A Caravan forum. Caravan Banter

If this is your first visit, be sure to check out the FAQ by clicking the link above. You may have to register before you can post: click the register link above to proceed. To start viewing messages, select the forum that you want to visit from the selection below.

Go Back   Home » Caravan Banter forum » Caravan, Motor Homes and Camping Newsgroups » UK Caravanning
Site Map Home Register Authors List Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read Web Partners

UK Caravanning (uk.rec.caravanning) A forum for the discussion of caravanning undertaken by residents of the United Kingdom, whether in the UK or abroad. It encourages the interchange of views on the merits of models of caravan, makes of tow car, accessories, caravan sites, caravan clubs, and other related topics. The term caravan is to include trailer vans, motor caravans and trailer tents.

new to caravaning



 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old October 8th 04, 09:27 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
nat & lee
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9
Default new to caravaning

hi all, i just bought myself a caravan, its not a new one :-( but its quite
nice, well i think so anyway. its a 1988 fleetwood crystal garland, its
about 17ft internally about 20.5 ft including the towing hitch, its a 4
birth with hot/cold water a full awning, gas/mains/12v, 3 ring hob, full
oven with grill. it was advertised as haveing a shower room, allthough
there's no shower just a fold down wash basin with the hot/cold mixer tap!

i have so many questions!!

1st - there's no toilet, how easy is it to install a cassette toilet? are
they expensive. are they worth it or will a porta potty type thing do? are
they expensive?

2nd - how easy is it to install a shower, i can get my plumber mate to do
the actual installation but what about making the so called shower room
waterproof? again what sort of cost is involved? can you buy a genenric
shower kit? can you install one in a room that has a cassette toilet or a
porta potty?

3rd - i see a lot of inverters for sale on ebay? are they any good or any
use? what wattage would you recommend, obviously the more the better but
without going to exrtremes?

4th - the caravan came with a hook up lead, i dont know how long it is, but
what sort of lenght should i need?

5th - i see people selling sky satelite dishes with tripod stands for
caravan's, that maybe a bit sad to go on holiday and sit there watching
telly but i guess if its raining and i have a 5 year old dauhter to
entertain i'll do anything to keep her happy!! how does it work, i thought
you had to have a viewing card for the satelite box? what sort of reception
do you get?

6th - what size fresh & waste water continers should i get? any prefernces
to make model?

7th - my caravan is void of any gadgets, gizzmo's or anything vaguely
usefull. i.e. no cutlery or crockery etc so what do i need in there?

8th - is caravan insurance compulsory? if so wheres the best place to go?

9th - cc or ccc ?

10th - i've never towed before, my daughter is now hassling to go on holiday
in the caravan :-) i live in sussex, can anyone recommend some goos sites on
the south coast, devon, cornwall or maybe the new forest or even the isle of
white? that will be really good for kids?



sorry for so many questions but as i said i'm really new to this ans must
admit to beeing a little excited too :-)


thanks for any usefull repplies

nathan


Ads
  #2 (permalink)  
Old October 8th 04, 10:40 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Hitch Lock
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 692
Default new to caravaning

In an earlier contribution to this discussion,
nat & lee wrote:

hi all, i just bought myself a caravan, its not a new one :-( but its
quite nice, well i think so anyway. its a 1988 fleetwood crystal
garland, its about 17ft internally about 20.5 ft including the towing
hitch, its a 4 birth with hot/cold water a full awning,
gas/mains/12v, 3 ring hob, full oven with grill. it was advertised as
haveing a shower room, allthough there's no shower just a fold down
wash basin with the hot/cold mixer tap!

i have so many questions!!

1st - there's no toilet, how easy is it to install a cassette toilet?
are they expensive. are they worth it or will a porta potty type
thing do? are they expensive?

Get yourself a copy of the Haynes book "The Caravan Manual" by John
Wickersham. That deals with all sorts of useful things, including
retro-fitting cassette toilets. [You may be able to borrow one from a
library].

