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Saturday, 21 December 2013

All Boxed Off.

A few weeks ago I bought an Isabella Multi Organiser to keep shoes outside just by the door of the van.


The organiser works fine but if we have no awning up or just the sunshade and the rain blows in then things tend to get wet.

Had a think about this and decided to visit Bags 4 Everything in Wakefield ( Ossett really ) to see if they had anything to cover it.

They had nothing in stock but said they would make me a cover in fully waterproof material for £20.

It was all done and made in about four days and it works a treat,


 So if you are looking for something similar give them a try.

Even though it is a Wakefield firm I have nothing at all to do with Bags 4 Everything apart from being a satisfied customer.

No favours,discounts,backhanders,free samples or Green Shield Stamps ( one for my older readers ).


Tuesday, 19 November 2013

All Tucked Up.

Got the Orion all tucked up for winter today.

Floed the water system,put the winter wheels on and sterilised the Aquaroll and Wastemaster.

Cushions upended and cupboard doors opened,plus left a couple of damp traps.

I also made sure the toilet flush was well drained as well as lubricating the window rubbers.

Took the wheels ( including the spare ) home for the winter and will give them a bit of a clean and spruce up.

Had a check and they all appear in good nick,no signs of cracking or splitting thanks to the wheel covers.

I know many people use their van throughout the winter but I find it profoundly depressing at the best of times when it is getting dark about 4pm and thats when at home,it's worse in the van.


Monday, 11 November 2013

A Couple of Tips

Over the last week I have come across a couple of simple tips that someone might find useful.

The first concerns the gas spanner which always seems to get lost at the bottom of the gas locker.

I stuck some adhestive Velcro ( the proper stuff not a copy ) to the spanner and the wall of the gas locker to keep it visible and to hand.

The second tip is to do with the position of the jockey wheel when travelling.

I have always had the wheel pointing toward the rear of the van as I thought that this was the way to do it.

I have since read somewhere that it is best if the jockey wheel faces toward the front as if the van becomes detached,the A frame will be more likely to drop onto the wheel and therefore provide a bit of steering.

If the wheel is pointing rearwards then the hitch is likely to hit the ground first which,apart from damaging the A frame,could cause instability of the van.


Sunday, 10 November 2013

The Strange Case of the Non-Functioning Alarm

We have just returned from our last trip of the year to Beechwood Grange near York,always worth a visit.

Anyway,we have a Sargent Stinger 310 alarm on our Orion which has always worked without problem since we had it installed at purchase,and indeed it worked perfectly on our first day,setting and cancelling via the fob with no problem as usual.

On our second day we were on our way out and I blipped the fob,nothing,not a solitary peep was to be heard.

The fob batteries were only replaced a couple of months ago with brand new Duracells as was the spare fob which also didn't work either,although the lights on the fob were both lit so it was unlikely to be fob related.

We had to leave the van unalarmed for the day but when we got back I checked the alarm fuse,all OK,nothing to see by looking at the unit ( as if there would be ),cleaned the battery contacts in the fob but the thing still wouldn't work.

I checked the Sargent web site which mentioned rebooting the alarm software which didn't look too difficult but with the ever present danger of buggering everything up and SWMBO missing Strictly Come Dancing and the rest of the crap,er I mean quality television that she watches I thought I would wait and perhaps get a mobile man who knows what he is about later in the week,albeit at a price of course.

About 8pm I went out for a stroll,mainly to avoid the quality television,and casually pressed the fob on my way out and hey presto back to normal and it still worked OK when we got back to storage.

The only thing I can think of was that there was some interference from something on the site,perhaps another alarm.

I asked the chap to the left of us and it wasn't him as he never used his.

So it remains a mystery,its never done it before.

So if your alarm goes tits up don't rush to repair it or fiddle with it or ring a man,leave it a while and it might just work again.


Saturday, 9 November 2013

Government E-Petition

Someone on CT has started a government e-petition to try and get the poor quality of caravans in general and the sometimes poor after sales discussed in parliament.

100,000 signatures needed so if you wish to sign it the link is here :-



Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Possible Orion Skylight ??

John Bland,one of my correspondents,enquired of Bailey whether it would be possible to retro-fit the skylight which is on the Pursuit to the Orion.

The reply was that no you cannot as there are not the appropriate fastenings to locate it on the Orion

So anyone who had the same idea can sadly forget it.


