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Black Grouse

Making caravanning easy

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

We tried the one from ALDI and found it to be useless plus it does not kill any smell.  We still have them in the caravan, but now use Dometic tablets and have found them to be quite effective at breaking down the waste plus no smell!

 

Did I mention any particular brand or make of Biological liquid in my post?  And your reference to still having “them”?? If you tried using tablets that’s NOT what was suggested by me was it??

 

Perhaps if you try a premium brand, rather than the cheapest you could find, you might just have a different opinion.  ‘You get what you pay for” probably fits this scenario don’t you think? 

 

I have never had any problem with odours, but perhaps that’s because we only use our onboard toilet for liquid waste. That’s a practice that just about every other (but not all): caravanner/motorhomer I have spoken to adopts!

 

As I have said in many other threads, no-one is forcing you into using bio liquid (or cruise control, Pumpking discount card, or only CMC sites etc etc) are they! It works for some but not for others.

 

Freedom of choice dear boy, freedom of choice ;)

 

Andy

Edited by Mr Plodd
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We have a Screwfix cordless Li-ion drill which makes light work of the steadies and engaging / disengaging the Reich motor mover. Much better, quicker and easier than struggling with the brace while on my knees (which aren't in the best condition).

 

I must say I find the discussion about toilet chemicals rather mystifying. We use elsan organic which is available for £10 for 2 litres.  A dose for the toilet is around 50ml so that 2 litres will do for around 40 fills. At 25p a fill that hardly breaks the bank. Having experienced the stench after people who don't use anything have emptied their cassettes I wouldn't consider that option.

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30 minutes ago, Mr Plodd said:

Did I mention any particular brand or make of Biological liquid in my post?  And your reference to still having “them”?? If you tried using tablets that’s NOT what was suggested by me was it??

Perhaps if you try a premium brand, rather than the cheapest you could find, you might just have a different opinion.  ‘You get what you pay for” probably fits this scenario don’t you think? 

I have never had any problem with odours, but perhaps that’s because we only use our onboard toilet for liquid waste. That’s a practice that just about every other (but not all): caravanner/motorhomer I have spoken to adopts!

As I have said in many other threads, no-one is forcing you into using bio liquid (or cruise control, Pumpking discount card, or only CMC sites etc etc) are they! It works for some but not for others.

Freedom of choice dear boy, freedom of choice ;)

Andy

I never said that you mentioned any particular brand however I did mention which one we tried.  We have never used bio tables in our washing machine so have no idea which is a premium brand.  Maybe you can offer a suggestion?

Our toilet is an all purpose and we use it for what it was designed to do.  Never use on site facilities as most times it can be difficult for me. 

Yep it is up to the individual to decide what to use and what not to use, but either way whatever you use in the toilet is not labour saving, it is money saving something motorhomers are very good at doing!  :D

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44 minutes ago, Durbanite said:

I never said that you mentioned any particular brand however I did mention which one we tried.  We have never used bio tables in our washing machine so have no idea which is a premium brand.  Maybe you can offer a suggestion?

Our toilet is an all purpose and we use it for what it was designed to do.  Never use on site facilities as most times it can be difficult for me. 

Yep it is up to the individual to decide what to use and what not to use, but either way whatever you use in the toilet is not labour saving, it is money saving something motorhomers are very good at doing!  :D

 

The Dometic toilet, which we have in our caravan, has a form of SOG system albeit with no fan, just a tube vented to fresh air and the use of biological washing liquid hastens that process. I do agree it's not about labour saving though.

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19 hours ago, Woodie106 said:

If you buy a drill to wind the legs up & down get a decent one as some cheapos will run out after doing just one or two legs. 

 

I agree with the above.

 

To my mind, the heaviest task is emptying the waste master. By its very nature you are carrying a good half of the weight yourself. Emptying it twice a day would help there.

 

Also, many CL owners are happy for you to empty the grey water in the hedges so that is another thing to consider.

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1 minute ago, Orange said:

I agree with the above.

 

To my mind, the heaviest task is emptying the waste master. By its very nature you are carrying a good half of the weight yourself. Emptying it twice a day would help there.

 

Also, many CL owners are happy for you to empty the grey water in the hedges so that is another thing to consider.

 

My parents use an Aquaroll type of container for the waste (it’s a black one to avoid confusion!) as they find it much easier to push/pull than the traditional Wastemaster wheeled type.

