Observations from my 2020 "Staycation"

Feb 23, 2018
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Last week was our first and probably last outing in the caravan for this year; a few nights in Cornwall on a fully serviced pitch to avoid the shower blocks. I observed a few things which bear mentioning as there seemed to be loads more caravanners about than I would normally see.

Due Diligence: I played my usual game on the tow down and back of spotting wide-open Hekis': Happy to report I only saw one Bailey with the perspex skywards, but there were plenty of Status Aerials in whatever horizontal/vertical orientation they liked and pointing all over the shop.

Towing Mirrors: Loads of people not bothering! Lost count at the amount of mirror-free cars out there. One guy as he approached my site had 1; we'll give him the benefit of the doubt, it may have fallen off.

Speeding: As I sat at a GPS 60 on the M5 a Merc GL-Something towing a T/A Buccaneer flew past me at what must have been 70 (no drama but got nudged by the wake); multiple cars towing large trailers also over-took at close to 70.

Services: Used the caravan at the services as much as possible to avoid unnecessary contact, saw 2 separate instances of people sat in their caravans without putting down the jockey wheel; looked like their cars rear (one was a Skoda Octavia) was about to bottom-out. I though there were static load limits for towbars?

Also the services I chose weren't too full but, the caravan areas were busy - perhaps more spaces are going to be needed if the uptake in Caravan/Motorhome use continues rise during/post Covid. One services where caravans historically shared the old truck toilet area has a new huge area for caravans and trucks so that was nice.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Last week was our first and probably last outing in the caravan for this year; a few nights in Cornwall on a fully serviced pitch to avoid the shower blocks. I observed a few things which bear mentioning as there seemed to be loads more caravanners about than I would normally see.

Due Diligence: I played my usual game on the tow down and back of spotting wide-open Hekis': Happy to report I only saw one Bailey with the perspex skywards, but there were plenty of Status Aerials in whatever horizontal/vertical orientation they liked and pointing all over the shop.

Towing Mirrors: Loads of people not bothering! Lost count at the amount of mirror-free cars out there. One guy as he approached my site had 1; we'll give him the benefit of the doubt, it may have fallen off.

Speeding: As I sat at a GPS 60 on the M5 a Merc GL-Something towing a T/A Buccaneer flew past me at what must have been 70 (no drama but got nudged by the wake); multiple cars towing large trailers also over-took at close to 70.

Services: Used the caravan at the services as much as possible to avoid unnecessary contact, saw 2 separate instances of people sat in their caravans without putting down the jockey wheel; looked like their cars rear (one was a Skoda Octavia) was about to bottom-out. I though there were static load limits for towbars?

Also the services I chose weren't too full but, the caravan areas were busy - perhaps more spaces are going to be needed if the uptake in Caravan/Motorhome use continues rise during/post Covid. One services where caravans historically shared the old truck toilet area has a new huge area for caravans and trucks so that was nice.
Which was the services mentioned in your last paragraph?
 
Jun 16, 2020
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We cancelled Cornwall booked in much earlier. Thought it may end up too crowded. We are now on the first night of 16 starting at ccc Cannock Chase. Seems very nice. Warden says they have been full booked ever since sites reopened.

Chatsworth CMC site next. Only a few nights, don’t know how I managed to get into there. Then on to Blackshaw in Leek .

We never use the facilities so are not concerned about them. In fact, the toilet block is closed here.

Drive to here was uneventful. Took it easy as we had lots of time and only doing 77 miles. Didn’t see any madness. M6 from the M5 junction was full but moving, that would be stationary in the past.

John
 
Feb 23, 2018
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Padstow was heaving mid-week. Didn't expect that. The park and ride was closed so trying to find parking was fun.

M5 North was stationary for miles as we headed south on B/H Monday - Then we hit some stationary/slow traffic as we headed north on the way home due to a 2 or 3 cars involved in a collision.
 
Jan 3, 2012
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279
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Last week was our first and probably last outing in the caravan for this year; a few nights in Cornwall on a fully serviced pitch to avoid the shower blocks. I observed a few things which bear mentioning as there seemed to be loads more caravanners about than I would normally see.

Due Diligence: I played my usual game on the tow down and back of spotting wide-open Hekis': Happy to report I only saw one Bailey with the perspex skywards, but there were plenty of Status Aerials in whatever horizontal/vertical orientation they liked and pointing all over the shop.

Towing Mirrors: Loads of people not bothering! Lost count at the amount of mirror-free cars out there. One guy as he approached my site had 1; we'll give him the benefit of the doubt, it may have fallen off.