Monday, 21 October 2013

BOB & the Bailey Pursuit

As we all now know the Orion has now been superceded by the new Bailey Pursuit.

As we are not intending to swap to a Pursuit ( a Bailey GT65 Rimini might be on the cards one day ) I cannot give a great deal of first hand information about it except in the most generic of terms.

However if anyone is thinking of getting a Pursuit and wants me to blog about anything then I open up the blog to you.

Just e-mail me anything you want posted and leave the rest to me.

I will keep the title as the Baiey Orion Blog ( mainly as I have it printed on my red hoodie ).


Saturday, 19 October 2013

The NEC Show & Bailey Pursuit

SWMBO and I visited the NEC show on Thursday and found it rather quiet than on Thursdays we have attended in previous years however a stallholder told us that 27,000 advanced tickets had been sold for the Saturday ( today ) plus those paying on the door so it looks like a busy one today.

 One of the main things we wanted to view was the new Bailey Pursuit with an intention to perhaps swap the Orion next year for a single fixed bed Pursuit ( the 550-4 ),sad to say we came away rather disappointed.

My comments concentrate on the 550-4 as this is the van we were interested in but obviously there are some common generic factors across the range.

First the good points,I rather liked the exterior of the Pursuit,in particular the grey colour scheme which I admit I prefer to the cream of the Orion.

The door now hinges the other way to avoid colliding with the front window and the wet locker has a much larger access door with a plastic tray for wet items.

There is now a front chest with a wide "window sill" area with a pull out table but what this does to the noseweight I don't know.

The electrics/fuse box are sited in the bottom of this chest which avoids the melee of cables in an exposed position in the Orion near side bed base.

Talking of tables,we couldn't find a second table stored anywhere and neither could a salesman although we were assured that there should be one,so if you decide to order a Pursuit make sure there is a table present.

Bailey have retained the large one piece front window but I hope they have uprated the stays as on the Orion they aren't strong enough to support it.

There is now a bowl shaped sink in the bathroom so drainage is simplified over the Orions flat bottomed "difficult to drain unles perfectly flat" Belfast style sink.

The kitchen and TV surfaces now have a shiny finish which I rather liked.

There are up to five 240v plug sockets.

The spare wheel is now stored under one of the fixed beds in a cover which does away with the dreaded Al-Ko carrier,where it is stored in a non-fixed bed van I don't know.

Incidentally Bailey have been rather crafty as the spare is included as an option,not on its own,but as part of a Premium Pack at £399 so if you want a spare,and who won't, you will have to also buy the Al-Ko AKS 3004 stabiliser,door flyscreen,microwave ( yes it's now an extra ) and radio/CD/mP3 player whether you want them or not.

My suspicion is that the Premium Pack will become more or less "standard" which jacks the price up by about £400.

The wheels are attached by the new WSL wheel bolts. 

There are also separate stand alone options of an Al-Ko wheel lock ( £194 ),Al-Ko ATC ( £399 ) and a sunroof ( £356 ).

SWMBO wasn't keen on the sunroof and much prefered the large panoramic window of the Pegasus and Unicorn.

Now to the not so good in our opinion.

The interior look of medium hue wood,or "The Log Cabin Look" as someone on CT called it,is beginning to look rather tired and old fashioned against some other more contemporary fitted out vans.

Money seems to have been saved in the shower area which remains unlined as in the Orion.There were a couple of areas of dodgy sealing as well.

Doubtless these would be attended to by the dealer but even so.

The bi-fold shower door in the Orion has been replaced with a flimsy shower curtain which did not reach to the bottom of the shower tray leading to a possible wet floor,the shower curtain did not go down well with SWMBO and from what I overheard many other people.

I managed to have a word with Mr.Howard ,one of the Bailey head honchos and mentioned the shower curtain,he said that the fittings for a bi-fold door are there and one could be retro-fitted by the dealer.

This leads me to think that a door was in the original specification but was dropped for perhaps weight or financial reasons as why put the fittings in in the first place if they weren't going to be used..

Moving to the kitchen,the draining board when in place overlaps the hob.

If the hob is still hot you will have a melted draining board.

The ( optional ) microwave is positioned over the sink so if removing a hot or heavy dish there is nowhere immediately beneath the oven to put it down,you have move over the the left hand side of the hob.

The large bottom cupboard under the sink which is presumably for pans is obstructed by heating ducting which limits its usefulness besides putting the ducting at risk of damage.

