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Vanmaster Man

My Vanmaster Build

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The fridge plug on my VM used to work loose, a bit of blue tak cured it.

 

Chances are you have a piece of toilet paper wrapped round the float in the holding tank.

 

Ian

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I'm sitting on the edge of lake Garda having been away for four weeks in the new van.

Bad points first.

The intelligent charger stopped and the battery went flat whilst moving the van off a difficult pitch. Typical that it all went wrong at the worst possible time. Managed to shift it with the car but had a hell of a job getting it onto the next site without movers. Eventually bought a new battery (huge cost over here) and got it working only to find out it wasn't the battery but the charger that was at fault. The mains plug (a bit like a kettle lead) had come out. It was pretty likely to be something I did because it's worked perfectly since I pushed the plug back in. Doh!

Light warning on the toilet has packed up. Not investigated too deeply tbh.

The premium jockey wheel is dreadful. I would much rather have a pneumatic. Because of the yoke being so complex and big it doesn't fit the A frame cover and hangs too low. Also the fact that it has a form of suspension for the noseweight measure (hugely inaccurate) the thing gets trapped under the van. It has to go.

Good things.

It tows so much better now I've increased the tyre pressures in the rear of the car.

The setting up on the E&P hydraulics system is so much better than I expected. The weather here has been mid 30's and not winding or even "drilling" makes it such a doddle.

The satellite dish managed to get Sky right into Croatia.

Everything else worked just as it should and been a great place to spend the last month. All in all very pleased with the performance of the van. The weight hasn't caused us any problems and the Disco 4 hasn't missed a beat. Just brilliant really. Love them both and can see many years of fun together.

Nice to hear from you Hugh and glad the van is living upto expectations

Your mamouth tour sounds grand. Good job u in top of italy now as earthquake hit mid italy last night

Keep safe

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Got the toilet sorted with a good flush through whilst emptying. Thanks for the tip. The plug is supported in the charger by a small wooden block now so has nowhere to go. The thing I like best in the van is the A/C. Couldn't do a holiday like this without it.

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I appreciate your concern but as you can see, we're well north of the affected area. A terrible thing for sure. I am not that drawn to southern Italy due mainly to the incredible heat in summer. I went to Rome last May and almost melted in 44 degree weather.

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Great post, really enjoyed reading it through to the end. .... Best wishes Terry

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Spotted a dark grey Disco tugging a TA Vanmaster in Sussex this morning, Crawley/M23 area, was that you? Impressive outfit!

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Not me today. I've just managed to clean half of Europe from mine over the last week. I have never seen one actually being towed myself.

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I've just managed to clean half of Europe from mine over the last week

 

Oh dear Vanmaster Man you have just burst my bubble. The vendor of our new to us Vanmaster assured us that it would never attract dust, dirt, bugs or even black streaks, do you think he was telling fibs! :D

 

Great thread by the way

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I had the G3 Glasscoat applied at the factory and found it very easy to clean with a bit of Auto Glym shampoo added. It would possibly have cleaned with just water. They offer another finish also which is priced the same but I'd heard such good things about the G3 product that I chose this in preference. It was the amount of sand and dirt I'd walked into the van that surprised me. I'd taken the kitchen carpet out and had a couple of VM mats supplied which can be thrown in the washing machine, in place. The wheels looked like they were satin finish. TBH it wasn't hard work at all, just too hot to do that without a beer in hand and a relaxer chair.

Welcome to the fold btw, hope the VM lives up to your expectations. I find that it's simplicity is part of it's charm. If you have a screwdriver you could strip it down and rebuild it yourself. I did find tyre pressures needed to be checked on both the car and van to get the smoothest ride (not so important on my Conqueror 645) and a speed of 65mph (104kph) was best whilst on the European motorways. Been doing it for the last 3 years and never had any problems. I did have the thumbs up with my Swift from some French police at 70mph but they didn't stop me or ask me to slow down.

:unsure:

I can confirm the black streak problem doesn't happen to any real degree and where its feint it just wipes off. :)

Edited by Vanmaster Man
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Thanks for the welcome. My VM had Tourershine applied last year and I have to say that It does come up very nice without too much effort. I know what you mean about the beer and relaxer though.

We have not used the VM yet as busy refurbing the Bungalow, hope to be away for trial by end of September though then just a week or two away this year then if all ok' Jan till April in Spain and France. Interesting about tyre pressures I will experiment to get best ride, what pressure do you reccomend to start with? I towed it home (three hundred ml's) and have to say no problems at all it just followed behind as good as gold very pleased.

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I hope you two are going to join the VM association, the discount on servicing will cover your membership.

 

Ian

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Hi Ian

I get a years membership from VM when I bought the van and saved £400 on insurance immediately. Well worth the investment of £15 a year. Who gives the discount on servicing? Vanmaster themselves?

Huw

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Hi Ian

I get a years membership from VM when I bought the van and saved £400 on insurance immediately. Well worth the investment of £15 a year. Who gives the discount on servicing? Vanmaster themselves?

Huw

Yes

 

Ian

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I'm not sure that I'll travel the four hours for a service at VM or not. I may just do it to keep in touch but not decided yet. It was a case that the previous generation ALKO chassis needed brake adjustment after 1000 miles but the new chassis have automatic adjustment so puts off my decision until next year. I do need some adjustment on the sliding doors from the kitchen to bedroom as the van has settled they don't meet as well as they did so may be up there sooner rather than later.

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So here we are almost a year on from collecting my Vanmaster and just had to say that it lives up to it's promise very well. The good and bad points that I've experienced are listed below but the reality is most bad points are self inflicted.

Bad points.

