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About micktheshed

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    Over 1000 posts

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    mickgordon113@yahoo. co. uk

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  • Gender
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  • Interests
    Caravanning & Enjoying Retirement
  • Towcar
    3L Auto Nissan Terrano
  • Caravan
    Swift Elegance 530, 2018

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  1. Despite being 74 I still do the oil changes (& all the other servicing!) on 4 family cars. Mainly because I don't trust any-one else to do it to my standards. I seen the half-baked efforts employed by many garages, & they make me cringe! There's also the cost advantage which is approx. 1/3 to 1/2 of garage charges! An oil & filter change is the cheapest (get it for a fraction of shop prices off e-bay!) & most beneficial thing you will ever do to make an engine last longer. It's even more beneficial if done more often than the (ludicrously large periods) manufacturers state. Modern diesels, with DPF, especially benefit as they are prone to diesel fuel polluting the oil. A few tips, gained the hard way over the years, for those enthusiastic to do their own: 1, ALWAYS drain the oil HOT & leave it to FULLY drain. Most garages can't be bothered so some of the old oil & crud gets left in. Hardly the way to obtain the best results. 2, After the oil has reduced to a drip tip in 1/2L of fresh oil to help flush out any stubborn pockets of old oil & let this drain for 5 mins. min. 3, Prime the new filter with oil to reduce 'dry' start-up time, especially with a diesel. 4, Never store a vehicle for long periods without first changing the oil, the naturally occurring acids, in used oil, will do no good at all. 5, Enjoy spending the large amount you have saved & bask in the glow of a job well done.
  2. They just do what they're told by the cc, & have no more idea, & are just as much in the dark, me, The cc seem to believe that they are the only ones with the expertise to organise anything properly. Not so! As I've already said, elsewhere, I find it difficult not to be taken as an insult to D.A. stewards, with years of successful experience behind them, as it would be quite simple to organise a meet without 'group gatherings' (very infrequent as they are) that may infringe on social spacing. They're held in the middle of a field for goodness sake, with nowhere near the potential risk involved in a normal shopping outing or even a facilities-enabled club site! It can't be denied, by any-one, that they are all independent as far as facilities are concerned. I still think it's being done, primarily, for the financial benefit of the club, plus covering their own backs. In the mean time a lot of bad feeling is being built-up, A bad case of 'big brother perhaps?
  3. All this Talk about security is fine as far as it goes, but surely the most effective answer is a police force/ customs officer that actually checks on vehicles being exported. At the moment there is negligible effort being put into this thereby allowing stolen vehicles, of all types, to be easily shipped. For eg. the 'hidden' transponder fitted to all 'vans requires only a few seconds to read it, but this is not habitually done due to 'lack of man-power'. The common route for 'vans is to Ireland & then on to the continent, a well-know fact. It's just all too easy, with little risk, for the thieves. What stops these checks happening? It's not 'self-financing' (in the way that, say, a speeding fine is) therefore there's no incentive for the government to do it anything about it. Any 'collars' are a drain on public finances so deemed best avoided. I do agree with the attitude that if the 'van next door is easier to steel then yours will be that much safer. This has been my experience over many years.
  4. Just read the new C. & C. Club mag, (pages 15 & 25) in which it states that sites will be opening on 4th July but not DA meets etc. 'This will be reviewed at the end of July.' However my wife's Facebook page has just displayed a message from the C. & C.C. headquarters that states it was a misprint & should have read 'end of June'. Since my local BCC section cancelled all meets for July ages ago I'm now even more frustrated than originally..... Some-one please clarify the situation, but don't bother 'phoning HQ as they apparently are not answering them.
  5. Build quality improved? I must have missed that! In my experience of my own 'vans & many other people's that I've come into contact with over the past 4 decades there has been a gradual, but continuous, worsening of basic build quality. This I mainly put down to the obsession with fitting sale-enhancing gimmicks that consequently have to be payed for by penny pinching elsewhere. The price pressure also translates to the bought-out parts supplier, with the same lowering of quality resulting. The skilled conscientious worker that was so evident many years ago has ceased to exist, being replaced by low paid, zero ability, poorly trained & a frequently disinterested workforce. As I've said many times, it's just like the car industry in the '70s: if it can get off the end of the track then it's OK to ship. The week link in the system is the less than interested dealer who can't be bothered to carry out a thorough PDI. Let's not forget we pay £100s for this to be done (it's not gratis!) rather than it being a nice little earner for the dealer's back pocket. I was told (by people in the industry) that PDI faults are fixed at the dealer's cost, whereas after that the cost is down to warranty claims. Therefor the situation we're in: it just doesn't pay the dealer to put things right at the PDI when ha can get paid for it by ignoring it until after collection. Hence my mantra: the dealer (& his attitude towards his customers) is at least as important as the caravan's brand.
