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About Johnathome

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    Over 100 posts

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  • Towcar
    Audi Q7
  • Caravan
    Hymer Eriba Nova S620

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  1. We have a March 2017 Hymer Nova S 545 - been really happy with it, but have an ongoing warranty problem with the cream  high gloss table and the high gloss basin surround.  Both have developed a crackling appearance under the clear surface, severely disfiguring them.  Going back to the dealership to be replaced for the second time.  It seems it a fault in the materials, and I can’t help feeling it’s just going to fail again.  Just wondered if you had the same type of finish in your S620, and if you’d had a similar problem?  If it’s a known fault, then I’m hopeful of a better outcome.

  2. I have an Audi Q7 with the factory fit retractable tow bar.. when working up the order with Audi I picked up potential incompatibility problems with the tow assist sensing ring from the internet - it may have been this forum but I can’t remember. I informed the dealer that I would cancel the order if they couldn’t give me written assurance it was Ok. I finally received the confirmation from both Audi and Alko so carried on with the purchase. I’ve since had no problems other than the top friction pad breaking but I think that was down to me.
  3. The car will take 140kg but the hitch is maximum 100kg, hence my adjusting to as close as I can to the 100kg
  4. I arrived at Kingsbury water park recently after an uneventful 250 mile trip and whilst un-coupling the hitch the front / rear friction pad fell out in bits. Fortunately, I carry a spare friction pad set and the local mobile engineer was on the ball so it was all fixed. Since I also had the side pads I got them changed as well. The van is a year old and has done approximately 4600 miles. It's heavy - 2500kg - and I keep the nose weight as close to 100kg as I can. One other thing that worries me slightly is the factory fit tow bar on the Q7. It has an encoder ring built into the ball providing information to the car for stabilising and when reversing. There was an issue when I purchased the vehicle concerning the possible incompatibility with Alko hitches as I had heard that both Audi and Alko had stated that it was not compatible. I stopped the order process until the question was resolved with written confirmation from both parties but it doesn't stop me worrying. There were grooves on the side pads where they were making contact with the encoder ring recess but no other signs of problems other than the disintegrated front/rear pad. so, any thoughts? What friction pad life can be expected? The engineer suggested routinely, during the annual service, changing the pads considering the annual mileage.
  5. Try Meteoblue. com. Very comprehensive weather site for just about anywhere.
  6. Couldn't fault my Touareg, a superb tow car. It pulled my 2500kg van effortlessly. Regrettably, when it was up for replacement the Touareg production line had stopped to change over to the latest model. With a 3500kg tow requirement I whittled the choice down to Audi, BMW and, if necessary, Disco. I've had a Disco in the past and not been happy with it. Wasn't happy with the BMW response so it was Audi, although there was almost a show stopper with the smart tow bar. That sorted, I now have a V6 3 litre Q7 and it is every bit as good, no better, than the Touareg. Fuel consumption is slightly better at mid 40s solo long haul and 22-24 towing. My Touareg had standard suspension but the Audi has air suspension which is superb. The level of engineering on the German vehicles seems to be light years ahead of the alternatives. My son has a Range Rover which looks smart, oozing bling, but put the RR next to the Audi then open the bonnets and the difference is immediately apparent. Everything under the Audi bonnet is extremely well laid out and tidy. The RR on the other hand is messy as if hurriedly crammed in and not quite finished.
  7. When we do this route we get an afternoon tunnel crossing and stay just outside of Calais at Hotel Bal, this is a small site in the hotel car park and worth booking just to be sure of a pitch. Dinner in the hotel is nice as well. Care needed for the route to the village as one way takes you through an almost impossible arch over the road, the other way is no problem. Then, early start and straight down to Poitiers the Futurist. We stay on the toll roads so generally make good progress. From Poitiers to Urrugne - virtually the last place before Spain - and we stay at Larrouleta. A nice site and like The Futurist, no need to book. From Urrugne there are two routes, one through or round Madrid if going to the south in which case we stop at Pico which is just north of Madrid and the other is via Zaragoza if heading for the Murcia area.
  8. Any suggestions for the best over winter Spanish site, I have a short list of must haves which regrettably the site we've used for the past two winters fails on a couple of points. So, here's the list. There has to be a good dog walk on or adjacent to the site. We've got spaniels so scrub, bushes, trees and the odd furry or feathered thing to chase are what they like rather than beach walking (I think they suffer from agraphobia). Last year one of them set off after ducks and was halfway to Morocco before the ducks turned round and came back. Also on the subject of dogs, there has to be a reasonable supply of grass. I think they've been watching the sheep in the neighbouring field at home too long and are convinced they need a daily grazing! A sheltered position without being constantly sandblasted and having to carry out constant re- pegging to prevent stuff being blown away. A large pitch with full services and space for car and awning. Regularly cleaned and functional toilet and shower facilities. Reliable internet connection (quite happy to pay for a good connection as I spend most of my time working) We don't need bars or shops on site although a basic restaurant is handy. Suggestions most welcome.
