Here is an example of solar panels that we have fitted to a caravan,
They were 2 x 160W mono-crystal solar panels fitted with a Stecca PR3030 charge controller.
Once fitted, only the charge controller is visible in the van
and one piece of wire inside near the ceiling.
Everything else can be neatly added to the vehicle wiring inside the bed box.
The next photos show that the solar panels are producing 3.5 amps in winter sunshine in January.
In summer they should peak at around 20A.
The second photo shows the state of charge percentage and bar graph.
The total cost for this fully installed in January 2019 was £780.
In stock at present, we do have some AGM leisure batteries, which we highly recommend,
due to the following reasons.
(1) AGM batteries do not spill, therefore they can be mounted anyway up.
(2) No venting is required as no Hydrogen is produced.
(3)These batteries are lower in height, therefore they fit better under seats in motorhomes, and allow cables to fit over the battery, in caravan or motorhome battery boxes
(as you can see from the photo).
(4) They can be charged or discharged at a huge current, much higher than a lead-acid wet battery.
(5) AGM batteries have a much lower voltage drop when stored
(such as over Winter) compared to a lead-acid battery.
(6) They can be discharged further than conventional flooded batteries.
We have a limited number of these batteries in stock at present with a 2 year warranty.
We fitted our first ATC system for a while this week.
These are a fantastic system - for those that don't know, ATC stands for Al-ko Trailer Control. This is an active system that mounts behind the axle of a caravan and monitors the trailer movement. If it detects a 'snake' developing, it activates the trailer's brakes which has the effect of pulling the outfit straight.
This system is so effective that most of the big insurance companies offer a substantial discount if it's fitted.
Well I was so impressed with the system that I fitted it to my own van when I bought it 3 years ago.
So this was the van - a 2010 Swift Challenger.
First to jack it up and and make secure.
And soon the main unit was fitted and the brake bar adjusted...
Wiring run and connected into vehicle loom...
Status LED fitted to A-frame...
Fully tested and finally ATC sticker applied...
Another customer that is now safer on the road!
Total cost to customer is £600 inc VAT - money well spent in my opinion!
** Total cost to the customer - £66 (£50 for the lock and 20 minutes labour) inc. VAT **
Another day, another damp van!
This one was a Seitz cassette window that is letting in water. The water ingress can be clearly seen as black, mouldy wood. The window is sealed by a rubber gasket on the inside return of the external part of the frame and then an internal frame is clamped using a dozen or so screws through to the external section with caps over.
As a repair, most people just run silicone around the outside of the frame to the body..... Silicone - pht! The stuff should be band! This will last for a few weeks - if you're lucky - then capillary action will result in more water being drawn in than was leaking in before!
The damaged gasket should be replaced and the window refitted, but we don't do it that way - the gasket's failed once, so it will again. We rip the gasket off, run a bead of polymer MS bonder (we use Soudal Fix-All - available in our shop) in the resulting groove and refit the window - ensuring an even spread of excess sealant on all edges.
The excess is then scraped off and the edges 'washed in' with a special solvent (a specific branded Panel-Wipe that doesn't react with the bonder).
The result is a very neat finish that guarantees no further leaks as the bonder will out-live the van!
Well that's one less joint that water can now leak through - Job Done!
** Total cost to the customer - £120 + tube of bonder (£9.50 currently) inc. VAT **
This is a fairly common problem with vans of a certain age....
Locking wheel bolts BUT no key! This can be because of loss or as in this case because when it was serviced last, the mobile engineer didn't return the key to the customer.
The only option with some bolts is to knock them off as spare 'keys' aren't available.
So this one took an hour of hard work to remove. Which means they do their job - although we've never heard of any cases of wheels being stolen from caravans.
Moral of the story is not to loose the key or ask us to remove the locking bolts during a service to prevent this happening to you (replacement standard AL-KO nuts are £4.50 each).
Well, now we have a blog, we had better make a post...
Well lets explain the main header photos used on this page and the main Home page.
Let's start with this page.... The photo above was taken at Bleak House Farm CL at York - a fantastic CL within walking distance of the centre of York at only £7/night. There are no facilities, but what a fantastic location at a great price! Don't be put off by the pot-holed approach lane or the adjacent 'yard' - it's very quiet.
OK, let's now take a look at our main Home page image...
The above image was taken at Camping Attermenzen, Randa near Zermatt in Switzerland, during November 2015, after an overnight 4" 'dusting' of snow!
-14C is quite normal at night at these altitudes (1800m) - even in Autumn!
Speaking of snow - woke up this morning to this....
We are obviously not going to be busy today!
Lodge Farm, Lowdham Road
Nottinghamshire. NG14 7ES
Telephone 0115 966 5797
Fax 0871 971 1044
Mobile 0789 088 2412