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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.

Worth Every Penny



 
 
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  #1 (permalink)  
Old January 3rd 06, 01:10 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Peter
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 136
Default Worth Every Penny

Worth every penny.

Like many Caravan Club members who travel south to Europe each year I
wonder if the 130 or so for Red Pennant is worth the money? Each year
(25 so far) I pay up and each year we travel and return safely,
without the need to even open the booklet and read the cover details
and conditions.

Well this year was different!

One Thursday in mid August 2005 saw my wife and I driving from Calais
to the far west of Brittany towing our Abbey with her 4 year old
Freelander TD4. The Navman satellite mapping thingy was on the
dashboard shouting out the route, and for the first time ever we drove
the 400 or so miles without a hitch, to my map reading wives complete
surprise.

The first site was a British owned gem just outside Chateaulin which
offered peace and quiet, close by this lovely small French town and a
central touring base for the first week.

The Saturday saw us exploring the unspoilt peninsular leading to Point
de Raz with all its dramatic coastline small bays and lighthouses.
Being after the 20th. the place was empty with all the French returned
home to Paris as they do. I noticed that the Navman was taking us off
the beaten track and down what were only local lanes, through a farm
yard and up a dirt track on one occasion.

Sunday was set fine for a 45 minute drive south to Concarneau and the
"Festival of the Blue Nets" inside this walled town. We set the Navman
and off we went up the hill south. Again the Navman preferred the
local route and at one point took us off the main route south across
country towards a second Autoroute that also led to Quimper. Half way
across the engine cut out and we pulled up in the middle of nowhere
beside a field of ripening corn.

It's a Sunday, 9.30am and we have stopped in the middle of nowhere
with not a farm in sight and very poor French. After a little time
looking under the bonnet I realise that we may have a failed fuel
pump? Then we remember we have Red Pennant.

Out comes the Orange and within seconds we are talking to the calming
and helpful Heather in East Grinstead, and she takes or details and
tries to fix our location. Now I could give her the lat and long to
within 3 metres off my Navman, but not the name of the road, only the
nearest village some 4 miles away. This was to be the only difficulty
we had, as it seems that the Caravan Club have not grasped the
Satellite age and installed map software capable of using technical
data. They seem to have a Michelin road map and not that large a scale
at that!

After few minutes Heather came back and told us she had located a tow
firm that would tow us in but was refusing to start out without an
exact location being in Quimper some 15 miles south. Over the next
hour or so and various call Heather was able to fix our location to
within a half mile and got the recovery driver to start out. Half and
hour later the reassuring sight of the tow truck came round the corner
and out jumped Michel. He looked under the bonnet as well and came to
the same conclusion as I had, it was fuel pump.

Now my French mainly is speaking English with a French accent and
adding the odd Qui and Merci! Michel's English was well French. So on
to Heather and she told us they were having the car taken south to
storage in Quimper for the night and then on to the Land Rover
Dealership in the town on the Monday. If we would accompany the driver
he would take us to an Avis hire car outlet and we could hire a car
till the Freelander was fixed.

But here was the rub, all our passports, driving licences (both parts
are needed) were back in the caravan north of our location 5 miles
away. So on to patient Heather again to be informed Michel was taking
his family to "The festival of the Blue Nets" of all places and we
were going to Quimper where we could get a taxi back to get our
passport and driving Licence. A round trip of some 70 odd miles back
and forth if there was an Avis open, but there was not. So we went
south to Quimper in the truck and back north an hour later by taxi to
the caravan and called it a day. Lesson always carry your full
documents with you at all times and a phrase book.

The next morning Monday saw us bright and early caging a lift off the
site owner up to the railway station on the hill at Chateaulin for a
15 minute journey south to Quimper. On arrival a short walk to the
Avis Car Hire shop to collect the Peugeot 307 and off to the Land
Rover dealership in the outskirts. Here we were advised they would
look at it today and get Heather to call us with an update later. So
off we went and sure enough in the late afternoon the Heather called
to say that it was the fuel pump and that a replacement was 450 euros
and would be 48 hours.

