Follow by Email

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 ".



  1. Ian
    I am suprised the batt clamps were still attached if the batt fell out,do you think it was there when you left storage,i dropped a batt once and the clamps came off and also stretched one of the leads

  2. John,

    Yes it was there when we set off as we used the motor mover to get it out of storage as it is too tight to use the car.

    The clamps are the quick release type so they,fortunately,just pulled off.