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About thensum

  • Rank
    Over 500 posts

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    SE England - West Sussex
  • Interests
    Caravanning, camping, walking the dog and cycling.
  • Towcar
    VW Passat Estate 2. 0TDI 140 PS Executive
  • Caravan
    2015 - Swift Challenger 530SE

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  1. Reading this post with interest as looking to change my 2014 Passat for a 2016 Touareg R-line. Never had an automatic before and therefore never towed with one. Currently have the electric swivelling VW factory fitted towbar on my Passat which is a great bit of kit, but it's difficult to find a 2016 Touareg with factory fitted towbar. In terms of towbar fitting I see the CMHC have certain offers on at the moment and the question is do we go for a fixed swan neck type or detachable? We've seen a 2016 Touareg R-line for sale with low mileage around 14,500 but it's 100miles from home at a VW dealer so at the moment quietly mulling it over, after discussing it with the dealer on the phone yesterday. In terms of the cooling fan upgrade our current van has an MTPLM of 1472kg so likely to be an easy tow for the Touareg but still thinking we should have the cooling fan upgrade and don't want to risk any issues if we didn't upgrade. As it's the first car I've purchased for almost 26 years - had company cars since 1993 but now opted out for the car allowance. It's a big purchase for us so any advice on the above and towing experiences with the Touareg are very welcomed. Thanks thensum
  2. Yes I was surprised to see them selling more new caravans again and the shop staff told that it was only this year that Compass had approached them so they are giving it a go. The outside of the Compass vans don't seem anywhere as good as our current Swift, I could see the outline of the wooden frame through the aluminium sides!! The front gas locker lid barely opens wide enough to gain easy access seems like a design flaw. What I think Elddis & Compass have got absolutely correct in our opinion are the internal colour schemes, fabric, curtains, stainless steel cooker hob, smart boxed in Thetford flush tank on the loo. No chintzy florals or large poppy designs on curtains like Swift and others, but that's our opinion. I must admit the Swift Eccles interiors seem more to our taste but then it's a personal thing. We will be sticking with our Swift but always good to look around and quite impressed with the accessory shop, so stocked up on toilet chemicals. ....
  3. Thanks Alan and yes good advice. It's early days as we still really like our Swift but this Compass caught my eye with good spec, rear fixed bed and light enough for my current towcar. Where's best to read the warranty, on the website?
  4. Thanks Geoff, good to hear that.
  5. Not looked at Elddis or Compass vans in years as put off by horror tales of cracking panels, damp, poor customer service from Elddis, so only focussed on Swift group and Lunar previously. However, our Challenger SE which we love hasn't been without its issues so we've had a few warranty repairs done and I've dropped it off at the dealer again today as the front 3 windows despite replacement still let in water when towing in rain. Our dealer is excellent at sorting things but it's a 200 mile round trip to Swindon and back from home near Crawley, yes our decision as we got £3,500 off the new Challenger 530 SE when we traded in our Lunar in Nov 2015. Been looking tonight at what local dealers are selling and Roundstone Caravans near Horsham now sell Compass and must admit we really like the interior of the Compass Capiro 550 and it's slightly lighter than our 2015 Challenger - also it would be our first fixed bed van!! The interior seems brighter, less fussy and quite on trend so going to look at it 'in the flesh' tomorrow hopefully. I see Elddis/Compass only have 2 yr warranty now, not 3 like other brands but they do have 10 yr water ingress warranty like Swift. Basically looking for comments and feedback on Compass and in particular the Capiro 550, so I can see whether or not we should make the change. ..... Thanks Thensum
  6. He-he, it was actually Cirencester CMC site we stayed at, luckily we had great weather too for Christmas 😄
  7. Well it looks like a very small hair line crack has appeared on the rear panel offside in the area where the caps would be fitted if we'd had them done. Booked in with our dealer for 12th Jan along with them trying to sort out the 3 front leaking windows again which let in water when towing or washing the van but never when stationary in heavy rain thankfully. In the mean time a small piece of waterproof duct tape has been placed over the crack as we go away in the caravan for 8 nights for Christmas in the Cotswolds.
  8. Side panels in 'traditional' timber frames, will this become their USP, or is it a caravanners nightmare if the dreaded damp sets in? Still using timber frames in 2018-19 doesn't seem to put off people buying a Lunar caravan as they have seen record sales. Lunar investing in a small customer service team would be the next most wise and logical move to try and improve their interface with their customers and possibly reduce waiting times for warranty repairs and parts. I know Lunar are small in comparison to Swift but they need to move with the times with good customer service being so important these days. We love our 2015 Swift but quality in the Swift group seems to be worsening currently. Swift are great looking caravans but currently thrown togther using cheap and poor qualiy materials, all the pride and craftsmenship has gone 😔
  9. Thanks for the heads up on this CMC site, not a fan of Derbyshire so this has just confirmed this site as a definite miss 😄.
  10. So which one is your favourite and are you considering buying one of the listed 2 berths possibly?
  11. Agree Stafford North is pretty good for caravan parking even if it's a bit of a trek from the facilities we've also parked in with the HGVs at Stafford North. We stop here when on route from West Sussex (Horsham) to Keswick. Tebay is great and we are so disappointed they closed the Tebay caravan site we used this twice for overnight stays when heading to the Scottish Highlands from Sussex - it was a great idea having a caravan site adjacent to a service station.
  12. Try them out at Brighton CAMC site if they survive these hardstandings, they'll survive anything! 😉
  13. Not sure, probably best to speak to the site direct. The pitches are immaculate and the staff rake the hardstanding stones when the pitches are vacated making it look pristine for the next occupants! As WispMan has stated they are happy for you to pitch in nose first so you can enjoy the breathtaking sea views.
  14. We are booked in for 8 nights over Easter at Damage Barton Affiliated CMC Site a few miles from Willingcott CMC site so we may take a look. The Damage Barton site is lovely though with a special designated area for CMC members, all pitches are hardstanding, electric hook up and terraced. Excellent facility blocks and a great shop with freshly baked products to order. Definitely worth a look at this site as the sea views and location are breathtaking.
  15. I don't think so as most of the clamps in the van look like that with no leaks. Also there is no evidence of damp below the leak apart from the surface liquid I wiped up this week and also we've never had to top up the old 2 year antifreeze when using the van from Dec 2015 - Nov 2017. Surely if the leak had been happening for a long time we would have noticed a drop of liquid in the expansion tank wouldn't we? It appears to have occurred 2 months after the fluid change and only on our trip away this week when the heating was on for 5 days.
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