Over the next two days we toured the Crozan peninsular with its
wonderful empty sandy beaches that reminded us of what Cornwall was
like in the 50's, undeveloped, clean and quiet.

Wednesday came and that afternoon we dropped back the hire car took a
taxi up to the Land Rover dealership and waited. The Freelander was in
the workshop through a glass wall and we could see that they were
having some trouble starting it. But after the laptop was plugged in
again and all seemed to be ok and off we went. 'She who must be
obeyed' who's car it is, pointed out that it was not starting that
well as we drove out of the garage back to our caravan and the rest of
our holiday.

The next morning was as planned a short pull to the north west of
Brest on to Plougueerneau, close by the highest lighthouse or Les
Phares as the French call them in France. This coastline is another of
the less visited gems of France and its hidden coves and small
harbours are unspoiled, undeveloped and very special. Over the next
two days we toured the coastline from west of Brest to close by our
site and we enjoyed the every minute of it. The Freelander starting
was now prefect as I pointed out at every opportunity.

The plan now was to move up to Normandy and stay first for two days
somewhere near St. Malo. So the next morning saw us on our way north
with the Navman chirping away to a very relaxed better half. 300 miles
late saw us pull in to the seaside municipal site at Cherruiex 15
miles east of the port. This was deserted and apart from one Dutch
tent we had it to ourselves and as we booked in with the smashing
French owner she informed us the site was closing for the season in
two days Monday.

That late Saturday afternoon saw us drive off the site towards St.
Malo to walk the town walls before trying our luck at a seafood
restaurant we knew. After 5 miles on the coast road to the ferry port
the Freelander suddenly stopped again just as before. Frankly we
looked at each other and said that we were expecting that and out came
the Orange and Heather.

Within 20 minutes this time our position was pinpointed and the truck
arrived and ran us back to the site and then took our dead Freelander
50 miles south to Rennes the nearest Land Rover dealership. Over the
next hour and various call from the Heather we found out that they
would not be able to even look at the Freelander till at least the
following Wednesday and if it was a fuel pump another 48 hours to
arrive and 24 to fit. This meant we would miss our ferry home. This
was not a problem as she would rebook our crossings to St Malo or
later if we preferred at Calais when they knew what was what.

Problem was the van was on a site that was closing on the Monday! The
third week in august? So what to do? After a whole bottle of very good
local Cider we both agreed we had had enough and wanted to go home and
come back the following weekend and collect the rig for home.

Out came the Orange and the now old friend Heather was back in ten
minutes with a booking conformation for two foot passenger for the 9am
Sunday crossing to Portsmouth.

The site owner then arrange at their cost to move the van on the
Monday to their other site in the village and store it alongside their
home safe till we could collect it, for which they would not take any
fee.

7.30 am the next morning the taxi arrived and we had a wonderful trip
home to Pompy, more of a cruse really, glorious sunshine on the top
deck and train up to London and back down to Kent. Heather even
offered to arrange a taxi from Portsmouth home but we declined
preferring the train.

Well as it turns out the Land Rover could not be fixed in under two
weeks as they were too busy and so 8 days later a lorry turns up with
my van on the hook and then takes the Freelander to the local
Dealership. It turns out to be the other fuel pump, there are three!

What can I say other than thank you Caravan Club and in particular
Heather who turned what could have been a disaster into a slight
annoyance.

Red Pennant picked up the bill for everything, Taxis, hire cars,
ferries, food and labour. All we had to find were the part costs. But
above all it was that calm English speaker on the end of the phone
that nothing was too much trouble for that made the difference.

So next time I will no hesitate and it will be the gold red pennant
for us. Oh yes and if map reading in France leads to near divorce get
a Navman.

Regards
Ads
  #2 (permalink)  
Old January 3rd 06, 07:32 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
DaveK
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 885
Default Worth Every Penny


"Peter" wrote in message
...
Worth every penny.

Like many Caravan Club members who travel south to Europe each year I
wonder if the 130 or so for Red Pennant is worth the money?


