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Fireman Iain

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About Fireman Iain

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  • Towcar
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    Swift Kudos 530sb

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  1. Fireman Iain

    Thetford fridge not freezing or very cool

    Is this any help. I think we’ve the same type as you, in a 2016 dealer major4 sb.
  2. Fireman Iain

    Filling your fridge

    We find that having a full fridge transferred from the kitchen at home works best for us. With a bit of frozen meat or milk in there it stays cool for the longest journeys we’ve done, about 8-9 hours without needing to be switched on in advance. And we dislike food shopping at home, that’s what online shopping is for, so bringing 4 or 5 days of food with us minimises the shopping trips we have to do while we’re on holiday.
  3. Fireman Iain

    New Design Caravan.

    Stevan, I know what you mean, but where’s the imagination in current caravan design? The basic structure has barely ever changed, beyond mild evolution. But the onboard facilities might as well be from a different planet from 40 years ago. How could a 70’s caravanner imagine domestic style central heating, or an air conditioned caravan. Let alone tech that hadn’t been invented, such as led lighting, ATC or satellite tv, which so many people now have. All the innovation, if you can call it that, is in adding internal features to a flexible box built on an ancient 2 rail chassis. Little wonder they’re so much heavier than they need be and so many leak.
  4. Fireman Iain

    New Design Caravan.

    As it’s a strong monocoque, none of the internal fittings need add strength. The furniture could be lightweight and moulded and integrated and strong. With a bit of computer wizardry it could be 3D printed to each customers requirements. A complete, one piece unit that provides seating and storage at the front. A one piece shower cubicle. Bed frames in whatever size or shape you want. Why not? You want a double width door and space to store 2 bikes inside while travelling? No problem, brackets can be integrated into the floor so they can’t move about. You then want the fixed bed to rise from the underfloor, when you remove your bikes, or surfboards (or mobility scooter if you’re a bit older than me) Or the beds can fold like a concertina out from one side? Of course. The kitchen can have an oven, or not, a microwave, or not. It could be accessed from outside the van as well as inside with a fold up canopy for cooking alfresco. The van already has a built in compressor for the air suspension, so an air awning can be integrated into the body, just needing deploying and inflating at the touch of a button. Think big and have wild ideas.
  5. Fireman Iain

    New Design Caravan.

    This thread started well, nice one Ern, but people aren’t showing any imagination. Discussions about blinds and showers? Come on, imagine, you’ve got a blank piece of paper, never mind boring stuff, what would you do? I’d design a lightweight composite monocoque body, which would be easily scaleable for different lengths. It could have slide outs to add length, width or height. Windows would be flush fitting, and roll up into the bodywork, rather than being pushed out of the side. It’d have integrated independent air suspension, so the airbags could be dropped on setting up, giving automatic levelling and no big step up into the van. There’d be electronically activated hydraulic brakes with an integrated stability platform. There would be small electric motors built into the hubs to use as movers, weighing next to nothing. And thats just the outside.
  6. Fireman Iain

    CL site recommendations for Devon, please

    Don’t know if you’re C&CC members too, but we’re on a gorgeous CS at the moment. https://www. laneendcampingdevon. com/ Very spacious, stunningly landscaped site, all serviced pitches. There’s plenty of quiet lanes to cycle and not far to Bideford and the Tarka trail. No walks direct from site but Clovelly and the peaceful and pretty Hartland peninsula are nearby.
  7. Fireman Iain

    Home storage

    With a modern house and it’s correspondingly small drive, we’ve got no choice but to store ours remotely. It does fit, just, but I haven’t got space to open the garage door, never mind park the car on the drive. I bring it home to clean, as I am today, and for loading up before trips. We’re fairly lucky, our storage place is less than 3 miles away on decent roads, so picking it up and dropping it off is no great hardship.
  8. Fireman Iain

    Is tyre rotation advisable?

    I think it depends on the awd system. Some, such as the Haldex fitted to my freelander2 are known to be sensitive to differences in tyre diameter and hence circumference. So, the recommendation is normally to change all 4 tyres at the same time, to avoid having slightly larger diameter tyres on one end of the car. I find the fronts wear quicker than the rears, they do most of the driving, braking and scrub the shoulders slightly due to steering. So I swap mine as below once a year at service time to balance them out. https://www. blackcircles. com/general/tyre-rotation
  9. Fireman Iain