2nd - how easy is it to install a shower, i can get my plumber mate
to do the actual installation but what about making the so called
shower room waterproof? again what sort of cost is involved? can you
buy a genenric shower kit? can you install one in a room that has a
cassette toilet or a porta potty?

I really wouldn't bother! Caravan showers are horrible clammy things - and
it's very difficult to control the water flow and temperature
satisfactorily. If you really want to shower, stay on sites with good
facilities and use those.

3rd - i see a lot of inverters for sale on ebay? are they any good or
any use? what wattage would you recommend, obviously the more the
better but without going to exrtremes?

What do you want to use it for? Bear in mind that 1 amp at 240v (240 watts)
requires 20 amps at 12v - even at 100% conversion efficiency. Running mains
equipment off a 12v battery via an inverter will flatten the battery in
short order unless it's very light duty stuff such as a charger for a mobile
phone.

4th - the caravan came with a hook up lead, i dont know how long it
is, but what sort of lenght should i need?

The recommended length is 25 metres.

5th - i see people selling sky satelite dishes with tripod stands for
caravan's, that maybe a bit sad to go on holiday and sit there
watching telly but i guess if its raining and i have a 5 year old
dauhter to entertain i'll do anything to keep her happy!! how does it
work, i thought you had to have a viewing card for the satelite box?
what sort of reception do you get?

Haven't a clue! [We don't even have a satellite dish at home]

6th - what size fresh & waste water continers should i get? any
prefernces to make model?

I use 2 Aquaroll fresh water containers - and keep the spare one full when
on site so that it's easy to change over if I run out at an awkward time. My
waste water container is about 18" square and 5" deep (from memory) and has
2 large screw caps - one in the middle of the top surface for the waste
entry pipe, and one near the corner of one of the edges for emptying it. You
need one which will fit under the van ok, even on sloping ground, which
holds as musch as possible consistent with being able to carry it when full.
[You can get fancy ones with wheels on, which can also be used as trolleys
for taking toilet cassetttes to the emptying points. I've not tried one, but
I've seen other people with them - and looks like a bit of a palaver to
empty them, compared with mine.]

7th - my caravan is void of any gadgets, gizzmo's or anything vaguely
usefull. i.e. no cutlery or crockery etc so what do i need in there?

Visit a caravan accessory shop and stock up on plastic dinner plates, side
plates, cups and saucers, cereal bowls etc. You may have enough spare
cutlery at home to be able to assign some to the caravan. If not, caravan
shop again, or car boot sale!

8th - is caravan insurance compulsory? if so wheres the best place to
go?

There's no legal requirment to insure your van (although some sites may
require you to have public liability insurance). Your car insurance will
cover you for any damage which your caravan inflicts on anyone else while it
is being towed - but won't cover damage to the caravan itself. I would
strongly advise you to get insurance. Try the Caravan Club, Bakers of
Cheltenham, NFU, or SAGA (only if you are over 50!)

9th - cc or ccc ?

You pays your money . . . CC is larger and has more sites and CLs - and
provides a good handbook/sites directory which contains lots of useful
information. I don't know too much about the CCC. Some say it's more
friendly and less formal.

10th - i've never towed before, my daughter is now hassling to go on
holiday in the caravan :-) i live in sussex, can anyone recommend
some goos sites on the south coast, devon, cornwall or maybe the new
forest or even the isle of white? that will be really good for kids?

I have to admit to being biased towards the New Forest. The CC have a nice
fully equipped site called Black Knowl, just outside Brockenhurst - which is
right in the forest, and good for walking, bike riding and general messing
about, away from the traffic. The Forestry Commission have a number of sites
nearby. Hollands Wood in Brockenhurst is a large site with good
toilet/shower blocks but no mains hookups. Setthorns has mains but no
toilets, so you need your own! Holmsley (towards Christchurch) has both but
isn't really in the Forest.

