Shame. John M
  4. millerhouse12

    Cracks In Abs Rear Panel (Swift Challenger 584 2014)

    I think it would be worth taking some legal advice on this. Swift are within their rights to refuse a repair under warranty as you have breached their terms. However, these cracks are common on 2014 caravans and nothing in the servicing schedule would prevent them from happening. Swift replaced my ABS rear panel with a GRP one which I think says it all. Your dealer cannot hide behind the warranty terms, your friend here is the Sale of Goods Act as the sale was pre 2015 and I would have thought that you stand a good chance of obtaining a repair free of charge. John M
  5. I used to get emails from DFDS as we've travelled with them for the last few years but they don't seem to be talking to me this year. However, alerted by your post, I looked at a crossing in June next year, returning 4 weeks later using the 15% discount code which is still there and was quoted over £1000. There was no availability on the dates I initially entered, so business can't be that bad with prices like that! Crossing from Hull on similar dates reduced it to just over £600. Did you get a much better price from DFDS? John M
  6. millerhouse12

    Bailey caravans - absence of front locker

    Thanks for all the replies. I'm still not much nearer to liking the Bailey set-up but some things helped. As I said, we keep the table & chairs in the shower, so little room in there for anything else. We don't use aquarolls or wastemaster - don't like the things. I have a small trolley which transports my plastic jerrycans quite nicely & they fit easily in my front locker - they weigh next to nothing empty. We both like a clear floor when travelling so won't store anything between the front benches, etc. Neither does the Swift 530 have a fixed bed so storing things under there isn't an option. We can't find a fixed bed model which meets my wife's criteria so the nearest Bailey model would be the U4 Madrid. In addition to all that, I can set up my current caravan without having to venture inside apart from my wife handing me the water connector. As somebody helpfully remarked, we quite obviously have the choice of not buying a Bailey, I just wondered if I was missing something. Thanks anyway John M
  7. While at the NEC recently, we looked at lots of caravans but walked past the Bailey stand, despite being a Bailey owner in the past, because the current ranges have done away with the front locker - which I regard as indispensable. I know they have a separate gas locker, but there appears to be little else in the way of external storage available. As well as the gas bottles, we use the locker to store our water & waste containers, mains leads (2), leveling blocks, bucket, etc (nose weight carefully checked!). Our unused shower compartment is the resting place for camping table & chairs. However, we see lots of Baileys around so I've got to wonder how owners manage. Anybody care to tell me what I'm missing? John M
  8. . ...... 2 leather wallets, a hat & a 3m USB cable. Went to buy a caravan, but SWMBO couldn't find one she liked better than our Swift, so got off lightly this time. Coupled with free tickets from Caravan Talk (for which, many thanks) and free coffee at the Swift & C&CC stands, all in all, not too bad a day. We did get a bit excited with a couple of the Hobby caravans but sadly, too heavy for the current car and I don't really want to change it. John M
  9. millerhouse12

    Dometic RM8551 Door Hinge

    That sounds as though it was the bottom bar of the cabinet that was sagging - which was yet another problem I encountered during my fridge repair. The cause on mine was a right-angled steel bracket at the end of the bar whose screws had lost all grip. Like you, I fitted a small piece of wood under the bar to support it. The "wood" in these cabinets just doesn't take screws very well. Anyway, glad you solved your problem. John M
  10. millerhouse12

    Dometic RM8551 Door Hinge

    If I needed to do something to support the hinge, I think I would consider using a furniture assembly block joint screwed to the cabinet directly under the hinge with some glue or mastic to reinforce it. I doubt that it would be very noticeable, particularly when the fridge was shut and could be made even less obtrusive by cutting the block in half. These block joints have a couple of good flat surfaces and I doubt if the hinge would need a huge amount of reinforcement. Just a thought as the caravan is in storage so I can't check how practical this would be. John M
  11. millerhouse12

    Planning our big one-Slovenia info anyone?

