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angus

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About angus

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    Over 1000 posts

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Halifax, God`s own county.
  • Towcar
    BMW F11 520D M-Sport Touring
  • Caravan
    2016 Swift Challenger 565

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  1. I was more of a biker than a car driver in my early twenties, but not every female was thrilled to get dressed up and go on the back of my bike when it was sleeting, snowing or lashing it down , so I unexpectedly supplemented the bike with four wheels. I was working at a garage at the time which had a small Leyland dealership tagged on, and when working one evening I went into one of the service bays and came across a Marina 1.8SDL which had come in in part-ex. Apparently it had been originally sold and then serviced by us (full history), and taken in for £725. Had been used for towing, so had uprated springs and shocks /towbar/electrics etc. Absolutely immaculate, I got it for £750.00 with the promise of a full service when the mechanics (my friends) returned from holidays. They went through it with a fine toothcomb - basically replaced EVERYTHING - tyres, front shocks, all bushes, wipers, brakes, anything which you could unbolt - over £150.00 in bits alone. The owner wasn`t pleased........ With a twin carb conversion as per the MGB it went well, even got it go round corners with tyre/spring/alignment work and it was much quicker than my mates escorts/vivas/ minis etc. As I got free petrol it was cheap to run(!), and in those days the insurance companies took into account the several years no-claims on my bike policies, so I got a big discount on insurance. Expensive 6 speaker sound system and furry seat covers (yea!) and smaller, fatter steering wheel made it `mine`. It obviously worked, as I sold it for good money which was a big chunk of our initial house deposit when me and the future SWMBO got wed.
  2. Always wanted to visit Pompeii as a result of having to learn Latin at school 50-odd years ago, the books we used were based upon a family living there pre-eruption, so its on the to-do list. Maybe 2021, so would be interested to see how recent visitors get along. To the OP - just got back from Iceland on Saturday, and it`s well worth the trip. There is an awful lot more to do than see the lights, but a car is an absolute must (we did 1700kms in the week), as the cost of organised trips are equivalent to the price of a kidney! Food and drink is also pretty eye-wateringly expensive, but hotels are not silly prices away from the centre of Reykjavik, so a little homework is worthwhile.
  3. Always fitted my own MADs without any difficulty. Never informed insurance companies as they aren`t a `performance` modification, and have TUV approval. Similarly I don`t inform them when I fit a different brand of tyre or put a roof rack on.
  4. Fitted MAD springs to several cars in the 80`s & 90`s and would fit them without a second thought if I needed them. Expensive, but worth every penny IMO. Tried the rubber donut things and found them a waste of time and money, made the ride harsh when solo, but you normally get what you pay for in this life, so you pays your money.......
  5. Got pulled in Bala the other week in a 7.5 tonner because it `looked interesting`. Not a problem as we are rated `green` on their rating system and all tacho and maintenance items were - as expected - spot on. I was the only non-trailer they pulled into the car park as they were targeting farmers trailers and caravanners. On the caravans they were giving them a lengthy going-over and one officer was overheard saying "Have we got another loop-over? I love them". It appeared they were taking action against `loop-overs`. I was tempted to challenge what they were doing about `loop-overs` and why, but chasing the clock and not wanting to be detained by them (for the sheer hell of it and because they could) I decided discretion was the better part of valour. It may be useful for us `loop-overs` (there is no suitable alternative on my detachable bar) to print a copy of the FOI resonse on the matter for when we are stopped by a `loop-over ` zealot, if one is available?
  6. Had this problem with an old ABI Transtar. It had a piezo igniter, but if memory serves there was a lead to earth which had become detached. They are easy to get the cover off, so whip it off and have look, you can operate the piezo with the cover off so you will see if there is a spark being produced. If it lights the pilot which then goes out it will be a faulty thermocouple (easily replaced). If there is a spark but no pilot being lit I would suspect gas supply - is there an isolator somewhere which is shut?
  7. We`ve had our first Swift (Challenger 565) for three years now, and whilst there are lots to like, the final finish is far from perfect. Edge trims are`nt properly glued on and come adrift, cupboard doors incorrectly aligned so they come open when towing throwing the contents around the van, underseat locker drop-down doors come adrift when towing, wardrobe door hinge screws are pathetic little things that work their way out leaving the door flapping about (if you are lucky), and the little screw holding the oven and grill in place are determined to make a run for it. Worst of all is the kitchen sink drain pipe which is cut too short (seems to be a common problem) which means the drain pipe comes adrift when towing, and the first time you use the sink the water sluices all over the floor. It is also an absolute sod to put back together and try to secure. Love the layout, equipment, ALDE heating, comfy beds etc, but with a little bit of care it could have made all the difference, as you woudn`t spend 20-odd grand on a car and expect to have to re-hang the doors or secure the exhaust pipe.