When are you planning to go - because it is getting very near the end of the
season, and some of the sites may already have closed?!


sorry for so many questions but as i said i'm really new to this ans
must admit to beeing a little excited too :-)

thanks for any usefull repplies

nathan


Now to Question 11 - which you didn't ask! What about safe loading and
towing?

You didn't indicate what towcar you will be using. It sounds like quite a
heavy van, so I assume that you won't be towing it with a Fiat 500!

For good stability, the total weight of the caravan should be no more than
85% of the Kerb Weight of the towcar. In any event, you mustn't exceed your
towcar manufacturer's max trailer weight or gross train weight. The contents
of the caravan should be distributed in a way which achieves a hitchload of
about 7% of the caravan weight - provided this does not exceed the max value
allowed by your vehicle or towbar manufacturer or by the caravan
manufacturer. Heavy loads (awnings etc.) should be low down and above the
axle so as not to raise the C of G or to increase the yaw inertia of the
outfit.

HTH.
--
Cheers,
Hitch Lock
______
Please reply to newsgroup. Reply address is invalid.


  #3 (permalink)  
Old October 8th 04, 10:40 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Hitch Lock
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 692
Default new to caravaning

In an earlier contribution to this discussion,
nat & lee wrote:

hi all, i just bought myself a caravan, its not a new one :-( but its
quite nice, well i think so anyway. its a 1988 fleetwood crystal
garland, its about 17ft internally about 20.5 ft including the towing
hitch, its a 4 birth with hot/cold water a full awning,
gas/mains/12v, 3 ring hob, full oven with grill. it was advertised as
haveing a shower room, allthough there's no shower just a fold down
wash basin with the hot/cold mixer tap!

i have so many questions!!

1st - there's no toilet, how easy is it to install a cassette toilet?
are they expensive. are they worth it or will a porta potty type
thing do? are they expensive?

Get yourself a copy of the Haynes book "The Caravan Manual" by John
Wickersham. That deals with all sorts of useful things, including
retro-fitting cassette toilets. [You may be able to borrow one from a
library].

2nd - how easy is it to install a shower, i can get my plumber mate
to do the actual installation but what about making the so called
shower room waterproof? again what sort of cost is involved? can you
buy a genenric shower kit? can you install one in a room that has a
cassette toilet or a porta potty?

I really wouldn't bother! Caravan showers are horrible clammy things - and
it's very difficult to control the water flow and temperature
satisfactorily. If you really want to shower, stay on sites with good
facilities and use those.

3rd - i see a lot of inverters for sale on ebay? are they any good or
any use? what wattage would you recommend, obviously the more the
better but without going to exrtremes?

What do you want to use it for? Bear in mind that 1 amp at 240v (240 watts)
requires 20 amps at 12v - even at 100% conversion efficiency. Running mains
equipment off a 12v battery via an inverter will flatten the battery in
short order unless it's very light duty stuff such as a charger for a mobile
phone.

4th - the caravan came with a hook up lead, i dont know how long it
is, but what sort of lenght should i need?

The recommended length is 25 metres.

5th - i see people selling sky satelite dishes with tripod stands for
caravan's, that maybe a bit sad to go on holiday and sit there
watching telly but i guess if its raining and i have a 5 year old
dauhter to entertain i'll do anything to keep her happy!! how does it
work, i thought you had to have a viewing card for the satelite box?
what sort of reception do you get?

Haven't a clue! [We don't even have a satellite dish at home]

6th - what size fresh & waste water continers should i get? any
prefernces to make model?

I use 2 Aquaroll fresh water containers - and keep the spare one full when
on site so that it's easy to change over if I run out at an awkward time. My
waste water container is about 18" square and 5" deep (from memory) and has
2 large screw caps - one in the middle of the top surface for the waste
entry pipe, and one near the corner of one of the edges for emptying it. You
need one which will fit under the van ok, even on sloping ground, which
holds as musch as possible consistent with being able to carry it when full.
[You can get fancy ones with wheels on, which can also be used as trolleys
for taking toilet cassetttes to the emptying points. I've not tried one, but
I've seen other people with them - and looks like a bit of a palaver to
empty them, compared with mine.]

