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Sunday, 30 December 2012

13-pin Extension Lead #2

As previously blogged,a month or so ago I purchased one of these :-

13-Pin Extension Lead

Used it today to check that the lights and ATC on the Orion were all OK and there were no surprises in store come the spring,all OK as I expect you are all dying to know.

It is handy for attaching the van when you are by yourself as you don't have to reverse up to the van and risk a collision.

Space is a bit tight on our storage and manoeuvring is even more awkward on the drive at home.

Should the need ever arise it will be useful to attach to the van at home if the ATC memory becomes full and you have to connect to the car for 12 hours to clear it.

Can be recommended and the Caravan Accessory shop can be also be recommended ( no connection ).

There is another outlet on the net that sells them ( I only ever found two ) but they messed me around twice after of course taking my money so beware.


All Lagged Up.

John Bland,one of my correspondents and I have been having a discussion regarding heating pipes in the Orion.

John is of the opinion that the front of the Orion is not as warm as the rear and was looking for solutions.

I thought that the grey plastic pipe running from under the rear dinette to the front of the van via the offside wheel arch was the front to rear heating pipe.

This one :-

Of course it is nothing of the sort and John was quite correct in that the heating duct pipe from front to rear is on the other side of the van and runs from the rear dinette entering the van under the TV unit.

This is the correct pipe :-

I was intending to lag the grey pipe but now having located the correct one I have lagged that with ThermaWrap ( link in previous post ),fortunately I hadn't purchased any pre-formed pipe lagging as obviously it would not fit the real pipe.

It is not particularly difficult to do but entails lying on your back for an hour ( ooh er missus ) and sliding under the van as far as you can,or better still get the wife to do it.

The results are as shown :-

Hopefully now there won't be as much heat lost from the pipe and the front may be a bit warmer as SWMBO has also complained of it being a bit cool at times.

( Then again SWMBO would complain of it being a bit cool in the Atacama desert in midsummer,hormones I think, but I digress.)

If deciding to lag the pipe and using ThermaWrap :-

1. It says put the shiny side outwards but it is difficult to tell which is the shiny side as they both look much the same.

If you look closely the "inside" surface on the roll just about looks a little shinier so that went to the outside.

2.Because of the close proximity of the heating duct to the floor of the van you can only apply a short piece of insulation at a time.

3.There is no mention in the ThermaWrap instructions of using tape to fix it,you tend to get the impression that it attaches itself.

It does not,you need some tape. I used some UniBond clear all weather  tape for every piece and reinforced it along the length of the pipe with some further lengths of tape.

4.I couldn't go right to the end of the pipe as the Al-KO ATC module was in the way and I couldn't reach any farther anyway so I went as far as the second zip-tie.

5.I only used one roll of ThermaWrap having of course bought two.

It was getting a bit cold after a while and starting to rain ( aye it's bleak up north and there were't  whippets to feed and clogs to polish ) so I left it at that  but I will return later and add one or two zip-ties along the length to make it more secure.

Hope this assists anyone who wants to lag their heating duct,any questions then drop me a pm.


Monday, 24 December 2012

A Lagging We Will Go.......

John Bland,one of my correspondents,commented on the fact that he found the front of the van cooler than the rear of the van.

He pointed out something I did not realise,that there is a heating pipe which passes out from the Whale heater,through the floor to the exterior along the underside of the van and back in again to supply the front vent under the TV.

I had seen this pipe before and not realised what it was.

The pipe is normal grey ribbed plastic pipe which can obviously lose heat along its length as John pointed out.

I was pondering this the other day when up at the storage and decided to visit B&Q/Homebase etc. to see what I could come up with in the insulation line.

The pipe is about 12cm in circumference so the pre-formed polystyrene pipe lagging is too small ( or they just didn't have any bigger sizes in stock ).

Whilst looking in Homebase I came across this stuff :-

ThermaWrap Insulation

which looks just the job.

Bought a couple of rolls ( just over £8 for the two ) and will attempt to apply it after Christmas.

Will post how it went,hopefully with a few photos.


Saturday, 22 December 2012


To those who read my occasional ramblings,a big thank you as the blog has had over 24 000 hits in just over a year.

Hoping you all have a happy Christmas and New Year.

Anyone out in their Orion over the holidays ( squelch,squelch ) have a wonderful time.

Incidentally,if anyone has got anything to sell that they wish me to post on the blog just drop me an e-mail.

Don't forget to include an e-mail address or phone number so any buyer can contact you direct.


Thursday, 20 December 2012


Contralube is a special synthetic grease that is recommended for electrical contacts and the like to prevent corrosion and degradation.

After reading a few posts of recommendation on CT I purchased some and liberally applied it to the 13-pin plug and socket of the Orion,also applied some to the battery posts.

The easiest way to coat the pins ( and the sockets ) is  to put a good blob on the socket holes and insert the plug which coats the pins and sockets nicely.

Contralube is about £7 or so a tube,got mine from Maplins but other outlets are available.



Saturday, 15 December 2012

Al-Ko Solar Light

Here is a review of the Al-Ko Solar Light that I posted on CT :-

During the Al-Ko "12 days of Christmas" promotion they had on offer the Al-Ko Solar Light.

I had been thinking about one of these for a while but the price of a shade under £90 understandably put me off.

During the offer period it was substantially reduced plus I got a further 10% off with an offer code which brought it down to just over half price so I thought I would give it a shot.

The photo and description on the Al-Ko site don't do this piece of kit justice at all,it is seriously impressive.

The lit area is a shade under 14cm across and it comes with all manner of connections to facilitate charging by various methods.

It is also provided with quite a hefty 26cm x 14cm 3W solar panel and the associated connections.

The torch can also be used to charge mobile phones,mP3 players etc.,all the leads are provided.

I hesitate to say it is worth £90,it is after all a torch,but if anyone is ummhing and aahing about one and wonders about the quality then don't worry.

I can see it lasting for a long time.

If anyone has any questions for what is a substantial financial layout then ask away.


The Gap Is Back.

Those of you sad souls who read my musings on a regular basis will remember from a while ago the gaps that were apparent at the tops of the plastic T-shaped trims to the right of the bathroom door and to the left of the wardrobe in the 440/4.

These were replaced under warranty at the first service,there was certainly no gap at the top when I collected the van

Well I presumed they were changed,I now begin to wonder as when I visited the van last week the gaps were back.

I have now surmised what the problem is.

The gap at the end of the trim should be at the bottom,presumably to accommodate the carpet,but over time the trim slowly slides down and the gap appears at the top.

On my next visit to storage I will remove the trims and apply some adhesive before refixing which should cure it once and for all.


Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Saving Your Alloys #2

As I have recently touched up the paint on the Orion's alloys where it had got scuffed and chipped,I was interested in a tip that was in Practical Caravan this month.

A chap had affixed some non-slip matting to the rear of the Al-Ko wheel lock to stop it scraping on the wheel.