    Restore paintwork

    Caravan paint is pretty thin so don’t try any aggressive compounds. A good polish ( I use meguiars or autoglym super resin polish) will lift the oxidised paint and bring up a good shine. Polish does just that, if you don’t protect with a wax or sealant, the paint will soon dull again. I follow the polish with a paint sealant to protect the hard work. I’ve been using autoglym again, but I can’t remember the name. Something like extra gloss protection. If you’re doing it by hand, you’ll need plenty of elbow grease, it’ll take most of a day. An orbital polisher makes life easier with minimum risk of burning the paint. Rotary polishers will cut paint defects more effectively, but need skill, there’s a real risk of burning the paint irreparably. I quite enjoy the process, I’ll be doing our Swift on Friday before we head off to Devon for a fortnight on Saturday. I use a good body shampoo with a clay mitt prior to polishing to lift any heavy surface contamination.
  10. I cant agree with that. The worst situation for springs has to be to be kept under tension all the time. And the best has to be fully relaxed. Minimal stress and loading. Where springs are left under stress they’re normally overspecified, car (caravan) suspension, or as previously mentioned, valve springs and they’re designed for the task. And extensively tested. My collection of watches includes automatics, which I keep wound almost all of the time, on a winder if needed, and a manual wind, which is allowed to relax between infrequent wearing. My automatics are worth keeping going as I wear them both so regularly, my manual Panerai only gets worn a handful of times a year. Neither type suffers. I've had various discussions with specialist horologists and seen several discussions on watch forums over the pros and cons, but they’re to do with the benefits of keeping the escapements moving and lubricated, rather than anything to do with spring tension. Back on topic, I doubt caravan blinds are anywhere near as highly specified, leaving the springs relaxed wherever possible is almost sure to improve their longevity. Although whether caravans last long enough to make a difference could also be up for debate.
  11. Fireman Iain

    Hi from the colonies

    I’ve not seen that vid before, and I do like watching that sort of thing on YouTube. Have you seen what the Gall boys do in Australia with a much bigger twin axle caravan? This is one of their latest.
  12. Fireman Iain

    Cadiz1 toilet trouble trouble need urgently

    I’m no expert, and stand to be corrected, but I was messing around with ours last week. So, for what it’s worth. .... The pump or pcb are the most likely culprits. And/or the inline fuse, there will be one. With the caravan on 12v, switch on some lights and operate the flush switch. If the lights dim, you’ve got power all the way through to the pump, which can be prone to seizing. In that case you’ll need to access the pump, which on our Swift is inside the cistern, accessed from the panel underneath the flush switch. When you take the pump out you’ll see the impeller, which should turn freely. If not, a squirt of maintenance fluid, and a wiggle with a screwdriver will free it. If the pump has seized it may have blown the inline fuse. There will be an in-line fuse, as far as I know, they’re normally in the cassette compartment, and are prone to corrosion. Check/replace as needed, bearing in mind that if the pump has seized, it may well have blown the fuse. A good clean with electrical contact cleaner will help if it’s just corrosion. If not, the only other culprit is going to be the pcb under the flush switch, which is also prone to corrosion. You can check for power to the pcb, if no power, it points back to the fuse, if there is power, I think you’d have to try a new pcb. The reed switch you refer to is found on another pcb in the back of the cassette compartment, it’s hidden behind a removable (2screws) panel at the back in ours. As far as I know, it doesn’t affect the flush, and is there to recognise a full cassette and light up the led on top of the cistern. Also prone to corrosion. The thetford website has exploded diagrams of the different models, and there’s some YouTube videos as well which I found helpful. If if you don’t get it sorted immediately, a watering can kept in the bathroom can be used to flush for this break.
  13. Fireman Iain

    1st time buyer concern

    OP started another thread a few days ago. The caravan he was looking at in this one was sold before he got a chance to view it. He was considering a stolen/recovered in his new thread, quite a few folk, me included, thought that might be a bad idea.
  14. Fireman Iain

    Refund ?

    It’s simple enough. You want to secure a pitch so you book ahead. The site takes some money off you as a sign of your commitment. A few weeks goes by and they may have to refuse other potential customers, knowing that you’re coming. At the last minute, for whatever reason, you change your mind about going. So the site owner, although keeping your 25 quid has still lost money overall. You or another potential customer would have earned them more than 25 quid over a full holiday. If they are able to relet the pitch, happy days for them. If if you don’t want to pay a deposit, you could just turn up on spec and risk being turned away. Even though you reiterate it’s low season, you obviously thought the site could be full, else why book at all? Or you could choose a site which doesn’t take a deposit. In in the past, I’ve had a discussion with the CCC over a cancelled booking due to a broken wrist and torn ankle ligaments and did get my deposit refunded. Although I accept they did not have to do so.
  15. Fireman Iain

    Failed battery, bit of advice needed.

    Thanks again all. I’ve checked the new battery again today, bang on 13v in bright conditions, but not full sun. Bit unlucky with the battery failing after after only two and a bit years, but I have made the mistake of letting it go fully flat on a couple of occasions.