7th - my caravan is void of any gadgets, gizzmo's or anything vaguely
usefull. i.e. no cutlery or crockery etc so what do i need in there?

Visit a caravan accessory shop and stock up on plastic dinner plates, side
plates, cups and saucers, cereal bowls etc. You may have enough spare
cutlery at home to be able to assign some to the caravan. If not, caravan
shop again, or car boot sale!

8th - is caravan insurance compulsory? if so wheres the best place to
go?

There's no legal requirment to insure your van (although some sites may
require you to have public liability insurance). Your car insurance will
cover you for any damage which your caravan inflicts on anyone else while it
is being towed - but won't cover damage to the caravan itself. I would
strongly advise you to get insurance. Try the Caravan Club, Bakers of
Cheltenham, NFU, or SAGA (only if you are over 50!)

9th - cc or ccc ?

You pays your money . . . CC is larger and has more sites and CLs - and
provides a good handbook/sites directory which contains lots of useful
information. I don't know too much about the CCC. Some say it's more
friendly and less formal.

10th - i've never towed before, my daughter is now hassling to go on
holiday in the caravan :-) i live in sussex, can anyone recommend
some goos sites on the south coast, devon, cornwall or maybe the new
forest or even the isle of white? that will be really good for kids?

I have to admit to being biased towards the New Forest. The CC have a nice
fully equipped site called Black Knowl, just outside Brockenhurst - which is
right in the forest, and good for walking, bike riding and general messing
about, away from the traffic. The Forestry Commission have a number of sites
nearby. Hollands Wood in Brockenhurst is a large site with good
toilet/shower blocks but no mains hookups. Setthorns has mains but no
toilets, so you need your own! Holmsley (towards Christchurch) has both but
isn't really in the Forest.

When are you planning to go - because it is getting very near the end of the
season, and some of the sites may already have closed?!


sorry for so many questions but as i said i'm really new to this ans
must admit to beeing a little excited too :-)

thanks for any usefull repplies

nathan


Now to Question 11 - which you didn't ask! What about safe loading and
towing?

You didn't indicate what towcar you will be using. It sounds like quite a
heavy van, so I assume that you won't be towing it with a Fiat 500!

For good stability, the total weight of the caravan should be no more than
85% of the Kerb Weight of the towcar. In any event, you mustn't exceed your
towcar manufacturer's max trailer weight or gross train weight. The contents
of the caravan should be distributed in a way which achieves a hitchload of
about 7% of the caravan weight - provided this does not exceed the max value
allowed by your vehicle or towbar manufacturer or by the caravan
manufacturer. Heavy loads (awnings etc.) should be low down and above the
axle so as not to raise the C of G or to increase the yaw inertia of the
outfit.

HTH.
--
Cheers,
Hitch Lock
______
Please reply to newsgroup. Reply address is invalid.


  #4 (permalink)  
Old October 9th 04, 10:51 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Richard Brookman
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 467
Default new to caravaning

nat & lee was greatly moved, and spake thus, saying:

Greetings from another (relative) newcomer. We got our first van about two
years ago and, having been very dubious when we started (I tend to prefer
hotels for comfort and a small tent for the outdoor stuff), I'm now sold on
it. 10 days in France in June did the trick - fabulous holiday.

1st - there's no toilet, how easy is it to install a cassette toilet?
are they expensive. are they worth it or will a porta potty type
thing do? are they expensive?


Cassette toilets are brilliant, but installing one from scratch may be quite
a job. The Caravan Manual recommended by Hitchlock is very good on this.
Having a PortaPotti from our VW camper days put me off the whole thing for
years.

3rd - i see a lot of inverters for sale on ebay? are they any good or
any use? what wattage would you recommend, obviously the more the
better but without going to exrtremes?


Inverters are not very efficient and use a lot of battery power. We either
stay where there is a mains hook-up (inverter unnecessary) or make do on
12v. Never felt the need for one.