He had cut a section all in one piece but I thought this would be rather difficult and not fit very well so I took a sheet of non-slip and cut out a section for each of the flat areas on the back of the lock and stuck them all on separately with Evo-Stick and let them dry.

It seems to work rather well.

The lock still fits into the wheel and the non-slip protects the alloy.

The non-slip matting can be bought from the pound shop for err.... well ..................a pound.

Other outlets are available.


Saturday, 8 December 2012

Whale Heater : Battery Usage.

Someone on CT was enquiring what the Whale blown air heating system would take out of the battery on an Orion without EHU.

There was a very useful reply from Dave which I repost here with permission :

 The Whale space heater takes 0.01amps when it's on, and 1.6 amps with the fan running. If you assume a 50% duty cycle (i.e. fan running about half the time - depends on how cold it is), you are looking at about 0.8amps average = about 20ah a day.

So assuming a 110ah battery and not running the battery down less than half way and considering that there is other usage ( 12v TV,water pump,toilet,lights ) then that is about two to three days on continuously,depending upon how cold it is of course.


Thursday, 29 November 2012

A Couple of Tips.

Thought I would publish a couple of tips I picked up off CT which I thought may be useful.

Apologies if you consider it to be teaching your grandmother to suck eggs ( have you ever seen a grandmother suck an egg,I haven't) but they were useful to me.

The first was to lubricate the black rubber seals around the windows to keep them supple and prevent cracking.

It was suggested that an ideal lubricant to use was the Thetford spray that is used to lubricate the toilet cassette blade seal.

Did ours today,not forgetting the door seal,only took about fifteen minutes.

Another tip was when parking the caravan in storage for any length of time,park it so it is tilted either forward or backwards so that the rain runs off and water does not pool on the roof.

Some vans have a ridge at the rear so would be best tilted forward but as the Orion has a rounded profile at both ends I have tilted it to the rear so water doesn't run on to the Al-Ko -ATC light or the front window although as they are open to the elements I don't suppose it matters that much.


Monday, 26 November 2012

Saving Your Alloys.

Seeing as the Orion's alloy wheels are sat in the garage covered in sacking I thought I would give them the once over.

Noticed a few marks and scuffs where the socket has caught them when torquing the bolts up.

Have touched these up with some wheel paint and given them a coat of varnish.

Had a look round on the web as to how to avoid it happening again.

Came across this on e-bay :-

19mm "Soft" Socket

It is a standard 19mm socket covered in a plastic sleeve to avoid damaging the alloys when in use.

Have ordered one so I will see how it goes.

The same thing is available in Halfords but are about £2 dearer.

[ I have no connection with the e-bay seller at all ]


Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Phantom Caravan Tracker

Just passing on a bit of information.

If anyone has a Phantom Pro-Active tracking device fitted and wants to carry a few spare fuses for it,they are 2 amp mini blade fuses.

They are a bit difficult/impossible to find in the shops or dealers but there are plenty on E Bay.

I got five for £1.08 with free postage.


13-Pin Extension Lead

I recently purchased one of the above as I think it will be useful for checking lights/ATC the day before we go away without having to move the car close to the van which is rather difficult on our drive and in storage,especially when you are on your own.

If I check things the day before and they aren't working at least I have a bit of time to get it sorted.

Still check prior to setting off though.

They are a bit hard to find from dealers but found one here :-

13-Pin Extension Lead

They are sold by "another company" but they twice messed me around and kept me hanging on for months on the first occasion.

Before someone mentions it,yes I could have made my own up,probably more cheaply,but my wiring skills are not the best and I would rather have it right than fuse something and have to start sorting it out.


Tuesday, 13 November 2012

It Doesn't Fit.

A couple of posts back I enquired if anyone had considered relocating the spare wheel to under the dinette seat nearest the door.

Well I had a try today with one of the wheels which I had removed for the winter,and it doesn't fit under the seat,nowhere near.

So it looks like the Al-Ko spare wheel carrier will reign supreme for a good while longer.


Sunday, 11 November 2012

Carry On Cushion.

Over last winter we positioned some moisture traps from the pound shop in the Orion and they did their job admirably,each being at least half full of water.

In March prior to our first trip away I brought the van home and placed the traps on the rear dinette cushion for the short journey,thinking they would be safe there and if they did spill it was only water.

Oh deary me how wrong can you be.

The traps did indeed spill,but what came out was not water but a greasy sort of substance which saturated parts of the cushion and has since defeated all methods known to man to dry it out or otherwise get rid of it.

The cushion always feels damp no matter what you do.

I have left it in the sun numerous times and used a hair dryer all to no avail.

When I set the van up for winter the cushion felt particularly damp so I brought it home for the usual attempts at drying it out.

SWMBO was,I could tell,teetering on getting me to buy a replacement at about £240 or so.

Recently I was browsing the Bailey Spares website and noticed that the buttons that go through the cushion were for sale separately so,I thought,it must be feasible to remove them and then remove the cover to wash it.

So we set about removing the five buttons keeping the cover attached to the foam and putting the seat cover and buttons in the washing machine at 30 degrees.

Success,the greasiness was gone and all was now well with the cover.

When dry the cover fitted back over the foam OK,but the tricky bit was passing the white toggle pieces on the end of the buttons back through the foam.

We managed this,eventually,by taping the toggle pieces to a knitting needle,and passing it through the foam.

They get caught on the metal springs sometimes but eventually we did it with only the one phone call to Relate.

The seat cushion looks like new now so the job was a success.

The upshot of all this is that if you do happen to stain or otherwise mark a cushion cover then it is possible to remove it and wash it.

It is fiddly and not something I would want to do every day but it is possible.


Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Monday, 5 November 2012

Is This A Wheely Good Idea ??

Have been pondering the contentious position of the spare wheel and the dreaded Al-Ko carrier on the Orion.

I know some people with fixed beds remove the wheel from under the van and place it under the bed as there is plenty of room.

I was today looking at the space under the rear dinette seat on the 440/4 ( the seat nearest the TV over the axle ) and wondered if it would fit in there ?

I have measured one of the wheels that I have removed for winter which suggests it might just fit,but only just.

Before I mess about carting wheels about I wondered if anyone had their spare wheel stored under the dinette seat in the 440/4 or alternatively had tried and found it a no go?

Any replies appreciated.


Friday, 2 November 2012

Well Connected

Just a handy tip to save a bob or two.

We have a three lengths of 28.5mm waste pipe,two at a metre each and one longer one ( can't remember the exact length ).

They are each useful for serviced pitches where the drain is different distances from the van.

In order to accommodate  a pitch where the drain may be a distance away,instead of buying yet another length of hose there are available connectors to join two lengths together.

They are about £2.70 each and might save buying some more hose if,like us,you have more than one length.


Friday, 26 October 2012

No Going Back Now.

Well that's it,summers over,it's official.

Took the wheels off the Orion today and fitted Winter Wheels.

