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Everything posted by Markt1891

  1. Hi Ed, I did see your post a few days ago but I was away on holiday in the caravan and wasn’t sure if I still had the antennas or not. I have just got back home and checked and unfortunately I no longer have them. To be honest the garage needs a bit of a tidy up so I will do that next weekend - if I come across them I will let you know. However it’s looking unlikely… Mark.
  2. I purchased a U3 Barcelona with the Dometic RMD8551 fridge in 2019 and have had similar issues with the cooling performance. I also fitted fans which I think helped a little in hot weather but the main issue was the initial start up time. Even in normal ambient temperatures it could take over 18hrs (sometimes 24-36 hrs) to cool down to 6 degrees. I started to investigate this again recently and even considered replacing it with a new series 10 (which I understand are a lot better). At the same time I was researching it and re-reading a lot of the threads in various forums on the internet a caravan owner from Australia posted this video on YouTube. In his case the fridge wasn’t fitted that well by the manufacturer and he made some changes behind the fridge to improve the air flow. However he had also discovered that there was an issue inside the fridge with the thermal mastic behind the aluminium fins. Dometic provide guidance on how to apply the thermal mastic to the evaporator coil here. As you can see it should be applied in a thick layer all around the coil. In his case the mastic was more like putty and there definitely wasn’t anywhere near enough of it. The mastic is essential to transfer heat between the fins and evaporator coil. With the coil being round and the fin plate being flat without sufficient mastic there is very little contact between the two. I ordered the same thermal mastic used by Dometic (managed to find 1 tube in the UK + another from the US in case I needed 2) and took a look at my own RMD8551 to see if it had the same issue. Here is a photo I took immediately after removing the fins. As you can see there were a few places where there definitely wasn’t sufficient mastic (along the lower section of the coil) and the top isn’t much better. The mastic was also more like putty. The freezer section was a little better but not great either. I removed all of the old mastic and cleaned it all up with methylated spirits. I then applied the new mastic in accordance with the guidance from Dometic and refitted the fins. In the end 1 tube was enough to do both the fridge and freezer. I then tested the fridge on 240v. The ambient temp outside was only 13 degrees and it was 20 degrees inside the fridge when I turned it on. Within 3hrs the fridge was down to 10 degrees, after 6 hours it was down to about 5 degrees. This was with the temp setting at 5 bars. I then turned the temp setting down to 3 bars and it maintained 5-6 degrees for the next couple of days without any issues. It’s only one test and clearly the weather isn’t very warm right now but the fridge has never worked this well before. Time will tell whether it will work this well when the weather eventually warms up. I will update this thread again in a couple of weeks time as we are going away for the spring bank holiday.
  3. The max weight upgrade kit is just replacement sticker with the updated info, the caravan isn’t modified in any way. The MPTLM is upgraded to the axle max load. So in the case of the Vigo III the MPTLM is upgraded from 1500kg to 1550kg. If your axle is rated at 1450kg then that does not sound right to me... it’s lower than the standard factory MPTLM. The van should be fitted with a 1550kg axle.
  4. It won’t be covered by the manufacturers warranty at 5 years old. Your best option is Fraser Brown Engineering in Scotland. That is what many owners in your situation have done. http://www.fraserbrowneng.co.uk/index.php?c=AL-KO-axle-repair It’s best to use a mobile engineer to remove the axle where you keep your caravan (unless you are able to do that yourself). Fraser Brown provide guidance on how to pack the axle for shipping to them. They will then refurbish it and return it to you. Fraser Brown will organise the collection and return. The main advantage of this approach is that it is cheaper than a new AL-KO replacement axle and they use stronger rubbers.