5th - i see people selling sky satelite dishes with tripod stands for
caravan's, that maybe a bit sad to go on holiday and sit there
watching telly but i guess if its raining and i have a 5 year old
dauhter to entertain i'll do anything to keep her happy!! how does it
work, i thought you had to have a viewing card for the satelite box?
what sort of reception do you get?


I went into this on my return from France, where I really missed being in
touch with UK news etc. The radio in the van (car type) couldn't pick up
World Service, and neither could the car's radio. However, to get satellite
coverage outside the UK requires a bigger dish the further south you go - up
to about 1.3m diameter for the South of France IIRC. That's big. Go to
http://sdsdigital.co.uk/content/view/38/65/ for details. You can use your
viewing card from home - if not, you'll need a subscription. Sounds like a
big waste of time and money to me. We're going to get a decent
unidirectional aerial for the TV for our next UK trip, and take a good radio
for the continental stuff. (BTW, if your van has a status aerial and you
think it's faulty, it isn't. They just don't work very well.)

6th - what size fresh & waste water continers should i get? any
prefernces to make model?


Aquaroll (I think about 40L) for the fresh water and a Wastemaster for the
grey water. Both are good buys and work well. You wouldn't believe how much
40L of water weighs until you've tried to carry it a few meters to "save
time"!

8th - is caravan insurance compulsory? if so wheres the best place to
go?


No, but get it anyway. CC do a reasonable deal and they are used to all the
usual issues. Others could be better/cheaper but life's too short to stuff
a mushroom etc.

9th - cc or ccc ?


CC for the last two years, and never disappointed in a site. Don't know
about CCC, but others say the members are friendlier. How this works, I
can't say. Never had a problem with CC sites. For a continental trip, the
CC will book ferries and sites for you with a single phone call and one
payment - great for nervous first-timers.

10th - i've never towed before, my daughter is now hassling to go on
holiday in the caravan :-) i live in sussex, can anyone recommend
some goos sites on the south coast, devon, cornwall or maybe the new
forest or even the isle of white? that will be really good for kids?


Not in your area, so can't recommend sites, but if you've never towed
before, get some practice in on roads you know well. Believe me, you do not
want to meet a tractor with a load of hay on a single track lane with no
passing places on your first trip out. Don't ask me how I know this. Make
sure you can see both sides of the van from the driving seat (get extending
mirrors if necessary) and remember that the van will want to take the
shortest route when you turn a corner. Take your turns nice and wide, and
if you pretend your car is a foot wider on either side than it really is,
you should be OK.

sorry for so many questions but as i said i'm really new to this ans
must admit to beeing a little excited too :-)


Hope you enjoy it. My No 1 recommendation - get your pitching up and
striking camp routines organised with military precision. Use checklists,
give everyone a job, and do it all in logical order. If you know that you
can be relaxing with a cool beer within 15 minutes of arriving at the site,
you'll find the whole thing less stressful.

HTH

Rich

--

Rich

Series 2a
RR 4.6
V8 trialler
dog, wife, kids, whatever


  #5 (permalink)  
Old October 9th 04, 10:51 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Richard Brookman
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 467
Default new to caravaning

nat & lee was greatly moved, and spake thus, saying:

Greetings from another (relative) newcomer. We got our first van about two
years ago and, having been very dubious when we started (I tend to prefer
hotels for comfort and a small tent for the outdoor stuff), I'm now sold on
it. 10 days in France in June did the trick - fabulous holiday.

1st - there's no toilet, how easy is it to install a cassette toilet?
are they expensive. are they worth it or will a porta potty type
thing do? are they expensive?


Cassette toilets are brilliant, but installing one from scratch may be quite
a job. The Caravan Manual recommended by Hitchlock is very good on this.
Having a PortaPotti from our VW camper days put me off the whole thing for
years.