Solid table top has expanded and had to be sanded and refinished to return the edges to as new. Not something that can be avoided with a solid timber so thinking of upgrading to a Corian top for the three drawer chest at the front with a further Corian pull out table under.

E&P system just stops for no apparent reason halfway through deploying and has to be retracted and redeployed. Irritating but not insurmountable. I'll get an engineer to have a look when the holiday season is over.

I still have the AlKo premium jockey wheel because the inflatable version won't fit very well. I think it's awful but what do I know!

Electric rooflight is pretty naff from the remote as it needs to be so close to the unit, you may as well open it by hand. Anyone know if the remote signal can be improved?

Internet connection abroad is dreadful and I've been trying to find a better way to keep us connected. I use the 3 data card in a Mifi unit but the speeds are pretty dire tbh. Anyone got any better ideas?

Because of the weight, the movers need to be fed by a very well charged battery with high AH rating, I used the 110AH battery from my Swift and should have fitted a good higher rated unit to save being let down. Talk about spoiling the ship etc. I got stuck across my road trying to nose the van into the driveway. Completely blocked the road. Luckily my Son called his mates over and we managed to push the van into place with some huge effort. I now have a 135AH Banner battery being delivered tomorrow. I should say that Powrtouch had a guy on the phone on a Bank Holiday who talked me through a few tests and was just brilliant. Anyway, I owe the boys a pint or three for the efforts.

Good points.

Everything else. It's just so good at doing the live in bit. We've just returned from France after a two and a half week tour and just couldn't fault it apart from the above. I have ripped out the drain pipe from the shower but seriously can't see how. I fixed it on site with some 1" hose bought from Brico Marche for 1. 38€. Pretty good job if I say so myself. Part of the charm is the easily fixed situations I find myself in. My wife thinks I'm a brilliant engineer and can fix anything but the build is very simple and lends itself well to the efforts of a DIYer with a screwdriver.

I really am happy with the van and the performance is very good.

The telling question is always "would I do it again" and I have to answer, in a heartbeat!

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So as another season draws to an almost end. Apart from this weekend and a week in October and three other wekends it's as good as finished.

I thought I'd refresh my thread on my Vanmaster with an update. We only had the 4 week break this year in the van as we went on a villa holiday to Florida with the kids as a nostalgic fortnight and loved almost every minute. The heat was around 95 to 98 and the humidity was up at 92%. It really was unbearable and I will never bother to go there again in the summer. We had such a good time with the kids that we all agreed to spend the May bank holiday week as a family holiday together. I can't believe that no one was killed but hey, we got on well.

So we took my wifes cousin and his wife along to France to show them how simple the whole holiday abroad thing is. Apart from their car immediately going wrong and constantly being a pain they completely loved it. The first few days were very wet but once the sun came out they realised what it was all about. They now have a plan to meet us for a week next year during our 6 week tour.

The van behaved very well until I discovered one of the central sliding doors was at a slant. I unscrewed the cover board which gives access to the runners and found the runner had been screwed into the veneer rather than a block. The screwhole had elongated and allowed the runner to drop. This was poorly done and should have had more screws into real wood to be anywhere near strong enough. I removed the door and took the runner off to see if there was a way to make a fix. I decided to ask the site owner for a go on his electric drill and drilled four equally spaced holes in the backplate. I then found some screws in the toolbox (A habit to keep all old fixings and chuck them in my toolbox). I refitted with five fixings instead of two and it worked a treat. I fitted some rare earth magnets at the top of the doors and they ensure the doors stay closed when needed. I'm still totally in love with my van and my D4 towcar. The whole rig is very well balanced and towing is a total pleasure.

I'd still have the van again if asked. Brilliant. :D

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Huw, as per your update #165 jockey wheel. You need to change the whole assembly for the pneumatic tyre. Glad to read that all is going well. Unfortunately a Vanmaster is way out of our league so we have to look for the cheapies. :D

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Huw, as per your update #165 jockey wheel. You need to change the whole assembly for the pneumatic tyre. Glad to read that all is going well. Unfortunately a Vanmaster is way out of our league so we have to look for the cheapies. :D

Lol. Buccaneer = cheapie. Lol.

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Goodness ! What does that make our little `Stellar . ...bargain basement . ..hehe ;)

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Hi Ian

Yeah I know it needed the whole assembly but that's what doesn't fit inside the A frame cover. Cheaper for me to get a mate who's in body repairs to enlarge the cover. Seeing as it's 5 hours each way to Wigan.

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Goodness ! What does that make our little `Stellar . ...bargain basement . ..hehe ;)

It's almost priceless!

 

Apologies to OP for drift. This is an interesting topic as there are so few VanMasters, especially since the company restarted.

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It's almost priceless!

 

Apologies to OP for drift. This is an interesting topic as there are so few VanMasters, especially since the company restarted.

We have just bought a 2005 model. Best caravan we have had and in great condition.

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I love this thread + 1 for the Vanmaster appreciation society.

 

Had mine just over a year now, best one I have ever had everything so solid. It is now 14 years old and looks almost identical to VM new van.

 

Thank's for the update Vanmaster Man

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This place always has a few Vanmasters on sale, prices look quite good for such a quality product, I have looked & dreamed myself a few times but can't afford to upgrade my towcar .

 

 

http://www. stevemanncaravans. co. uk

Edited by stevew1

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I love this thread + 1 for the Vanmaster appreciation society.

 

Had mine just over a year now, best one I have ever had everything so solid. It is now 14 years old and looks almost identical to VM new van.

 

Thank's for the update Vanmaster Man

 

Apart from the price, I sometimes wonder if that might put people off buying a new one! With registration plates not showing the 'van age, it doesn't allow the show-offs to show-off!!

I'm about to buy a used one (640 Siggy) and really looking forward to it!

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