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

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Rotary Clothes Line

Whilst away at Barnard Castle our Kampa rotary clothes line decided it didn't want to play anymore and was consigned to the wardens skip.

Looked around for another to replace it that hopefully was a bit more sturdy and came across this one from Bailey Parts :-

Brunner Rotary Airer

Not used it in anger yet but it appears well made and comes in a decent zip bag with three pegs.

If looking at the picture on the Bailey Parts site,or indeed on the Brunner site,it appears to have no rings to peg it down but when it arrived rings were present.



Ian

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

The Annex Has Gone.

The Isabella annexe I had for sale has now gone to a very happy purchaser who came all the way from the south coast to pick it up

There just remains the Isabella Magnum awning for some lucky person,at £400 an absolute bargain ( buyer collects or arranges collection ).

First come,first served

What could be better than sat on site on a summers evening,sipping cooling drinks,surrounded by one of Isabella's quality awnings happy in the knowledge that you have bagged a bargain.

Even the wife will thank you for it.






Ian

Friday, 14 April 2017

Barnard Castle

We have just had four nights at Barnard Castle Caravan & Motorhome Club site.

An excellent site if you have never been,well worth a visit.

A very boring stay Cadiz wise I am glad to report,the Alde heating did its job magnificently as there was a very strong gusty cold wind blowing for most of the time we were there.

Just a small tip for any Isabella awning owners.

As mentioned the site was very windy,the Isabella Magnum 250 Coal stood up to it well,though I did put the Isabella storm guys in just in case,it leads to a better nights sleep.

For the first time I used the Isabella Isalinks which are meant to be left slack and tighten up when the wind blows the canvas.





They really do work,nothing will of course stop the canvas flapping altogether in the wind,but they do reduce it.

It is a shame they don't come as standard on a £1000 plus awning and you have to make up your own guys.

Ian



Tuesday, 4 April 2017

A Handy Little Gadget

As I am forever putting the motor mover remote control down and forgetting where I have put it I purchased one of these from Bags 4 Everything ( Bags 4 Everything ).






The motor mover control goes in the transparent pocket at the front whilst there is a biggish pocket on the back ( where the loop is ) for keys or gas spanner or anything else,then you can hang it around your neck.

With postage,costs about £12 or so.

Although the company is in Wakefield,that is coincidental and I have nothing to do with them other than being a customer.

Ian

Monday, 27 March 2017

York Beechwood Grange

Returned from four nights at York Beechwood Grange Caravan and Motorhome Club site

Been here many times before so I won't dwell on it apart from to say that one hundred and twenty trees have been felled around the site so it is now much more open than it was previously.

On our way there it bucketed it down with rain so the van was filthy on our arrival.When the rain stopped I simply wiped it down with a microfibre towel and it was gleaming again,Paintseal really works and makes the exterior much easier to keep clean and no I am not in the pay of Paintseal in any shape size or form.

The only problem we suffered on this our first trip of the new season was that the water pump took its bat home and refused to work.

Did the "man" thing and took it apart to fix it but to no avail.Luckily we carry a spare so this was brought into play,then it was down to Ebor Leisure next day to replace the spare ( that place ain't cheap ),otherwise things were problem free.

By the way the idea of sticking a medicine pot over the Al-Ko ATC light to keep water out didn't last,it had vanished by the time we arrived,back to the drawing board for that one I think.

We erected our new Isabella Magnum 250 Coal awning for the first time and appreciated the increase in space

The Alde heating was superb as the nights were a touch on the nippy side.

Judging by the number of new and nearly new vans and motorhomes on site,the UK caravan and motorhome  industry must be in the rudest of rude health.

I can now appreciate why the Caravan Club changed its name to the Caravan and Motorhome Club as it wasn't quite fifty:fifty with motorhomes versus caravans but it was heading that way.

They appear to be coming very popular,some big uns' as well.

Ian


Wednesday, 22 March 2017

That Awning Again,

The Isabella Magnum and Futur Annex are still cluttering up the garage so a further reduction is called for.

£400 for the awning and £150 for the annex ( the annex has an inner tent and a Bolon carpet ).

If bought together £500 for the pair.

Buyer collects.

Both described in an earlier post.

Ian



Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Damp !!

I thought that might draw some attention.

