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Fireman Iain

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About Fireman Iain

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    Over 100 posts

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  • Towcar
    Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Caravan
    Swift Kudos 530sb

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  1. On a good day, I can drive more or less indefinitely, I’ve had jobs where I’d regularly cover 800+ miles in a day. My longest day was about 1100 miles, and I’ve done that distance on a bike in about 16 -17 hours. I wouldnt fancy doing that with a caravan in tow, though at least with the van on the back it’s easy to stop and have a snooze if needed. If there is someone to split the driving with, I’d be tempted to do what Borussias mate is doing. Sole driver, I think it’s pushing it. While I can normally comfortably drive long distances, on a bad day, I can feel tired after less than an hour. And I never know whether it’s a good or bad day until the wheels have been rolling for a while. we’re off up to the Cairngorms in the morning, which’ll be about 400 miles, and I think that’ll probably be enough. Hopefully, not a bad day.
  2. I used to tow with my Freelander 2 and same layout Swift, albeit based on a lighter van, at various nose weights between 85-100kg with no problems. We've never had a problem with nose weights on our caravan and I have a fairly full gas locker. Neither car nor van seemed any different so long as I kept the nose weight sensible. I no longer worry about it, if I can lift the hitch comfortably, it’s about right.
  3. I was looking at this thread in the early hours at work, thinking to myself “I know my Jeep has a steel spare, but I can use it if I need it. But really, how likely is it to get a full puncture these days?” I’ve picked up a few punctures over the years, but never one that needed a spare, only ever been slow punctures that I could blow up and trundle to a tyre place for a repair. you know what’s coming, don’t you? While having a doze at home just now I get a call from Kay. Her Mini has flashed up a warning, saying tyre pressure dangerously low, pull over immediately. Only a few miles from home, so I took her my car so she could carry on to work, while I sort the Mini. Absolutely flat front NS, trying to inflate it I could hear air rushing out. Slightly to my surprise, the can of goo worked well enough to steadily bring it home. I’m taking it in for a new pair of tyres shortly as they’re fairly well worn on the shoulders. She’s changing the car soon, so I was hoping not to have to change them before the end of her contract. Thats a £280 lesson not to tempt fate......
  4. We used a written checklist on our first 2 or 3 trips away. Since then, we just set up and pack away pretty much without a second thought. Kay tends to sort the inside, while I do the outside. I might have a quick look around inside while I stow the step, but that’s as far as cross checking goes. Works for us.
  5. So now we all know what the thread is about and why these electric scooters can’t be used on roads or paths. My main point earlier was that these are being used across Europe to provide cheap, zero emission mass transport. Kay’s recently been on a work trip to Barcelona, and apparently there are hordes of them being used by everyone from sharp dressed local businessmen to tourists. And they’re widely available as an app based rental, a bit like Boris bikes, but electrically powered. In this country we make a big deal of reducing congestion and emissions in cities, promoting public transport, cycling and electric cars. I can’t see why these scooters shouldn't play a part in that. But no, we are stuck in the past, with no forward thinking or acceptance of another element of a modern transport solution.
  6. It was blindingly obvious to me what the OP referred to. Its interesting that our ‘eco friendly’ politicians have banned their use other than on private land. As an environmentally friendly means of personal mobility within cities these scooters are leagues ahead of electric cars, and would reduce congestion. They’re widely used in cities across Europe, with several places having a cheap app based rental service. Not without some controversy, it’s true. Folding versions could easily be carried on trains, unlike ebikes, making life easier and quicker for commuters across the land. Cheaper than most ebikes too.
  7. No appeal at all. Surely a pickup needs to be big, tough and versatile to be any use. And that looks to be none of those. I’m not a fan of any of the ones sold in the UK, but I do like the Ford F-150 Raptor. At about 8 feet wide and over 19 feet long it’s probably not the most practical thing to use in the overcrowded UK, but it’d be a lot of fun. I do tend to prefer big vehicles though, my dream toy would be an old V8 Mack Superliner in rhd imported from Australia.
  8. I know oil and engine technology has improved enormously, but 36000 miles seems to me to be a big ask. No matter what the manufacturer suggests, I change oil and filters a lot more frequently than that. I do tend to keep my cars and bikes a long time though, so the cost of a couple of gallons of oil is trivial over time. That said, my current car is still fairly new, so still in warranty, and the recent near £800 service bill from a franchised dealer was an unpleasant shock, it’ll be going to an independent Jeep specialist in future.
