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About Gordon

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    Four Winds Hurricane RV
  1. 20th February 2018 11,502 visitors flock to opening day of the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show 2018 The Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show 2018, the UK’s largest showcase of leisure vehicles, tents and camping accessories is officially open. Taking over five halls of Birmingham’s NEC from today until Sunday 25 February, over 370 exhibitors join under one roof. Officially opening the event and welcoming over 11,500 visitors, wildlife presenter Gordon Buchanan was joined on stage by Matt Allwright and famed chef Paul Da Costa Greaves. Following the opening, the winner of a new Hillside Leisure VW campervan, courtesy of the show, was presented with the keys to her new home-from-home. Swift’s new 8-ft wide Sprite Super caravan is displayed, while Lunar presents its first ever campervan in conjunction with Wellhouse Leisure. Other unveilings taking place throughout the show include new season camping equipment and accessories from Kampa as well as motorhome launches from Cathargo. As the show’s free activities get underway, guests brush up on their skills with campervan test driving, motorhome manoeuvring and caravan towing taster sessions, so bring your driving licence with you. Activities for the children include a climbing wall, assault course, bushcraft workshops and skate rink, which are available throughout the week. Joining the Discovery Theatre line-up over the show’s duration are appearances from adventurous celebrities including Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Anna McNuff and Jake Tyler, along with cookery demonstrations from top chefs such as Rustie Lee, Dean Edwards and Chris Bavin. Speaking about the show, Jenny Summers, Group Marketing Director of the NCC (National Caravan Council) commented: “It’s been a fantastic first day. Not only have we welcomed existing enthusiasts, but also many newcomers who have enjoyed researching more about the leisure vehicle lifestyle. Visitors have really embraced both the activities and live entertainment and we look forward to seeing more faces, both old and new over the next five days.” Tickets for the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show are available now from www.ccmshow.co.uk, by phone on 0844 873 7333, or on the door at the NEC. With numerous activities and an impressive celebrity schedule, there’s plenty for all ages to enjoy and children 15 and under enter free when accompanied by a paying Adult/Senior. Tickets are non-refundable. ENDS
  2. NEWS RELEASE For immediate release: 17 January 2018 UK set to be 2018’s most popular holiday destination as British travellers rediscover the delights of a holiday at home Recent research by travel trade association ABTA* has revealed the UK is set to be British holidaymakers’ destination of choice in 2018, as 66% of the British population are already planning time away closer to home. Europe follows a close second with 63% planning to visit and 14% look to travel to North America. 2017 was a popular year for UK breaks, with British adults taking an average of 2.1 UK holidays: up on the previous year. Families with children aged five and over enjoyed 2.7 UK breaks and adults aged 35 to 44 ventured on 2.5 domestic vacations.* Research indicates that British spending on holidays will also increase, as a significant 31% are putting aside more money for their vacations in 2018. 47% are hoping to spend the same and just 14% plan to spend less.* Fresh figures from The Camping and Caravanning Club^ suggest the trend is already underway, reporting a 10% increase in bookings across its 106 club campsites for the 2018 season year-to-date versus 2017. The Caravan and Motorhome Club also supports the forecast+, announcing that 2017 was the best-ever year for tent camping, with a 13% increase compared to 2016 and its best-ever figures currently for winter camping. Leisure vehicle holidays were also up in 2017 with the club reporting an 11% growth in pitch nights over 2016 and a record November for touring caravan, motorhome and campervan stays. Commenting on the rise of UK holidaying, Jenny Summers, Group Marketing Director of the NCC (National Caravan Council), the UK’s trade body for the tourer, motorhome and caravan holiday home industries said: “Sales of both motorhomes and caravans were up in 2017, with motorhome registrations rising by 14.9% and tourer factory dispatches to dealers increasing by 8.7%. This clearly demonstrates the continuing popularity of using a leisure vehicle to explore the UK and beyond.” The growth of the British tourism industry augurs well for the NCC’s next event in February, the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show 2018. A record-breaking 101,583 visitors attended its sister-show in October last year. Taking place at Birmingham’s NEC between 20 and 25 February, the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show 2018 brings together over 370 exhibitors and is the UK’s largest showcase of caravans, campervans, motorhomes, caravan holiday homes and lodges as well as new season tents, trailer tents and folding caravans. The family-friendly event features a variety of holiday destinations and trip options. Show sponsor Freedom to Go is on hand to help visitors plan their next adventure and the leisure vehicle industry’s two largest clubs, The Camping and Caravanning Club and Caravan and Motorhome Club also provide advice and inspiration for all. Tickets for the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show 2018 are now available at www.ccmshow.co.uk and by phone on 0844 873 7333. Advance prices start from £7.00**, with children 15 and under entering free. ENDS
  3. Hi from Swindon 😊

