Tuesday, 27 December 2011

2012 servicing

I hope that you all had a good Christmas, everyone is now thinking about the New Year. So while your thinking about booking holidays and losing weight spare some thought for your motorhome or caravan. Remember you have a legal obligation to make sure your leisure vehicle is safe. So why not book in your 2012 service now so that you aren't disappointed when you eventually think about it. Chatsworth Motorhome & Caravan Servicing will be offering Approved Workshop Scheme (AWS) servicing during 2012 which means we can service new vehicles without affecting your warranty.
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Sunday, 4 December 2011

Study, study and more study.

Its been a very busy few weeks as I go through the process to become an Approved Workshop. My van inspection went very well last week and I just have the final practical examination (C&G) to do. Wish me well.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Is your caravan or motorhome three years old or older?

Ekk electric cable
The National Caravan Council, British Standards and the MCEA all recommend that any Leisure Vehicle should have a Periodic Inspection (PIR) or Electrical Installation Condition Report (ECIR) after three years and then at appropriate intervals (probably every three years). You can see the details within BS 7671:2008 A1:2011 (the 17th edition of the IEE Wiring Regulations). The Caravan training organisation CITO also have a document covering this important safety area which is issued to engineers.

Any engineer wanting to offer this service has to be trained and must be able to prove competence in this area. Chatsworth Motorhome & Caravan Servicing is pleased to announce that they are now offering EICR testing and reporting.
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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Trusted Trader

Great news, Chatsworth Motorhome & Caravan Servicing is now a member of Derbyshire County Councils Trusted Trader scheme.
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Saturday, 22 October 2011

Charger in and around Matlock

In the last 24 hours I have replaced 4 battery chargers in caravans and motorhomes. They have all been within a few miles of Matlock and it seems very unusual.

Matlock had a major power outage last week and I don't know if is related.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Derbyshire Today

So here we are at the end of September. The temperature out there is 28'c and the sky is blue. So if your looking for somewhere to go this weekend then Derbyshire could be just the place. Get the van ready, call the many camp sites and get on over here - you will not be disappointed.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

September 2011

I just wanted to post a few observations from a recent trip to France.

Firstly when getting on and off a ferry you need to take it slowly and carefully. When the tide is out the ferry can be quite low and the ramps steep. I observed a number of caravans grounding and the owners didn't even seem aware - until they get home and spot the damage or missing weight spreading foot.

230v cables, you will probably need an adapter to allow you to plug in to the older power bollards that have the continental type sockets. All new installations across the EU have the modern blue connectors.

Water is scarce in southern Europe don't waste it.

Beam converters are needed on cars and motorhomes to stay legal.

Watch the speed limits, it might not always be obvious and often caravans and motorhomes have lower limits. If you get caught you might have to find the money there and then. If you get caught by a camera just because you are not in the UK doesn't mean that the fine will not turn up at your home.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Where do you work.

peak district england summerImage by Terry Waller via FlickrI am often asked how big the area is that I cover. I am happy to travel anywhere in Derbyshire and large areas of Nottinghamshire. This week has seen me in Alfreton, Matlock, Darley Bridge, Chesterfield, Buxton, Baslow, Tansley, Sheffield and Mansfield amongst other places.

The MCEA web site seems to indicate that I only cover the Peak District but this is not the case.

If you want your motorhome or caravan servicing then please give me a call or drop me an e-mail. Please remember that when I am servicing its not always possible to answer the phone. Please try later.

I also do repairs but for bodywork you really need a workshop and I am happy to recommend engineers that can help.

We specialise in call outs to get you going whilst on holiday. If your on a site and having problems then we can help.

So remember if you have a caravan or motorhome then you need to remember how to contact Chatsworth Motorhome & Caravan Servicing.

Call 07918 121085
e-mail info@chatsworth-service.co.uk

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Sunday, 14 August 2011

Look out for this stolen caravan

Stolen - any information please contatc the Police or Crimestoppers.
2007 Swift Charisma 590 twin axle.
Chassis number is SGDDT4ASW70325899
It is likely to have some panel damage to the near side as it collided with the gate on the way out so they may be looking to get it repaired.
distinguishing features:
The caravan has a 2 WD powertouch fitted
an added external power socket on the near side near the wheel arch.
Awning has LED's fitted and a reflective foil has been fitted to it.
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Yet another caravan fire

I think the title gives you a clue?


 I guess this is yet another reminder of how important a service is for your van.

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Caravan fire

You really can't take a risk with safety in caravans. Take a look at this newspaper story to see just how much damage can be caused. Shropshire Star.

If your unsure what to do then talk to your caravan or motorhome engineer. We can advise on gas checks, provide smoke alarms, fire extinguishers and service your van. from my own website you can purchase smoke alarms etc. or just ask me next time you see my van.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Electrical problems

Bakewell in Derbyshire - the Parish Church tak...Image via WikipediaI seem to be having a spate of electrical problems right now. I don't know why but chargers seem to be failing on a regular basis, its not a single brand or caravan company which is odd.