  8. The section in question was between Gildersome (J27) and Chain Bar (J26), which is a `smart motorway` section, with the hard shoulder being used as a running lane. That make 4 lanes. Trust me, I know the rules about when you can and can`t use the outside lane (only last week a skip lorry was doing the same on a 4 lane section of the M60, but as there is no police about....). The clown in question wasn`t one of our `traveller` friends, but a grey-haired gent in probably his sixties with a finger so far up his nostril it was possibly affecting his vision. He wasn`t speeding, just doing a steady sixty, but I can`t decide if that was good (for stability) or bad (as he was causing a potentially hazardous tailback for the couple of miles it took him to overtake). Either way, the fool is a hazard we can manage without..
  9. The weather`s hot, the idiots have crawled out from under their stones, sadly. To the clown in the Kia Sorrento dragging a twin-axled Crusader around Leeds on the M62 this morning - it is NOT OK to tow your caravan at 60mph in the outside lane of four when there are no lane closures. If you`re reading this (and it`s unlikely), concentrate on your driving and spend less time indulging in nasal excavations thereby not causing a tailback because of your stupidity.
  10. Thanks, GMC, will give it a try. You`re never to old to learn, only sometimes too stupid to think you are!
  11. After a week (not hooked up to the mains), the battery showed 0.00 volts. If the battery was that shot, it wouldn`t hold any sort of charge, certainly not enough to move a one-and-half tonne van 40-50 uphill and onto the road, it would be dead as soon as disconnected from the charger, which isn`t the case. The fridge was switched onto `mains`, I`m thinking it shouldn`t default to 12V (or draw any power) if the mains is disconnected?
  12. I`m going to take the battery out tomorrow and bench charge it. If it was `knackered` it wouldn`t move a relatively heavy `van as far as it does (uphill) with the motor mover. At three years old, I doubt that would be classed as an `older caravan`, having a pretty much state of the art (in caravan terms) charger and a 80watt solar panel? The battery cost over £90.00 (can`t remember the make), so not a budget purchase. I`ll see what voltage drop (if any) there is over a few days. I have a spare 90 amp/hour battery in the garage so will do a swap, but still think there is something wrong elsewhere.
  13. I have a 2016 Swift Challenger 565, fitted with a new battery when purchased in May 2016. The van is kept on the drive, and soon after getting back from the first trip out the battery was as dead as a dodo after being parked on the drive for a few days. Thinking the battery was duff, I took it back to the dealer who charged it and kept if for a week and declared it fine. Anyway, fast forward 3 years and today I came to clean the van (which is always hooked up to the mains at home, and always on site), and went to use the motormover but there was no joy. I had disconnected the van from the mains last weekend as I am re-furbing things in the garage, and fully expected to be able to move the van as there was nothing left on, and anyway the solar panel should keep the battery charged. But -NOTHING! I got my multi-meter out and checked the voltage across the battery terminals and NOTHING! ZERO, ZILCH, showing 0.00 volts. Never, ever seen a battery register that, even when left for years....Hooked it back up to the mains, showing 12.3 V after three hours, now 14.3 V. Any ideas???
  14. Very true! TBH, we found the CMC site at Pembrey little better, must be something about the area that attracts a certain type of person.... We arrived at the site and picked one of three pitches in a row, all in a nice position, all empty. The warden told me I couldn`t pitch there as they were `out of use`. A few hours later three motorhomes were pitched there, and all were having a great time - along with the warden and his wife. He had `reserved` the pitches for his mates...... We found an alternative pitch, and all was well until the Friday evening when whilst eating out tea we had a knock on the door. A pretty rude guy was informing us we would have to move because we were on `his` pitch! He came most weekends and always pitched there as his mates pitched adjacent. My reply was along the general lines of "no", if you get my drift. I like Wales, but this little corner held little attraction for us. The walking in the woods was good with the dog, but the surrounding area was a dump, there was nothing much to do without getting in the car and travelling (which at least gave you respite from some of the people on site), and the locals were ignorant and rude with huge chips on both shoulders. Never again. If I had to go to there I would sell the van first. Horrible place, horrible people.
  15. Yep, had a 1995 one with the pre-HDI engine, and the power drain (especially when towing) was apparent. Bear in mind we were talking about 92BHP/134lb/ft which seemed a far bit in those days, but when dragging a lightweight 4 berth Lunar switching off the aircon on long uphill drags like Shap and Beattock made a difference (usually one gear). Life has changed somewhat......
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