We have one of those - not particularly well made (cheap castings and machining) but they do the job. We bought 2 single arm ones from Ikea a year ago which are of much better quality and finish. Unfortunately, they were not on their website when we looked but are back again (£9.99).
To prevent the plastic handwheel on your Alko spare wheel carrier seizing up, take a plastic tub with a lid, drill a hole through the centre of the base and fit it over the bolt, then screw on the handwheel and fit the lid. It keeps it clean and gives you a tub to put the wheelbolts in when changing the wheel. I used a margerine tub.
Good question, Maurice and thanks for your interest. They will only enhance the value if the buyer values the enhancements.
They certainly make for better living, otherwise I wouldn't do them - plus I like 'messing'.
Why did you add the heated towel rail? Didn't your blown air do this? Still think it's a good idea, though.
I also have added an extra socket in the bedroom (o/s fixed bed) to make it easy to use a hairdryer. The inboard tank means I only need one Aquaroll and allows use in the depths of winter and water for long journeys. The inboard pump gives an improved shower. The towel rail in the shower room (£1.99 from Wilko) gives somewhere to hang the towel. The distribution blocks allow the connection of the motor mover and the inverter without trying to wedge the cables into the battery box The storage under the wardrobe uses wasted space over the axle for little used items and frees up other space The ceiling mounted TV bracket allows the proper viewing angle for the Avtex (this may well be removed upon sale as the bracket is peculiar to Avtex)
The perfect 'van with everything I want hasn't been built yet and I don't think it ever will be (the sofas are too short in my Onyx - should have got the 2003 model) but it's a little bit closer to what I want. Don't forget, Swift started fitting Alko dampers, apparantly as a direct result of people adding this to their own caravans and reporting on it. Mind you, we haven't seen anything of a recessed wind out awning that we asked Swift about last year.
For example, on another forum (under Swift Caravans) there is a discussion on the Omnivent or lack of, in the new ranges. Some think the Mini-Heki is great, some are going to replace it with an Omnivent. (Personally, I think that a Dometic extractor fan over the hob would be the best solution - ha! - another enhancement to think about).
I still have other mods to report on - I'll post them when I take some more pics.
The reason I started this thread was to see what modifications other people had made so that I could use (steal?) their ideas. As I said, I love messing - so if people have an idea that they have not yet implemented - let's hear about it.
This is the inboard tank I have fitted. It sits in the table cupboard, part of which was blanked off with a piece of 6mm ply. It is fed by the submersible pump controlled by a solenoid valve and a float switch. The inboard diaphragm pump then supplies the taps and shower. It is possible to isolate the inboard tank so that water is drawn from the Aquaroll and also to isolate the Ultraheat so that a small amount of water can be carried for longer journies. This will be replaced with larger tank with a water level gauge - hence the control panel I have added.
There was a thread some time ago on the changes people had made to make life in the 'van easier. I'm running out of ideas now (I love messing about with the 'van) so I thought I'd post one my modifications to prompt others to do the same.
Under the wardrobe is a lot of unused space (2002 Eccles Onyx) so I have fitted a sub shelf for items that are not used a lot. I simply screwed/glued a 10mm pse lath to the wallboard and one to the fire surround and placed the 4mm ply on top. I know that there's more space than this but I wanted to keep the items away from the cables and blown air ducts.
Stored here are the following:
Caravan manuals Alko jack Multimeter Mains adapter cables Bits and bobs boxes
There are other mods I have done if anyone is interested but I would certainly like to see your changes.
4 or 5 years ago on a site in the Vendee, we were pitch near a couple of families (two brothers) who between them, had at least 12 paraffin lamps. They were very keen collectors and visited the local car boot sales (brocante?) to top up their collection.
Apart from gas lamps, we have a single element Coleman lamp (cheaper model than the Northstar) and this puts out plenty of light. Cheaper to run than gas. You could also consider a Bullfinch lamp connected to the BBQ outlet.
If you can hear the relays clicking they are probably OK. I've just fixed mine with exactly the same symptoms. The 125 degree overheat thermostat had disintegrated. This also occured about 3 years ago when both of them were in pieces.
This requires the heater to be removed to access the thermostats. Remove the front cover, 5 screws, the exhaust pipe and the gas connection below. This allows access to the thermostats.
Only attempt this if you are comfortable with it.
A new exhaust seal MUST be used when re-installing and you should have the gas reconnected by a competent person.
For more details, visit the Truma website for a schematic:
For further information e-mail Gary at Arc - he is THE expert.
The remote external thermostat solves the problem of the 'van cooling down too much before the heater switches back on again. Gary stocks the remotes at a lot lower price than the Truma one.
The Mk3 filters are getting rare now (one fetched ?20 on e-Bay). In the long run it's probably better to replace the inlet with a Mk2. The Mk3 had sealing problems and I heard that there was a batch of filters that leaked from the seam. It's more or less a straight swap but you may need to add or remove an elbow, if plumbed in semi-rigid push-fit pipework. New filters are readily available or, a little cheaper, you can get a new filter from Filtapac or, cheaper still, replacement inserts.