Sunday, 26 November 2017

Durham Grange

Have finished our season off with a three night visit to the C&MC site at Durham Grange.

For late in the season the site was surprisingly full.

Had a visit to Seaham which is only twelve miles away on the coast which is a very pleasant clean and tidy little place spoilt only by a large shopping mall but that is the way of things these days I suppose.

Lord Byron had a long weekend there at one time I think as the the local council seem to have gone overboard on it,Lord Byron this and Lord Byron that.

Another bit of gluing undertaken in the van for a set of wires that had fallen down in the TV ariel cupboard otherwise all well.

Well I say all was well,I managed to rip the Isabella draught skirt in half when it caught on a peg and I kept pulling,a purchase for the Manchester caravan show I think.

All cleaned and put away until the new year.

Ian

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Solar Panel & Window/Locker Seals

This is just a reminder for those who are perhaps new(ish) to caravanning  regarding the solar panel and the window rubbers/locker seals.

At this time of the year it is useful to give the solar panel a wipe over as the sun is lower in the sky and evident on far fewer days than the summer.

This will maximise its efficiency and keep the battery  in good condition over the winter months.


Secondly give the window rubbers and locker seals a spray with silicone ( Thetford toilet seal spray is good ) or use a proprietary product made for the job.

This will keep them supple,eliminate cracking and hopefully guard against window leaks.

I use a VW product which comes in a small canister which is wiped around the rubber thus eliminating overspray on the van which is what you get if you use a spray.

As our van is Paintsealed I didn't want to risk it harming the sealant.

So there you have it,two little jobs to prepare for winter.

You have drained it down properly,including the toilet flush, haven't you ?

Ian


Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Al-KO ATC LED

Quite a few people on Caravan talk have commented that their AL-KO ATC LED has given up the ghost and needed to be replaced.

Ours was replaced a few months from new but has been OK since.

It has been suggested that one of the reasons is that the LED casing is not waterproof,water gets in around the rim and there you have it,twenty odd pounds if you don't mind sir.

Some diehard blog readers may remember my attempt to keep water out by gluing a small clear medicine pot over the light but that didn't survive the first tow.

Someone on CT mentioned running a small bead of sealant around the rim to waterproof it so I gave it a try today.

Before:-

 

After:-




The pics don't add much to the description but it brightens the post up a bit.

Give it a try,it doesn't cost much/anything.

Ian

Monday, 30 October 2017

Beechwood Grange

We have just had four nights at Beechwood Grange,the C&MC site near York.

We have stayed many times before so little to say about the site apart from the fact that some people don't deserve clean and tidy washroom facilities and insist on leaving them a complete mess for other people.

What is wrong with these folk,do they live like that at home,probably so.

Anyway the Cadiz was perfect throughout the trip,not even a re-gluing needed,just a minor problem with our new windbreak which is being sorted by Isabella under warranty.

The march of the motorhomes continues,we had an enormous one parked next to us,it must have been like driving a bus.

Ian

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Chapel Lane & The NEC

Yesterday we returned from two nights at Chapel Lane CAMC site just south of Birmingham which we used as a base for a visit to the NEC show.

We should originally have returned today ( Saturday ) but a scan at the weather forecast and the approach of Hurricane Brian and the prediction of 40+ mph gusts altered our plans.

( As an aside which prat started naming these weather events,we used to have a bit of wind and rain,now it's "Hurricane So and So" breathlessly repeated over and over by wild eyed weather men,potty )

Anyway we visited the show on Thursday and became immersed in a constant round of in and out of caravans and motorhomes.

Had a further look at the U4 Cadiz and a second viewing did not improve my overall impression of it,the new Pegasus GT70 Rimini however was in my opinion the better of the two except it has blown air heating instead of the Unicorns Alde of which I am very much a fan.

I intended to take some video to post on the blog using my sparkling new smart phone which sadly proved too smart for me on this occasion as I got about two seconds of blurred footage,I will give it some practice.

One good thing about owning a Bailey is the Bailey Direct accessories and parts shop which had a presence at the show and which forced me to buy a Unicorn embossed fleece,watch out for it on site.

I had intended to add to our stable of Isabella items in the form of an Eclipse Sun Shade but SWMBO put her foot down so that was that.

After a bit of persuasion I joined the Bailey Owners Club,mainly I suppose because they have a factory visit every couple of years so I may go on that,plus 10% off Bailey Parts and accessories.

SWMBO is convinced I am the worlds most miserable unsociable man ever to walk the Earth so we may have to attend a rally next year to prove her wrong,hope they aren't like those TV programmes.

Deep down SWMBO has always hankered after a motorhome and has now set her sights on a Bailey Autograph 79-4 T,all we need to do now is find the £60K to buy one.