Its the Bakewell show this week and travel around North Derbyshire has been significantly affected. It has been excellent weather and this brought out the tourists in big numbers.
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Sunday, 17 July 2011

How the mighty fall

This might not have anything to do with caravans or motorhomes but having just watched the Head of the Metropolitan Police resign because of the News International bribery and phone hacking investigation it makes me realise that the truth will eventually come out. The establishments seems to have covered things up for years but people power, investigations by other newspapers and some politicians standing up to be counted the truth is eventually coming out.
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Sunday, 10 July 2011

What a nice day

It was very hot working in this field not far from Alfreton. It certainly makes working outside a pleasure.

Sent from my HTC

Sunday, 12 June 2011

I can smell gas

There are days when you come across things that make you wince. Look carefully and you will see a high pressure hose and a low pressure hose joined together.  You will also see two regulators.... When I opened the gas locker the smell of gas hit you straight away, another good reason to have your van serviced.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

How to find Chatsworth Motorhome & Caravan Servicing.

Thanks for the feedback on my previous article, you can find me at www.chatsworth-service.co.uk

Any questions please drop me an e-mail.
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How to find a caravan or motorhome engineer.

The Caravan ClubImage via WikipediaI have just returned from one of my favourite campsites - Chatsworth Caravan Club site. Its not just the site but the wardens that make this my favourite.

I was there on an electrical fault which was soon sorted out so that the customer could carry on with their holiday. Whilst I was there I was asked if I would travel to Leeds. I gave them the details of a colleague (CMS) who covers this area. This got me thinking why people struggle to find a mobile engineer in their area. Its worth looking at the MCEA web site and there you will find a selection of engineers from whom to pick.
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Thursday, 5 May 2011

Gas problems.

35Image by FastOlly via FlickrI often get call outs for people who say my fridge/heater has stopped working on gas. I always ask the customer if they can manage on gas and more often than not they say its not working on gas either. It usually turns out that they have never used the appliance on gas and that's usually the cause of it not working.

Please when you go away run everything on gas even if its only for 10 minutes. It just helps to keep the burners clean and it will identify any problems before you need to use the appliance in anger.
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Sunday, 1 May 2011

What a place to work.

Saturday 30th April 2011 and here I am working on a carvan in some of the best countryside that anyone could want to see. How lucky am I?

Sent from my HTC
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Saturday, 23 April 2011

Why have a service?

I don't think that I need to say anything except get your van serviced - http://www.thestar.co.uk/news/local/blown_to_bits_and_camper_van_owners_survives_1_3314774

Easter 2010

Matlock BathImage by Dave Pearson via FlickrThis is the traditional start of the caravanning year for many people. Having said that there is definitely a move to people using their vans in winter, this is probably due to better insulation and heating systems making both caravans and motorhomes very warm and cosy even in extreme cold conditions.

Its been a great start to the season with temperatures around 23c in sunny Derbyshire. It certainly brought the tourists out yesterday. The queue of traffic in to Matlock and Matlock Bath yesterday stretched for many miles.

Its been so busy with call outs that the local engineers can't cope. So if you need help and we can't get to you this weekend then I'm very sorry.
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Saturday, 16 April 2011


Derbyshire flagImage via WikipediaWorking in Derbyshire I find myself travelling through Chesterfield on a regular basis. I don't know what the councils have been doing but they seem to have decided to dig up and barricade the town centre this week. Two major roads have been dug up at the same time - why?

In a time of scarce resources new Police pull in area have sprung up in towns and villages around Derbyshire. I have yet to see a Police vehicle using one. How much money did these cost??
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Sunday, 10 April 2011

Spring time and caravans

Want a caravan?Image via WikipediaI say this every year but please check your caravan well in advance of going on your holidays. I have been taking call outs on a regular basis from people who have the van loaded and something fails to work. As caravan engineers we are busy servicing peoples caravans at this time of year so we can't always get to you very quickly.

I had an interesting call out to a failed motor mover. It had been fitted by a very big and well known dealer and the installation was shocking. Short battery leads, no fuses, crimps not crimped properly etc. etc.. Very disappointing but at least I get some business putting this poor installation right!

The other main problem at this time of year is obtaining stock. We can't carry everything and sometimes stock takes longer to arrive thanwe would like as things go out of stock at our suppliers due to demand. Your holiday could be ruined because we can't get spares? Please check your van a month before you go away.

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Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Leisure batteries

Car battery from Peugeot 405 after exploding. ...Image via WikipediaI am unsure why but I have fitted four leisure batteries in two weeks. This is unusual and I am trying to work out why. I wonder if its due to the extreme cold weather over winter?

