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Everything posted by jampot

  1. Darren, There will be (hopefully) tons of comments forthcoming so I will limit this initial response to areas I can pontificate on with confidence:-) Our daughter has girls of (now ) 7 and 11 but they have been caravanning for about 5 years. When recently changing the van they decided to stick with a layout which has a seperate dinette / bed and 2 bunks so the girls can use the dinette as a play area. It isn't used for eating and it isn't used for sleeping unless they have someone extra staying. (put your own spin on that!) 5 or 6 berth vans will usually have that facility. Despite your professional skills, I doubt there is much you can do to add facilities like underfloor heating! Caravans of all makes are basically very similar in terms of equipment. Some may have 'wet' cetral heating at the upper end of your price range but most will use blown air. They will all have a water heater, stove, bathroom facilities and so on. If you haven't come across it, this site is useful for browsing - www. caravanfinder.co.uk It allows you to search by layout as well as maker etc. but I firmly believe that a local dealer with a good reputation is the first priority. Good luck. Jim Having found a layout which you think will suit, choose your dealer first. In the used market (hopefully) most teething problems will be history, but you still want to be able to go back to the dealer if problems arise.
  2. There is usually no shortage of advice here at Caravan Talk so I am a little surprised that no one has responded to your post in 22 hours! Perhaps the usually helpful folk are all on holiday in there caravans.... You are probably correct in surmising that many Brits use their caravans for longer stays rather than travelling on frequently, except of course, those of us who travel long distances to search out the sun in winter - and even then there is usually a long stay at the end of the journey. Whether you make your bed in a different place every 1 or 2 nights or only every 1 or 2 months shouldn't (IMHO) make any difference to the wear and tear on the habitation area. Three small children might! Having just had a holiday with 4 grandchildren I would suggest making sure you have the means to tidy and sweep up after them - grit walked in to the van will very quickly take it's toll on the comfort and condition of flooring and furnishings. If you won't have access to EHU make sure that while travelling you charge phones, computer and games consoles to avoid disappointment at bed time:-) Perhaps invest in a second leisure battery and install a charging point for it in the luggage area of the tow vehicle, that way if you stay more than 1 or 2 nights in the same place you can keep a battery topped up during days out or shopping trips. While your dealer is making additions, a decent roof mounted solar panel will be a useful addition if you can afford the initial cost. Carry 1 or more of those power bank phone chargers and keep them charged when there is chance. For peace of mind on the road, check tyre pressures regularly and carry a foot pump to replenish them, don't wait until you 'need' fuel (for the tow vehicle or caravan gas supply) to replenish it. Off grid, hot water, fridge, cooking and some heating in the evenings and early morning can easily eat through 10Kgs of LPG a week. Carry a small spirit level and something to put below the wheel(s) on the low side of the van and packers for the corner steadies so that if your chosen wild spot isn't billiard table flat you can level the van and sleep comfortably. Good luck! Jim
  3. At 85% the safety margin is 15 /85 x 100 =17.6% (or there abouts). I'm sorry to, but I couldn't resist:-) But of course the 85% guide relates to the kerb weight of the tow vehicle not the safe towing limit declared by the manufacturer. It's probably more correct to describe it as a loading margin rather than a safety margin. Jim
  4. Not for 800 quid I don't suppose Robby! Tons of info and a a bunch of very helpful folk on here to help you out by answering questions and offering advice. It would help to know (vaguely) how you define 'taking it easy', whether you already have a suitable tow car and so on. Jim
  5. If you need 3 wheels re-finishing I would just get all 4 done - that way you know they will match. I have 2 to get done but will then put them together on the same side of the van so they can't be compared with the other side directly. Jim
  6. The only one I have come across is the C&CC site at Bellingham. They sell Thetford green in sachets for one shot use if passing through and standard size bottles (1.5l?) for less than most dealers sell blue or green. After spending over a week there and using Thetford green I switched to Elsan green and much prefer it to either Thetford type. Picked up 2 x 2l Elsan at Catterick for £9.99 each when there recently. Jim
  7. Our ta Buccaneer has tyres rated at 600Kg. The previous Lunar single axle tyres were rated 900Kg which is a typical commercial van rating. When we had a burst at a weekend we could only find car tyres rated at 450Kg so continued with fingers and toes crossed that we didn't have another puncture before reaching the next long stay site where we could order the right type. Loads of good info here - https://www.tyresafe.org/ Jim
  8. Completed the on line form Sunday evening and the postie brought the new licence this morning! It has a Union Flag on it as well as the blue EU flag. Don't think the old one did:-) Jim
  9. 50 you say - https://www.screwfix.com/p/flofit-flo-fit-collet-clips-red-15mm-50-pack/90116?tc=FA7&ds_kid=92700020952484440&ds_rl=1241687&ds_rl=1245250&ds_rl=1249404&ds_rl=1249799&ds_rl=1245250&ds_rl=1249481&gclid=CjwKCAjw_YPnBRBREiwAIP6TJ3N5YvG2KqU0n74GrJf1_fSLVaUlsjt_NxqN0FRFQ58ADHkHRKJ7NhoC8eAQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds Also available in blue for the cold water pipes:-) Jim
  10. I use tethering to my 02 mobile at home and abroad and don't often have a problem. However I also carry a 'myfi' type gadget (actually an EE branded in car device) bought 'unlocked' off that auction site. I use a 3 network Internet With Legs 12 month 12Gb sim card as back up. It comes in handy if data on the phone gets low towards the end of the month and during a week at Loch Ness Shores CCC site it came into it's own as there was no 02 reception what so ever! Just need to make sure there isn't any data left at the end of the 12 months..... Jim
  11. Thanks Chaps. I would like to re-visit the USA at some point but am unlikely to rent a humungous RV:-) I won't trouble the quack for a ticket but will apply on line. Jim
  12. Having passed the driving test in the dark ages my licence includes C1, C1E, D1 and D1E categories. Renewal at age 70 which includes these requires submission of a doctors certificate and can only be done by post. In the context of caravanning would anyone recommend maintaining the right to drive these categories of 'medium' commercial and passenger vehicles? I can't recall having used the facility in many a year and presently tow a Buccaneer with a Mercedes ML total gross around 4500Kgs. so not required currently. Any constructive (or humorous!) input wlecome. Jim
  13. There is little or no 'maker customer service' in the caravan industry The dealer is key and with a 2 year old van most teething issues should be sorted or will be sorted by the dealer. If you choose both well you should get another 15 years happy holidays from the new one. Jim
  14. jampot