  9. We have been through that many windbreaks and despite various mods to try to make them work in the wind I gave up. We have left the last one in Spain where we have a small storage facility but I think this one will work and the one in Spain will get put in the bin. The netting is only permanently attached to three sides so the frames all stack under one of the beds and the netting is scrunched up to one end so the middle of the stack of frames can be used for storage. The only problem now is to convince one of our bossy spaniels to stop barking at passers by (well dogs really) because she can now see everything unlike a windbreak. Windbreak - very apt name - they do break in the wind other than maybe a Corveva (yep, had one of them as well) but they are monstrous.
  10. We have the panorama and it is a fairly impressive bit of kit and a dream to put up. However, as standard it does tend to flap around a bit in the wind with all the flat panels. I have carried out mods to it to add additional upright poles and incorporated zipped sleeves to keep the canvas tight to the poles. This makes a tremendous difference and my next job is to add exterior purlins to the roof. I have seen this done on a site in Spain where it is extremely windy, it stops the roof flapping and keeping you awake at night and works a lot better than adding straps over the roof.
  11. Regrettably, the memory is not as good as it was and I've been to bed a few times since I installed it. The camera is supplied with a short cable long enough to pass through the van and some. The extension cable connects to this and runs behind everything up to the front of the van where it connects to the transmit aerial. They supply double sided tape patches so I used one to fix the aerial to the shelf at the front. I've just had a look and there are two cables entering the aerial, one is the coax running back to the camera and the other is the 12v cable which I connected via a fuse to the fridge circuit. My battery and system control is quite near the front so not far to run back with the 12v cable from the aerial. It was surprisingly easy to install once I had overcome the crisis from drilling the hole for the camera cable. Despite checking and checking again then checking again after a small pilot hole I went straight through the driving light cables that were concealed below the surface (why do they do that?) 4 in total, all damaged and 2 broken requiring a soldering iron, extra cable and heat shrink sleeving. No pain, no gain.
  12. We have a Hymer Nova S620 which is 2. 4m wide and 8. 3m long. We are currently on a North Devon Campsite having negotiated the usual narrow Devon roads with overhanging trees. Things can be a little tight on occasions but the solution is to take your time and let the queue formed behind you overtake by pulling in available lay-bys when possible. We also travel down to Southern Spain by way of Eurotunnel. France and Spain are a walk in the park compared to some Uk destinations.
  13. I tried a totally wireless reversing camera but it couldn't reliably cope with the distance ending in a blank screen, usually when you needed it the most, also the image quality and refresh rate wasn't that good. But, it made me realise the benefits of a rear view/reversing camera so I set to sourcing a better quality kit. I bought the premium DW58 kit from Parking Cameras together with a 10 m extension cable for the camera. The camera is mounted above the high level brake light with the cable passing through the back of the van into the top locker area. The cable is then fed behind all the cupboards etc to the very front of the van behind the seating, where a small transmitter aerial is sited. The supply is picked up from the 12v fridge circuit so the camera is automatically live when the car is coupled and the engine running (no switching on and off to think about). The monitor with receiving aerial fitted to the top fits on the dashboard ventilation grill with a small plastic bracket made using a 3D printer so no vacuum bases to drop off or get in the way. The as supplied wiring harness for the monitor and receiving aerial is a bit bulky as it has leads with sockets for 3 cameras together with wires for switching between cameras. Apparently, they have a project on the go to supply a simpler single camera harness. I decided to get a second harness and strip off all the appendages, shortening it in the process and linking in the supply to my Tyrepal monitor. If I made a mess off it I could sling it in the bin and continue to use the supplied one. The mods worked although very fiddly with tiny coax cables and a potted terminal section to fathom. The results are superb and the picture quality is first class.
  14. John

    Is it possible to give you a call I'm up in Ayr and looking at buying S620

    1. Johnathome


      I'd be happy to talk with you about the S620.  Are you available on the number you gave me tomorrow morning?

  15. I have been using the tyrepal external TPMS valves for some time but got fed up with the fiddling around to take them off for inflating the tyres. Last time round one actually disintegrated as I was trying to unscrew it. Also, they do introduce a potential leak source as the have to press the inner valve stem to release pressure to the sensor then rely on a seal achieved by screwing the valve onto the end of the valve stem. . The latest type are small but the downside is that the signal range is limited due I guess to having to downsize the batteries. On larger caravans this means you will need a signal repeater - not a big issue but something else to sort out (I had mine plugged into the rear 12v socket in the car but then wired it into the 12v supply to the fridge making it active only when towing) Eventually, I decided to ditch the external sensors and go for the internal ones. Much better, no faffing about to check tyre pressures or inflate and with a potential 5 year life should be ready to replace when the tyres need changing.
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