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About Richard_Y

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    Over 100 posts

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  • Gender
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  • Interests
    Music, storytelling, outdoors.
  • Towcar
    Volvo v70
  • Caravan
    Rapido Club 32T Evolution, made in 2000

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  1. OK, a bit off topic, but that was always a firm rule with tents too for us. Still remember seeing he & she turning up on a W Pembrokeshire coastal site, he keen to impress his new woman friend with how much fun, and romantic, camping was when he was a younger chap. They'd got their Halfords tent straight from the bag, no trial at home. So when there was a missing pole, a faulty zip, and then gales chucking the Atlantic at us all night we woke to find a wordless couple grimly finishing the packing to head back to the midlands. I suspect the relationship might not have been off to a good start!
  2. Do you detect a consensus here? Thoroughly agreeing with the "leave it behind" crew. Why make your first trip more hard work? It'll be fun getting used to the routines of the 'van, and having some time to relax in it. Mind, we regard ours as an accessory for those rare occasions when we need more space for the family to visit, otherwise it stays at home. Not because it's a big caravan, it's not, but one of the reasons for moving from tents was being tired of taking down large amounts of wet fabric and having to dry it somewhere. Enjoy your trip and all the subsequent ones, with or without!
  3. Low tech plastic scraper, and decent coat and gloves while getting warmer by using it vigorously!
  4. Changed nearly 4 years ago from a gorgeous tent to our first caravan, mainly because my wife's back stopped liking floor sleeping, and because with retirement beckoning it would extend our season, even though it's significantly smaller than the tent! First 'van, now 19 years old, bought at the time. No intention of changing unless it suffers serious failure because it does pretty well what we want, we don't want the expense either, and we love it dearly. Would hope to change for another the same if we had to, assuming we could still find a decent one.
  5. Our caravan is only 5m from hitch to back plate, and has a fairly low payload but I'm aware it's more skittish when collecting from storage, so not laden with stuff we add at home, and settles down better when nearer its official limit. In contrast to Commander Dave's comment about putting gas bottles at the back, I have to work to keep the nose heavy enough. But I did wonder about the guy we saw in Scotland earlier this year loading his medium sized 'van with not just awning & poles but the chairs, table, solid looking barbecue, 3 bikes and a whole stack of crates of stuff, piled high inside. He had a whacking great pick-up truck, seemingly fairly empty, but I'd hazard a guess the van wouldn't have passed any weighbridge checks.
  6. I used to work with a couple who regularly parked their caravan at Eng. Heritage castles while doing events, so they towed it all over the country full time for months. He admitted to me having once thought he'd hitched up, set off up the M1, only to pause an hour or so later at services and find the van hitch was sitting on the ball but not clamped. Could have been far worse than what happened to you, though luckily it stayed on in his case. Not a mistake he'd make again, either!
  7. And of course none of us here has ever ever ever done such a silly thing, have we now.... wot, me???
  8. Cabanons make lovely tents, don't they, Babstreefern? We once had a frame tent by them ( which like all frame tents, took too much space in the car) then their Pyramide, last of all their Biscaya, a tunnel tent, which was glorious, shrugged off harsh weather, and was way more spacious than our 'van! We didn't get into folding campers/trailer tents, having spent too many hours packing wet canvas over the years, ( I started camping in the 1960's), between holiday camping and heavy medieval tents while working on heritage sites. And like you, all that camping experience was something we found a real advantage. Yes to caravans being more expensive in upkeep.... though I suspect our venerable little one possibly takes less outlay than some newer ones? I still found it a real learning curve with ours having such technology as it does, let alone all the aircon, heating, entertainment systems etc in more recent models! But all those years in tents probably means we're happy with less tech, so less to go wrong. Jacko1's right, yes, answers to questions on this forum have been a gold mine, no matter how stupid I sometimes felt posting them! (And will probably continue to post ) Good luck, Richard
  9. I noted on mine, before it headed for the recycling bin, that it specifies the tether is not to arrest a fall, just to restrain your movements. Hmm - I think I'd probably feel safer without it, then - if anything does slip & I fell, I wouldn't want a tethered ladder complicating my fall further!
  10. Have fun researching! We're fairly recent incomers, buying our first caravan only 3 years back, so others have much more experience, but would comment that while things have indeed moved on in 25 years, depending what you want/can afford, it may not be such a bad idea looking at older ones too as long as they're in proven good condition. Ours is nearly 20 years old, cost a fraction of new ones, and so far does the job superbly; it's already done us proud, from the remote wilds of Scottish islands to a great loop round France.
  11. We looked for a while at the idea of Gobur, 2nd hand, but found even used ones above our budget. Presumably that's a comment on their quality that they keep their price up so well. We didn't get as far as actually visiting one, though wondered if they have enough windows to be light inside? Friends of ours have a tiny 1990's Rapido folder, which they dearly love. It's very basic - nice double bed, option for 2 little bunks at t'other end, tiny kitchen inc. fridge & cooker, but no loo or washing facilities. The car barely notices it being there, apparently.
  12. Agreed! I've seen some Silvers, and wait to be corrected by any current owners reading this, but have been told Rapidos were better built. Ours certainly seems good at nearly 20 years old. The only problem I'm currently aware of is sourcing spares. (Presently seeking the draught excluder type strips which fit to the ends of the flaps which lift to become the upper sides.)
  13. My engineer recently reckoned I'd wound them down too firmly, which he said could put strain on the floor. I found this surprising, as I believe they're fastened to the chassis.
  14. I'm with you there, Ancell - more lightweights with greener material, yes. And as to pop-ups: for the 30 seconds it takes to pop the roof up, we reckon that the saving in wind resistance, and also tolls on French motorways, is well worth the slight loss of storage space. Ours isn't an Eriba, they have cult status and therefore cult price-tags, but it suits us beautifully. I can see that the previous Volvo might have been harder work, too ... our up-to-the-minute 2004 model made it all easy! However one travels, as you obviously know, the Isles are a magical destination possessing a very strong call to return.
  15. There's surely no Right and Wrong here, it's down to personal preference, but I'd like to reassure you, Ancell, that our tiny 5mx2m, 19 yr old pop-up caravan happily survived a very wind-blown few weeks on the Outer Hebrides this May without any problems, and was a dream to tow on those single track roads. And it's our firm plan to go back again, too! (Currently one of us late 60's, other 70, if you're wondering.) One of the site owners there expressed quite strongly his personal dislike of large heavy MH's driving on those same tiny roads. Again, it's all down to personal preference, but our experience here was that the caravan, parked on site, made it easier to drive an estate car round the remoter parts than a larger vehicle. But it's only fair to add that caravans were in a small minority. The only downside we could see was having to book space on the ferries. Again, a small caravan helps here. Extra hint - given the brilliance of the light (we were lucky!) driving from South to North was a good idea. Enjoy your trip.
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