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About marchie1053

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    Over 100 posts

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Fife, Scotland & Vendee, France
  • Interests
    Caravan, House Renovation, Music, Cruises
  • Towcar
    VW Tiguan 150 Match 2.0 Diesel
  • Caravan
    Gobur Carousel 12/2T

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  1. Unlike Borussia, we have a much smaller, Folding Caravan aka Gobby the Gobur, where space is at a premium. We're returning to Scotland today, via a couple of stops at Beaumont sur Sarthe and Clent Hills, so will take the Isabella Sun Canopy for shade and some outdoor space. The full canopy and half of the cupboards + endless cushions will stay in France until our Autumn return. We do attend weekend rallies in Scotland, but tend not to use either the sun canopy or the awning; makes it all a wee bit neat, though. Or even 'bijou pied a terre' if I'm in Hyacinth Bucket mode ... We could probably park Gobby inside Borussia's awning and still leave him room to get in and out of his carvan unimpeded! Meanwhile, back in reality, we hope to be in Spain for Winter, so shall definitely be using the full awning for all of the kit and caboodle that seems to be required. I do need to be more disciplined with the packing, and to stop the 'I'll just throw one more in, just in case ...'. Last winter, Mrs Marchie did the unpacking when we arrived in Spain and posed 2 questions; 'Do you know that they do sell deoderant in Spain?', followed by 'So, for less than 3 months, why did you feel the need to pack 7 of them?' 'Just in case', mumbled reply, sotto voce was all I could think of as a response . Steve
  2. Thefts of this nature are most likely to occur as the evening light fades, and are likely to involve those very tiny, revealing undergarments that get males so excited. There's a song about it ... 'Just A Thong at Twilight ...' Steve
  3. Most of the 30kph zones in and around our village are linked to School Crossing points and are accompanied by a 'Think of the Safety of our Pupils' message. I did mention approaching the speed ramp at 30 or just below [I should have emphasised that] and I was thinking back to Plodd's post about the speed ramps and his jockey wheel, and how he'd found it impossible not to have the wheel descend, IIRC, at 30kph. I have been surfacing a parking area chez nous and had to make 17 trips to the Builders Merchants to get the necessary aggregate in my general trailer, and this involves crossing the speed ramp in the village on each trip. Being an*****retentive, I kept trying variations on the speed to try to get both smooth entrance and exit from the ramp, not least because making 400kg [minimum] of wet aggregate bounce in the trailer is good for neither the car nor the trailer suspensions! There is an electrical instrument/equipment 'start up' enterprise in our village, and the Owners donated their top of the range model to the Speed Ramp Project; it seems pretty accurate, and, using that as a guide, I think about 27kph at the ramp start gives a smooth entrance, and then closing the throttle gives a smooth exit at about 25kph. It kept me amused during the 17 trips to collect the aggregate! With the van on, I approach at probably nearer 25kph on reflection and an exit speed of around 23kph, in 3rd gear; 2nd gear causes Tig to want to accelerate too quickly, and that again shakes both car and van. My apologies for mixing the trailer and caravan experience, the mind is beginning to wander! We're heading back to Scotland tomorrow, so I'll have the chance to get a more accurate picture of my speed on the ramps. Now isn't that something to look forward to? Steve
  4. I've probably been lulled into a false sense of security from the time spent renovating our hovel in France. At first, I used to lock everything up in the designated areas at the end of each day's work. It didn't take long for me to run out of storage space [first time when 20+ sheets of plasterboard were delivered ...] and my neighbour pointed out that there was more chance of damage from an overnight shower than there was from theft. Following morning, everything was all present and correct. My neighbour then asked me if I had seen all the cut timber in the small, privately owned coppices in the area. As he said, if the village is to survive, or thrive, everyone has to help each other and look out for your neighbours; if petty thieving starts, there will be no trust and the community will crumble, as people move away to towns. It is true, and it is rather nice. We leave house keys with our neighbours and also with the local contractors so that they can fit work in when we're back in Scotland. I get an email 'Work finished, photo attached; any problems let me know. Invoice also attached, happy to wait until you return to France in early October for payment'. Caravanning on smaller municipals has a similar atmosphere, and we were remembered at Montoire sur le Loir from last year's visit. The Wardens keep a watching brief on kit, as do the neighbouring campers, so bikes can be left unlocked, the 'cycle campers' can pitch and then shower without worrying about bike security etc and the holiday is very relaxed. Of course, one day I'll have a load of kit pinched but until then I'll enjoy being amongst people who respect the possessions of others. Steve
