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Everything posted by Lutz

  1. The only time that I overrule the box of tricks is on long descents when I lock the transmission manually in a lower gear to take advantage of engine braking, but then I do that regardless of whether towing or solo. I feel it's all the more important when towing.
  2. When I bought my caravan the Antara was already out of production, so that wasn't an option. Besides, the most powerful diesel engine in the Antara only developed 163hp, which I figured was a bit meagre to pull an 1800kg caravan. Apart from the 9 Vauxhalls that I had, my wife had 3 Agilas in a row and none of them ever went back to the dealer other than for a regular service. She's now on her second Adam.
  3. I don't know what you've got against Vauxhalls. Over a 30 year period I owned 9 of them in a row and none gave me any trouble. I only changed to another make because there's no Vauxhall heavy enough to pull my current caravan.
  4. Lutz

    New Grenadier

    It's going to be difficult without a possible military application. The volumes would be just too low to make the project economically viable. Even the Mercedes G Wagon only made it because it was developed primarily as a military vehicle. For purely civilian use it would have been prohibitively expensive.
  5. It is possible that they are only obliged to keep records for 10 years. Did you give them details of the VIN number of your caravan? That would make it a lot easier for Hobby to find the necessary documentation if it still exists. If none can be found, you may have to have a single vehicle approval carried out by the Centros de Inspeção Técnica de Veículos (CITV) in Portugal. They should be able to tell you the procedure that has to be followed.
  6. Judging by how empty the campsite is where we are staying here in France at the moment and how little contact we made on the way to our destination I would have thought that the risk couldn't be much less.
  7. The tyre load rating number isn't obsolete, but 104 load rating for a 1500kg caravan is going over the top a bit. I've got 104 load rating tyres on my 1800kg caravan. A 101 or 102 load rating would be more than adequate for 1500kg.
  8. A tyre will usually only start to smoke after it has blown. It will flex so much when deflated that it can even start to burn before one has had a chance to come to a standstill. I speak from experience because it happened to me.
  9. It's still as deserted as ever here on the campsite. It's absolute bliss. I can only imagine that it's so empty because so few French are on holiday at the moment and foreigners are perhaps still a bit wary of visiting France. Only about a dozen of the 90 or so pitches are occupied. The statics seem to be quite well booked, though.
  10. I'm with Stevan on this. Entry into an awning is easy with or without a padlock so one might as well do without.
  11. Caravan tyres already have quite a big margin of safety by virtue of the fact that they are never subjected to the sort of speeds that the tyres are rated at. Therefore even without an additional 10% margin on the load rating they should be adequate for the job. That 10% is really to allow for a difference in wheel load from left to right, which can be quite substantial on some models.
  12. Here are a couple of photos to give an idea of how quiet it is on our campsite here in France. No problem with social distancing under such conditions.
  13. One shouldn't generalise. Without the spare wheel and gas bottles in the front locker my otherwise unladen caravan has virtually zero noseweight.
  14. The maximum allowable noseweight must be shown as the S-value on the type approval plate on the towbar itself.
  15. Same here at La Colombière in Neydens except that the indoor swimming pool is closed. One is also asked to wait for a vacant cubicle outside the sanitary block.
  16. Well, we made it to our campsite in France yesterday. The drive there was pretty uneventful except for a couple of delays due to roadworks on the autobahn in Germany and traffic jams on the road around Geneva which forced us to drive straight through the city with the caravan in tow. The German/Swiss and the Swiss/French borders were fully open with no controls whatsoever. All day we saw very few caravans or motorhomes on the road - a handful in Germany but hardly any once we crossed into Switzerland. When we arrived at the campsite in Neydens we were told that all facilities were open except the indoor swimming pool and there was a requirement to wear a face mask when entering or leaving the restaurant, but otherwise one should just maintain the required social distancing (and there are ample reminders). Only about 10% to 15% of the regular pitches are occupied but the statics and the couple of pitches that they have with a private sanitary block are apparently fairly well booked. The vast majority of the few guests that there are are French. I only saw one Belgian motorhome and a couple of caravans and motorhomes from Switzerland. At the moment we don't have any immediate neighbours, the closest being three pitches further on. The sanitary block across the way looks as though it hasn't been used at all since it was cleaned last and they said that they do that four times a day. We had expected to find a bottle of disinfectant there though, so I guess we'll get some of our own when we go shopping this afternoon.
  17. But surely only if the third party's assets are insufficient to meet the claim or if the third party that caused the accident cannot be established?
  18. No, but you can still claim against the third party even if he doesn't have an insurance. I know of a case in the family where they had to file a civil claim against the uninsured third party that caused the accident. Their own insurance company didn't even want to know about the accident because it was clear that they were not to blame.
  19. Maybe, but surely your insurance would try to recover the claim from the thief? I'm a bit puzzled, because over here where I live, if there is absolutely no doubt that you are not to blame, your insurance doesn't even want to get involved and any claim must be made directly against the third party or his insurance.
  20. Lutz

    Vin Plate

    Did you ask Lunar where they might have hidden it?
  21. Surely, so long as there would be insurance coverage with a valid licence, third party coverage would still be ensured, but the insurance company could later recover the claim from the policyholder?
  22. One can mix and match components of different manufacturers so long as the technical provisions of the type approval are met, For instance, a towbar may only be fitted with a drop plate etc. if the manufacturer has approved such a combination. Whether the drop plate is of the same manufacturer or not is irrelevant.
  23. Quite frankly I don't think that one should pass the buck on to the dealer. Everybody should be held responsible for their own actions and it is their very own duty to inform themselves before embarking on a caravanning career.
  24. With Brexit, the UK has the opportunity to completely revise all driving licence categories. As they stand today they are common throughout the EU. However, if the UK were to make major changes it would affect the many who want to take their caravan abroad, because they would continue to have to have licences compatible with existing EU categories. Note that the UK government at the time decided not to issue category B96 licences, which they could well have done. The B96 would allow a gross combination weight of 4250kg instead of 3500kg without the necessity to take a B+E test.
  25. Must be one of the last ones before they discontinued production.
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