Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Caravan fire kills three

A residential smoke detector is the most famil...
A residential smoke detector is the most familiar piece of nuclear technology for some people (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
People still ask me why they should have a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm, sadly this is why - http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-30630975

If you haven't got one then buy one or ask me to fit one at your next service.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Motorhome & Caravan Servicing 2015

English: A Motorhome
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Christmas is approaching and people will soon be thinking about 2015 and their holidays. If you need your caravan or motorhome servicing in 2015 then now is the time to book. Already over 50% of our service slots in March have been booked up. Don't delay book now.

As an approved mobile workshop we can service your vehicle and maintain the warranty. The approved workshop scheme is run by The NCC with the support of the Camping & Caravanning Club and The Caravan Club.

Where you a customer of Kingsmill Caravans and an Adria owner? Since the demise of Kingsmill caravans customers have been left in the lurch. If your affected we can service your Adria and maintain your warranty.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Secure your caravan over winter.

Derbyshire Constabulary
Derbyshire Constabulary (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Many caravans will now be parked up for winter. This means that the vehicle could be left for several months without anyone visiting it, this is ideal for thieves so please take care. Derbyshire Constabulary has issued some useful guidance - http://www.derbyshire.police.uk/News-and-Appeals/News/2014/November/06Nov-Protectyourcaravanfromtheivesthiswinter.aspx

Do yourself a favour and make sure that you use a Cassoa registered storage site http://www.cassoa.co.uk/
There are a number of excellent storage facilities in Derbyshire, look for Cassoa Gold and get the best possible security.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Poor design

Why do we put up with poor design in motorhomes and caravans. Yesterday I went to work on an Alde boiler fitted to a Bailey Caravan. The boiler was set back under the seating area in such a way as it wasn't possible to remove the boiler inspection panel. The boiler could have been moved forward about 10cm and there would have been no problem. Although this was a Bailey I have had the same problem on other vans. I have had a caravan recently with a Truma S3002 fire, the PCB had failed which controls the electric element switching, its behind the fire and there was no access. The whole fire had to come out to do a ten minute job - crazy.

Or what about taps over the top of the fridge so that when the tap fails we have to remove the fridge?

What about power supplies that have to be opened to change the charger and the woodwork doesn't have a big enough hole to allow the front panel to be removed. Madness.

There are so many examples of bad design, come on the Caravan industry get your act together.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Caravan and Motorhome Servicing in 2015

Motorhome overnight parking (Stopover/Stellpla...
Motorhome overnight parking (Stopover/Stellplatz/Aree di Sosta) in Granville, France (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Already dates in March and April are filling up. If you need your caravan or motorhome servicing (especially if you have a warranty) then please don't leave it too long before booking. Drop me an email at info@chatsworth-service.co.uk or visit our website at www.chatsworth-service.co.uk

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Mobile phones in Derbyshire

SOFTBANK_Mobile_phone_tower Japan
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
When you work in a rural area such as Derbyshire and rely on your mobile phone it becomes very frustrating when you can't get a signal. The interesting thing is that foreign tourists get a much better service than UK phone owners. As a tourist your phone will roam on to any available network which means much better coverage than a UK phone. So my question to Ofcom and the Government is why don't you insist on UK roaming being available? It would mean a massive improvement in rural areas.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Adria Caravan or Motorhome?

Chatsworth Motorhome & Caravan Servicing can service your new Adria caravan or motorhome even if it is still under warranty. Let us come to your home or storage site to take care of your Adria.

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Power on the go for your motorhome or caravan

One of the joys of a motorhome is being off grid and not needing campsites. Power has always been an issue and we see solar panels, big battery banks, generators, inverters etc.. None of these has really made life simple until now. I have just seen what I think could be the future, its from efoy and its the efoy-go. http://www.efoy-go.com/

I would appreciate your thoughts. I think the big test will be the price.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

How to prepare for a service.

Doubledeck Caravan
Doubledeck Caravan (Photo credit: Mike Cattell)
Today I updated the website to include some details of what you need to do to prepare for a service. It is really important that you follow these simple steps -

For a service you need to -
Empty out as much as the van as possible. The floor area and lockers need to be clear.
Connect the 240v, 12v battery, gas and fill the water system.
Ensure that the toilet is clean and empty
Ensure that there is 1 metre all around the vehicle and that it is on flat and level ground.
Ensure that any awnings and covers are removed.
Do not expect us to service on the public highway. It must be on private land with access for our service vehicle.
Please ensure that all keys (lockers, wheel bolts, doors etc) are available on the day
If we are working on a storage site or camp site ensure that the owners/wardens are aware.
We do not take any responsibility for the security of the vehicle, it is your responsibility to remove and refit all security devices.
A service consists of a standard check list for which time has been schedules. Any additional work must be notified at the time of booking the service and it will be charged in addition to the cost of the service.
Motormovers and other equipment that is not part of the original vehicle will not be checked (unless you advise us in advance)

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Motorhome Parking

Français : Panneau de signalisation indiquant ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
To all local authorities in the UK - please read this web site. http://www.tmcto.org/index.php/motorhome-tourism-information

Our European neighbours get it, why don't we? If you provide parking for motorhomes then people will come and spend money in your towns and villages.

English: Motorhome area. Felletin, France Fran...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I hear people saying that motorhomes should use the local campsite. That is totally missing the point. Motorhomes don't need campsites and often the facilities aren't suited to them.

So come on UK, catch up with the rest of Europe.

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Sunday, 1 June 2014

Booking in your caravan or motorhome for a service/the madness of the industry.