3rd - i see a lot of inverters for sale on ebay? are they any good or
any use? what wattage would you recommend, obviously the more the
better but without going to exrtremes?


Inverters are not very efficient and use a lot of battery power. We either
stay where there is a mains hook-up (inverter unnecessary) or make do on
12v. Never felt the need for one.

5th - i see people selling sky satelite dishes with tripod stands for
caravan's, that maybe a bit sad to go on holiday and sit there
watching telly but i guess if its raining and i have a 5 year old
dauhter to entertain i'll do anything to keep her happy!! how does it
work, i thought you had to have a viewing card for the satelite box?
what sort of reception do you get?


I went into this on my return from France, where I really missed being in
touch with UK news etc. The radio in the van (car type) couldn't pick up
World Service, and neither could the car's radio. However, to get satellite
coverage outside the UK requires a bigger dish the further south you go - up
to about 1.3m diameter for the South of France IIRC. That's big. Go to
http://sdsdigital.co.uk/content/view/38/65/ for details. You can use your
viewing card from home - if not, you'll need a subscription. Sounds like a
big waste of time and money to me. We're going to get a decent
unidirectional aerial for the TV for our next UK trip, and take a good radio
for the continental stuff. (BTW, if your van has a status aerial and you
think it's faulty, it isn't. They just don't work very well.)

6th - what size fresh & waste water continers should i get? any
prefernces to make model?


Aquaroll (I think about 40L) for the fresh water and a Wastemaster for the
grey water. Both are good buys and work well. You wouldn't believe how much
40L of water weighs until you've tried to carry it a few meters to "save
time"!

8th - is caravan insurance compulsory? if so wheres the best place to
go?


No, but get it anyway. CC do a reasonable deal and they are used to all the
usual issues. Others could be better/cheaper but life's too short to stuff
a mushroom etc.

9th - cc or ccc ?


CC for the last two years, and never disappointed in a site. Don't know
about CCC, but others say the members are friendlier. How this works, I
can't say. Never had a problem with CC sites. For a continental trip, the
CC will book ferries and sites for you with a single phone call and one
payment - great for nervous first-timers.

10th - i've never towed before, my daughter is now hassling to go on
holiday in the caravan :-) i live in sussex, can anyone recommend
some goos sites on the south coast, devon, cornwall or maybe the new
forest or even the isle of white? that will be really good for kids?


Not in your area, so can't recommend sites, but if you've never towed
before, get some practice in on roads you know well. Believe me, you do not
want to meet a tractor with a load of hay on a single track lane with no
passing places on your first trip out. Don't ask me how I know this. Make
sure you can see both sides of the van from the driving seat (get extending
mirrors if necessary) and remember that the van will want to take the
shortest route when you turn a corner. Take your turns nice and wide, and
if you pretend your car is a foot wider on either side than it really is,
you should be OK.

sorry for so many questions but as i said i'm really new to this ans
must admit to beeing a little excited too :-)


Hope you enjoy it. My No 1 recommendation - get your pitching up and
striking camp routines organised with military precision. Use checklists,
give everyone a job, and do it all in logical order. If you know that you
can be relaxing with a cool beer within 15 minutes of arriving at the site,
you'll find the whole thing less stressful.

HTH

Rich

--

Rich

Series 2a
RR 4.6
V8 trialler
dog, wife, kids, whatever


  #6 (permalink)  
Old October 9th 04, 06:35 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Martin Edwards
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 95
Default new to caravaning

5th - i see people selling sky satelite dishes with tripod stands for
caravan's, that maybe a bit sad to go on holiday and sit there watching
telly but i guess if its raining and i have a 5 year old dauhter to
entertain i'll do anything to keep her happy!! how does it work, i thought
you had to have a viewing card for the satelite box? what sort of reception
do you get?

You can take all the gubbins with you, but we take a laptop computer and a
few DVDs. No setup time, no need to worry about finding a pitch which has a
clear view towards the satellite with none of those nice wind blocking trees
in the way, and no-one playing football which could accidently bounce over &
knock your dish off allignment anyway!

