What's your "must have" gadget while on the road?

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Jul 5, 2020
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An hydraulic jack especially for the caravan
and in the event of a breakdown, damage sustained during a thunderstorm or accident on the route
- an empty travel bag
- 2 lashing straps
- a plastic shee
 
Jul 18, 2017
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An hydraulic jack especially for the caravan
and in the event of a breakdown, damage sustained during a thunderstorm or accident on the route
- an empty travel bag
- 2 lashing straps
- a plastic shee
We use Mayday so no need to any jack.
 
Mar 14, 2005
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lutzschelisch.wix.com
Torque wrench.
Lock n Level.
Travel journal (maintained by my wife as I haven't the patience).
Decent camera.
Reversed Polarity extension for power cable (if going abroad).
Mosquito/midge spray/deterrent.
Hand sanitiser and surface wipes/disposable gloves/facemasks.
"Pocketalk" electronic translator.
Ant powder (we once had an ant invasion which resulted in our food being absolutely covered in the little blighters-never again!).
Interesting.

I have none of the above, hand sanitiser and facemasks excepted at the moment, and don't miss any of them.
 
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Feb 23, 2018
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Interesting.

I have none of the above, hand sanitiser and facemasks excepted at the moment, and don't miss any of them.
I know the Torque Wrench has been a contentious issue "why check if the wheel hasn't been off?", but in my own experience with my current caravan (Cottingham's finest) the wheel bolts have worked loose between towing... which means I have to check every time I hitch the caravan as part of my towing safety/sanity check or due diligence whatever you want to call it, for my own peace.

As a rule I try to reduce the amount of items I take to what I will need for a trip, as I remember I have to pay to haul all that stuff.
 
Mar 14, 2005
8,990
109
30,735
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I know the Torque Wrench has been a contentious issue "why check if the wheel hasn't been off?", but in my own experience with my current caravan (Cottingham's finest) the wheel bolts have worked loose between towing... which means I have to check every time I hitch the caravan as part of my towing safety/sanity check or due diligence whatever you want to call it, for my own peace.

As a rule I try to reduce the amount of items I take to what I will need for a trip, as I remember I have to pay to haul all that stuff.
Something must be inherently wrong with the fastener design if bolts loosen between towing. No-one would think of checking the wheel torques on the car except after a wheel change, so why is it necessary on a caravan? I have towed for 30 years and never had cause to re-torque bolts more than once after a wheel change.
I get the impression that wheels are being used that are incompatible with the bolts, either because the owner replaced steel wheels with unsuitable alloy wheels or the manufacturer didn't co-ordinate the design of the wheels that he uses with the chassis manufacturer.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Something must be inherently wrong with the fastener design if bolts loosen between towing. No-one would think of checking the wheel torques on the car except after a wheel change, so why is it necessary on a caravan? I have towed for 30 years and never had cause to re-torque bolts more than once after a wheel change.
I get the impression that wheels are being used that are incompatible with the bolts, either because the owner replaced steel wheels with unsuitable alloy wheels or the manufacturer didn't co-ordinate the design of the wheels that he uses with the chassis manufacturer.
Agreed, but its stated in the Owner Manuals and on the service sheets as you take the van back from the workshop. Bizarre I know.
 

PTA

Mar 5, 2020
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I do it because my dealer tells me to (after a service). I'm a very obedient person. ;) Also, the wrench has come in useful when assisting a French caravanner who had a caravan tyre blowout.
The journal is my wife's obsession.
The camera is taken because I enjoy photography.
Reverse polarity cable is just a habit really.
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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Agreed, but its stated in the Owner Manuals and on the service sheets as you take the van back from the workshop. Bizarre I know.
I doubt very much if a dealer would have a leg to stand on should it be challenged as after all you have paid for a service which includes the dealer doing the wheel nuts.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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I doubt very much if a dealer would have a leg to stand on should it be challenged as after all you have paid for a service which includes the dealer doing the wheel nuts.
The service shops that I’ve used have been quite meticulous in showing to me the torquing if the wheel nuts with the torque wrench set at the specified level. One a Swift dealer had customers sign that they had witnessed the procedure. The service invoice had a recommendation that the wheel torques be rechecked at 25 miles. Which puts me in a lay by on the A36 north of Warminster.

My current mobile AWS who also has a workshop asked me to view him tightening them up.

I don’t quite understand your comment wrt “ challenged” as the Swift owners handbook recommends rechecking torque after driving a number of miles from the initial torquing following wheel replacement. How exactly could one challenge a dealer if a wheel fell off after say 25 miles? Even if the other wheel was under tight can you categorically prove negligence?

My local tyre shop uses a witness technician to check whilst being torqued up and also their invoice advises 50 miles for car wheels to be rechecked. But I don’t do them again after that unless they have been removed for any reason.

I think it’s all a case of exercising some sense of perspective otherwise we all become paranoid about the risk of detachment, when in reality very few are unfortunate to suffer such a failure.
 
Mar 17, 2020
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The indicators may give you some peace of mind when it comes to wheel security.

Sadly the reverse polarity cable thingy many of us make is not infrequently required when in Europe so always travels with us.

