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About Punto338

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  • Towcar
    Santa Fe
  • Caravan
    Fendt 510

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  1. I miscalculated a V-turn by about 6" last December coming out of a small German campsite and clipped the bicycle carrier on a VW California. It caused damage to the carrier and his back door and also to the back of my caravan. Stupid I know and I am still beating myself up about it but, in my defence, it was very cold and wet, on my blindside and the first time ever in 38 years of towing a caravan. Both the car and caravan were insured by the same company with NCB on the car. As the caravan insurance doesn't have 3rd party liability cover, the VW claim came off my car insurance. In fairness to the company, there was no quibble and very little hassle in the claim or payment. However, my car renewal premium went up by just over £200. I shopped around and found the same cover from another company for £200 less. I told them about the accident and when they asked for No Claims proof, the number of No Claims years that I had accrued was honoured without hesitation. I suspect that is why some of us opt to pay extra for NCB. (Interestingly, when I rang the original company to tell them that I was not renewing, the price dropped by £100 in a heartbeat!)
  2. I agree with everything that Jon has said. Not only is this an informative and amusing account of an adventure but it also has a well documented section at the end that takes you through the basic requirements for a successful caravan trip to Morocco. If anyone is thinking of 'taking the plunge', this account is an excellent start. It is, IMHO, a stunning culturally diverse country with a wide variety of breathtaking scenery, delightful and friendly people and a air of exotic adventure about it. We went on a 'bit of a wing and a prayer' in 2018. We were at the bottom of Spain and made a bit of a spur of the moment decision (although I did leave UK with an insurance Green Card with a 7 week travel window just in case). For a variety of family reasons, we only had just over 3 weeks in Morocco but it was enough to convince us that we needed to spend more time there. As soon as it is safe to travel again and my knee has been replaced, we will go back. If you enjoy something a bit different, I can recommend Blackhart's journal which may lead to you deciding to give Morocco a go. Bob (We are both the wrong side of 70 and tow a 7m Fendt with a 2019 Santa Fe)
  3. - compared to everything else I had to do to the caravan after nearly 9 years in storage (long story), it was a mere drop in the ocean.
  4. I am going to dip into this topic very briefly and then dip out again. Every time it comes up, there is always a strong debate on the pros and cons. I have Tyrons Bands and, having read your postings, will fit TPMS this year to the caravan. I would like to make a couple of points: 1. It is surely a matter of personal choice to have whatever gives you peace of mind when towing. If you wish to spend out on a piece of equipment with an unproven result to give you that peace of mind, illusional or not, then that is your choice. I have. 2. I have had 2 blowouts; one about 25 years ago and the other 3 years ago. Both were the result of a meeting of the minds with a kerb. The first would probably have been picked up by a TPMS system and prevented the tyre from blowing. The second happened in Natters village in Austria. If you know the village, it has a very narrow high street with an s-bend in the centre. A car came round a corner in the middle of the road and I had to jinks right to avoid him. The caravan tyre hit the right-angle corner of the kerb and the blowout happened instantaneously. (I should add that the tyre was only a year old and the tyre pressure had been checked the day before.) I was able to drive through the village and out the other side to a place where I could pull off the road safely and change the wheel. 3. In the second instant, a TPMS system would not have helped. Would the tyre have remained on and the wheel undamaged as I drove through the village, I will never know. There was certainly no space to change the wheel where it happened. Tyron Bands gives me peace of mind when towing - surely, if I am prepared to spent the money, there is nothing wrong with that.
  5. BH, Just put 2&2 together and realised that we had been in regular email correspondence before your trip. Hope that we did not mislead you and that you are enjoying the country. Bob
  6. Sorry, just read that again. I should have added that there were no single track parts of the road to Chefchaoeun or from there to Tangier that I can remember. It was down in the south of the country that the roads occasionally became a bit narrow. However most of the roads we went on had enough room for 2 way traffic. Hence listen to the advice of the your German couple in Marrakesh. We drove into Casablanca from L'Ocean Bleu and there is a large guarded car park right opposite the Grand Mosque if that is where you are heading tomorrow. The mosque by the way is stunning.
  7. I don’t know that route but looking at the map, I think I would follow his advice. We set off for Chefchaouen on the premises that, if it got too rough, we could always do a u-turn and go back (same principle we used as we ventured south). As it happened, we were ok. You could always leave Chefchaouen for 2021. As long as this knee is back in action and the other one behaves, we will see you there! He is right about the edges. I never argued with lorries or buses and would ease the van off the road. Luckily the roads in the south were relatively straight so you had enough time to ease gently off - the edges can be very rough.
