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Paul R T

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About Paul R T

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    Over 50 posts

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  • Gender
  • Location
  • Interests
    Walking, France
  • Towcar
    Skoda Superb Estate 190
  • Caravan
    Coachman Pastiche 460

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  1. Hi Mich, Not Essex, but Hertfordshire - not too far from you. I can recommend GT Towing, who are on the A1000, just south of Hatfield. I have had towbars fitted there on several towcars over the last 20 years. They are very cooperative and professional and know what they are doing, particularly in terms of the electrical connections and programming etc. My latest towcar is a 2016 Skoda Superb Estate Mark III, which was fitted with a towbar there 3 years ago. All has been fine. Cheers Paul R T
  2. Hi Ditsy, We stayed for a few days on one site by the Lac de Der in late October a year ago (to see the Cranes, but they hadn’t arrived by then!). This was ‘La Presquil de Champaubert’. We also looked at ‘La Clos du Vieux Moulin’. Both sites are on the south side of the lake. To be honest we were not impressed. They are both large sites, but with a preponderance of chalets. The touring pitches were poorly located and not well cared for. However, we have stayed several times on a CL-type site a few kilometres away. This is ‘Aire Naturel Camping Nature’ at Luxemont et Villotte, a village just east of Vitry le Francois. It is in the CMC ‘Touring France’ guide, entered under Vitry Le Francois. It is a delightful informal site, partly in an old orchard. It is close to the ‘Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne’ with cycling/walking available along the towpath. There is also an old flooded gravel pit on the far side of the canal in which campers may swim. There is a reasonably easy access from the N4 (follow directions) and it is about 15km from the Lac de Der. It is very dog friendly. Cheers Paul R T
  3. Hi Chris, Alan S is quite correct that a standard corrugated waste hose will fit onto the outlet and into a pushfit waste elbow etc. However, as mentioned by Rodders, you will also find that GT Towing (on the A1000 between the Welham Green roundabout and Hatfield) will have a range of connectors, including Y type connectors so that two outlets can be combined into one before the aquaroll. Gavin and Keith in their caravan accessories dept are always very helpful. Cheers Paul R T (also local to WGC)
  4. In my experience this can happen quite often after you have emptied the cassette. I usually give the cassette a thump while holding it level, before inserting it back into the caravan. If this fails, opening and closing the blade once the cassette has been inserted usually sorts it. Cheers Paul R T
  5. Hi Pete, If you are thinking of vehicles in that range, I would strongly recommend looking at a Skoda Superb Estate, which has slightly more space than the Passat. We have been caravanning for 18 years, both around the UK and in France and Spain, usually towing about 5k miles per annum. We currently tow a Coachman Pastiche 460 (MPTLM 1350kg) with a 16 plate Superb III SLE Estate 190 manual. For the previous 5 years I had a 2010 Superb II estate 170. They have both been excellent tow-cars. There is plenty of power and torque when you need it and it is extremely stable even in some vigorous side winds. You are correct to say that it is recommended that the MPTLM of the caravan is no more than 85% of the kerbweight of the car There can be some confusion about ‘kerbweights’ with Skodas. The brochure quotes a ‘kerbweight’ without a driver, whereas the owners manual quotes an‘operating weight’, which includes 75 kg for the driver. (The two do tally.). The latter operating weight including a driver should be used as the ‘kerbweight’ for matching purposes. With the 170 we towed a Coachman Pastiche 460/2, which had a MPTLM of 1420kg, which was a 92% match. I never had any indication of instability (and I tend to tow fairly briskly). I believe that the Superbs are particularly stable towcars, which has contributed to them winning towcar awards on several occasions. Thus it is probably safe to exceed the 85% recommendation by a margin. Happy hunting Cheers Paul R T
  6. Hi again Simon, I had some further thoughts overnight. It is quite likely that when the dealer did the handover for the new caravan he demonstrated everything with the ehu connected, and did not repeat it with the ehu disconnected (certainly my experience). If he fitted your mover and the new battery some time in advance of you collecting the van, he may well have removed the battery fuse deliberately to ensure no battery drain in the intervening period. (The latest vans can have some 12v systems that are not controlled by the master switch by the door.) Thus you may find when you examine the fuse array that this fuse is missing, if he had forgotten to replace it at the actual handover. If so, look in a few drawers! If not there, they are ordinary car blade-type fuses, obtainable from most fuel stations or Halfords etc. I think that one is usually rated at 20 amps. Hope you get it sorted. Good caravanning. Cheers Paul R T
  7. No Stevan, The mover is connected straight from the battery, quite separate from all the other 12 v circuits. Using the mover with the EHU connected may well in certain circumstances b. ...r the charger, but will not blow the on line fuse I have identified. Cheers Paul R T