A dirty, smelly, covered in oil gas BBQ. (Not yet graduated to the sterile world of the Cadac)

And a Garmin Sat Nav which contains routes I will follow when towing.

For anyone interested these are created using "Tyre" (free), saved to my computer as .gpx files but could equally be saved as TomTom files, loaded into "Basecamp" (free) then exported to my Garmin. Careful attention to the placement of waypoints and checking that Basecamp has created the exact route (easy to amend if it needs tweaking) ensures accuracy. Basecamp used exactly the same map as my Garmin.

If during a journey I am forced to leave a route (road works etc) then a simple task to tell the Garmin to ignore subsequent waypoints until I will be back on my planned route.

And NO, NO, NO I do NOT use a dedicated SatNav. Now here's another topic so I'll resist saying more.

Routes towed last 5 years here in Basecamp. Nothing related to SatNavs is 100% trustworthy but planning your own routes gets very very close. europe.jpgwheel nut.jpgeurope.jpg
 
Mar 14, 2005
8,990
109
30,735
lutzschelisch.wix.com
Sadly the reverse polarity cable thingy many of us make is not infrequently required when in Europe so always travels with us.
Only makes sense with caravans not fitted with dual pole MCB. Otherwise there's no point. Continental caravans always have dual pole MCB because their plugs are reversible, so it doesn't matter which way round they're connected.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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I don’t quite understand your comment wrt “ challenged” as the Swift owners handbook recommends rechecking torque after driving a number of miles from the initial torquing following wheel replacement. How exactly could one challenge a dealer if a wheel fell off after say 25 miles? Even if the other wheel was under tight can you categorically prove negligence?
Nowhere in CRA 2015 does it state that the consumer should do work to complete a contract. I am sure that there is probably other legislation that may be con the side of the consumer. TBH wheels should not come off at all if they were torqued during a service aqs it does not happen with motor vehicles.
 
Jul 18, 2017
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And NO, NO, NO I do NOT use a dedicated SatNav. Now here's another topic so I'll resist saying more.
We prefer the dedicated Satnav as we are able to input weights, width, height and length and avoid any nasty surprises. Plus of course you get traffic updates and can then choose and alternative route. :D
 
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We prefer the dedicated Satnav as we are able to input weights, width, height and length and avoid any nasty surprises. Plus of course you get traffic updates and can then choose and alternative route. :D
Just a couple of things to bear in mind then.
1. The SatNav can only know what is on its map. It reads information that is embedded in the map it is using.
2. The map will certainly have data relating to low bridges, weight restrictions and the like so yes, the SatNav should avoid such difficulties and it will.
3. The SatNav will create a route based on the input data and your chosen method of routing - fastest, shortest etc. What it can't and won't do is avoid anything that is not part of the map data it is reading. It simply does not know anything other than what is on its map.

Question. Do you know of a narrow lane, unrestricted and not the sort of road you would wish to tow along? I can think of many.
Question. Why would your SatNav not route you down this lane if it seemed to "cut a corner " when the lane has no restrictions at all such as bridges etc? In some cases, I can think of many, your "safe" route might well be along wide roads but in a speed restricted area. The lane that "cuts the corner" is known by the SatNav as de-restricted so not only a shorter route but also a faster route. So it takes you down it.

I know you may never have had "nasty surprises", many will say the same. But I have a healthy mistrust of all SatNavs and would never entirely trust one myself.

So far as traffic updates are concerned then yes, of course your SatNav may suggest an alternative route but the points made above still apply to this new route.

Happy and safe towing to all of us!
 
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Jul 18, 2017
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Question. Do you know of a narrow lane, unrestricted and not the sort of road you would wish to tow along? I can think of many.
Question. Why would your SatNav not route you down this lane if it seemed to "cut a corner " when the lane has no restrictions at all such as bridges etc? In some cases, I can think of many, your "safe" route might well be along wide roads but in a speed restricted area. The lane that "cuts the corner" is known by the SatNav as de-restricted so not only a shorter route but also a faster route. So it takes you down it.

Happy and safe towing to all of us!
That is why it needs the dimensions of your outfit to avoid narrow roads etc unless it is a narrow road leading to the CL, CS or site. Then you do not have much option. Satnav may not be perfect, but neither is a map and a human being. :ROFLMAO:
 
Mar 17, 2020
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That is why it needs the dimensions of your outfit to avoid narrow roads etc unless it is a narrow road leading to the CL, CS or site. Then you do not have much option. Satnav may not be perfect, but neither is a map and a human being. :ROFLMAO:
Yes That's what I said I think. The narrow roads will be avoided - PROVIDED THE MAP INCLUDES THAT SPECIFIC INFORMATION.

I am simply pointing out that there are countless "narrow" roads that have de-restricted signs and "seem", to a dumb machine, to be preferable because they are not marked on any map as narrow.

