Essential spares

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Jun 20, 2005
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Prof and Clive
Let’s back track. For the last 46 years , ALL, my numerous caravans , have had two 6kg propane Calor Gas cylinders in the front locker. Anything from totally full to one full and one partially full.
My nose load all this time has been impeccable. Are you truly advocating only taking one gas cylinder on a trip?
 
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Mar 14, 2005
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Prof and Clive
Let’s back track. For the last 46 years , ALL, my numerous caravans , have had two 6kg propane Calor Gas cylinders in the front locker. Anything from totally full to one full and one partially full.
My nose load all this time has been impeccable. Are you truly advocating only taking one gas cylinder on a trip?
Based on the responses so far, the OP would be carrying so many spares for "what if " situations that mass of 1 gas cylinder could be the difference between exceeding some weight limits or not. So if needs must then the answer to your question is YES.
 

JTQ

May 7, 2005
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Can remove corkscrew from list. Most wine has screw caps now.
Surely not so on a decent French wine, possibly a German, the two places being visited on this subject's trip? ;) Can't imagine a French wine expert accepting such a radical change, despite it being better at least re reliability.

Possibly shows that sadly we have not made it to either since 2019, for decades our locations of choice.
 
Nov 12, 2021
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When we went to France and Spain, one bottle of gas was more than enough. We never bothered with polarity tester either. We never bothered with the headlamp deflectors, alcohol testers and a load of other things suggested.

More importantly get Red Pennant insurance from the CAMC for peace of mind.
I use a 7kg SafeFill brand of refillable gas bottle and a Continental adapter kit. The French don't get all uppity about refilling gas bottles, unlike some places in the UK.

Regarding the polarity tester, the fridge in my Coachman will not work on an EHU with reversed polarity.
I had to use a reverse polarity adapter which I made myself and is simple to do by just swapping the Netutral and Live wires over. They are also available to buy.
I believe that some caravan makes aren't sensitive to reverse polarity though.
Interestingly, when I was on this particular site in France where I first experienced reverse polarity I tested the EHU on several vacant pitches around me and found a complete mix of polarities. This is simply because it doesn't matter in France as they use double pole switching. This means that both Live and Neutral are isolated together, whereas in the UK only the Live is isolated.

Interestingly, you no longer have to carry personal breathalyser kits in France anymore. Apparently, the French government minister responsible for the introduction of the law requiring drivers to carry these kits was closely related to the person whose company manufactured them. So, the law was scrapped.
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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Prof and Clive
Let’s back track. For the last 46 years , ALL, my numerous caravans , have had two 6kg propane Calor Gas cylinders in the front locker. Anything from totally full to one full and one partially full.
My nose load all this time has been impeccable. Are you truly advocating only taking one gas cylinder on a trip?
In a nutshell “yes” if appropriate.

On some trips with my last van I often only took one Calor gas bottle. The van was nose heavy when unladen so it was a way of achieving noseweight within payload allowance. As I explained there were other occasions where I took two bottles. You are making my approach seem like a black or white issue which it wasn’t. I can’t see what the problem is in only taking a single bottle where I deemed it appropriate. In all my years I never ran out of gas, nor did I exchange cylinders that weren’t empty.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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I use a 7kg SafeFill brand of refillable gas bottle and a Continental adapter kit. The French don't get all uppity about refilling gas bottles, unlike some places in the UK.

Interestingly, you no longer have to carry personal breathalyser kits in France anymore. Apparently, the French government minister responsible for the introduction of the law requiring drivers to carry these kits was closely related to the person whose company manufactured them. So, the law was scrapped.
We have the 7.5kg and found it was more than adequate for France or Spain. We ate a lot of cold foods, BBQ'ed or ate out so not much gas used for cooking and obviously no heating using gas.

Until recently the two breath analysers that we bought when the law first was introduced stayed forgotten about in our vehicle's glove box for many years until I decided the check the expiry date one day and realised it was well out of date. :D
 
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Nov 16, 2015
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Most of my essentials , extras for the caravan are carried in the car, the rear seat floor wells and luckily with the 5 seater Hyundai, under the boot area there is a vast amount of storage room. I just have to be careful not to overload the car.
 
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Nov 16, 2015
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We have the 7.5kg and found it was more than adequate for France or Spain. We ate a lot of cold foods, BBQ'ed or ate out so not much gas used for cooking and obviously no heating using gas.