Finally we come to the upholstery.

The "seat" areas are in a chocolate brown colour whilst the seat back cushions are in a ( horror of horrors )  lighter pattern.

Everyone to their own but we found the backrest pattern,shall we say,not to our taste.

According to Mr.Howard there is no alternative,take it or leave it.

 That just about sums up our thoughts of the new Bailey Pursuit.

Please don't run away with the idea that this is a crap caravan,it's not,but certainly for us it lacked the "wow" factor that perhaps we were expecting.

There seemed little to entice us to swap to the Pursuit from our Orion 440/4.

More details of the Pursuit range,including weights and measurements can be downloaded from here:-

 Pursuit Flyer


Monday, 14 October 2013


Your blogster and SWMBO will be visiting the Caravan Show at the NEC later this week.

There won't be any Orions there of course having been superceded by the new Pursuit,or "Orion on steroids" as someone has termed it..

I think the pictures and a video I have seen look quite promising but nothing is quite like seeing something in the flesh.

Bailey Pursuit at NEC 2013


Tuesday, 1 October 2013

First View of New Bailey Pursuit

Below is a .pdf of the new Bailey Pursuit.

Bailey Pursuit

Can't help feeling a little underwhelmed although admittedly this is only a brief view of the exterior.

They seem to have raided the Orion parts bin for the front and kept the ridiculously too heavy front window unless they have reinforced the stays to support it.

There appears to be some sort of separate sun roof rather than the "all in one" of the Pegasus and Unicorn.

Nice to see the door hinging the other way to avoid the front window.

I wonder what happened to the aerodynamic and fuel saving Orion shape of a curved front and rear roof that was trumpeted when the Orion was launched,presumably the Pursuit is not as aerodynamic as its predecessor having what appears to be a more traditional straight back.

At least front locker door seems larger.

Lets hope they have ditched the Al-Ko spare wheel carrier for the wind down apparatus of the Pegasus GT65.

It will be interesting to see the interior layouts of the various models but just from the picture ( which is a little unfair I know ) there seems little to fuel an imminent  swap to the Pursuit.


Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Bailey & The Battery Locker Door

I have received a reply to my e-mail to Bailey regarding the lack of a latch mechanism on the battery locker door:-

To Mr Broadhead
Thank you for your email

I am sorry to hear about the problems you have experienced with the Battery locker door of your caravan.

Your comments have been duly noted and I have passed your email onto our design and production offices.

I apologise for the inconvenience that has been caused

Kind Regards
Chantelle Kimmins
Customer Service Co-Ordinator

You never know,something may happen.


Saturday, 21 September 2013

Assault & Battery On the Way To Durham.

Have just had three nights at Durham Grange CC site which we can thoroughly recommend.

The place is just off the A1 and about ten minutes walk from the Park & Ride into Durham ( £2 return ).

The site is well laid out,the toilet block is spotless and the wardens are very friendly and helpful.

There are some comments on the CC site and in the guest book regarding traffic noise from the A1 but we didn't find it intrusive at all.

As seems to be the way sometimes with our trips we had a bit of an incident on the way there.

We were tootling along the road from our storage near Castleford to join the A1 when SWMBO glanced in the near side mirror and very calmly asked me to pull over and stop.

She said the battery box door was open and got out to shut it.

Now this happened to us once before and just entailed us locking it and carrying on,not this time.

SWMBO returned to the car and said that the battery had gone,vanished,no longer there.

Naturally I doubted here word and thought she was joking but she was dead right the battery had fallen out complete with battery tray leaving the battery clamps dangling on the road.

To say I was not a happy bunny was a bit of an understatement but we decided I had better go back and look for it.

We were parked by a grass verge outside someones gated house so pressed the intercom to see if it was OK to leave the van there whilst I drove back,no one appeared to be in so we took a chance got the van onto the verge,unhitched it into a muddy puddle and I set off back to our storage.

Now all I can say is that they must be quick in Castleford because there was no sign of it,and I drove there and back,I thought it might have fallen out in the storage compound but of course it hadn't.

When I returned to the van,as there was nothing else to be done we decided to hitch up,set off and call at Ropers in Catterick for a new battery.

When I say hitch up that is where another "problem" reared its head,the hitch wouldn't drop onto the ball even after fifteen minutes of trying.

Whilst I was away SWMBO had dropped the front steadies as she said it made here feel better and had mentioned this on my return.

