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About ericfield

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  1. Whist it’s true diesels generally have more low down torque, traditionally considered more desirable for towing, all modern cars with 2L engines have power enough for towing a 1350kg caravan. There is no doubt petrol cars drink a lot more fuel than diesels and there is insufficient price difference in fuels to compensate. I’ve just gone back to a petrol car because my mileage has dropped considerably since retiring ...and I just like driving petrol. I have to say I am anticipating a big loss in its resale value when I decide to change .....so not just a diesel issue.
  2. To the caravanner towing along the A148 from Fakenham on Monday morning....if he’s on here. I wasn’t flashing my lights and waving to say hello or making a rude gesture. I was ☝️ at the open Heiki roof vent. Of course, if there was a nasty smell in there you were venting, my apologies. Hope it survived the journey home. 🤞
  3. The advice is good. I just don’t understand the closing statement ? (Maybe being thick) An unhitched caravan is more likely to come of worse than the car.
  4. I thought many cars today had self levelling air suspension as standard or an option? The Discovery also has a useful feature... a button in the boot area which raises the suspension significantly above even its off road high level. This means you can level the caravan (front to back)while hitched by raising the cars suspension. When level, drop the jockey wheel, lift the hitch lever... and lower the cars suspension. Great fun.
  5. Nope don’t mind the footfall. Anyway, that’s normally drowned out by the wardens leaf blowers and rubbish collection truck.
  6. There’s no comparison between the Disco 4 and Disco 5. The D4 is a ‘small van’ ...the D5 is a ‘big car’. They drive totally differently as a result. It’s true the D5 is a marmite design outside. I hated it in the showroom model colours but certain combinations work really well. IMHO. Never had anything wrong with the D4 in 5 years. I think there’s a lot of myths about LR reliability....you hear the horror stories not from the silent contented majority. I had the D4 serviced at a LR independent garage who charge £45/hour compared to the LR Dealerships £120/hour for obvious reasons. As far as mpg...I hold my hand up ....they are thirsty. But mine is a 3L supercharged petrol model (described as an elephant on steroids) and it only approaches 30mpg solo. Towing is the same mpg as urban solo.....you don’t want to know.
  7. Agreed. Or if £25 is too much() buy a 13pin plug and wire the two into it yourself. Tight fit but it does go in ok.
  8. There’s nothing more sets my teeth on edge than the trundling sound of toilets and waste masters as they roll their plasticky wheels back and forth to the emptying spot. One of the reasons I hate CMC club ‘shingle car parks’. They even get trundled back when empty??? I much prefer to carry a half full toilet (easier to empty as well) and a small grey water container albeit more frequently. Gives me a a bit of upper arm exercise as well, to offset anno domini.
  9. Really? Never seen anyone towing that speed in 20years of French motorway towing. Are you sure you didn’t mean km/h?
  10. My sister and husband have just done the same. As long standing Francophiles, they had become frustrated by an increasing number of favourite locations in France where height restrictions and signage had been introduced to restrict access by ‘camper vans’. Understandable really, with the number of these vehicles now on the road. But they felt it was getting too like UK in this respect. So they switched back to a caravan this year and are relishing the flexibility of a car for those spontaneous outings.
  11. We towed all over Europe with an XC70 and caravan combination at 96%. The car was more than capable at towing it....and it was a lovely comfortable economic car for solo use as well! The point to realise, is that 85% is not a definitive line in the sand. It is an archaic guideline derived when cars braking systems and pulling power were less capable. Modern cars are so much better in these areas. Having said that, when I was forced to change to a much bigger heavier car, the weight difference was very noticeable....or I should say, the caravan was far less noticeable on the back. Now towing at 70%, I could easily say we would all be happier/safer at a figure lower than 85%. But that’s not always possible factoring in everyone’s other needs and budgets, My take is, the higher the %, the more you will notice the caravan and the more care you need to take in adverse driving conditions....but that’s not a bad thing anyway.
  12. Anyone who has experienced a full on snake as opposed to reading the so called wisdom on what we should or shouldn’t do, will know that in the milliseconds you have time to do anything, the first instinct is to brake. In my experience there’s nothing wrong with that ..but it’s HOW you brake that matters. Don’t slam on the anchors...gently dab and release, like ABS. It only takes 2 or 3 dabs to scrub off 10mph....which may be all that’s needed to subdue the increasing amplitude. Whilst it’s true that braking when a car/ trailer are jacknifing is a recipe for disaster, at the initiation of a snake the car isn’t jacknifing, just getting (increasingly) out of alignment. It’s quite possible to brake when car and caravan are out of alignment. We have to do it if we need to brake going round unexpected tight bends on A and B roads! It’s only if the traction is lost (wet/icy roads, autumn leaves on the road, cold/over inflated tyres) or the angle is too acute, that we are at risk of jacknifing or worse. So when I had a 60+mph snake (XX years ago) I DID immediately ‘dab and release’ and would do again if God forbid it happens again. Although as Mr Plod eludes to, it sufficiently scares and bewilders most of us, that we drive far more sedately and cautiously ...for many years afterwards! As the now owner of a big LR 4x4, it’s not a feeling of invincibility that I would throw critically at other such drivers. It’s a fact that, a false feeling of security can take over the unwary when there is little, if no, sense of towing in a big, quiet vehicle. I’ve done it myself! There but for the Grace of God.... I would lay odds that driver won’t ever drive like that again.
  13. Not with my caravan (yet) but when my father died and I sold his house, my wife wrote an illustrated ‘pamphlet’ describing all the bushes and plants (by season) that were in garden. The new owners were really appreciative, especially as they planned an extension into the garden. As a result they were able to move some of the special shrubs they wanted to keep before the building started. A few months back they sent me an email showing the new extension ...and the handsome crop from the ancient Mulberry bush which had been protected and saved from the builders. I think a little bit of kind thinking is what’s all too often missing these days.
  14. We have a single track unmade lane that runs down the side of our property and I access my garage, parking area and back garden through a large gate half way down this lane. It’s also used as a rat run especially at school leaving time as the multitudes scream down our road and into the lane in an attempt to beat the traffic queue they would other wise encounter on the main road route. I actually take great delight in coming home at 3pm whether with car solo or with caravan because it takes AGES to get the car and especially a caravan into my property off our (communally owned but regrettably never kept private) lane. It’s especially amusing when 2 or 3 people have joined a queue, mistakenly assuming it would be but a moment. Watching them manage the necessary reversing convoy can be a final highlight of our holiday.
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