Speeding: As I sat at a GPS 60 on the M5 a Merc GL-Something towing a T/A Buccaneer flew past me at what must have been 70 (no drama but got nudged by the wake); multiple cars towing large trailers also over-took at close to 70.

Services: Used the caravan at the services as much as possible to avoid unnecessary contact, saw 2 separate instances of people sat in their caravans without putting down the jockey wheel; looked like their cars rear (one was a Skoda Octavia) was about to bottom-out. I though there were static load limits for towbars?

Also the services I chose weren't too full but, the caravan areas were busy - perhaps more spaces are going to be needed if the uptake in Caravan/Motorhome use continues rise during/post Covid. One services where caravans historically shared the old truck toilet area has a new huge area for caravans and trucks so that was nice.
Hi i would agree about people not using towing mirrors we went to check our caravan at storage someone just going away with a twin axle (no mirrors) i can see through my car mirrors .
Also coming back from Meadow hall in Sheffield someone was doing 65+ in the third lane (fast lane) on the M1 with a caravan ( Don"t they realise they are giving caravanners a bad name )
 
Jan 3, 2012
2,295
279
19,935
We cancelled Cornwall booked in much earlier. Thought it may end up too crowded. We are now on the first night of 16 starting at ccc Cannock Chase. Seems very nice. Warden says they have been full booked ever since sites reopened.

Chatsworth CMC site next. Only a few nights, don’t know how I managed to get into there. Then on to Blackshaw in Leek .

We never use the facilities so are not concerned about them. In fact, the toilet block is closed here.

Drive to here was uneventful. Took it easy as we had lots of time and only doing 77 miles. Didn’t see any madness. M6 from the M5 junction was full but moving, that would be stationary in the past.

John
Hi John i hope you have a nice break (Chatsworth CMC is a lovely site have a visit to Bakewell while you are there )
 

Parksy

Moderator
Nov 12, 2009
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We're currently in Cornwall at St Ives.
We've avoided the town so far because its quite crowded and this site (Polmanter) is full but with good social distancing in the bar and all buildings.
We're on a fully serviced pitch so we use our own facilities during the pandemic.
Saw plenty of caravans and motorhomes on the way down here.
 
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Reactions: CustardAvenger
Mar 14, 2005
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Like you Custard Avenger we were in Cornwall, posted elesewhere about the site, yes Padstow was busy BH Saturday, so we didn't stay, went back on Tuesday and got there about 9.30 and plenty of spaces, but by lunchtime it was heaving, very difficult to social distance, St Ives was worse the day we went, despite huge banners across the main streets asking people to keep left most people ignored them, and Perranporth just looked the same as usual on the beach,Hayle beach was lovely on a sunny day, so much space for everybody. We survived Storm Francis, did it's best to blow the awning down,and although it bent (AIR) it was fine again the next day.Met lots of nice people and business owners we spoke to were mainly optimistic,they had made a big effort to welcome visitors, and the places we ate in had all got sanitising measures in place, one of the best was a small cafe , and on each table was a notice green side said table was sanitised and ready, when you left you turned it over showing red side, meaning do not sit here until sanitised, also showed staff table needed sanitising.we stopped in Exeter services on way down, plenty of space for caravans, and good one way sytem in and out of main building.
 
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Reactions: CustardAvenger
Nov 16, 2015
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Haven't been out since September, but brought the van home for a clean down and check over, good to have her on the tow bar again, but as to putting the jockey wheel down on a lunch stop , I never do that "why would you" . Its like setting up in a layby with a table and chairs for lunch, I am British not French, 1/2 hour stop not 2 hours, lets get to the site. And enjoy our time there.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Haven't been out since September, but brought the van home for a clean down and check over, good to have her on the tow bar again, but as to putting the jockey wheel down on a lunch stop , I never do that "why would you" . Its like setting up in a layby with a table and chairs for lunch, I am British not French, 1/2 hour stop not 2 hours, lets get to the site. And enjoy our time there.
I just put the steadies down. Which is “ unforgivable”. Once had lunch in a lay by with a unit of Lancers en route to Southampton with their heavy kit to test the rapid reinforcement of Europe. You wouldn’t believe what came out, everything bar the mess silver I think.
 
May 7, 2012
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I will be generous and put down most of the law breaking to new comers who have not yet understood the rules that apply. Not good though and if it continues perhaps the police will take notice.
 