  6. I've been using a similar device for several years, on car batteries. It does not work so comprehensively on 'leisure' batteries, however (don't know why). I use the latest dual purpose type batteries (FTD?) for leisure use, which it does work on. Worth it's weight in gold, as they say, giving warning of attention needed before it does harm. Available now on ebay for only £20! As to recovering a battery in a 'dodgy' state, then a cheapo from Aldi does the job just as well as the expensive units, & only costs £14. The only draw-back being max. 3.5A only so takes longer (which can be a good thing).
  7. A friend who works at Measham car auctions was telling me that at their 1 June auction of caravans, motor homes & trailer tents the prices went through the roof. All sales were via the internet & prices were up to double that expected. Even 'vans fit for little more that scrap were selling for silly prices. Who could have predicted that? Looks like the market has gone crazy but it's definetely the time to sell.
  8. I really think you need to insert 'never' on the end of that green line, it will reduce but never go away. We will have to get used to it, just like flue.
  9. If we're starting a competition as to how many punchers we've had: 1988-1991: Bond 875 Mk.1, 1 X 2"gash causing dramatic blow-out, + several minor punchers (easily repaired by side of road as tubes were standard fit.) I always blamed it on the, then, bulging side-walls of the Michelin radials. 1991- 1998; Bond 875 Mk.2, several minor punchers, ditto. 1986-1993: Austin Montego, 22+ (yes that's 22+!) before I lost count (good job it had got run-flat tyres, as all too often they were, LOL (not). Very expensive experience! Doubtless this is what made me paranoid about having a proper spare. 2010- on: Astra, 7 unbelievably all in same NS rear wheel, 3 different tyres, 2 different wheels. 2011- on: Terrano, 1 (dare I say 'only'?). Fixed with proper tyre sealant & still used as a spare 6 years later. With a history like this it's no wonder I wont even consider a car without a proper spare.
  10. Space saver tyres are supplied solely to save the manufacturer money & help fudge the pollution data. They were only ever intended as a solo get-you-home' option, & as such fulfill their purpose, up to a point. They may be claimed to be ' suitable' i.e. capable for use on the driving wheels for towing but there is no way they can compete with a standard wheel & tyre as regards traction, safety or life. They're severely restricted as to speed & miles when used solo so it does not take a genius to realise their drastically reduced limitations when used for towing. I, for one, will avoid them like the plague (i.e. C19 in modern parlance).
  11. Hasn't it occurred to anyone that the reason visiting storage sites etc. is not inc. in the 'OK to do' list is that no-one in government even knows (or cares) what a caravan is, or less still, what is actually entailed? After all they are the ones with the second homes, frequently subsidised from the public purse which, apparently, they can visit at will. Going shopping is FAR more risky, but apparently that's just fine. The days of Barbara Castle are long gone..... we are no longer represented. Stay safe without assuming the government always knows best, & take personnel responsibility instead of hiding behind their (at times) ill-thought-out missives. They seem to be under the impression that they are herding sheep. As shepherd the rules apply to every-one else but them. The mental fall-out from all this has not even been considered. I think it's quite easy: apply common sense & avoid any personnel contact. It's working perfectly well for me, so where does the REAL problem lie? BTW I don't condone, in any way, the mass attendance at beaches, beauty-spots etc. which is complete madness but also a typical symptom of 'cabin fever', ie. mental stress.
  12. I'm amazed that more storage sites don't operate an appointment system , as does mine. One 'phone call to book a slot gives exclusive access. Last Monday I washed my 'van (not the first to do so recently I was told). I phoned him going in, & phoned him coming out. Easy. Just takes a bit of effort. On an isolated site with 1000+ pitches spread between 4 distinct compounds I was the only person there. How risky was that? ZERO! The nearest I got to another person was.......out of sight (must get my eyes tested now it's all the rage LOL). It's called using common sense, as already mentioned. Must say I enjoyed every minute. It's a simple fact that, sooner or later, every one will risk being exposed to some extent. Hiding away for ever (in the hope of a magic cure) is the only other option, though I don't doubt that some people relish the idea. The rest of us are not so paranoid.
  13. I've just been informed by the BCC (C & C Club section) that all meets have been cancelled at least until the end of July. I assume this is at the behest of the C& C Club & applies to all DA meets. Apparently the C & C C have also issued a survey to selected members regarding their requirements on site (if & when!) etc. No real news included except for the closing of some club sites for whole of the rest of the year. Any one got any more info?
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