“Why do my sidelights flash when I indicate?”…

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That is one of the most common questions that I am asked about road light problems with caravan’s and trailers. Others are::

“Why do my side lights come on when I brake?”

“When I turn my side lights on why do the indicators glow dimly?”

“When I put my side lights on why do my reversing lights come on?”

“When I brake why do all my rear lights come on?”

The answer is fairly simple, and a lot of people will tell you “It’s an earth fault” So often said simply because they have heard someone else say it but really they don’t understand how it can be an earth fault. Trying to find a fault even if you know what it is can be frustrating if you don’t know a bit of theory behind it, but I’ll try to give you an insight into what’s going on. Lets have a look at a basic wiring diagram for the caravan or trailer road lights and their connections.

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All Packed Up…

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One thing we are asked from time to time, especially by people new to caravanning is how we pack. If you put everything in the caravan that you wanted to take for a trip, it would make life so much easier… but will probably go over the caravan’s weight limit.

It will take a while to find your own routine for packing but here’s how we do it to make life simple and easy, or so we think.

Like a lot of people we keep out caravan in storage, so the chance to ‘pre load’ with everything we need for a trip one or two days before setting off is a bit limited. Sue has a couple of large bags.. I think they are laundry bags bought from a store for a couple of pounds, that she packs all the clothes in, so when we go to pick up the caravan, it’s a simple matter of unloading the two bags into relevant cupboards and anything for the wardrobe is hung up before it gets chance to crease up and it doesn’t take that long to do.

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Another fault finding guide…

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One of the questions that I’m asked from time to time is about the 12 volt circuit from the tow car to the caravan that powers the fridge, is how to find any problems that could be the cause of the fridge not working at its normal capacity. There are a few checks that can be done on the fridge first before having to start to look for other reasons why the fridge is not functioning to full capacity when towing.

I have written hopefully a simple guide to checking the circuit tracing the voltage drops and locating where the problem could lie. It will take some time and a basic understanding of how to use a multi-meter is required but it should either help you find the problem(s) or confirm that there is nothing wrong with the wiring and you can stat to look for other possible issues.

It’s in the “Help Guides” section and called “Caravan Fridge Circuit – Tracing A Fault

I hope you find it helpful.

Getting into the festive spirit…

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What!… It’s only August! 

One of the great things you can do in the run up to Christmas to get you into the swing of things is stay a couple of nights at a site that’s within striking distance of one of the many Christmas Markets held all over the country (and Europe for that matter) Staying local also allows you to sample some of the mulled wine and cider that’s on offer.

Last year we had booked to visit Cheltenham’s famous Christmas Market, but unfortunately due to the builders not removing scaffolding from around the house in time we had to cancel. However to make up for it we decided to do two markets this year! We have booked into Briarfields an independent site just outside Cheltenham with a good bus service right into the centre of the town. From Briarfields we then head back north to Oxford to the Camping & Caravan Club’s site for a few days so we can ‘do’ Oxford’s Christmas Market too!

christmas-marketsIf you fancy the idea of visiting one of the UK’s many Christmas Markets we use this handy website that lists all the dates and opening times… http://www.christmasmarkets.com/UK.html and currently they list over 150 markets in the UK and over 250 markets all over Europe.

If you have never caravanned  ‘out of season’ don’t worry. Caravan’s are great in winter… when it’s nice and toasty inside with some mulled wine… who cares what the weather is doing!

So it may only be August, but find yourselves a Christmas Market, find a site and get booked in and even better invite some caravan or motor home friends to join you.

A very early Merry Christmas.

Simon & Sue

Car Trailer Mod…

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I received an email from a gentleman who is a motor home owner and tows a car trailer that wanted a bit of help. Here’s what I received:

Dear Caravan Chronicles
I hope you can help. I have a motorhome which I use to pull a car trailer to classic car racing events. My trailer currently has a Warn winch to help load and unload my sports car but I have recently had a caravan motor mover fitted to help with manoeuvring the trailer with the car loaded. The trailer has one 110Ah battery fitted for the winch, which I have to charge by plugging in the trailer to a mains socket in the motorhome. I asked the company installing the mover if they could install a second 110 Ah battery for the mover and make it so I could charge both batteries while towing. Unfortunately they said it could not be done. I also asked if they could make it so I could link the two batteries if required with a switch, which they also said couldn’t be done. They did advise me to talk to the people that fitted the tow bar. To cut a long story short they also said what I wanted could not be done. Can you come up with something that would work?
Many thanks XXXXXXXX
 

After a couple of email exchanges to confirm a few things, here’s what I came up with:

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Annual Service – “Dealer or No Dealer?”…

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I had booked our caravan in for its annual service for Tuesday 8th at Glossop Caravans, the local main dealer that we bought our caravan from 3 years ago. Now, by chance after a couple of comments on Twitter and a brief conversation via email with Jonathan Robe, Glossop Caravan’s IT Manager, it was arranged for me to spend some time and follow our caravan through its annual service to see what goes on behind the scenes at a major dealer’s service centre. Continue reading

Lets be Practical…

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Some of the most popular articles on Caravan Chronicles are the “practical” type posts. Anything from the electrical stuff through to little modifications and projects I’ve done. A while ago I had the chance to look through some of the caravanning magazines from the late 50’s through to the late 60’s and they were full of projects. Installing a new roof light, repairing door hinges, updating handles and magnetic catches… in fact all sorts. One interesting early article was about upgrading your caravans road lights to install indicators using the ‘new’ 7 pin plug! Continue reading

Are We Back In Wales Now?…

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We had another chance for a few days away mid week again and decided to visit another Tranquil Touring Park site in Wales. Daisy Bank Touring Caravan Park is located almost on the Wales England border in Montgomery, Powys.

Monday 9th June

I’d uploaded POI’s for the site and some of the attractions around the area and checked the route. It should only take just over two hours to drive the 95 miles from home to the site so it was an easy start to the day. Thankfully the light rain had stopped while we loaded up the Freelander. We pulled out of the storage compound just before 10:25 and headed for the motorway to take us west towards Chester. It was a busy day for caravans and motorhomes… every other vehicle passing us in the opposite direction on the M56 seemed to be one or the other. By the time we reached Preston Brook the on again off again rain had stopped, and looking west the clouds were clearing and blue was becoming the prominent colour. Continue reading

A Bit Of An Update…

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Back in February I wrote a post “Testing Testing… about trying out some OLPRO products. One in particular was their “Inside & Out” which I tried on the Freelander with great success, however I haven’t had chance to try it on the caravan… mainly due to the weather and I did promise back then to do an update.

So the day after we returned from our North Wales trip (A Pitch With A View…) The weather was co-operating so we loaded up the trailer with 3 x 25 litre containers of water, a hand pressure spray, a set of steps, long-handled soft washing brush and set off for the caravan storage compound.

Right.. where do we start? (Sue is wearing one of my mahoosive old polo shirts)

Right.. where do we start? (Sue is wearing one of my mahoosive old polo shirts)

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