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Susan D

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About Susan D

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  • Towcar
    Kia Sportage 2012 kx-2 2.0 AWD
  • Caravan
    2019 Elddis Avante 574

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  1. Hi, Mr. D is full-time working as a uni lecturer, albeit from home atm, and we have our youngest daughter at home with us, she is 11 so obviously still in school and will be for a few years yet, so our caravan getaways are limited to school and uni time off. Right now we're taking advantage of Mr. D's slightly more flexible work schedule, which means that he can work a shorter Friday. For weekends away, first, our van is on our drive so we can keep it ready with clean linen etc. and pack clothes in lockers in advance. We always stay on fully serviced pitches - we have a pool of about 18 sites 90 minutes or less journey time from home to choose from. Hook up van on Thursday night so fridge is chilled for Friday. We usually get a supermarket delivery on Wednesday or Thursday so we are well stocked for the weekend. I have a small crate which I use to take chilled and frozen food from house to van, usually just two trips. We keep a stock of non fridge food in sturdy bags in the back of the car, which gets replenished as and when. Also, we now have a separate EHU lead just for use at home, so we don't need to uncoil the one in the gas locker, which saves time when leaving. Generally Mr. D will do necessary tyre etc. checks (we have a mains powered pump - very handy) while Miss D is at school. On return home on a Friday, it's steadies up, van brought out onto the road using the mover, hitched up, the three of us plus hound pile into the car, lights and mirror checks, then off we go! Setting on site is easy enough, I usually connect fresh and wastewater hoses while Mr. D levels up, puts gas on and steadies down. We bring in a few necessary groceries for the kitchen cupboards, no need to drag everything out of the car, just as and when needed. TVs in place in living room and bedroom, aerial up. Scatter cushions brought out of locker and put in place (very important!). All set for the weekend! So true! And it's been sooo nice just to get away for a change of scenery, especially in the current climate.
  2. All this is putting me off joining the clubs even more. My experience of sites so far has generally been, either all pitches are the same size wise, serviced etc. so just choose a vacant one on arrival, or, enter your van size, awning requirements etc. when booking, then you are allocated a suitable specific pitch. We prefer that. Talking of not using the facilities on a f.s. pitch, I'm reminded of our stay at a small (non club) site in Staffordshire immediately post lockdown. All fully serviced pitches. A middle aged couple in a very new looking little caravan a set up on the neighbouring pitch, aquaroll and wastemaster connected. Then looked around, nipped out in their car and returned with lengths of fresh and wastewater piping, plus a float for the aquaroll. For to make their post lockdown break all the more relaxing. Good call.
  3. Hasn't happened to us yet, but that could be because three months after we bought our van, somebody turns head, looks skyward and whistles brought the cooker lid down on the still cooling hotplate, necessitating a visit to the nearest caravan supplies shop to purchase a new lid, or pack of three, actually as they were only stocked that way. Much clearing of fragments of glass later, new lid firmly screwed in place, and touch safety glass, it hasn't budged through numerous journeys. I think we'd best make a point of periodic tightening of the screws to be safe, though.
  4. In our case, leaving it on Eco constantly means it only uses 3.3A as opposed to 6,5 (or whatever it is) on the full 70°C setting, so we don't overload the EHU, especially in winter when we're running the heating. As I said, 55° is ideal for general handwashing, and it takes very little time to raise it to 70 when needed. It suits us that way, anyway. Sorry, bit of thread drift!
  5. Do you have an eco setting? Our Whale water does, it's 55°C (standard setting is 70°C same as the Truma). We leave ours on the eco setting all the time on EHU as it's ideal for handwashing, then just top it up to 70 for showers and dishwashing.
  6. Don't some of those monster RVs have an onboard garage at the back? Press a button and out pops a "little" runaround car? I wouldn't be surprised if they did.