It's also a lot more compact than a TV & digibox and you don't need to find
space for the dish in the van as you travel. If you're on a powered pitch,
then plug it in, but we've found that a fully charged laptop will show about
2 hours of DVD if you're living rough without power.

Junior monopoly doesn't need power either.............

Enjoy the caravan by the way, & please consider ireland rather than France
if you're thinking of going "over the water"!!

Cheers


Martin


  #7 (permalink)  
Old October 9th 04, 06:35 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Martin Edwards
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 95
Default new to caravaning

5th - i see people selling sky satelite dishes with tripod stands for
caravan's, that maybe a bit sad to go on holiday and sit there watching
telly but i guess if its raining and i have a 5 year old dauhter to
entertain i'll do anything to keep her happy!! how does it work, i thought
you had to have a viewing card for the satelite box? what sort of reception
do you get?

You can take all the gubbins with you, but we take a laptop computer and a
few DVDs. No setup time, no need to worry about finding a pitch which has a
clear view towards the satellite with none of those nice wind blocking trees
in the way, and no-one playing football which could accidently bounce over &
knock your dish off allignment anyway!

It's also a lot more compact than a TV & digibox and you don't need to find
space for the dish in the van as you travel. If you're on a powered pitch,
then plug it in, but we've found that a fully charged laptop will show about
2 hours of DVD if you're living rough without power.

Junior monopoly doesn't need power either.............

Enjoy the caravan by the way, & please consider ireland rather than France
if you're thinking of going "over the water"!!

Cheers


Martin


  #8 (permalink)  
Old October 9th 04, 06:47 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Robbie
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 15
Default new to caravaning


"Richard Brookman" wrote in message
...

I went into this on my return from France, where I really missed being in
touch with UK news etc. The radio in the van (car type) couldn't pick up
World Service, and neither could the car's radio. However, to get

satellite
coverage outside the UK requires a bigger dish the further south you go -

up
to about 1.3m diameter for the South of France IIRC. That's big. Go to
http://sdsdigital.co.uk/content/view/38/65/ for details. You can use your
viewing card from home - if not, you'll need a subscription. Sounds like

a
big waste of time and money to me. We're going to get a decent
unidirectional aerial for the TV for our next UK trip, and take a good

radio
for the continental stuff. (BTW, if your van has a status aerial and you
think it's faulty, it isn't. They just don't work very well.)


A 65cm dish will generally suffice for the south of France and certainly no
bigger than an 80cm.

If you just want to listen to radio, watch the BBC channels and the other
free to air channels, you only need a basic FTA digital box which you can
buy for around 80.00. You can receive all of the BBC radio stations plus
quite a few more, including Classic FM. No clicks and fading with
satellite radio.


  #9 (permalink)  
Old October 9th 04, 06:47 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Robbie
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 15
Default new to caravaning


"Richard Brookman" wrote in message
...

I went into this on my return from France, where I really missed being in
touch with UK news etc. The radio in the van (car type) couldn't pick up
World Service, and neither could the car's radio. However, to get

satellite
coverage outside the UK requires a bigger dish the further south you go -

up
to about 1.3m diameter for the South of France IIRC. That's big. Go to
http://sdsdigital.co.uk/content/view/38/65/ for details. You can use your
viewing card from home - if not, you'll need a subscription. Sounds like

a
big waste of time and money to me. We're going to get a decent
unidirectional aerial for the TV for our next UK trip, and take a good

radio
for the continental stuff. (BTW, if your van has a status aerial and you
think it's faulty, it isn't. They just don't work very well.)


A 65cm dish will generally suffice for the south of France and certainly no
bigger than an 80cm.

If you just want to listen to radio, watch the BBC channels and the other
free to air channels, you only need a basic FTA digital box which you can
buy for around 80.00. You can receive all of the BBC radio stations plus
quite a few more, including Classic FM. No clicks and fading with
satellite radio.