The sheer number and variation of motorhomes on the market is now staggering,one wonders if they will eventually outnumber caravans in the leisure market.

Ian




Friday, 13 October 2017

New Pegasus GT70 Rimini

Bailey has just brought out a new Pegasus range,the GT70,which will present at the NEC show next week

I have just been looking at the Rimini,which is the single fixed bed version,and it seems to me that it is very similar to the Unicorn 3 Cadiz,which is no bad thing.

Naturally I am only going from the Bailey puffery and not seen it in the flesh but at least the silly bathroom sink isn't there,three cheers for that,also has a window in the bathroom

No Alde heating though but Al-KO ATC is there as standard.

Have a butchers and see what you think:-

Pegasus GT70 Rimini.

Ian






Sunday, 1 October 2017

Chatsworth

We have just returned from four nights at Chatsworth CMC site.

This is very pleasant,but hard to book,site but it suffers from my perennial complaint about some sites in the fact that most of the perimeter pitches are well overhung by large trees.

If visiting,the preferred pitches are to the top and centre of the site,the bottom half tends to be a bit soggy as it doesn't dry out after rain and boy did it rain.

Visited Chatsworth House and here is a tip,there is no longer a CMC discount but there is if you are a member of the C&CC,it's not advertised but the discount is about £5 per head.

The Cadiz was perfect apart from having to reglue the long white plastic strip at the bottom of the upper front window blind.

It has been regularly falling out for a while so I finally got round to fixing it.

Bailey must use a very poor quality of glue as I seem to be forever regluing things.

Still if they are the only problems I will live with that.

Finally for those who have barely slept thinking about it,the drip has stopped.

Ian

Thursday, 21 September 2017

U4 Cadiz Correction

Just to correct something regarding the width of the rear single beds in the U4 Cadiz.

I said that they were 2" narrower in the U4 than the U3.

That is incorrect,they are 1" narrower.

To be honest I don't find that acceptable when there isn't a dire need for it.

Ian

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

U4 Awning Sizes &TPMS

Anyone wishing to dash out and buy a U4 Cadiz,please be aware that the awning sizes have changed.

U3 Single Axle ( apart from Seville ):-1045cm
U4 Single Axle :- 1027cm

Thanks to Bill Tweedie to alerting me to this fact.

It also now comes with a Tyrepal head unit and not just the sensors as with the U3

Ian

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Cooker Hob Glass Panel

A chap on Caravan Talk has just had to lay out about £50 or so on a new glass cover for the cooker hob.

As we know,when the glass lid is closed it cuts off the gas supply.

However it doesn't shut down the electricity to the hotplate so the lid will eventually shatter from the heat build up.

Worth bearing in mind.

Ian

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Red Valve & Microwave The End

Well replaced the nicely cleaned out red valve to the Alde boiler and tested it out with the external pump in a bucket of water and it still dripped so perhaps it is meant to.

Having said that the boiler wasn't on with gas or electric just full of water so perhaps it may be OK when running properly,any way we shall see I will keep you informed,shan't use any sleep.

At least I have a clean valve and have learnt about John Guest Speedlink valves,every day is a schoolday.

Incidentally if you go down this route when replacing the valve on the boiler spigot press it in hard,I thought it had seated properly but another shove and it went in some more.



Onto the microwave and I decided to take it to the local repair shop as ending my life touching a charged capacitor was not what I had planned.

They replaced the bulb for just the cost of the bulb,£6,great service.

On E Bay the bulbs cost more than that.

When the microwave is out,by removing the four screw covers underneath and undoing the four screws, there appears to be some untidy wiring left by the artisan craftsmen of Bristol.



I decided to tidy this up by taping it down neatly,however if you do this the microwave doesn't sit properly as presumably the wiring likes to find its own space.



Just a tip.

Oh and despite first impressions the plug slips nicely through the hole in the wooden partition.

Ian


Thursday, 14 September 2017

Descaling Contd.

One of my correspondents,David Mantell,suggested after my last post about descaling the red valve that if that wanted doing then the boiler and asociated pipework may need doing as well which is a fair point.

I think very little about scaling as we live in a soft water area.

Anyway I contacted Alde to ask what was the best stuff to use and received the reply that they recommend Puriclean.

Puriclean


Ian






Wednesday, 13 September 2017

The Minor Alde Problem

When we were at Durham Grange I noticed a water drip from under the offside front side of the van.

On closer inspection I discovered that this was coming from a clear plastic tube attached to the Alde 3020 boiler.

It wasn't running like a river but just a steady drip,now most people would perhaps have ignored it but me being me it had to be attended to.

