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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. We both have 3 SIM cards in our phones, £15 a month with 12 Gb data, and you can take advantage of their "Go Binge" deal where Netflix and a few other streaming services can be used as much as you like and don't come out of your monthly allowance. We tether our iPads or laptop to the phones. Obviously dependent on getting a decent 3g or 4g signal, but as the OP suggests, our experience of CMC wifi is not great and I don't bother paying for it any more.
  2. Either a multimeter or a simple circuit tester will allow you to check the socket on your car. If you don't have a wiring diagram you should be able to find one easily enough via Google. The fridge for example should be pins 10 (+) & 11 (-) on the socket, but power will only be there with the engine running. Most towbar fitters will have a test rig that they can connect to the car to show that everything works as it should, but probably less likely that a car dealer might have one if you are ordering a car with a factory fitted towbar.
  3. In the UK we mostly use single pole switching - when you switch something off, you are disconnecting the live supply only. Many other countries use double pole switching, where both live and neutral are disconnected. In these countries, reverse polarity is not usually an issue, but if you take your UK caravan abroad and connect to a reverse polarity outlet, when you switch an appliance off, the live side is still live. In most situations, this will not necessarily cause a problem, but if something goes wrong, could be very dangerous. This is one of the reasons why you should never work on an electrical appliance unless it has been physically unplugged - although reverse polarity in the UK is not the norm, it does happen when an installer makes a mistake. A simple polarity tester costs very little and takes seconds to use.
  4. We've visited sites in all of the countries mentioned and now find most use the same blue plugs as here, although you do find the odd one using two pin connectors. As already mentioned, reverse polarity is common, so it is best to have a tester and a converter - you can make one easily enough yourself or buy one. One point worth mentioning, especially in Italy, is that you will often find very low current - the worst I remember was a site where you could barely run the fridge and a lightbulb!
  5. We too have an S3 Unicorn Valencia which overall we have been very pleased with. It did develop a leaky roof strap last year, but the leak was very minor and I think we were fortunate to have spotted it quickly. It was dealt with under warranty.
  6. It's amusing how we Talk about hoovering with a Dyson! Wonder how long it will be until people Talk about doing the dysoning instead of the hoovering? I would add my vote for the V8 however, excellent piece of kit for the house, car or caravan, although as said above, the battery doesn't last too long on max.
  7. I've done that of course, but at the last renewal I didn't find a major difference once you factored in like for like.
  8. I got the same email and went through their survey. That question about rolling up caravan insurance with your car insurance was interesting, although it would remain to be seen exactly what they mean and how that would work. Also interesting how they focussed on technology - cameras, trackers and black boxes - as ways of perhaps reducing premiums. I have insured through the CMC for a long time. It has always bugged me however that the premium for my caravan is about the same as we pay for our two cars. The cars have a combined value of more than 3 times that of the caravan, and they are on the road almost every day of the year, covering many times the annual mileage of the caravan. The caravan has a tracker (the cars don't), and is kept in a secure compound, security fence and locked gates, CCTV coverage and the owner's house at the only gate.
  9. I have a sim contract with 3 which includes what they call "Go Binge", which allows you unlimited use of a number of services, one of them Netflix. Basically means you can watch it as much as you like and it doesn't come out of your monthly data allowance. We watch Netflix on a laptop using my phone as a hot spot - assuming we get a decent phone signal.
  10. The socket for the car itself will just cost a few pounds, although it's worth getting decent brand rather than buying the cheapest you can find. Are you intending to replace it yourself or get the job done at a towbar specialist or auto electrician? If it is just the socket itself that is damaged and needing replaced, it's perfectly possible to replace it yourself if you have some idea of what you are doing. They can be a bit tricky due to the number of connections being made in a confined space, but as long as you are careful it's well within the scope of a competent DIY-er. If you are planning to get the job done for you it shouldn't take a pro too long and therefore shouldn't be too expensive. Depending on the damage to the existing socket, another option would be to buy a prewired socket with a length of cable already fitted, and make the connections inside your car.
  11. I'll be interested to hear what Bailey say about your tyres, if you get a reply. I have a 2015 Valencia, fitted from new with Michelin tyres and when I had it serviced a couple of weeks ago one of the tyres was showing signs of perishing - one tyre was dated 2014, the other 2015. Decided I might as well replace both so that from now on they will at least be the same age. I phoned a couple of tyre places and the response from both was that the size (185R14) is now pretty well obsolete and there is a limited availability in that size. Just had a look at Bailey's website and they still seem to be specifying that size on the 2019 model. I've managed to order a couple of tyres for now, but I asked the manager of one of the tyre centres what would happen if you couldn't get that size of tyre any longer and he said it might mean new wheels. I wouldn't be pleased if I was buying a 2019 caravan today and found out in 4 years (or less?) that the tyres were perishing, only then to discover I couldn't buy that size and would also need new wheels!
  12. I'll be interested to hear the outcome of this, if you ever get a reply from Bailey. I have a 2015 Valencia, also fitted with Michelin tyres. I had it serviced a couple of weeks back and the engineer reported that one of the tyres was perished - he also reported that one of the tyres was date coded 2014, the other 2015, the older one being the one showing signs of perishing. I've always replaced my caravan tyres after 5 years, never nearly worn of course, but neither showing any visible signs of perishing that I could see. I'd be particularly interested to hear what exactly was the spec of the tyres fitted to your caravan?
  13. On a 2010 Mondeo fitting a towbar involves removing the bumper and the towbar replaces the crash bar. It's a bit fiddly to set the torque on the left hand towbar member due to the position of the exhaust, but usually easy enough to drop that to allow access. All pretty straightforward and shouldn't take too long. £380 probably means a bypass relay for the electrics rather than a dedicated setup, but on that model that's not a great problem. It's an easy DIY fit on that car but if you're not happy doing it yourself I think the price quoted isn't too bad if it's all in.
  14. If any of us knew the answer to this one we'd be worth a fortune! We're off to Europe in May/June and I'm basically just taking the chance as far as the exchange rate goes. I usually reckon that unless you are spending a fortune short term variations in the currency rate are not so big that it makes a massive difference to the overall bill for the holiday. There's a chance that the next few weeks could prove that theory wrong, but I'm prepared to chance it. I usually use my Nationwide credit card as much as I can rather than cash when abroad as it usually gives a better rate than I can get for cash.
  15. I have a rear wheel drive auto as well, Mercedes E class. My car has staggered wheels, 265/35 18 on the back and 245/40 18 on the front, all Michelin summer tyres. As you say, not a lot of use in snow, which we do get a bit of here in Scotland. I have a set of wheels with winter tyre that I usually put on from end of October until end of March or so. They are 17 inch wheels with all 4 tyres the same size, 225/50 17 Goodyear Ultra. They make an amazing difference when the weather is bad. I live up a fairly steep hill with an even steeper drive up to the house, and the car makes it with no problem. We had snow the other day and I had no trouble getting up the drive, I'm sure I would have been stuck without the winter tyres. I can't say I've had any problems towing in summer, but then I haven't too often driven on grass.
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