One tip that I think is worth passing on,I imagine we all leave the fridge door ajar so mould doesn't grow over the winter but don't forget the freezer compartment door.

I just happened to check ours and there was a very small amount of mould in it already so have jammed the door open to let the air in.


Thursday, 25 October 2012

Oh Well Never Mind.

We should have been going to Durham Grange CC site today for a few days but SWMBO woke up this morning with a touch  ( a big touch ) of the "unmentionables" so we have had to cancel,incurring a black mark for being a naughty boy from the Caravan Club.

This will probably be it until the spring I think and yes I know people caravan through the winter but I can't say it really appeals to me,don't mind the cold but wading through ice and snow,no thanks.

Have set the Orion up for the lay off,all fluids drained,fridge vent covers on,cushions up-ended to air,cupboard doors opened and some moisture traps scattered about.

Ordered a wash and wax from a chap who does it on our storage.

Just need to put the winter wheels on and that is it.

I hope we get away a bit more next year than we have done this and for some longer stays as well.

Don't forget to put your clocks back.


Saturday, 20 October 2012

Thoughts From The NEC

We visited the Caravan & Motorhome Show at the NEC last Thursday and had a really good day ( despite losing my digital camera so if anyone found one................... ).

On the surface ( i.e. without counting them all ) there appeared to be many more motorhomes than caravans this year and with new prices starting at round about £40K there must be some money around somewhere.

It never ceases to amaze me at such shows when there are lots of vans together how much variation can be created in the interiors of a big white box on wheels.

On the Bailey stand the Orion made a very lacklustre appearance with one 400-2 and one 430-4.The main emphasis was of course on the new Unicorn 2 ( there were three Cadiz's ) supported by the Pegasus and Olympus.

The new Unicorn wasn't presented in the best light with excess mastic around the windows,a poorly attached front panel which moved up and down and poor seals generally.

Of course speaking to a rep.these are models that were "rushed" out for the show but one would have thought that you put your best models in the shop window ( not that there should be such a thing as a "best" model ),and how long would it have taken to remove a bit of excess mastic from around a window.

I think as far as QC goes then Bailey have definitely taken their eye off the ball.

The presentation of the Orion was so poor it made me wonder if there wasn't an update in the pipeline or even discontinuing it altogether.

The time from the Unicorn 1 to the Unicorn 2 was about two years and the Orion is approaching two years old.

If they do discontinue it I think it would be a shame for such a smashing little van.

I must admit though that when on our travels we see plenty of Unicorns,Pegasus and Olympus but very few Orions ( single figures I would think ).

I hasten to add that this is just my musings and I have no "insider knowledge" at all.

Away from Bailey we were impressed by the offerings from Eterniti,albeit at a price of about £25K.

Now with one of those and a VW Toureg to pull it,it would have to be a lottery win.

I liked the fact that any mobile technician who is MCEA registered can service it and keep the warranty up instead of hauling it to a dealers.

So with a few bargains from Isabella it was a good day all round


Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Kitchen Drawer Removal

Mr.Spock,a contributor on CT,has received some instructions from Bailey on how to remove the cutlery drawer on the Orion if it ever the need arises.

Over the phone the dealer suggested it may have to dismantle the kitchen to do it but it appears this is not necessary,the instructions follow :-

1. Pull kitchen drawer all the way out until it stops.

2. Underneath the drawer you will see two metal lugs halfway towards the back and some plastic clips just in front of them.

3. Unclip the plastic clips from the bottom of the drawer (there should be 4 places to unclip - 2 per side).

4. Try to prise the drawer off the runners (I used my fingers) from about halfway down. The drawer will lift off and leave the metal runners behind.

To put back is roughly the reverse, but:

1. Put the drawer back on the runners.

2. Hold the metal lugs as you push the drawer back on the runners - this will ensure that it is seated correctly.

3. When seated correctly  (check both runners are same distance from the drawer front) pop the plastic clips back into their slots.

4. Close the drawer, it should work perfectly. If it goes a bit to one side, or seems otherwise a bit wonky you may need to take it off again and readjust. It takes a little shoogling, but it's not too bad.


Hopefully this may be of help to some Orion owners, I imagine the whole range uses the same drawer.

The dealer wanted to remove the sink or the whole kitchen unit! I dread to think of the labour involved in that! 


Monday, 8 October 2012

More Torque Talk

Quite unexpectedly I today received another e-mail from Bailey regarding wheel nut torque :-

To Mr Broadhead
Thank you for your email.
We did change the wheel bolts and the torque setting around the time you purchased your van.
The way to tell is to look at your wheel bolts. If you have shiny wheel bolts the torque will be 110Nm and if you have dull grey wheel bolts the torque would be 120Nm.
I hope this helps.
Jo Barrington (Mrs)
Bailey Caravans

So as we have the shiny bolts it is back to 110Nm.



Thursday, 4 October 2012

Wheel Bolt Torque

When I had the van in for service I had to sign to say the wheel bolts had been torqued.

As the chap did it I commented that the handbook states that the torque should be 110Mn and he was torquing them to 120Mn.

He replied that they torque them all to 120Nm now.

I have checked this with Bailey and he is correct,this is the reply I received to my e-mail enquiry :-

Thank you for your email below.
Your service agent is correct that all wheel bolt torques across the Bailey range have increased by various degrees, the Orion’s torque has been increased from 110nm to 120nm. There is no problem with this increase in torque as extensive testing was carried out by “Bolt Science UK”, Bath University, TUV GMBH, AL-KO Kober etc. etc. prior to the increase.
Ian Turner
Retailer Services Manager
Bailey Caravans

So there we have it,120Nm it is from now on.


Sunday, 30 September 2012

Chatsworth & Very Sturdy Trousers

Just returned from a three night break on the Caravan Club site at Chatsworth in Derbyshire.

The site is an excellent one and includes a number of super pitches one of which we inhabited.

It is very pleasant to go "all mod cons" once in a while with the waste,water,TV and toilet emptying all in close proximity.

The facilities are all top notch,the toilet block wash up etc. are all spotless.

The only very minor criticism is that a lot of the pitches are under trees which does cut out the sunlight to some degree leaving it a bit damp in places,I think some of the trees could do to be cut back a bit.

The Orion was faultless,YC leisure seem to have done all that was asked of them ( the front window blind is still a bit tardy ),it made a pleasant change to have full running water once again after the Whale inlet had been swapped for a new one.

Whilst there we visited Chatsworth House which is accessed via a locked gate from the site.

There is £5 off the admission fee if you take your CC membership cards with you ( that's £5 each for a couple ).

The house and grounds are stunning and well worth a visit if in the vicinity.

The house is open 11am - 4:30pm and it is an all day experience which can be recommended.

We also visited Eyam,the "plague village" and had a browse around the museum,very interesting.

Whilst on the return journey home,I took the wrong turning off a roundabout in the centre of Chesterfield.

The sat.nav indicated a simple right turn a hundred metres or so ahead to bring us back onto the correct road.

