Saturday, 23 July 2016

Fridge Cooler

David Mantell has been at it again and devised a fridge cooling fan system.

I have reproduced his e-mail below in full which contains the instructions for making it,thank you David.

Just returned from a sizzling 2 weeks near Paris - Cadiz behaved itself very well I am pleased to say - and so did my fridge cooler.

It is a little regrettable that caravan fridges seem to draw their cooling air from the very hot awning area -  I note that Dometic offer a fan with thermostat which I assume fits onto the cooling vanes inside the cover and costs £50! A cheaper version can be made at home for very little money as follows:

  1. Remove the top vent and measure the rectangular gap.
  2. Cut a piece of hardboard or thin ply that fits fairly snugly into this gap (corners will need to be radiused and two holes on LHS drilled so the board fits in correctly)
  3. Obtain a couple of 12v cooling fans from old PC's and fit to the board after cutting the ventilation holes though
  4. Wire both fans to operate when 12v is supplied to the lead (note the fans should extract air and blow into the awning space)
  5. drill two 10mm holes about halfway down the shorter sides to allow for thin elastic cord to pass through
  6. Attach two curtain hooks to the support wooden struts either side of the opening to attach the elastic cord
  7. Run loose cable into caravan to pick up a 12v supply (tv point?). This lead only needss to be low voltage 'bell wire' - I have already run a 12v supply (using thicker cable of course) direct from the battery, under the floor to just behind the wheel mudguard for just this purpose (or a coolbox - or a tyre pump....)
  8. The board is positioned and the elastic cord fed through the 10mm holes; a couple of 'spring loaded elastic cord toggles' holds the board in place.
  9. See photos: Picture 1 shows the board fitted and fans running; Picture 2 shows the board lowered on the straps and the elastic cord attachment points inside opening.

Whist one 3" fan has plenty of air movement, I used two fans as they cost me nothing and I have redundancy if one were to fail.
At night when the temperature in the awning is more acceptable, I remove the board but leave it connected via the shock cords and turn off the fans so its ready for the next hot day. Clearly this is only for use when the awning gets very hot.

Not so elegant as the Dometic 'fit and forget' unit, but cost me nothing which is a bonus!

Kind regards,  David


Tuesday, 19 July 2016


Jut been reading on a forum that there will be no change at all for the Unicorn range in 2017,it is the Pursuit that is getting a makeover,Unicorn in 2018.

It is the internet though.................................


Sunday, 17 July 2016

Barnard Castle

Had three nights at CC Barnard Castle,we have been once before and I must say that this site is a credit to the wardens.

It is spotlessly clean and tidy and the washblock facilities are second to none,there is even a drying room for those odd and rare days when it rains in the Northern Pennines.

Can recommend.

On the Cadiz front there is nothing to report,it behaved itself,one thing I did notice though is that the rubber (?) strips that run in the joins of the front and back panels are starting to look a bit scruffy and dirty.

I thought about replacing them but I suppose the replacements will just go the same way so I will devise a way to give them a good clean.

I need to be careful that I don't damage the Paintseal in the process.

Could do with a better system really.

Had a good chat with a chap called Steve from what sounded like Birmingham,another Cadiz owner from just along the row from our van,told him about the blog so welcome Steve.


Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Slip Sliding Away........................

We find the long horizontal space under the kitchen worktop and above the curved cupboard is useful to store a tea tray and the Bailey folder.

Unfortunately after a tow they always manage to slide out when you open the curved door.

To sort this I have glued a length of non-slip matting from the pound shop to the base to hopefully keep the items in one place.


Man of Letters

Decided to sort out the BAILEY letters on the front of the van today.

If you recall the centre of the A and the indents of the E had turned brown.

Bailey sent me some more letters via YC Leisure and mentioned something about faulty primer,well I don't know what that was about as I couldn't see any primer.

Anyway first off removed the letters and immediately the problem became clear.

The A and the E cover screw holes in the front panel and to cover these the letters are stuck to a white backing.

This backing is obviously not UV tolerant as it had gone brown and brittle in the gaps hence the discolouration.

Now presumably what should have come with the letters but didn't was some replacement white backing ( like the picture only all white ) to cover the screw holes when the new letters were applied.

However my trusty neighbour Mr.Roscoe produced from his magical garage some adhesive plastic which did the job admirably.

I did take a photo of the finished job but it was very blurry so you will have to take my word for it that it was a success.

From the number of "brown" letters I have seen on Mk.3 Unicorns this must be a common problem.

So remember if you have the letters replaced you want some white backing as well as the new letters.


Saturday, 2 July 2016

Inflatable Isabella Awnings

2016 Ventura Air Porch Pascal 390Isabella has made a tentative step into the world of inflatable awnings albeit via their second string Ventura brand.

2016 Ventura Air Porch Pascal 360

Wonder how long before there is a full-fat Isabella inflatable ?


All The Nice Girls Love a Candle............................................

Since having the van Paintsealed I have been reluctant to spray the awning rail with Isabella Aquatex to ease pulling the awning round in case it does the Paintseal a mischief.

I e-mailed Paintseal to ask their opinion but never received a reply.

Then I read recently that if you rub the awning bead with a candle this does the job just as well.

We just used the Isabella Eclipse canopy whilst in York so I thought I would give it a try and it certainly does work,the bead flew through the rail.

Will try it on the Magnum next time we use it.

Another handy tip from your blogster.


Front Window Seal.

Whilst away I opened the front windows to give the van a clean between the adjacent panes and noticed a  cut-out in the window rubbers,one either side.

At first I thought they were to do with the window locks but they are nowhere near them.

They look to be crudely cut out as opposed to machine cut and I wondered what they were for.

They aren't causing any problem at all,no leaks or anything but someone must have cut them for a reason.

Any ideas ?


Beechwood Grange,The Cold War & Al-KO ATC.

Have returned from three nights at Beechwood Grange CC site to the north of York.

Been there many times before so won't dwell on it but whilst we were there we visited York Cold War Bunker ( English Heritage ).

York Cold War Bunker

This is really worth a visit,shown round by guided tour which lasts about an hour or so and it is a very thought provoking hour.

What is most deeply disturbing is that all this occured during most of our lifetimes.

Anyway the Cadiz behaved itself except that we had an Al-KO ATC problem when we came to hitch up to go home.

The ATC was as dead as a doornail,no light,no whirring sound,nothing.

SWMBO has very little patience when it comes to mechanical dysfunctions and I could sense temper starting to fray after about thirty seconds of inaction.

After looking at the instruction book I decided to check the van lights whilst having a think about it.

As soon as I fired up the car engine the ATC sparked into life.

Now the only thing I can think of to explain it is that the afternoon/evening before I had left the car ignition on for about five or six hours.

In fact I only realised it when the automatic lights came on as it was getting dark.

So presumably it had discharged the battery just enough to prevent the ATC from firing up,but the car started OK.

Checked it when we got back to storage and every thing seems fine now so I presume that was the problem.

I only mention it in case anyone is in a similar "low battery" scenario and is wondering why the ATC won't work.