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Hello Everyone - First Post And First Time Caravan Owner


JogonUK
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Caravan is a Bailey pageant Moselle, Series 5 . ..

 

We've joined the Caravan Club

 

Some questions (well there are zillions but I'll ask just a few for now)

 

Purchased the van no probs, . ..bought it bare without any extras. ..3 months warranty on it and a full service to the van before i picked it up.

 

First question: When I picked it up I drive it 35 miles home, by the time I'd got home the tyres on the rear on my Vectra 2. 0l Diesel estate (kerb weight 1625kg) were worn on the inside. I had an Al-Ko stabilizer attached to the car and the tow-bar was newly fitted by Towequipe . The tyres were in essence scrubbed and down to the wire band on the inside part.

I've replaced the tyres but not towed the van since. I do think that the rear tyres were actually very low on pressure (I didn't think to add any when first picking up the van. ..in hindsight I should have checked I know) I think the pressure may have been as low as 14 where normally it should have been 35.

 

Am I right in thinking that the scrubbing is probably from the terribly low pressure? If not what else should I look for? On the way home there was an amount of 'groaning' when pulling off from junctions, I put this down to a/ new tow-ball with paint on it and b/ a worn Al-Ko stabilizer. ...I've since changed the stabilizer for a new one.

 

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We're probably going to take the van for our maiden voyage during the halftem in October and as such we have gradually adding to the inventory. The van is a 4 berth, L shaped with bunk beds (doubling as a table) Is it better to have sleeping bags for the children or should be put in single quilts and bottom sheets?

 

Does a QD Wheel Clamp in premium help when insuring the Van?

 

Also, we were toying with the idea of buying a motormover? but have a bit if a quandary regarding the Leisure Battery. The smaller leisure batteries as in 85amp will easily fit inside a battery tray and then in the slot in the side of the van but the larger batteries which I presume help with the motormove seem not to, the compartment inside the moselle where the battery fits is 13. 5in, most of the leisure batteries of 110amp or above tend to be 13. 5 which would mean it would not go in and this is without a battery tray either. ...Am i doing something wrong or am I resigned to not being able to put an heavy duty battery in the compartment?

 

More to come but thought I'd go gentle at first.

Edited by JogonUK
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Welcome .

 

The tyres must have been like that for a while to be worn down to the wire,.

 

If it's your first trip away then using sleepingbags will help with tidying things away and take up less space, make a list of the items you need to take away with you and also a list of things you need to remember specific to your caravan, such as remembering to take the aqua roll, waste hog, gas bottles checked, electric lead packed, empty water containers etc.

 

Most insurance companies require a wheel clamp to be fitted when the caravan is left anyway, failing to do so may invalidate any claim. The make doesn't usually matter.

 

Our motor mover has been a godsend, we were sceptical at first but I wouldn't be without one now. we only have the 85amp and it's fine, if the large one doesn't fit properly why make life difficult for yourself.

Edited by icepuffin
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Hi, thanks for the reply. Most of what I was picking up was that the motor mover usually required heavy duty batteries? Which mover do you have?

 

Thanks re the quilts.

 

We have priced the aqua roll and wastehog and we're about to go sort them out, we've got the hook up lead, 10m or 25m, which is the best to take? we have the adapter just in case the site requires a 13amp plug connection also.

 

Gas bottles, we have just picked up a 4. 5kg butane one and we're going to go upgrade this one to the 6kg lightweight bottles or is it best to just have one 6kg and a smaller one just in case we run out? I'd rather budn propane as opposed to butane though, the reg on the van does either I think.

 

I'm thick, if the aqua roll is 40litires, why do we need extra water containers?

Edited by JogonUK
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If the tyres were down to 14psi then that will have had an effect on wear, and was highly dangerous.

Keep the tyres at their correct pressure, check with the handbook if more pressure is required when towing, many cars do require an extra 2 or 3 psi.

 

The towball must be absolutely free of paint, use emery paper to remove ALL the paint from the ball itself, and if you have an Al-Ko coupling with a built in stabilser you must have the extended neck Al-Ko towball, the standard short neck is no good and will foul the hitch head and cause irreversable damage to it.

Keep the towball perfectly clean, and the hitch pressure pads, with Brake Cleaner (NOT Brake Fluid)

 

The regulator on the van, if it is a bulkhead mounted type, will take either Butane or Propane, but you will need the correct "pigtails" (connecting hoses)for the type of gas you use.

 

As for the motor mover, if you always use sites with electric hookup, an 85a/h battery will be fine for powering the mover.

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I also tow with a Vecta 1. 9CDTi Estate when not towing my Tyre PSi are front 33 rear 33 when towing front 37 rear 43 as per the hand book. Also very important that you check you Caravan tyre presures are set correctly as this will impact on how stable your van is when towing.

Edited by sandman1
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We have the powertouch mover, the extra water bottles are for your day to day water requirements, such as filling the kettle, drinking water.

 

A 25metre cable is better than a shorter one, you can always snake it out if too long.

 

We take 2 x lightweight gas bottles and refill as necessary.

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I'm thick, if the aqua roll is 40litires, why do we need extra water containers?

 

We take an "extra" smaller water container to top up the aqua roll . ... (anyone passing the water tap fills it up) and also for filling uo the toilet flush. .... no way any one of us could lift 40 litres that high !!