  7. This might fit the bill, but I'm not sure if you can get Dethleffs caravans directly from UK dealers? https://www.dethleffs.de/en/caravans/modelpage/pimmodels/pimmodel/cjoy/480-qlk/ The fact is that with UK vans, you are highly unlikely to have a fixed beds of any sort at opposite ends of a van. There will almost always be a sofa bed arrangement in the front living area, with variations on double, twin or bunk beds at the other end. Also, where do you envisage dining, and how many are to dine at any one time? With e.g. the Elddis/Compass 586, there are bunks at the rear, and you could leave the front sofa bed permanently made up (which you say you don't want to), but the side dinette only sits two. As you have seen, you are far more likely to find fixed beds at both ends in continental vans, chiefly French or German layouts. Whether or not that means a trip across the channel to source exactly what you are after, I don't know. Good luck finding your ideal van.
  8. My mind is pure boggling here - it seems the possible combinations are endless!
  9. Ooh, steady on now, can't be getting too ambitious, can we!
  10. I declare, my life will not be complete until I see a Discovery being towed by a Discovery. I've set that as one of my life goals.
  11. Arriving at our fully serviced pitch on Friday afternoon, when setting up I lifted the flap on our grey waste water drain, to find... the previous occupant had emptied their toilet down there. I was greeted with a mush of paper and faeces - lovely! A quick phone call, and it was dealt with immediately, by some poor, probably minimum waged, lad from E. Europe, and we proceeded to enjoy our weekend at what was actually a very nice park, no noise at night or any other bother. But why, oh why, would you do that? There was Talk of HO getting on to the culprits - the park has an ANPR barrier so could easily bar them with that particular towcar. No doubt they'll feign ignorance though. Oh well, I imagine there may be more caravanning horrors to encounter in future years - not too many, I hope.
  12. Sorry, hope I didn't offend! I think we just like it too easy to be bothered, plus I fear that both our can and van are loaded enough as it is! There were two humongous RVs at the site we've just returned from, one was a Vacationer, size of a bus, I'd never seen anything like it! Mr. D - the driver - just looks and shakes his head, very firmly. No, just no. They look amazing inside though - I've lived in smaller bricks and mortar places.
  13. I don't understand why two people, not in the first flush of youth, with an 8 foot wide twin axle monster van, pitch up, then proceed to erect their mahoosive full size awning, so they can sit in it and watch the world, whatever the weather, for two days, then have to take it down and pack it all away again. I mean, what a faff for such a short time! How much space do two people need? If the weather is nice, why not just sit outside? Or if not, just sit in the van? I suppose it's horses for courses, it takes all sorts, and what suits one doesn't suit another!
  14. 2 nights, Lomond Woods Holiday Park near Balloch, our total 30 nights, forum total 236.
  15. 2019 Avante 574 bought new last September, very happy so far, only warranty work done was on the squealy Alko brakes, which is dealt with now and isn't Elddis any way. Oh, and a slightly loose hook which dealer sorted quickly enough. Been away in all weather, sun, rain, freezing and always warm and dry. We love the lay out which lets us shut off daughter's bedroom from living area with two solid doors for privacy either end. Also being able to lock only the washroom with toilet and sink so that someone is using the toilet, others can walk through from bedroom to living area and vice versa. Also someone can use the shower while someone else uses the toilet if need be. For that we had to put frosted film on the shower door, but that was simple enough. So it's easy to partially or completely block off the bathroom depending on need. No need to lock up to three doors to the whole bathroom before you can use the loo like in some vans, nor any need to walk through someone's bedroom to do so since the bathroom is central. Kitchen is great with big deep sink for washing up and the standard Thetford mk 3 cooker with the hotplate option on the hob which I like. Good sized pan locker beneath. Plenty of space in cupboards and drawers for our needs, ditto fridge which has a bigger freezer compartment than in some statics we've stayed in. Our front sofa bed is a bit cosy but that's just because this was the biggest 4 berth van with midships bathroom we could fit on our drive, so obviously not a fault. The radio with USB (which we have adapted for Bluetooth very easily and inexpensively) has superb sound, as the entire corner cabinets are given over to the speakers rather than having them fixed in the roof or ceiling. So yes, all good so far, our van goes in for its first service in a couple of weeks, we shall see what if anything that throws up.
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