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DrBob

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About DrBob

  • Rank
    Over 50 posts

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Bristol
  • Towcar
    2017 Volvo XC60 D5 220hp R-Design Nav Plus
  • Caravan
    2017 Bailey Unicorn Pamplona III

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  1. Well done Griff! Thanks for all your efforts in resolving this. The downside is that now when SWMBO piles on the pressure for an 8 footer I’ll have one less excuse not to buy! DrBob
  2. Well done Griff, many thanks for all your efforts in (hopefully) finally resolving this issue. I’m relieved that I had not missed a crucial phrase in Saga’s Policy documents or misunderstood their explanation. I’m sure a lot of CT members and the wider caravanning community will be grateful for all your efforts. Saga may not be the only Insurers to be 10 years out of date with the law, I can only urge everyone else with an 8 footer to check with their Insurers that they are covered. Fortunately it didn’t affect us with the U3 Pamplona - but who knows, we might have a brainstorm and go 8ft in the future. Thank you again Griff. Best Regards DrBob
  3. SWMBO has just purchased a new 20 plate car. Whilst informing our Insurers of the details of the vehicle change I asked them to note on the policy that it might be used to tow our caravan. I was told that, to my surprise, whilst all towing was included on all their policies as standard, cover was limited to trailers/caravans less than 2.3m wide, thus excluding increasingly popular 8ft wide models. Searching through all the Policy Documents provided to me to did not reveal any mention of this restriction so I rang them again for clarification. The operator was not aware of it either but when pressed discovered that it was specified in documents covering the relationship between the Insurers (Saga in this case) and their Underwriters: these documents are not provided to Policy Holders. So it is quite possible that when towing your 8ft wide van you may think you are covered but are completely at risk from “small print” that you have never been made aware of. Apparently there are also a host of other technical requirements such as lighting, brakes etc etc which they consider are wrapped up in a blanket “roadworthy condition” requirement in your Policy documents. Caveat emptor! Dr Bob
  4. We have one of the last of the outgoing model XC60s, new in Sept 2017. Ours is the 2.4 litre 5 cyl diesel (220HP, 440Nm), 6 speed auto, AWD, R-Design Nav Pro with loads of toys. Best towcar I’ve ever had, plays with our 1800kg MTPLM Bailey U3 Pamplona TA. We don’t have self levelling, it’s quite stiffly suspended, doesn’t seem to need it. Incredibly economical for a big heavy car towing a big van. We get 28mpg (real brim to brim) towing on a long MWay trip at 60, you can see 50+ solo on MWay trip if you are light footed. Doesn’t need AdBlue to make Euro6. Far more economic than our previous rig, Audi A5 Sportback 177HP towing a U3 Vigo 1550kg. Never managed better than 24mpg towing, 46mpg solo with that. They say the 5cyl engine is good for huge mileages, shame they dropped it from the new (current) model range in favour of rationalising on 4 cyl engines (that do need AdBlue). I see you live in Bristol, PM me if you’d like to visit and check it out. DrBob
  5. Sincere apologies to everyone who offered advice for not responding so far with the outcome. Immediately after having it fixed we became totally involved in some very serious and protracted health issues with my 95 year old Mother. Caravans and caravanning have been the last thing on my mind for the last couple of months but now that the Grim Reaper has scored I’m getting back into the swing of things. Chipping Sodbury could not have provided better service, had it all fixed within the hour. Charged 1 hour labour, £45. Even though we live only 6 miles away we hadn’t actually bought the van from them so it was very reassuring that we were not in any way treated as “second class customers”. When our Warranty expires I will certainly use them for all my services etc. (assuming we still live in Bristol!). Anyway, the outcome..... We were all on the right track in assuming an ATC power supply or earth return issue but I’m sure none of us would have guessed the actual problem. The multi plug connector on the ATC unit was still in place but all but one (a fat white) wire of the loom connecting to it had been ripped out. CS took photos but unfortunately they were so gloomy that they aren’t worth posting. They reconnected everything and all was perfect. CS had never seen cable damage like this before. The cable and