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About PeteG

  • Rank
    Over 100 posts
  • Birthday 13/10/1952

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  • Gender
  • Location
  • Interests
    Golf, Caravan, Travel
  • Towcar
    Mercedes Benz E350 Bluetec Premium Plus Estate
  • Caravan
    Bailey Unicorn Valencia 3

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  1. I had this update done on my E350 a few months ago and like others was wary, having read of reduced power and mpg and changed characteristics of the auto gearbox, suggesting that the car would not get in to 9th gear at legal road speeds. I have a Mercedes service plan for the car and I knew the update would be done anyway next time it was in for a service, so I went ahead anyway. I can't say I have noticed any great difference. The car still does an average of just over 40mpg, no noticeable difference in power, and it still hits 9th gear at about 60 mph on a level road. Recently been on a
  2. I would think that when most people (me included!) say this, they are not actually forgetting that they have a caravan on the back of their car, but rather that it is being towed in a stable, controlled manner, and the car has enough power to pull the caravan at a decent speed even when going uphill. If by "knowing it's there" you mean that you prefer the feeling of instability when the caravan sways on the back of your car, or crawling up a hill in low gear because your car is underpowered relative to the caravan you are towing, then it's probably you who shouldn't be towing.
  3. I have the same setup as you, a steep drive and a long caravan that tends to ground on the road as the jockey wheel hits the slope. I made a couple of long ramps from sturdy plywood, the idea being to prevent the wheels going down in the gutter. That worked fairly well. The other thing that helped was buying the smallest diameter jockey wheel I could find, so that I can get the front of the caravan as low as possible, helping to reduce the likelihood of the back grounding. Not sure if they would do enough to solve your problem, but worked for me.
  4. Definitely would not recommend trying to spray over the damage. Aside from the issue of matching the colour, even if you have the exact same colour, achieving an invisible repair is not easy if you have never done it before. If you can source the correct paint, it might be worth speaking to a local body shop or a mobile repairer such as Chips Away. The reflector suggestion is worth thinking about as well, but probably depends on where on your panel the damage is.
  5. Yes, it definitely wouldn't be possible to leave it attached when travelling. Pete
  6. We've got one of these as well, as you say just an oblong of fabric and three poles. Weighs very little and takes up very little space. As long as you can handle feeding it through the awning rail - which isn't too hard at all due to the light weight - it's a dawdle to put up. Can do with extra guy ropes when it's windy, but very effective at giving some shade when needed.
  7. As said already, if it was that small and that easy to fix, why hasn't it been done? Walk away!
  8. We're visiting a CMC site next week. Don't plan on using the toilet block at all, we'll use the caravan. On a serviced pitch so no hassle with water or drainage, just the toilet cassette to empty.
  9. I don't think there's any great problem using a ladder as described above, with or without the forms of protection mentioned. As long as the ladder is placed as steep against the caravan as you can safely use it, almost all of your weight is being transferred downwards to the ground rather than against the awning rail of the van. I wouldn't use the ladder against the aluminium side of the van, but for many years, on several vans, I have placed my ladder against the awning rail, without using my wife's slippers or anything else, and haven't had any problems. Just take care when placing the l
  10. How times have changed! I remember when cars needed serviced every 3000 miles, engines were knackered after 50 or 60 thousand miles, and cars literally fell apart with rust. Now we have cars that will happily run for 150K miles plus, with servicing only every 20K miles, and when is the last time you saw a really rusty car? It won't be rust or a dead engine that will scrap your car now, but computer problems, lack of software updates or the like.
  11. We have a steep drive and long caravan. As said earlier, the main problem is not the actual steepness of the drive but the change in angle between the roadway and drive that causes the problem. I made two ramps from plywood to go from the road to the drive, the intention being to lift the wheels of the caravan slightly and mitigate the risk of grounding. I also bought the smallest diameter jockey wheel I could find so that I could lower the front of the caravan as much as possible. This worked fine and allowed us to get the caravan up the drive. As we live on a road that is an
  12. Mail delivery generally seems to be a bit erratic at the moment. We've posted cards second class to our daughter that arrived the next day, yet other items that I know have been posted first class to me have taken over a week.
  13. Same here, I've been topping up our batteries while the cars have been sitting largely unused for the past 5 weeks. One car is 5 years old, the battery on that car (Mercedes) seems to hold up a lot better than the other car (Ford) which is only 6 months old. Ironically, the best charged battery of the lot is in our caravan, where the solar panel on the roof keeps it charged.
  14. Modern cars are often very sensitive to reduced battery voltage and if you suddenly get warning messages about various system errors it is always worth checking the battery status first before looking at anything else. This will be happening a lot, not just with VAG but with almost any make, as our cars are sitting around doing much less mileage than normal for many of us. Remember that when your car is parked up unused for a while, it is not "off" as such - alarms and other systems are using power all the time, thus depleting the battery.
  15. Drove past Perthshire Caravans yesterday and thought it looked very quiet but didn't realise they had actually closed. Understandable I suppose - can't imagine anyone buying a caravan at the moment, and those of us who do have them are unlikely to be using them in the near future and therefore won't be needing much in the way of accessories. I had my caravan serviced last Friday. Needn't have bothered!
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