Until recently the two that we bought when the law first was introduced stayed forgotten about in our vehicle's glove box for many years until I decided the check the expiry date one day and realised it was well out of date. :D
I take it you mean the breathalysers and not the 7.5 kg bottles🤔.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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As a matter of interest why is spelling on this forum orientated towards the US way of spelling i.e. we use an "s" and they use a "z". It took me years to learn to use the "s" instead of "z" and now I am taking a step backwards. SA spelling uses "z" instead of "s".
 
Nov 16, 2015
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As a matter of interest why is spelling on this forum orientated towards the US way of spelling i.e. we use an "s" and they use a "z". It took me years to learn to use the "s" instead of "z" and now I am taking a step backwards. SA spelling uses "z" instead of "s".
Because the forum publishers are American.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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True again, but the forum is in the UK and not USA?
“breathalyser “. Straight typed in from my IPhone which does have the ability to insert UK English, and it’s also American 😂

Doesn’t your phone allow you to select which language to choose when checking text?
 
Nov 12, 2021
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Essentials are
Tin opener
Kettle
Gas spanner
First aid kit
Toilet Fluid
Warning Triangle
Spare headlight bulbs
Mobile phone with charger
Breakdown Cover
To be clear on the essentials.
Warning Triangles - You will need to carry 2 x warning triangles when driving in France. The warning triangles must be placed at 50 & 150 metres behind your vehicle to warn approaching traffic if your vehicle breaks down or is involved in an accident.
Hi-Viz jackets, one for each occupant of the vehicle stored inside the vehicle and within easy reach.
Spare bulbs so you can replace any bulb on the towing vehicle or caravan in the event of a failure.

If you are unfortunate to be stopped and checked by the French police then a lack of any of these items will probably result in a fine

I also have a fire extinguisher and fire blanket in the caravan just to add to the list.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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The warning triangles should not be used on Autoroutes. In the event of a problem get out of the car and to a safe spot as the hard shoulders are not very wide, the Autoroute operators send an assistance vehicle which predominantly will get you to a safe area, where your breakdown company takes over.
 
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Nov 12, 2021
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As a matter of interest why is spelling on this forum orientated towards the US way of spelling i.e. we use an "s" and they use a "z". It took me years to learn to use the "s" instead of "z" and now I am taking a step backwards. SA spelling uses "z" instead of "s".
Z or S?
In British English, S is generally used in such words as recognise and authorise. The letter Z is used in American English in such words as recognize or authorize. However, it is not wrong to use z in such words when using British English as standard.
However, when I did my A levels back in the seventies my English language teacher said it was illiterate to use Z instead of S.
These days sadly, the English language we speak contains so much slang, text speak and weird spelling that it's difficult to know what is right anymore.
 
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The warning triangles should not be used on Autoroutes. In the event of a problem get out of the car and to a safe spot as the hard shoulders are not very wide, the Autoroute operators send an assistance vehicle which predominantly will get you to a safe area, where your breakdown company takes over.
Interesting but I can't find anywhere that says this is the case. The RAC state it's mandatory to carry the triangles but no mention of their use or not on Autoroutes.
 
May 7, 2012
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I would say take a spare wheel and tyre. That is probably the most likely problem item.
The jockey wheel should not be needed and would be heavy. In 40 years or so we have only had one break when we were using the mover to site the caravan, It was easy enough to lift the caravan back up using the legs although this needs care and put the car back on to complete the pitching. The wheels are standard and freely available after that. Provided you can reverse the outfit you should manage.
The ALKO hitch is a standard item and parts should be available from any dealer abroad.
We have had a pump pack up in France and a couple of others here, a spare is not a bad idea, but otherwise trying to guess what might go wrong, would mean carrying just about everything including a kitchen sink and would be silly.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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Z or S?
In British English, S is generally used in such words as recognise and authorise. The letter Z is used in American English in such words as recognize or authorize. However, it is not wrong to use z in such words when using British English as standard.
However, when I did my A levels back in the seventies my English language teacher said it was illiterate to use Z instead of S.
These days sadly, the English language we speak contains so much slang, text speak and weird spelling that it's difficult to know what is right anymore.
In South Africa we used the "z" instead of the "s" so when we came over here I had to learn to spell the UK English way otherwise the word was underlined in red like now. LOL! :D
 
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Nov 11, 2009
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Interesting but I can't find anywhere that says this is the case. The RAC state it's mandatory to carry the triangles but no mention of their use or not on Autoroutes.
Several websites only refer to a single triangle. The official Autoroute website gives instructions on what to do in breakdown and accident and nowhere does it say anything about a triangle. The emphasis being on hazards, high visibility vest and evacuate from RHS of car over the safety barrier. My two triangles have their cases embossed “ do not use on motorway”. I realise that’s for UK but France seems to align with that instruction. Here is the official Autotoute site.

 
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