ATC itself showed no sign of having being hit by road debris and anyway they thought it too well shielded by the axles, nor was there an excess cable loop drooping down that could have snagged on anything. A real mystery which did raise some worrying thoughts. To recap, we had just had the annual service at our supplying dealer, Bardsea Leisure in Ulverston, then main roads/M6 to CMC Troutbeck. Next to Hillside Caravan Park, Knayton, N Yorks (all similar roads except for last 2 miles (single track tarmac), site roads all new tarmac) then pretty much all MWay to home and onto drive, N Bristol just off A4174 ring road. No off-roading or anything rough. I’m pretty certain it was working when I followed routine and hitched at Knayton - it was pouring down at the time though - don’t recall looking when we arrived home but it certainly wouldn't work when I hitched 2 days later to take the van to the secure compound. We didn’t stop on any of the tows (healthy bladders!) nor do we recall seeing any road debris. The inaccessibility of the ATC unit and wiring location and the “quality” of the parked locations would pretty much rule out vandalism so all in all it’s a complete mystery. But at least nothing was (too!) damaged and no one hurt. Thank you all once again for all your contributions and again, sincere apologies for the delay in updating you. Best Regards DrBob
  6. Thanks for all your advice guys, being still in warranty I’ve given up with this one and managed to book it into Chipping Sodbury caravans to look at it tomorrow. Will post their diagnosis and hopefully, fix when it’s resolved. They did say they have had one or two new vans delivered straight from the factory with this problem and it turned out to be “a multi plug had come loose on the ECU board” so I’m hoping it turns out to be that simple. I’ve looked for the incoming supply fuses but haven’t been able to locate them so far, but the van is in storage 21 miles away so haven’t had chance to do a really thorough search. I’ve seen a photo in another posting that shows a block of 4 (2 x12v+ for Perm12v and Fridge and 2 x -ve earths, all 25A IIRC) screwed to the floor in another U3 version, so can only surmise that mine must be on the floor behind the central drawer unit. If so, unless they can be reached by removing one or both of the ventilation grilles in the back of the bottom compartment then the whole of the drawer unit will have to come out. Best left to CS caravans! The 13 pin plug was replaced a year ago at the first annual service by the supplying dealer with a much better quality version, I’m reasonably confident that will be OK. (Replaced because the lugs holding the body together on the cheap OEM Bailey one were not fully engaging and it was always coming apart). All the other electrical connections are working fine. Have bought a “trailer light test” gadget and it shows both Volvo and Audi permanent 12v+ supplies are live as well as all the other lights. Unfortunately, on the caravan side, although it tests all the road lighting circuits, it doesn’t do the 12v+ and fridge supplies! Keeping fingers crossed. DrBob
  7. We had a U3 Vigo, traded it after 1 year (taking a really big hit!). We found the transverse bed a real hassle, shuffling past the end to get to the quite small bathroom. Also SWMBO constantly complained she hadn’t enough room to get into and out of bed (at bathroom side). Replaced it with a U3 Pamplona, infinitely better van, end bedroom with inline bed, ample space at bed sides to get in/out and a very generous sized central bathroom. The Cabrera has the same layout in single axle form. With this experience we wouldn’t ever consider a transverse bed van. Do the maths! DrBob
  8. I wondered about this but after running the engine to prove the road lights and the ignition switched power/ habitation relay, then switching off and immediately disconnecting/reconnecting the 13 pin plug I would have thought it would still remain“woken up”. I don’t think the Audi disconnects the permanent live and, as described above, the AlKo doesn’t initialise with that car either. Still baffled. Unfortunately the supplying dealer is 250 miles away (we moved after purchasing the van) so I need to cajole our local Bailey dealer (6 miles away) to undertake some warranty investigations/repairs. Rumour has it that non-supplying dealers are reluctant to do warranty work.
  9. Good thought, but plug is in perfect alignment when fitted to both tow cars. Fits correctly and all road lights and habitation relay work correctly. Still baffled. I believe there may be fuses in the van for both + and - lines for both ignition and non ignition switched lines but I haven’t been able to find them yet.