After a promptly answered e-mail to Alde,it turns out that this is a common problem caused by dirt or limescale blocking the red valve at the top right hand corner of the boiler as you stand in front of it in the van.

The remedy is to remove the valve,soak it in some descaler or white vinegar solution and reattach it hopefully solving the problem.


DRAIN THE WATER OFF FIRST

The valve is attached to the boiler by John Guest Speedlink fittings,if you don't know what these are,and I didn't,there is a video on You Tube explaining them  :-

John Guest Speedlink

The valve removes reasonably easily from the pipe but is a little bit more difficult from the boiler spigot.

Anyway I have it soaking in some descaler and will reattach it in the next few days and report back as to whether the dripping has stopped.

Ian


Sunday, 10 September 2017

Durham Grange

Just returned from four nights at Durham Grange C&MC site.

Been here many times before so won't dwell on it.

Had a very minor problem with the Alde boiler which I will post about when I have sorted it out as it may assist other people.

As previously posted the bulb went on the microwave ( first world problem eh ).

Bill Tweedie has kindly suggested a remedy so I will see about fixing it or getting it fixed as I like things to work properly if they are supposed to,but what possesses someone ( Daewoo in this case ) to design a microwave where the bulb isn't easy to change,bulbs do go from time to time.

We had a Panasonic at home and the bulb was behind a small trapdoor,easy to swap.

I think I am turning,with very good reason,into a grumpy old man.

The grey clip fell off the offside front  window blind and yes you've guessed it,fell down the gap between the seat backs and the van wall onto the Alde radiator .

Another hand squeezing job to remove it,good job I am slim and supple,then it was out with the glue.

This is the third to have fallen off,the original glue must be reaching the end of its life.

Incidentally I noticed on the U4 Cadiz that this gap down to the radiator which acts as a magnet for stuff to fall down is still the same and hasn't been addressed.

Perhaps the members of the Bailey focus group all have very small hands.

Ian

Saturday, 9 September 2017

Daewoo Microwave Bulb

Does anyone know how to replace the bulb in the Cadiz Daewoo microwave ?

I can see the bulb through a grille but can't find any way to get into it.

Have looked on the net and instruction book and can't find anything.

I can't believe you have to dismantle the thing ( which I would rather not do ) to replace a bulb.

Ian


Friday, 8 September 2017

New Unicorn 4 Cadiz

We visited a dealers today to have a close look at the new Unicorn 4 Cadiz,so here are my thoughts.

Just to say that these are my thoughts and obviously other people may see things differently.

First off to the exterior,which I liked,Bailey have got rid of the ugly joining strips to give a smooth front and rear with an extended black grab handle across the back and single black ones at the front.

The A frame cover is also black and looks rather stylish,the windows are also now square and tinted black as well.

There seemed to be a lack of Bailey's trademark of zealous over application of sealant everywhere but this may have been cleaned up as it was a show van.

There are the usual Al-Ko hitch,ATC and shock absorbers.

The exterior 230v and TV input on the nearside also look more professional as well :-






Access to a wet locker is now on the off side rear which shifts it from possibly interfering with a porch awning,very good.

The toilet cassette locker on the offside rear is rather clever with storage for chemicals etc.:-


I noticed the Michelin tyres which were trumpeted for the U3 have now been replaced with presumably cheaper ones.


Now to the interior where things go slightly downhill.

The main table has fortunately made its way out of the wardrobe to under the nearside bed.

The front sofas are now shorter,seat four instead of six and extend to the front of the van,but feel comfortable,storage is therefore limited to the top of the centre chest with its pull out table as in U3.

There are no TV aerial or 12v sockets at the front but there are two 230v sockets at the side of the chest,oh deary me,not good.

They look like someone had a brainstorm  one Wednesday afternoon whilst high on illicit substances.






The alarm sensor is to the right of the front chest at lower level where I can see it getting a kicking eventually,especially from children.



On to the overhead lockers which are larger with white doors,the handles of which feel flimsy compared with the U3.

The corner space where the U3 has a shelf is now enclosed behind a door,why ?






The radio/CD is located in the left hand one.

The plug surrounds and Alde  control panel are now gloss black and the Alde now comes with battery back up as standard.

There are dimmable reading lights in the same place as in the U3 which handily have USB charging points in them which I may consider fitting in our van.

Moving to the kitchen,the sink is now square surrounded by a grey granity work surface,the pop-up flap looks like it is attached with the same pathetically short screws as in the U3 so it will only be a matter of time before it drops off.

The hob has a grey matching cover over the glass lid to give another work surface which I liked but it has been pointed out that when raised it cuts out light from the window.

Under the sink are three large white fronted drawers which are OK but have low backs to them so things can quite easily fall over the back to the drawers below.