Do you know of any roads that are narrow and unsuitable and there's a sign indicating that and therefore embedded in the map? I know of weight restricted roads, not suitable for HGV etc but simply because a road in windy and narrow doesn't mean it's "marked" as that on a map. When is a road narrow, who says so? What are the facts (dimensions) to designate, and map, a road as narrow?

lane.jpg

Here's an example. Main road is a 30mph limit. Lane is de-restricted and will "cut the corner". You can see an approaching van. No room to pass with motor home or caravan.

Why should a SatNav route you away from this lane. It's apparently a faster and a shorter route. Most of us would be happy to travel at 30 mph on the "main" road I would imagine.

The big difference between a human being and a SatNav is one can think and apply common sense, the other can't.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Nowhere in CRA 2015 does it state that the consumer should do work to complete a contract. I am sure that there is probably other legislation that may be con the side of the consumer. TBH wheels should not come off at all if they were torqued during a service aqs it does not happen with motor vehicles.
My car tyre depot invoice says check torque after a mileage or bring it back for retorque.

For caravans it’s nothing to do with CRA 2015 it’s deemed a prudent additional measure. It’s personal choice I guess. So you don’t bother, or do you take it back to have them complete the service contract?
 
Nov 11, 2009
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The indicators may give you some peace of mind when it comes to wheel security.

Sadly the reverse polarity cable thingy many of us make is not infrequently required when in Europe so always travels with us.

A dirty, smelly, covered in oil gas BBQ. (Not yet graduated to the sterile world of the Cadac)

And a Garmin Sat Nav which contains routes I will follow when towing.

For anyone interested these are created using "Tyre" (free), saved to my computer as .gpx files but could equally be saved as TomTom files, loaded into "Basecamp" (free) then exported to my Garmin. Careful attention to the placement of waypoints and checking that Basecamp has created the exact route (easy to amend if it needs tweaking) ensures accuracy. Basecamp used exactly the same map as my Garmin.

If during a journey I am forced to leave a route (road works etc) then a simple task to tell the Garmin to ignore subsequent waypoints until I will be back on my planned route.

And NO, NO, NO I do NOT use a dedicated SatNav. Now here's another topic so I'll resist saying more.

Routes towed last 5 years here in Basecamp. Nothing related to SatNavs is 100% trustworthy but planning your own routes gets very very close. View attachment 617View attachment 613View attachment 617
I do the same as you with my Garmin as Basecamp and it's predecessor allowed pre programming the route using a PC. Your point about accurate waypoints reminds me that once I inadvertently put a way point in a northbound carriageway in France when in fact the route was all southbound. The poor old Garmin desperately tried to reroute me but I overode and continued.

When I first had a satnav I set it to shortest route. Gosh I’ve never been through the Center if so many villages and even little back lanes in Burford when travelling to the Midlands. Lesson learnt 🤞
 
Nov 11, 2009
8,255
822
30,935
The indicators may give you some peace of mind when it comes to wheel security.

Sadly the reverse polarity cable thingy many of us make is not infrequently required when in Europe so always travels with us.

A dirty, smelly, covered in oil gas BBQ. (Not yet graduated to the sterile world of the Cadac)

And a Garmin Sat Nav which contains routes I will follow when towing.

For anyone interested these are created using "Tyre" (free), saved to my computer as .gpx files but could equally be saved as TomTom files, loaded into "Basecamp" (free) then exported to my Garmin. Careful attention to the placement of waypoints and checking that Basecamp has created the exact route (easy to amend if it needs tweaking) ensures accuracy. Basecamp used exactly the same map as my Garmin.

If during a journey I am forced to leave a route (road works etc) then a simple task to tell the Garmin to ignore subsequent waypoints until I will be back on my planned route.

And NO, NO, NO I do NOT use a dedicated SatNav. Now here's another topic so I'll resist saying more.

Routes towed last 5 years here in Basecamp. Nothing related to SatNavs is 100% trustworthy but planning your own routes gets very very close. View attachment 617View attachment 613View attachment 617
From their website it seems Tyre route planner only works with Windows not MAC OSX unless you download an emulator programme which had to be 64 bit if MAC is running Catalina. Must spend some time looking at it but it certainly looks a useful program.
 
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Be sure to download the basic Tyre - free one. You will need a Google Maps API which again costs nothing. And yes - about the Mac version.

From their website it seems Tyre route planner only works with Windows not MAC OSX unless you download an emulator programme which had to be 64 bit if MAC is running Catalina. Must spend some time looking at it but it certainly looks a useful program.
Glad I've found another Basecamp user. I moved to Garmin when TomTom dumbed down its stuff - no itinerary facility. Never looked back.
 
Nov 11, 2009
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Be sure to download the basic Tyre - free one. You will need a Google Maps API which again costs nothing. And yes - about the Mac version.



Glad I've found another Basecamp user. I moved to Garmin when TomTom dumbed down its stuff - no itinerary facility. Never looked back.
I bought my first Garmin because it was possible to pre program routes via my PC. Friends expressed some surprise and commented “ doesn’t that defeat the purpose of a satnav?” But it worked for me basically a talking and visual alternative to maps. Although maps and Google print outs are still carried as well as downloaded to phones. I sometimes wonder how many years ago we took the kids to Europe with only a set of written route cards and Michelin maps 😀
 

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