Hi Brian, The best person to ask is Gary at Arc Systems www.arcsystems.biz if you visit his website there are lots of documents relating to Carver products. You can ring him as well (email can take a while as he's so busy!) He really is the Guru of carver products!
So, not only did we have to cancel our last planned holiday, the next one (half term) is about to bite the dust....darned taxman wants his pound of flesh in 3 instalments - Apr, May & June - long story, don't go there
BUT, on the bright side, the inlaws were due to be at the same site at the same time & they have a 4 berth, so guess what we'll be asking tomorrow when we ring...can Abi join them? As if they'll say no
On a more positive note, our main holiday at end of July WILL NOT be cancelled, already got money sorted for that one, & have promised Abi a day at Butlins, Peppa Pig World & Monkey World...after that we'll be bankrupt, but hey
So in lieu of Tim cancelling his booked holiday at the end of May, we're taking Abi to Blackpool to see the Illuminations in October half term, & staying (hopefully) in a 5* hotel suite because it will be cold, & we (I) need a treat & Abi needs to improve her swimming (& I need some spa treatments) Failing that, Premier Inn are pretty good
Lord, Ian - my issues preventing our trip are mundane in comparison to yours. I am so sorry to hear about your son & your health. I hope your surgery goes well, & am sure you'll be back on your feet & caravanning in no time at all.
I still think, that given more & more families are coming into caravanning, that they would have been better employing the couple, with Graham doing the odd 2 berth bit...many people think caravanning is for 'oldies', which the show is perpetuating, unlike caravan finder who have a couple with a young family, & is far better received by the caravanning fraternity (from what I have read on other fora)
Absolutely gutted, heartbroken, depressed...a tale of woe (& hard work!!)
Put the car in for service last week as was running very rough - had a problem for quite some time (doesn't like low revs in gear, but idle ok, engine check light been on, well, feels like forever, but been looked at multiple times, running lean, all sorts of malarkey, had a binding rear brake...). Car serviced, mechanic says need new coil packs, had previously got a price for £400 to replace all 4, but he did some research & managed to get a price of £180 inc. leads, so 'ring when we get home from our holiday & he'll order the parts & get the job done' - thanks matey - kiss of bloomin' death......
So we spend the weekend cleaning the caravan - cleared the snow off, washed it, cleaned inside. Went for petrol on Sunday in preparation for the off on Monday morning.......check engine light now flashing, car loses power - LIMP HOME MODE
Now absolutely no way we can go away - even though the light was not flashing anymore, the risk to the engine too great to put the caravan on the back. Get home to tell a distraught Abi we can't go away on holiday anymore - she asks granny & grandad if she can go home with them - they're delighted & take her to Skegness for 2 nights in a hotel - she had a blast!! (wish someone would pay for me for 2 nights in a nice hotel)
Monday - Tim's idea of hell.....shopping!! We were going to move Abi into the back bedroom this month, but had to empty it, decorate it, buy storage for toys etc, so the shopping marathon began (BUT we did get a new TV for the caravan & meatballs for lunch at Ikea ;D!!) as we decided we were going to do it in less than 3 days
Tuesday - car goes in, emptying / decorating frenzy begins, I was in 'Flat Pack Hell', but darned, I'm good at making flat pack furniture !!!.
Wednesday - car repaired - WOOHOO ;D decorating frenzy continues...
Thursday - decorating finished yesterday (just final touching up), put all of Abi's furniture in, shower, pack, drive to Midlands to collect Abi.
Friday - Get home around tea-time - Abi's response to her new room, well let's say she could teach Tigger a thing or two about bouncing!!
This weekend - to be spent getting all of her toys into her bedroom, & reclaiming our lounge which looks something akin to a toy shop after a group of unsupervised chimps have been to visit!
SO...gutted we didn't get away, but we did get a worthwhile, planned job done quickly...back to work for a rest now, & hope to get our first nights away in half term!!
Hope you all had a wonderful Easter away in your caravans - Jealous much - hell, yes ;D xx
Got sky+ set for Caravan Finder, I haven't watched Caravan Channel recently as the new presenter is, I'm sorry to say, awful - has put me right off what used to be a really good, informative show. Hoping Mike Buttigieg gets the message from viewers, & changes the presenter soon. I've read on other forums that people are no longer watching because of this presenter & the factual inaccuracies he comes out with!!