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Reactions: Buckman
Feb 23, 2018
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My point about the dropping the Jockey Wheel was about damaging the car; 2 adults sat in the front of their caravan must add a considerable static load to the rear of the car. It took seconds to drop the wheel to release the weight from back of the car, which in addition the steady under the rear corner (where the toilet it) was my routine at the services for using the washroom.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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My point about the dropping the Jockey Wheel was about damaging the car; 2 adults sat in the front of their caravan must add a considerable static load to the rear of the car. It took seconds to drop the wheel to release the weight from back of the car, which in addition the steady under the rear corner (where the toilet it) was my routine at the services for using the washroom.
We never stop in a laybye or services long enough to worry about that. Just long enough to use the caravan toilet and to take the dogs for a walk. We have seen on many occasions people sitting inside their caravans having lunch, but have never noticed if their jockey wheels are up or down. That is their perogative and woudl not worry us either way. :D
 
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Reactions: Hutch
Jan 31, 2018
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And we need to remember that car speedos aren't accurate. If he was doing an indicated 65on the speedo sat nab may more accurately tell you its probablymuch nearer 60. But dont forget if you're on a hill satnav speed isn't accurate.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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And we need to remember that car speedos aren't accurate. If he was doing an indicated 65on the speedo sat nab may more accurately tell you its probablymuch nearer 60. But dont forget if you're on a hill satnav speed isn't accurate.
I go with the Satnav reading when towing and sit at 58mph which on the actual speedo is a smidgen above 60mph. I have noticed that if switching to km the speedo is spot on.
 
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Reactions: JezzerB
Aug 24, 2020
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I will be generous and put down most of the law breaking to new comers who have not yet understood the rules that apply.
Not just the rules (e.g. different speed limits for towing), but the guidance as well (e.g. correct nose weights, correct attachment of the breakaway cable etc).

The trouble is, if no-one has got hold of these guys at the at the start of their caravanning career, to encourage them to find out the things they need to know, then it becomes more and more likely that no-one will. If someone starts caravanning and doesn't see the need to research to find out if there are things they need to know - things they haven't even thought of - then after their first trip, when nothing has gone wrong, that opinion is re-inforced. And more so after each subsequent trip.
 
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Reactions: Brasso530
Jan 3, 2012
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We're currently in Cornwall at St Ives.
We've avoided the town so far because its quite crowded and this site (Polmanter) is full but with good social distancing in the bar and all buildings.
We're on a fully serviced pitch so we use our own facilities during the pandemic.
Saw plenty of caravans and motorhomes on the way down here.
Hi Parksy I hope that this break is all you are hoping for with plenty of rest and relaxation. allowing for all the restraints due to the pandemic.
 
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Reactions: Parksy

PTA

Mar 5, 2020
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I find "holier than thou" posts really irritating.
I often tow my Buccaneer behind my Focus at 80 mph in the third lane. I never hear any complaints. In fact, judging by the number of flashing headlights and horns tooting in appreciation, people admire my prowess....and quite right.
Anyway, must dash. Some people in blue are knocking on the door.
 

Parksy

Moderator
Nov 12, 2009
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Hi Parksy I hope that this break is all you are hoping for with plenty of rest and relaxation. allowing for all the restraints due to the pandemic.
Thanks Beachball, we're having a lovely holiday.
St Ives looks to be crowded during the day so we've stayed away until early evening to walk around there, and the site here has a good social distancing regime.
Another week to go with a good weather forecast for the weekend and early next week, so we'll be relaxing in a quiet spot and getting some of the sunshine and fresh air that we've been missing during 6 months lockdown.
 
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Jun 20, 2005
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Spot on Custard. Both my local dealers have virtually zero used caravans for sale. New ones have long lead in times.
Strange very few newcomers have been on here or the other caravan forums?
Last time away was March at Poston Mill. Hopefully we will enjoy a less crowded Waterrow Woosiefest in October.
Sooner or later the speedsters will be caught out one way or the other. Let’s hope there is no loss of life.
Good to hear Parksy is enjoying Polmanter. There’s even a local pub just outside the ground for a reasonable pint🍺🍺
 
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Reactions: Parksy
Nov 11, 2009
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Spot on Custard. Both my local dealers have virtually zero used caravans for sale. New ones have long lead in times.
Strange very few newcomers have been on here or the other caravan forums?
Last time away was March at Poston Mill. Hopefully we will enjoy a less crowded Waterrow Woosiefest in October.
Sooner or later the speedsters will be caught out one way or the other. Let’s hope there is no loss of life.
Good to hear Parksy is enjoying Polmanter. There’s even a local pub just outside the ground for a reasonable pint🍺🍺
If you have a dash cam there is a portal that you can use to submit footage of dangerous driving actions.
Forget the current web address but seem to think it used to be “ stasi@uk.gov. 😂
Probably now joined with “raves@uk.gov
 

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