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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

1,467 profile views
  1. We've been to Italy a few times from the North East. We have used the Amsterdam ferry but recently it has got to be too expensive so the last couple of years we've gone from Hull. Either Rotterdam or Zeebrugge give an easier journey to Germany than the channel ports. We've always taken 4 weeks. To do Lake Garda and beyond in 2 weeks is a bit ambitious IMHO. We always travel in June and early July and you need to watch out for the German (Bavarian) school holidays as Lake Garda is really popular with them. There's websites where you can check the dates. ACSI sites are often not available during these holidays. Like David, I would recommend Austria, especially the area around the Lakes (St Wolfgang, etc). We love Italy but you won't do it justice with just two weeks . John M
  2. We've been going to various bits of Europe since I retired over 20 years ago. We're by no means rich but we can afford the ever increasing ferry costs and love our visits to the continent for the better weather, different food and general attitude to life. Germany, Austria, Italy and France all have their attractions and we try to vary our visits. We also like Belgium, don't think much of Holland and rarely visit Spain. Never been to Portugal and probably won't be going there. The upshot of all this is to say that we will almost certainly be heading back to Europe in 2020 whatever happens with Brexit, especially as we go in June and early July so get brilliant ACSI sites very cheaply - much cheaper than anything we can use in the UK and usually with more facilities. Having said all that, we also like visiting different parts of the UK, there's so much left to see and so little time! John M
  3. Thanks, that seems a sensible way to do it. As you appear to be measuring the air temperature, rather than the temperature around the fins, the fans won't come on until it is 33⁰C which seems quite high. Do you find the fans work well using that setting? - I had anticipated getting them to come on at around the 25⁰- 28⁰ mark. John M
  4. I've bought a STC1000 controller just like the Inkbird one in the photo. All models of this seem to come with sliding orange clips to hold them in position. I can work out how to fix these clips with access to the rear of the fixture, but how did you manage to fix the unit into what appears to be a blind hole as the orange clips wouldn't fit through the hole and then can't be manipulated from the front anyway, if you see what I mean? I'd also be interested to know what temperature settings you've used to switch the fans on & off. John M
  5. Mine is a Skoda but has the same or similar system and it is plain that it is flaky to say the least. Both me and my friend with the same car have had issues needing the system to be re-calibrated. Following my re-calibration, within a couple of weeks the system suddenly stopped working while towing on the autobahn in Germany, then two days later, it suddenly sprang back into life while towing on a Belgian motorway. I reported this to my dealer who basically just shrugged their shoulders. It has been fine since, but if it stops again, the re-calibration fee is £450 as Skoda dealers apparently refuse to accept this as a warranty issue despite this being a safety-critical item. I am hoping that as this feature becomes more common, that there will be independent firms who can perform the re-calibration for a much-reduced fee. Other than that, I have had no issues while towing and the after-market towbar fitting used the appropriate Skoda wiring harness, so recognises when the caravan is attached. John M
  6. The grey cover from the nearside unit on my manual Evolution mover has gone missing. Given how difficult these things can be to remove, I suspect that somebody thought they had more right to it than me, especially given the astronomical cost of the replacements. Powrtouch will only sell these covers as a pair at a cost of £40. I contacted them to ask if single covers were available, pointing out that few people would lose both covers at the same time. However, they were unrepentant and simply gave me a link to purchase a new pair. The new ones appear to be blue and have added a screw to make them more secure, so it looks as though I'll have to bite the bullet and buy a pair unless someone on here has a spare nearside grey manual cover to sell. If I buy the pair, then I guess I'll be putting the existing off-side grey cover on a well known auction site. Powrtouch are often praised on here for their levels of customer service, but their attitude to spares provision doesn't seem very friendly to me. John M
  7. I've got the Garmin Camper 760 and wouldn't recommend it. It has taken us (or tried to) on some really strange routes. The worst being when we went to Harlech last year and being strangers to the area and with rotten weather, the Garmin ignored the wide and safe route and took me into Harlech and turned me down a very steep hill with hairpin bends past a sign saying "unsuitable for coaches" which I didn't see until past the point of no return. Luckily there was nothing coming up, so we survived. Now we treat it with great scepticism. It still tries to take us down narrow roads but we've learned to plan a route on the map and ignore the Garmin when it throws a wobbler. Our old (car) TomTom was just as good - or bad, depending o your point of view. I like having a Satnav and prefer the Garmin to the built-in Skoda one, but they are far from infallible. John M
