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Posts posted by mcbrucer

  1. Hello everyone,


    After a lot of family debate, we've decided its time to sell our van.  As we won't be buying another one, trading it in to a dealer isn't really an option. We'd like to get as fair an amount  back out of it as is reasonably possible rather than take a big hit as I suspect you would at a dealer (unless you're buying something new!)


    Trouble is, I've no idea where to begin. Does anyone have any experience of valuing and selling a van privately that they'd be happy to share?


    I've tried looking for the same year / model of van on ebay etc but havent found any matches yet.


    Many thanks!

  2. I hadn't considered any pickups but I will look into them thanks...


    Budget? I'm guessing decent examples of all bar the Landcruiser Amazons ought to be available for around 5-6k...


    I suspose at the moment I'm leaning towards an early LC3/4 landcruiser but there dont seem to be that many around and the prices are towards the top end of the budget. I'm guessing that most of them ought to have had the injector issues sorted out by now...

  3. @CommanderDave

    I have weighed up the possibility of keeping the ML after all the money I've sunk in it but the reality is that it needs money spending on it just to get it towing again (the electrics melted). Combine that with another host of issues I'm aware of that are just bubbling under the surface and I feel its time to stop throwing good money after bad.


    @Fireman Iain @FrankBullet

    I've not considered the Touareg or the XC90. Something is ringing alarm bells about towing with the XC90 - can't remember what it is, I'll need to google it. I think I've not considered the Touareg as its a similar era to the ML we have and so I expect it'll have all sorts of electronics and a funky fuelling system that could go wrong.


    The Jeep I've discounted because I think it shares the engine my ML has and I've already had to change the turbo on that once due to a design flaw. It was well under 100k miles at the time...



  4. Greetings all!


    We've been towing our large twin axle van (1800kgs, 100kg noseweight) for close to 5 years now with my wife's 2006 Mercedes ML 320CDI but changes in our daily commutes and the ever increasing maintenance bills the old girl has been generating, combined with pretty high regular running costs necessitate a rethink...


    The plan is to put my wife into something smaller and probably new(ish) that'll be more suited to her commute and to the family for all the general running about that we all do...


    That leaves us needing something to get me to work and back (15 miles a day round trip) and tow the van. At this kind of mileage, MPG doesn't matter so much. What does matter to me is getting something that isn't going to cost thousands every six to nine months in repair bills like the ML does...


    I'm a fan of older, simpler and generally more robust motors and it will be a sad day indeed when I say goodbye to my unstoppable Mercedes w124 estate (shame its not a few hundred kilos heavier).


    I'm hoping to swap my old girl for a similar generation of 4x4. Something reliable, automatic, maybe early to mid noughties, prefer diesel but without too many expensive bits to go wrong.


    On my list so far are:


    Toyota Landcruiser, any of them (Colorado, LC3/4 & Amazon) - depending on condition.

    Hyundai Terracan - though fuel pump & injector issues seems to plague them. Wonder if it would be worth changing all of these on a car I wanted to run for 3-5 years.

    Mitsubishi Shogun. Less familiar with these but aware of various faults that can be expensive to sort.


    Looking for any advice anyone has on these kinds of vehicles and perhaps alternatives if I'm missing any...


    Many thanks in advance!



  5. Thanks Mick! 

    I know its been a while since I posted this but just wanted to circle back and tie it up.  

    We went for the Europa 380 in the end and its been great! Had it up for 2 weeks in the summer and didn't have to pump it up again once it was pitched. Also, love the porch bit at the front which became our little seating area in the evenings. All in all, would heartily recommend!

  6. Hello everyone!

    For our summer trip into Europe this year, we'd quite like to head down to sunny Spain (there's a site near Pals that we particularly like the look of ) but its a long way and I'm looking for some guidance to help with planning our route. ..

    Our usual plan goes something like this:

    1. Travel down to Kent the evening before, staying overnight at the Black Horse.

    2. Up at the crack of dawn and onto the first ferry / train possible. ..

    3. Drive for 5 or 6 hours and then stop overnight at somewhere we prebooked with the CC.  

    4. Repeat step 3 until we get there. .!


    However, with such a lengthy trip in front of us, I'm wondering if there isn't a more efficient way of approaching this. What if we could do something like this?