When the ball refused to locate she innocently asked if it was anything to do with the steadies to which I replied with a snort of disgust "NO".

After another ten minutes it shamefacedly dawned on me that is was very much to do with the steadies and as we were winding the jockey wheel down it was just coming to rest on the front steadies and not dropping as far as the ball,oh dear.

Steadies up,van hitched,red of face,and we were on our way.

Had dinner at Ropers and bought another battery and tray ( £87 worth ) all fitted into van.

Now although I had obviously not properly checked the battery box door prior to setting off ( and the safety strap was fastened as I had changed the battery the day before ) I feel that the design of the door leaves a little to be desired.

On the other locker doors there is a latch mechanism so even if the door wasn't locked it wouldn't come open but on the battery box door it is simply a lock so if not locked it comes open.

This seems to be standard fit on most vans I have observed not just Bailey,perhaps there is a reason for it but I can't think of one.

Any way I have e-mailed Bailey and told them it could do with a rethink but I won't hold my breath.

Of course we are now paranoid about checking the door is properly fastened and didn't set off home till we were both satisfied.

So young Chuggers the moral of this sad little tale is :-

"Double check your battery box door is properly shut and locked before setting off ".


Thursday, 19 September 2013


After going to the trouble and cost of replacing the wheel bolts as I "lost" the adaptor the f****ing thing has turned up.

It had rolled into the gap by the heater duct under the rear seat where naturally I had already "looked".

So if anyone wants a set ( 4 ) of genuine Bailey locking wheelbolt for a tenner plus postage ( I think they cost about £30 ) then get in touch.


Bailey Pursuit

Got told by a dealer yesterday that the new lightweight Bailey will be called the Pursuit.

They should have been going to Bristol for a preview next week but it has been cancelled so the first they will see of it is at the NEC in October.

All seems very hush hush as no other details forthcoming.


Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Bolts Again.

Well the new wheel bolts have arrived,very good next day service from WSL considering it is free postage.

Also got a rather nice digital tyre guage free of charge.

Total cost £49.98 which is about £15 less than Baileys prices ( inc. Baileys £5 P&P charge ).

As you order two packs of five bolts you get two adaptors,I will be keeping a firm eye on these two,no more shenanigans hopefully.

Will put them on in the next day or two.


Monday, 9 September 2013

Wheel Bolts Contd.

I had a reply from Bailey regarding the new WSL wheel bolts,this is what they say :-

Hi Ian,

Thank you for your email.

The WSL wheel bolts are suitable for your model, and the new torque setting will be 130Nm.


Neil Baker
Aftersales/Online Parts Technical Admin


Sunday, 8 September 2013

Orion Front Window.

There has been some discussion on CT regarding flexing on the front window of the Orion.

Orion Front Window - Caravan Talk

The upshot is that this can cause scratching/cloudiness between the panes,Bailey are evidently aware of this and will replace under warranty.

Not had any problems ourselves,so it may just be earlier models than ours,just had the repair of the right hand stay anchoring point although I agree that the stays for the front window appear to be made of cheese ( cream cheese at that ) and struggle to support such a heavy item.


Wheel Bolt Update.

Well following the loss of the locking wheel bolt adaptor ( not had a reply from Bailey yet ) the next problem was to remove the offending bolts and replacing the original ones.

I considered getting someone from a tyre fitters to come and have a go but first I tried putting a suitably sized socket over the bolts,tapping it into place and bingo off they came without much problem.

So much for Bailey's secure wheel bolts.

The problem then was to remove the bolt from the socket as it was jammed fast.

Took a bit of hammering but with the aid of some lubricant ( oohh er missus..... ) it eventually came out ( twice,once for each side ).

I think I may replace the bolts with the new WSL bolts as these are standard on new Bailey's now.

WSL Wheel Bolts

Just waiting for a reply from Bailey parts to double check that this OK and ask what the torque is.

If anyone has a similar problem I used a 17mm socket over the bolts to remove them,it is a very snug fit.

Incidentally I also replaced the handle on the C250 Thetford cassette as well after the disappearance of it down the toilet emptying hole in Scarborough,naturally you couldn't buy just the handle,it had to be the whole extending bit.


Thursday, 5 September 2013

Good News & Oh Deary Me!!

Well the good news is that the Orion passed her service with flying colours,couple of warranty jobs done as requested including resealing all the shower cubicle,so here's to another year.

But oh deary me,I have lost the adaptor for the locking wheel bolts somewhere.