English: Spanish panel for indicate motorhome ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I am still getting calls asking for a service in the next few weeks. All of the experienced and properly trained engineers are all booked up for weeks if not months ahead. You need to plan ahead and that means months ahead not days or weeks,

Its also important to give us time to order parts if we find a problem, before you spend three weeks touring in Europe. The supply chain for the caravan and motorhome industry is frankly appalling, a wait of several months is not unusual. The manufacturers operate in a way which I think might be unlawful under European law but independent engineers do not have the money to test this in the courts. We have some major manufacturers that refuse to supply parts to independent engineers - this can't be right and should be changed. I tried to order a window from the importer and probably the biggest wholesale supplier in the industry and I was told that they can only supply it to ***** dealers.

I tried to open a trade account with a big caravan manufacturer and was told that they didn't accept requests from independent engineers and that I would have to pay retail prices for my parts. That pushes up the price for my customers and makes it much more difficult for independent engineers, it reduces choice and must be legally dubious.

I challenge the industry, clubs and interested parties to sort out this madness.
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Saturday, 26 April 2014

Counterfeit parts in the caravan industry.

English: Brake shoe assembly
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
There are a number of counterfeit parts floating about the industry. One that we come across on a regular basis are counterfeit Al-Ko one shot nuts. These are a vital part of your caravan and they hold the brake drum on to the axle. It is vital that you make sure that your engineer is using genuine Al-Ko parts. Don't scrimp on vital safety critical parts.

At Chatsworth Motorhome & Caravan Servicing we only use manufacturers approved parts (except in the case of them being no longer manufactured and good quality after market parts are the only one's available. You will be advised in advance of fitting).
Trailer Parts - Al-ko One Shot Hub Nut - 1637 & 2051 Brakes - Alko ...
This is a genuine one shot nut and you can see the name Al-Ko stamped in to it.
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Saturday, 19 April 2014


English: Thor Motor Coach Four Winds Class C M...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Well we have made it to Easter. Chatsworth Motorhome & Caravan Servicing is closed except for emergencies. Already we have been called out three times, two vans without water and a third with binding brakes.

It is important to ensure that your caravan or motorhome is checked before you leave home. That doesn't mean a service as you can check these items yourself. Turn on your fridge, put some water through the system, check the water heater and ensure that you have some gas. These basic checks could save you needing to call out an engineer.

Trailers & Caravans imageRemember before you set off you need to re-torque your wheels and then again about 30 miles in to your journey. This is a really important safety check and must be carried out for your safety. We can fit a new type of caravan wheel bolt called the WSL wheel bolt. This will all help to prevent costly wheel detachments.
The WSL Caravan Wheel Safety Bolt is the first bespoke wheel bolt designed for the caravan industry. It represents a huge leap forward in technical development on a component that has stood still for decades. See the leaflet for more information.


We can fit your new WSL wheel bolts at the time of your service or indeed supply them at any time but there will be a charge for fitting if they are fitted outside of the service. This could be the best accessory that you fit to your caravan.
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Sunday, 13 April 2014

The madness of Spring

Easter egg
Easter egg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Here we are with one week to go before Easter and its been a very busy time at Chatsworth Motorhome & Caravan Servicing. We are still getting calls to ask us if we can service a caravan before Easter! For this time of year you need to be booking several months ahead.

I seem to be picking up a lot of damp caravans this year and some of them are being picked up on their first service - one year old and damp! Its a disgrace that the caravan industry can't sort it out. If your suffering from a new and damp caravan then I would appreciate hearing from you.
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Thursday, 27 March 2014

Teaser part two




This is the most exciting new design that I have seen in a long time. This industry needs new thinking, bold ideas and something different - here it is.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

A teaser

I am posting a teaser. I have seen the most interesting leisure vehicle that I have seen for a long time. Is it a caravan? Is it a camper? I will post further details and some pictures later. However do a search for TripBuddy.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Wheel bearing

Various bearings on exhibition in Minsk
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Today I serviced a five year old caravan and I discovered oil on the wheel hub and one shot nut. Once the drum came off it was clear that the seal on the wheel bearing had failed, there was grease and oil all over the hub. It just shows how a serious safety issue can creep up on you without any warning. I fitted a new bearing and the customer can now go to Scotland without worrying about that bearing.

Approved WorkshopRemember that you have a legal responsibility to ensure that your caravan or motorhome is safe on the road. An Approved Workshop will ensure that you receive a service based on best practice and recognised by almost all UK caravan manufacturers.
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Friday, 14 February 2014

February 2014

English: River Dove in flood Floodwaters from ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The weather hasn't been kind so far this year. Yesterday near to the River Dove the flooding was the worst I have ever seen, the water just stretches for hundreds of metres.

I was working in Derby and the conditions were good for working. In fact at lunchtime it was warm in the sun.

The weather does seem to be very odd!

Here at Chatsworth Motorhome & Caravan Servicing we are preparing for the Caravan & Camping Show at the NEC. Don't let the weather put you off, its time to prepare your leisure vehicle for the Spring and prepare for the year ahead. Don't forget that you have a legal obligation to make sure that your vehicle is safe so don't delay book your service now.
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Monday, 3 February 2014

Sunday, 2 February 2014

Getting ready for springtime

Its blue sky and sun shining in Derbyshire today. It reminds me that it is time to finish preparing my own motorhome for its next journey out. This week I have fitted front mudflaps, carbon monoxide alarm and mats for the door step.

Don't forget you should be charging your leisure battery during these winter months to keep it healthy and ready for the spring.

If you haven't booked in your leisure vehicle for a service now is the time to book. You don't need to have it serviced before you go out in spring. It should be carried out on the anniversary of the purchase date. Good engineers and workshops get booked up early. See our website at www.chatsworth-service.co.uk for further information.

Let me know if you have added anything to your caravan or motorhome recently.

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