Opposite is the usual large fridge with a small ledge and cupboard to the right of the entrance door,all positive.

Now we move onto the TV situation.

Gone is the excellent swivel mount as on the U3 to be replaced,if replaced is the word,by two optional ( optional as in pay £25 for each plus,presumably,fitting,Bailey dress this up as giving you "choice" ) TV mounts which can be screwed to the right of the entrance door where it will stick out into the door space,possibly get damaged and look like an abortion and/or to the other side of the fridge where it will look like an afterthought.

So if you want to move the telly from viewing in the lounge to watch it in bed you will need to unplug it,move it to the bedroom mount and plug it in again rather than just swivel it around as in the U3,and this is progress ?

Not a good arrangement especially as the mains plug and aerial in the door position are near the ceiling so will hang untidily down the wall.



Pre-wiring is installed for a motor mover,the red-key socket of which has been located in the shoe locker to the left of the entrance door,but sadly it has been attached the wrong way round so it can only be accessed via the front locker which will be handy when the aforementioned locker is full,I don't know which nig-nog thought that one out.





Moving to the bedroom,the beds I believe are two inches narrower than in the U3 for God knows what reason,I can't believe any focus group pleaded for that one.

The handy quadrant shelves in the corner above the bed heads are gone,the padded headboard pieces are now centrally vertical rather than horizontal,no I don't know why either.

Now onto the bathroom which is a complete disaster zone in my opinion.

The grey fully lined shower now has a bi-fold door which is all to the good but there is no shelf or anything for soap or shower gel etc. but there is a nifty fold down towel rail suspended from the roof

The whole bathroom to me felt claustrophobic and very small,whether it is actually smaller than the U3 I don't know but it certainly feels it.

Sadly there is no window which is replaced by a large horizontal illuminated mirror.

It would have been better I think with a smaller mirror and a window,there is a roof vent but don't have a smelly Number 2 as the stink will last all day.

There is an Alde radiator.

There isn't a lockable cupboard,apart from the wardrobe,of any sort in the bathroom to keep things in whilst on the move as in the U3,just three open shelves which will be totally useless when on the road.

Where you are supposed to put soaps,toothpaste etc. whilst travelling is not clear,well it is clear,nowhere.

There is a small dirty washing sack secreted in a cupboard under the sink

The toilet is the same on as in the U3 but the "cistern" bit is hidden away so the flush button is flat to the wall,how the excrement gets to the cassette I couldn't readily work out but obviously does.

To top it all there is a "salad bowl" sink which looks ridiculous but I suppose satisfied some twenty-one year old designer who thought it looked "boutique" instead of actually looking like a pimps boudoir


Sadly Bailey have persisted with the ridiculous leak prone roof join along with a wood floor as opposed to a composite one.

I wonder when the first U4 roof leak will be reported.


All in all I think my verdict is "could have done better" especially as Bailey have reputedly been three years in the planning and taken users and dealers opinions into consideration.

I can see no reason to even consider upgrading from our U3,yes there are a few plus points like the USB lights and the exterior but these are outweighed by the negatives such as the washroom,plus of course there is a price increase.

I can see it being more of a van that people will buy into who haven't had a Unicorn previously rather than by people who already have a U3.

As I say you may have a different view.

Ian







Monday, 4 September 2017

Bailey Discount Code

Picked this up off Caravan Talk.

10% discount code for Bailey Parts,doesn't appear to be time limited.







Ian

Saturday, 2 September 2017

The Lawns

We visited The Lawns "Caravan Extravaganza" in Cottingham today,was hoping to have a look at the new Unicorn but sadly Bailey weren't there at all,it was dominated by Swift and Coachman with side orders of Lunar and Elddis.

Swift and Coachman of course are manufactured on Humberside so litttle travelling involved whereas it's a good haul from Bristol I suppose,will have to wait until the NEC.

There must be a good market in statics and lodges as they were coming out of the ground along with palatial manufacturers hospitality units with plenty of interest being shown.

We added to our ever growing collection of Isabella paraphenalia with the addition of a three panel windbreak which is a bit taller than our present one.

Well it was discounted,it would have been rude not to.

I was surprised to note from the Isabella catalogue that the Magnum 250 Coal porch awning that we have has been discontinued to be replaced by the Magnum 340 Silver and 400 Silver.

Both 2.5m deep and 340cm/400cm wide respectively.

They had a 400 there which looked appealing,midway between a full awning and a smaller porch.

Get thee behind me Satan.

Ian

Thursday, 31 August 2017

Done At Last.

Went up to storage today and managed to eventually clean the roof with proper equipment on a level surface and not a wonky ladder on a sloping drive,still managed to trap my thumb in the ladder whilst folding it up though.