Wandahome put it back in the van for certain,but can I now find it,you must be joking.

Looked in van,car,clothes,back to dealers,no sign of it.

Of course divorce lawyers were hovering in the background if I mentioned it again.

I have e-mailed Bailey,as they were Bailey bolts,to see if they can provide another adaptor but I don't hold out much hope as they have changed the design of the wheelbolts to the new WSL ones but one can live in hope.

( Incidentally you can no longer talk to Bailey,all Customer Service enquiries have to be e-mailed,

I have found a man local to our storage who should be able to remove the bolts and then it looks like two new sets of the posh bolts at £65 for the lot as our insurance specifies locking wheel bolts.

Life eh,I thought things were going well.


Sunday, 1 September 2013

Scarborough,Service & A Suggestion

We have just returned from a short break at the Caravan Club site at West Ayton near Scarborough.

Contrary to some of the reviews on the Caravan Club web site we found it an excellent and well cared for place and no the wardens weren't like little Hitlers which some people seem to think.

No problems with the Orion,although I did manage to break the handle on the toilet cassette whilst emptying it and the broken bit sailed down the disposal hole never to be seen again.

Oh and another clip broke off the fridge retaining bar,I wonder if they get brittle after a while ?

The van goes for its second service on Tuesday so fingers crossed all is well.

It has been polished and cleaned from top to toe inside and out so it looks the part anyway,also connected the Al-Ko ATC to the car for 12 hours to clear the memory which may stop any red light problems for a year.

Have switched dealers from YC Leisure to Wandahome at Knottingley as they are only ten miles/15 mins away whereas YC Leisure were forty miles/ one hour distant.

No cafe at Wandahome though,bit of a bummer.

Just the front window blind to look at,plus the area where the laminate peeled back,mentioned a post or two ago,to ensure there is no water getting in,none evident.

The front window stay anchorage also requires fixing.

I am also going to ask them to reseal the shower as I had a go at doing it myself and to be honest it looks a bit of a pigs ear.

  Whilst clearing out the van ready for the service I noticed that at the rear of the fuse box under the front bench seat the wiring was all exposed just ready to be damaged by some of the things I put in the under seat locker.

Had a think and found an old plastic container that mushrooms come in from the supermarket and taped that to the rear of the box to try and protect the wiring,the bonus being that it weighs virually nothing.

Had to cut a couple of slots in the accommodate the wires.

I know it looks a bit Heath Robinson-ish but if it helps to protect the wiring all to the good.

If I come across something more suitable I may swap it so I shall see how it goes.


Sunday, 25 August 2013

A Bit of Fridge Advice.

Any one with the Thetford N112 fridge in their Orion ( or possibly other Thetford models as well ),be very  careful if you remove the white plastic retainers that sit on the edge of the shelf to stop things sliding off.

The clips at the ends break very easily and ( naturally ) you can't buy just the clips so you have to get the whole shooting match at about £4.50 or so.

When I sourced a replacement at the dealers they commented that they are always breaking and they have tried to order just the clips from Thetford but they won't play ball.

I e-mailed them with much the same request but never received a reply.


Thursday, 22 August 2013


Got a call from Phantom last evening to inform us that there was a "power down" on the caravan battery,in other words it was flat.

Strange as it had not occurred before.

Visited  storage this morning to swap the battery over to discover we had left the master switch on and the light on the voltmeter had flattened the battery.

Lesson learned,check the master switch before locking up.

At least Phantom were on the ball.


Thursday, 15 August 2013

Orion Replacement ???

Saw this on CT with regard to what will be on show by the various manufacturers at the NEC show :-

Bailey are bringing all their models with them including an all-new, low cost, light-weight, entry level range (yep, built with Alu-Tech) as well as two new Unicorns - the single axle Vigo and twin-axle Cordoba.

Seems to describe what the Orion was meant to be.


Friday, 2 August 2013

Well Done Caravan Guard.

We have the Orion insured with Caravan Guard as they provided the cheapest premium along with a decent reputation when we bought the van.

Got a call from them today to check all was well with the policy as it is due for renewal,added legal cover for £10 and increased the equipment level from £4500 to £5000.

Despite this,the premium had again dropped,this time from £206 to £186 ( it dropped from £220 to £206 after the first year ).

Saga quoted us over £600 for the first year and the Caravan Club over £400.

At this rate in ten years my insurance will be free !!

