Nairn based company, offering a full range of services to the leisure vehicle owner on a convenient mobile basis.

Our range of services includes :
  • Caravan chassis servicing

  • Caravan and motorhome habitation inspections

  • Gas safety certificates

  • Electrical installation condition reports

  • Damp inspections

  • Pre-purchase reports & advice

  • Repairs/installation of accessories and appliances:

  • Motor movers, solar panels, refillable lpg bottles/tanks, on-board generators,reversing cameras etc.
  • Yacht and boat gas system, heating and general habitation services

  • More details on our website here

    Monday, 25 November 2013

    Danger lurks unseen in the bottom of the wardrobe

    So you're off for an early or late season break in your caravan  and it's a bit nippy, so you switch  the  heating system on , to get you nice and toasty warm.

    You've never bothered with a gas safety check or a full service since you bought the van and you feel quite happy that all the systems  are safe..........

    Yest, lurking in the bottom of this wardrobe, we found an instance of when you're faith would be very misplaced.

    Both the air intake and exhaust gas  flues had failed completely.  When the heater was switched on it  was drawing its combusiton air from inside the caravan, and spilling all of its exhaust gas back into it too.

    The result?
    Potentially fatal  carbon monoxide  levels .

    You may think it's safe but, unless you've had the gas system inspected, you don't know what's lurking in the bottom of your wardrobe .


    Sunday, 15 September 2013

    Table Table Christmas madness

    The Whitbread company is a big outfit and one of their restaurant chains is Table-Table.

    Arriving at their Uttoxeter restaurant on Saturday, and being in need of a quick lunch, you can imagine my surprise when I discovered that the premises contained an assembly of the earliest Christmas decorations I've ever seen.

     Checking the date on my phone, just to check  that  I'd not slipped through some hole in the time-space continuum as I'd earlier passed through Draycott in the Clay ( which I grant you sounds as if such things  happen there regularly), I found that , as I first thought, it was still the 14th September.

    So not quite halfway through September, someone in a middle management position surely reached by either Peter's, or possibly Dilbert's principle , had instructed the poor hapless manager to build a Santa's Grotto.

    Now don't get me wrong, I like Santa as much as the next man, and Grottos too, and the two in combination can be rather splendid fun...... but not when the warmth of the Summer is still such a recent memory.

    Unfortunately the high-tech ordering system had decided it was as perplexed as I was by the site of a ' Letter to Santa' postbox  on the wall , and decided it didn't want to play ( I did suggest to the manager that it might re-boot on the 1st of December).  Rather strangely, the only other time  I called there the credit card machines weren't working, no doubt taking the huff at the appearance of Easter eggs  , just after Halloween.

    The lack of a 'system' cause meltdown. I'm not sure if going through to the kitchen and handing  a wee note over to the chef  , telling him what the customer wanted , features in the staff training manual. Judging by the time it took to get my meal I suspect all of the kitchen and front of house staff were gathered around the printer in the kitchen in a trance like state, waiting for it issue their every instruction.

    Perhaps whoever issued the order for mass grotto genesis  to take place across the company would be better issuing notepads and pencils to the staff.

    So , without any doubt, Table Table and its ilk win the HMACS business award for idiocy above and beyond the call of duty for 2013.

    Apologies for the poor quality photo. I think my phone camera lens was blurred  by the tears shed to mark the unjustifiable passing of common sense.....

    Friday, 9 August 2013

    ALKO caravan chassis recall

    German-based chassis manufacturer Al-Ko is recalling a number of their 2361 model caravan chassis',  after discovering a fault which can cause wheels to come loose.
    They are being withdrawn after Al-Ko's monitoring of its product showed that there were irregularities in the film thickness of the brake drums, which can cause wheel bolts to release, and lead to wheels coming off.

    They will replace the brake drums on the caravans free of charge at dealers and caravan workshops for any customers that have one of the caravans.

    Al-Ko provides around a million caravans worldwide each year, and around 7,000 caravans are believed to have been affected.

    They were supplied by Slovenian, Swedish and German manufacturers in October of last year.

    Al-Ko is  acting quickly to ensure no accidents are caused by the fault, and have advised owners to not tow their caravans except to the garage, and to take precautions by checking the wheels throughout the journey.

