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AlwynMike

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Everything posted by AlwynMike

  1. Many years ago, when my van was stored in a farmyard, there was an attempted theft. Bear in mind the van was about 10 metres from the farmhouse, and in full view. The hitch lock and wheel clamp were chiselled off in short order - this is pre-battery grinder days. What stopped the van from going was a bit of tin that I'd bent to go over the corner steady thread under the van, with a couple of holes for a cheap padlock. Cost of a pound or two. Messy to put on and off though! Rather than the feeble security it displayed, it was something out of the ordinary, so they did a runner.
  2. Many garden tractors have towing attachments, but actually the "towball" is just mounted on a bit of tin. You may need to fabricate something that mounts to the chassis itself if your "towball" looks a bit weak. I refurbished a 15hp lawnmower for my son last year. I jacked it up on the tow hitch which looked substantial. It wasn't and started to bend 😀 Also bear in mind that most garden tractors have a belt drive from engine to transmission, so you may need to keep a spare belt in stock if it starts slipping. However, in principle, why not!! Give it a go.
  3. I'm personally not keen on this sort of thing. In my previous life, I worked on an offshore oil rig. Even though the oil Company are reaping in lots of money every day, everything is costed to the penny, cut down, costed again, cut down ad infinitum. The platform I was on - a large one - had to import water. We did have a desalination plant but it wasn't always available for various reasons. We did get through a lot of water - drinking, washing, cooking as well as use on the process plant. Circa 30 tonnes per day. The cost at the jetty was pennies, but then add transport and other costs (when the supply vessel was coming to us anyway - normally twice a week). Showering was the major water user, so a calculation was done to the effect that around 200 of these heads would pay for themselves in a few months. There wasn't 200 cabins, but there has to be a significant number spare because they are replaced fortnightly in each shower, cleaned, disinfected and put back to stock. The heads SOUND as if they are really powerful due to the air hole. But in use, it was found that guys (and girls) were spending longer in the shower because those that had hair couldn't rinse the soap out sufficiently. Plus, as we know, a strong hot shower works wonders for aching muscles, and the power just wasn't there any more. There were lots of complaints, but as it was a cost saving, nothing would be done about it. I cheated and bought a normal shower head from home and used that! I wasn't alone in this "trick" and being regular crew, we knew which Saturday the shower heads were being changed (heads one week, curtains the other 😊). Would I use one at home? No. Would I use one in the van? No. I find I can shower and hair wash quite comfortably without pause without running out of hot water. Just need to reheat the water tank before SWMBO has her shower.
  4. When I was working (I retired 2 years ago) my (diesel) car would often stand outside for 5 or 6 weeks and never fail to start, even in the winter. So maybe I'm a little laid back with it now. My concern is with one of my other cars, again a diesel, that is used for more mundane motoring. It has only done the shopping run into the town three times in three weeks. I know the battery is 8 years old. But if it fails to start, it fails to start. Not the first time it's happened. And it's not as if I NEED to go anywhere!
  5. Some chargers come with interchangeable ends - Croc clips, terminal eyes etc. Maybe that was what onewheelonmywagon was referring to.
  6. Ensure your socket IS permanent live, and doesn't go to sleep after 3 hours. Will you route the wire through an open window? (The car may not lock, or automatically close the window) Will you route the wire through the door? (Cable crimp on the door rubber) Don't forget to switch off your interior lights. From experience, the Lidl charger will stand being overloaded without producing smoke or blowing a fuse, but I'm thinking belt and braces. I used to use my lidl charger (I'm sad enough to have at least 3 of them!!) on my MG over winter, via the ciggy socket. I was often tripping over the wire, so I made up a plug for the towing socket (it's of an age where there is no fog light connection, but a permanent live instead). 4 weeks later, sitting in the MG, breathing unburnt hydrocarbons in the garage, annoying the neighbours with its straight through exhaust, I realised I'd started the car with the charger connected and on. No ill effects to either the charger or me!
  7. When I first scanned this, I thought you were backfilling the Calor with Moroccan gas. Good luck with that 😊 Stevan beat me to it otherwise. But the bottom line is cylinder outside to the BBQ point or cylinder in a partly open locker. Whichever is more convenient.
  8. ^^^ Me too. A loop held together with a couple of small cable ties. If needed in anger, the cable ties will break. The breakaway cable may kink at the loop, but I'd replace it anyway (there's a spare in the van's "man drawer")
  9. I have a Netgear and TP Link one. I don't live in a large house but being old, (the house as well!!) WiFi doesn't seem to get through many walls. So I have one at each end of the house which serves various mobile devices and still gives a good enough signal for my WiFi security cameras to operate. Changeover between base and each repeater (as well as 5GHz) seems seamless.
  10. If you're happy with the van otherwise, then keep it. There's no guarantee that the next van will be damp free. DIY repair fine. We had an old Swift that was moist when we bought it. We had many years use from it with no maintenance. If we kept one of the front curtains slightly closed, we couldn't see any damp. Open the curtain fully to reveal shrivelled wall covering, a big hole and rotting wood. Still someone was happy to pay us £400 for it!
