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Everything posted by jetA1

  1. Mrs A, there is a great car no one has yet mentioned. .....and of course I'm biased. ....but what about the Mazda 6 (diesel) estate. firstly it was Caravan Club towcar of the year least year, secondly (of course) I own one AND tow a Fleetwood Sonata with it. ...how's that for a coincidence! It is a great tow car, a great drivers car, the diesel engine is. ...well. ....great! It has very good space, flexible interior, weights are on a par with the Volve V70. ...do take a look at one. They have been around since 2002, so are available in the used car market. ...although the estate in particular is difficult to find, but thats because its a great car. Oh, by the way, did I mention I am biased?
  2. Bought a tensioner in a moment of weakness thinking 'good idea', first time I used it was not impressed, metal tubes without plastic caps so not much to lever against, went back to doing it by hand. If you can get one to work better than I did, you need to be careful that you don't apply so much tension as to cause damage to the side of the van. We have a Dorema Madison (980 size - no pooling problem by the way) which has the rectangular pads (or feet) that sit against the van. I've noticed that even hand tensioning the tubes has caused the feet to mark the side of the van.
  3. Gazhyde, what's the towing limit on the Td4 with auto? I've looked all over the LandRover website and can't find it any where. Be interested to hear what your mpg experience is as this motor is on my short list for later this year. Also if Argete_owner is looking in, what is tow limit on V70 D5, that it also on my short list? Again I've trawled the Volvo web site and can't find anything about weights.
  4. We have wood effect vinyl floor covering that is standard in our van, we wanted the optional removable carpets, but the price was excessive. So we used bound (or “whipped†to give it its proper name) roll end carpet all last year. We did suffer a red wine incident…….so have had to replace for this year, even treated ourselves to buying off the roll to get exactly what we wanted. We use antislip matting to keep it all in place and find that works very well. Must admit we do prefer the feel of carpet under foot, especially on cold mornings!
  5. I'll post a vote for Reich, no problems to report in 12 months of use. It also has soft start which is VERY useful if moving the van in confined space. The quote about justifying the cost is often heard. ....however it is always followed by the comment 'the best item I ever bought'. Good luck choosing but be mindful of the comment about sooner rather than later, it'll be Easter in no time!
  6. I was looking at the Tomtom website last night, first time in a few weeks. I looked briefly at 5. 420 but didn't see anything about the backup utility. So with 5. 420 does the backup/restore option run automatically when you sync the Go with the PC? That would be very convenient.
  7. Not a direct answer to your question I know, but a feature I feel is worth mentioning. Sound volume (or rather lack of it) is often an issue with pda based solutions. I am biased, no doubt, but Tom Tom Go has excellent sound quality/volume. Good sound is well worth having.
  8. Once you have a mains teser. ...use it! Our van has a mains socket just inside the doorway, very easy to see and right in your face whenever going in and out of the van. We have a tester plugged in there all the time. Choose a socket in your van and make it home for one of these devices!
  9. jetA1

    Truma Ultrastore

    Thanks, but we're on propane. Heater and fridge working fine.
  10. jetA1

    Truma Ultrastore

    Same symptoms as DTG, however cover is removed, gas is turned on. ....electric heater works fine, haven't tried gas since van was new back in April. Just tried it for the first time on an outing to site without electric hook up. At first didn't work-red fault light on. Then did work for about 10 minutes and stopped. Tried repatedly since and red fault light comes on straight away. Turning on causes ignition to cycle for about 1 second then red fault lights comes on. Gave dealer a call from site, no great help, so will be going back for repair under warranty. Just wondering if anyone else has had similar problem to see if there is anything else we can check? And know how to check that dealer knows what he is doing!
  11. I feel nearly qualified to join in this thread. ....we have Fleetwood Melody Sonata, which I think in real terms you would know it as 532LD. Very pleased with it, amazing value for money. Kitchen work space may be a little 'thin' but in all other respects sizing is generous.
  12. Believe me. ....I've a wife, two teenage daughters, the two family dogs and a CD palyer and I can STILL hear that ***** noisey ALKO. ....it drives me insane!
  13. Did Sterling (Swift) give you any idea about the ex-factory nose weight? There have been posts about some vans with what seem like rather high ex-factory nose weights. If the van is inherently nose heavy out of the factory then careful loading would be necessary to bring the nose weight within limits. The temptation would be to load at the rear of the van to compensate, which could influence stability. Vans loads should be kept low and near to the axle to maintan stabilty.
  14. jetA1