One small tip,if you want to clean around the roof lights then this is easier to do if you stand on your Aquaroll and reach through the light with a cloth and give it a wipe.

Was pleased to note that the sealant around the roof strap looked in good condition.

Ian

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Awning Light #2

Well had the awning light replaced today ( more specifically the awning light plastic cover ) by Paul from Karranvan.

It turned out to be a relatively easy job as the plastic cover is simply prised off being careful not to mark the van whilst doing so.

Paul put a wide scraper between the van and the cover to protect the van wall and used a screwdriver to lever it off,the new one just clips on with a bit of pressure.

I don't think that there is much need for the amount of sealant Bailey had carelessly lathered everywhere.

The end result looks better than the original as all the excess discoloured sealant that surrounded it has been removed.





Also the old cover had yellowed whilst the new one is white,I would have thought there would have been a bit more UV stability than there appears to be,the van is only two years old after all.

Replacing the LED strip,should it ever need doing,will be a bit of a circus as the LED bit is screwed and sealed to the side of the van and will take a bit of removing,it would have been handier if it just clipped out but it doesn't.

If you look closely at the picture you can see where I have touched up the door frame and the side of the van.

All in all not happy with the cause but very pleased with the rectification.

Ian

PS

Just in case anyone is unaware,if you click on a picture it comes up full screen for easier viewing.



Friday, 25 August 2017

Awning Light

As I progressively bodge up repair the bits of damage caused by the fight with the ladder we move onto the awning light which was badly scored.

This post is mainly just information for anyone who needs to change the light for any reason and is braver than me.

The light fitting comes in two parts and is £42.99 from Bailey Parts,the LED bit is not available separately,there are some LED lights there but not for the Cadiz:-





As can be seen there is the outer "visible" part and then curiously the LED part is attached to a transparent piece which is screwed  to the van.

Now in theory the outer piece should ( I emphasise should ) simply click off and be replaced with the new cover leaving the LED bit attached to the van,I would now have a good laugh if my ribs didn't hurt so much.

However it appears to be stuck fast so whether it is fixed on with sealant as well I don't know,there is plenty slathered round the perimeter, left by Bailey's craftsmen.

Anyway I am not buggering about with it,I have caused enough damage as it is,my mobile man is coming Wednesday to replace it.

Doubtless it will just click off for him and I will be subject to a withering look.

Will let you know.

Ian

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Paint,Or Is It Gold Leaf ?

Starting to think about repairing the bits of damage that the ladder incident inflicted.

First off as the van wall is scratched I decided to purchase some touch up paint.

Now of course white touch up paint is available from Halfords etc.but matching up the shade is always a bit tricky and it is GRP so decided to go to the horses mouth so to speak,that is Bailey.

Wow this stuff ain't cheap,£15.99 for 50mls,plus P&P.

Bailey Paint

That's roughly 32p per ml or to put it another way about £319 a litre.

No wonder there has been a 5% price increase this year,and here was me blaming Brexit,what a fool.

Perhaps I should touch it up with gold leaf or saffron would probably have saved a bob or two.

Mind you it does come with a little brush in the lid so perhaps that explains it.

Ian

PS
I am just waiting for some Smart Alec to post a link where it can be bought for £2.50 a gallon.

Does it come with a brush in the lid though ?


Saturday, 12 August 2017

There May be A Short Intermission..............................

Well a bit of a pickle has emerged in proceedings.

We were due to go to the CMC site in Scarborough on Monday with two grandkids in tow.

In preparation for this I decided to clean the caravan roof,propped ladder up to side of van,climbed ladder to do said task,ladder slipped,I fell off and landed on the ladder and have hurt my ribs,shoulder,leg and pride.

With the admirable and heroic help of my trusty neighbour Mr.Roscoe managed to get the van back to storage.

Have scratched the side of the van and window and damaged door frame and awning light surround but that will have wait for another day.

Site cancelled and we have booked three nights in a hotel instead so we won't be vanning again till the ( considerable ) pain has subsided.

I will soldier on bravely,any get well cards and hampers of caramel slice can be forwarded on.

Ian

Friday, 11 August 2017

East Anglia and Tyred Out


Well we have just returned from a two week tour taking in Sandringham CMC site ( including a trip around Sandringham house which was a little disappointing ) ,Norfolk Broads ( Ludham Bridge ) CMC site and ending up at Poolsbrook CMC site.

All excellent sites as is usual for the Caravan and Motorhome Club,Norfolk Broads being especially good,it is immaculate.

If visiting this site try Ken’s vegetable hut,right turn after the Dog Inn ( rather an unfortunate name it occurred to me ),excellent value.

One or two very minor problems with the Cadiz.

