Catch Me If You Can…

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I’m installing a “Catch Can” can on our VW Amarok and this little posting is all about it, but first a bit of history on why I’m installing one.

If you look at modern high performance diesel engines one of the things that they do to reduce emissions is have a number of systems to reduce the harmful emissions. EGR or Exhaust Gas Re-circulation wich is feeding part of the engines exhaust back into the intake but probably the most widely known is the DPF… or Diesel Particulate Filter which captures fine soot particles from exiting the exhaust. The DPF needs to be cleaned regularly, through a process called regeneration. Either active, passive or forced, the accumulated soot is burnt off at high temperature (around 600°c) to leave only a residue of ash, effectively renewing or regenerating the filter, ready to take on more pollution from the engine. To regenerate, the vehicle electronics adjust the timing of the engine to increase the exhaust gas temperatures or commonly it can be achieved by passive regeneration usually on the motorway when exhaust gasses are generally hotter. Continue reading

‘Put big light on will yer…’

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I get sent lots of bits by all sorts of people to test and hopefully write about on the blog… and I think you can guess that I don’t write about too many by the lack of ‘reviews’ on here. Basically if it’s not up to scratch I don’t write about it. I don’t want to knock back a product or company because I have a problem with it or them… so I just keep quiet.

However a couple of weeks ago Erin reached out to me (as the Americans are so fond of saying) asking me if I’d like to review a couple of products… they would send them free of charge in exchange for a review. I agreed. Continue reading

E-Trailer….Smart or what!

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A few weeks ago Andy Harris (yes that Andy… him off the TV) and of Road Pro fame called me to tell me about a new gadget that Dutch caravanners were getting all excited about. Now not one to turn down the chance to test a gadget or two, when Andy asked if I’d like one of the units to test I of course said in true reserved fashion said “Well I suppose I can take a look at it”. Who wouldn’t pass the chance to check out the latest piece of tech gadgetry being made by those clever Dutch people at e-Trailer. A few days later a large brown box arrived. Continue reading

Getting All Charged Up – Update 2…

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I guess this really is the update to an update (Getting All Charged Up – Update…). We have been living with the Sterling Wildside unit now for about 6 months and a LOT of people have been emailing me asking how we are getting on with it and is it worth it?

IMG_1194Well I have done quite a bit of testing with my leisure battery in various states of discharge. With it at about 50% I have recorded a charging current of 15.9 Amps which is far greater than I could manage before and due to the fact that the Wildside unit uses the correct charging profile for my battery I’m not concerned that I will be reducing or damaging my leisure batteries life expectancy. Continue reading

The Caravan and Motorhome Show 2018

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New Year and the first show of the year!

logo_2016The North’s largest outdoor leisure show for campers, caravan and motorhome owners, will be pitching up at Manchester’s EventCity from 18th – 21st January 2018 offering a huge range of inspiring ideas for lovers of the great outdoors.

This is our “local” show and hopefully it will continue its record each year of increasing the attendance figures over the previous year. With leading manufacturers and dealers in attendance, a range of celebrity speakers, including television presenter Matt Allwright and The Camping and Caravanning Club President Julia Bradbury.

Rob Debenham, Show Manager, says: “We’re hoping to build on the success of last year which saw 36,102 visitors attend over four days and we are really excited about the 2018 show. With some exciting new attractions in store for our guests I’m confident we’re on track to deliver our best show yet. It offers something for everyone, and with kids under 16 going free, it’s a great value day out for the whole family and of course the perfect chance to find your ideal caravan or motorhome.”

With over 200 exhibitors, visitors are sure to leave feeling inspired at the four-day event to start planning the trip of a lifetime.

Tickets to the show also include a free show guide and free entry into the co-located Destinations: The Holiday & Travel Show with live cookery demonstrations on the Food & Travel stage. Featuring hundreds of travel companies such as Trailfinders, VIA Rail Canada, and Great Rail Journeys, as well as tourist boards including Morocco, Cuba, Malta, Massachusetts, Barbados and more, visitors are sure to find something to suit all travel interests.

The box office is now open and tickets are available at www.caravanshows.com or by calling 0844 873 7349 or of course you can buy on the day in the foyer.

We will be there on Thursday for the opening, so hope to see you there!

 

End of Year Catch Up…

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Wow… it’s been quite a while since our last posting, and many thanks to all those of you who have emailed asking if we are OK. We are both fine, thanks.

Back in October we were due to go to the Caravan & Motorhome show and we had  booked in to the campsite at the NEC for 4 days. However, the day before, we actually wondered why we were going. Plenty of other bloggers and video bloggers would be going and posting on YouTube. I guess the plethora of video bloggers filming each other meeting other video bloggers wasn’t what we were about…. so we went to the C & M Club site at Southport instead.

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Is A Euro 6 Engine Killing Your Leisure Battery?…

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OK… so that title was a bit dramatic! However here’s the thing… I don’t think everything is peachy with Euro 6 engines and charging leisure batteries.

If you are a regular reader, you know I have recently installed one of Sterling Power’s Wildside units (and so far I’m super happy with it!) but I did get an email from someone who had read all my postings about it and asked me if it might cure his problem. Here’s the gist of his email….

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Getting All Charged Up – Update

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The best laid plans….

We had originally intended to spend a week down at Glastonbury which would have meant the 5 hour drive down would have been an excellent test for the Sterling Power Wildside unit’s first outing. However we had to cancel the trip literally the day before we were due to set off. In the few days between installing the Wildside unit and our planned trip to Glastonbury I had been exchanging emails and phone calls with Charles Sterling talking about some of the aspects of the Wildside unit and the direction that caravan electrics was heading in.

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A Step In The Right Direction…

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OK, so if you read about the bike rack install I guess you might have seen the video of me getting onto the tailgate of the VW Amarok…. akin to a whale wearing a tutu and trying to get on points. I needed something better… well my knees were telling me I better do something about it at least. In the USA, the land of the pickup or Australia the home of the Ute there were plenty of options. The downside was the Amarok has not been released in the USA and shipping charges from Australia are insane. I had to find something closer to home. Doing the usual google searches always ended up with products on sale in different continents so I ended up searching for images that contained the word ‘tailgate’, ‘step’ and ‘Amarok’ and after clicking on various pictures discovered Pegasus 4 x 4 in Bristol. (Note to all the companies out there… spending time correctly tagging and key wording all the photos on your websites pays off!) Continue reading