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First Trip!


bryan1980hoy
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Well having bought the caravan last month and studied up on everything we took the van for its maiden voyage at the weekend, thoroughly enjoyed it and looking forward to our next trip.

 

It was my first time towing anything so I was very nervous, but by the time we got home im a bit more confident, had a few problems at first leaving my street, trying to manouevere the outfit and the caravan brakes were locking up while reversing, something I need to check before our next trip.

Also wasnt expecting as much pitching movement from the van after bumps in the road, is there normally quite a bit? and is it anything to do with the way the van is loaded?

 

Its a 1993 Swift Cappuccino so its only around 800-900 fully loaded and the cars a Mondeo weighing in at 1400kg, Its got an aks2000 stabiliser fitted which im guessing could probably do with replacement friction pads.

 

My biggest fear whilst towing was that the van was going to break free somehow, amazes me that such a weight is held by such a small point of contact.

 

We picked the closest site to us, Durham Grange as we had been before with family and its so easy to get to for us, and as ever really nice site.

 

Took around an hour to reverse into the pitch with the missus giving hand signals that were only visible in the blind spots of the five mirrors but damned if I was going to get out and handball the van onto the pitch.

 

If my neighbours had enjoyed my driving then they were going to love the awning errection, a good 2-3 hours of cursing and head shaking during the course of which I tripped over and ripped the pin off the zip for the main door, im hoping I can fix this somehow, The time spent putting it up was mainly due to the fact that it was my first time, I have no instructions for it and the previous owner had done such a great job of colour co-ordinating the poles you would need an enigma machine to decypher the patterns, maybes he was colour blind, heck maybes im colour blind, Im hoping to at least shave an hour off the time next time or invest in one of those new air awnings!

 

Definitely need a wheel arch cover, we have the skirts but that draught through the wheel arch is crazy!

 

Another fear in the van was using the carver 1800 gas space heater, somehow doesnt seem right having a gas flame underneath a big wooden box, im presuming theyre pretty safe right?

 

Had a good laugh at the waste disposal point emptying the toilet, I`d read about leaving the spout cap away from the disposal point so it doesnt fall in but why oh why did nobody mention the little flap on the top????

 

Im sure the neighbours were also amused the next morning as I located the screw to drain the hot water tank having read somewhere that it can be as much as 12 kilos of water to lug back home. Please beware that this water is under pressure and pretty hot to boot, luckily mine had cooled enough to just be funny to anyone watching.

 

Overall a nice night away from it all and a good fact finding session on what we need for future trips which include

 

More rockpegs!!!

Wheel arch cover

Waste pipe hose for bathroom, (why couldnt they just put the outlets near eachother?)

Replacement cap for wastemaster (Apologies for the trail of water back to pitch 11, I didnt notice till my return)

Filler hose for aquaroll (cracking invention got a little heavy holding it under the tap though)

New lid flap thingy for thetford

Tool for changing my water filter

 

Probably going to have another short trip to the Grange wit the inlaws to test their new van out (I hope to god he has instructions for the awning) before heading to Vale Of Picking site for Easter.

 

 

 

Apologies if this is in the wrong forum, Im still learning

 

 

post-65965-0-22506400-1393887211_thumb.jpg

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Tks Brian - makes interesting reading and of course all of us never made the mistakes you do cos we are all perfect - AS IF!!

 

Gas heater - tis fine so don't worry - no danger.

 

Filling aquaroll - Yes I did that the first time - it is SO heavy! Now I use a short section of 28mm grey waste pipe maybe 18" - 24" long BUT I know this short section is only for filling with clean water - not for waste.

 

Waste flap thing - easily done. I once lost the filler cap and stripped down to a bare top and reached down and somehow retrieved it. Then went for a shower.

Water filter - my first van had one and they are a pig to undo sometimes. Once undone, put some Vaseline on the threads to make it easier then next time.

 

Bet you enjoyed it though!

Graham

Unless otherwise stated all posts are my personal opinion 

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We've all done it!! But you got through it and you'll be wiser off the back of it.

Couple of little things that may help.

Get yourself a cordless drill and use a attachment that will allow you to put the steadies down very easily, rather than manually. You can also use the drill on some screw pegs, which in effect are pegs for your awning but screw into the ground (hardcore or grass). They aren't any more expensive than decent rock pegs, and its a lot less back breaking!

On the wheel arch cover, there is a brilliant invention called draught stoppa. Its not expensive, but works a treat, and even better it only weighs a few grams. No need for any specific branded wheel cover then.

http://www. jaiddesigns. talktalk. net/

 

I did chuckle ref the awning - a lot on here nickname them as divorces in bags. We've definitely shared your pain!