    Cadac lid

    Is that circular wire below the grill pan fixed in place? there appear to be a pair of wire hooks on it (foreground and upper left in the pic). Pop the rim of the lid in there and the hook on the lid over the rim of the pan as you have it. If it isn't fixed, perhaps it isn't assembled correctly. Jim
  15. My 7.5kg capacity safefills only weigh 4.1kg each when empty - less than a calor light. Jim
  16. It's an odd thing, but the safari / carri chef size pizza stone instructions say that it should be placed on top of the grill plate which of course achieves the same as Fredsautos suggestion. There is no such instruction for the larger one. We have good success with the small one but when away with family last summer had the same disaster as Chris76 with a big one. The baking parchment sounds a good idea - less messy than sprinkling with flour like the book says! Jim
  17. We spent a VERY wet weekend at Camping Montreal in December enroute to Spain but will definitely try to re-visit in better weather. It looks a lovely spot. Jim
  18. During a 6 week stay on the Med coast of Spain this Dec / Jan we used gas exclusively for heating, hot water, fridge and cooking. some mornings had frost but days warmed up considerably. With the thermostat set to 12C overnight and boosted when we got up we used an 11 kg propane bottle every 7 or 8 days. Jim
  19. We have one each side - works fine. Jim
  20. Commander Dave said- After 5 years I see any extra as a bonus! I'll grant that Gordon's photos give pause for thought however..... Jim
  21. I don't agree that 'no.... seasonal awning can be used for long term extended periods'. We bought and erected a Trigano Montreux in northern France at Easter 2014 and it is still erected and going strong. The poles are 22mm steel and the 'canvas' is heavy guage pvc which can be scrubbed clean with car shampoo and never needs re-proofing. the roof (with the supplied supplemetary vertical pole in the centre) is good for a snow load. When pretty much every other awning on site was destroyed by a hail storm (which dented the caavan roof and several cars) the awning survived the onslaught. I wouldn't want to have to take it down and re-erect it much less find room and load capacity to carry it if touring but for a permanent pitch it is a sound investment. Possibly sold under the Eurovent brand in UK. Jim
  22. P&O Brasserie has the best seats on the ship, as it should for around £35 for 2 courses a drink and coffee for 2! It's peaceful, the food is (usually) excellent and the staff friendly and polite and it sounds as though your timing is perfect for lunch. Granted we use it when crossing with the caravan but on those occasions it means we don't need to start cooking that evening. Jim
  23. Glad that's worked out. I agree €60 seems OK for a month as we pay £1 a day in the UK for year round storage and pay whether there or not. I'll have a few days at Seracourt on the way home from Portugal to stock up on French goodies and catch up with folks who were there when we had a permanent pitch. Possibly also wait out any chaos at the ferry ports as it will be immediately post Brexit (or not!)...... Jim
  24. If I wait until the light comes on it's too heavy to lift comfortably. Better not to go there! Jim
  25. Fred said - It is regrettable (but not wholly surprising) that Chinese goods have a reputation for inferiority across the board. I damaged the side wall of one of the Ovation tyres fitted to my Buccaneer a few weeks ago and have had to replace. I expected some difficulty but the Portuguese tyre dealer explained that their policy was to replace identically and was able to source an Ovation for next day delivery. Total cost fitted (with Tyron band) was €57. I tow the 'van with a Mercedes approved used ML which was supplied fitted with Chinese made Davanti tyres when I bought it, and performance has been fine. I don't think there is much doubt that most of those Aldi and Lidl 'special buys' we all enjoy so much are also sourced in the far east. Perhaps a more apt (and less emotive) description is 'inexpensive' rather than 'cheap'. Jim
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