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About Pembssurfer

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  • Towcar
    C-class estate
  • Caravan
    Sterling Europa 520
  1. With that info in mind and with how cheap and easy the exhaust back pressure sensor is to replace I would try it. If the error code on star is P0471 get it changed! Are they using STAR or is it a general diagnostic tool? If not STAR then shooting in the dark really!
  2. THIS.... I have a C250CDI with 60k miles and 6 years old now. Does a mixture of runs including short runs. Only time I had a DPF related sensor fail was when the exhaust back pressure sensor was faulty which was preventing the DPF regen as it didn’t know the current values. £50 and new sensor later not had a problem, that was a year ago. Mercedes and Volvo are both known to have rock solid DPF filters in the mechanical sense, and are better than the rest. The problem is nearly always a sensor downstream of the EGR failing. For £200 that would be around £90 for a diagnostic fault reading on STAR machine and then about £100 for a forced regen which would take 40-60 mins plugged into STAR. Haha you got there first by 2 seconds
  3. Not quite true most AWD in the last 10 years have used a Haldex clutch which is essentially a viscous coupling on each axle to distribute power to the wheel with the most grip accordingly.
  4. I tow with a late late 2013 C-Class C250 Cdi estate with AMG pack (slightly lower, much harder springs). Whilst it’s not an E-Class the underlying platform is essentially the same as the 2014 E-Class onwards albeit with shorter wheel base. My max weight I can tow is 1800kg and my vans MTPLM is somewhere around 1400kg I believe my kerbweight is around the close to yours around 1659kg. Tow hitch nose weight limit is only 75kg though despite some literature suggesting 100kg so that does limit the largest vans with 100kgish nose weights. It tows like a train and pretty stable. Average 30mpg with van and 48mpg without. As others have said I also have a detachable swan neck fitted and it sits fairly low but within normal regs however it probably effects me less than others as I have much stiffer springs thus the van barely puts the car down even a few mm fully loaded. I’d caution against a fixed flange tow bar as you will find the park-tronic parking sensors on mercs sit very low on the bumper and a fixed flange or swam neck will set them off thus rendering the sensors useless.
  5. So our caravan, Sterling Europa 520 from 2002 (previously parents) has been protected for 5 months in every year by a tailored breathable cover from Specialised covers. In this 17 years we have gone through 3 of these covers with the newest coming in last year. First time around in 2003 the cost was £120, 2010 was £159 then £160 again in 2017/18. Each was tailor made to accommodate sky light, aerial, fly etc and had a Velcro cut out for doors and attachment for A-frame cover. It also comes with two telescopic poles with special attachments to help lift the cover over the roof. They also come with foam inserts for the awning rail to help protect the cover snagging on sharp metal edges. Caravan is stored in open storage on a farm on hard standing until recently and every March when opened was bone dry with not a hint of damp or mould. It is fairly waterproof and despite the heavy rain last night when I inspected it today it was already dry on the outside and inside bar a couple of areas around the wheel arch. I have never seen or felt it sweat once on the underside. It came with protective felt windows covers that are a bit of a pain to fit to be honest but the only time we didn’t fit them we did get some mild abrasion on the front windows (lesson learnt). Conclusion: So do I think that spending in excess of £450 on 3 specialised covers over 17 years was worth it. Well the proof is in the pudding. Roof of van has NEVER needed cleaning and has always remained relatively clean needing minimal cleaning of front and sides every year. The caravan just had its first proper service including damp check in 15 years and registered pretty much zero damp everywhere (15% on floor on very wet day on a grass pitch was maximum reading). The service chap also commented on how the external sealant still looked ok and hadn’t shrunk by much and that it looked like a van over half its age and by about 15 years most tourers normally need areas re-sealing. So the emphatic answer in regards to caravan covers is yes, if you want to keep your van long term they are a worthwhile investment . HOWEVER, don’t bother with the cheap ones as the material is simply not good enough to let the van breath and could prove to give issues. Ya gets what ya pays for!