    As usual the forums have been a bit quiet over the Christmas period but we're all here to help where we can. Welcome to Motorhome Talk. Gordon
  4. Winter Blues

    Had a warm Christmas / New Year period but like you it was a tad cooler just before. Here's a picture of the village chapel when it snowed in December.
  5. 2017 Blog

    Thanks for the reminder of the places you have been to David. It' always good to read your reports and reviews. Gordon.
  6. NEWS RELEASE For immediate release: December 2017 Sir Ranulph Fiennes to open the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show 2018 Returning to Birmingham’s NEC from 20 to 25 February 2018, the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show showcases the latest in leisure vehicles, camping, caravan holiday homes and lodges, as well as all the must-have accessories. For 2018 the show focuses on encouraging all ages to spend ‘24 hours outdoors’, a campaign which is supported by the world’s greatest living explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes. Opening the show, Sir Ranulph shares stories of his worldwide adventures including being the first to cross both the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans alongside Charles Burton. He also highlights the importance of enjoying time outside and the benefits it has on overall health and wellbeing. Also fronting the campaign is female adventurer Anna McNuff, who actively encourages women to invest in more time outdoors, whether spending an evening overnight in the garden or travelling further afield for the adventure of a lifetime. With Britons enjoying a record 14.4 million staycations from January to April 2017*, the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show reflects the growing appeal of camping and caravanning holidays. The Discovery Theatre will host live cookery demonstrations including Birmingham-born cook Rustie Lee, resident TV-chef Dean Edwards and Eat Well For Less’ Chris Bavin creating an array of outdoor cooking delights. Industry experts provide advice for visitors, whilst TV presenter Rowland Rivron entertains with stories of his numerous family caravanning adventures. Chelsea Ladies FC captain Katie Chapman will also appear, providing tips on how to get fit and make the most of the great outdoors. New-for-2018 feature areas include a skate rink and an inspiring Holiday Park Experience, which is home to the show’s glamping village. Visitors are encouraged to try their hand at motorhome manoeuvring, campervan test driving and caravan towing. As the UK’s biggest showcase of caravans, campervans, motorhomes, caravan holiday homes and lodges as well as new season tents, trailer tents and folding caravans, the family-friendly event brings more than 370 exhibitor stands together, under one roof. Tickets for the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show 2018 are now available at www.ccmshow.co.uk and by phone on 0844 873 7333. Advance prices start from £7.00, with children 15 and under entering FREE. ENDS
  7. Once again we are pleased to be able to offer 20 pairs of free tickets to our members. This time to the Caravan, Camping and Motorhome Show at the NEC from 20th to 25th February 2018 Just reply in this thread and tell us in one line what you would most like to see at this year's NEC Show and we will choose those that in our opinion are the most deserving entries. The competition is also being run on our sister site "Caravan Talk" and will close on both sites at midnight on 30th January 2018. The lucky winners will be announced shortly after. Our decision will be final and no corrispondence will be entered to. Alongside the complimentary tickets we have also set up a marketing code for promotion on Caravan Talk. The code is CTALK and will allow users to book at the discounted rate of £6.50 seniors (over 60’s), £7.50 adults. We will also use this code on the banners. CLICK HERE or call 08448 737 333 to book tickets now. See the NCC website for further details of the show. Here are the accompanying T&C’s :- £6.50 Senior (over 60s), £7.50 Adult when booking before 23.59hrs 19/02/18 after which time prices revert to the on-the-door price of £9 Senior and £10 Adult. A £1.25 transaction fee applies. Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge. Car parking is included in the ticket price. No dogs (except assistance dogs). Children 15 years and under go free when accompanied by a paying Adult/Senior. Tickets are non-refundable. Free show guides and towing & manoeuvring tuition are subject to availability.
  8. We would normally be away every few weeks throughout the year, and especially enjoy the Christmas / New Year period as a good chance to get away from all of the over commercialisation. Unfortunately illness has got in the way this year so instead, I am fighting the DVLA to get my driving licence back and have the privilege of an in law visit to look forward to. Gordon.
  9. Tour of Wales

