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About Capricorn12

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  • Birthday 30/12/1944

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    Photography and caravanning

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  1. On a whim I bought a 2013 Ford Cmax 2. 0 ltr diesel auto that is a dual clutch auto. Only towed the van (a Bailey Orion 430/4) from the old house to the new one, about half a mile, so not sure how it will tow. In theory it should be better than the 2004 Citroen C5 diesel auto than I used to tow with as it has more power, more weight and a shorter rear overhang, so has anyone used one for towing? I know there have been problems with the gearbox in the USA but mine is as smooth as silk and is barely different from a normal auto.
  2. Looked at a local CC site today as the weather is actually sunny and a full hard standing pitch would mean no mud etc. Trying to get dates when a pitch is available plus we have no appointments, dentist doctor etc, is still quite challenging. May leave it a couple of weeks and see if the weather gets better then try a CL in wales we know well. Nice to know you like your Kampa air Les.
  3. Earlier this year I bought a Kampa air awning and have been eager to try it on the van. Looked at long range weather forcast a few weeks ago and picked 5 days that promised sun !!!! Big mistake. Got to chosen CL and field was rutted and soggy. Farmer pointed to a patch he said was ok. It wasn't so car and van got hauled off with massive tractor. Found another site nearby with hard standing but grass still muddy and holding water. Went home after two days. May try and find a local car park that is not used on a Sunday just to try the awning if the weather does not improve. Oh well good old british weather.
  4. Back in the 80's I bought a brand new french van as it was very light. Shortly after 12 months it was riddled with damp around the front corners and around the windows. Dealer said he didn't make the van so get lost. Caravan club said it could take 3 years to take legal action so recommended I patch it up and part ex it - which I did. Felt guilty and would have preferred another route but had little choice at the time.
  5. Some years ago I replaced all four tyres on my old Peugeot 406 with Wanli chinese tyres and driving out of the tyre fitters was like driving on ice. They said the tyres had a coating of wax and this would go in a few miles which it did but the tyres were never good towing or solo. I recently had some Autogrip tyres fitted as the tyre depot recommended them but later saw a review of them that said they were pretty poor. I have found them to be quite fair to be honest and they have pulled me off a few muddy fields. I now need some new front tyres and have gone for Falken zien Z914's as I have had them before and found them pretty good for grip, wear and noise. The fitter wanted me to have XL versions as I tow but I have gone for the standard types as the XL are noisier and give a harder ride. The extra load is only available at higher tyre pressures so without this higher pressure the wall could flex more and damage the tyre. Conversely if higher pressures are used then car suspension could be stressed more. I have also been looking at the tyre pressures needed for towing and my towcar only recommends increasing the pressure in the rear tyres when carrying a heavy load, no mention is made of different pressures when towing. Looking at the weight distribution of my car it seems that 64% of the weight is on the front axle giving an uladen front axle weight of 846kg and rear axle weight of 564kg. With two average front seat occupants roughly between the axles this gives a front axle weight of 928kg and rear axle weight of 646kg. As tyre pressure is related to load why is the front and rear tyre pressures the same for these conditions? When a caravan is coupled this will add 75kg (or more with the effect of leverage) to the rear axle but no more (or even less with leverage) to the front axle. In theses conditions the front axle still has almost 200kg more weight on it than the rear axle so why increase the rear tyre pressures? Has anyone done tests with and without increasing tyre pressures? I have always added an extra 2 psi in the rear while towing but now not sure if this is better.
  6. Capricorn12

    Tow Bar

    Modern cars now have very complex electrics and are a world away from cars of a decade ago so matching the towbar electrics to the car is vital now. I dont have this problem as my car is of 2004 vintage. P. S. we seem to share the same surname
  7. My bailey was used but only 12 months old so looked like new with the removable carpets never being put down. The van went in for a new bed base after 2 months and I never thought to remove the carpet as the work was done while I waited. Big mistake !!! Result was one oily footprint on the carpet. The dealer did not initially want to do the work so we were not on the best of terms so I cleaned the carpet myself which was no mean feat.
  8. I have used quite hot water for years without a problem but due to the amount of stories of broken windscreens I now only use warm water. I do use a jug and cover the whole screen with one whoosh to avoid temperature differencial. I found scrapers can scratch glass screens so dont use them any more.
  9. I would concur with the replies above and say that if the battery is in good condition the discharge is more likely to be from the aerial amplifier, the radio or even the fridge if not turned to the off position. In fact any device that has an led lit will discharge the battery even the charger if this has led's.
  10. In 1980 we planned to hire a motorhome that was going to cost us £400 for a 1 week holiday. Visiting a customer in my line of work I was told of a caravan for sale close by for £600. We cancelled the motorhome hire, bought the caravan and had a wonderful fortnight in Scotland. Eight caravans later and we have far more comfort but just the same enjoyment.
  11. We have owned 9 caravans in the last 34 years, some new, some old and 2 almost new. It was only one (new one) we had serious floor problems with but changed the others as needs changed. Things like different layout, fixed bed, better shower and health problems. If you are happy with your present van then I see no reason to change it. Our friends van is 18 years old and has had a couple of leaks fixed but apart from it only having a small fridge and the fire only works on gas it is still a nice van.
  12. I have a local garage that is reliable and very fair with its pricing but they are very busy so I do some jobs myself. The rear brake discs and pads on my wifes kia picanto was one job I did and the cost was £72 which included a wind back tool for the cylinders as the handbrake operated the disc brakes. On her last car, a kia rio, it needed a reluctor ring for the abs system. This involved removing the drive shaft and as my garage could not fit it in had it done at a garage my pal uses. They had problems removing the shaft and used heat and a press to get it off but did the job. They said it needed a new bearing so charged me extra. 5 months later it failed the mot as the wheel was falling off due to a worn out bearing. When I returned to the garage that had done the job he offered to tighten the bearing !!!!! This is not possible so sfter an argument he replaced the bearing but charged me extra again for it. My reliable garage would not say if the bearing had been replaced the first time but the look I got from the mechanic said it all when he said the wheel could have come off at speed!!!! I changed the front pads on my Citroen C5 last month without too many problems but am getting a bit old now to be messing with cars.
  13. Some people yearn for a 'simple'caravan but like Marks I believe sentimentality clouds the issue here. I personally would not want to return to using my 1972 sprite alpine that had 'simple' foam seats that gave you a dead bum if used for more than an hour. It also became unstable at speeds above 45mph. I suppose if you are going to fit microwaves and full cookers then the furniture they are fitted to must be stronger and so, unless expensive materials are used, a weight premium is incurred. When visiting dealers however and browsing the new stock I am surprised at how many vans have bits broken off or screws pulled out which never seemed to happen 30 years ago. I will admit that my present van is the most comfy one I have owned and lacks nothing I need and although it is sturdy there are areas where gentle pressure is the order of the day. I still love it.
  14. My thoughts are the same as yours Din. Having towed for 30+ years I remember 15 ft vans with an unladen weight of under 550kgs. Granted there was no fridge, oven or hot water but when you add the weight of these items together they only come to around 140kgs or less. The irony is that these vans had a similar reputation for leaking as modern vans have. I suspect that in 20 years vans will still be relatively heavy because a large light van will blow over more easily than a heavy one. They will also probably still leak to some extent as modern building techniques have not improved watertightness to any great magnitude. These are of course just my views based on 30 years of towing and 9 different caravans.
  15. Welcome to the forum and hope you get the van looking how you want it to. Maybe you should take before and after pictures and post on here. On second thoughts maybe not a great idea if my wife sees the after pictures and wants the same !!!!!
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