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CMT Moderator
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About Steamdrivenandy

  • Birthday 06/01/1948

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  • Gender
  • Location
    N. Staffs looking over Cheshire in awe and wonder
  • Interests
    Steam (GWR King 6024)
    Garden Design
  • Towcar / Toad
  • Caravan / Motorhome / Static (Make and model)
  • Year of manufacture (Caravan / Motorhome / Static)

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  1. That's a bit broad brush. The UK caravan market varies widely. At one end there are those who own a van but don't actually use it, through those that use once or twice a year for long holidays, then those that use them for weekend breaks in the summer but jet off for main holidays, then there are those that do all weekends rallying and long UK and Co ntinental holidays, there are Continental to users who go away for most of the year. So a whole gambit of owners.
  2. I guess that if you can sell all your annual production without getting into much in the way of non standard options then you'll be happy with that. If there was much demand for substantial alterations to a standard model then I'm sure someone would be happy to set up in business to modify vans as required. They could set up a stronger chassis ready for the 'normal' body to be fitted, or buy in the body and fit it to an updated chassis. I presume nobody has done either because in the UK market it's low price that sells.
  3. Additional payload is really a sort of free, or almost free, beer. After all it's the overall structure of the van which is the heavy bit. Just by tweaking the axle and other bits during production the basic structure remains virtually the same but the payload can be increased. So why don't UK manufacturers offer it, given that high payload enthusiasts are so keen? The answer has to be that they'll lose out in sales, otherwise if high weights sold, at least one would give it a try. It can't be for lack of tugging power though, because on a run up the M6 on Sunday every caravan we passed was being pulled by an oversize SUV that could easily pull something twice the weight of what was behind. Now you'd think that such owners, with towing capacity to spare, would opt for a big heavy van just because they could. But they don't. The days seem to have gone where you towed your van with a mid size saloon or hatchback.
  4. Upgrades are just the cost of a stronger axle/wheels/tyres fitted during manufacture, so they're relatively cheap. Though obvs the cheapest are the paper jobs. To retro fit an upgrade means stripping out old axles and fitting stronger replacements which is a more comprehensive and costly exercise. Dividing the list price by the standard MTPLM gives you a hierarchy of cost per kg or 100kg, however you want to express it. I haven't worked it out but I suspect that the cost per kg goes down, within a range as the vans get larger, because you're enclosing more and more air which adds no weight. You can do the same calculation with MIRO and with payloads.
  5. What would be interesting is the £ per kg involved compared to other ranges. Bailey Discovery D4-4 £1,608 per 100kg Bailey Pheonix 440 £1,578 per 100kg Bailey Unicorn Cadiz £1,737 per 100g Bailey Pegasus Rimini £1,645 per 100kg Bailey Alicanto Estoril £1,952 per 100kg Inos £??????/28 = £££££
  6. I don't know the model caravan in question but presume you are asking: Where is the space heater? Where is the boiler? The space heater is generally self evident and is often fitted under a wardrobe. At that age it might be gas fired only, or mains electricity and gas fired, A boiler is normally fitted under the offside front bench and may be gas or gas/electric fired. Sometimes the space heater and boiler are in a combined unit, again, usually under the offside front bench. As has been said, they may have been removed by a previous owner, or may not have been fitted to a 21 year old van.
  7. I take it your 5th wheeler will have a 4 oven Aga, hot tub, towed solar array/fresh water bowser, mini nuclear fusion powerplant on standby and a slot in sewage treatment unit.
  8. On the basis of the original question, as the OP has a B+E licence he can drive a rig that has plated maximum weights that are more than 3500kg. In that regard he would be legal. As indicated that does not necessarily mean that the caravan weight is under it's MTPLM. Or that the caravan weight is below the car's towing limit. Or that the whole car, or either or both of its axles aren't over.oaded. There's more to matching a car and caravan than just the licence weights.
  9. Whilst I had the jockey wheel drop down to the road once just as I came off a motorway, I can't see how a properly retracted and secured JW can catch on anything I suspect that where it does the owners have wound it up but then not loosened the clamp to pull it snuggly up to the A frame. When secured like that there's no way it can hit any road surface.
  10. There's a risk of major attachment failure and I'd get the entire assembly checked over by a towbar fitting company. At the very least they will probably be able to sort out the broken key.
  11. OK So it's probably a different fridge. It's being run on 240V mains After 3 days it's still warmer than it should be. If the van is under warranty it needs to go back to the supplying dealer to sort the fridge. The van is not new to the OP. The fridge has always been like this since the OP has owned it. If the fridge is cooling a bit then 240V is obviously getting to the 240V element. Absorption fridges only work efficiently in temperatures between 10C and about 25C and recent hot weather, especially if the fridge rear air passage isn't in shade, can cause them to lose efficiency. Some people fit fans in the airspace to move the hot air but it's a balance as to whether it's worth the effort for the few days that we get hot weather in the UK. If the fridge still doesn't chill in normal weather it needs looking at by a fridge technician to ID the problem.
  12. Robots position and weld steel in cars. They take heavy parts, position them and secure them. There really aren't the same opportunities in caravan assembly. They already use CNC machines in cutting out panels but fitting all the furniture and appliances to the panels will be hard to robotise, even if the robots can be made adaptable and cheap enough to be worthwhile.
  13. The reason caravan makers haven't adopted robots, like the car industry is money. The capital deployed in car assembly is in £ billions, or at least £ millions. The capital employed on caravan assembly is counted in the odd £100k. It's the same old problem, the volume just isn't there.
  14. Absolutely right, except for human nature. Generally a job that requires special skills is paid more and the worker is more motivated to do a skilful and correct piece of work to justify their worth. Remove skilled activities and simplifying stuff means you can employ unskilled labour at lower rates and they may have less interest in performing what they have to do in a proper manner as they're not justifying a higher pay rate. It's the old 'employ monkeys' syndrome.
  15. I agree, it would probably be easier and cheaper to chop in the van and get one with what you want. Chap on another forum asked if it would be possible to convert his one year old fixed double bed van to its lounge based two singles counterpart, so that he had a second place to sit. I guess buyer remorse. When you look at the sort of charges made for all the parts that needed buying and the time and inconvenience plus risk of tatty execution it just wasn't worth even considering.
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