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OK, Sue and I sat down to watch the latest Caravan Channel (episode 41) last night and Phil Widdows informed us at the top of the programme that there would be some caravanning “pre-flight” safety checks. Now hearing “pre-flight” always gets my attention, so I settled in for some helpful safety tips.

We were introduced to Paul Stapleton of the Motor Caravan Engineers Association (MCEA) “who would take us through some simple, but very effective ‘pre-flight’ checks that every caravanner should undertake before a journey

Watch the segment here: http://caravanchannel.co.uk/videos?vid=373

The first part was OK, all about checking the torque settings on wheel bolts, he then moved inside. Again all good stuff… cupboard doors shut, cooker lid down etc…. hang on – no mention of checking your roof lights? No mention of checking all the windows all shut properly? No mention of one of the most commonly forgotten items…. checking your TV aerial is down and pointing in the right direction? I suppose a quick comical reminder about making sure the catch of the fridge door was applied to stop your beer rolling about would be a bit too much. Maybe it’s down to the editing of the segment to fit into the programme schedule, maybe they need to talk about more important things,  I’ll hang on in and see what’s next!

We moved on to hitching up. Top marks for informing us to switch off the ignition before coupling up the electric’s…. but wait a minute, shouldn’t he have gone through making sure the hitch was securely on the tow ball  – showing us the checking of the hitch indicator and making doubly sure by winding the jockey wheel back down a little to test that it is a positive connection BEFORE telling us about the electric’s?

Hmmm…. and while we are on about the electric’s… he’s just said that turning off the ignition makes sure there is nothing live…. but what about pin 9 on the 13 Pin plug we were shown being connected – surly that always live? Also what about mentioning if you have a certain manufacturers brake stability system fitted to check the status of the indicator light at this point?

Moving on…. we never got to see the application of the lever that applies the pressure to the friction pads on the hitch stabiliser nor a quick mention on checking the wear indicators…. but for me the biggest and most unforgivable sin was absolutely no mention what so ever of the correct coupling and use of the safety breakaway cable! Finishing up, there could have been the gentle reminder when he released the hand brake also to check jockey wheel was raised and secured as well.

Was it the MCEA’s fault because they didn’t cover these things? Well if it was, it doesn’t show their organisation in a very good light. Was it due to the editing of the programme segment? Again, it doesn’t show the programme makers in very good light as really it should have been checked during editing especially as it’s a programme about caravanning!

OK… so is it me? Or did they miss a bit……?

Thanks for reading