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Well, I’ve very nearly brought you up-to-date. You now know – if you have read “Hello world” how we got to this point. The day of collection arrived – 6th July 2011 which coincidentally was the same date that 2 years previously I had set off with a group of other pilots to fly single engined aircraft round the world. I hoped that the same spirit of adventure waited for Sue and I with our new caravan.

As usual, it was raining when we arrived at Glossop Caravans. We were early, so sat in the car watching the rain pour off the roofs of the caravans in front of us. If you have ever been to Glossop Caravans, you will know that the car park is up a steep ramp and overlooks the site so you can see almost everything. I have to take my hat off to the chap manning the car park, throughout  the time we were there, he never deserted his post and remained directing traffic in the downpour. Glossop Caravans were very efficient, the day before we were due to collect, they telephone us with the exact time we needed to be there and with a list of items that we needed to bring with us. I had in the boot of the car one 110Ah Leisure Battery and one Safefill Gas Cylinder…. and a bunch of paperwork.

At the appointed time, we made a dash through the rain to the sales office where we were warmly greeted by a lady and escorted into a small office. She took some of the paperwork off us and said she would arrange for the number plate to be made and fitted. Our caravan was ready and someone would be with us to take up out and show us round. A young chap appeared and asked us to follow him out to our new caravan. The rain had stopped and although not bathed in sunshine in the best film tradition… there she was, looking resplendent. We were shown inside and told to take as much time as we wanted to look round, he disappeared off to get us coffee… in real cups I might add!

As we were finishing our coffee the young chap arrived back and sat down with us. He gave us a big folder with all the paper work in and after asking a few questions, he then went through every aspect of the inside of the caravan as though we had just arrived on site. From lighting the gas hob and turning the hot water on to firing up the heating system. We then moved outside and went round all the outside of the van in as much detail, opening every locker and cover and showing me exactly what the different things were for. Once we were happy with everything I was asked to bring the car down so they could test everything and they would fit our leisure battery and gas cylinder.

I reversed up to the caravan and opened the back door, “We will have to change your tow ball” was the greeting I got as I got out of the car. “Its not an Al-KO approved one, so it might cause problems” OK, I had read about this somewhere… within minutes a technician appeared with a new tow ball that looked as though it had been chrome plated, the ball shone that much, at least I know they had removed all the paint off it! We were then asked to go back into the office and complete the paperwork.

It only took five minutes…. to sign on the dotted line, pay and become the owners of a new van… that’s just the point you start thinking to your self… have we done the right thing? The lady that first dealt with us when we arrived had printed off the copy of the CRIS entry… so it was all registered to us, no going back.

We walked back out to our caravan carrying an arm full of paperwork. The guys asked us to pull forward and they would move the van out of the parking spot and hitch it up for us. Again, this was gone through in detail. A brief explanation of the AL-KO hitch was given and how it works, it was dropped onto the tow ball, the safety brake-away cable was connected and finally the 13 pin plug was connected. The road lights were checked and the guys all shook our hands “Congratulations we hope you enjoy your new caravan”… and Sue received a little bag, with wine glasses and some nice towels… all sporting the Glossop Caravan’s logo of course. That was it… all we had to do now was tow it back to where we were going to store it.

I have to say, throughout all our dealings with Glossop Caravans, they have been impressive and professional. I have read a few negative comments posted on line, but for us, it was an excellent service. It may be different when it comes time for servicing!

Well, I think you are almost up to speed now….. I’ll tell you next about or first trips away.