    I would hope that anyone who had bought a caravan affected would have been contacted by their suppling dealer but give them a call if you have any doubts  .

    Wednesday, 19 June 2013

    Beware of bumps

    There are times when you're towing your caravan when you hit a speed bump, or another road user  forces you to hit a pothole that you were trying to avoid.

    You grit your teeth and  wait for the big bang...but , most times, everything seems to remain intact.

    We had a customer earlier this week who had hit a big bump in the verge with his caravan some months ago, when trying to avoid an oncoming and unyielding timber truck. He stopped shortly afterwards and inspected his unit, which seemed to have escaped with no damage.

    On arriving at a local site at the weekend, he connectedhis hook up but the miniature circuit breaker that supplied his charger, lights and water heater just kept tripping, leaving him unable to charge his battery.

    On inspection we found the PCB of the charger looked like this

    and what should have been the core of the transformer looked like this-

    We suspect that the core fractured when he was forced off the road but the main parts stayed attached to the transformer for months, until his visit to the area, when one of the broken parts caused a short between a transformer terminal and some of the components on the PCB.

    At least the protective devices worked  and prevented any major issues and, to be honest , it would have been be a very difficult issue to identify, prior to it causing the charger to fail. So, in the words of Inspector Clouseau, you should always expect the unexpected...........

    Friday, 7 June 2013

    Solar woes

    Solar panels are one of the most popular ways of maintaining good battery charge levels when not on hook up .

    They are reliable, resonably effective ( if large enough) and good value for money.

    They can though, like most electrical devices , be dangerous.

    The photograph below shows the negative cable , or rather what's left of it, from a  solar installation we looked at recently. It is possible that  charge controller was faulty and the  wiring was undersized and all of the insulation has melted, leaving the bare conductor exposed. Both have now been replaced

    So make sure you check the condition of your 12 volt cabling, It's easy to  think  that , being 12 volt , it's perfectly safe ....but it can still start a fire.

    Tuesday, 14 May 2013

    Motorhome and caravan parking, pt II

    Further to our earlier post on parking for motorhomes and caravans, which stirred up quite a bit of interest on various social media sites, it would seem that the concept of directing people to areas where parking is easy for motorhome and caravan users would be universally popular.

    ( from this point on I will refer to motorhomes and caravans  as 'caravans', and their users as caravanners. No offence is intended to either party, it simply saves me a whole lot of typing and repetition……)

    The issues seem to revolve around two main points:

    Firstly, we need to make sure that any area highlighted as being suitable for parking a leisure vehicle has sufficient space to do so, and is easily accessible.

    Secondly, we need to address the issue of signage. The last thing that you want to do when driving a long vehicle in heavy traffic,  through a town you don't know, is to have to scan every sign in the town centre , to try to find somewhere to park. 

    So, to work towards developing a network of recognised daytime parking sites, we intend to start scoping  existing  car parks, initially in Nairn and the immediate area, then gradually further afield. We will take account of:
    ·       Space available for parking : suitability  for caravans/motorhomes/ campervans
    ·       Ease of access for vehicles of different sizes and any size limitations
    ·       Note the details of facilities  available nearby
    ·       Suitability of area for people with mobility issues

    All the information will appear on a dedicate section of our website, along with a link to the locations on Google maps.  We  also hope to  receive information about suitable locations from the caravanning  community.

    Hopefully, we can then lobby Transport Scotland and the Highland and Moray Councils to erect simple signage on the outskirts of town to advise caravanners  that  they are about to enter a town that is 'caravan friendly' and they can feel free to stop, eat and shop.

    Saturday, 4 May 2013

    Should councils provide free caravan and motorhome parking?

    Generally speaking  the caravan and motorhome fraternity tend to be a  grand group of folks  who  are not only prepared to spend up to tens of thousands of pounds on good equipment but also  a considerable amount when they are on their travels.

    The vast majority of people tend to use caravan sites for their overnight stays but finding somewhere to park when you are travelling between sites can cause all kinds of issues. Sadly , the only viable option for many is to roll up to the nearest  out of town supermarket, as it's the only place to park,  and spend their money within their walls.

    One Australian Council is making provision for both free daytime  and overnight parking , see the details here
    It would be good to see dedicated parking spaces  made available to  motorhomes and caravans owners that want to visit our towns and villages, so they can park close enough to high streets and town centres to visit them on foot.