Firstly we had a dribble of water down the side of the van from the Whale water pump,only slight but annoying,well to me at any rate.

Cured this by changing the O rings on the inlet.

The front of one of the reading lights came unscrewed,now this may seem an easy fix,just screw it back,but they are sods to reattach as the threads are very shallow.

 


Did it eventually but it took ages,and don’t think you can unscrew the fitting to make it easier oh by jingo no,the wiring is cut to the bone so it only pulls out about a centimeter.

Tellingly the light affected was the one we adjust most at the front left so perhaps it unscrews just a fraction every time we adjust it so it may pay to just check the tightness of them all from time to time.

Another of ours was a bit loose.

One of the Remis grey plastic pulldowns on the front window came unattached so it was out with the glue.

Talking glue one of the hinges broke on the mains input cover but miraculously I was able to glue it successfully.





SWMBO noticed a few scratches down the nearside of the van,no idea where they came from.

We had some pretty heavy rain at times whilst away so I kept checking the redone roof seal but all seems OK,hope it stops that way.

Other than that all was hunky dory.

Mr.Hunky Dory however took his bat home when we reached our front door .

Now we usually keep the van at a storage site about five miles away but SWMBO decided she wanted it at home for a few days and you don’t argue with SWMBO’s.

It will just fit in our front garden ( and I mean just ) but to get it in it means a very tight turn with the motor mover.

Proceeded to manouver it in when the pneumatic jockey wheel tyre began hissing and went down.

Naturally this occurred when we were broadside across the road.

No matter I carry a spare pneumatic jockey wheel,put that on and low and behold that did the same.

Two punctures in two wheels is a bit of overzealous bad luck even for me so we eventually came to the conclusion that the turning at an acute angle had pulled the tyres off the rim.

Now began a session of umming and aahing as to the best way to proceed.

Tried to reinflate the original but it wasn’t having it,removed tube from the spare wheel ( my that’s a job and a half,thank you Mr.Roscoe ) and motored down to Halfords for two tubes.

No joy at Halfords,sucking of air through teeth, but redirected to a local tyre firm who were ultra helpful,reinflated the original and retubed the spare all for a modest fee with a valve extender thrown in.

Back home pondered the fact that it might all happen again when we moved the van off the drive but as luck would have it I have a spare jockey wheel assembly with a solid tyre ( don’t ask ) so I put this on which will be OK till we return to storage.

“Come caravanning for a relaxing hobby”

Ian

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Damp Meter

Have been considering for a while in investing in a damp meter for obvious reasons.

The Protimeter is the bees knees one evidently but it comes at a price,round about £180-£200+.

I bid for a couple of Protimeter Minis on E-Bay but didn't win.

I then stumbled across some much cheaper meters,also on E-Bay :-

Cheap Damp Meters

Bought one of these for £6.99 including batteries and free postage:-


Now I don't suppose it is all singing and dancing like the Protimeter but it certainly does the job,including ambient temperture readings, and is about £170 cheaper,the only slight drawback I have discovered is that it doesn't "hold" the reading so you have to look at it while it is stuck into the wood which is hands and knees job when doing the floor under the van ( which along with the inside floor is the only place you can check on an Alu-Tech van the walls being GRP coated ).

Will now be entering compulsive/obsessive mode.

Ian

MIRO

There has been discussion on Caravan Talk recently about what is and what isn't included in the MIRO ( Mass In Running Order ).

Just a reminder,if you refer to the Bailey Handbook,Page 11 of the Service Manual section at the back,there is an explanation of what Bailey include in the MIRO.

There is also a short list of the weights of typical items carried which need to come out of the payload.

Ian




Awning

Just in case anyone is remotely interested the Isabella Magnum awning has been sold to Colin of Scotland.

I hope you enjoy it Colin and wife.

Ian

Saturday, 22 July 2017

New Unicorn 4 On Bailey Website.

As of yesterday the new Unicorn 4 is available to view on the Bailey website :-

https://www.baileyofbristol.co.uk/caravans/unicorn/unicorn-cadiz

To me it doesn't look as dramatically different as it did on the sneaked preview photos.

I like the exterior design,it looks uncluttered and fresh and prefer the black repositioned grab handles and the full width one across the back.

Sticking to the Cadiz,the interior remains generally much the same apart from a small cupboard and shelf to the right of the entrance door,

Bailey seem to imply that the beds/sofas etc. are the same size or longer so how they have accommodated this shelf I don't know,one for the visual inspection I suspect.

There are various cosmetic tweaks but the bad news as far as I am concerned is that the roof join is still there ( look at the video 32 secs. in where it shows the roof ),there is no composite floor,or if there is Bailey is keeping it a closely guarded secret,which I think there should be by now.