  11. Yes, I saw your post flag up as I saved mine! Multimeter is the only practical way to check the charge. I would connect the van battery as normal, then as you do the fridge tests, put a voltmeter across the battery terminals. The voltage should rise as the engine runs. I would do this with the fridge switched off to eliminate any voltage drop caused by the fridge. Towbar fixing - you're probably right! There was a time - maybe it's still valid - that aftermarket towbar manufacturers recommended a torque check on the fixings after maybe 60 or 100 miles. I wonder how many people did???? My most recently fitted bars were of course a bumper off job, but I was able to get a spanner on half of the nuts with the bumper in situ. I decided that as half were still tight, the other half should be..... and if it did come loose, I'd hope I'd hear it before leaving a trail of destruction.
  12. If you have ATC, I'd check that self tests OK, and that the car has a suitably rated fuse to cope with ATC. I'd make sure the car 12v was getting into the van and working the 12v system (disconnect safely the van battery, then connect the car). If you, like me, a lot of motor moving before setting off, I may even check that the car is charging the van battery. Remember, the van battery isn't charged by the fridge supply - the fridge supply only activates the charging using the permanent 12v supply. The awning light trick with the engine running is a pretty good indication your habitation relay is operating. If you are paranoid......Check the towbar mounting bolts are the correct torque.
  13. Then there is the anomaly that MH's that are up to 2 years old will still have to pay the £465 tax for another few years. This may impact on the resale values, but of course that bears little relation to the economy in general.
  14. Trying to outrun PC Plod???
  15. If you have an alarm and/or a tracker, these will discharge the battery slowly, as will some fridge control systems. For a week or two, a charged leisure battery will cope with this though.
  16. Buying an inverter just to test is not really cost effective. Go to a local site with hook up for a night. Do your testing after you arrive, and get a crafty night away 😀
  17. Yes. I would always err on the side of safety. I'm not familiar with your van but 42psi seems low for a tyre that us running close to its maximum capacity - maybe a post in the Bailey section will find someone with either a van or handbook for you. If you go with GT radials again, my experience is that they are prone to premature sidewall cracking, even with little use. I would cover the wheels / tyres to protect from sunlight whilst not in use. I continue to use GT as they are the only manufacturer to produce a tyre of a suitable size and load rating for my van. Commercial vs Reinforced.... tyre companies tend not to use Commercial or C any more. Reinforced is the new word for the same thing!
  18. I detest thread resurrection. However, I am 90% certain that in the Westfalia blurb is recommends that the bar is stored I the "latched" position, rather than in the removable state. I can see that this is mechanical good practice as the springs are under less tension. I confess to doing this on my last 3 Westfalia bars. I'm factory fit electric now so doesn't apply.
  19. My eyesight hasn't improved, but is more than good enough to pass the DVLA test, even in the duff eye. That was my point in contacting DVLA in the first place. As said, I generally wear glasses for driving, but recently, riding my (enduro) bike in poor weather I've been putting the (safety) glasses in my pocket and just using the helmet visor which doesn't mist up as much and is easier to wipe clean.
  20. I'm sure more than a few of us have a code 01 on our driving licence - relating to having eyesight correction. There was a post on here recently (I failed with the search function, and the most relevant thread was 2 years old, and I detest thread resurrection) that said that the code was not binding on wearing glasses (or lenses) as long as the driver was able to pass the 20m number plate test. My eyesight in either eye is good enough to pass the legal test, but I do tend to wear glasses whilst driving (it's the only time I do - one eye is tremendous, the other a little weak). I must have put on an application form at some stage in the dim and distant past that I do wear glasses for driving. My concern now is if it is compulsory for me to wear correction whilst driving. I contacted DVLA this morning, and there was a useful link on the contact page about eyesight correction being removed from ones licence. This was duly clicked and I got an interesting automated reply... Thank you for your enquiry received on 25/2/2020. Your case reference number is xxxxxxx. You are not legally required to inform us if you have had a change in your eyesight which means you: no longer need to wear glasses now need to wear glasses while driving However, if there is an error on your driving licence you should return it to us with a signed covering letter explaining the situation. Time will tell if I get any other response
  21. Both my near neighbours have or have had vans. They both have very steep drives - probably similar to yours. Neither can get the van up the drive when hitched up due to the angle of attack to their drives. They have the nosewheel at its lowest move able position. One then has a wooden ramp as his drive is not square on to the road. They both motor up their drives with motor movers. Progress is slow, and often assisted by a push, but they both manage. One found that an 80Ah battery wasn't "man" enough to work the mover consistently. His 100Ah one did the trick. Thankfully, I don't have that problem - being on the opposite side of the road, my drive is relatively level to the road (which is, I think, about a 1 in 8). My issues come from the road being only wide enough for one car, and bounded by stone or brick walls. No footpath, and my drive splay to the road being such that I can't drive out with the car and van hitched up. If I was a better driver, I could probably reverse in, but it's easier to stop, unhitch and motor mover in. I can't get the van out "uphill" due to an extremely sharp bend and overhanging buildings! Ho Hum.
  22. You may get a more informed reply if you state what model X3 you have. Petrol or diesel. And what make of caravan you have, preferably with its MTPLM from the plate by the door. You may also get asked if you have a B+E licence too.
  23. Thanks for the update. Hopefully it will help someone else in your position. Don't even know if my alarm has a Test mode 😀
  24. Just bought a Nemesis. Used it for the first time this week. Not unexpectedly, I wondered to myself why on earth had I been messing about with the Alko lozenge for the last 5 years. Good in theory, but in practice, a right royal pain in the neck.
  25. Has the hinge itself broken or is it just the hinge pin? If it's just the pin, then tap out the two bits and replace it with a suitably sized rod - I think I used a piece of stripped mains wire when I broke the one on my old Swift.
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