 

Good luck with the next trip. Next time you'll forget something else. We've been doing this 4yrs and forget something every time!!!

Edited by milkymarsh
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Last week was our first time out for this year and we managed to forget the cutlery lucky the kids were coming later.

 

Why is it when someone shows you onto a pitch you forget all you have learned about reversing a caravan !

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Thanks! we had a blast!, will definitely be using the vaseline tip, there was 2 hoses that came with the van for filling the aquaroll but they were rotten even after steeping them overnight so decided against using them.

 

I had read about the drill, took my old one but the battery ran out before id finished the awning so it looks like the makita will be coming next time, going to get the corner steady adapter, they arent a great pain to do but anything to save a bit time, we did have some screw pegs but they just seemed to churn up the ground and not really take hols, Il leave them in the boot as no doubt they will come in handy on another site.

 

Definitely a divorce in a bag! ha


Last week was our first time out for this year and we managed to forget the cutlery lucky the kids were coming later.

 

Why is it when someone shows you onto a pitch you forget all you have learned about reversing a caravan !

 

This is really something I need to practice, hoping to get it on first time next time.

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Forgot to say you need a good drill and a charged battery!! You will soon get used to using the screw pegs, it takes half the time now.

Don't forget that awning draught stoppa. It transforms the awning.

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Why not take your filter out its not needed. The screw cap will come away from the filter body and just screw the cap back on

The more I learn the more I know,the more I know the more I forget,the more I forget the less I know :blink:

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We picked our first van up last week,

I feel your pain, drove 40 miles forward then had to revers. A 7ft wide van into a ten foot space, that was interesting

Hope I don't have the same problems as you with the awning, or we'll be setting both beds up, one for me, one for her !!

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Why not take your filter out its not needed. The screw cap will come away from the filter body and just screw the cap back on

Going to have a look at this when I get the old one out, seems crazy filtering water thats already been filtered

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Just addressing the pitching movement you mentioned while on the road, there will be some on occasion, but stabiliser or not, it shouldn't be too noticeable. It sounds like it might be down to loading. Try checking the recommended nose weight, ideally you should go to the maximum figure (which ever is lower) for the car / tow bar and van.

 

Also, it's a good idea to put a few extra psi in your car's rear tyres, mine are at 33 psi for solo use, but when fully laden, the recommended pressure for mine is 44 psi. I must admit I don't always get round to doing this.

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Could too little noseweight cause this? all we had in the front locker was the small 3. 9kg gas bottle and the awning skirts/carpet, main awning was in the car.

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Could too little noseweight cause this? all we had in the front locker was the small 3. 9kg gas bottle and the awning skirts/carpet, main awning was in the car.

Difficult to explain, but too little noseweight usually gives a fore/aft rocking motion from the caravan, but the car rear suspension does not move too much, while a high noseweight will give a slower wallowing fore/aft motion that will move the car suspension.

Gordon.

Fourwinds Hurricane 31D Motorhome. Also MGTF135 1. 8i Roadster (fun) & Volvo V70 3.2Ltr LPG (everyday car)
Unless otherwise stated, my posts will be my personal thoughts and have the same standing as any other member of Caravan and Motorhome Talk.

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A Makita to wind the legs down !

I like it !!!!

:D :D :D :D :D

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An enjoyable and fun read Bryan, you have not made any new mistakes that we each have fell for ;)

 

One thing did strike fear into me, an hour to reverse onto the pitch! You either need to better your driving skills or get a new wife.

 

One will give you years of hassle free living, the other means you won't be free of hassle while you're living ;) I will leave you to work out which :lol:

 

H.

Finding things funny since 1968 :blink:

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We have all been there and all done much as you have. .......it does get better though, although after a short winter break I left a corkscrew out of the 'van. ....after 30 years of 'vanning!

 

geoff

Kia Sorento KX-1 CRDI 4WD towing an Elddis Affinity 530

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We have all been there and all done much as you have. .......it does get better though, although after a short winter break I left a corkscrew out of the 'van. ....after 30 years of 'vanning!

 

geoff

 

Arrrrrrrrghh ! :o

2007 Bailey Series 5 Senator Arizona (4 berth, rear bathroom, side dinette) towed by a 57 Kia Sorento XS Auto with Kumho KL17 tyres, Reich Mover, Kampa Rally 390, Caravan Tyres : GT Radial Maxmiler CX 185/80 R14 102R.

 

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Hi Bryan, pleased you enjoyed it and maybe seen the funny side.

 

I agree with #10 up your rear tyres takes out some of the bounce out.

 

As for the toilet yeah the slide is a pain.

 

Water filter its not needed in the UK - generally (unless getting water from bore holes).