Enjoyed reading your account. I used to use Red Pennant but Direct Travel
Insurance coupled with Saga Green Flag is a lot cheaper. Green Flag cover
for car and caravan Europe-wide is 85 a year. Don't know how good they are
'cos I've never called on their services.
Have been towing through France and Spain for years, firstly with a Renault
19 diesel-which was a bit small for the job. Then in 1994 Citroen Xantia
tdi, now in a 2000 Xantia hdi.
Despite allegedly bad reputation for reliability, both cars have always
started on the button and never missed a beat. Now with 160,000 miles on
one, 71,000 on the newer.
Cost of repairs,-nil.
DaveK.




  #3 (permalink)  
Old January 3rd 06, 07:32 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
DaveK
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 885
Default Worth Every Penny


"Peter" wrote in message
...
Worth every penny.

Like many Caravan Club members who travel south to Europe each year I
wonder if the 130 or so for Red Pennant is worth the money?


Enjoyed reading your account. I used to use Red Pennant but Direct Travel
Insurance coupled with Saga Green Flag is a lot cheaper. Green Flag cover
for car and caravan Europe-wide is 85 a year. Don't know how good they are
'cos I've never called on their services.
Have been towing through France and Spain for years, firstly with a Renault
19 diesel-which was a bit small for the job. Then in 1994 Citroen Xantia
tdi, now in a 2000 Xantia hdi.
Despite allegedly bad reputation for reliability, both cars have always
started on the button and never missed a beat. Now with 160,000 miles on
one, 71,000 on the newer.
Cost of repairs,-nil.
DaveK.




  #4 (permalink)  
Old January 3rd 06, 08:40 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
DieSea
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 993
Default Worth Every Penny


"davek" wrote in message
...

"Peter" wrote in message
...
Worth every penny.

Like many Caravan Club members who travel south to Europe each year I
wonder if the 130 or so for Red Pennant is worth the money?


Enjoyed reading your account. I used to use Red Pennant but Direct Travel
Insurance coupled with Saga Green Flag is a lot cheaper. Green Flag cover for
car and caravan Europe-wide is 85 a year. Don't know how good they are 'cos
I've never called on their services.
Have been towing through France and Spain for years, firstly with a Renault 19
diesel-which was a bit small for the job. Then in 1994 Citroen Xantia tdi, now
in a 2000 Xantia hdi.
Despite allegedly bad reputation for reliability, both cars have always started
on the button and never missed a beat. Now with 160,000 miles on one, 71,000 on
the newer.
Cost of repairs,-nil.
DaveK.





Dave

I've regrettably had experience on 2 occasions in the last 18 months

The first when solo when the Alternator Belt broke on the M65 , the turned up
within 20 mins and I was back at the garage and fixed within an hour.

The second when my Cam belt went on the M5 , this time with the Van on the back ,
they turned up within half an hour, that was at 4.30am and I was back home in East
Lancs. with in five hours.

I cant fault them ,

DieSea


  #5 (permalink)  
Old January 3rd 06, 08:40 PM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
DieSea
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 993
Default Worth Every Penny


"davek" wrote in message
...

"Peter" wrote in message
...
Worth every penny.

Like many Caravan Club members who travel south to Europe each year I
wonder if the 130 or so for Red Pennant is worth the money?


Enjoyed reading your account. I used to use Red Pennant but Direct Travel
Insurance coupled with Saga Green Flag is a lot cheaper. Green Flag cover for
car and caravan Europe-wide is 85 a year. Don't know how good they are 'cos
I've never called on their services.
Have been towing through France and Spain for years, firstly with a Renault 19
diesel-which was a bit small for the job. Then in 1994 Citroen Xantia tdi, now
in a 2000 Xantia hdi.
Despite allegedly bad reputation for reliability, both cars have always started
on the button and never missed a beat. Now with 160,000 miles on one, 71,000 on
the newer.
Cost of repairs,-nil.
DaveK.





Dave

I've regrettably had experience on 2 occasions in the last 18 months

The first when solo when the Alternator Belt broke on the M65 , the turned up
within 20 mins and I was back at the garage and fixed within an hour.