  5. I changed from a single axle to a twin in April 2019 and don’t regret it at all (I also tow with a Santa Fe). I have never towed in Europe and all of our caravan holidays are in the UK, it’s also true that quite often we are staying on site for a week or more. However in the summer after purchasing the twin we did a 3 week “tour” of the Peak District, Yorkshire and the Lake District. We stayed for approx 3 or 4 nights at each site and then moved on. I had to level the van on quite a few of the sites but as others have said this is pretty easy with the Lock n Level. It wasn’t really any more difficult than it was with the single axle. In terms of towing on narrow roads I don’t really notice any difference compared to the single axle, in my case the twin is only 2ft longer than the single axle and the same width. I would be more concerned about switching to an 8ft wide van (single or twin). In fact if anything the twin is far more stable and a much nicer towing experience. It’s true that levelling a twin can occasionally be a bit more work depending on the circumstances, for example when it is low on the offside but you need to fit twin AL-KO locks to the nearside. However the additional space and comfort offered by a twin far outweighs this, it’s well worth the effort of a small amount of additional set up time in my opinion. The main reason why I switched to the twin was due to the axle failure on my Bailey Unicorn Madrid. If I would have needed to change my tow car as well then I probably wouldn’t have done it due to the cost. However already having the Santa Fe it was a no-brainer and not sure I would ever go back to a single...
  6. I have a 2017 Barcelona and replaced the foam mattress with a pocket sprung one from Belfield. It’s 5kg heavier than the foam one but is far more supportive and I no longer suffer with a bad back. However since purchasing it I have made two further improvements. I found that the bed did still sag in the middle, it was less than with the foam mattress but it was clear that the frame was also partially to blame. I have fitted a removable upright support between the centre of the frame and floor. I remove it when towing as we do store some items under the bed. That fixed the issue with the bed sagging in the middle. I have also purchased a topper from Dunelm as we found the pocket sprung mattress too firm. The combination of the pocket sprung mattress, upright support and topper has completely transformed the bed, it’s now more comfortable than our bed at home :-). If you are only concerned about the bed sagging in the middle it would be worth fitting an upright support and see how you get on. Hope that helps Mark.
  7. Your handbook can be downloaded from here. See page 47 for instructions on how to operate the water heater on gas, remember to remove the exterior cowl cover.
  8. Recently switched to Elsan Organic (green) and this works really well. We have been using our own facilities during COVID and it broke everything down. Has the same benefit as Fenwicks Top n Tail in that it can be used in both the flush and cassette however it smells a lot better!
  9. Hi Amanda, As far as I know the location you mention (on the right hand side of the fridge/freezer) is the location where Bailey recommend you fit a TV bracket. Bailey have included some additional support behind that panel for the bracket. I have a U3 Barcelona so cannot help but I am sure some owners on here will share some more details with you. Mark.
  10. Seems to be mostly the Unicorn single axle 4 berth models, but there were a few Pegasus owners also reporting failures. Whilst there were a lot of reports of failures with the Vigo and Valencia that might just be because they are the more popular layouts - I am not sure any particular model is more affected than another. My Madrid failed on the offside which is not too surprising with that layout as that is also where the bulk of the weight is (hot water storage, boiler, oven, microwave and fridge/freezer).
  11. Nobody really knows for sure as Bailey have not been fully transparent about the issue, they are never going to admit they made a mistake with the 2014-2019 models. However the 2020 models have around 90mm clearance unloaded. This seems to be in line with al-ko’s recommendations with a 30mm movement in the swing arm for loading and then another 60mm to full bump stop. In that setup the wheel cannot protrude through the wheel arch. I don’t think the spec of the axle has changed, it’s just the way in which it is fitted/located in order to create the required clearance. To be honest I am certainly not an expert in it and am just repeating here what has been explained in the facebook group. I would recommend anyone concerned about the issue joins that group (Bailey Axle Problems Family) as there is a lot of help and information there. I joined the group when I discovered my U3 Madrid axle was failing. In the end Bailey replaced ours “as a gesture of goodwill” and we part exchanged it for a twin axle U3 Barcelona soon after it was fixed.
  12. Yes, there is a facebook group discussing the axle issues and there are quite a few U4 owners on there with the same problem. I don’t think it was finally corrected until the 2020 model year.
  13. +1 for Aquasol - I add it to the water in the Aquaroll each time I refill it. Provides safe drinking water and removes any bad after tastes.
  14. I know this is an old thread but a friend of mine is in the process of purchasing a 2015 U3 Vigo and is also having the same issue over which full awning to go for. As the Isabella measurement is less than the Bailey stated 1045 we are trying to work out if a Dorema 16 (1025-1050) would be a better fit than a Isabella/Ventura 1050. I used to own a U3 Madrid myself and had a Ventura 1050 but did find it a little big unless the pitch was either dead flat or sloped away. It was sometimes difficult to get the canvas taught. Whilst Bailey state both models have the same awning size I am not sure if that is true. Isabella have different measurements for both. Just wondering if there are any U3 Vigo owners with full awnings on here who could provide some info on which type/size awning they use and how well it fits. Thanks in advance.