  5. I haven't found any 'severe' road bumps; at least in France, there is a plateau to the speed hump, so you have a chance to get car and van up, level and then begin the descent [nice and gently!]. The 'sleeping policeman' style in UK, where you hit a tall/fat log that can catch the bottom of the motor mover is, IMO, much worse. The barrier at Newhaven Ferry Port is a good [i.e. very bad] example - do you want the quick, big bang and hope you're airborne at the peak, or the slow ascent with the scraping sound as the Motor Mover catches on the way up, and then immediately catches on the descent ... I try to cross the 30kph speed ramps at exactly 30, or a little slower, measured by the speedo. That avoids the innards of the van bouncing. Any faster than 30kph and there is a lot of noise and movement of all the kit that has to stowed on the floor of the Folding Caravan, says I from bitter experience! Steve
  6. If there's an autoroute, I'll take it! I can then relax into the towing rhythm, and everyone else can do whatever blows their frock up ... Steve
  7. As a fall back, if you're driving though France, you could bite the bullet and buy a new 907 a local supermarket. The price difference, compared against an exchange, is about €35, but it does at least get you back to 'level pegging' and you'll always be able to swap the Butsir on future refills. It's a bit of a shame; I'm in France at present [returning to UK tomorrow] and have 3 x 907 bottles gathering dust [plus a 11kg Cepsa Spanish Bottle + a 4.5kg Calor Bottle ... I think I have all combinations covered! Steve
  8. In our village in the Vendee, the street lights are extinguished just after 22:00, it's like the proverbial dark orifice in a certain sub continent ... Steve
  9. The inability to change destination on the move is a 'safety feature', to stop the driver being distracted. OK. But, the driver is distracted by the navigator asking how to reset the route and which button must I press ... On the TomTom, I found that you can change the route whilst moving if the new destination is stored as a favourite. Steve
  10. Are the missing words 'camp stool'? Steve
  11. First trip to Spain last Winter. I kept my towing speed down to 55mph, and watched for the HGVs in the towing mirrors. They sailed past, I flashed the lights as soon as the HGV rear end was clear of the car bonnet, in the HGV came and on its way, with no drama, just the normal acknowledgement via the alternating indicator signal. HGVs have a delivery schedule; within reason, I have all the time in the world, and as long as I don't get under the HGVs feet, as it were, we can all be happy and stress free. Steve
  12. This is where it really is useful to have tunnel vision ... I haven't seen these signs specifically, but I have seen the 'End of Tunnel,Switch your lights off' variation. Re the 30kph speed limits [I've been looking at everyone since Plodd's post re jockey wheels, sad puppy that I am ...], those within a 30 kilometre or so radius from us all have a warning sign, usually at least 60 metres before the ramp begins, and a 'Fin de Zone 30' or a 30 sign with the familiar 'strikethrough' line to show the end. despite all this, the locals in the village, especially mums on the school run!, ignore the speed limit religiously, and hit the ramp at 40+km/h, before parking on the pavement, in a line of vehicles 6 to 8 cars long. So, we take our lives in our hands if we happen to wander down to the boulangerie during the school run - can't use the footpath because of the cars parked on it [there is allocated parking but that involves a walk of as much as 80 metres, and the locals don't do walking, unless it's at the other extreme, 8-15kms at breakneck speed around the countryside! The phrase 'happy medium' seems not to translate into French! Steve
  13. Better to be known as 'Marchie's late' rather than the 'late Marchie' ... Steve
  14. Fingers crossed that I'm OK ... I tend to drive quite gently, according to the VW Connect App that reports my staying within the Speed Limit at all times ... But, it only takes that few seconds of inattention, especially dropping down to a 70kph or 50kph limit, for it all to go wrong! I'll have to be extra vigilant on the start of the return trip on Monday, and keep concentrating! Steve
  15. I've got 3 months post waiting for me, courtesy of Royal Mail, in Scotland, so I hope there's no speeding tickets from the French authorities from the outward trip. Wouldn't be nice to arrive with my eyeballs hanging down to my kneecaps after about 850 miles towing to find a couple of bailiffs on the doorstep! Steve
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