After taking the turn I noticed that the end of the road said "Buses Only" but just prior to it was a left turn down a narrow road which in my naivety I  presumed just led back onto the main road and avoided the "Buses Only" junction.

Anyway I turned left,went around the corner only to be faced with the barriers to enter a multi-storey car park.

Of course out of nowhere a car appeared behind and another exited the car park in front of me.

Now reversing the van in anything other than a straight line has never been a particular forte of mine,especially when hemmed in by cars,in a narrow road,outside a multi-storey car park,trying desperately to nip my bum cheeks together to avoid further embarrassment.

SWMBO got out all calmly and directed me back along the access road,round the bend and back across the junction.

If I say so myself it all went pretty well,not spectacular but enough to get us out of a sticky situation.

Then it was sod the "Buses Only" markings,through the traffic lights and on our way.

When the sweat had dried I felt quite pleased with myself,every curve is a learning curve as they say.


Thursday, 13 September 2012

It's Back.

Well we collected the Orion from YC Leisure today after servicing and warranty work,it wasn't without one or two problems at handover but they were ironed out amicably enough eventually .

SWMBO is delighted that the TV worktop has been replaced,the chap that did it said that it is much more difficult to remove and replace than you would think,so anyone intending to do it themselves,be warned.

Thankfully there is no sign of damp/water ingress whatsoever so that is a big relief,also the wheelarch liners are intact,no splitting.

I had specified the fitting of a pair of Al-KO shock absorbers and I am glad I did.

I only have the evidence of the forty mile trip down the A1/M62 to home to go on but the difference was obvious.

Whereas previously passing HGV's made the van move about slightly now it barely moves at all.

It feels far more stable to tow which inspires confidence in your blogster.

One thing to watch though,when I came to collect the van they had put RED shockers on when the mass of the van demanded BLUE.

RED are for 1300 - 1800Kg on a single axle and BLUE are for 901 - 1300Kg

There are also GREEN ones for lighter vans.

Al-KO Shock Absorbers

As the 440/4 has an MTPLM of 1249Kg they fell in the BLUE category.

Anyway I asked for them to be changed and they did with no argument.

So if you go ahead and have some fitted,check the colour ( some Orions,the 460/5 and 530/6,are over 1300Kg so will require the RED ),the price is about £85 per pair plus about an hours labour.

All done and dusted for another year,hopefully.


Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Return Imminent.

Due to collect the van from YC Leisure in two days after a service and some warranty/non-warranty jobs.

Fingers crossed all is OK.


Tuesday, 4 September 2012

A Matter of Weight ( Or For The Physics Graduates,Mass ).

Before we took the van off for a service we completely emptied it.

Whilst all the stuff was piled up in the garage I thought that I would weigh it just to check we weren't carrying too much.

The total was 90Kg + 25Kg for the mover  ( not of course including clothes or food ) to the accuracy of the bathroom scales and being "generous" on the weights.

So with a payload of 147Kg we are 32Kg under which is almost exactly the same margin as when we weighed it on a weighbridge after we purchased it.

Not going tell SWMBO of course or there will be 32Kg of clothes/make up etc. making its way caravanward.

Nice to know we are towing safely though.


Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Potential Split Wheel Arches

Teddy, one of my correspondents,has notified me of this which I think is worth bringing to wider attention:-

Hi, Ian do get your dealer to check your wheel arches. Our dealer (Lowdhams Nottingham) has serviced several Orions that have split linings and has reported this to Bailey as a design fault and we ae waiting for a call back to have ours replaced. The dealers did stick some sealant over it but it did not look too sturdy so my ever resourceful other half has stuck some thick sealant tape over it to prevent any water ingress when travelling.


Saturday, 25 August 2012

Hargill House Caravan Club Site

Just returned from a two night stay at Hargill House a Caravan Club site just off the A66 about 1.5 miles from Scotch Corner in the Northern Pennines.

A well laid out clean and tidy site although if you have any form of physical disability you would be as well to pitch at the top end as it is on a slope and the facilities are at the top so there is a slight hill to climb if you are at the bottom.

As can be seen from the pictures we took the Isabella Magnum Eclipse instead of the Magnum awning itself as we were only stopping for two nights and it proved a good decision.

The Eclipse can fit straight onto the caravan itself ,as here,as well as onto the front of the Magnum and only takes minutes to set up and dismantle so if it rains,as it did,when packing up you can leave the Eclipse up until the last minute to provide some shelter and then take it down and it is easy to dry when you get home.

Pricey I suppose but it is Isabella and can be recommended.

We are still without running water due to the ongoing pump electrical problem but strangely it didn't seem to affect us too much.

During the stop I noticed water dripping from a pipe under the van next to the Truma Ultrastore dump valve pipe.

According to someone on CT it is the over pressure relief valve pipe.

I have no idea if this is relevent or not,just that I had not seen it before.

Will put it on the list for the service next week to be checked.

After we had hooked up the electrics to the car to come home I noticed the ATC light was showing steady red,never done that before.

Unplugged the electrics and left it a minute or two,plugged it back in and it went green,another thing to be checked.

Taking it for its first service week after next so will post as to what happens,if anything.

I have specified a pair of Al-Ko shock absorbers to be fitted as it tends to bounce a bit on uneven surfaces so we shall how that goes.


Friday, 24 August 2012

Upper Door Catch Adaptation

Paul Medcalf one of my correspondents has sent some instructions for fitting a catch to the upper split door of the Orion to stop it flapping about as the original catch is on the lower part of the door only.

Thought i would share with you and your followers. I have just added an additional external door catch to the top half of the ext door to prevent it swinging in the wind when the bottom half is closed to keep the dog in :-)
It was quite easy to fit and line up the parts came to about £22. plus a bit of glue and some mastic seal. . If your readers complete the project advise them not to forget to order the 2x spacers. Using the Spacer i placed a blob of strong glue to the back plate of the spacer and then surrounded it with white mastic seal not too much and then pressed it in to position on the outside of the van cleaning the excess mastic as i pressed it into position . I then used self tapping screws supplied by my retailer and carefully screwed the catches into position. Pics attached


As soon as I mentioned this adaptation to SWMBO I have naturally been banned from undertaking it.

Anything involving screws and sealant is no go.

She may have a point as I have just buggered the carpet up slightly putting down some double sided non slip carpet strips.


Thursday, 16 August 2012

2013 Orion Range

The brochure for the 2013 Orion range can be downloaded from here:-

Bailey Brochures

The 450/5 seems to have gone and I am surprised there isn't a "two fixed single bed" model,I thought there would be for 2013.

The only difference in spec. I could see was that they now come with a Whale Aquasmart II on board water pump instead of the "drop into Aquaroll model".

I think I prefer the latter,easier to change if it goes tits up rather than a back to dealer swap for an on-board one,certainly whilst under warranty anyway,also one less thing to freeze up in the winter.