    Thanks David. I'm sure many will find your post useful. Gordon.
  10. Routes to Greece

    I have heard this too Brian. Also there is a distinct lack of of street lighting in many parts if driving after dark. Gordon
  11. Routes to Greece

    I had a friend who drove to Greece some years back, and his only advice as I recall was to avoid Albania. His daughter married a Greek and his other daughter married a Turk so in order to enter Turkey after Greece, I recall he had to obtain a second short passport and travel via Bulgaria otherwise entry would be blocked with a Greek stamp in his passport. Gordon.
  12. Split charge

    Hi Jezz, I am not familiar with the charging circuit of your motorhome but as I understand it there are at least three variations of circuit used for split charging. A simple make/break relay (Lucas 6RA relay?) can be energised from a 12Volt signal that is only present when the engine alternator is running, so it is driven from the "charge signal" wire on the alternator. Thus when the engine is running, the engine battery and the leisure battery are connected in parallel and share the available charge current. This system ensures that the leisure battery is isolated from the engine battery while the engine is cranking but is connected once the engine starts. It ids disconnected again when the engine stops, so the leisure battery can be used to power the equipment in the habitation section of the motorhome but will slowly discharge as used (unless topped up from an alternative source, such as from a 240V mains charger. An alternative system is to use a voltage sensing relay to monitor the engine battery volts. The VSR will close the contacts to connect the leisure battery in parallel with the engine battery at a pre-set engine battery voltage (typically 13.3Volts) and the contacts will open again if the engine battery volts drop below another pre-set voltage (typically 12.8V). This system gives charging priority to the engine battery and only charges the leisure battery once the charge used from the engine battery to start the engine has been replaced from the alternator. When the engine is stopped, the two batteries remain connected in parallel for a short time until the engine battery terminal volts drop below 12.8V, whereupon the relay opens and isolates the leisure battery. The ralay may be dual-sensing so that if the terminal volts of the leisure battery are raised by using an external charger, a charge can then also be passed back to the engine battery. Instead of an electro-mechanical relay, a third system relies upon a solid state diodes. This system allows current to flow in one direction only from a charging circuit to both batteries, but blocks current flow between the two batteries, thus preventing current taken from one battery from depleting the charge in the other. The disadvantage of this is that owing to the volt drop across the diodes, it may not be possible to achieve a full charge of the batteries from the alternator. I believe it is possible to update the alternator charge regulator circuit using after market equipment to overcome this but I have no experience of these systems. In addition our motorhome has an "Aux Start" switch that if held down, bypasses the split charge circuit and allows the three leisure batteries to be used in parallel to start the engine in an emergency, although I have never put this into use. I hope this is some help. Gordon. Aux-Start switch circled on the left, adjacent tot the mirror heater switch.
  13. Where to buy Propane in France

    The LPG refill point for our MH is behind a locker lid (although the locker has no base so air is free to circulate) and is part of the installed cylinder. I think the important things are that I do not (cannot) remove the cylinder from the vehicle for filling, and there is adequate free provision for any spilled gas to disperse. Gordon.
  14. Where to buy Propane in France

    I've never had a problem filling the LPG tank but be aware that there may be restrictive height or width barriers at some filling stations, also it may be necessary to reverse alongside the pump if your external filling point is on the "wrong" side. The Dutch Bayonet style is the standard UK fitting, and in my experience the most common adapter needed is the one used in France (this can be screwed finger tight directly into the UK fitting as needed). Remember to wear safety gloves when filling as LPG is very cold and can cause (cold) burns if it contacts the skin. Gordon.
  15. Need Advice

    As the brakes need to be operational on the trike while being towed I believe they would be illegal not only abroad but in the UK too. "Spectacle", "Jockey" or "Dolly" attachments used for towing I believe are only permitted for breakdown recovery in the UK - not general use. I came across the images below when looking for an answer for you and the titles say it all. Gordon