    1. Travel down to Kent the evening before, straight over the channel and into France all in one go with no stopping overnight.

    2. Get as far into France as possible and then stop for a few hours rest in an aire(!!)

    3. Back on the road and repeat step 2 until we get to Spain. ..


    Now, I've heard all sorts of horror stories about Aires and we've only ever stopped in them for an hour or so during daylight hours but are they really that bad? I assumed that it might depend on location but really would appreciate your advice on the topic. ..

    An alternative might be to stopover at proper sites but I'm thinking that the problem there might be with late arrival, particularly on the first night.  Again we would appreciate your advice on this also. ..

    Many thanks in advance!




  7. Hi All,


    Its fair to say I have a lukewarm relationship with awnings.


    I've frequently stopped bothering with our rally 260 because it just feels like too much faf for a short stay. But so often with the weather in the uk, its difficult to do without one.

    Last summer on our hols in Austria, I put up a full size traditional awning which really was a job to do on my own. It has the old fashioned, really heavy poles and I lost a couple of finger nails in the process but anyway, by the end of the holiday we realised that we'd hardly used much more of the space than is afforded to us by the rally 260. A bit more but certainly not enough to merit lugging that thing across the continent.


    So anyway, I'm looking for a new awning that needs to be big enough for our summer hols (usually abroad) and small enough / easy enough to not put me off putting it up for a weekend.


    Looking around the sites these days and it seems that everyone has a kampa of one kind or another but looking around the interweb, I stumbled across these:


    http://www. ebay. co. uk/itm/Outdoor-Revolution-Europa-380-Caravan-Air-Awning-now-649-2017-Model-/122537085580?


    Now, I'm pretty sure I've yet to see one in the wild but it does look pretty good and I've always been curious about this particular style of awning versus the typical kampa rally kind that most folk have.


    Does anyone have any experience with either this brand or model? How do they stack up against the Kampa offerings?







  8. Hello all,

    Our van will shortly be 3 years old. The renewal just came through from the CC and I notice that the policy quotes at the same value that was originally stated when we bought it new. I understand we have the 'new for old' level of cover.

    My question is, will they really cover new for old? i. e. Actually buy us a brand new van at the same size and spec in the event of a total loss?

    I'm pretty sure that with car & home cover, insurers will go to any length to reduce their exposure to big payouts and I'm wondering if it's simply naive to assume that 'new for old' is what it purports to be.

    Secondary thought is, of course, would I be better off insuring against the vans current value - though I've no idea what that value is or how to calculate it!?!


    Any/all advice appreciated!


  9. I had to go out hunting for some free wifi to post this topic earlier but upon returning to the van (and finding free wifi in the site bar) it no longer looks that bad to my eye. Like a silver of donner meat at the local kebab shop! Here is a piccy:

    Ooh, need to figure out how to post a pic first it seems!

  10. Looks like a kerb has taken a strip of rubber off the side wall of our near side rear tyre (it's a twin). It hasn't gone deep enough to expose the cord or anything and there is still a flap of rubber hanging on.

    Question is, do I need to change the wheel over to the spare or will it get me there and back - maybe another 3 days of driving. If I need to change it, can I jack up the van with a car jack? (Why I didn't think about getting a proper jack before I don't know!)



  11. Well, we are setting off for Grubhoff next weekend and the question of the satellite dish has come up - to take it or not…


    What I’ve not been able to find out on the web, is if we could pick up UK radio stations from mainland Europe - does anyone know?


    Also and while I’m not really bothered about UK TV, with the olympics coming up I’d quite like to see a bit of that with english commentary. I’m guessing an english version of eurosport or similar might be available somewhere other than on the 2D(?) stream?


    I have 2 set top boxes, a SKY HD one (non-recorder) and a COMAG 12v one SL30/12. Which one do you think I should take and what stream ought I be aiming at once I get there? I don’t really understand all this satellite stuff so any help you can give is appreciated….




