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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.