The other no no,which I admit is a personal dislike,is that they have chosen to put a "salad bowl" sink in the washroom which looks ridiculous and wastes space,there is a useful hanger in the shower though.

The Tracker system has been upgraded to Tracker Monitor which I think means Tracker will tell you it has been nicked by those nice swarthy gentlemen and is on its way to Ireland in a container much like the Phantom we already have,there is also a Tracker intruder alarm.

This is an improvement over the previous Tracker Retrieve which was as much good as a paper kettle.

The tyres are now "premium brand" whereas previously they were trumpeting Michelins which I suspect means "whichever is cheapest at the time".

There are now USB sockets provided and also a 42Kg weight saving over the U3.

Naturally there is a price increase of about 5% which brings the Cadiz up to £23,699 plus of course that hangover from the 1970's the "PDI & delivery charge",so all told about £24K unless you can find a dealer who knocks the delivery off but then of course there will be less room for manouvere in the discount pantomime.

All in all I think Bailey have done a fair but not marvellous job,the lack of a one-piece roof and composite floor should,in my opinion,have been addressed but I suppose from their point of view interior tweaks and cosmetic  upgrades are more likely to catch the punters eye than a roof and floor that you can't see,the lack of which will only become apparent when there are goldfish around your ankles.

It will be interesting to view it in the flesh at the NEC show in October but as it stands I can't see us running out to change anytime soon.

Ian

PS

All opinions are mine and I don't want them disagreed with,understood ?


Saturday, 15 July 2017

Front and Rear Sealing Strips

There has been some discussion on CT recently about the sealing strips between the caravan body and the lower panels front and rear.

I know this is not a waterproof joint as the lower panels are to a certain extent sacrificial in the event of damage occuring.

The strips are not very successful and to be honest look a bit of a mess at the best of times.

Some chap said he had removed them and things looked much better for it.

Before contemplating this route I wondered if anyone had some photos with them removed so I could see what it looked like.

Ian

Beechwood Grange

Just returned from a three night stay at Beechwood Grange CMC site near York.

Stopped many times previously so no further comments on the site and to be honest little on the Cadiz either.

I did feel the floor felt a little more "secure",for want of a better word,after my screw tightening episode.

Then again SWMBO lost 3 1/2 pounds at Weightwatchers last week so that may have had something to do with it.

Welcome to the blog to the two Cadiz owning ladies I was talking to ( one Scottish but everyone welcome ).

There must be a last minute buying fest of the Unicorn 3 as there were nine on the site of one sort or another,last minute discounts perhaps as the replacement imminent.

Ian


Friday, 14 July 2017

New Unicorn 4 Spotted.

If anyone uses Caravan Talk there are some pictures of the new Unicorn 4 at a service station.

Post title is "New U4 Spotted".

Can't post a link as you have to sign in.

At first glance certainly looks different to the current model.

Ian

Wednesday, 12 July 2017

Non Paneful Shine.

Another useful tip picked up from God knows where which seems to work very well.

When cleaning the windows,clean in the usual way and when finished wipe the windows over with Fenwicks Windowize Scratch Remover and then give a final polish with a microfibre cloth.






The windows come up sparkling,I am not saying every scratch will be removed but it certainly makes a difference.

So I read the second time you do it they come up even better,so will give it a go again next time I do the window cleaning.

Ian

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

A Splendid Discovery !

This is a posting in my occasional series of "something I have discovered that everybody else has been doing for years".

Whilst giving the Cadiz a tidy up I pulled out the slatted contraption that goes between the front seats to make up the double bed.

Oooh..................................you should have seen the dust ( Larry Grayson impersonation,a 1970's camp comedian for the benefit of my younger readers ).

Anyway on pushing the slats back it occurred to me that the wooden bit at the front would make an ideal low table for drinks etc. if the pull out one above is too high.

Not a brilliant discovery at the side of Stephen Hawking's efforts but it pleased me.





Then again I am easily pleased.

Ian



Friday, 30 June 2017

Torquing Wheel Bolts

One of my correspondents has reported that a van next to him on site had a wheel detachment resulting in significant damage to the caravan.

Without wishing to preach,just a reminder to check the torque of those wheel bolts before every journey,it only takes a few minutes.

Ian

Thursday, 29 June 2017

News of the Screws.

Recently on Caravan Talk someone was complaining about the floor creaking on their Unicorn 3.

It was suggested that checking the tightness of the screws that hold the furniture to the floor may be be a good idea and perhaps check it once a year or so.

Although we don't suffer from more than the odd squeak I thought I would give them a check and was surprised how slack some of them were,whether they were left like that after construction or have worked loose I don't know.