    • Like 1
  12. Well, thought I’d circle back and close the loop on this one. We decided that we’d get a regular 32” 240 telly that could sit in the kitchen at home most of the time and then go out with us for longer trips in the van. We picked up a nice (and cheap) 32” JVC number from the local Currys and save me having to fit a visa adaptor plate to the mount in the van, its been no bother. It weighs virtually nothing and it’s great having a decent sized telly that you can actually read the EPG on!

  13. Hello All,


    I have a maxview 85cm oval dish (I think thats the size) that I picked up from eBay last year thats been great so far for us in the UK and northern France.


    At the time I had hoped the size of it would do the job for us the further south we ventured but I didn't really look too much into the detail.


    This year, as I have mentioned on another thread, we are off to Lofer in Austria. Looking at the footprint charts now, it seems that we'll be out of luck with the maxview dish. It isn't the end of the world and really, the main reason I use it is for the radio rather than the TV - which reminds me that I need to hunt down a Sky Gnome before they all disappear - but anyway, I started wondering to myself if there are larger dishes out there that could fold down for transportation.


    I stumbled across this one on eBay and I wondered if anyone reading this had tried one of these type before?


    Seems big enough at 1. 2m and also looks like it goes down to a reasonable size - although probably with a fair bit of faff (not really a problem for an extended stay)


    Any help / advice appreciated!




  14. There is a bunk ladder and a heating vent in the way on the inside so it wouldn't really work that way. I've been quoted 210 by my dealer but 110 of that is for the door itself -I've seen them on eBay for less than 50 quid. There are 5 of us and (at least) 5 chairs so it's a lot of faff at the moment. I'm thinking it'll be worth 150 of our hard-earned cash.

  15. Hello all,


    Our avante 636 is a bit poverty spec and so there is only really the front locker for external storage access. There is a big space under the bunks but no access other than by lifting the mattress which is becoming tiresome - so I'm thinking about having another locker door put on the outside to give me access to store chairs and things under there.


    I just wondered if this a common thing and if there is any BTDT on it. ..



  16. I managed to get the awning up - luckily, there was another chap nearby who had a similar awning in the past and helped us get it setup. I took the opportunity to colour code all the poles with electrical tape and so I should be able to manage it myself next time. One of the poles is bent but not too badly so I'll leave it as is. ..


    One question on the flooring, can I use one of these weavetex carpets directly onto a hardstanding floor - or should I have some kind of tarpaulin underneath it?


    Also, anyone got any idea how many pegs I'll need for a 7x2. 5 awning?

  17. Hello all,


    Our van came with a 16" avtex tv on a mount which works well but it just too small to see, particularly the EPG or any of the menus. I've also found that I carry around a sky box in case we have to use the dish and so I'd like to kill 2 birds and get a larger tv that also has a satellite receiver built into it. I'm aware that avtex do these but I cannot justify that level of spend. I don't think we've ever camped without a hookup and so I'm not worried about 12v - 240v will do fine for us.


    So, can anyone recommend a decent 24" (or thereabouts - think 32 would be too large?) tv that has both freeview and satellite and would be light enough to go on the mount in our van? I have an old 24" LCD telly at home but its huge and weighs a tonne - so thats out.



  18. I thought I'd seen it all with my 2013 elddis van and after nearly 3 years of hectoring the dealer and trips back and forth for warranty claims, I dared to dream we were just about there and ready to enjoy the van without the worry. And then I discovered a crack in the front panel.


    I thought buying a new van would be less hassle than a used one. My wife wanted one that was unused inside. Next time, I'll get a used one and change all the soft furnishings if I have to, it'll still be cheaper and far less hassle than a brand new van.


    I for one will _never_ buy anything ever again from the Explorer Group.

    • Like 2
  19. I thought I'd close the loop on this one.


    No debris was found in either of the tap roses.


    After exploring all the options, I ended up buying a new pump for the system and that seems to have fixed it. I'm a little disappointed that the pump failed after only light use and inside 3 years. I can't help wonder if the failure we had last year with the IC control unit dying (which to their credit, Whale replaced for me FOC) , is to blame in some way.



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