    Our front locker swallows up the spare wheel, 1 gas bottle, wastemaster and aquaroll. ...
  15. I have removed the pads and given them a good dose of looking at. They 'appear' OK, smooth, no cracks, nothing embedded in the surface. But this might be another option I have to consider. It's going to get expensive though, £25 ish for the ball and £30 ish for the pads are the quotes I've had so far!
  16. The beige interior of our Fleetwood Sonata looks very nice, but, light colours do have thier drawbacks. We've just suffered an accident with a glass of red wine (kids, dogs rainy day etc,etc. .) Got the worst of it straight away but not quite all of it. Labels on covers say dry clean only, so we thought OK give that a try when we return home. Started to take the cover off last night, full length zip along the 'long' side, great we thought, straight off and down to the dry cleaners. Wrong! the 'buttons' (all 12 of them) on the cushion are fixed in place after the cover is fitted over the foam. Sure we can cut the buttons off but there is no way that they can be re-attached. .....unless you know different. Anyone else come across this?
  17. If only it was that simple for me. ... April this year, brand new van with ALKO hitch and new towbar with ALKO ball. I cleaned the ball before picking the van up, it was spotless and blemish free before ever being hitched up. The hitch makes an awful noise all the time (10 outings, about 2000 miles). I've used emery cloth on almost every journey, sometimes stopping en-route to clean the ball (and inside the hitch). But I'm b*****ed if I can get rid of the noise. I can see there are marks on the ball, which suggest its picking up 'grazes' when hitching up, but I spend ages aligning the hitch over the ball to ensure that all it has to do is drop straight on, 'without touching the sides' so to speak. Its almost as though the ball isn't as hard as it should be, I know that sounds crazy, but it is picking up these 'grazes' far too easily. I'm almost at the point of buying another ball and starting all over, but surely shouldn't have to do this with nearly new equipment. Anyone else suffered with persistantly noisey ball ???
  18. A couple more thoughts. ...... The size of feet can have an influence in settling once on a pitch. The smaller the area in contact with the groung the more likely that the steady could settle into the ground, on anything other than concrete. So spreading the weight by using bigger feet will reduce the chance of the foot settling in. Most, although not folks, seem to have the additional plastic feet of one make or another. I've noticed that on soft ground the plastic feet can distort so have some pieces of wood (cut a little larger than the plastic feet) and find this helps. Also an idea to check the tension in the steadies once you've moved about in van a bit (but before the first nights Stella has been consumed!) And again perhaps a check if there has been any rain. ...topical after the week we've had! Perhaps going one stage too far for some, if you use a portable electric drill to drop the steadies you can use the torque setting to ensure that the pressure on each steady is even. ...
  19. You have mentioned taking advice from salesmen before making your purchases. I'm certain I would want adivce about the car's towing ability to come from the car dealer not the caravan dealer. If you quoted the the MTPLM of your van (1326kg from what I can make out) to the car salesman and he stated that the car could tow it (inspite of technical data stating 1300kg- driver only) then you discussion about the mis-match should be with the car salesman. In fact I wolud suggest it is the car that is not fit for purpose; if you clearly stated the weight of the van. As far as the nose weight issue goes, I can't believe that excessive nose weight wasn't spotted at the time you picked the van up. I'm not familiar with Bailey van's but it seems very odd that 'as delivered' the nose weight was so high. I'm sure majority of folks would understand that a typical nose weight rating for most cars is 70-75kg's. I'm sure that amount of excess would be felt when manouvering the van to hitch up. I'm very concerned that the whole matter of nose weight didn't gain your attention until you had towed and experienced problems, as you say by this time you family had already be put at risk. For this matter I really would be looking at the caravan dealer. If noseweight is a known problem with this model of Bailey (I don't know, I'm picking this up from your comments) then I really would have expected the dealer to highlight weight/balance issues to you. In terms of balancing the van placing weight at the extremes (front or rear) will have a destabilising, or pendulum, effect; where the same weight positioned close to the axle will not (polar moments of inertia if I remember rightly from college days) But with the nose weight you are talking about then trying to balance this with with heavy items in the van just behind the axle line would probably require so much weight that you'd be way over the MTPLM. This all seems very strange given the popularity of Bailey vans.
  20. jetA1