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14 minutes ago, GaryB1969 said:

My parents use an Aquaroll type of container for the waste (it’s a black one to avoid confusion!) as they find it much easier to push/pull than the traditional Wastemaster wheeled type.

Just an observation:-

I found that the handle moulding on a Wastemaster was too thick to make it easy to hold when the tank was full, and worse if the loo cassette was piggy-backed. The design meant that I also tended to catch the wheels against my heels when dragging it behind me. To overcome both of these issues I added a webbing loop through the Wastemaster handle, so extending it and reducing the effective weight on my hand, while at the same time moving the wheels a few inches further behind me so they no longer caught my heels.

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Posted (edited)

A lot of the issues mentioned in this thread are about personal preferences and individual needs. We all differ, and as we age, we differ in what we find difficult.

Some have difficulty coping with stress and/or noise.

Some have difficulty bending.

Some have difficulty gripping.

Some have difficulty with heavy weights.

Some have mobility issues.

etc. etc.

Or any permutation of the above!

 

We all have to find our own way forward accepting or rejecting whatever advice in accordance with our particular needs.

Edited by Stevan
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11 minutes ago, Stevan said:

 

Some have difficulty griping.

 

 

 

 

        I haven't noticed folk having difficulty griping on these pages Steven!   Sorry mate, couldn't resist.    :D

 

             John.

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2 minutes ago, Leedslad said:

 

        I haven't noticed folk having difficulty griping on these pages Steven!   Sorry mate, couldn't resist.    :D

 

             John.

I could be offended at you spelling my name wrong!

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Whilst not yet struggling, I have always found Aquarolls a hit and miss thing. Yes, good for rolling across a rough field, but then having to upend the thing to open the top is less good. I know that you can now get Aquarolls with the lid on the curved barrel section, but then one needs to bend to chock the thing.

 

Some years ago, we bought a van and contents, one of which was a 5 gallon plastic "jerry can" shape water container, along with a weighty steel trolley purpose made for the job. This was an excellent compromise as there was little bending or lifting involved and the container could be left on the trolley whilst on site. I think we only downgraded to Aquaroll as the next van came with two!!

 

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1 minute ago, AlwynMike said:

Whilst not yet struggling, I have always found Aquarolls a hit and miss thing. Yes, good for rolling across a rough field, but then having to upend the thing to open the top is less good. I know that you can now get Aquarolls with the lid on the curved barrel section, but then one needs to bend to chock the thing.

 

Some years ago, we bought a van and contents, one of which was a 5 gallon plastic "jerry can" shape water container, along with a weighty steel trolley purpose made for the job. This was an excellent compromise as there was little bending or lifting involved and the container could be left on the trolley whilst on site. I think we only downgraded to Aquaroll as the next van came with two!!

 

Quite a few of our friends use similar.

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17 hours ago, CommanderDave said:

 

+1

 

Dave

 

For what it's worth here is my view for OP and others  ....

 

Sorry but have seen no evidence on my travels and observing that moving over or owning a Motorhome would assist the OP or others at all in making his life much easier, far from it especially given the no transport issue. Caravan use and ease of set up can of course be made much much easier with a few simple things, changes and ideas. We really dont find setting up our Caravan any great hassle or trauma. If in doubt or worried just 'Google it' for a video or help.

 

An 'Auto engaging' motor mover greatly eases things and is very sensible = saves any trauma & hassle manouvering & also hitching and encourages you to use it more. 

 

A quick look externally at you Van levelling gives you a guide but a simple spirit level fitted onto your A frame gives you an instant view of the actual without going back and forth into the van. 

 

Have always used a Battery drill for steadies up & down for last 30 years - does anyone really still kneel down and hand crank them ??

 

Agree daily Cassette emptying will help greatly. To simplify re-filling I use Lidl Formil 'Bio' tabs for greater ease, storage anywhere handy, and less cost & hassle than smelly fluids. Other bio-tabs do differ in performance trials greatly.

 

A folding lightweight Fisherman's trolley will assist you greatly with allsorts of containers and your now daily half full cassette trips. Couple of bungy cords to hold things on - note the fold down  platform for placing your cassette onto on this Fisherman's one so it doesnt foul the wheels. Regardless get one with bigger wheels for bumpy terrain or gravel etc. Am not too happy with my small cassette wheels on gravel surfaces or long trips or carrying when it's full. I use one of these for my fishing box & also many Caravan jobs = £29.99 plus £2 deliv they say or much more at other outlets. Recommended.

 https://www.bobcotackle.co.uk/shop/sensas-folding-trolley

 

A Gardening type kneeling pad for when you do have to kneel down I find is great on gravel stones or even tarmac to ease the pain.