 

Oh . ... welcome by the way !!

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Four Star - Yes the Towball is the extended sort, Towequipe stated that it was their Al-Ko version and which was required to tow the Pageant, I'll remove all the black paint from the towball tomorrow and the hitch stabiler is new, there is no wear to it at but will remember re brake cleaner. ..one assumes you mean the black rubber on either side of the socket (inside the hitch) The regular is bulk head mouted, I was told that any van after 2003 is fitted with it at standard and yes I've since sourced a different hose that will hook onto propane as opposed to the current butane version.

 

We dont have a mover yet but will be getting one at some point, I had a single socket towbar fitted, would a dual electrics socket fitted be enough when not using hookup sites be enough to charge the 85amp battery via the car when driving? . ..

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Sandman - Thanks for that, the back goes up by an extra 10psi? I've certainly learned my lesson via tyre pressures, the new tyres cost in excess of £230 for the pair to replace.

 

Icepuffin - What is the aqua roller for then? (sorry if this is a dumb question btw) I thought that was for the day to day water?

 

Amanda - I've no idea re the toilet flush, it's a rear bathroom with a cassette outside for the toilet, I've no idea yet as to how the toilet works but we'll sort it. The intention is to do a dummy run one night while parked on the drive we'll live in the van for a day and see what happens.

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You will require an 'aqua roll' - this is a 40 litre round water container that is attached to the outside of your caravan and when connected provides your internal water needs, for washing up, shower etc, you need to keep an eye on it as it can run out quite quickly if lots of people are using the water. You can get an adapter if you have your own tap on your pitch that you can connect to the aqua roll that will save keep filling it up.

 

You will need a waste hog container to take away the 'grey water' that you attach to the outlet pipes, this will need emptying regularly as well, as previously stated we have some 5ltr and 10 ltr water carriers that we use for driking water and filling the kettle, also the 10 ltr one for topping up the aqua roll.

 

The toilet requires blue/ green solution inside that goes in the toilet cassette - to break down the poo and paper, but you need to flush the toilet and on the outside of your van just above the cassette door is a small door in here you put your water and pink solution this is for flushing. I use a plastic petrol can for filling this up, I find it takes about a whole can full to fill. Remember that to remove the toilet cassette you need to 'lock off' the toilet on the inside by moving the lever situated under the toilet seat.

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Re the groaning from the tow hitch. We had new bar fitted by witter with an 'Al-Ko Type' tow ball. Having been vanning foe decades knew all about cleaning the paint off e. t. c. but over the next few months (2000 + towing miles) even after cleaning both ball and pads every trip it was 'orrible every 100 miles it was back.

 

Van was a brand new Unicorn Valencia. Went to pick up other new van and the salesman took one look at the tow ball and immediately had a proper Alko make fitted FOC. What he called the Pirate tow ball was not repeatable. Result silence on every trip and I have not needed to clean it yet. On a couple of occasions since we have heard a van groaning as they pulled on site. On both occasions it was a Pirate Ball. Not proof but quite a thought provoking moment.

 

If told before I would have been sceptical in fact I was, but he was right and I was wrong.

Edited by Alan Stanley
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Thankyou for the that icepuffin, although I suspect your information to most is probably elementary to us as relative newbies it's all new. Have since purchased the aqua roll and waste hog and cleaning fluids.

 

Alan Stanley: Thanks for that, it is something I'd considered buying as in a genuine Al-Ko towball and will probably do so just cos . The tow-bar was fitted by towequipe and they seem well regarded but they didn't fit an original Al-Ko but said it was their equivalent. For how much they are I think I'll just buy a genuine Al-Ko one anyway.

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Re the groaning from the tow hitch. We had new bar fitted by witter with an 'Al-Ko Type' tow ball. Having been vanning foe decades knew all about cleaning the paint off e. t. c. but over the next few months (2000 + towing miles) even after cleaning both ball and pads every trip it was 'orrible every 100 miles it was back.

 

Van was a brand new Unicorn Valencia. Went to pick up other new van and the salesman took one look at the tow ball and immediately had a proper Alko make fitted FOC. What he called the Pirate tow ball was not repeatable. Result silence on every trip and I have not needed to clean it yet. On a couple of occasions since we have heard a van groaning as they pulled on site. On both occasions it was a Pirate Ball. Not proof but quite a thought provoking moment.

 

If told before I would have been sceptical in fact I was, but he was right and I was wrong.

I'm getting a noise towing with a genuine ALKO ball, on a witter, not sure though if its the caravan suspension, it more of a squeak, but sounds being what they are its not certain were the noise is coming from.

Never had a noise with the Senator, using the same ball for 7 years.

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firstly,did you check that the caravan noseweight was within your cars recommendations? I'm sure you now know that all traces of paint MUST be removed from the tow ball. I suspect that if it was not removed on your tow home the ALKO stabilizer pads are now Knac##ed & shoud be removed & at least cleaned thoroughly with brake drum cleaner.

 

If you still have the old stabiliser clean the pads or replace them you should get a good price on Ebay

 

I have used an 85ah battery for years & have never had a problem with my mover .

I have a pagent champaign 1360kg & a mover is in my opinion essential

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