Bailey now publish MIRO noseweights and it is interesting to note that the smallest van in the range,the 400/2 has an ex-works noseweight of 79Kg whilst the biggest van,the 530/6, has a noseweight of 50kg.

Strictly speaking we,and I suspect many others,would not be able to tow the 400/2 as our noseweight limit is 75Kg.

As that is the MIRO noseweight I suppose there would have to be a bit of "loading behind the axle" to bring it down a bit but in such a small van that could mean stuff being too near the rear,not a good idea.

There is no mention as far as I could see of the Evo 4,perhaps that has quietly bitten the dust also


Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Leaky Orions.

There is rather worrying post on CT regarding a leaky Orion 440/4 that is worth a read.

Leaky Orion 440/4

Ours is due for a service in three weeks so I hope all is well in that department,have to say there is no indication that we have any ingress problems.


Sunday, 12 August 2012

Floeing Again

Have been back from Cawood just over a week I thought I would try the Floe again,this time with all the taps shut.

As I surmised previously I got out just over 200mls, plus what came out of the hot water tank.

What came out was a dirty brown colour.

In my humble opinion I think this proves the worth of the Floe and its admittedly high price for what it is ( round about £40 ).

200mls is enough to freeze during the winter with the resulting damage of pipework etc.,although admittedly I had no problems last winter pre-Floe.


Saturday, 11 August 2012

Damp Mattress

John has e-mailed me about  a damp mattress in his 430/4,can't say I have heard of it previously and apart from a leak,which John says he hasn't got,I am at a loss to see where it comes from,apart from a faulty mattress in some way.

Anyway here is John's e-mail in full if anyone has any suggestions.


Orion 430-4 Damp Mattress

Hello Just found your site. Have had our Orion for a month now, love the layout and van. Just one problem (so far). Damp Mattress. Bedding fine, front seating fine. The mattress just seems to absorb any moisture going. Has anyone else, to your knowledge, come up against this problem. Our dealer says he has never come upon this problem before and will be contacting Baileys on our behalf. Hope I am doing this "blogging" right, never done it before. Regards John


Sunday, 5 August 2012

Sleeping Bag ( No Not SWMBO in Bed )

Instead of faffing about with sheets,blankets,duvets etc. we recently purchased a double sleeping bag and liner quite cheaply from GO Outdoors.

Tried the arrangement out for the first time whilst at Cawood and it worked very well,much quicker and easier to use than bed linen and warm as well.

Had another try using the rear bed but have decided once and for all that the front is much the better option.

Have taken the "mobile cushion" home,never to be used again.


Saturday, 4 August 2012

Cawood Park

Just returned from a four day stay at Cawood Park  between Selby and York.

A very clean and tidy site just north of the village.

It is in the process of upgrading itself with the emphasis on holiday homes,which incidentally look rather smart positioned around a lake on which fishing is included in the price.

We stayed on a super pitch which had the added advantage of having Astroturf at the side of the van on which to pitch the awning.We found this excellent as there was no need for awning tiles or carpet and was very soft to the feet,naturally we had brought a sack full of awing tiles

This is a feature which should be copied by other sites,hardstanding for the van and Astroturf for the awning,the pitch is then virtually weatherproof.

 I have been studying the Isabella instructions on You Tube for erecting the Magnum and I must say it looked almost professional.

The shower/toilet block is clean and modern but the showers leave a little to be desired as they only seem to spray around the edges and not in the middle and the floor in front of the shower tray gets soaking wet plus,if you are unlucky,your clothes as well.

For £30 a night,a hairdryer might have been a useful addition.

As well as the super pitches there is a "touring" site which is just grass and is looking a little careworn but we were told that later in the year this is going to be turned over to static homes but the field opposite the present super pitch site is going to locate eighteen further super pitches so eventually the park will just be statics and super pitches.

There is a bit of work going on on the site but in no way did this affect our stay.

The park also boasts a small swimming pool which is included in the price and a smart looking clubhouse which we didn't visit but features "turns" at the weekend,there is also a small shop which sells groceries etc.but could do with stocking a few more caravanny items that people my need like one or two awning pegs or some fuses for example.

We had a couple of bike rides as the weather was warm and mostly sunny for a change and on one of these we called at the White Horse in Church Fenton for some dinner.

A welcoming and friendly place with good value food,can be recommended.

The Orion behaved itself ( nearly ) and won one or two admiring glances and one fellow camper came for a look round it.

It blotted its copybook on the last afternoon though when SWMBO announced that there wasn't any water coming out of the the taps.

Naturally I thought "What do women know about these things" but she was right,there wasn't any water coming out of the taps,any of them,hot or cold.

After trying all the usual thing like changing the pump and swapping out fuses there was still no water coming out of the taps,then after consulting CT for some inspiration I waggled the electrical connections at the back of the Whale inlet on the side of the van and water started to flow.

Not for very long though when another waggle was required and this is how it carried on but at least I know where the problem is,another one for the first service warranty list in a months time.

The front and off-side front blinds have always been slow to retract but now the off side one has packed up altogether.

 All in all a very pleasant few days,Cawood Park can be recommended.

Incidentally we must now be fully fledged caravanners as we managed to sit out in the sunshine on two folding chairs just like the pictures in the caravan mags,this is only the second time whilst we have had the Orion.


Friday, 27 July 2012

A Floeing We Will Go.

A few months ago I purchased a Floe device ( Floe ) for removing residual water left in the supply system after draining down in the traditional manner.

Having recently purchased a digital air compressor I thought I would give the Floe a test run.

After studying the enclosed DVD I set to work pressurising the system after having close off all the taps and closing the water heater dump valve.

Being unable to pressurise the system properly I went into the van to investigate where I discovered I had not closed the shower tap and the bathroom was soaked in water.

After drying the bathroom I carried on doing the other taps and the water heater but because most of the water had come out of the shower there was only about 25mls or so of dirty brown water left in the system  which I wouldn't have fancied drinking.

I would estimate that including the water in the washroom and that in the water heater there would be about 200mls remaining in the system which is enough I imagine to cause problems in a cold winter.

As the van hasn't been used for a couple of months due to cancellations because of the weather/flooding then some of the remaining water will have evaporated I suppose.

So in conclusion the Floe does actually work in removing water left in the system.

Next time I use it  I will make sure the taps are all shut so I can measure more accurately the remaining water.

I shall sleep a bit easier in my bed next winter knowing that there is much less likelihood of frost damage during any cold weather we may have.

The Floe is around the £40 mark which for what it is is quite expensive but still less costly than having a frozen water system repaired.


Colin's Mattress

Colin has informed me that his Orion mattress which was advertised in an earlier posting has now been sold.


Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Rain Sodding Rain

Well we had planned to go to Hawthorn Farm CC site at the weekend but I thought I had better check on the state of play this morning so I gave them a ring.

Bad news,they have a lot of grass pitches which they were closing as they were waterlogged and even the hard standings were very muddy.