  8. Coming back from York a few weeks ago with the caravan, I got caught by a mobile camera van. Unusually in my limited experience, the single carriageway stretch of the A19 had fairly light traffic and I was bowling along quite happily keeping up with the flow, so no excuses. However, what has prompted this is that both the initial letter confirming the driver and the one I've just received outlining my options tell me that my alleged offence is "Speeding - exceed 50 mph for a goods vehicle" - which of course is wrong - I was towing a caravan and although subject to the same limits, my offence is, I believe, covered by a different section of the Road Traffic acts. So I'm interested to know if anyone else has had this unfortunate experience and whether the same wording was used. Is it just lazy terminology or a mistake? I'm not trying to get out of this as even if it went to court I assume I'd have to travel to York and they would, I assume, get the charge correct when preparing the court documents. Having committed the crime, taking the Speed Awareness Course seems to be the sensible option. John M
  9. I had a similar problem a while back. Instead of renewing the whole cable which meant tracing it back to the caravan connections, I cut the cable under the A-frame cover and fitted an in-line 13 pin socket to the caravan end of the cut cable, discarded the damaged bit and then fitted a new length of cable with a plug at each end. Has worked fine for a couple of years now and should make it easier to replace if ever I manage to damage the cable again. Just used cable ties to hold the new plug & socket in place tucked under the A-frame. John M
  10. We used Hull ferries last year and are booked again for this year. For many years we used the Newcastle - Amsterdam DFDS route as the terminal is only 10 miles from home but the prices on that route have gone through the roof. The Hull ferry loads and unloads much quicker than the DFDS one and we like the P&O ships and food choices better. Went out to Rotterdam last year and back via Zeebrugge and much preferred the Rotterdam ship both for ease of driving on & off and the ship's facilities. This year we're going out & back via Zeebrugge just because we're likely to be going to somewhere in France. For Italy or Germany we would always use the Rotterdam option. John M
  11. When I cut the hole for an extra electrical socket, I used a jigsaw cutting on the upstroke but I'm not sure that it matters that much. I used that blade because it was the only metal-cutting blade I had. Certainly, cutting a large hole for a locker door would be hard work with a handsaw. What is important is to use masking tape to protect the paintwork from the metal soleplate of the jigsaw and also gives a nice clear line to follow. Although stating the obvious, you need to be careful about what is situated on the inner face of the panel you're cutting. However, it's not a job I've done so somebody may be along soon with some experience of this. As always, there are some videos on Youtube which may help (or confuse you further!) John M
  12. We've stayed on Port de Limeuil a couple of times, but not recently. We enjoyed our stay there and found the staff friendly & helpful. Decent size pitches and a swimming pool. Can't remember that there was much of a restaurant although food is available and a decent bar. It's quite near Le Bugue which has supermarkets and a good market and it's not too far from other attractions. We looked at Le Paradis and, although it seemed a nice site, it's a bit far out for our tastes. We almost always visit St Leon sur Vezere while in the area as it's a lovely place butit's small and with limited facilities. John M
  13. Just an update. Bought some tyres from a local supplier who was happy to send the tyres back if too old. In the event, the supplied tyres were only 3 months old, so happy with that. John M
  14. Thanks. Unfortunately they don't cover this far North. I thought that Blackcircles would be big enough to have good turnover and they may do but wouldn't commit to supplying recent date codes. John M
  15. Perhaps I didn't explain myself very well. I'm aware that there's no statutory age limit for tyres. However, both major clubs and tyre manufacturers recommend that caravan tyres are replaced after 5 years simply because of the way they are used which is much different to car tyres. My current tyres appear to be fine, but I'm not prepared to take the risk of running them beyond their recommended life. If you wish to do so, that's your prerogative. Other people must have had similar problems, I just hoped that somebody could help, I don't need advice on whether or not I choose to replace my tyres. John M
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