  15. I purchased it from a dealer (not my local one) but prior to purchase confirmed with my local Bailey dealer that they would do all servicing and warranty work. I have that in writing. I have purchased a number of brand new caravans from them over the years. I cannot see it being resolved in three weeks either so rebooked my service for the last week of June (just before the end of the 3 month grace period). Mark.
  16. My caravan was booked in for an annual service next Tues. It's a 2017 Bailey Unicorn Barcelona but as the first owner missed a service the Bailey manufacturers warranty was invalidated. I took out an MB&G policy to cover it when I purchased the van in April last year. I have been in contact with MB&G and they are now allowing a 3 month grace period for servicing so their customers will not be penalised if their caravan service is late. I just rang my local dealer and in fact they have closed their workshop from today and are rebooking all servicing. They said that all the major manufacturers are doing the same as MB&G and allowing some flexibility in servicing without invalidating the warranty. Just thought I would post this in case anyone on here is worried about missing the manufacturers service schedule. Common sense seems to be prevailing :-). Mark.
  17. I haven’t had to change them yet, they have been installed for two years. It doesn’t take long to remove the control panel.
  18. I haven’t fitted one in a Seville but have in two other Unicorn 3 models (Madrid and Barcelona). I usually just fix the battery pack to plastic cover on the rear of the Alde control panel.
  19. As others have said the heating will operate with the water system drained down - that was not the cause of your issue at home. If you did not have a plug symbol displayed on the control panel when at home then I suspect there was no 240v power from your electric hookup. The control panel and pump work off 12v (caravan leisure battery) so that does not mean the 240v hookup is OK. Easy way to confirm if you have 240v when connected at home is to check if your microwave works.
  20. We purchased a 2017 Unicorn Barcelona this year, it had only been used a few times by the previous owner and the van was like new. However we found the same problems with the foam honeycore mattress. After sleeping on it for more than 3 or 4 consecutive nights I ended up with a bad back. I ended up ordering a new pocket sprung mattress from Belfield and it’s massive improvement on the foam one.
  21. They are also foam... however that wasn’t something we really noticed as we had a 2016 Madrid which also had foam bench seats. You can definitely see the foam is compressed after someone has been sitting on it for a reasonable period of time. However it does recover. I suspect Belfield would also be able to supply pocket sprung versions, might be worth giving them a call. FYI the replacement mattress was £334. It is 30mm deeper than the foam one at 180mm. There are other companies that make them but I decided to stick with Belfield as Bailey’s supplier. Mark
  22. Hi Ian, I recently changed from a 2016 Madrid to a 2017 Barcelona (our first fixed bed). I can confirm that the mattress is indeed foam and from what I have read Bailey changed (aka downgraded) the mattress in the later U3 models. Earlier models including the U2 had a pocket sprung mattress. After our first one week trip away in the Barcelona I started suffering with a bad back. That’s not entirely unusual for me and I know someone with a U3 Valencia who is perfectly happy with the foam mattress and finds it very comfortable. I contacted Bellfield and they could supply a pocket sprung version of the U3 mattress so decided to order one. It’s a little heavier (5kg) but I find it far more supportive and comfortable. We used the van for 26 nights in August and my back was fine :-). Hope that helps. Mark.
  23. It will match, they are designed specifically for Bailey Alutech vans. What year/series is your van? You can select the type (pre or post 2015) and then single or double axle here... https://www.youcancaravan.co.uk/isabella-awning-wheel-arch-cover-for-bailey-alutech Mark.
  24. Also use an Isabella one. As stated above there are different types depending on the year of the van due to the change in wheel arch design. We used one on our 2016 Madrid (single axle) and now have one for our 2017 Barcelona (twin axle), about half the price of the Prima/Bailey one.
  25. There is a facebook group of owners suffering with this issue. Unfortunately some have 2018 U4’s - it’s definitely not sorted. Some had their axle replaced 18 months ago only for it to fail again.
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