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Viewing entries posted in June 2013

Staying Upright

Posted by Sharon Eason on 3 June 2013 | 0 Comments

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Ready for the off?

Once more onto my high horse, dear friends, once more. 

We have been out and about over the past couple of weeks, covering more miles than I care to add up, and have seen far too many caravan incidents on the roads.  It all started about a fortnight ago, when a caravan travelling in the middle lane lost its outside tyre in a spectacular shower of rubber and plastic - a lovely shade of blue from the wheel arch, I think.  Thankfully the lorry in the inside lane noticed that there was a problem, moved towards the middle lane and very professionally slowed the traffic giving the caravan a chance to get to the hard shoulder. 

Then on Friday this week, travelling towards the East Coast, we saw another caravan with its offside wheel being replaced, a motorhome with a rear wheel removed and a lop-sided horsebox again caused by tyre problems.  To top it all, yesterday afternoon, on the M1 around Junction 29 was that sight you never, ever want to see - a new looking caravan on its side and a tailback of some five miles or more.

What brought this all home to me was the result of our annual service - yes, we had tyre problems and we would never have known without the help of James from Charnwood Caravans.  The problem was cracking, deep in the tread of the nearside tyre, which, needless to say was hastily replaced. 

The same problem was found last year in the offside tyre, so perhaps we should be asking if this is a common problem, or if there was an issue with a particular batch of tyres fitted to Bailey caravans which left the factory in May 2010.  This fault is just about impossible to see unless the tyre is removed from the caravan.

We spend a lot of weekends in our caravan, either at food and drink events or caravan related events.  We drive thousands of miles each year pulling the caravan behind us, so perhaps we are more aware of the need to ensure that the caravan is properly serviced each and every year - even when it is used throughout the winter and summer months.

Your life depends on the correct and safe operation of your caravan.  That does not mean just the tyres and running gear, but also the inside.  A proper service will include safety checks on all your gas and electrical equipment, to ensure that your caravan is free from problems.

I had my fingers metaphorically rapped last week.  I had taken the battery out of the smoke alarm as it was flat, and had intended to buy another.  To be fair, I did buy another, but had not got as far as fitting it into the smoke alarm (it was still in my handbag) by the time James did his service.  He not only picked up the problem, but recorded the fact on his report sheet, where my stupidity will be recorded for posterity.  The new battery is now correctly fitted, but it goes to show how easy it is to forget something so simple as replacing a flat battery.

So, as the sun comes out and the children finish school for their long holidays, make sure your outfit is properly and professionally serviced, then double check that your alarms are working.  The life you save could be your own - or your child's.

Enjoy the summer!!

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