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Despicable

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About Despicable

  • Rank
    Over 100 posts

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Somerset
  • Interests
    Beer, reading, walking, current affairs and more beer
  • Towcar
    Kia Sorento
  • Caravan
    Bailey Unicorn 3 Cadiz

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  1. Despicable

    MOT

    There could be repercussions to reporting an 'illegal' vehicle: Last year I noticed a small old and scruffy van, fitted with a wheel-clamp' parked in a nearby street. Out of curiosity I checked the website and found it had been SORN'ed and had no MoT. A few days' later and shortly after the 'authorities' had it removed, about 40 cars in the vicinity had had all their panels keyed (each car costing from £4K to £10K to put right). Coincidence? Yes, but the scruffy van was owned by a gardener and, curiously, the cars in front of a house owned by a landscape gardener, very close to where the van was parked, weren't touched. So, because some good and righteous citizen decided to report this van it removed one illegal vehicle off our crowded roads. However, if it had resulted in the mindless vandalism, causing stress and expense to 20 to 30 households, was it worth it?
  2. In 2015, when we collected our new Series 3 Cadiz from Salisbury, we went straight off to the Old Oaks site at Glastonbury. Being our first ever caravan our learning curve was rather steep. The only initial problem we had was getting the awning through the rail; it had been blocked with filler at the roof-joint to the rear of the van. I don't know how wide-spread that issue is (or if the Series 4 have a roof-joint), but it took about an hour to clear it sufficiently. Apart from that, oh, and the cheap plastic fridge door trays and the fridge unplugging itself every 1500 miles, we've had a great time with our van.
  3. In our first year of caravanning (2015), we had a full conventional awning and didn't get along with it at all, as we toured a lot and it was very 'rattley' in moderate to high winds. For 2016 to date we've used a Kampa Ace Air 400. Okay, the air awning is heavy, but with the rail on the van sprayed with WD40 or suchlike, and a guy rope to help pull it along, it can be easily erected and razed solo. We do get quite a bit of condensation, which I can't remember the conventional awning suffering from, but I would not go back to the plethora of poles and springs. I have read a lot of tales of people suffering punctures and other similar failures. I inflate our awning to just 6psi, which is just over half the recommended pressure of (I believe) 10psi, as that has been adequate in some quite strong winds and low temperatures (-5C) a week ago. When looking at any porch-type awning I suggest you look to see where the end walls are going to be placed against your van. By sheer luck, my '400' awning's 'front' end wall lays between the rear of the front side window and the door latch, and the 'rear' end wall lays just behind the rear side window. Therefore, all doors, hatches and windows can be opened and closed without being blocked.
  4. I agree, with Litw; for our first couple of years we went without a mover, but during that time we went to two sites where to enjoy the views we had to either go to our rear end toilet to look out of the small window or man-handle the 1. 6 tonne caravan to nose-in just in front of steep banks. Okay, we managed it, but it was a struggle and luckily the van's handbrake worked before it went charging down into a valley (in Wales)/sea (in France). Also, it saves me jacking my van up to align the NS wheel for the AL-KO wheel lock. As Litw says, the only downside being the mover's weight eating into your load allowance, which means I've now gone onto light-weight flip-flops and my CEO(Domestic) has reduced the number of ballgowns we carry . I still tend to reverse onto pitches, whenever possible, and then 'fine tune' and wheel align using the mover once I've unhitched and got the car out of the way.
  5. I've driven with the hitch-lock fitted when we've scheduled-in a break when the vehicles will left unattended; otherwise I don't fit it. Yes, there are risks, but it is a personal choice. I check the van's wheel nuts on every long-ish (hour +) journey and the nose weight whenever the van is loaded; however, I can't recall seeing anyone else doing these checks (a lot obviously do, but I guess that the majority don't). Certainly if your van isn't regularly serviced and its driven in excess of 60mph, then I would suggest it's inadvisable to fit a hitch-lock while travelling.
  6. Going back to my post, Badger, I suggest you turn left each time you leave your property. Okay, it may take you a mile or two out of your way before you can turn around, but that's surely better than damaging the rear end of your van?
  7. Badger, does your caravan ground when you turn left? On leaving the Salisbury CCC site I have to turn left, otherwise the rear of my caravan grounds when I go over the centre of the road.
  8. I've only been caravanning for 2 1/2 years and have only used Milenco Grands; however, would recommend them. They are stable and allow the towcar's wing mirrors to be also used, especially when manoeuvring (I can see the caravan wheels when turning while going forward and in reverse). I personally prefer flat mirrors, following problems experienced when reversing artics fitted with only convex mirrors on the nearside; luckily these were few and far between, so only had to cope with them on about two occasions.