  9. You're wrong. For some vehicles, trailer weight can definitely exceed 100% of vehicle weight. But if we suppose you were right, could you tell me why according to it’s plate, my car has a GVW of 2949 yet has a GTW of 6449kg? For the OP, should he choose to revisit a thread that is almost 10 months old and not yet have decided what to do, in my opinion, towing a slab sided trailer like a caravan is very different to towing a low sided agricultural trailer with a lower centre of gravity. I’m lead to believe that some insurers only allow a maximum caravan to car ratio of 100%.
  10. I’m not an electrician, but there’s 2 possibilities that occur to me. If you’re tripping the circuit breaker on the site bollard, you’re overloading the supply. Sites can often deliver much less current than your caravan can try and use, especially if you have several high load appliances on at the same time. Or, if it’s the breaker in the caravan, that would point to a fault with the microwave itself. Which seem to be quite common in microwaves fitted to caravans.
  11. Welcome. Your gross vehicle weight is on a sticker normally found on the inside doorframe of the drivers door. I seem to remember it’s on your V5 too. There are 4 weights, the first is your gross vehicle weight or GVW. The others are maximum train weight (car plus trailer), then front and rear axle weight limits. If the total of the GVW and your caravans 1338kg MTPLM adds up to even 1 kg over 3500kg, then you WILL need B+E. These are plated maximum weights, not actual weights on the road, so they are easily checked at the roadside. If you don’t conform, you’re driving without a licence for that class of vehicle and will invalidate your insurance. It’s not worth the risk. Fortunately, extra training never hurt anyone and gaining B+E is not too expensive or difficult. And it opens your options now and in the future.
  12. When I’ve turned up early I’ve been made to wait for my booked crossing, been allowed on the next crossing with no issues and also been allowed on the next boat, but had to pay extra. So I don’t think there’s a hard and fast rule, I imagine it’s down to space, cost of crossing and possibly the person on the booth.
  13. OP seems to be dissatisfied on a cost basis, judging by his list. If if that’s all it is, it can’t be hard to work out how many nights you spend away, or your fixed costs. Figure out a cost per night, then work out how much you would spend on an alternative accommodation. You’d need to include flights, parking and hire cars, or ferry and toll charges. If if it works out more cost effective, and that’s your sole motivator, happy days, sell up and move on. For us, having only had a caravan for 3 years or so, we prefer the caravan over any alternative accommodation. It’s ours, it’s reliably clean, we sleep in our own bed, we can eat in or out to suit ourselves, it’s more flexible and spacious than a B&b, etc, etc. And without a shadow of a doubt, we get far more nights away per year since we’ve bought it. We both loath the hassle of flying, but we will still do it to visit places we cannot sensibly visit any other way.
  14. I’ve no particular preference either way. I do like my 3 litre V6 diesel, but I don’t particularly like the £120 it costs me to fill up. If an EV alternative becomes available, with a sensible range, and similar performance and towing ability, say 300+ miles, plus, crucially, the ability to ‘fill up’ in 5 minutes or so, then I’d be happy to buy one. So long as it was a similar price up front. As things stand, the ‘fill up’ time and upfront costs rule out EV’s as a practical solution for most users. Hybrids seem like a blind alley to me, minimal range on battery, and desperately inefficient on petrol (lugging all the electric about). I just dont see the future in EV. How many cars can fill up at a typical petrol station? maybe 10. And they’re there for 5 minutes, tops. How many charging stations can be provided, and at what cost to allow EVs to recharge in a sensible timescale? At home overnight charging is ok for the privileged among us who have a drive, but not so good for anyone who parks on street. Unless there’s a charging point every 20 feet, which seems unlikely, and no doubt ridiculously costly. Maybe charging points could be provided 2 or 3 per street, but once a car is parked up for the night and plugged in, it’s gonna stay there all night. Who is going to get up at 0300 to disconnect and move their car to allow someone else to plug in? Even if charging issues can be overcome, I don’t see how the infrastructure can be put in place to allow anything close to our current POV use. How many households have multiple cars these days? Where does the power come from? We’re running scared from nuclear, renewables aren’t reliable or efficient enough, so it seems we’re relying on burning fossil fuels. Just like IC engines do. I hope I’m wrong. I look forward to the day I can plug my 2 ton EV in at home, expect it to run for a few hundred miles for a nominal cost, then recharge it in 5 minutes and continue my journey. But just I don’t see it at the moment.
  15. Dirty friction pads? mine can go from all but silent to groaning like somethings about to break off in a very short time. Last trip was quiet driving up, and so bad coming home 3 days later I got the spanners out cos I thought the towbar must be coming loose from the car. A good clean with brake cleaner sorted them.
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