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About madasmad

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    Over 500 posts

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  • Towcar
    Range Rover 4.4 SDV8
  • Caravan
    2020 Swift Eccles 650

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  1. I have a booking via the CMC to go to France in August using Portsmouth to St Malo but who knows if we will actually be allowed to travel by the FO? If the FO says yes do we want to go - what facilities will be open and available? There are so many unknowns that sadly it will be a wait and see situation.
  2. I used to have a 2009 Range Rover Sport and I added a towbar and electrics. This car had the relay built in and I expect the D4 will have too. My current L405 FFRR has the factory fit electric towbar which again comes with the two pins connected for the 12v fridge and battery charger circuits.
  3. Range Rover full size spare is an optional extra and they only come with a space saver.
  4. One other thing to consider is to get ATC fitted (@£350-500) to your caravan if it doesn’t already have it and when getting a towbar fitted I would suggest buying the dedicated 13 pin electrics as, if whatever car you end up with, has specialist software then the car will use this whilst towing making you much safer.
  5. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. I would highly recommend that you need a more substantial car to tow this caravan safely especially as you have never towed before. Whilst you think that you will never put 165kg in the caravan you have to factor things in like bedding, crockery, cutlery, kids games, toilet chemicals, gas bottles, ramps, security devices, etc, etc. It soon goes. Therefore you really want to be looking at a car with a kerb weight of @1650kg giving an @85% match on the caravan that you want.
  6. Like others I used to take my battery home every 6-8 weeks and charge with my CTek charger. Fortunately, now we have a solar panel fitted and this has kept the battery full even through the depths of winter with the alarm/tracker/etc on. Portable solar panels have become much cheaper and it might be worth attaching one of these to trickle charge; https://www.amazon.co.uk/ECOWORTHY-Solar-Panel-System-Polycrystalline/dp/B07KHRBY4Z/ref=psdc_4370161031_t1_B07TY3HGF7
  7. The nose weight should be somewhere in the 5-7% range of the MTPLM weight of the caravan but I find the heavier the better. However, you have to factor in the maximum nose weight (or tear axle weight with the car loaded with kids and caravan stuff!) of the tow car and the chassis of the caravan. Most caravans are @100kg but cars vary a lot and need checking. I hope this helps
  8. Hi I have a 2020 Swift with Command that controls the fridge which works perfectly using the app in the van or the control panel. However, I cannot seem to be able to work out how to switch the fridge on remotely, as I can with other functions in the caravan using the remote control section of the app, as it would be great to have a cold fridge prior to arriving to collect it (assuming we actually get to use the caravan!). Does anyone know how this can be done?
  9. madasmad

    BMW F11 530d MSport Touring

    Power, technology, active cruise control, head up display, very stable, self levelling rear suspension, comfortable, lots of room
  10. Another option could be a 2014 onwards BMW 530D Touring (F11J which has bags of space for 5, a large luggage area, more power than you will ever need, self levelling rear suspension, automatic as standard and a kerb wait of @1875kg. A great car for towing as I have just said goodbye to mine as I want to tow a heavier caravan than it was suited for. Good luck with your choice 👍
  11. It appears that the DVLA are only updating their system really close (a couple of days) before the MOT should have been due that it has a six month extension. If your tax and MOT tie in together this could be the reason?
  12. The greatest risk that Saga, and other insurers, have to consider is total loss by theft in particular with a new for old policy. Has this risk reduced due to COVID? Perhaps and therefore we might not see Any increase in premiums once the lockdown is over and they have analysed their claims during this period. In your shoes I would be getting competitive other quotes and using these to beat Saga up for a better price as I never pay the figure on a renewal letter.
  13. Hi and welcome Conbrue, As previously stated a removable towbar will be @£600 fitted. There are numerous websites where you can arrange this like Towsure, PF Jones and Towbar Express. Just go to their website and put in your car registration number for a quote. I would always recommend dedicated electrics to make use of any vehicle stability programs it might have. You can normally have them fitted within a week and this can be done at home or at a fitting workshop. if you have never towed before it would be worth joining one of the two big clubs - The Caravan & Motorhome Club or The Camping & Caravan Club who have towing courses that you can attend along with a mine of information about caravaning on their websites. in terms of a caravan both clubs recommend towing at no more than an 85% match to your car if you are an inexperienced tower and I believe the lower the match the easier to tow and much safer. This would make a match for your car of @1280kg MTPLM (The maximum total weight the caravan can be - you will usually find a small plate/sticker by the entrance door that will confirm this number). If you get a caravan at or below this number then any UK car license will be acceptable as your overall caravan and car maximum weight will be just below 3500kg. If you have a B+E entitlement on your license you can tow a potential combination weighing 7500kg!! With the weight mentioned above, the fact you want a fixed bed (I would never have another without btw) and you have kids (same age as mine) it might be tricky to find something with front singles big enough to accommodate your kids depending how tall they are. The front double could be made up each night and they could share? To be fair how often will your 18 year old wish to come for? My suggestion would be to get an awning with an annex and let them sleep in that. It would appear to be perfectly normal within our community to buy your first caravan, realise that it’s not quite right and then buy a different one a few weeks or months later - I did🤣. When they reopen go to numerous local caravan dealers to see what is available and for what budget. Caravans can be bought off sites like Gumtree for as little as £500 or you could spend £90,000 on an Airstream with everything in between. I would always recommend buying from a dealer where you will pay more but you will have the piece of mind of a warranty. If buying new I will only buy from a local trusted dealer. You might get a better deal from a dealer 200 miles away but if you need any warranty work, which you likely would, then you would probably need to take it back to them. I appreciate it may seem a little daunting but the best advice I can give is read as much information as you can and if in doubt- ask. Enjoy your foray in to the world of caravans!
  14. I am an experienced, competent and confident tower with many thousands of miles under my belt and a very experienced driver with over 1 million miles driven currently towing our twin axle with ATC, @106% (using my max MTPLM which I upgraded to 2000kg but don’t use all of) with a 3ltr BMW diesel 5 series touring with self levelling rear suspension with a maximum towing weight of 2000kg. Whilst the car has by far and away enough power to tow the caravan I find I am having to concentrate and work much harder when towing, driving much slower on days with poor weather in comparison to my previous outfit that was only @65%. I have to be extremely careful when loading and get my nose weight spot on. This has prompted me to change back to a big 4x4 which is being delivered tomorrow. Therefore, whatever the clubs, the law and anyone else says I believe the lower the ratio the safer and more pleasant towing is - even more so the less experienced you are. Therefore I think your choices are as follows; 1. Sell your current caravan and get a lighter one to keep you under 3500kg gross train weight and well under 100% match.😢 2. Do the B+E test - great idea as this will teach you a lot about towing etc, as well as allow you to tow up to a gross train weight of 7500kg👍 3. Get a friend with the B+E license to tow and place your current caravan on a seasonal pitch 🤔 Good luck with your choice.
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