The second when my Cam belt went on the M5 , this time with the Van on the back ,
they turned up within half an hour, that was at 4.30am and I was back home in East
Lancs. with in five hours.

I cant fault them ,

DieSea


  #6 (permalink)  
Old January 11th 06, 06:55 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Jim
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 129
Default Worth Every Penny

"davek" wrote in message
...

"Peter" wrote in message
...
Worth every penny.

Like many Caravan Club members who travel south to Europe each year I
wonder if the 130 or so for Red Pennant is worth the money?


Enjoyed reading your account. I used to use Red Pennant but Direct

Travel
Insurance coupled with Saga Green Flag is a lot cheaper. Green Flag

cover
for car and caravan Europe-wide is 85 a year. Don't know how good they

are
'cos I've never called on their services.
SNIP

DaveK.


A word of caution though!

If you breakdown or have an accident whilst abroad and the caravan is
unhitched on a caravan site, say you are doing a day-trip or out shopping,
and the damage is so bad the car must be recovered to the UK your policy
will not cover the caravan's recovery if it is not attached to the car at
the time of the incident.

I am with Saga too and asked them the what-if. The above was there
response.

I was alerted to the problem by a friend who has the Caravan Club's Red
Pennant which will allow for the recovery of both car and caravan in any
circumstances.

--

Regards

Jim


----------------------------------------
I am using the free version of SPAMfighter for private users.
It has removed 3 spam emails to date.
Paying users do not have this message in their emails.
Try www.SPAMfighter.com for free now!


  #7 (permalink)  
Old January 11th 06, 06:55 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Jim
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 129
Default Worth Every Penny

"davek" wrote in message
...

"Peter" wrote in message
...
Worth every penny.

Like many Caravan Club members who travel south to Europe each year I
wonder if the 130 or so for Red Pennant is worth the money?


Enjoyed reading your account. I used to use Red Pennant but Direct

Travel
Insurance coupled with Saga Green Flag is a lot cheaper. Green Flag

cover
for car and caravan Europe-wide is 85 a year. Don't know how good they

are
'cos I've never called on their services.
SNIP

DaveK.


A word of caution though!

If you breakdown or have an accident whilst abroad and the caravan is
unhitched on a caravan site, say you are doing a day-trip or out shopping,
and the damage is so bad the car must be recovered to the UK your policy
will not cover the caravan's recovery if it is not attached to the car at
the time of the incident.

I am with Saga too and asked them the what-if. The above was there
response.

I was alerted to the problem by a friend who has the Caravan Club's Red
Pennant which will allow for the recovery of both car and caravan in any
circumstances.

--

Regards

Jim


----------------------------------------
I am using the free version of SPAMfighter for private users.
It has removed 3 spam emails to date.
Paying users do not have this message in their emails.
Try www.SPAMfighter.com for free now!


  #8 (permalink)  
Old January 11th 06, 06:55 AM posted to uk.rec.caravanning
Jim
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 129
Default Worth Every Penny

"davek" wrote in message
...

"Peter" wrote in message
...
Worth every penny.

Like many Caravan Club members who travel south to Europe each year I
wonder if the 130 or so for Red Pennant is worth the money?


Enjoyed reading your account. I used to use Red Pennant but Direct

Travel
Insurance coupled with Saga Green Flag is a lot cheaper. Green Flag

cover
for car and caravan Europe-wide is 85 a year. Don't know how good they

are
'cos I've never called on their services.
SNIP

DaveK.


A word of caution though!

If you breakdown or have an accident whilst abroad and the caravan is
unhitched on a caravan site, say you are doing a day-trip or out shopping,
and the damage is so bad the car must be recovered to the UK your policy
will not cover the caravan's recovery if it is not attached to the car at
the time of the incident.

I am with Saga too and asked them the what-if. The above was there
response.

I was alerted to the problem by a friend who has the Caravan Club's Red
Pennant which will allow for the recovery of both car and caravan in any
circumstances.

--

Regards

Jim


----------------------------------------
I am using the free version of SPAMfighter for private users.
It has removed 3 spam emails to date.
Paying users do not have this message in their emails.
Try www.SPAMfighter.com for free now!


 



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