I rang them back today to query something on the policy and received a phone call within the hour from a manager saying my concerns would be addressed.

Well done Caravan Guard,I hope they are just as efficient if a claim is made.

As is usual I have no interest in Caravan Guard apart from being a customer and received no incentives of any kind for this post.

Just a quick tip for new caravanners,I imagine old hands know about it,when you get an insurance renewal quote always make sure it is for  a new van replacement should the worst occur.


Thursday, 25 July 2013

Window Worry.

Was up at the van today and decided to open the front window to let a bit of air through.

I noticed that the right hand fastening for the window stay ( as you face forward in the van ) had come loose.

It appears that the two screws holding it have pulled out of whatever they were screwed into.

A job for the upcoming service in September I think.

Might be worth keeping an eye on such fittings as I have felt previously that the front window is very heavy when it is open and the fittings do seem a little flimsy for the weight.

Perhaps a divided window may have been a better bet.

Mind you a possible Orion Mk.2 may have the large picture window that seems popular now,who knows.


Monday, 22 July 2013

Wharfedale CC Site.

Just had four days at the above and found it most enjoyable,despite taking a wrong turn in Bradford both going and coming home,and that is with a Sat.Nav.

The site is well laid out and the washrooms are spotlessly clean with all the usual facilities present,including a drying room for wet coats and boots.

There are many walks in the local vicinity including a short stroll into Grassington.

The Orion was well behaved and I was particularly impressed by the fridge.

On CT one hears constant tales of fridges ( quite often on Baileys ) that don't work on gas,don't work on electric,don't achieve the correct temperature etc.

I put a cup of water in the freezer compartment for a quick cold drink,forgot about it and it froze solid despite an ambient temperature well into the mid 20's or above.

Yes I know fridges are supposed to do that but a lot of caravan ones seem not to do so.


This being the start of the school holidays it was quite amusing to see those without offspring beating a hasty retreat home on the Sunday morning ( us included ) before the little darlings arrived en masse.

If you visit the Wharfedale site it is worth walking over to the Long Ashes complex next door,especially if the weather is inclement.

There is a gym,pool,pub with restaurant and a lounge/bar/cafe area which non-members can use,we had rather a nice lunch there.

I picked up a tip on CT that I think is worth repeating.

To avoid damage to the 13-pin plug cable,from dragging on the floor etc.,cover it with some of the plastic "tubing" that is used to keep hi-fi cables together and secure it with insulating tape.

I saw one other van with it on so perhaps it is well known but as a lot of Orion owners ,like us,are relatively new to the game I thought it worth mentioning.

Also,when putting the awning up if you use the Isabella Safelocks as I usually do leave one on the front of the awning rail,then next time you put the awning up you can quickly put it in same place each time.


Monday, 1 July 2013

Naburn Lock

We have just returned from a few days at Naburn Lock Caravan Park which is four miles south of York.

A very pleasant little spot adjacent to the lock and the River Ouse ( in which we were told there are some mighty sized salmon ) which is unfortunately very prone to flood at the drop of a hat,hence the electrics are positioned well up a pole.

We managed to "have words" before we even left the storage site,surely some sort of record.

The facilities at Naburn are spotless,despite some peoples determination to thwart all the work of the cleaners to keep them so and the proprietors work had to run a tight site.

If we visited again I think we would ask for a pitch in the Adults Only section for obvious reasons.

I do think a charge of £2.50 for a visitor is a bit steep though.

The Orion wasn't totally perfect as when we put the water pump on it wouldn't switch off.

After a hearty lunch courtesy of SWMBO I traced the problem to a broken Whale pump fitting at the far end of the blue tubes.

As we always carry a spare pump disaster was averted ( let that be a lesson to you young caravanners,always carry a spare water pump ).

On the Friday it teemed it down so we went into York on the bus and I purchased another pump assembly from Go Outdoors.

There was only a few pounds difference between just buying the pump bit and the whole thing so the whole thing it was.

I bought the high flow version but was hard pressed to tell the difference in flow rates.

In my last post I mentioned the peeling of the laminate and queried perhaps water ingress.

Well after the very heavy rain all was as dry as a bone,will still have it checked at service though.

Just as an aside,why do I worry about towing,it could be a lot worse:-


Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Wheel Covers Update

Just been browsing back through some earlier posts and I noticed that I never reviewed the Specialized wheel covers as promised when I bought them back in February.