 

Hope this helps you and some others too !

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The waste master has a built in cassette carrier and comes complete with bungee fasteners.

Both the 18v and 20v aldi drills will be plenty good enough for the legs and the Li-on batteries will last for ages 

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1 hour ago, montesa said:

 

For what it's worth here is my view for OP and others  ....

 

Sorry but have seen no evidence on my travels and observing that moving over or owning a Motorhome would assist the OP or others at all in making his life much easier, far from it especially given the no transport issue. Caravan use and ease of set up can of course be made much much easier with a few simple things, changes and ideas. We really dont find setting up our Caravan any great hassle or trauma. If in doubt or worried just 'Google it' for a video or help.

 

 

1. Fresh water. Connect hose to tap and fill. - Usually enough for 3 days use. No lifting.

2. Waste water. Drive over grey water drain, and pull lever. Again needed about every 3rd day.

3. Toilet. No flush tank to have to fill.

4. Putting the legs down. Ours has them, many don't. Only use ours when very windy. i.e. gales

5. Unhitching not needed.

6. Levelling. Put levels out and drive onto them.

7. Wind out or electric awning when required.

8. Much larger payload. Anything up to 500kg on B licence, more on C1.

9. Garage area, ideal for electric bikes or mobility scooter. Plenty of space also for chairs and recliners.

10. No need for faffing about with wheel locks.

11. Bed time arrangements have other options. Instead of the choice of making the bed up every night which gets difficult if one has mobility problems, or having a fixed bed which means a larger caravan and/or a real compromise on space one can have an over-the-cab bed, or if climbing a ladder is out, then a number of motorhomes now have full size electric drop down beds that lower down to seating level.

12. Seating. Many vans have driver/passenger seats which swivel round and are adjustable. More comfortable than the bench seats as one get older.

 

Motorhoming is a somewhat different lifestyle to caravanning. One travels and visits places en-route and typically stays on each campsite are shorter. Thus lack of transport is not that much of an issue, and being able to take bikes or a mobility scooter is a bonus. My OH has major mobility and balance problems, but she can manage an electric bike easily.  Again as one gets older there is less inclination to get out and about in the first place.

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1 hour ago, montesa said:

 

For what it's worth here is my view for OP and others  ....

 

Sorry but have seen no evidence on my travels and observing that moving over or owning a Motorhome would assist the OP or others at all in making his life much easier, far from it especially given the no transport issue. Caravan use and ease of set up can of course be made much much easier with a few simple things, changes and ideas. We really dont find setting up our Caravan any great hassle or trauma. If in doubt or worried just 'Google it' for a video or help.

 

An 'Auto engaging' motor mover greatly eases things and is very sensible = saves any trauma & hassle manouvering & also hitching and encourages you to use it more. 

 

A quick look externally at you Van levelling gives you a guide but a simple spirit level fitted onto your A frame gives you an instant view of the actual without going back and forth into the van. 

 

Have always used a Battery drill for steadies up & down for last 30 years - does anyone really still kneel down and hand crank them ??

 

Agree daily Cassette emptying will help greatly. To simplify re-filling I use Lidl Formil 'Bio' tabs for greater ease, storage anywhere handy, and less cost & hassle than smelly fluids. Other bio-tabs do differ in performance trials greatly.

 

A folding lightweight Fisherman's trolley will assist you greatly with allsorts of containers and your now daily half full cassette trips. Couple of bungy cords to hold things on - note the fold down  platform for placing your cassette onto on this Fisherman's one so it doesnt foul the wheels. Regardless get one with bigger wheels for bumpy terrain or gravel etc. Am not too happy with my small cassette wheels on gravel surfaces or long trips or carrying when it's full. I use one of these for my fishing box & also many Caravan jobs = £29.99 plus £2 deliv they say or much more at other outlets. Recommended.

 https://www.bobcotackle.co.uk/shop/sensas-folding-trolley

 

A Gardening type kneeling pad for when you do have to kneel down I find is great on gravel stones or even tarmac to ease the pain.

 

Hope this helps you and some others too !

 

 

Motorhomes and campers or pvc are designed to drive and so no transport issues depending on size and the infrastructure in a camper is all built in and I can pack up in 10 minutes . I have had both over a number of years and the easiest to use and operate is a camper or motorhome that you just fill up with water and drop the grey water and empty the cassette at motorhome points so no carrying at all and just disconnecting the electric .