The warden said the state of the site was "dreadful" and thanked me for ringing as she was about to start ringing around cancelling people.

I imagine that that most sites are much the same,plus if you get on and it rains some more,will you get off again.

We may eventually get away about October.


Friday, 6 July 2012

Helpful Tips

In the "Comment" section under the Oven Shelf post,Paul Medcalf has made one or two helpful suggestions that are worth reading.

For some reason I can't cut & paste them into a posting.


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Just For Information:Oven Shelf

SWMBO wants an additional shelf for the Spinflo Duplex oven in the Orion and I was placed on this Earth to comply with her wishes.

The Bailey Parts site showed two different shelves for the Orion,one was the "Orion Duplex Oven Shelf,Part Number 1040399 at about £26 or so" and the other was "Oven Shelf 370mm,Part Number 1040072 at about £10";both plus P&P.

Not knowing which to order I contacted Bailey who said the former was the correct one ( the dearest one of course ) and they have removed the other from their site.


Friday, 22 June 2012

Rain Dear

Well we should have gone to Cawood Park this weekend for three days including a visit to York Cycle Show on the racecourse but the weather is so appalling we decided not to go and keep our powder dry.

Cawood Park

It has not stopped raining for two days solid and when I checked with Cawood Park yesterday they said they weren't flooded ( Cawood village is prone to floods ) but the site was very muddy.

We were using some vouchers that I got from the Manchester show topped up with some cash and they said we could carry it all over to a future stay which I thought was very reasonable.

As I write this the weather is absolutely foul,it looks more like November than June.

For once I am glad to be inside bricks and mortar rather than the Orion,except the conservatory roof has now decided to leak.


Thursday, 21 June 2012

Mosquito Net

Took Justin's advice and fitted the Fiamma mosqito net today,looks rather good if I say so myself.

Used heavy duty Velcro as opposed the the supplied screws.


Positive & Negative

Just in case anyone is desperate for the information,if you connect the battery up incorrectly ( positive to negative and vice versa ) it blows a fuse and the 12v electrics don't work.

The fuse that it blows is the one marked "Battery" on the panel under the nearside front bunk,it is 20 amps.

Do not enquire as to how I know this fact.


Thursday, 14 June 2012

Bulbs ( Electric not Crocuses )

A few posts ago I think I mentioned buying a spare bulb or two for the ceiling lights.

The dealers wanted somewhere around £2.99 per bulb ( G4 ) and I got some off t'internet for around £1 each.

Was in the local pound shop a few days ago and they had four for,yes you've guessed it,one pound.

So if you want some spares/replacements try your local pound shop first.


Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Calling Colin


Someone is interested in your mattress if it is still for sale.

I can't use Google FriendConnect to e-mail you as I can't get it to work.

Is it still for sale?

If it is if you could e-mail me and I will try to pass on your details.


Thursday, 7 June 2012

Bailey Poor Finishing Off.

Without going into too much detail I have it on very good authority that Bailey are aware that some of their products are poorly finished off and are endeavouring to do something to correct it.

We shall see if any improvements become apparent.


Isabella Confusion

When we first purchased our Orion we also bought an Isabella Magnum porch awning.

The Fixon 2 brackets that were supplied with it had one thin pad and one thick pad.

I presumed ( eventually ) that the thick pad went on the bottom and the thin pad on the top to provide the step for the Alu-Tech rail.

However the pads never seemed to fit correctly against the side of the van but I presumed that this was how things were.

Recently we bought an Isabella Eclipse Magnum to fit on the front of the awning or direct to the van itself to provide a sunshade.

To connect to the van two Fixon 2's were needed so I bought a couple as they weren't provided.

These had two thick pads on them which,although giving a step,wasn't as deep as the original thick and thin set up.

After some helpful advice from CT,I went up to the van and discovered that there is a much better fit between the van and the Fixons using two thick pads ( or two thin it doesn't really matter,I went for thick as I thought it provided a little more protection for the side of the van ).

Ordered some thick pads from Lowdhams in Nottingham ( spare pads are not easy to find on the net  so gave them a ring ) who said they always use the thick pads.

The pads aren't cheap though at £1.42 each.

Hopefully the awning will sit better against the side of the van now.

Possibly everyone else knows all about this but I am always the last know anything.

Incidentally talking of awnings,Isabella seem to have produced a more up to date series of videos about erecting their awnings and incidentals.

They are available via You Tube,just put your awning model into "Search".


Cushion Capers #2

SWMBO has attached some of the Velcro to the triangular cushion and the ones facing it and it seems to have been successful.

One of my correspondents also suggested placing some non-slip mat under the cushion so I have done this as well.

Will report back after our first nights sleep in about a fortnight or so.


Friday, 1 June 2012


One of my correspondents has pointed out that in areas that can't be readily seen there is a lack of the 30mm diameter plastic screw covers in the Orion.

Well being a pedant I found 24 screw covers that were missing and just had to be attended to.

Funny that as soon as you know something is there it gets on your nerves.

There are six each side of the front window behind the curtains,three under the lower shelf to the left of the TV worktop,five under the shelf by the washroom door and three under the shelf in the wardrobe.

Having decided to rectify this I searched the internet for a supply with no luck,I came across some in Dickinsons last week.

However having purchased them and tried to fit them they turned out to be the wrong size.

The two pins on the back should be 9mm apart and not 8mm as these were.

I therefore had to resort to Baileys to purchase some and weather their £5 delivery charge ( although to be fair I ordered them at 10am on Wednesday and they arrived at 10am on Thursday ).

These are the ones :-

Pear 9mm KD Fitting Cap

I mistakenly thought the 9mm referred to the diameter of the top but after checking with Bailey parts it refers to the distance between the pins.

As the sum total of these items is around £1.50 at retail prices ( much cheaper I assume with the amount that Baileys must get through ) I think Bailey is being a bit cheapskate not fitting them on a caravan costing around £13K

Anyway continuing my pedantic theme,a while ago I noticed that a wire from the front light had come loose and was hanging down below the front of the van.

I taped this up but whilst underneath I noticed that where the bolts that secure the floor were situated the wood had splintered and was not covered by the black paint.

I know the floor is marine ply so should be resistant to water but I still gave these few areas two coats of Hammerite to be on the safe side.

One last thing,in the wardrobe up to the right there are some electrical wires that hang down and are not secured.I have taped these to the ceiling as if a coat hanger gets inadvertently caught in them it will pull them out.

There I can sleep more easily now.


Sunday, 27 May 2012

Poorly Finished Orions

SWMBO wanted to go out this afternoon as the weather was good so I dropped her and a friend of at Salts Mill in Saltaire.

Whilst they were busy shopping I went for a browse round Dickinsons Caravans in Bradford who had a full complement of Orions on display.

What immediately struck me upon looking round these vans was how poorly finished they were.

Shelves had gaps at the rear,and units didn't fit flush to the walls and other furniture for instance.

