Sunday, 16 May 2010

Odd jobs

Part of the reasoning behind the shakedown trip to Bodmin was to make sure everything works as intended, giving me chance to sort out any problems before our main weeks holiday at the end of the month.
One issue is the current position of the TV Aerial plug, which is currently placed over the main work surface, which is not ideal, as it requires a long extension lead to put the TV in a more suitable position.
It was decided that an additional Aerial socket should be installed at the front of the van, this involved splitting the signal with a 2 way splitter in the gas locker, which will enable the original socket to stay usable.

The second socket was put on the window sill at the front of the van.

Its hidden nicely when the cushions are in place, The TV sits perfectly on the pull out shelf, and no more extension lead to trip up and pull out!

Friday, 7 May 2010

Bodmin or bust!

At 3.30pm we picked up the caravan from the storage yard to attempt our first trip, or shake down, in the caravan.
Having had to fight our way through the mums in their 4x4's who were picking their kids up from the school on the road that approached the yard, we made a conscious decision that we would never arrive at the yard at this time in the week again!
Hari Kari over, we headed up the A30 towards Bodmin, where Sally-Ann snapped this picture of us approaching the first big roundabout we had the tackle.

It took a little time to get used to the extended wing mirrors on the car, but by the time we pulled up on the site, and Jo got out to book us in, I had pretty much mastered them.

Yes it does look like Jo helped in setting the van up, but in reality, she popped over the Sally-Ann and Mikes RV, which was parked up on the next pitch, for a cup of tea, whilst she left me to get on with it!
In other words, this picture was staged!.... well not really, as she did take the legs up when we left the site, but hey ho!

Once we were settled, and the TV was set up (most important job, according to Jo!), Jo set about making our supper.
She was going to do it all at home and re-heat it once we had arrived, but as we are away for a week very soon, she decided that a full test of the 'kitchen' facilities was needed.
Lasagne (made by Jo) and salad, with garlic and parsley flat bread, and yummy profiterole puddings with squirty cream (provided by Sally-Ann and Mike) All in all a great success.
Once everything was away and we were relaxing with a glass of something nice, we were treated to a wonderful sunset from the window.

Role on tomorrow, so far so good!

Monday, 3 May 2010

TV Aerial Update

While Jo was at work this morning, and as I don't work on Bank Holidays, I decided to see if I could get the replacement aerial for the TV, after yesterdays disaster.
I had success at the local caravan accessories dealership, and fitted it to the jockey wheel on the front of the van to test it out...
I found the signal using my new aerial meter signal finder, and ......
BINGO! Success!
not bad considering this is the TV from our bedroom, which will be accompanying us on our various trips away in the varacan.

Wheelie Smart!

A bank holiday weekend, and an ideal time to clean up and respray the scruffy original wheel trims that had suffered kerbing damage at the hands of the previous owners.
Using paint that I had left over from previous jobs , I set to work, repairing the damaged areas and after a quick sand over, I gave the trims a coat of grey primer.

As I was using paint I already had in the garage, I had a choice of silver, silver or silver!
After adding the silver coat, I sprayed on some clear lacquer to give the trims a shine and to protect them.

The newly refurbished trims were refitted to the caravan on my latest trip to the storage yard, and I think they look wheelie smart, don't you?

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Time for some luxury tasks

My wife will not manage next weekend, on our shake down trip, without her TV. How would she know what happens in The Mentalist and Over the Rainbow!
And so, as all good husbands do, I am trying to make her happy by fixing the aerial cable and wires ready for the trip.
I am using an old aerial we had at our static caravan, and have no idea if it is a digital one or not, but I'll soon find out...

having cleaned out the spiders web from the internal workings, and wired up the cable....

I bought a TV signal finder this afternoon, as everyone told me this was a must with all of the moving around the country you tend to do - it supposedly saves time in finding a TV picture.

The moment of truth ...... and it's not a digital aerial - Boo! Now I need to buy a new aerial -

Nothing is ever simple is it!

Monday, 12 April 2010

Spring Clean Fever

With our shakedown run to Bodmin getting closer, now seems like a good time to start working on the list of jobs that are still left to do!

A good vacuum of the interior was first order of the day, making sure nothing was missed.

The Aqua roll was filled with water, and Puriclean powder added to clean the fresh water system and pipes, this was left in for 24 hours to do its stuff.

The power hook up cable was connected, to enable the electrics to be fully tested and the water heater to be run up to temperature, the vacuum doubled as a handy means of testing the wall sockets!

Grease was added to the brake override system with a grease gun

And finally.....
It took a while for the water to flow from all of the taps....
But eventually it appeared!
Good news! Everything seemed to work as it should, however I did find some cracks around the shower tray drain plug that are in need of repair. We hadn't noticed them before as they were covered with a carpet mat!
I'll repair this, and connect and test the gas system over the next couple of weeks and fill you in on how it goes soon....

Until next time ...

Sunday, 28 February 2010

The First Attempt At Towing

As we bought our vara from the place where we are storing it, I have not, up until now had the chance to tow it.

I'd done all of the maths, and established that I was at optimum towing weight for my car, but was very nervous to say the least about actually pulling it!

Mike and Sally~Ann called us to see if we wanted to go to Penrose this morning as they were having an open day with Bailey Pegasus, the caravan manufacturer, and the bonus was they were offering free bacon butties.

I never say no to a good feed so we jumped at the chance of joining them!

Whilst there we took the opportunity to purchase the aqua roll handle that was missing when the chap handed over to us, and then we all made plans to meet up later for a meal at ours in aid of Mike's birthday in the week.
Prior to coming over, I said I wanted to try towing over the weekend, and Mike said he would join me. We suggested this afternoon as the weather was so good.
As my scenic is a lowly 1.5 dci I was a little concerned as to how it would tow. I needn't have worried. A trip up the A30 and hamburger hill near Fraddon, which is the worst incline I could probably expect in the future, allayed my fears. it coped brilliantly.
I was very grateful to Mike for coming along and giving me moral support, but now a nice glass of red was in order!
We then headed back for our lasagne that the ladies were cooking whilst we were off galavanting.
A very successful day.

Friday, 12 February 2010

#2 The Electrics

To be able to tow anything you have to have power that reaches the towed vehicle so that the indicators etc are live. I already had the basic set up in order to tow my trailer, and just needed to top it up a little.

Pulling a caravan also requires auxiliary electrics in order to power the fridge, charge the leisure battery and power the reversing lights.

I purchased a universal kit, so that it can be transferred to my next car, as and when I swap this one.

It was not a hugely complicated job to take on, but in order to do a 'good' job I wanted to make sure that all of the wiring was hidden inside of the car underneath the interior trim, this meant removing it very carefully to route the cable.

Having fitted it all, I nipped over to the storage unit where the vara is kept, and made sure that all of the power was getting through to the right places.
Success! and onto the next job.....