  9. In 2015, when I got my first caravan (a Bailey Cadiz-3) we had a similar problem as the OP, however, our current car was a VW Up!. After a lot of research we got the top 3 down to a Mercedes E-Class, BMW 5 series and Kia Sorento (the Santa Fe wasn't an option as my CEO(Domestic) thought it was ugly). The Sorento won, due to my concerns with the long rear overhang (distance between the rear wheels and the towbar) on both the Merc and Beemer; potentially affecting manoeuvring and weight on the towbar being transferred to the rear axle. Research into the Sorento lead to finding some horror stories regarding these vehicles without self-levelling suspension (SLS). My 2012 Sorento KX-3 has SLS, so I cannot confirm or deny the stability issues with regard to instability of non-SLS Mark 2 Sorentos. I find our Sorento a lovely vehicle to drive as a tug and solo, and there's loads of room in the back for our two large dogs.
  10. In the mid-90s I took a HGV-1 to Stamford to make a shop delivery. In those days we mere drivers weren't allowed access to see the load until we got to the store. Anyway, it was very cold and the roads were covered in ice. The approach road to the store was cobbled and slick with ice, and just before the store is a 90 degree left turn. I went over to the right side of the road and started the left turn, the unit (truck) was now pointing in the right direction, but the trailer just wanted to go straight. My speed was such that I managed to go through all the 'what you should do's' and most of the 'what you shouldn't do's' before bouncing off a little Mini and coming to rest in a gutter. The young lady, whose car I hit, reckoned I was travelling at less than 1mph. The reason for the jack-knife? The loaders had put all the light pallets (cereals, tissues etc) at the front of the trailer (over the drive wheels) and the heavy ones (beer, water, canned food etc) at the back. Luckily, the whole incident was also witnessed by another driver, who happened to be a driving assessor, who confirmed there was nothing I could've done under the circumstances. Lesson? Simple, there are situations in which you do all the right things, but bad things still happen (early this century I had a Renault Safrane and one day I came to a very large puddle across the road, which other cars were successfully going through; so why not my large Renault? Did you know the Safrane's engine management computer is under the front passenger's seat and vents through the floor? I didn't, but I do now).
  11. Yes, I agree, but we must also look at the practicalities of the issue. There are numerous situations when clearing the snow off the roof of any vehicle is not possible, from having a disability that prevents you (of which I have not) to driving in a heavy snowfall. Okay, on reflection, I do clear the snow from the roof area of my car above the windscreen, so as to prevent it sliding down over the windscreen due to melt or my braking. If the police go around prosecuting everyone with snow on the roofs of their vehicles, then the revenue take will far exceed that of speed cameras, and grind to a halt large vehicle (bus as well as truck/van) traffic. The answer? I don't have one.
  12. 15 to 20lbs per cu foot (depending how compact etc it is), that'll be about two or three adults sitting on your roof. It'll up your caravan's centre of gravity a bit, but just take it easy. The only bit of my vehicle I clear snow from (apart from the windows) is the bonnet; having driven artics with several inches of snow on the trailer's roof, it's up to the drivers behind to be aware that 1] it's been/is snowing and 2] of possible hazards ahead. Otherwise no large vehicles will be allowed on the road following a snow storm (so where are you going to get your turkey's feet and chips from for Christmas day?).
  13. I tend to try to reverse onto pitches, if practicable. This is for two reasons: 1] to keep my reversing ability current, and 2] I am not too good at maneouvring my 'remote-control home'. If a site has conditions that MMs must be used, or they will park my van for me, all well and good. As and when fellow caravanners turn up and use their MMs to manoeuvre onto and off their pitches I do not think any worse of them; they would probably be able to teach me a thing or two about reversing! However, IMHO if you take to the roads you should be able to reverse; there are numerous circumstances when a car and caravan will have to be reversed to get out of the way, especially in an emergency, and the time taken to unhitch the 'van and manoeuvre it, using the MM, and then car out of the way may be critical. Just because someone has tugged a caravan for 50+ years and in that time never had to reverse on the highways, doesn't mean that the next time they're out and about this won't happen.
  14. Good point, Durbanite, but I'd like to be able to do both, at home and away. Also, when I purchased my caravan I planned to go where I wanted to go, and not where there was a Safefill-friendly LPG stockist. And, as others have mentioned, the websites showing stockists are out of date, so I can't even plan my away-days based on them.
  15. You're undoubtedly right, Andy, but the issue that Pebble and I have is with finding somewhere convenient to fill the things. I surmise that the fire reported earlier on in this topic was someone overfilling a conventional cylinder; therefore, would you risk your business and the lives of your staff and innocent customers by allowing Joe-public to fill cylinders willy-nilly? No, of course not. So, Safefill (the company) has to take the initiative get their products universally accepted by LPG suppliers. They must be losing out on hundreds, if not thousands, of customers by being so lax.
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