 

As for reversing its all down to practice best tips I can offer is when possible reverse into a pitch from the drivers side very slowly. If you want to involve the wife ask her to stand near your window so you can both see & hear anything helpful.

 

And remember to always have an extra corkscrew just in case :)

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One thing did strike fear into me, an hour to reverse onto the pitch! You either need to better your driving skills or get a new wife.

 

One will give you years of hassle free living, the other means you won't be free of hassle while you're living ;) I will leave you to work out which :l

H.

I got a mover instead!
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Bryan,

If you are interested I have a drill attachment you can have for free. Let me know if you can use it.

2015 ABI ASHCROFT EXCL

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Our reversing onto a pitch led to more arguments than anything else in our 45 years marriage [we have been caravanning for 30 of those] Finally we bought a motor mover. We used to argue about the quality of my hand signals even when reversing the car onto the hitch until hubby made the fatal mistake in a fit of temper/anxiety of telling me he could do it quicker without me. From then on I let him and it didn't take long before he bought a reversing camera for the car!

 

We have never drained the water from the hot water tank. Is this something other do? I have never noticed anyone doing it.

Kia Sorrento towing a Coachman VIP 575/4

 

Our blog: jennyandjohngocaravanning. wordpress. com

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We have never drained the water from the hot water tank. Is this something other do? I have never noticed anyone doing it.

 

I do, I tend to open the drain just before leaving the site. Depending on location, It adds a tremendous about to the nose weight of the van. On both our current van and previous one, it's been right at the front (seems to be standard location).

 

One time I forgot to drain it, I couldn't for the life of me get anywhere near the correct nose weight, or think why until I double checked the water. It was 17kg over our 90kg limit until the water drained.

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Been there done that on the reversing directions.

So, we got a mover.

 

Started off with me doing the guy thing - we must always be in charge of the remote control whilst the wife chooses the TV channel "we" want to watch, er sorry, gives the same hand "signals" as previous (OK so a finger or two moves!).

 

+++ Bull by the horns - wifey gets charge of the remote (sorry guys, I'm a wimp!) and we're off. In the wrong direction! :(

What's hard to understand - front \ rear markings are on the bl**** thing! :angry:

 

So, turn it around I say. And we're off again! Followed by a shout of "I can't really see very well like this". Naw, turn the remote around not you (you muppet) eh, darling. Oh, that's better. :) And we're off again and onto the pitch next to the one we really wanted, but it'll do. Peace, harmony, etc reigns.

 

But wait, we've now moved to the next site (hooking up on first site was OK 'cause we're all pointing in the same direction - caravan, wife and remote). To save time and ink please read from +++ again.

 

Oh, and forgot to mention the other shouts - "it's not working". Have you put in the red key and turned it to ON? "Of course I have, I'm not stupid". OK (bite tongue). Have you switched on the remote control, say I? Oh, it seems to be working now! Please, please Big Man don't let me snigger next time. She may be 5' not a lot but she packs a fair wallop. :o

 

Anybody want to buy a fully dry and perfect condition caravan? Alternatively, one slightly faulty remote control operator? :ph34r:

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Bryan,

If you are interested I have a drill attachment you can have for free. Let me know if you can use it.

 

Thank you very much for the offer I really appreciate it but Ive recieved one from a family member who no longer has a van, got a few more goodies too.

 

And thank you everyone for all the advice, roll on the weekend! :D

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I do, I tend to open the drain just before leaving the site. Depending on location, It adds a tremendous about to the nose weight of the van. On both our current van and previous one, it's been right at the front (seems to be standard location).

 

One time I forgot to drain it, I couldn't for the life of me get anywhere near the correct nose weight, or think why until I double checked the water. It was 17kg over our 90kg limit until the water drained.

 

Ours is behind the axle, but not too far behind (fixed rear bed) so not as big an issue weight wise. However, it's the only way to drain the water system and there is the added worry that it might not be all that well screwed down in the event of sudden braking so we tend to empy it now (this after £100 for a new bathroom and shower tap).

 

I was going to complain about people carrying the weight of drills and chargers around for the sake of a 1 minute time saving on the steady winding, but then realised that for those with bad backs it's probably well worth it (specially if you are already carrying 17kg of water and however much a motor mover weighs!)

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I was going to complain about people carrying the weight of drills and chargers around for the sake of a 1 minute time saving on the steady winding, but then realised that for those with bad backs it's probably well worth it (specially if you are already carrying 17kg of water and however much a motor mover weighs!)

 

Back issues or not, it's brilliant and saves a lot more that 1 minute too. Also good for having all the steadies evenly done up, so reducing the risk the body isn't getting unnecessarily twisted. Unless you're constantly travelling, you don't need to carry spare batteries or chargers.

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