Anyway a few minutes with a screwdriver and all done so it may pay to check them over now and again.

Incidentally it is not until you stick your head into bed boxes whilst ferreting around for screws to tighten that you realise how flimsily put together caravans are,on the plus side though I didn't see any damp.

Ian

Monday, 19 June 2017

New Unicorn 4

I heard a whisper ( that's all it was ) that the new Unicorn 4 will be unveiled on 21st.July,available at dealers from September.

Ian

Saturday, 3 June 2017

C&CC Boroughbridge

We returned yesterday from three nights at the Caravan and Camping Club site near Boroughbridge in North Yorkshire.

We have only recently joined the C&CC and this site is only forty minutes or so from home so we thought we would give it a try.

It is a very good and well presented site,perhaps not as well manicured as some Caravan and Motorhome Club sites and the pitches were more higgledy-piggledy and not as generous in size,plus the fact they are on permanent flood alert as the River Ure runs alongside it,a bit like Rowntree Park in York.

There is a big field for kids to play in with some swings etc.and a large dog-walk as well.

On the C&CC website some people complain bitterly about traffic noise from the A1 and also the noise from Payne's Dairy across the road when the lorries are running their refrigeration units.

I can well understand the complaints about Payne's if you are in a tent near the road but we could hear little at the end of the site and we never noticed the A1 apart from a slight buzz in the background.



One thing I was not too keen on was that they escorted you to your pitch and stood there whilst you reversed onto it.

Now I am not the worlds best at reversing onto a pitch and after three botched attempts said much the same to my "guide" who replied "Evidently",anyway I got there in the end with the aid of the motor mover.

Cadiz wise all went well apart from the toaster saying goodbye to this world and tripping the bollard which fortunately was self reset.

When we came to depart I found out the hard way that it is best to retract the steadies before trying to move the van with the mover,the mover didn't like it a great deal.

I also managed to reverse the van over the pitch number post which had the effect I found out of pulling the shower drain hose off the pipework,therefore a little job awaits.

Not quite as disasterous at it all sounds however.

Put an advert up for the porch awing ( still available by the way ) but no takers.

On the same site there  some lodges with a couple for sale but I must admit I wouldn't pay around £80K for one,there are better locations if spending that sort ot money.

All in all a site worth putting on the list if in the area.

Ian

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Bar Keepers Friend

If anyone has a stained sink from coffee,tea stains etc. like we had,try a bit of Bar Keepers Friend to clean it up.






Cleaned ours up today and it did a very good job without scratching or a lot of elbow grease.

Ian

Monday, 15 May 2017

Second Service

Well had the second service expertly carried out today by:-

Karranvan

All appears to be in order.

The moisture meter readings generally were a bit higher than last year but it was pouring with rain at the time so I am happy with that.

Also had the Alde fluid changed for five year stuff so everything done for another year.

Ian

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Wipes

What I am about to post many people will be using already but I have just "discovered" them as I am always the last to know.

When I was working I never knew anyone was pregnant till they were in the last throes of labour.

Anyway I have discovered Flash Anti Bacterial wipes are very useful for wiping lockers out,wiping the floor and many other applications ( inc. little accidents around the toilet when the grand kids are there).

Wipes

The best place to get them from is the pound shop where you will be amazed to discover they are only a pound.

Disclaimer :- Other brands of wipes are of course available and from other outlets.

Ian


Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Cleaning Shower Roof Vent

I have been asked if I could post this link to some detailed instructions as to how to remove and clean the roof vent which is over the shower so here it is :-

Cleaning Shower Roof Vent

I have not done this myself,yet personal responsibility etc.

The most useful description is Post #13.

Ian

Monday, 1 May 2017

Salisbury Hillside

Just returned from five nights at Salisbury Hillside C&MC site.

This was our first visit to what is a very pleasant site although as the name implies it is situated on a hillside so for those with limited mobility there is a bit of a steep climb up to the toilets/shop from the bottom of the site..

There is an open area at the top of the site but most of the pitches are lower down arranged in small alcoves set among trees which gives the lie to C&MC sites being regimented.

The only slight drawback,as I have mentioned previously,is the tree cover which could do with being cut back to allow more sunlight in which would improve things greatly.

TV reception is a bit patchy,we had perfect reception but a couple across the way could get nothing.

There is no Wi-Fi but surprisingly 4G on O2 is very good.

As for the Cadiz the only thing that occured is that the Alde panel had a dicky fit when I first turned it on,none of the settings were the same as when I turned it off,anyway I reset the panel,redid the settings and all was well once more.

For the first time since we have had the Cadiz I felt the Al-Ko ATC activate when I hit a pothole on the A34,at least I know it works.

Ian