  6. I am actually towing with a C250 CDI estate as above and I can confirm it pulls our 1450kg sterling like an absolute train from very low revs. Does tail off after about 3200rpm but how much damage it can do within that 1200 rpm rev range is frightening and to be hitting anything over 3000rpm you are doing SERIOUS speed.. Without a van on the back and without esp and traction control on it will happily spin up the rear wheels in 3rd gear at 40mph in the wet. I had the same car but with a 2.0 litre CGI petrol turbo before (C200) with similar horsepower and the difference In the towing ability is night and day and general speed. Both had the same 7 speed Auto box. After driving and towing with both I can confirm the horse power has very little to add to the equation But the low down torque transforms the car into a towing beast. Back to the original question, I doubt you will notice much difference but it’s also worth comparing the kerb weights of both cars too. Heavier car with less power might be more noticeable.
  7. After some advice. I have a 2002 sterling Europa with what I presume is a standard ALKo chassis with no stabiliser fitted. I’m looking at retro-fitting the following Al-Ko stabiliser to it. AL-KO AKS3004 which are currently around £250 on eBay. Question is is it a straight forward fit to my year of caravan, something I can do myself or best left with the local trailer company? Also will be towing with a detachable swan-neck tow bar on a C-Class estate. thanks Adam
  8. Just to put this one to bed. The Sterling Europa had its service yesterday (first in at least 15 years) everything was A1 from axle to damp. Highest damp reading was on the floor which was 12% and it was in the morning with dewy grass underneath, all walls and ceilings were zero. Quite amazing at 17 years old, brake linings checked out as did wheel bearings. Even every single light bulb on the trailer.
  9. Thank you. Yea the heating both water and air are gas and electric with blown air, the water heater had a new element year before last and also the outside water pump/fixing point was replaced due to cracking. I will get the engineer to double down on the chassis side/ running gear first then see what’s what habitation wise. Smoke and CO2 alarms I can grab from work easily enough. Fridge did have a problem a few years ago with spiders web in flu so il get this checked too. I’m praying it’s reasonably dry but my parents are adamant it’s the only caravan they have had in 40 years of Caravanning that hasn’t ever had a damp problem. Perhaps with it never really hitting the open road has done it done favours.
  10. Hi yea brakes / Axle is what I’m most concerned about, hopefully those mobile engineers carry spare linings. The tyres are Kargomax caravan/ trailer tyres with a load rating of 102 so pretty overkill for a 1400kg van. It actually worked out as cheap and better for convenience to order brand new rims with the tyres fitted than mess about with tyre shops. It has definitely increased the ride height of the caravan though. It’s these wheels: Good price I thought! https://www.tridenttowing.co.uk/trailer-parts-c3/wheels-tyres-c526/trailer-wheels-c527/14-inch-trailer-wheels-c542/185r14c-wheel-5-stud-112mm-pcd-8-ply-tyre-p10804
  11. Yup il make sure that it’s included in the habitation test. However if we find any damp I’m guessing our options are very limited in terms of a repair at 17 years old?
  12. Hi everyone, long time lurker first time poster. So I am inheriting (they are still alive don’t worry) my parents caravan. It is a sterling Europa 520 2002 model. Now they bought it when it was 2 years old in 2004 and since then it has been used and stored on a site for that 15 year period. It gets put out for approx 7/8 months then stored on-site for the rest. It actually only ever got towed half a Mile twice a year on way to and from storage. It it appears to be damp free and in relatively good nick. It gets stored with a tailored breathable cover for the winter months. So so far I have replaced both steel rims and tyres as they had cracks in sidewalks you could put your finger in and the rims were a tad rusty. Tyres I had to go up from 175-185 width. As that was the only option, overall diameter has obviously increased but clearance still looks ok. The handbrake seems to hold and loosen as expected. I have booked in a mobile service with an approved workshop to do habitation and chassis service next month where I hope they will give the chassis and axle a good going over. My car has just been fitted with a detachable tow bar and is around 80% weight match so not expecting problems there. Anything else I should be looking out for bearing in mind how little road use it has had? Also toying with the idea of fitting a ALKO hitch stabiliser but will see how it goes first before chucking anymore more money at an old van. Ideally if I get 3 years out of it il consider it a success. thanks in advance Adam
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