    It's a shame that we have to witness all of that  spending potential  just driving through our towns, only to end up on some soulless retail park,  and further adding to the massive profits of the national retailers who operate their.

    Most towns in our area have some ground that could be utilised to offer more central parking to both leisure vehicles and coaches and , if we offer the facility, people will come, and they'll keep coming.

    Wednesday, 17 April 2013

    Fancy winning a brand new caravan, or two?

    Got to be worth a go...

    A brand new Bailey Pegasus GT65 is up for grabs in a competition organised by Swindon Caravans and Caravan Times.

    Nice spec caravan built using Bailey's Alutec system.
    Spacious fixed bed layout with large rear shower room.

    If you feel lucky, you need to fill in the entry form and like the Caravan Times Facebook page

    Should you not feel quite so lucky but you are a dab hand with your camera, try to win another one in the competition organised by Bailey Caravans  and Practical Caravan magazine.Details here

    You get a choice of three different versions of the GT65 in this competition: The Verona as shown above, the Rimini and the Ancona

    Tuesday, 9 April 2013

    Why go anywhere else ?

    Fair enough, it's cold at the moment.

    But it won't always be cold...the nights are getting shorter, Spring is trying hard to burst out all over and another sseries of beautiful sunsets are  just around the corner.

    Sometimes when travelling around, or looking at photographs, I'm minded that I would take some convincing that the Highlands of Scotland can be bettered,  when it comes to stunning views and jaw drop;ping panoramas.

    If you're thinking about  possible locations for your  touring caravan, motorhome or camping holiday this year, or perhaps a week in a lodge or static van,  don't dither any longer - just come to the Highlands , you might never want to go home again

     Here are some excellent  local businesses and sites for you to start planning your adventure:

    Out There Campers
    Hidden Glen Holidays
    Lodges at the Mains
    Scottish caravan parks and campsites by region

    Saturday, 6 April 2013

    Motor Movers

    Motor movers , for some people, have changed their caravanning life, and certainly extended it for many.

    Faced with a difficult pitch , or a drive that slopes steeply, it sometimes makes you wonder why you bother.

    We all love the idea of  a sun blessed week or weekend away but  the prospect of having to perform reverse contortions with the car to get the caravan back into it's allocated slot on the drive,  or physically wreck ourselves trying to shift a 1500 kg caravan by hand  is enough to put anyone off.

    I don't know how anyone manages without a motor mover but I do suspect though that the folks that sell and fit clutches for a living don't get quite as much business from the caravan fraternity as they once did
    I recently installed a motor mover for a customer who had been let down by a company that had  claimed to be able to install them 'anywhere' in the UK but still hadn't managed to find Nairn after 5 weeks. I told them to order one and I would make sure it was fitted it before their planned trip  a few days later.

    Installation was quite straightforward, the only thing not included in the box was a fuse. It is extremely important to ensure that you have a fuse in the positive supply , so I dropped a 100amp maxi fuse in the line.

    So no more clutch busting, stressful reverse manoeuvres off a busy road and up a sloping drive. It's now park up , unhitch, engage the motor mover, handbrake off and then press the buttons on the remote and watch the caravan steadily move its way into position.

    You could even do it sitting down if you wanted.

    See prices for on-site motor mover installation here or contact us for more details

    Thursday, 7 February 2013

    Truma/Alde cold test centre

    Earlier in the week I was lucky enough to get a look at the new cold test facility at Truma Uk headquarters in Foston, Derbyshire.
    It is a superb piece of engineering and was preparing for the first tests on a Coachman the day I was there.
    Once they have the caravan/motorhome fully prepared with all the temperature sensors, the first thing they need to do is cold soak the unit under test.
    This involves a 12-14 hour chill down to minus 15, with all the windows and doors open on the test unit.
    Only then they can commence the next phase of the test, which is to fire the heating up & determine whether the target temperature of +20 can be reached in two hours.
    If it does, it meets the category 3 criteria. Cat 2 is O degrees to +20 in two hours.
    Hopefully plenty of British manfacturers will take advantage of this world class facility and we'll begin to see leisure vehicles built here that give the German manufacturers a thermal run for their money....