There wasn't one shower cubicle that had a full complement of sealant to the joins and in a couple this was already splitting ( glad I have resealed ours ).

They all had either one or two vertical plastic strips cut short as ours are,so this is obviously an endemic problem.

Now I realise that prior to purchase  a PDI would be carried out but surely they should come from the factory in a better state than this.

I can't imagine a PDI realigning interior fittings that should have been installed correctly in the first place.

Come on Bailey you can surely do better than this.


Thursday, 24 May 2012

Twin Fixed Bed Orion & Velcro

I recently e-mailed Bailey to enquire if there was a twin fixed bed Orion in the pipeline,this is the reply I received:-

Thank you for your email.
I’m not aware of any plans at present however I will forward your email onto our design team.
Kind Regards
Jo Barrington (Mrs)
Bailey Caravans

In other words "no",but then again would they tell me if there was ??


This morning I received,courtesy of Bailey,copious amounts of industrial grade Velcro to help with the triangular cushion problem.

I will post about this again when SWMBO has worked her magic.


Monday, 21 May 2012

Earned Our Stripes At Last

Just returned from a couple of night of nights at Beechwood Grange CC site near York.

We have been before but it is only about 40 mins from home and a pleasant retreat for a couple of days.

 No disasters,no calamities,car electrics all worked as they should so I think we have earned our caravanning stripes at last.

Just happened to be pondering,as you do,as to why there there was no light in the fridge and never has been.Had a look,and there is indeed a light,complete with bulb but not working.Checked it was getting power and it was so it must be the bulb,but it looked OK.Any way went to Ebor Caravans for a replacement and hey presto! we have a light in the fridge for the first time.

On the return journey approaching Castleford there was a banging from the van.On stopping to have a look, the jockey wheel had dropped to within about 2cm of the road.Funny because I remember tightening it up,witnessed by SWMBO,so I will have to tighten it up a bit more in future.


Friday, 18 May 2012

Tripping The Light Fantastic

Picked up the Jetta this afternoon after being at the dealers for three days for the towbar electrics to be sorted out.

There were a few problems repairing the previous setup evidently so eventually they replaced the whole wiring loom from the control unit to the 13-pin socket and replaced and rewired the socket itself so hopefully all will now be OK on the lights front.

Glad it all came under the warranty.


Monday, 14 May 2012

Cushion Capers

There have been a few comments on CT about the "moving triangular cushion" problem on the rear bed of the 440/4 to which I have added a posting or two.

Whilst composing my most recent post it suddenly occurred to me that perhaps the triangular cushion goes on the wall side so the wall keeps it in.

It would certainly make more sense than what we have been doing.

Next time I go up to storage I will give it a try unless someone beats me to it who keeps the van at home.


Saturday, 12 May 2012

A Little Bit More Tinkering

Up at storage today doing a bit of tinkering,it's a bit frustrating as it is difficult to get away whilst waiting for a part for the towbar electrics as doubtless the lights will give up the ghost completely as soon as we hitch up.

Anyway did a bit more sealing of gaps with silicone and one thing I did notice was that the sealant on the join between the wall of the shower and the side of the van just to the rear of the shower head holder had cracked,so this was one of the jobs to get it resealed.

Might be worth a check before any damp gets in from the shower.

On a previous visit I had noticed that where the 13-pin plug cable comes through the fairing on the A frame it was getting rubbed by the edge of the frame.Nothing particularly serious but over time................

Anyway I managed to squeeze a piece of old hosepipe slit lengthways secured with a cable tie to protect it.

The breakaway cable has now been changed to one with a carabiner clip so I can clip it directly to the towbar without looping it.

Finally we purchased a Fiamma doormat when at Catterick last week.

It is really to fit a motorhome step but I drilled a couple of holes in the step and secured it with some cable ties and all is fine.


Thursday, 10 May 2012

Light Saga Continues

Had the car back at the VW dealers today for the towbar electrics rechecking.

They have found a problem in the 13-pin plug socket on Pin 7 I think it was.

The chap did explain it to me,something about the plug not connecting properly and pushing the pin to one side ( don't quote me on the explanation ),part is unfortunately on back order so I will have to return to have it fixed but at least they know what is wrong with it.

I asked if it was a broken part and was told no that is how it is made ( ?)  so we will have to see what transpires when the part arrives,perhaps it may need to be modified.

I must admit I am glad I had the towbar and electrics fitted at the VW dealers expensive though it was.

It is bad enough shunting between caravan dealers and car dealers without bringing an outside towbar fitter into the equation with everyone blaming each other.

Others of course may disagree.


Saturday, 5 May 2012

Venus Caravans

Whilst at Catterick we had a look at Venus caravans and I must admit the layout of the 500/4 with the fixed single beds quite appealed.

Venus Caravans

If they did that sort of layout in the Orion we might be tempted to swap as I must admit I still like the idea of the Alu-Tech construction compared to other methods and we can't tow anything heavier.


Friday, 4 May 2012

Think We'll Get Half a Dozen Of These.

Went to the Caravan Show at Catterick Caravans today and on the way back called in at Ropers which is only about  a quarter of a mile away.

They had a full selection of Orions on display all nicely presented.

On one of the new models ( can't remember the number now ) they had a concertina divider between front and back and on another there is a curtain doing the same job.

Bear in mind this is just a length of curtain material 1000mm x 1950mm with a tie back attached to a curtain track.

SWMBO quite liked it so looked on the Bailey Parts site for a price,wait for it,£95 including delivery and it does not even mention if the track is included.

Orion Dividing Curtain

I think I will go for Justin's mod if we go down that route.

From the same site you can buy 2m of curtaining 48" wide for about £35 and that is bad enough.


Thursday, 3 May 2012

The Lights Saga Continues

Had the Orion back at the dealers today about the light problem.

The fault eventually managed to raise its intermittent head,BUT,it did it whilst the car was attached to the dealers lighting board not the caravan so it looks very much as if it is the car after all.

When the plug was touched the lights started to work again so it appears the fault may well lie in the socket or socket wiring on the car.

Anyway got the car booked in again next week for two days whilst they have another look at it.


Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Orion Mattress For Sale

The mattress is a 14cm thick 'Posture Foam Support' from Sleepdetox, can get full info on this link:


It was cut to the wrong size, it's 18cm too wide so, for a perfect fit, it needs to be trimmed along the short side. It does physically fit in position but sticks out into the passage a little. If I hadn't paid over £200 for it I'd just have trimmed it myself.

I'm happy with £50 for it and ideally I'd like it collected. I will arrange courier delivery at buyer's expense if necessary.


If anyone is interested in the above then send me an e-mail and I will pass it on to Colin.


Monday, 30 April 2012

Orion Booked In

Got the van booked in at YC Leisure for Thursday to have the lights problem hopefully sorted out.

They said they may be able to do it whilst I wait,hope so.

Will keep the blog posted.