  8. Hi Simon I once had a similar problem when setting up without EHU on a campsite in France in our Pastiche 460/2 (2012). (EHU socket was too far away). I assume that all the 12v circuits are working when you are connected to an EHU and the problem is no 12v in the same circuits when the EHU is disconnected. One of the 12v fuses in the array in the fuse box, probably labelled 'battery' is a effectively a master fuse for the whole of the 12v system from the battery (but not from the charger). In my case I had plugged in a dodgy 12v phone charger to the 12v socket and it had blown this main fuse, instead of the 'socket only' fuse. So try extracting and checking the fuse labelled 'battery'. Best of luck Cheers Paul R T
  9. Hi The site near Chartres which we use quite regularly is ‘Les Ilots de St Val’, which is in the countryside between Maintenon and Nogent le Roi, about 25km north of Chartres. We use it primarily because my brother in law lives in Maintenon, but it is a friendly site with easy access, making it a good ‘stopover plus’ near to Chartres. It is a large site with many statics, but with separate areas for tourers. We have never found those areas crowded. There is very easy access from the N154 between Dreux and Chartres. Approaching from the north, exit the N154 onto the D26 signposted to Nogent-Le-Roi (the junction is 13km south of the last roundabout as you leave Dreux). Stay on the D26 as it bypasses Ormoy and keep going towards the outskirts of Nogent-le-Roi. At a roundabout turn right onto a new road, which bypasses Nogent le Roi on the southwest. At the very end of the bypass, turn right towards Maintenon on the D983 and in 3km look out for the signposted right turn at a minor cross roads up a hill to the campsite. It is not advisable to tow through the centre of Nogent le Roi, which is quite narrow. Also note that the D983 coming north through Maintenon and Pierres has an overabundance of ‘ralentisseurs’. Cheers Paul R T
  10. Hi Recommend you have a look at Upper Hurst Farm Campsite at Hulme End, near Hartington. We have stayed there several times, although not at the height of the season. It is a very pleasant open site with views across the hills. Pitches are full service and there is a very good toilet/shower block. There is a small shop in Hulme End and more shops in Hartington. It is very convenient for walking/cycling on both the Tissington Trail and the Manifild Trail, and for walks in Beresford Dale. Cheers Paul R T
  11. Hi Two weeks ago diesel in France at supermarkets was about 1. 43 Euros a litre. Just about the same as the UK. Cheers Paul R T
  12. Hi, Just to add to this. Those going to/through this area next weekend should be aware of the route of the Tour de France. On Friday 13 July the stage finishes in Chartres (having come from Fougeres in Brittany). It restarts on Saturday 14 July in Dreux going to Amiens. Keep well clear (unless a cycling enthusiast)! Cheers Paul R T
  13. I agree with JTQ's comments on the towpaths. Between Auxerre and Clamecy the towpaths is tarmac and very attractive. There is a Brit owned site at Merry Sur Yonne, which is well kept with bar, restaurant and all facilities. From some pitches there are views across to the Rochers de Saussois cliffs. Easy access to the towpaths. The municipal site at Chatel Censoir is located between the canal and the river. The facilities are basic, but well maintained and it is a very attractive site. Cheers Paul R T (from central France)
  14. I have a 2017 Coachman Pastiche 460, which is a single axle caravan on an Alko chassis with ATC. It is kept on a slightly sloping driveway at home and I always leave it with the wheels chocked and the handbrake off. This evening I went to connect the caravan up to the car in preparation for a trip tomorrow. Normally I can simply let the caravan run down the slope gently towards the tow-ball, but this evening it would not budge. After having engaged the mover, it became clear that the nearside brake was binding – the mover would shift it, but only just. However, both brakes would release to allow the caravan to reverse on the mover. I connected up the car and checked the ATC indicator light; it was flashing green. I moved the unit forward and the ATC light went to steady green (all OK). However, it was clear that the brake was still binding. I drove the unit forwards and backwards a few times to no avail. At which point I was summoned inside for dinner. Half an hour afterwards, I went out to try it again. Having disconnected the caravan from the car, the caravan then moved freely. It also seems OK now when reconnected to the car. So, hopefully all OK for tomorrow. But what is likely to have caused this? I should add that the caravan was last used just four weeks ago with a tow of about 100 miles on a freezing day. When we arrive home I reverse the caravan into our drive and then finalise its position with the mover. I didn’t notice anything amiss then. Any thoughts would be welcome. Cheers Paul R T
  15. Hi Calderaman, Hope your caravan is all sorted to your satisfaction. Herewith an update to my experience. The replacement front for my Pastiche took rather more than 6 weeks to arrive from Coachman and I had to wait until my dealer (MG Caravans at Royston, Herts) was able to fit it and do any wood repair necessary. This was all done in June 2016. (In the meantime we continued to use the caravan without any problems with the crack filled with sealant). The repair was entirely OK and we subsequently used the caravan for about 80 nights and towed it some 5k miles before trading it in for a new Pastiche 460 in August 2017. Cheers Paul R T
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