Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The weather again

Christmas in the post-War United StatesImage via WikipediaIf your heading to Derbyshire this weekend or even for Christmas then its worth checking the weather forecast. The BBC website has a good forecast section.

I have been trying a fairly new thing out in the snow - they are called snow socks and they fit over your tyres to give you grip. I have to say that they seem to be very good and they have kept me mobile in the snow and ice.

I've heard that the Chatsworth Caravan Club site has reopened after being closed due to the snow and exceptional cold. Well done to the team over there for looking after those few people that ended up stranded at the site.
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Friday, 3 December 2010


Navstar-2F satellite of the Global Positioning...Image via WikipediaAre you wondering what to buy for Christmas? Have you thought about a GPS tracker for your caravan or motorhome? I can supply and fit a really good model by SkyTag.

A tracker like this can help you recover your pride and joy and SkyTag have a very good recovery rate. Take a look at their web site and if your interested why not call me or drop me an e-mail.

The Skytag GPS tracking location service is designed to work in conjunction with a theft report and Police crime number from the owner.  Once this number is received Skytag personnel will activate the device and pass its location details on to the Police when found. The Police will also be provided with a login and password to view the online session display provided by your vehicle.

SKYTAG offer the very best product at the very best price, often the cost of protecting your motorhome or caravan  can be offset with discounts offered by insurers. SKYTAG provide a certificate for this purpose, you may even find that with the discounts negotiated, you can enjoy the security of SKYTAG Motorhome GPS tracking for just a few pounds a year.
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Thursday, 2 December 2010


Well its Thursday, its still snowing and I can't get out of the drive. Its been a very rough week weather wise and I know there are many people out there in their caravans and motorhomes. If your one of them keep warm.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

-15 centigrade overnight

A propane gas grill in the snow in Iceland.Image via WikipediaI have been to a local caravan club site to remove a damaged motormover. The wardens were busy trying to get water flowing in frozen taps. The temperature was down to -15 overnight and a lot of visitors were having water problems. Its worth draining down overnight, bring in your pump and leave the heating running.

Another customer asked me if I had a propane regulator as he was trying to use butane. Butane is no use in cold weather at all, it stops vapourising and just will not work when you get down to frosty conditions. Do yourself a favour and move over to propane

Yesterday was very frightening, even with a 4x4 I was sliding backwards on a slight incline. I had to head for the curb to stop sliding in to parked cars.
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Saturday, 27 November 2010


Well its -3 here in sunny Derbyshire. Two jobs done today, the first was a revisit to sort out a combi boiler in a motorhome and the second to remove a broken boiler drain plug. This morning went well but this afternoon the roads have become like a skating rink. It was very dangerous on the road and I was glad to get home.
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Tuesday, 23 November 2010

MCEA Quality Standard Audit.

Well I have just got home after my MCEA Quality Standard Audit. Its been a very tiring day but enjoyable. Its good to meet up with colleagues and learn from each other. A good day.
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Friday, 19 November 2010


I have just come back from a course at AlKo's UK base near Coventry, It was a really good course run by people that understand what engineers want and need. Great day thank you AlKo.

I was also nice to catch up with other MCEA engineers that I have been on courses with before. Its not very often that we get together so it was nice to catch up.
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Sunday, 14 November 2010

Damp van

Remembrance Sunday - crosses in church yardImage via Wikipedia
I went out this morning to check a caravan for some friends. The van was very tidy, great spec but a bit green - it needed a good wash. My first check in all of these cases is a damp check and low and behold it was damp, 60 to 80% in places and 30% in others. What looked like a good buy would have been a money pit so my friends had a narrow escape.

I was close to a large market town and it's Remembrance Sunday in the UK. It was good to see so many people taking part in acts of remembrance and to see a formation of aircraft overfly at 11 o'clock. It makes you think and be grateful to those that have died serving their country.
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Sunday, 7 November 2010


ApfelkuchenImage via WikipediaI have decided the reason that I enjoy this job so much is the people that I meet. Yesterday I went out to service a caravan on a customers driveway and met a really lovely couple who fed me tea every hour and even offered me a bacon sandwich. They were interesting to talk to and took an interest in what I was doing without getting under my feet. From there I went to see a customer who I have done a few bits and pieces for over the last year. I was there to winterise their caravan and show them what to do for next year. I got there to be offered apple cake and tea - its a hard life! Then off to a local camp site to collect a charger that I had leant to a customer, had a nice chat to the guy in reception, collected my charger and off home for a hot shower.. oh and did I say the sun shone all day long and its November. What a nice day.
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Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Travel around Derbyshire

Unofficial flag of Derbyshire. Image created b...I regularly get calls from people and they are very surprised that I travel out to my customers. If your in the Peak District, Chesterfield, Alfreton, Derby, Matlock, Ripley, Ambergate or Ashbourne then yes I come to you. Take a look at my web site and you will see a map of my coverage area.
Not only do I come out to service your caravan or motorhome but I will come out to you on site if something stops working or breaks. So if your holidaying in Derbyshire and something goes wrong then please ring me.
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Sunday, 31 October 2010

Electrical connector

I thought that you might like to see an electrical connector that I removed from a caravan this weekend. I took a call from a couple on a local campsite that could smell burning. This is what I discovered underneath the battery box. I really think that it must have been close to catching fire - a real worry.
Sent from my HTC
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Saturday, 30 October 2010

Make that four.