No not us ( wood where is the wood ),on Caravan Talk there have been one or two posts regarding damp in Unicorn 3's on second and third services:-

Caravan Talk U3 Damp

This seems to major around the off side rear corner and it has been suggested that it could be caused by condensation on the Alde pipework under the laundry bag in the wardrobe rather than water ingress.

Whether it is or not is anybodies guess but it might be an idea to keep an eye on things in this area.

I checked ours today and all seems OK but I don't have a damp meter so it was visual only.

£20K plus for a caravan and we are still checking for leaks,you couldn't make it up.

Ian

Friday, 10 March 2017

A Couple of Improvements

Whilst browsing the Unicorn 3 range at a dealers this afternoon I noticed a couple of improvements that Bailey have made for 2017.

The first is that the entrance door surround and hinges are no longer metal but a white plastic.










The second is that the wet locker doors now have protection over them instead of being flush to the sides to stop rain running/dripping in.



As for the second I am going to investigate some of this :

Fiamma Drip Stop Mini Gutter

Will keep you updated if  I proceed.

Don't have a problem with leaks but if the door is opened when it has been raining water tends to drip inside.

Ian

Friday, 3 March 2017

Thetford Cassette Cleaner

Whilst browsing the Bailey Direct site for something else to waste my money on I came across Thetford Cassette Cleaner.

No this isn't for dusting off your old Peters & Lee audio cassettes but for giving your khazi the once over.

Now cleaning the inside of the bog is not something I have given a great deal of thought to but at about £7 or so per litre at 300mls a treatment it wasn't going to break the bank.

It is easy to do and I must admit as far as I can tell by peering through the hole it does appear cleaner and fresher considering what has been through it.

Thetford Cassette Cleaner

So if you have nothing to do one afternoon you could do worse than turn your attention to the inside of your toilet.

Your bowels will thank you for it.

Ian

Friday, 24 February 2017

Al-Ko ATC Light Weatherproofing

I think many Cadiz owners at sometime during their ownership of the van have had a problem with the Al-Ko ATC light taking its bat and ball home,we have certainly had one replaced a few months after purchase.

If out of warranty they aren't cheap at about £35 or so if my memory serves me correctly.

There may be various reasons why they go west but one may be water getting into the LED.

Came across this simple wheeze during the week,can't really remember where,but it involves simply gluing a plastic medicine pot ( like what comes with cough mixture or Gaviscon ) over the LED to keep the water out.






If it comes off or doesn't work then little is lost,worth a try.

Ian





Sunday, 19 February 2017

Elsil

We tend to use Elsil in the Aquaroll to keep the water and pipework sweet.

I have found that it can be quite difficult to obtain from dealers and there wasn't even any at the Manchester Caravan Show.

Managed to locate some from Boroughbridge Marina via Amazon at a very reasonable price.

Elsil via Amazon

They charge £5 plus 18p delivery when other sources,including E-Bay are charging £7,£8 £9 and even £10 plus postage in some cases.

So if you want some then that is the place to go.

I have no association with Boroughbridge Marina.

Ian

Monday, 6 February 2017

Bailey Roof Join

A few days ago I e-mailed Simon Howard,one of the heads of Bailey,to express my concern regarding the leak prone roof joint.

Today I received a reply from Michelle Fleet,Senior Customer Service Manager:-



Hello Ian,

Thank you for your e-mail and sorry to learn of the issue you have experienced with your Unicorn III Cadiz caravan.  I have been asked by Simon to respond upon his behalf.
You are correct in that we have received a number of reports of the problem you have described in recently built caravans. We have subsequently reviewed both the processes and materials used for the construction of this body shell joint and are confident that the modified assembly provides a robust union of these two panels.
Please bear in mind however that this method of assembly was first used when the Unicorn III range was first introduced in September 2014 and has subsequently been rolled out to all other new caravan and motorhome ranges. In total, we have built in excess of 16,500 Bailey leisure vehicles using this method. 
That said we are always looking at ways to improve the performance of our products and the overall integrity of the body shell is one of the areas which is currently under investigation. I cannot confirm at this stage if and when any changes will be made but we will want to ensure that they are thoroughly evaluated before bringing new product to market.


Best regards


Michelle Fleet
Senior Customer Service Manager
Ian