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Everything posted by jetA1

  1. New England Bay - The good and not so good Just returned from 14 nights at this site. The site has an amazing location; the 'micro climate', as I'm told it is called, means the weather is good, we had one day of rain in 14. It is well laid out into 7 different areas so it doesn't feel too crowded - but it's laid on stone so don't forget those steel pegs! The beach is amazing, very easy access whether you want to build sandcastles or launch a boat (though you probably need 4WD for the latter). I've never seen such a calm sea and so many boats, often 12-15 from the site each day. The wardens tried really hard to keep everywhere clean and tidy. However. ..the toilet blocks are past their sell by date (in my opinion) we were located at the far end of the site so used 'B' block toilets, I didn't get 1 decent warm, uninterrupted shower (anything from 2-3 minutes at a time without any water hot of cold!) everyday there was a problem with the loo roll dispensers. The laundry for our block was closed all the time we were there (a boiler problem that no one could fix!) and apparently the showers in our block had been out of service for 3 weeks earlier this season. The wardens did an excellent job of keeping everything clean, but some of the equipment is beyond its sell by date. I understand that "the facilities" are due for an overhaul at the end of the season, which is fine, but there will be many more cold showers between now and then! This site is a long way from anywhere, which of course is one of the main attractions, however the CC needs to develop a better plan for contingency arrangements when things do go wrong. The near by Logan Botanical Gardens are well worth a visit, a testimony to the local climate which claims to rarely experience frost and even more rarely experience snow. I'm not a gardener but I not could fail to be impressed by the scale, variety and colour of these gardens. Because of the remote location there is little noise, at nighttime the silence is unbelievable, broken only by the sound of the waves. There is no other background noise, no planes, no traffic, no trains, nothing. Also noticed at nighttime was lack of artificial light, no distant orange glow of towns and cities, just the moon and the stars. If you want to "get away from it all!" this really is a wonderful place to go.
  2. Just a thought, (been there with the lightweight towcar) what about a folding camper? You'll find Pennine and Conway offer some good models, with 4 berths as standard and a weight you can safely tow. Nearly as good as a caravan. We came to caravans from folding campers. Just a thought!
  3. Yikessss. .... I just followed one of the links above, it took me to the Sachs info on DMFW's. Hidden away in the text is this comment, the DMFW should be replaced at every second clutch change anyway. ...hell's bells thats a makes any vehicle with DMFW (potentialy) a very expensive vehicle to own. What other cars do the DMFW figure on, I've heard that some Ford Galaxys have them.
  4. I've been searching for these for a while. They are battery adaptors, they allow you to use AA batteries in place od C & D size, by placing an AA inside the appropriate adaptor. Since AA recargeables are so easy to find, not expensive and have ever increasing capacities (2400mah seems common place), seems like a good way to stay with just the AA's I found these at Maplins, £1. 79 per set of 4 in either size. Thought they would be useful to have in the 'just in case' box. By the way, if you need any rechargeables, Maplins are offering BOGOF. ...'buy one get one free' on packs of rechargeables at the moment.
  5. Pageant, Pageant, I used a laptop-based system for about a year before moving on to a Tom Tom GO 300. For the laptop I bought a package of Infomap Navigator and a wired GPS mouse (the sat receiver) the total cost was just £120. It worked exceptionally well and the mapping software was very good considering it was about £35 of the cost. It also had voice directions built it in and full 7 figure postcodes. As a tool to navigate, create waypoints, route plan before getting in the car, monitor speed etc, etc, It was as good as you could want. The only down side is the portability / practicality of dealing with the laptop in the car. There is no doubt that all these portability issues disappear when you move to a Tom Tom type device. A smaller Tom Tom type device can be easily and safely mounted in a position where the visual display can be seen without causing a distraction from driving. That is not true for the laptop solution, although because Infomap has voice commands it is a useable solution. I still use the Infomap software for off-line journey planning; I travel a lot and often to new locations so the ability to plan on my desktop is quite useful. However, once on the move the Tom Tom wins hands down.
  6. Sorry I don't have a Sunncamp so not sure about the 3 grey plastic strips, however it's only a few months since we put our awning up for the first time. When you start to unpack the awning you will feel like the whole world is watching your every move. ....just waiting to see you make a mistake. Just remember you are NOT involved in a time trial, you ARE out for a relaxing time, and you know. .....if you do make a mistake. ....what the heck and it will only be you that knows it anyway. Accept the help of your wife. ...graciously. ...work as a team. ...you are not trying to prove anything to anyone. ....A glass of wine may help you relax, but avoid consuming the whole bottle before the awning is in place. ...Good Luck!
  7. jetA1