Does anyone have any thoughts?
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Sunday, 13 March 2011

New Van

Well despite holding off as long as possible I have had to buy a new van. I am now the proud owner of a Renault Trafic and the job of fitting it out has now started.
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Sunday, 27 February 2011

NEC Show

Just back from the NEC in Birmingham. What a busy week we have had on the MCEA stand, we have been very busy with both new and regular customers. Its been very good to see so many engineers working together for the benefit of everyone in the organisation. See you next time.

Monday, 21 February 2011

February, the weather and the NEC

photograph of entrance 3 at the NEC, West Midl...Image via WikipediaI think that we all thought that the weather was heading for spring conditions, well this weekend has really proved how wrong we were. Saturday morning the ground was white over with snow, it then became very wet and cold. I was over with some caravan club wardens servicing their caravan. I got to know them quite well over at Chatsworth CC site and I visited their home to service their caravan before they head off for the summer season. It was great to see them again and I am want to wish them well at their next site.

Tomorrow sees the start of the Boat and Caravan Show at the Birmingham NEC. The MCEA will have its own stand once again in hall 5. Please come along and say hello.
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Saturday, 12 February 2011

Breaking down.

Unofficial flag of Derbyshire. Image created b... Being based in Derbyshire there are many camp sites around me. I provide a breakdown service and often find myself called out to the local sites to help a customer in distress.

Yesterday I had an electrical problem and a water pump failure. That's two call outs and I suppose that's typical for a Friday at this  time of year. Its probably the first weekend out for many campers and the winter problems are just becomingobvious.

It amazes just how many people go away without any money or a cheque book. You don't know what is going to happen when your away so it makes sense to take some emergency funding with you just in case something goes wrong.
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Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Becoming a caravan engineer

I have lost count of how many people have called or e-mailed me about this subject. Lets not make any mistakes its expensive, you need some kind of foundation course such as the one provided by the MCEA. There is then AcOPS Gas certification and numerous manufacturers courses to go on. Then you have to turn your attention to tools which are very expensive added to that are specialised test equipment. Now add public liability insurance and hundreds (if not thousands) of pounds worth of stock and you can start trading.

Its a good job but it is much more expensive to start up than many people think.
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Saturday, 5 February 2011

Rain and wind

The rain and wind has been so bad today. The caravan I was working on was moving in the wind, I had it jacked up and could see the wind battering it. I was really glad to get it back on its wheels. The job went well but I got home very wet and chilly - glad to be back!
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Sunday, 30 January 2011


Photo of a typical refrigerator with its door ...Image via WikipediaCaravan and motorhome fridges are not the same as domestic fridges but people expect them to be. They are not designed to be left running 365 days a year. They are designed for a leisure vehicle that is used for holidays and breaks. I get customers running them even when the vehicle is in the drive - please don't you are asking for your fridge to prematurely fail and they are very expensive to replace.

Fridges also need servicing and this isn't a five minute job. Usually it means removing the fridge to get to the burners and flue. Check your handbook as many fridges need an annual service which incidentally isn't normally part of a caravan or motorhome service. The reason for this is the time it takes to do the job. If you do want a fridge service it will probably save you some money if you have it done at the same time as your annual service but you need to book it in advance so that the engineer is aware.
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Thursday, 20 January 2011

Caravan & Motorhome Show - Manchester 2011

Solar PanelsImage by Living Off Grid via FlickrThe 20th to the 23rd January 2011 is the Caravan and Motorhome Show in Manchester. Come and see the MCEA stand in Hall 2. This isn't the full MCEA but a group of local MCEA engineers working together to man a stand. We are all self employed independent engineers who work as part of the association known as the MCEA. We can service your caravan or motorhome, fit accessories such as motormovers, satellite dishes, solar panels or we can deal with problems when your away from home such as gas, electrical or water problems. Please come and see us and let us know that you have read my blog.
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Tuesday, 18 January 2011

The last few days

BUXTON, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 30:  Overnig...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeThe world is full of nice people, you really shouldn't take in all the rubbish in the newspapers. Saturday had me carrying out a habitation service on a motorhome and the customer made me a bacon sandwich and kept me topped up with tea. Not only do I get to work in a very beautiful place (Derbyshire) but I meet good people. Another one of my customers had been milking cows in -20c during the cold weather - did he complain, no he didn't.
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Saturday, 1 January 2011

Happy 2011

FireworksImage via WikipediaI have been taking calls all week from people looking to book in their caravans and motorhomes for their annual service. Please remember that we are entering a really busy period for engineers and you will need to be prepared for a wait before you can get your service. So please don't ring three days before you set off on a six month round Europe tour!!

What can I say - taps, taps and more taps seems to be the words going through my head. Experienced caravaners who know how to drain down their vans have been caught out by this severe frost. Taps and water pipes have split and caused a lot of heart ache for people. The good thing is that these things can be repaired but the parts can be expensive and I suspect they might well be in short supply this spring. What ever you do please try your caravan well before your due to go away. You need to check pumps, taps, water heaters and drains.
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