    Others may have better experience of Slovenia but mine is limited to a day trip to Lake Bled from a site near Ossiach in Austria where we were staying at the time (sadly now closed). Because we were only going for the day, we avoided the expensive tunnel and motorway tolls by going over the Wurzen Pass without the caravan but it was a fairly easy road as I remember - we followed a lorry over. The lake is certainly well worth a visit and there is a good campsite right on the lake called Camping Bled which is an ACSI site if you're going out of season. John M
  12. millerhouse12

    Dometic RM8551 Door Hinge

    Your panel looks just like mine would if the sticky plastic was removed. I'm planning on cutting out the sticky bits where the brackets slot in when I reinstall the panel. In my caravan, I could possibly have cut out the RH bracket cover by removing the cutlery drawer had I known exactly how the bracket was fixed - Dometic simply didn't provide any detail and the diagrams I found weren't any help in that respect. But there is no easy way I could have cut out the LH bracket cover with the fridge in situ - there just isn't enough of a gap to get any sort of knife in. However I did force that one out by twisting the panel after I'd cut the RH bracket, so it might work for someone else if they have the same set-up and know what to expect. John M.
  13. millerhouse12

    Dometic RM8551 Door Hinge

    The caravan is now 4½ years old and (fingers crossed) so far the bottom hinge hasn't dropped. The bit you can see in the photo is the opposite side to the door hinge. I'm not expecting to have to adjust the fridge position - that would be a fairly major job. If the bottom hinge ever does drop, I'd be looking at some method of supporting it before I'd consider trying to move the fridge. I may be telling Granny to suck eggs here, but if your fridge is like mine, the door is easy to remove. The top hinge pin has a slot and the pin just screws out. You would then have easy access to the bottom hinge and might be able to bend if back up and find some means of supporting it? John M
  14. millerhouse12

    Dometic RM8551 Door Hinge

    My fridge is actually an RMS8551 & I've copied the label in case it helps to identify which ones have the sticky film. It is really difficult to see that there is a film when viewed with the fridge in situ as it blends so well with the rest of the panel. My problems started with a loose fridge which rocked back& forward whenever we closed or opened the door. . It was only after I fixed that problem that I realised that the hinge was loose as well. I discovered that none of the 4 securing screws could be tightened and one was actually snapped. My fix was to use some cabinet connectors. I drilled the fridge holes out to suit and took the drill right through the cabinet sides. The connector was fitted in place with a thick plastic washer to pad out the length of the connector. I also reinforced the bottom supporting bar so the fridge doesn't move now. Photos attached. I think it is disgraceful that:- 1. Dometic cannot produce a hinge thick enough to support the weight of the door and 2. That caravan manufacturers like Swift routinely ignore fridge fitting instructions. On this caravan like all the others I've had to block up some substantial holes. (Not the gas drop holes before anybody comments!) My fridge fits over the wheel arch and there were large gaps between the cabinet bottom and the wheel arch liner which caused a gale to enter the caravan whenever strong winds blew onto the ventilators. John M
  15. millerhouse12

    Dometic RM8551 Door Hinge

    An update. Since nobody on here has been able to help, I removed the central control panel which just clips out and, through the hole, used a bit of wood to try and lever the panel away from the retaining clips - still couldn't shift it. So I contacted Leisureshopdirect who put me on to Dometic Customer Services. They eventually told me:- "You have a sticker on top of the plastic panel. You will need to remove this before the plastic panel is removable. If you do remove the sticker you will need a new one". It turns out that what they meant is that the whole top of the panel is covered with a piece of very sticky plastic film, rather like thick Fablon. Impossible to remove with the fridge installed as more than half the panel is under the furniture. I discovered all this only after I cut through one of the retaining clips with a hacksaw blade and levered the panel off the other clip. In my view, the plastic film glue is so strong that it would be just about impossible to remove the panel in situ in any other way. Perhaps heating it with a hairdrier or such might help, but I doubt if the heat could be applied to the right place. Having removed the panel and the remains of the retaining clip, it was easy to then fix the loose hinge back into position. I've ordered a replacement bracket. I think it's a terrible design as the only alternative way to tighten the offending hinge is to pull the fridge out of the housing which is a major & expensive job with the gas connections, etc. The photos might help anybody else who needs to do this. They show the position of the removed (cut) RH retaining bracket; the LH bracket; the socket in the top of the panel for the clip (the blue bit is just rolled up tape to keep the gap open) & the removed panel. John M
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