Well the actual covers are fine and fit well to the wheel and stay in place even when windy,unlike the previous ones I had.

The only rather annoying problem with them is that the retaining/securing straps are not very long and passing the "longer" strap around the back of the wheel to secure it to the shorter "static" strap is a PITA.

To overcome this problem I bought some thin cord and tied it to the end of the longer strap and then tied a nut ( anything will do really ) to enable me to throw it more easily round the wheel and pull the longer strap with it.

This procedure works but beware as last time we returned to storage I must have got a bit over enthusiastic with the throwing and wound the cord around the brake hub and axle which entailed removing the wheel to extracate the cord and nut.

Needless to say I was not amused and neither was SWMBO as you may well imagine.


Saturday, 22 June 2013

Chair Bags

We have a couple of Isabella chairs which I purchased at the Manchester show.

They came packed in  plastic bags which are getting a bit holey and worn so I decided to purchase a couple of waterproof bags as Isabella chairs don't come cheap.

By coincidence I found a place which is local to us across the other side of Wakefield,"Bags 4 Everything":-

Bags 4 Everything

Purchased  a couple of bags and they fit a treat,you will need XL for Isabella chairs,they are £12.50 per bag.

They have a draw-string closure and come in Maroon,Blue and Green.

Even though they are a local firm I have nothing to do with them at all apart from being a first time customer.


Monday, 10 June 2013

Rutland Caravan & Camping

We have just returned from a few days at the above site ( CC Affiliated ) which is near Greetham in Rutland.

A very large and spacious site which is split into Adults Only and pitches for those blighted with children ( in other words not us ).

The pitches are a mixture of grass and hardstanding with plenty of room for an awning and vehicle.

The only slight downside is that the top end of the Adults Only section is a long trek to the bins and toilet emptying disposal point which may be something worth remembering if mobility is a problem.

The Orion once again behaved herself,but I did notice this which was a slight concern :-

It was under the top locker to the rear of the van and I wondered if it was caused by water ingress but there was no sign of water,damp or anything being spilt in the locker,it was all as dry as a bone so I just glued the laminate back down and will keep an eye on it.

Getting back to the site,it is about a ten minute walk to the village along a path from the rear of the site.

If you like Indian food,the Delhi 7 restaurant on the main street can be recommended.

What I did notice,and they seem to increase in number on every site we visit,is the number of motorhomes.

Nothing wrong with that of course but they do appear to be the leisure vehicle of choice for an increasing number of people,and mostly new/newish ones at that.

Hard times,what hard times......................

I must just mention a visit we did whilst there to Woolsthorpe Manor National Trust property which was about a seven mile bike ride away.

It is the birthplace and sometime home of Sir Isaac Newton.

To actually be in the same room where he discoverd that light was made up of different components was magical.

Well worth a visit.

One last thing,if visiting this site DON'T USE YOUR SAT.NAV FOR THE LAST COUPLE OF MILES OR SO.

It will direct you down roads unsuitable for caravans and no it didn't happen to us as I knew about it already.


Friday, 7 June 2013

Weight Plate Upgrade

Contacted the dealer today to enquire if we could upgrade the weight plate MTPLM to give us a touch more payload.

The dealer contacted Bailey and it turns out there is no weight plate upgrade available for our van ( 440/4).

I would imagine that this applies to the whole Orion range although I do not know for certain.


Monday, 27 May 2013


Yesterday we returned from three nights at Moorhampton CC site which is ten miles or so NW of Hereford.

It is a delightful little spot which is on the site of an old railway track and station,we were pitched on the ancient track bed.

 A toilet block that is a little larger would be of benefit as there are only two showers for the whole site,but apart from that a very pleasant place to stay.

The Orion was once again faultless I just wish I could remember to shut the water heater valve before switching on the water and dumping a full Aquaroll all over the pitch.

The site is surrounded by country lanes,quant villages and very desirable properties.

Things to be aware of if they are important to you are that there is no Wi-Fi or mobile phone signal apart from Vodaphone and there is no public phone on site.

There is an area I discovered about a meter square on the adjacent bridge which will just about receive 3G.

Before setting off I had purchased a couple of Duvalay sleeping bags as SWMBO doesn't really like making up the bed so I thought this may help,plus of course it would earn a few Brownie points to store against future misdemeanours.

Now I am not the best sleeper in the world,even at home,but I have to say I had three of the best nights sleep I have ever had in the van.

