Mar 9, 2019
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Hi everyone!
We are new to caravanning. Picking up our first van from Chipping Sodbury on the 19th March. Looking forward to touring (with some trepidation!) :blink:
 

Parksy

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Nov 12, 2009
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Hello and welcome to the forum.
Congratulations on buying your first caravan, which one did you choose?
If there's anything that you want to know, just ask. :)
 
Mar 9, 2019
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Thank you! It's a Bailey Phoenix Platinum 640. We got a great deal including AL-KO ATC and wheel lock (keeping the cost of insurance down). Stopping a couple of nights nearby to see how we get on! :woohoo:
 
Nov 16, 2015
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Welcome to the forum, and congrats on your new venture, expect a couple of hickups on your first few times out, but don't be afraid to ask others around you for help or information, I think most folk are more than happy to help.
 
Nov 16, 2015
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As many others have said , don't be in a rush to go out and buy everything from "caravan" shops as the are more expensive, try things out and take thing steady, but most of all enjoy it lets hope you have a good first year weather wise, it make all the difference.
Hutch.
 
May 7, 2012
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Welcome to the forum. When you pick up the caravan I would try and video the handover, particularly how things work so that when you are on site and find you have forgotten everything you can look it up.

If you have any doubts about hooking up and pitching there are plenty of useful videos on you tube.
If stuck though ask other caravanners as they are usually happy to help and there is also plenty on here.
 
Oct 12, 2013
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Very nice van . Yous'll learn how to work things etc etc the more times you get out in it as time goes on . Chill out & take your time
Enjoy .

Craig .
 
Mar 9, 2019
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We are collecting the van from Chipping Sodbury tomorrow and spending two nights at Slimbridge. We will be travelling back to Lincs so have booked a night at Chipping Norton and another at Kettering. A few days to practice everything! :blink: We have also booked Easter weekend near Warwick so looking forward to that. I will post some details and reviews on how we get on... :)
 
May 24, 2014
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It may help for the first time to write down the routine in advance, as a checklist both for hitching and pitching.

It will seem daunting but it really isnt. Its like anything else, with repetition it will become second nature.

If this is your first time towing, remember a couple of items. Your towing mirrors can give a totally diffferent vision than those on your car that you are used to, making vehicles behind look closer but more often farther away than they are. This may cause you to cut in too soon when overtaking, so be aware and add more length overtaking. Trucks used to flash us in, to let us know we were clear, but we are seeing far less of that these days. As I understand it, the Insurance firms are against this, for some reason they seem to feel it can lead to accidents rather than prevent them.

Always do the hard part of reversing going forwards if you can. It sounds daft but it isnt. In effect, you are ligning up to go back at a more gentle angle than a 90 degree angle. The last bit of advice is always go the long way round things, especially roundabouts. Remember, if you cut lanes, your caravan will too. Make an exaggerated effort to follow the line of the roundabout.

Here endeth the lesson for today.
 
Feb 23, 2018
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Thingy said:
Trucks used to flash us in, to let us know we were clear, but we are seeing far less of that these days. As I understand it, the Insurance firms are against this, for some reason they seem to feel it can lead to accidents rather than prevent them.

I find that it is 50/50; some will, some won't. I always give the indicators a flash to say thank you.
 
May 24, 2014
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Many years ago, about 30 to be exact, we had a number of drivers involved in accidents, mostly minor thankfully, but the companies insurers insisted that all the drivers be put through the ROSPA safety course. Even back then, we were told not to flash people in, but of course we did.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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The Highway code is very clear on this point

"Rule 110. Flashing headlights. Only flash your headlights to let other road users know that you are there. Do not flash your headlights to convey any other message or intimidate other road users."

I had an incident where I was travelling on a route and approached a junction where a side road joined the road I was on. It was evening so my headlights were on dipped beam. As I neared the junction a car pulled up at the give way line and waited. Just few yards before the junction was a speed hump, and just after I traversed it, the car at the give way line pulled out across my path. As the other driver passed to my offside, he wound down his window and remonstrated that i'd flashed him out which of course I hadn't!
 
Oct 12, 2013
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Its an everyday occurance for me ! But even with van on the back when towing i will always flash an artic back in rather than having the front off the car squished when they are trying to judge if they are clear and 9 times out off 1o vice versa , i always give a flash off the indicators when let back in ;
common courtesy , i hate ignorance .
 
May 24, 2014
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The Highway code is very clear on this point

"Rule 110. Flashing headlights. Only flash your headlights to let other road users know that you are there. Do not flash your headlights to convey any other message or intimidate other road users."

Thats as may be, yet its still something that as professional drivers we have always done. When driving a very large/long vehicle it makes an awful lot of sense for one driver to assist another, and if it means an HGV driver spends more time looking forward than spending ages in his mirror trying to ascertain if he is clear, it has to be a good thing. I think if you were to ask most caravanners too, they will tell you its a courtesy they appreciate.

I will also state, that in both an HGV and towing a caravan on the motorway, I have been flashed in by a Police Officer.
 
Mar 9, 2019
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Thanks for all of the advice. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.... I used to drive all sorts of HGV's. I hope that I haven't forgotten the basics. :dry: I have also written up an idiot's (for me with a hopeless memory) guide for hitching and pitching. Let's hope I have it all down. We will see how it goes tomorrow. I'm sure it will go okay.
 
Mar 24, 2014
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TandKM said:
Thanks for all of the advice. A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.... I used to drive all sorts of HGV's. I hope that I haven't forgotten the basics. :dry: I have also written up an idiot's (for me with a hopeless memory) guide for hitching and pitching. Let's hope I have it all down. We will see how it goes tomorrow. I'm sure it will go okay.

My very first trip was back from Chipping Sodbury to Stow on the Wold. You'll be passing by us on the way to Moreton in Marsh. Enjoy the trip and the new 'van.
 
Mar 9, 2019
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Just returned from cleaning the caravan at the storage site. We arrived back yesterday having made three stops at CL's on the way back to Lincs having picked up our first van from Chipping Sodbury. Nothing untowards happened other than the 13pin connector lugs slipping around and taking a bit of an effort to get things lined up again. An awful lot of things to remember to do but thanks to all of the helpful advice given and found by fellow caravanners on caravan forums such as this, the dealer hand over, the internet and youtube I was able to compile a complete idiots guide to caravanning which certainly made things far less daunting. We are looking forward to our next outing at Easter. B)
 
Nov 11, 2009
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TandKM said:
Just returned from cleaning the caravan at the storage site. We arrived back yesterday having made three stops at CL's on the way back to Lincs having picked up our first van from Chipping Sodbury. Nothing untowards happened other than the 13pin connector lugs slipping around and taking a bit of an effort to get things lined up again. An awful lot of things to remember to do but thanks to all of the helpful advice given and found by fellow caravanners on caravan forums such as this, the dealer hand over, the internet and youtube I was able to compile a complete idiots guide to caravanning which certainly made things far less daunting. We are looking forward to our next outing at Easter. B)

Glad it went okay. You could buy a Little Green Tool to help align the plug and also to keep weather out.

https://m.gooutdoors.co.uk/maypole-13-pin-alignment-tool-p293544
 
May 7, 2012
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I agree get the little green tool. We had problems with the 13 pin plug when we first got to use it but after buying the tool everything has worked perfectly so it seems to work without you touching it.
 

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