Have to say my preference was for Jon & Bobbie - also nice because they will look at things from a family perspective (functionality etc.). I felt that out of the couple, Jon actually had the better presenting style when alone & Bobbie was a bit stilted, but that could be nerves. If I was Mike B I would hire them but have Jon as primary presenter with Bobbie drafted in for the caravan reviews (a womans viewpoint etc). Another option perhaps is have them all - the couple with a young family to do the family type caravans (4+ berths) & Brian to do the 'couples' caravans (2 & 4 berths) - that way everyones happy!!
You need to speak to Gary at www.arcsystems.biz what he doesn't know about carver equipment isn't worth knowing. There are handbooks on some products on his website so have a look. Always worth ringing him & persevere as he's incredibly busy, but a really helpful guy.
Bit of an odd one this, but bare with me!! Every Autumn, the Three Counties Agricultural Society have a Caravan & Motorhome Show, at which you can pitch for the weekend. The showground also has camping facilities for some of its other events, so a bit of a low down if never been before!!
The Caravan & Motorhome show runs from a Friday to Sunday - 2013 dates currently showing as 4th to 6th October, & is worth a visit, especially if you can't get to the NEC show which is usually later in October.
The Show Most of the major manufacturers were there (except Adria# showing their new 2013 models, as well as secondhand caravans & motorhomes being available from some local dealers. There were plenty of models to have a good look around. This year, accessories were slightly better provided, in this case by the very local Caravanstuff4u, although I wouldn't say they were particularly discounted, prices were comparable to other retailers. There were a few other accessories #flag dealers, cleaning solutions, solar systems (who even did on site installation over the weekend## around as well. The promised farmers market really amounted to an ice cream company & a bakery from what we could see, however this may be because there was a local producers fair in the town on the same day #was much better last year#. Even as a day visitor, worth the £5 to get in for a mooch about if it's local!
The Camping Prebooked, this year it was £40, which included unlimited access to the show for 2 adults #children free#, pitch & EHU for up to 3 nights #arrival on Friday, depart by 12pm on Monday#. Ameneties available included the usual water, waste, ELSAN, toilets & showers, but be warned, the toilet / shower blocks are cold #but clean#. Entertainment was free on the Friday evening #some sort of music based bingo# & Saturday evening #Elvis & Abba tribute acts# BUT very loud & could be heard across the showground#finished by 11pm though!#.
It is possible to stay without pre-booking #£50 this year#, however, I wouldn't advise it as if you need EHU there's no guarrantee you'd get it, & this year there'd been a very heavy downpour the day before the show, so many pitches were unusable, & there was some frantic re-arranging to accomodate it #pitching people around the edges of the grass areas & even on access ways between the grass areas#.
For a cheap weekend away, then it's worth it as a base to explore the area #& do a bit of research on the new models#, & the location is beautiful, being in the shadow of the Malvern Hills, with the town being a short drive away, with plenty of pubs, restaurants & shops to browse, & lots of walking / cycling opportunities in easy reach. If you wanted to extend your stay, then there are CC & C&CC sites within 10 minutes #Both Blackmore, next door to each other#literally##. There's an excellent butchers & also pub in Hanley Swan #The Swan# & I'd recommend Clives Fruit Farm #about 15 mins away on the Upton Road# for local produce, cider & perry #hic!!) & for kids as well as they can feed the chicken, ducks & pigs, small play area & cafe
I took the pictures below on the Saturday Morning as it was quite stunning!!
Coachman Pastiche 525/4 - never really considered a caravan with bunk beds before, but we absolutely loved it!! One niggle though, the overhead locker doors don't have 'positive' catches, so your stuff can fall out in transit!! Otherwise it really was great.....oh, & the Unicorn Barcelona (2013 model) but I swear they've made the bathrooms smaller on them, & for us it's less practical from a family perspective!!
Hi Mike, Please could you add 3 nights, £40 total cost, 126 miles towed - went to the Malvern Caravan & motorhome show - price included unlimited access to the show & EHU so quite cheap really!! Good job we didn't have £21.5k in the bank to buy the caravan we fell in love with though!!
It's scale. Easy enough to sort. You need a 50/50 mix of white wine vinegar (must be this type to prevent tainting of the water system with vinegar taste), so total 5 litres of each. Fill the hot water tank as you normally would then leave for at least 6 hours (preferably overnight - DO NOT SWITCH ON!!), drain using the drain point on the tank, & then put a couple of tanks of fresh water through & job done.
This is the method Truma (who also own what was carver) recommend, unless you buy their aquastar stuff, but that's quite expensive in comparison to the method above. It really does work!!