Sunday, 29 April 2012

Isabella & Reich

Before we went away I returned a  noseweight gauge to Reich as for some reason I kept getting the reading the wrong way round i.e. when the hitch was resting on it the weight went down and vice versa.

First of all I sent it to the wrong address which I got out of "The Caravan Manual",they moved from there six years ago.The very helpful chap at Reich went and retrieved my parcel,tested the gauge and said it was OK,it will be returned next week.

Now what was I doing wrong ?

We had to return the awning to Isabella to be restitched after our Norfolk jape.

Very efficient set up,packaging sent,collection arranged,price given over the phone,paid for,will return to us next Wednesday.

Makes a change to deal with firms who value their customers.


Saturday, 28 April 2012

A Bit of Maintenance

Was down at the van today and decided to take some silicone sealant to all the little gaps and unsealed bits that were evident,and there were quite a few,looks a lot better now.

One particular area that I noticed was in the shower where there were on or two small areas where the sealant was missing,not big areas but enough I imagine to let a bit of water in,so it may be an area that is worth checking.Under the shelf above the shower tap and at the bottom of the flat corner section where the tap is were two places and a couple of places along the shower tray.I also sealed where the shower tray meets the floor and around the sink and wall base to keep water out.

The remaining places were in the front lounge and dinette,not critical areas but it makes it neater.

Found another vertical sealing strip that was cut slightly short,this time just to the right of the washroom door,another one for the list.

Checked the 13-pin plug to see if there was anything obvious causing the light problem but couldn't see anything,best leave it to the experts.

Noticed that the breakaway cable had become damaged,how I don't know,the red sheathing was missing in one particular area so I have ordered another from Al-Ko,this time one with a carabiner attachment so I can clip it directly to the towbar instead of forming a loop.

A bit of Elsan Tank Clean down the plug holes and some Thetford spray on the toilet cassette seal and home for some tea.


Video: Orion Evo 4

Orion Evo 4

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Light Problem Continues

Had the Jetta down at the VW dealers today to have the towbar electrics checked out after the van light failure problem.

Could find nothing wrong with the towbar electrics at all so it looks as if it is down to the caravan,or perhaps the 13-pin plug.

Have e-mailed the dealers to sort out returning it to be looked at.


Friday, 20 April 2012

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Keep Your "Wedding Tackle " Draught Free ( Men Only )

During our Norfolk sojourn I was standing at the sink washing up ( New Man eh ?) when I noticed that there was a strong draught somewhere about the region of my groin.

On further investigation it was coming from above the fridge where there was a gap allowing the wind in.

I was contemplating how to get rid of this using various methods when I had the brainwave of simply moving the trim down a bit.

Hey presto gap filled and no more draughts.

So fellow male Orion owners if your gonads are a bit goosepimply,simply move the trim down.


A Few Days In Norfolk or " Hold Onto That Awning SWMBO !! "

We have just returned from a few days at Reedham Ferry Caravan Park in Norfolk,it should have been a full week Saturday to Saturday but the weather was so awful that we have returned on the Thursday.

We took our tandem to get a few rides in but only managd one on the Monday down to Waveney River Centre due to storm and tempest every other day,very windy and every sort of weather,especially rain.

The site itself is in an excellent location at the side of the River Yare adjacent to the chain ferry at Reedham.The facilities were clean but lacked that little bit of TLC which would have made all the difference,but at £18 or so for a "Super Pitch" I suppose I shouldn't complain.

If planning a visit at a busy time,bear in mind that there are only two toilets and two showers for men and three toilets and two showers for women.This arrangement must get very busy when the site is full.There is a new toilet block under construction but this has stalled due to the joiner going bust.

There is a wash-up and washing machines available.

TV reception is excellent but internet access ( on BT Mobile anyway ) is dire.The chap next door was on "3" I think and had good access.

The Orion proved faultless on this trip but the lights played up again on the return journey,will see what the VW dealer has to say next Thursday.

Met a very friendly couple on our arrival who were lusting after an Orion and came to view ours,they seemed impressed.

The only problem we encountered was centred around the awning.Having decided to go home on Thursday we proceeded to pack the Magnum up on the Wednesday afternoon.Took the side and front panels out to pack separately but then there was a sudden gust of wind and the whole shebang rose into the air,awning,frame, the lot and blew over the roof of the van with the frame legs stuck up in the air entangled in the branches of a tree.

We had been on our own on the site for a couple of days as everyone else had got totally pissed off with the weather and gone home,but a motor home had arrived earlier on and the occupants were just strolling past when the awning took to the skies.They offered their assistance which was gladly accepted and we all surveyed the scene wondering what to do as the whole lot was too high to reach without a ladder.

I decided to see if I could locate the aforesaid ladder,or a pair of steps,from the site but it was like the Marie Celeste on a wet Wednesday,not a soul ( in fact we had barely seen a soul all week ).Our motorhome heroes then spotted a builders ladder on the partly constructed toilet block so we untied that carted it across to the van,motorhome man held it away from the van and I climbed it to eventually release all the poles and bring the canvas down to earth.

The van wasn't damaged but the awning has damaged some stitching where it had pulled against the centre Fixon bracket so that will have to be repaired when it has all dried out.

The moral of this tale is not to remove all the pegs prior to removing the awning from the awning rail,this will not happen again !!

This morning when we set off home it had been pouring down for most of the night so,as I should have realised,there was no way the Jetta was going to pull the van off the grass and onto the adjacent track.After creating a realistic impression of a ploughed field we had to unhitch the car and move the van,via the mover, onto the road and rehitch,this will not happen again.It will be motor mover first in any similar conditions.

By the way if anyone ventures to this part of the country I can recommend “Cupcakes” tea rooms on Reedham Quay,well worth a visit.


Friday, 13 April 2012

A Couple Of Problems.

Purchased a Reich electronic noseweight gauge at the NEC show last October.
Both times I have tried to use it it has behaved strangely in that when I wind the jockey wheel up,putting the weight on the hitch/gauge,the weight displayed goes DOWN to 1Kg.
Likewise as I put the jockey wheel UP,reducing the noseweight,the weight displayed goes UP.
Contacted Reich UK today who were very helpful and said to return it to them for testing/replacement.

Have put a posting on CT to see if anyone else has the problem.

Probably not knowing my luck.

Incidentally if anyone wants to phone Reich UK the phone number on their website is unobtainable.
The correct number is :- 01543-459243

Secondly,the lights are playing up again.

Picked the van up from storage this morning,did a light check,all OK.

Came to drive off,offside light on the van not working.

I unplugged the 13-pin plug,plugged it in again,all OK.

Thinking quality wise that the 13-pin plug was probably the weak link I called a mobile service chap ( CB Caravan Servicing,said I would give him a mention,see contacts list ) and the fault actually appeared whilst he was there.His opinion was that there was nothing wrong with the plug and it was a more than likely a problem with the car wiring not the van so I have it booked in at the local VW dealers week after next who installed it as it is still under warranty.

Will keep you informed.