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redsteveb

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About redsteveb

  • Rank
    Over 50 posts

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Bristol
  • Towcar
    BMW 535d Estate
  • Caravan
    2015 Lunar Clubman Si

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  1. Hi all, and a Merry Christmas! I've been pondering a question recently due in the main to the poor service I've had from so say "caravan cleaners". I've paid up to £40 to have my van cleaned (outside only and not the roof) only to find I've needed to get my own bucket and cleaning kit out afterwards to finish off what I consider to have been a half-hearted job. I've used car valeters and detailers before who spend several hours (in one case the whole day) meticulously cleaning both the inside and out of my car leaving it better that new. It seems however that this service is lacking in the caravan/motorhome world or am I just unluckly. The last clean I had done and I use the word loosely, seemed to involve a bucket with some washing up liquid and a grubby sponge. There were black streaks all over the place (on a van less than 18 months old) the alloy wheels were half done (top part only) and the windows looked worse after than before. So, my question is. ..is there a market place for a high end caravan/motorhome valeting service? Not just some Tom, Dick & Harry with a bucket but for a firm with a professional edge, that will take as much if not more care than you'd take yourself given the time etc. I'm talking a full valet with the option of the inside, an over clean etc. I've looked but can't find anyone. Compared to the car market where professional detailers can be found all over the UK I wondered why I struggle to find anyone that could do a good job, using high quality products etc. Any thoughts? Thanks, Steve
  2. We've just been given notice by Bristol Caravans of Hortham Lane near Bristol that they will not be allowing us to renew our storage with them for next year. Apparently they are now only storing vans and motorhomes under 6m's in length. Our Lunar Clubman is nearly 1. 5m too long so we have to find a new home for it by 31st of May. The van was new last May hence we decided to pay extra money to have it stored inside. This has worked well for us and we'd prefer to find another indoor storage facility in and around the Bristol area. Can anyone recommend somewhere? Thanks in advance, Steve & Fiona.
  3. Thanks Gordon. I think it's just a peace of mind thing for me. I'm confident towing it but would like to be able to reverse confidently and efficiently if the need ever arose. I'll do a write up of the course after I've attended.
  4. We purchased our 1st van last May, a new Lunar Clubman. I would class myself as a competent driver (also been riding motorcycles for 35 years too) but decided to go on a towing course prior to collecting the van> It was OK but they use a lightweight single horsebox and I had to use the instructors car which was fitted with a reversing camera. It was a 2 hour course and gave me more confidence about towing the van than I'd had before but I felt the reversing part (45 minutes in quiet(ish) car park was a little artificial given the size of both the horsebox and the instructors car against my own car & van. The van itself came with a motor mover, and on every trip we've always used it to get the van exactly where we want it. Yes, it is a little slow but it's very accurate. We took the van to the Dordogne last Summer for 2 weeks and have had regular monthly trips all through the year and I've never had the need to reverse the van. HOWEVER. I do feel that I want to know how to reverse it just in case of an emergency. My real fear it that we are in a queue for the ferry or a toll in France and someone in front breaks down or there is an accident and we need to reverse quickly and safely. I could make a hash of it and putting the motor mover on would be a right pain. On reading this thread I've been prompted me to take action. I've now booked onto a day course via the Caravan Club in July, a week before we head to the Dordogne again. It's only £140 although I have to travel to Devizes from Bristol, but I'm hoping it will be an improvement on my initial towing course, and that with practice this skill becomes second nature.
  5. Used the awning for the first time at the weekend, and definitely no "step" on the 2014 model we purchased. A fantastic bit of kit which we put up in less than 10 minutes, which included pegging out etc. Would definitely recommend it.
  6. I snapped mine off the first time we used the van (a new Lunar Clubman) It extended ok on arrival at our pitch, but when we were packing up I simply moved it into its closed position and it just broke off. Bought a replacement on line and fitted it myself. Lesson learned and I'm more careful now.
