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About Squash

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  • Towcar
    Hyundai Santa Fe
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    Swift 480

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  1. Years ago: 1. Sheffield area to A26 Services Aire du Mont de Nizy (Close to Guignicourt). 2. To Aire de Montelimar Ouest - large set back places in woodland and allegedly patrolled at night. 3. Onwards to Grimaud (well in our case Le Lavandou) In those days the Toulon tunnel was not built (in fact the East West route was only opened a long time after the West East) so the drive though Toulon was slow. Fastest route possible as time really mattered and stopping on Aires was acceptable and, as far as anything is, safe. Later: 1, Sheffield to Camping au Bord de L'Aisne at Guignicourt. 2. Camping Floral - On N7 10 mins from Autoroute du Soleil leaving at exit 17, Montelimar Nord. Small site with tiny pool and takeaway snacks. Fine for an overnight stop. 3. Onwards to destination. Recently: Much much slower. No hurry so happy to take back roads or motorways but never stop on Aires. Can't really comment upon the Southampton departure except to say my advice would be to avoid Paris. Traffic can be incredible and what may seem a less direct route can be quicker and certainly more pleasant. You do mention departing at Calais which is why I've added my tuppence worth. The "later" route might suit you as your trip to Calais would equate with mine from the Sheffield area. In fact yours would be shorter. Guignicourt might be worth booking but doubt it in September. Camping Floral should be fine too. Record: Without a caravan driving my Saab Turbo and with speed on motorways less restrained in practice than today from Frejus to Sheffield area non-stop. Only rest was on the ferry! What a difference both state of mind, call it common sense, and maturity makes to our decisions.
  2. Never removed mine John and had no issues at all. One 4.2 m and the other 3.8 m It is, after all, suspended along a long piece of rail. Pressure evenly divided.
  3. I'm sure you won't mind but in the interests of accuracy I hope the OP notes the points below: Fiamma Zip is not a "motorhome" version of their "awning". The zip versions have sides and front panels that "zip" together to create a nominally weatherproof seal. Other styles of enclosures, sometimes called "privacy rooms" offer front and side panels but they do not zip together. They are tied together with elastic loops or, indeed, tape. As an aside - unlike the popular "blow up" awnings where sides are not always separate with Fiamma they are. You simply add to the canopy depending upon need. This makes weight and handling issues become of minor importance. I would be surprised to see a "wind out" awning fitted to a Sprite Major and, of course, the OP specifically mentions the "awning bag" style. It has to be accepted that even a Fiamma Zip does not provide the weatherproofing or resistance to wind as a properly erected inflatable or rigid awning. Having said that I have had a zip and currently have the "privacy room" versions. Both, but particularly the zip, are sturdy and with proper care paid to pegging down they are able to withstand strong wind. Undoubtedly the new wider versions are lighter than the previous models even though with greater area in the canopy. Setting a canopy out is a task taking a very short time and rolling it back takes no longer. For short stops we use just the canopy and may add an end, an end or a front, a sunshade, or all three sides depending upon circumstances. They are, in my view, the perfect simple and quick awning to use, as we do, predominantly abroad. I would not recommend for long stays in inclement weather where the awning is used as an extra weatherproof room complete with TV and the rest! Having said that I've seen the zip versions being used as others would use a conventional awning so, like everything else, it's "horses for courses"!
  4. Not where we had planned to go but thanks for the tip. Originally we had planned to travel from East Austria to Lichtenstein then a diagonal route through Switzerland which my post would have been part of. We were never intending heading south through Mont Blanc this year moorgate. We have now revised our thinking and will be in Lichtenstein first, heading over to Innsbruck then leaving Austria heading for Lake Como. This avoids Switzerland and a motorway trip towards Asti and on via Briancon to Lake Serre Poncon will be our route. We will then head to the Mediterranean via Sisteron and cross country towards Brignoles then south to Le Lavandou. We were in Switzerland a couple of years ago so to leave our next return another year is no hardship. Thanks for the advice though.
  5. Just ordered our 3rd Santa Fe which will be delivered with 20 plate in March. Ticks all our boxes but if the seats are too small for the OP and his wife then clearly a non starter. To be honest not at all sure many cars have larger seats but I'm no expert in car seats!
  6. Thanks you two. I'll have a look at a legal route. Shame, but I can understand when there might be people towing overweight vans of gigantic proportions with under-powered cars.
  7. Would welcome recent first hand experience towing this route.
  8. I was under the impression that diesels emitted lower CO2 than petrol. Am I mistaken?
  9. Well if it hadn't come off intact I would not have said it did! Why on earth would I lie? I've absolutely no idea what it should "comply" with nor do I care to be honest. It came stuck to the side of my new Lunar Clubman and was replaced, after intact removal, with another identical sticker provided by Lunar abut with the new upgraded weight. Just think - had I known I might have bought a caravan with an illegal sticker how upset I would have been! Could never have enjoyed my holidays with that playing on my mind!
  10. I guess different styles of sticker. Mine came off intact - perhaps a tiny bit curly - but certainly good enough to replace if needed.
  11. The latest Santa Fe only has a "space saver" whilst the previous models (ours is a 64 reg) had full size spares. Hasn't stopped us from ordering a new one for next March though - our 3rd.
  12. Just had an email from Dartford telling me that since my account has been inactive for 12 months it will be closed in a further 90 days. If I want to keep it active I can either use the service or top up the balance! Until last year I used the crossing at least once every year - in both directions. Not likely to use Dartford during the coming year - will be Hull/Zeebrugge for the biggie - so maybe letting the account close the best option rather than top up with £10.00 when the account is currently £6.64 in credit. Had a look at getting a refund. So far as I understand the situation I can amend a charge for £2.50 (which I don't want) or ask for a refund. The snag seems to be that a refund costs , wait for it, £10.00. I'm not completely clear and just wondering if anyone else has faced this dilemma? It may be that the £6.64 will remain as a balance even though they say my account has been closed? If that's the case I may simply top up the standard £10.00 in the future to have £16.64 credit. Alternatively if I don't do anything for the next 90 days maybe the account will be closed permanently and the £6.64 lost. My understanding is that this will be the case. Of course we're not talking of a vast amount of money but I would be interested to hear if anyone else has been in this situation.
  13. Just to add another word of caution on the same lines. Years ago I had a series of Saabs. The first ones were what you might call "sporty" with full blown turbos and low stiff suspension. Towing was a dream. My last Saab was a 9-5 LPT and the difference was incredible. Power was adequate but the suspension was not. Tyre profiles, compliance and the rest made towing a tad challenging. Just wondering if you will experience similar issues.
  14. Yes - An old friend of mine wouldn't have electric windows on his car! "Something to go wrong" he said.
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