 

It is just personal choice usually .

 

Dave

42 minutes ago, thebriars said:

 

1. Fresh water. Connect hose to tap and fill. - Usually enough for 3 days use. No lifting.

2. Waste water. Drive over grey water drain, and pull lever. Again needed about every 3rd day.

3. Toilet. No flush tank to have to fill.

4. Putting the legs down. Ours has them, many don't. Only use ours when very windy. i.e. gales

5. Unhitching not needed.

6. Levelling. Put levels out and drive onto them.

7. Wind out or electric awning when required.

8. Much larger payload. Anything up to 500kg on B licence, more on C1.

9. Garage area, ideal for electric bikes or mobility scooter. Plenty of space also for chairs and recliners.

10. No need for faffing about with wheel locks.

11. Bed time arrangements have other options. Instead of the choice of making the bed up every night which gets difficult if one has mobility problems, or having a fixed bed which means a larger caravan and/or a real compromise on space one can have an over-the-cab bed, or if climbing a ladder is out, then a number of motorhomes now have full size electric drop down beds that lower down to seating level.

12. Seating. Many vans have driver/passenger seats which swivel round and are adjustable. More comfortable than the bench seats as one get older.

 

Motorhoming is a somewhat different lifestyle to caravanning. One travels and visits places en-route and typically stays on each campsite are shorter. Thus lack of transport is not that much of an issue, and being able to take bikes or a mobility scooter is a bonus. My OH has major mobility and balance problems, but she can manage an electric bike easily.  Again as one gets older there is less inclination to get out and about in the first place.

 

8 . Payload I think you mean 500 kg on a 3500 kg B licence and more on a C1 .

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2 hours ago, Stevan said:

I could be offended at you spelling my name wrong!

 

  Please accept my sincere apologies Stevan.  

       

      John.

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we do a bit at a time when setting up , after all who are we racing against. One time this chap came over  as we were sitting out having our lunch, to congratulate us on how quickly we set up. We said all we have done so far was enough to get the kettle on, he as quite taken aback :o   we still had the awning and sat tv to do :D oh and walk the dogs.

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To help getting in and out of the caravan we changed from the plastic single step to a double step. I have also considered the folding hand rails/locks that can be fastened to the outside at the side of the door but not yet done anything.

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A motorhome is a non-starter for us - it wouldn't fit some of the places we go where 4wd is also needed - although I sometimes wish we had one AS WELL as the caravan!

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I have had both a MH and now a Caravan. There are for’s  and against’s for both.

 

I could spend 30 minutes convincing you that a caravan is best and then spend the next half hour convincing you that a MH is best :D

 

There is no right or wrong answer, its what suits you best at the time. 

 

The one comment I would make is that a half decent Motorhome will cost you more than a caravan AND towcar combined (using new prices) 

 

Andy

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1 hour ago, Mr Plodd said:

The one comment I would make is that a half decent Motorhome will cost you more than a caravan AND towcar combined (using new prices) 

 

Andy

 

We certainly have a decent motorhome and is is about the same price as a car and caravan.  £20k for the caravan and £30k for a towcar. 

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Posted (edited)

I’m pleased you’re continuing to caravan BG buddy. 

As you know, I’m not far away from you and very happy to pop round and offer any pre-trip and, upon return, post trip assistance.

Let us know.

Edited by prando

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Hope yer keeping well BG .... Maybe consider seasonal ? Appreciate they can be expensive but the further remote you go the cheaper they seem to get plus if you are considering longer breaks well ??? Machrihanish is a smashing deal in my book... 

 

GAS ...

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Wife and myself are in early and mid sixties and thankfully have no health issues. We enjoy getting away in the caravan and mostly use no facilty sites. All we need is a tap and CDP. I do often wonder though, how much imfirmity we would cope with before throwing in the towel caravan wise. Aquarolls are heavy old things though and a full toilet cassette likewise. We've an air awning which takes a fair old bit of pulling and pegging. I'd be happy without it and try to avoid using it. Can't always come up with an excuse though and her indoors gets her way. We don't do a lot of cooking, mostly death by ready meal as wife calls it and meals out. Not knocking  motor movers, but as things are we've no use for one. We can reverse up to the van,hitch up and go. When we return, just pull up and reverse straight in. Even a slight down hill slope to ease reversing. Can't really see as BG can do much more than he is doing if he's got his own piped water supply, apart from a drill steady winder and emptying the toilet little and often if he's up to it.Hope he can keep going as long as he wants. 

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