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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.



  1. Many Thanks for the update, I,m going to look at getting shocks I think that could be money well spent. Dave

  2. Dave,

    Yes they are really worth getting,perhaps they should be offered as an option when purchasing new.

    There is a .pdf here from Al-Ko if you want to try fitting them yourself:-

    and also a video here:-


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  5. Thanks Ian, I might have a go at fitting them myself, have a look at this link, Dave$21381833.htm

  6. Ian,

    Do Orions not have shock absorbers at all then?

    I've always assumed they're a natural part of any vehicle suspension system, although I suppose as nobody rides in a caravan then ride comfort isn't first priority.


  7. Andy,

    I am no expert in this but I think caravans ( the Orion anyway ) have a rudimentary rubber suspension system which to some extent "self damps" but not as well as external dampers hence it tends to bounce a bit when going over uneven roads.

    There is certainly a difference for the better in handling and road manners now they are fitted and I would imagine it treats the bodywork rather better by lessening the stresses and strains,perhaps reducing the risk of leaks in the future,but that is only conjecture.

    I tend to think they should be fitted at manufacture or certainly offered as an option.


  8. Dave,

    Yes I saw that video on Caravan Times.

    It seems like a good idea,no mention of price though.

    The thing I did notice is that it only works with the high-flow pump and seeing we have an ordinary pump plus a spare that would add about another £80 or so to the price but it is worth bearing in mind for the future.

    They will probably be standard fit eventually.


  9. You used YCL for your service etc, did you shop around for best price or are you happy with the YCL? Ringing round the Bailey dealers in Yorkshire the price was anything from £170 through to £240 for the first service for a 440-4.

  10. Welcome to the blog.

    We purchased the van originally from YC Leisure so it made life easier to return it there for servicing as there were some warranty things to sort out.

    The first service ( excluding consumables ) was included in the purchase price so we had little option.

    Their price for a full service on a single axle is £210.


  11. I asked the question on shocks because I recall that a few years back Swift used to feature a picture of a shock absorber in their 'Gallery' pics of some, if not all their van ranges and by implication I assumed they fitted them as OE. A glance at the current Conquerors gallery reveals no sign of shocker pics and in a short scan of their spec pages I couldn't see a mention either.
    BTW my NCC etc approved mobile guy charges £140 for a single axle service and I chat with him while he's doing it and get to see that it's done correctly.

  12. I think Bailey fit shocks to all their range as OE except the Orion ( not too sure about the Olympus ).

    I certainly think that they should be an "official" upgrade in my,admittedly limited,experience so far.


  13. A bit off track, but what is the oblong panel just foward of the door above the orange reflector on your main picture?
    Also, did they replace the front locker door that was cracking? I have the same issue and want it looked at when the van goes in for its first service.

  14. Hello and welcome to the blog.

    The oblong panel is an exterior 240v socket I had put in before we picked the van up.It is useful for cool boxes,TV etc in the awning.

    Ideally I would have like it further back but this was the only place it would go.We had another couple of extra sockets fitted inside,one under the near side seat along from the fuse box and the other under the rear seat in front of the washroom.

    Very handy and I am glad we had them done.

    Cost,round about £50 each but I suppose you could fit them yourself if you are handy ( which I aren't or so SWMBO says ).

    Yes the front locker door above the front window was replaced with no quibble at all.