  #10 (permalink)  
Old October 9th 04, 10:51 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Ian McFarlane
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 34
Default new to caravaning

In article ,
says...

"Richard Brookman" wrote in message
...

I went into this on my return from France, where I really missed being in
touch with UK news etc. The radio in the van (car type) couldn't pick up
World Service, and neither could the car's radio. However, to get

satellite
coverage outside the UK requires a bigger dish the further south you go -

up
to about 1.3m diameter for the South of France IIRC. That's big. Go to
http://sdsdigital.co.uk/content/view/38/65/ for details. You can use your
viewing card from home - if not, you'll need a subscription. Sounds like

a
big waste of time and money to me. We're going to get a decent
unidirectional aerial for the TV for our next UK trip, and take a good

radio
for the continental stuff. (BTW, if your van has a status aerial and you
think it's faulty, it isn't. They just don't work very well.)


A 65cm dish will generally suffice for the south of France and certainly no
bigger than an 80cm.

If you just want to listen to radio, watch the BBC channels and the other
free to air channels, you only need a basic FTA digital box which you can
buy for around 80.00. You can receive all of the BBC radio stations plus
quite a few more, including Classic FM. No clicks and fading with
satellite radio.


I can confirm these last comments, I use a 48cm dish and a Free To Air
(FTA) box (I.e not a Sky digibox)when caravanning. I was picking up the
FTA channels such as Sky News and ITV News and radio in the South of
France (Frejus) last year without any problem.

To work out what you can pick up and what you need to do it with you
have to understand how UK tv broadcasting and Sky interact.

The "standard" channels (ie BBC, ITV, C4 and C5) on digital satellite TV
are broadcast from a number of satellites located very close together at
28.2 degrees East of South. When broadcasts first started from these
they used the satellites that had a beam that covered the whole Western
end of Europe pretty well and a 60 cm dish or smaller (the dish for Sky
digital is smaller than 60 cm) was sufficient over a large area,
although as you do go farther south into Spain a bigger dish is needed.
All the UK channels available on terrestrial TV used this system and
paid Sky to encrypt the transmissions which meant you had to have a Sky
box and viewing card to watch. It was argued that because Sky cards are
only intended to be used in the UK (it says so in the small print in the
contract) any rights for a film, sporting event or whatever were paid
for on the basis they were only being broadcast to the UK. Then the BBC
decided that they did not want to pay Sky many millions of pounds to
encrypt their transmissions so started broadcasting free to air. This
means you do not need a Sky box or card to view. However to restrict
broadcasts to the UK they switched to a different satellite at 28.2 that
had a very narrow beam that is focused much more tightly on the UK.

So if you want to watch the BBC free to air broadcasts in the south of
France you need a bigger dish but don't have to use a Sky box. If you
want to watch ITV, C4 or C5 there you don't need a bigger dish but you
do need a Sky box and viewing card. If you just want to watch Sky News
and ITV News and listen to radio in the south of France you don't have
to use a Sky box or a large dish. My only experience of picking up the
free to air BBC in France is in a house a little bit North of Bordeaux
where an 80cm dish picks it up with no problems whatsoever

Satellite TV does rely on a clear line of sight from the dish - it will
not work through trees! On an open site my normal method is to have the
dish on a pole clamped in place of the jockey wheel. If I am on a site
with trees then I put the dish on a short pole which I fit into a
parasol base (cheap) but you can get tripod stands designed for the job
(more expensive) and use an extension lead so that the dish can be
positioned to avoid trees. remember the dish is effectively pointing
upwards so it can be sitting on the ground, it does not have to be on
top of a high pole.

Although it sounds a bit complicated, setting up a dish is not much
different from setting up a TV aerial. A compass helps so that you know
roughly where 28.2 East is and then it is a case of getting the angle
right. With a bit of practice it is a 5 minute job.

Ian
 



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT. The time now is 08:17 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.6.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.0.0 RC6
Copyright 2004-2019 Caravan Banter.
The comments are property of their posters.