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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.