  8. We went to Chefchaouen from Mohammedia just north of Casablanca. Our route was Rabat, Kenitra, N1 to Souk-el-Arba du-Rharb, R408 to Ouazzane and N13/N2 to Chefchaouen. Yes it is windy and hilly in places but we were in a Santa Fe (4.8m) towing a 7m single axle 1700kg caravan and had no real problems and it was raining! The campsite is at the top of the town. If you look at the map, you will see that there are 2 roads up to the town from the main N2 road; south and north. I would recommend that you take the northern road in which avoids having to go right through the narrow streets of the town - we took the southern road in hence the advice!! I can't remember whether the campsite is signed from that way in - you may have to ask once in the town. We had to and followed the rough hand directions and eventually found it. (Approximately, Allatool - however you spell it - is straight on in Arabic, Yameen is right and Yasaar is left). I am sure that you are much more organised than us - my satnav went on strike as we crossed from Spain so we were working off the Michelin road map. About 500m before the campsite, there is a T-junction with quite a sharp left turn. Don't worry if you can't make it because you can go right and do a u-turn after about 300m (again said with experience as we missed the turning on the way down!). Have a look on Google Earth before you go. The town is quite unlike any other town in Morocco and very pretty and I think (confirmed by OH) that it is worth the effort of getting there. It was our last stop and from there, we went back to Tangier and the ferry. The campsite is fairly basic with only one hot shower controlled by a key from the reception but it is hard standing and there is water & EHU. Looking at the map, I used the motorway from Asilah to Fez. Again, you are probably much more organised than us and better prepared - we winged it a bit. The Fez souk is very big and a working souk. We ventured in on our first day but did not stray too much off the main drag. The second day, on the recommendation of a French couple who we met in Asilah, we had a guide who took us to all sorts of interesting places in the souk that we would never have found on our own. Could give you his contact details if interested. Hope that all helps. Have fun. Bob
  9. On the way to the consultant so will Talk to you about Chefchaouen tonight. Doable and worth a visit IMHO. Fez - haven’t got the map with me but we used the toll motorway which was not that expensive if I remember. We were going to Diamond Vert so went into the top of Fez. However did a day trip to Meknes and came back on ordinary road - no problem and interesting. Bob
  10. Seriously jealous - sadly knee went in December so waiting for surgery at the moment otherwise we would have been on our way to Morocco by now! We did a whistle-stop tour in just over 3.5 weeks at the end of 2018 and were so enchanted (if thats the right word) by the country that we were going back for a couple of months (now slightly delayed). We started at Asilah and then Fes, Midelt, Todras Gorge, Icht, El Ouatia (Tan-Tan), Aglou Plage (Tiznit), Marrakesh, Casablanca and Chefchaouen. Happy to help if ever needed. Stunning country. Bob
  11. Sorry to intrude but still an awesome outfit!
  12. Ted, Out of curiosity, were you on the A303 late this afternoon? If so, I overtook you at some stage (I was minus the caravan). Awesome outfit. If not wasn't you - sorry to butt in. Bob
  13. Hi Duncan, I have a 2019 plated Santa Fe. Shape is slightly different, boot a fraction narrower, mirrors a different shape (I have German OPPI towing mirrors and the arms are designed for specific models of cars!) and autobox now has 8 gears rather than 6 making it a smoother ride. The 'bangs and whistles' have changed slightly. The auto parking has gone but now have all round camera support for parking and a lane drift warning. The satnav console now sits on top of the dashboard making it easier to access. The Premium SE also has a "head up' display that projects your speed and speed limit (+ directions if you are using the satnav) in front of you. Imagine an invisible 6ft stick with a prompt card on the end. It is one of those extras that you will either love or hate! I have turned it off. Haven't towed for any distance yet (caravan a bit sick at the moment - needs a new axle and drawbar) but no reason to doubt its towing ability. It is our 3rd Santa Fe and I believe it is the best tow car for the match of stability against oomph that we have owned. I have a small but heavy 7m caravan and, having towed for about 25000 miles in Europe over the past 3 years, have never found a hill that it cannot cope with, have to watch my speed going downhill because there is no wobble at all and it still gives me plenty of acceleration for overtaking. Hope that helps, Bob
  14. Lutz, Can I go back to your first question about gas. We left UK towards the end of Aug and got back in the middle of Feb. I set off with a full 11kg gas bottle. We meandered our way down to the bottom of Spain and back with just under 4 weeks in Morocco and I was worried about running out of gas. So I bought a Spanish regulator and 'borrowed' a Repsol gas bottle (leaving my gas bottle and a deposit) from the campsite that we were at before catching the ferry to Tangiers. We came back after 3.5 weeks on 15 Dec. I kept the gas bottle over Christmas & New Year (incidentally we were in Camping Bella Vista over that period - joined by daughter and sister-in-law) and returned it on 3 Jan switching back to my original bottle. We never ran out of gas. I ran the fridge on electricity and had a low wattage fan heater when we got up in the morning and for most evenings but ran the Truma heating system for an hour or 2 when the weather got really cold. (-5C at night in Frankfurt on the way back!) Hope that helps answer the gas question. Bob
  15. I am with Ian mostly! We came back in February from a 6 month tour of Spain and Morocco. We did not miss anything and felt that we could have just kept going. 6 months was not long enough but we were forced to come back because the house insurance only allowed us to have it unoccupied for 6 months. The only difference with Ian is that we did not plan anything but made it up as we went along. We have an Omnistor wind out canopy fitted to the top of the caravan but, although I carry the panels to make it into a full awning, we rarely use them. Sadly the caravan is a bit sick at the moment and needs a new axle and drawbar so we are house bound for the time being. It is 13 years old and we do about 10,000 miles a year with it, so it is feeling its age! Enjoy your trip - seems daunting before you set off but time goes by very quickly. Bob
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