Charger for car batteries 12V/8AImage via WikipediaI'm now on four chargers/power supplies in a week, what on earth is going on??? I keep a spare charger in stock that can be used as a temporary repair for people on site whilst either I or their local engineer locates the right parts. I've been out to buy another spare one today.
I don't think I have changed more than a couple all year until this week.
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Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Battery Chargers

Old Battery ChargerImage by kiwinz via Flickr
Three days and three call outs to failed battery chargers. I have never had this number of call outs for the same thing so close together. I carry a temporary charger that I can connect whilst we order new parts or until the customer gets home. This week I needed more than one!!!

Its interesting just how many call outs I am getting. We have had half term spread over a few weeks so the camp sites around Derbyshire have been very busy. I guess the number of people and the cold weather means there is a lot of electrical equipment being used and putting strain on the caravan battery chargers.
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Sunday, 24 October 2010

Thank you Paul

A small camper car Austrian tourists at the Ka...Image via WikipediaI want to say thank you to a colleague of mine who pointed out that my blog was carrying adverts for some dubious services. I hope that I have managed to remove the offending material and return the blog to caravans and motorhomes which is what its supposed to be about.
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Saturday, 23 October 2010

Christmas is coming.

Christmas is well and truly on its way. So what do  you buy the caravaner or motorhomer that has everything? There are some good gifts in my shop which you can find at my website.
I would suggest the following -
 Any other suggestions would be warmly welcomed.
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Monday, 18 October 2010

Winter arrives in Derbyshire.

Unofficial flag of Derbyshire. Image created b...Image via Wikipedia
Well we have had our first frost of the year. On Sunday 17th October 2010 I had to scrape the car before heading for the NEC in Birmingham. So its official - winter has arrived in Derbyshire.
With the low temperatures you really need to think about getting your caravan and motorhome ready for winter. You should drain the water system, empty your boiler, leave the taps open, open the cupboards to prevent condensation and if you can leave a small oil filled radiator running then do so.
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Monday, 11 October 2010


I have been running my blog for sometime now and its frustrating how few people comment. Those people that have commented tend to want advice or prices. It would be much better if you left the blog for general comments and if you have technical or business questions to send me an e-mail. All of my contact information can be found at my web site.
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Saturday, 9 October 2010

International Caravan & Motorhome Show Birmingham

Its time for the Autumn International Caravan and Motorhome Show at the NEC in Birmingham. Once again the Mobile Caravan Engineers Association (MCEA) will be exhibiting at the NEC from the 12th to the 17th October 2010. I will be working on the MCEA stand on the 16th and 17th and would leave to see as many of you as possible. Look out for me and say hello and let me know that you read about the show on my blog. So if your interested in the MCEA and our servicing come along and see us in Birmingham.
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Saturday, 2 October 2010


az monsoon cloudsImage via WikipediaIts been a terrible week in the Peak District. The rain has been monsoon like at times. I have had to cancel jobs and re-arrange to try and work around the downpours. I'm sorry for the customers that have to wait as it was just too dangerous to work at times.

I have just finished servicing a five year old caravan that had been serviced before. However it was clear that the previous servicing had not - how shall I say it - been very comprehensive. It was hard work but after two visits it has been completed and I am now happy with it. I hope that my customer was happy too.

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Sunday, 26 September 2010

Busy, busy, busy.

What a busy week and its supposed to be the quiet period for caravan and motorhome servicing! Servicing might have have gone a bit quieter but repairs and call outs are keeping me very busy. I hope that it stays this way.
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Wednesday, 22 September 2010


stationnement camping-car (ARLES,FR13)Image by jean-louis zimmermann via Flickr
Its the end of September and Autumn is just around the corner. Now is actually a good time to have your motorhome or caravan serviced. You might think its a strange time but there are a number of advantages. Engineers aren't quite so busy, you can have the vehicle drained down and readied for winter at the same time and if something wrong is found then you have plenty of time to put it right before spring. So why not pick up the phone and service your vehicle over the winter.
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Sunday, 29 August 2010

Solar panel or generator

Solar_PanelImage via Wikipedia
If you follow the motorhome forums and to a lesser extent the caravan forums you will see this is an area of regular debate. Despite what some people will tell you there is no right or wrong answer.  Both have high set up costs. Solar can trickle charge your batteries for many hours a day. Generators provide much higher levels of power but are noisy. If its for emergency use then generators probably win. f you want to wild camp and live off grid then solar is probably better.

