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About shefchap

  • Birthday August 3

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  • Gender
  • Location
  • Interests
    Cycling, Walking, canoeing
  • Make & Model of Towcar / Toad
    Vauxhall Insignia Estate, 160 bhp
  • Caravan / Motorhome / Static (Make and model)
    Sterling Europa 540 (2008)

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  1. Ok folks - sounds compelling but: a) with runflat tyres being harder than most, and not having a spare wheel available, what thoughts have you about towing with X3 without spare wheel and relying on run flats? becasue the tyres are harder, how does the car perform in hilly areas in snowy conditions? The X3 is on my shortlist alongside Volvo XC 60 and XC70. Thanks in anticipation for your input. ....
  2. shefchap

    Bmw X 3

    Hi, I'm interested in the X3 (or possibly the XC60or XC70 - boot space) both for towing and because we live in an area with steep hills which are prone to snow. The question is - you mention the electric towbar; Is that standard on all X3's or is it a specified option at extra cost ??! Grateful thanks. Shefchap p. s. Do all X3's (from lets say 2013 onwards) come with runflat tyres as standard?
  3. Great -thanks everyone. Sounds simple enough. Do you manage to reach the middle of the roof ok when using the steps, for the inner-most bike?
  4. Ok, so we like to take bikes on our weekends away, and we tow our beloved caravan. Our son is of an age he likes to have his bike around, and we like to bike with him. .....so presently we take 3 bikes on the roof of our current Insignia estate car on most caravanning weekends. Climbing up to mount bikes on the estate is easy enough But here's the issue, we're considering changing to a volvo xc70, but there's probably more xc60's around in the configuration we want (manual, diesel, 160 or 180bhp, and a particular colour my wife prefers. at a price we can afford), and we're usually in the market for used cars. Although it's easier to get bikes on top of an XC70 as it's just an estate, I wonder if any of our forum friends regularly take bikes on top of an xc60 (or similar sized SUV)- and if so, what do you think ? Is it easy enough mounting the bikes on the XC60's roof?? Am I missing a trick that would make it just as easy and hence bring XC60's into the short-list? How do YOU go about getting bikes on top of your SUV? Advice welcome thanks.
  5. Hi guys, hope you don't mind if I pitch in here as I have the similar issue. My question is quite simply this: does a higher suspension car automatically mean my towball will be higher or not? For example if I change from a standard Vx Insignia Estate to a Vx Insignia Coutry Tourer OR VW Passat Alltrack - OR even trade up to an SUV like a Sorento - am I going to get a higher towball? - We live in an estate with a few dreadful speed bumps and the jockey wheel gets clonked every time. (p. s. I know I could get progressive spring enhancers, but that may not be adequate)
  6. Yesterday, I watched a youtube video which shocked me! It was all about the difference between AWD and 4x4, and how mfrs can get away with calling a car AWD when perhaps only 5% of the torque will ever get to the back wheels! Unhelpful when you need to rely on traction. It was a comparison between a Subaru (Forester I think) and a Volvo XC70 going up a muddy incline. The Subaru with its 4wd system climbed up no probs and both front and rear axles worked together nicely. But the XC70 got stuck very quickly because the back wheels didn't really get involved in the effort to climb the hill whilst the front wheels were spinning like --- you know what! So here's my question. What's the difference between 4wheel drive and so called AWD as in many volvo's of recent years? Any drive-train experts out there who can guide me on what will give reliable traction for hill starts at the end of the day please?. The reason? I often have to tow up steep hills, especially with hill starts, and I can't always just 'gun it'! For my next car, I've been considering the likes of Volvo XC70, V70AWD, and other volvo's, as against Passat Alltrack, or perhaps a Vauxhall Insignia 4x4. I like estates, but if I can't rely on the traction, I might have to go for a less economincal traditional 4x4 like Kia Sorento/Hyundai SantaFe. The caravan is 1500kg MTPLM, but soon changing to something a bit lighter like upto 1400KG.
  7. Hi, we were given one for Christmas so I don't know where our inlaw's got it, or the details. HOwever it is small enough to sit in one of the front windows, propped up by a cushion or by the black-out blind. The wires then go through a window to the battery box and the dog-clips simply attach to the additional positive and negative pins that stick up beside the ones your system is normally connected to. We can close the window properly that the wires go through, so no issues there. We tend to use it to keep the battery topped up whilst in storage, and it does a very good job, even over the winter. I disconnect it and pack it away in its box then for travelling. Just going on from the issue of solar panels for topping up your battery, I've just had a thread on the issue of LED bulbs in your van - they'll significantly reduce the drain on the battery. Hope this helps.
  8. Hi all, Anyone tried a VW Passat Alltrack for towing a caravan of MTPLM 1500Kg or more - and in a steep hilly area? Any opinions on the strength of the car, and reliability of Passat? many thanks
  9. My current insignia sport tourer 160 (2wd) has this electonic brake. I also struggled with it at first, but got one of the service lads from our local Vauxhall dealer to come out with me for a spin, and he demonstrated this. Now I love it, and prefer it by far to the manual handbrake. ( I just need the 4x4 or Country Tourer now to get the hillstarts without wheel spin!) Thanks for your comments - much appreciated
  10. LoL - thank you for correcting me! I've just changed my gas and electric billing package, so I'm looking forward to seeing how those bills come down. . Does anyone know if LED bulbs are available for the main ceiling lights ? (Sterling Europa, 2008 model)
  11. HI Mike 100 - the bulb has the same fitting as the original - I changed 6 bulbs in the van with no issues what so ever. just take old one out and pop the new bulb in (and then put the clip back in place. No adaptions necessary. I haven't come across any issues yet.
  12. Just fitted 6 LED SMD reading lights in our caravan to replace all the halogen ones. Halogen means the fittings get very hot and use up battery volts if not on hook-up. LED's bought through ebay from China - very cheap, and easy to fit. Should use less amps, and already they're much cooler on the fingers !!!!! also bought LED's to replace halogens at home which should bring elec bills down a bit !
  13. very stable and on the flat, or hills that aren't too steep, she's great. I'm towing a 1500Kg sgl Axle 'van. She certainly holds well. Unfortunately got into a snake, and she got us out of it very well.
  14. very stable and on the flat, or hills that aren't too steep, she's great. I'm towing a 1500Kg sgl Axle 'van. She certainly holds well. Unfortunately got into a snake, and she got us out of it very well. Click here to view the towcar review
  15. Sounds good. Not sure what MTPLM your caravan is? Have you towed on steep hills and if so, how are the hill-starts, and general towing in steep hilly areas in your experience? thanks Shefchap
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