The bags are separate so there is no chance of stealing one anothers quilt and the memory foam mattress is very comfortable.

I bought two of the winter/summer combination packs which come with a winter ( 10.5 Tog I think ) and a 4.5 Tog summer quilt plus a free storage bags.

SWMBO of course had the winter quilt and I had the summer under which I was plenty warm enough.

The only drawback with them is they are quite bulky to store when not on use,we put them in the shower as we were using the site facilities.

It has to be said they aren't cheap,£288 or so inc. delivery for the two,but they do work.

Before anyone thinks it,I have no association whatsoever with Duvalay apart from being a satisfied customer.

There was another Orion on site for the first night,and one thing I did notice,and I have observed this on two Orions on our storage,is that they appear to fade a bit over time unless they are are cleaned and polished on a regular basis.

As I do a bit of TLC on ours it seems OK but others sometimes seem a little dull,so get that polish out.


Thursday, 16 May 2013

Ants & Mice

I have had some correspondence from Paul Medcalf,one of my followers,about how to avoid infestations of ants and mice :-

"I was chatting to a work colleague who has a Swift double axle he was telling me that one year he came back to his van after a day out to find ants everywhere in the van kitchen work tops etc  he followed the trail and discovered where he had pitched was  close to an ants nest and someone told him to spread vaseline on the caravan stabilisers this would stop any thing creeping into the van ie the ants or possibly a mouse !!."

During the summer we have problems with ants at home.

They devoured a piece out of the bottom of our conservatory door so they can be quite destructive apart from anything else.


Monday, 6 May 2013

End Of The Road Or A New Dawn ??

I was talking to a saleswoman at the dealers yesterday who informed me that the Bailey Olympus is/going to be no more,it is a dead parrot,deleted,discontinued.

More interestingly from our point of view was that she was determindely non-commital regarding the future of the Orion,whether it was going to be discontinued or revamped.

Certainly the Orions they had on sale they seemed determined to shift as the prices were discounted,plus a free motor mover,plus a free awning,plus free storage until the end of the year,so one way or another something seems to be afoot in Orion World.

The Baileys that they had on prominent "full price" display only consisted of Unicorns and Pegasus GT 65's.

So,is it an upgrade ( perhaps with the large panoramic window ) or is it the end ???


Saturday, 27 April 2013

"Greener Caravanning – by Simple Caravan Insurance"

Holidays in caravans are one of the most popular paid for holidays for British people, but how energy efficient is it and what can you do to make your holiday as green as possible?
Before travelling with your caravan there are a few things you can change in order to improve the overall fuel-efficiency of your caravan set-up.
·        By servicing your vehicle and caravan, minivan or motorhome on a regular basis you will ensure the efficiency of these vehicles.
·        Check your tyre pressures. Correct tyre pressure can reduce fuel consumption and reduce adverse tyre wear.
·        Try to avoid using air-conditioning where possible and try not to carry unnecessary items in your caravan as these will create drag and prolong your journey.
·        If towing, choose a towcar that is the right match for your caravan so you are not changing gear too often. If you are unsure which to choose then a caravan dealer can help you with this.
·        Watch your speed if towing and go at 40MPH where possible which will use up much less fuel than if travelling at 50MPH+
When choosing your destination go for caravan sites that uphold sustainable practises. This will help you to feel like you are doing your bit, but there are other things you can do to be energy efficient whilst on holiday.
·        Install a paper and plastic recycling bin inside one of your caravan cupboards.
·        Use energy efficient bulbs where possible in your caravan.
·        Only use hot water when absolutely necessary as this will use less energy.
·        Use a bike instead of your car whenever possible. This can be fun and is good exercise for all the family. There are plenty of caravan sites that cater for cyclists so look out for them.
·        To prevent heat loss in your caravan check your door and window seals, hang a heavy curtain over the inside of the front door and keep inside room doors closed to help with heat conservation.
·        If caravanning off-season then invest in a halogen heater. They are safe, free-standing (so can be moved around) and are typically energy efficient. They will save you a lot more money than a gas heater which can get very expensive and is also really bad for the environment.
All of these are simple, and somewhat, obvious tips for how to be energy efficient. Use your head and you will find it is really easy to be an energy efficient caravanner and make the most of your break away without costing yourself OR the environment much.
Simple Caravan Insurance offer comprehensive cover for static and touring caravans that’s easy to tailor to your needs, so you get the right cover for you.