Chatsworth Motorhome & Caravan Servicing can supply both so if you want to discuss your options then give us a call or drop us an e-mail.
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Friday, 27 August 2010

Fitting bits and pieces

Airtel Digital TV Review [Updated]Image by code_martial via FlickrAs the children go back to school many people are looking to put their vans away for the winter. This is actually a good time to stock up on things that you really want in your motorhome or caravan.

Many people ask me about digital TV. We are now well in to the digital switchover and many people have found that their TV no longer works. Chatsworth Motorhome & Caravan Servicing can supply digital TV's, satellite systems, digital aerials, out door sockets to plug in to the bollards available at some sites and many other useful items. Please call to discuss your requirements and if you know what you want drop me an e-mail and I will get you a price.

I have also had a run on additional locks which make it much more difficult for people to open the caravan or motorhome habitation door. These really do improve security and they are relatively low cost.

So what are you waiting for drop me an e-mail and get a price for those things that you have been thinking about.
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Sunday, 22 August 2010

Storage Yards

Squeeze stile. On the Limestone Way, looking s...Image via Wikipedia
Yesterday I was working in a local storage site, one that I visit regularly with a good reputation and excellent security. We were discussing a raid on another local site by thieves. I don't publish its location on my website again for security. However if your in need of excellent storage facilities in Derbyshire then I can point you in the right direction.

A good storage site is a must for many people, some are much better than others. A cheap storage site in a barn isn't really safe enough these days, you need barriers, cameras and preferably some dogs about. You might have a caravan worth £20k or a motorhome worth  £30k so what is a few hundred pounds a year for good security.
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Saturday, 21 August 2010

Todays thoughts.

Raindrops falling on waterImage via Wikipedia
Will it ever stop raining? I need to go and reseal a couple of vans but the weather has been so bad its just not been possible to do the job. Sometimes you wish you had a workshop but then I guess my customers wouldn't want to tow to my premises! Oh well roll on the summer...

As we get towards the end of the season its time to think about servicing your van before putting it away for the winter - why wait until the spring when everyone else is trying to book an engineer for a service. Book it in during the autumn and winter and you will have a better chance of getting an engineer at a time that suits you.

Don't forget if you have got a question about caravans, motorhomes, camping, spares, satellite TV, solar panels etc. etc. then you can always contact me for advice.

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Saturday, 7 August 2010


Sign for Derbyshire Dales. M1 heading north, j...Image via Wikipedia
Unfortunately things sometimes go wrong with caravans and motorhomes and its good to know that there is someone out there to help you out. Chatsworth Motorhome & Caravan Servicing offers a full breakdown service (not for motorhome mechanical issues relating to the base vehicle).

This week I have been called out to a broken motor mover, two fridges, two leaking gas regulators and a few other smaller things. Sometimes these can be fixed on site or occasionally we have to make arrangements to have the problem put right when the customer gets home.
Derbyshire flag
If your going away you really should take with you the number of the MCEA National Breakdown service which is 0845 5192143. You will find this number and links to the MCEA web site on my own site at I also recommend that you take a few spares with you such as bulbs and fuses. You can find a selection of useful products on my web site.

If your coming to Derbyshire or North Nottinghamshire then remember my number 07918 121085 and if you have problems then please call me.
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Tuesday, 3 August 2010

An update from Chatsworth Motorhome & Caravan Servicing

To carry my tools and equipment I tow a trailer which is great for locking away when I have finished. What has become clear to me this year is that the terrain I work in really needs a 4x4. I have been thinking about it for a long time but now the time has come to buy. You really need something meaty with all of the farmers tracks we have to go down.  So next time you see me I will hopefully using a 4x4 to tow my trailer.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

A new shop on-line

Sign of camping to use in map's legend

Today is a big day for Chatsworth Motorhome & Caravan Servicing with the launch of our new on-line shop which is powered by Amazon. You can now buy accessories and spares direct from and just select the spares tab.

I hope that you find this uesful. Please let me know how you get on.
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Monday, 26 July 2010

I'm 300 miles away can you help?

Circuit breakersImage by Ravu al Hemio via Flickr

I had one of those heart stopping moments last week when a customer rings and says his electricity isn't working. The reason for my concern was that I had fitted a new MCB trip to his caravan a couple of weeks a go. Everyone automatically assumes that its due to the work and that can lead you up the garden path to an incorrect conclusion. Now under normal circumstances I would have made my way over to the caravan to do some problem solving but in this case the customer was 300 miles away.
A bit of questioning and testing by the customer identified the problem, no power from the bollard to the caravan and five minutes later he had power and calm returned.
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