Monday, 22 March 2010

New Forest Frolics!

Well, back again! Just had 2 consecutive weekends in the New Forest getting to know Delores properly and thought I'd pass on some more of the things I've learned in case they're of use..... 

1. Now I *know* you're going to think I'm utterly stupid here, but this weekend we finally figured out how the windows opened. We thought the catches were incredibly stiff. Turns out you press the little button in the middle to make it turn more easily. Only sheared off one before we figured it out. (I know, I know!) 

2. The jointed arms on the Fiamma 45 awning aren't meant to go straight. Many thanks for those who helped yesterday to let me know that before I sheared those off as well. 

3. The grey water drain will be at exactly the wrong part of the site one way system meaning you'll have to do at least 2 additional laps to access it. Am begining to thing the CC is in cahoots with the petrol companies.... 

4. Whilst many people will be very friendly and helpful when they see newbies struggling with a Fiamma Awning others will pour themselves a drink, pull up a chair and settle down for an evening's entertainment.... 

5. The freeview box only works with the freeview remote control. (We'd taken our dodgy old freeview box along with our very old 'portable' TV to try it all out. Imagine the frustration when the freeview appears to work fine but requires you to "Press OK to continue" and then remembering where the remote is. And in answer to what you're saying out loud right now, no there weren't any other buttons on it anywhere to do it manually.) 

6. The TV remote only works if the batteries aren't flat. 
(At least the site shop had some. And some fine cola bottles! 

7. There are more hills than you'd think in the New Forest and most of them go up. 

8. ALWAYS remember to take a rucksack and a flask, that way you won't get ripped off by all the quaint little tearooms fleecing you for over £7 for 2 teas and a couple of toasted teacakes. 

9. You can hear the gas swishing about in the bottle. Check whether or not you can hear it before you hike your 'empty' bottle all the way to the site shop and have them hike out a replacement. 
(Dealer told us it was empty so hadn't connected it to check....) 

10. The glass on your hob will get *very* hot if your grill is on. But the helpful message telling you to lift the glass top is very handily written in small letters under the glass and you can only see it if you've already lifted it - which you probably haven't done because you didn't realise you needed to. (Luckily no harm done). 

11. There is only one way to stop the smoke alarm going off when you're cooking bacon and it's probably illegal, certainly not best practice and perhaps best not to mention it here. 

12. Before starting to fill your van with water check you've closed the outlet valve else your feet will get very wet. 

Hmmm - I think that's it for now. I'm sure there's much left to learn on our next expedition. Got a couple of weeks at home before then though.

New Forest Ponies

Friday, 19 March 2010

First ever trip out in Delores

OK - as you know we're fresh back from our first outing in Delores so I thought I'd pass on my newfound wisdom for any other newbies out there....

1. Cooker hobs rattle - a LOT. Wrap well with a tea towel. 

2. It's apparently standard for the power to cut off in the back of the van while the keys are turned in the ignition. If you notice your water pump has suddenly stopped working, try removing the keys and having another go. 

3. With the rear bed made there's not a lot of room for 2 adults to get dressed/ undressed without lots of colliding and childish giggling. 

4. If the front seat is meant to swivel and suddenly won't, do not use force! Return the seatback to the upright position and try again. 

5. If you notice your blown air heating isn't blowing, remember what I said in point 2. I didn't. Took me another 45 mins to remember.... 

6. If you find yourself suddenly feeling cold, even though you know you fixed the blown air heating, allow yourself time to realise that whilst you were fiddling you'd turned it onto fan not thermostat and had left it set at level 1. 

7. When rinsing out your loo cassette ensure the tap is well inside the funnel before turning it on full. 

8. If your water suddenly stops working check there is some in your tank BEFORE you enlist assorted members of the Caravan Club, friends, relatives and anyone else nearby to help you fix the problem with your van. 

9. When reversing into a parking spot at Warwick services watch out for the "Parking for caravans" signs - they make a loud clang when you hit them. 

10. Remember why you bought the van and remind yourself that if you can survive 2 rain sodden freezing nights with a streaming cold in a muddy NEC carpark, then the rest of it will be a breeze!

I'm sat at my 'pooter in my nice warm house wishing I was back out in Delores. I'm guessing there's no known cure for this is there.....?