  10. 2017 Bailey Unicorn 3 Pamplona, Annual Service only 3 weeks ago when hitching to a 2017 Volvo XC60 towcar, factory fit towbar/electrics, serviced last week. Also tried with 2013 Audi A5 Sportback with factory towbar/electrics. Everything working fine when I arrived back from a trip and parked on drive last Sunday. Hitched up to take to storage compound this afternoon and no “initialisation” noises, no LED light of any colour. Same with both tow cars. 13 pin plug been kept under the hitch cover, all dry. All road lighting works perfectly, habitation relay working (awning light goes out when car started). I’m baffled. Is there a “reset button” or something? Any fuses? Anything I should try before giving up and taking to dealer to fix (still under warranty) Any suggestions would be very welcome. DrBob
  11. 2017 Bailey Unicorn 3 Pamplona, Annual Service only 3 weeks ago when hitching to a 2017 Volvo XC60 towcar, factory fit towbar/electrics, serviced last week. Also tried with 2013 Audi A5 Sportback with factory towbar/electrics. Everything working fine when I arrived back from a trip and parked on drive last Sunday. Hitched up to take to storage compound this afternoon and no “initialisation” noises, no LED light of any colour. Same with both tow cars. 13 pin plug been kept under the hitch cover, all dry. All road lighting works perfectly, habitation relay working (awning light goes out when car started). I’m baffled. Is there a “reset button” or something? Any fuses? Anything I should try before giving up and taking to dealer to fix (still under warranty) Any suggestions would be very welcome. DrBob
  12. I totally agree, Bailey seem to have a remarkable lack of common sense in designing some aspects of their products, not to mention total disregard for compliance with installation instructions of some of their suppliers products eg Dometic fridges that do not perform properly due to excessive gap between the back of the fridge and the van inner wall (58mm on my Pamplona instead of 20mm specified by Dometic). The primary purpose of the extra locker door was to gain access to the under-seat storage area from outside to avoid having to tangle with SWMBO’s swathes of seat covers that protect the cushion upholstery. The opportunity to relocate the drain switch was a bonus. The original hole in the floor was sealed with expanding foam.
  13. When we bought our new U3 Pamplona I got the dealer to (1) provide an additional locker on the front offside to mirror the near side locker and (2) relocate the yellow drain valve to just inside the van wall alongside the boiler at the rear of the new locker. Total extra cost around £200. Draining down now is a “doddle” now, just open the new locker door and reach in to flick up the yellow valve, no rummaging about under the seat cushions etc. DrBob
  14. If I had this problem I would be using Western Towing in Newton Abbott. They will supply and fit a brand new AlKo axle complete with all new brakes etc in a morning for about the same money as FB charge to just replace the rubbers plus the cost of removing/refitting (depending of course on your particular axle model). Saves all the hassle of getting a fitter to remove the axle, prop the van up on blocks, wait a week for the refurbished axle to come back then getting him back again to refit everything. Getting WT to do the whole job in a morning while you read the paper and drink coffee seems to me to be an infinitely better way of solving the problem. https://www.westerntowing.co.uk/ Select the axle you need from their listings or quote the details from the plate on the axle tube. They even do custom axles to suit “ oddball” vans and trailers. DrBob
  15. We are extremely pleased with ours, exactly the same version, 2017 model with a host of extras. Handles our Bailey U3 Pamplona TA (upgraded to 1800 kg MTPLM) very capably. Plenty of “grunt” and, surprisingly, far better fuel consumption than our 2litre Audi A4 and A5s both while solo and when they were towing our previous U3 Vigo (uprated to 1550kg MTPLM). Also, achieves Euro6 compliance without the hassle of using AdBlue. Has its little Volvo ”quirks” - E.g. handbrake switch position and wiper “flick” switch control are counterintuitive and take a while to get used to when switching XC60<>A5 but I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another when change time comes - but of course this model has sadly now been superseded. DrBob
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