    Just had a phone call from the dealer (parts dept.), the window that I was told was ordered about 3 weeks ago has not been ordered. The phone call today was to ask if I wanted to order it!!! So that's 3 weeks lost, what a farce! Phoned the saleman up and he said he'd sort it an make sure the order was placed, but there's nothing he can do about the lost 3 weeks. This sort of event does nothing to help the blood pressure. ..........
  8. Thanks, heard about this on the radio, then promptly forgot! Have done it now, made three entries, ICE1, ICE2 and ICE3, that way you can cover several options landlines, mobiles etc. .....
  9. Last night I saw a 'vey large' Swift twin axle van fitted with a mover, nothing strange about that. ..but. ..in fact it had two movers fitted, I haven't seen that before. It had two RK's fitted one ahead of the front axle and one behind the rear axle. Is this the ultimate solution for fitting a mover on a twin axle? By the way the tow vehicle was a brand new Range Rover so I'm thinking this was someone who just knew what he wanted and. ..got it! (probably not on a restricted budget!)
  10. Ouch . ..... that hurts. I didn't spend all that hard earned cash on a mover to impress others!
  11. Clearly this situation would not happen to a customer of Mr Sheens, which is great. But just how much searching should a punter have to do to check out the credentials of a dealer or even the supporting manufacturer/importer? In my own case I need a replacement window for a 05 van, not a single one in the UK and the importer doesn’t carry a stock; 8 weeks plus on the slow boat from…..? I am lucky that the damage has not put my van off the road, but if it had no one gives a ****. I’m now wondering just how long the list of qualifying questions will be if I choose to change my van in the future? I am an auditor, I can make up a checklist, my findings would probably put me off buying another van. How do you inform potential new 'first time' punters that there are some dodgy dealers around? I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that if you carried out enough research prior to purchase you might be forgiven for thinking that the whole industry stinks. ......and ultimately that could cause a problem for the good guys. The comparison most of us are likely to make is with the retail car trade; to be honest the caravan trade makes the car trade look good. When you're away in the van, on a pleasant site with good surrounds (and probably a glass of wine in hand!) There is tremendous feeling of satisfaction and contentment with the world. .......but for some people (too many) the problems they have to overcome to get there is bound to make them question -- 'is it worth it' and the answer would be an understandable NO. One factor that differentiates caravan from cars is that buying a van is entirely for pleasure (where a car is much more of a necessity) Spending on a leisure activity just should not give rise the levels of aggravation that are experienced. Sad thing is probably nothing will change, there will always be a hard core who put up with the problems and/or are lucky enough to have a good dealer, and there will continue to be a transient population of folks who have a bad experience and give up. Sorry this has turned into a bit of a rant, but that’s what this topic does to me. If there is a bit of a down turn coming lets just hope that it is some of the cowboys who loose out.
  12. jetA1

    Synthetic Oils

    oscar That website is very good, well worth a visit!
  13. jetA1

    Synthetic Oils

    I don’t think synthetics are a fad. Just as technology brings improvements to other features on our cars it’s the same with lubricants. The newer technologies seem to work well together and "get the best out of each other". A friend of mine has a new (less than a year old) Vectra with the V6 diesel in it, its first service was at 30k miles; this sort of performance is the result of improved lubricant technology. At the very top of the range are lubes that are specifically designed for turbo diesels with particulate filters; they are developed to prolong the life of the particulate filter (I think it is BMW and VW that are first down this road) But while synthetic might be the best (and only) lubricant for the very latest designs of engine, it my not be appropriate for all engines, so it important to know the specification of the oil required for the motor you run.
  14. jetA1


    We have an 05 Fleetwood, which of course is an Adria. After 3 months we have no warranty issues (fingers crossed) and my impression is that build quality is quite reasonable. There are a couple of matters that require dealer attention, a section of pipework in the gas supply to the heater was secured with considerable 'tension' in it, this is down to poor installation, and the position of the waste water outlets is rubbish, too far in from side of van and set too high up. Apart from these no issues. HOWEVER, we have a need for a new window and thats a different matter. Not a single spare window in the country, and quoted 8+ weeks delivery. ...but don't hold your breath. Spares are apparently sent inside vans that are delivered to the UK. I regard this as pathetic to be honest, lucky for us the van is still usable. I don't know if other manufacturers are any better or worse, but I am shocked to be quoted 8 weeks. I have made many, many phone calls pursuing the window and have spoken to several folks who suggest that spares back up is a known problem. When we come to change our van we will be more searching in our questions about manufacturer support.
  15. We've had an auto (of one sort or another) in the family for 17 years, our experience is that some auto's do have reduced towing limits. Might be that newer technology means this is less of an issue, but its probably worth checking if you have particular models in mind.
  16. jetA1

