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Monday, 22 August 2011

A Bit Of A Hitch So To Speak

We were due to pick up the Orion tomorrow but the dealer rang this afternoon with the news that the AL-Ko ATC has not yet been fitted due to some tardiness and non-return of phone calls on the part of Al-Ko.

Only Al-Ko can fit it.

Will have to wait until the week after next before we can collect it so nothing to do but wait.

Insurance sorted,storage booked,recovery set up and no caravan,bummer.


Sunday, 21 August 2011

A Little Digression

I have heard via the media/forums of at least three caravans and tow cars turning over in the last few days.

Now of course I don't  know of the cause of these mishaps,but it got me thinking.

In nearly every other aspect of life today,health and safety pops up at sometime or another.In some situations yes it is a good thing,people should not be put in danger from sloppy,penny pinching employers whilst at work.In other situations,and I am sure we can all think of some,not so welcome and slightly ridiculous.

Therefore I find it amazing that anyone can purchase a second hand caravan via a private sale ( if bought from a dealer then surely some advice would be offered ) which may be totally unsuitable for the tow car,hitch it up when they don't know how to do it properly and set off at 60mph ( or more ) down the motorway with over a ton of caravan behind them and not have a clue.

I have read more than once on forums of people saying words to the effect of

"We bought a caravan over the weekend,going to The Lakes/Cornwall/Wales/Scotland on Friday,what do we do ?"

No idea about hitching up,loading,noseweight,MTPLM,speed limits,reversing,torquing wheel bolts,checking caravan tyre pressures,adjusting tow car tyre pressures,towing mirrors or anything else.

I have just read a post where a caravan detached before the owners had left their street.Suppose that had happened a few miles hence on a dual carriageway or motorway,they seemed to think it was amusing,I certainly don't.

Before buying our Orion I have spent months boning up on the subject of caravanning via books and forums,been on the CC training course and have been surprised at the complexity of "doing it right".That is not to say I know it all and I am a little apprehensive of towing it back from the dealers on Tuesday,that is only natural,but at least I am prepared.

I think it is time that some sort of basic mandatory training should occur before one is allowed to tow a caravan.Perhaps not go as far as a test but certainly some instruction.After all if a caravan comes adrift or worse on the motorway it is not only your life that is at risk but those of other people.

Here Endeth The First Lesson,


Getting Close

Only two more sleeps before we collect the Orion.


Wednesday, 17 August 2011

The Caravan Shop

Goods arrived this afternoon ( Wednesday ),ordered on Monday evening,excellent service.


Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Loose Ends Tied Up

Sorted the insurance out with Caravan Guard this morning,£219 as mentioned earlier,not a bad price by comparison with others.

Joined CC Mayday for breakdown and recovery,a bargain at £89 for the all bells and whistles service.The thought of sitting by the side of the road miles from home with a caravan problem,the wife creating in one ear and grand-kids possibly in the other and no one coming to help,no thanks.

Life is hard enough.

Ordered some Winter Wheels and two sets of Jackapads from The Caravan Shop.Seems a very good service,ordered last night,in the post this afternoon.The Winter Wheels were priced about £37 ( ),but strangely I have seen them at well over £100 plus delivery,here for instance:-

Not long to go now.


Monday, 15 August 2011

Wheel Bolts Update

The dealer has heard back from Bailey regarding fitting the uprated wheel bolts to the Orion and the word is that it doesn't need them.

Much as I thought really,I just thought it would be a prudent measure,and they haven't enough to sell/give to anyone else apart from the Unicorn recall people.

I still think that eventually all Bailey vans will have them fitted though,we shall see.


Thursday, 11 August 2011

Insurance Again

Read somewhere recently that Saga were reasonable for caravan insurance so I thought I would give them a go.

Wow they certainly know what to charge,£568 pounds for the year.

I thought CC was expensive at about £360 but these jokers take the biscuit.

Saga like to give the impression that they are there to serve the "elderly" among us ( well the over 50's anyway ),they must be well heeled elderly is all I can say.

No one has come near Caravan Guard at £219 for good cover and the first ten days free to boot.


Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Ten Year Warranty Contd.

Well the dealer has assured me that the "free" ( yes I know nothing is free really ) full  ten year water ingress warranty applies to our van so that is a relief but on enquiring, just out of interest, whether this warranty would be free for years from 6-10 on 2012 vans they were a little more hesitant and are making some enquiries.

Glad we plumped for a 2011 model even more now,not only did we save about £390 over the 2012 price increase,for no increase in spec. we were told, but we have definitely got the 10 year warranty whereas there appears to be a little doubt of the the full ten years being free for next years vans.

If I hear any more from the dealers regarding this topic I will post to the blog.


Monday, 8 August 2011

Bailey Ten Year Warranty

On browsing the Bailey Orion warranty it appears that the "free" 10yr ( 6yrs + 4 yrs free ) Alu-Tech body warranty has vanished to be replaced by 6yrs plus 4yrs chargeable.

10 Year Bodyshell Integrity Guarantee

The Bailey Alu-Tech caravan is covered by a ten (10) year Bodyshell Integrity Guarantee, which comprises of a six (6) year standard warranty cover and a four (4) year chargeable extension to the standard warranty cover. This cover extends to any structural degradation to the bodyshell that arises as a result of water ingress through any permanently sealed seams or joints.

Warranty Extensions

An additional 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th year extension to the Bodyshell Integrity Guarantee is available at an additional cost. An additional 4th, 5th and 6th year extension to the Manufacturer's Warranty is also available. Please ask your Bailey retailer for more information.

As the 10yr warranty was the main reason for us buying the Orion I have e-mailed the dealers for clarification.

Hopefully it will only apply to new model vans as the "old" warranty was in force when we put a deposit on ours.

That of course is small comfort to those considering purchasing an Orion ( or any other Alu-Tech van ).

Will keep the blog posted on the outcome.

The full warranty can be found here :-


Got A Date !!

Well we eventually have a date to collect the Orion,23rd of August.

YC Leisure have been exemplary up until now and very patient with my numerous questions and e-mails,I dare say the salesman is spitting feathers in private.

Counting down the days.


Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Wheel Bolts Again

Chased up the dealers this morning as I hadn't heard anything about the new wheel bolts.

Evidently the factory are shut for summer holidays but they had heard a whisper that the new bolts would only be available for the single axle Unicorn.

We shall have to wait and see.