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About BFM

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    Super star

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  • Towcar
    Audi SQ7
  • Caravan
    2015 Sterling Continental 580

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  1. It is particularly aggrieving when something idiotic causes grief on a holiday. As I relate elsewhere, being kicked off a nice pitch is pretty upsetting but I have also had - someone hanging their smalls on a washing line between vans so close to ours that they flapped against the window, one memorable night outside Rome where a very loud rave took place on the campsite - and someone was murdered(!) and at a race circuit where the 'campsite' was totally uncontrolled and overcrowded without enough loos and I was woken by furtive noises beside the van to find a young lad TAKING A DUMP against the side of the van.
  2. It's a real shame that the OP has chosen to abandon this thread as there is a considerable amount of good advice amongst all the more esoteric aerodynamics! The main areas to concentrate on are nose weight and also caravan loading - sway can be caused by a lot of weight at either end of the van, particularly at the rear. I'd also look hard at the rear suspension of the Xtrail; I don't agree that 'only' 77,000 miles isn't much and in automobile terms 11 years is a fair period of time- you have no idea what those miles were like or entailed, and shock absorber manufacturers say that they actually should be changed at around 30,000 miles in harsh conditions. This is why taxis often feel awful - they do vast mileages on the same shocks. The 'bounce' test is laughably inadequate.
  3. BFM

    8k tug

    Two comments here; firstly something about the automatic vs manual debate. I personally can't understand why anyone would want to drive a manual car these days; modern automatics are now so good that they are very much something to forget about. The Metropolitan Police looked at this a few years ago; they reasoned that they trained their drivers very well and so manual cars should be much better in terms of performance and costs to repair. They were very surprised to find firstly that the drivers far preferred automatics and secondly the repair bills (particularly the engine repair bills) were far lower. The decision was taken at that point to go where possible for automatic Police cars. My second comment is to raise an eyebrow at your decision to get rid of a Mitsi PHEV as your tow car. It's fairly modern and a good choice. Why are you changing?
  4. Er, get shown to a nice pitch with a spectacular view, accept it to stay for a fortnight, and then get thrown off it two days later when someone else turns up because "you have gone to the wrong pitch; the computer says you should be on this one". They entered the wrong details but tried to blame us until we proved they were wrong. No apology. No help moving (only 30 deg C, full sun) and the pitch we were then 'allocated' was a hillside beside their busiest roadway, that got soaked twice a day by the watering system and had a view one way of the bins and the other of those metal cages full of rubble used to build terraces. When we turned up at reception to leave and told the receptionist that no, everything hadn't been fine, our bill was suddenly zeroed. Too little, too late.
  5. It sounds as though it is variable, then. We had a falling out with the site we were on (planned a fortnight, left after 4 days) and have moved across to Gard where we have found a charming little site with plenty of space. It also has that lovely, opalescent blue sky that the Med does so well. Off to Aigues-Mort for the day, I suspect. Is there space? We were thinking of heading that way in a week or so, and my usual go-to, Criques de Porteils outside Argeles sur Mer is showing as pretty full - although you have to be careful which site to ask for as it is steeply terraced and taxing with a big rig.
  6. Well, that's something I hadn't considered!
  7. It has been our routine for quite a few years now to book the tunnel to Calais and a few weeks later to book to return. In between, we wander around to virtually empty campsites grateful for our patronage. Not this year. All the sites we have visited have been full - and the site we are currently on in St Raphael is turning people away! Nobody is quite sure what is happening. One theory is that the weather over much of France is poor, squeezing everyone into the same few areas. Another is that there must be some sort of German holiday as there are a large number of Germans around. Has anyone else noticed? We'll be leaving our current site tomorrow as we have been upset by the staff there (PS: if you want to be thought of as a 5 star campsite you have to have SOME idea of customer service).
  8. I tow with an SQ7 and have probably covered 8,000 miles towing in the last 2 years. It's the most stable and comfortable tow ever even on our dreadful roads that cause incredible amounts of trailer pitching. I did research the issue and satisfied myself it was safe. I'm sorry to read of your issues.
  9. New circuit board and battery and back with us. Not cheap (just under £100; that battery alone is £44. 95!) but good service.
  10. Garda is an interesting lake; it has an English side and a German side! We went through Germany last year and then Austria to go down the incredible Brenner pass and ended up on one of the best campsites I have ever stayed - Piani di Clodia. It's in Lasize, just off the Brenner Pass on the Eastern side and really easy to get to. Superb is not too strong a word. It's got everything; multiple restaurants, fabulous water features and a secure access to the lake. Highly recommended. https://www. pianidiclodia. it/en/ .
  11. Another vote for Nextbase here; I had a Roadhawk for many years but it eventually stopped working because the sucker rotted!! I have the flash 612GW 4k one and have already sent two videos to the Police of some seriously dangerous driving. I'd advise against the cheap Chinese ones - you get what you pay for. The better ones have G sensors and GPS positioning as well as a save button that saves to part of the disk that won't get overwritten. Get a big SD card; they aren't that expensive.
  12. Hi Chris76. There has been some super advice from others in the long haul club here. I'm pleased to hear you have now booked. You are out for 6 weeks, and I think the time has come to think about your stops. I presume you are taking the kids with you, and that this is your first holiday with them all in a van. I'm going to tell you a few things that you will thank me for if you take the advice and act on it. Firstly, you will all come back hating road trips, caravans, camp sites and each other of you aren't careful. Towing is stressful. It's not the same as driving the same distance. From bitter experience I now limit each day to 300 miles or thereabouts and the maximum without a few days stopping somewhere of three days' travelling. Now that's just me and my wife; with children I'd be quite happy to do even less. So be sympathetic to your family. Secondly, book somewhere for your first night. I'm not a fan of stopping in Aires with children. I agree absolutely with ValA that France is rich enough and fascinating enough to absorb you all for six weeks and the campsites are of generally good to excellent quality. Having said that, most British caravans are designed for living in, and we can as happily stop in a field without any facilities as in a 5 star member of the Leading Campings. Thirdly, take two emergency meals for the family just in case. Fourthly, (as much of this advice is) don't be too ambitious. We have done circuits of France many times, last year did Austria and down the Brenner Pass and this year are considering Denmark to Sweden but you don't need to see all Europe on your first visit. Going to France there are basically two routes; drop south from Calais down the A16 to the Dordogne side or theA26 across the top to Reims and then drop down. Fifthly, it will cost more than you think. The autoroute tolls to go round France are somewhere around £250. Don't forget that any pets will need checking and worming before they come back and that's £35 to £60.
  13. A failed MOT allows you to take the car home or to a place of repair and then resubmit it. My daughter had a car that was failed by the local Ford dealer saying it needed expensive front suspension work that they would be happy to do. I took it to the local bus station that also does MOTs and it sailed through without even an advisory. When we sold it, the purchaser's son thought it sensible to take it for a check up - and of course went to the local Ford dealer! He had the cheek to come round and complain to me that I sold a car with a fault. I would have gone somewhere else.
  14. I have better things to worry about than the cost of Calor gas. I got through four cylinders last year, three the year before, one in 2016 and two in 2015. For the simplicity of fit and forget I'm happy.
  15. We use Huntsmill Farm. It's a little further away, a 5 minute drive and a CL but it has power and running water. https://www. caravanclub. co. uk/certificated-locations/england/buckinghamshire/buckingham/huntsmill-farm/ It's also very cheap.
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