    6 Weeks Wait

    Graham, you make an excellent point. It's all well and good us sounding off on this (and other) forums, but we need a 'vehicle' with a higher profile (don't get me wrong I think this forum is great for sharing these thoughts) but some how I don't think that the manufacturers are tuned into to this forum just yet. Maybe the CC is a good vehicle for moving this issue forward. I know I've made comments before about how to gain the attention of manufacturers; in fact what I have said is that we need an equivalent of the automotive "J D Power" survey, that is a survey which certainly does grab folks attention!
  21. I have a 'history' with radio controlled cars, I often joke with my neighbours that the 'van is the biggest radio controlled car I've ever had !!!!!!! Must admit that this helps, no problem with driving towards or away from me, you know reversed controls !
  22. jetA1

    Big Tax On 4x4s

    It is often said that we live in a so-called 'free country', so I guess that means folks should be allowed to choose what car they drive. For me I have no desire to own/run a 4X4, but if others make that choice then I have to respect that. There are a couple of aspects of 4X4's that are difficult to get away from, many of them are big and heavy vehicles, that said their fuel economy will be reduced and there is no doubt that in pedestrian vs. 4X4 accident the pedestrian stands to come of worse, and probably more so the if in collision with a car with a 'softer' front. The 4X4prejudice web site linked above is quite realistic about these two points. As far as fuel economy and emissions go the site highlights that a diesel X-trail is more fuel efficient and produces less co2 the a particular petrol Focus. It also gives emission figures for some larger 4X4 in diesel version, which are not too bad. What the site does not do is quote emissions for the larger 4X4 in petrol version; I think this is where the environmental discussion falls down for 4X4's. What concerns me is that even if some action were taken with regard to the 'worst' of the petrol 4X4's in the UK it would have such a small effect in global terms. Having lived fairly recently in the USA for 3 years, and seen how the SUV is so popular there, then the scale of their emissions is just enormous; and remember that they don't 'do' diesel like we do, so the vast majority of them really are gas guzzlers. It is a compicated and emotive debate, but I'm not sure that banning 4x4's or taxing them of the road in the UK would really help. However, if you take a look at the Lexus RH 400, a petrol/electric hybrid SUV, then you see just what technology can do, maybe thats one 4X4 I would like to own, although the £36k price tag may just be a problem!
  23. Agree. ...the independence the movers allows is a great benefit. If I had to rely on wife and two teen age daughters to assist in moving, well lets just say it would not happen!!! For us we have to contend with a narrow driveway and a narrow road (impossible to use the car to manouver the van), without the mover it would not be possible to store the van at home. We place a high value on the the convenience of having the van at home, so are very pleased with the mover.
  24. Fiona, good on you for not accepting the myth and ******* the dealer was handing out to you. This sort of service is pathetic, unacceptable and needs to be stamped out. Turning the tables and asking for them to prove the problem is perhaps a lesson many of us could learn from. I know its old ground, been said many times before, but there are some players in the in the caravan industry who really do not have the customer's best interests at heart. Apologies to any of the 'good' guys who might read this, but the industry should be much stronger dealing with it's rogue traders. .....
  25. jetA1

    6 Weeks Wait

    I've been waiting 6 months for a new window for an '05 van. The importer wont talk to me directly "I have to go through my dealer". My dealer has quoted me the most unbelievable catalogue of problems which is why after six months the window still is not ordered. How the heck can I vote with my feet on this one? The UK caravan industry is so far behind the times it's not true. The problem is we do keep buying and thats why the ******** keep getting away with it. For some reason market forces are not working here. we've just got back from a very pelasant weekend on the CC site on the Wirral, I was feeling really relaxed until I read this!!!!
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