    Porch Awning

    I am sure you will receive many different views on this. ......I'll start the ball rolling. Remember the windows are plastic and are more prone to being scratched than say your glass windows at home. If you overlap the awning with the window (and the awning is in contact with the window) there is a chance that any movement between the awing and the window may result in marks on the window. This may, or may not, be an issue for you; we have our first new van so are sensitive to any little mark. Perhaps others take a different view. ...?
  17. Just for INFO. ... I've recently tried to upgrade to version 5. 100 of Tom Tom and had some problems so I thought I'd share. ..As I have said previously the SD card which comes with the Go 300 is only 128mb, and with a few poi's added I found the upgrade to operating system 5. 100 impossible; in fact the Go 300 locked up and gave me big problems. ....anyway I bought 512mb card, loaded the full back up and the situation improved. Then applied the upgrade to the 512 card and all worked well. Hope this helps. ...
  18. mark/jayne (anyone else with a GO 300) I have GO 300, very, very pleased with it. Can I add a strong word of warning about installing extra "poi's". The SD card with the 300 is 128mb, and is nearly full when out of the box,but there is some space to play with. BEFORE you do anything make sure you back up the entire contents of the SD card, unlike earlier GO models the 300 does not have a CD to back up from. The TomTom back up instructions are misleading since they do refer to a back up function, BUT this function does not back the entire cntents of the SD card, only your personal settings. With a full SD back up you are protected should you have any 'mishaps' while adding poi's. As per advice of others 'pocketgps' is a great resource if we don't have the answers here!
  19. I suppose its all about striking a balance, what wouldn't you give for a 4X4 when you arrive on a wet grassy site, and you have to pitch on the slope. But then out on the road the running costs of a car make a lot more sense. If you visit a lot of CL's and/or smaller less well prepared sites then the 4X4 comes into its own, but if you always head for sites with hard standing then there is no need for 4X4. It also depends on circumstances, my car is a company supplied Mazda 6 Estate and my choice is limited to Ford and Ford group cars (Ford, Volvo, Jaguar, LandRover & Mazda) That does leave the door open to a Volvo XC90, but it would cost at least 50% more. ...I think I'll be sticking with the Mazda and keeping the traction mats to hand. ..just in case!
  20. Just returned from a windy weekend in North Yorks. Minor problem with the Porchlite Plus, the wind was blowing right on the end of the van (so the side of the awning), therefore testing the 'seal' between the side of the van and awning. In the morning found about 400mm of the webing had pulled out of the awning rail. Nothing appears to have been damaged (had a very close look at rail itself). Dismantled and re-errected no problem. Will watch for this position in future!
  21. tjambarker, There is no doubt you have experience that draws you one way. All I would add is that people sometimes experience similar problems with fuel from branded forecourts. What may come into play is the 'housekeeping' of the forecourt storage facitlities, this can on rare occasions cause problems and is a function of how the forecourt is managed. As I say keep your eyes open when you passing a Supermaket forecourt accepting deliveries you may see some clues about branding. Or take a look at a fuel distribution depot and watch the different names that all load from the same facilities. Here's an additional view on Supermarkets retailing fuel. They bring a very powerful competitive element to the retail market, which probably helps to keep prices keen (difficult to believe maybe, but remember the retail margin on fuel is very small). So even if customers such as yourself chose not to use the Supermarkets, there is an advantage to them being there for others to use.
  22. I thought that one of the advantages of the Caravanstore-Zip was that it was quite safe to leave it in place when travelling. ....well thats what we've been told when enquiring about it! The weight of the roll and pouch is supposed to be quite light, and it is spread along the length on the awning rail so would not be a problem. ...well thats what we've been told. Would be very interested to hear your comments once you've used it, we're very close to buying one ourselves!
  23. When it first arrived I used BP Ultimate in my Puegeot 406 HDI, I keep accurate records of all fuel used and was happy that the Ultimate was making a difference. 10k miles regular diesel then 13k Ultimate, showed an increase of 2. 9mpg, not a huge amount, but clearly better. Over the mileages involved there's a good chance that the figures were reliable (all from full to full. ...NOT using the onboard computer), though I would accept not quite 'clinical' test conditions. The past 11 months (22k miles) with my Mazda 6 diesel I have moved on from Ultimate, the cost difference is just too much now (I claim a fixed allowance for my company miles). I now use Millers diesel additive and am quite happy that there is a difference, however I do not have a significant additive free milage on which to base any comparisons. I am working on the theory that the millers additive is doing pretty much the same as the additive package in BP Ultimate (i. e. Cetane enhancement plus others). On that basis the Millers is costing me about 65pence per tank where the price difference for buying Ultimate would be nearly £3 per tank. I have NO problem what so ever in using 'Supermarket' fuel. As has been previously mentioned the supermakets draw their fuel from the same tanks as the major brands. Yes there are additive packages for some of the 'branded' fuels e. g. BP Ultimate, Shell Optimax or Esso Energy. But the notion that supermarket = cheap low grade carp. ....I do not believe. In fact if you look closely next time you see a tanker delivering to your nearest supermarket filling station you will see that there tell-tale signs of major brands on the vehicles.
  24. Thanks for the warning. ...I'm not sure if we are 6mm or 8mm. ...however the fit of the hose onto a) our BBQ and the male adaptor I bought does NOT involve a crush fit of the hose onto the fitting. Both are a 'snug' fit requiring the hose to expand, with a jubilee type clip as well i'm hoping this is correct and safe.
  25. Sam, We took delivery of '05 Fleetwood Sonata Melody 3 weeks ago. Have been out with it twice already, no problems. Looks great, tows well, good layout and features and the extra few inches on the width add to 'spacious' feel inside. This is our first van having camped and trailer tented. ....we're glad we made the move. Hope you have as much fun as we're having!
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