  7. Just to conclude this thread, we purchased a brand new in the box (unopened) 2014 Kampa Rally Air Pro 260 from Davan Caravans on Sunday for £549. They also threw in an additional pump as the salesman couldn't recall if one was included with the awning and didn't want to open the box. As it turns out there was, but at least we have a spare. The only difference we can see is that the colours at the base of the awning are different from the 2015 model. For £50 less than a 2015 one we're more that happy. Looking forward to using it at the end of the month when we're next away.
  8. The dealer is my local one being about 20 miles away. I've called them this morning and am waiting for a call back. Will update in due course. Thanks, Steve
  9. That's great thanks Jiffy. The did identify a water leak on hand over. We waited 45 minutes while this was fixed. Guess this wasn't done properly. I'll call the dealer today.
  10. I think this is the right place to add this, but please feel free to move it if not. We're just back from a 4 night trip to Wells. This is the 4th trip in our new Lunar Clubman (collected in May) and in total we've had about 25 days away in it without any problems. However on Monday evening I noticed a small puddle of water near the front seats. On opening the storage hatch I could see water leaking from the part in the photo below. I could only stop the leak by turning of the water and then running the tap to empty what water was left in the pipes. The water was dripping from the gap just below the quality sticker. Given the van is new I could take it back to the dealer but this is a bit of a pain in the behind given the distance and the need to take time off work to take it there and then collect it. Is this a known fault with this part? If so can I upgrade it to something more reliable? If so I can get the team at the storage facility I use to do this for me. I understand it will cost me to do so, but will save the time and hassle in returning it to the dealer.
  11. Sorry to hear about your experience. As I said, we've used them for overnight stays for over 20 years without incident. I guess like everything else in life you weigh up the risk and decide to take it or not. If I worried about everything that could happen in life I'd never set foot outside my front door :-)
  12. I also have a 535d, but mine is the M Sport Estate/Touring. Only got it earlier this year as my A6 (petrol & manual) wasn't really up to towing quite a heavy van (Lunar Coachman). I've owned a few quick cars over the years, but the performance of the Beemer is stratospheric. When coupled to the van in makes towing effortless, and the auto box is a joy. I have the flappy paddles too, so switch over if I need to hold a gear longer than the auto box would usually allow. .great for going up and down hills etc. The boot isn't huge but is certainly big enough and I have a roof box if I need even more storage. I've not had any issues so far, but will use an independent specialist for servicing etc.
  13. Hi Chalky thanks for your concern regarding the safety of overnight stays in an Aire. Whilst this was our first trip to France in our van, we've been going there every year since 1992 and have always slept in an Aire to break up the journey as we usually holiday in the Dordogne, Provence or the Languedoc regions. We've never experienced any issues. In fact I feel safer there than I do when driving around in the UK, and leaving the car/van in a motorway services or car park. The car is locked, alarmed and naturally we locked the door of the van and attach the hitchlock too, before turning in for the night. We usually stay at one of the larger Aire's and know them all well now after 22 years of using them. Usually there are quite a few other vans & motor homes plus several cars & HGV's parked up nearby, so we've never considered being at risk from sleeping overnight. I agree there may have been one or two reports of attempted thefts etc but then again how many people use them to sleep overnight? I guess the risk overall is a low one and one I'm more than happy to accept.
  14. Newbie here, having only used our new van 3 times so far, albeit the last trip was down to the Dordogne for our main Summer holiday. We stopped overnight (on the way down and back) in a lovely Aire. Put all the steadies down, cooked a nice meal, had a few glasses of wine and a good nights sleep. Boiled a kettle using the gas hob for a coffee in the morning and then set off nice and refreshed. Like Charl, we consider the journey as an integral part of our holiday. On the way back home heading to Caen for the ferry we had 3 hours to kill so again pulled into a services and parked in the lorry area which was very quiet. Dropped all the steadies, caravan handbrake applied, and a quick brew then a couple of hours sleep on the bed while my wife had a couple of glasses of wine and read a book. Not the most picturesque of surroundings but suited our purposes. We also had a separate cool box in the car containing fresh bread, ham, cheese tomatoes etc which we purchase in the morning before departing the site. So much better than service station sarnies.
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