Gadgets and Gizmos for our new van ... (1 Viewer)

Minxy

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Since 1996, had Elddis/Swift/Rapido/Rimor/Chausson MHs. Autocruise/Globecar PVCs/Compactline i-138
We've been thinking about our new PVC which we collect on 7th May, a Globecar Familyscout L, we've been trying to decide on what bits we want on it and which we don't.

We are getting a second matched leisure battery installed (FOC) and a radio (FOC) plus our awning and bike rack are being moved across from our old van too.

Solar: We're not sure what to do about this - we have an Alden 75w solar panel on our current van which is about 7/8 years old now and could be moved across, or we could use one of the new flexi-panels we picked up at the Peterborough show - a 60w and a 40w one - we're not sure which would be best from an 'output' point of view though, the good quality Alden or the smaller but possibly more efficient flexi one.

Alarm/beepers: hubby wants an alarm (nothing fancy, just a Cat 2 to Cat 1 upgrade), he also wants reversing bleepers putting on (we've got them on our current van and he likes them) - reversing bleepers are £199 installed but for an extra £60 we can have front ones too ... hubby's not sure whether to have both or just stick to having the rear ones - he won't do this himself as it means linking into the Canbus system and with it being a new vehicle he doesn't want to invalidate the warranty. I'm wondering if anyone has any experience of having beepers on the front as well as the rear and if so, what do/did you think of them?

Camera: he'll sort out a rear view camera himself as he'll use the one we've already got - he doesn't link it in to the existing electrics and instead just puts it on a 12v plug so we can have it on as/when we want to.

Aerial: our current van has a 'flying saucer' which works very well, but we don't actually watch TV much at all so are thinking of getting one of the external 'stick-on the side of the van when you need it' type - any views on what's best?

Gas: we picked up a bargain No 2 Gaslow 6kg cylinder and the pipes etc at Peterborough so I'll install that along with our existing cylinder etc (assuming I can persuade it to come out of the existing locker as it was a bit 'tight' getting it in through the opening originally!).

Anything else you can suggest that we might consider for our new 'baby'?
 
Nov 30, 2009
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Exciting times Mel.
One of the first jobs Ralph did on Pug once we'd reversed him down the very narrow drive at our house, was to disable the reversing beeper. It took us ages to get it into position , wing mirrors in , till we got to the back garden.
So loud. I wouldn't like to think we were turning up somewhere , having it beeping away. It might not sound so loud once it's furnished and carpeted.
Does it have cruise control ? I'm used to using it now, on my new car. It's great on the motorway. Ralph will have to get used to that as his pickup doesn't have it.
 

scotjimland

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Jul 25, 2007
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Congrats.. very nice van.. it was on our short list. I like the Possl/Globecar quality.. and we would have also used it as an 'everyday' vehicle and sold the car.

but decided against as we felt a PVC is a bit cramped for three of us for stress free living, fine in summer when we 'live' outside but not on a bleak winter day .. maybe once Chaz flees the nest will have another look .. .. for the present the Hymer suits us better.. always a compromise..

'Must have's.' for me... . Cab Air Con ...

happy travels

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May 29, 2013
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Apparently generators are very popular to have with you !! The thing which I've just got round to installing (after a year) is decent loudspeakers for the radio. Next couple of weeks will see the standard Ford radio come out and something nice go in. Need lots of decibels to drown out the generator noise !

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Nov 4, 2011
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Aerial: our current van has a 'flying saucer' which works very well, but we don't actually watch TV much at all so are thinking of getting one of the external 'stick-on the side of the van when you need it' type - any views on what's best?
I think your right about having a 'stick on the side aerial'. We use one of the avtex sth2000 and it works very well, we have a external aerial socket which makes connecting aerial easier.
 
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Minxy

Minxy

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The van already has cruise control and air con and we can put an aerial connection inside the hook-up lead plastic case (we've already got one like that on our current van for a satellite cable!) so feeding in an external removable aerial isn't an issue.

No generator though! No chance - can't stand the noisy smelly things! :D

We're going to leave the Alden panel where it is and use the 60w flexi-panel instead, either puting it on ourselves or get a local firm to do it ... we did ask SMC but the cost just for fitting was £240!!! :confused:

The radio will be a Blaupunkt as far as we know so not a bad quality one, we won't have speakers in the rear though (our current van has them) so will have to revert to using a portable radio instead as we used to do.

Auto-clutch ... this is something I had thought of previous, even if we weren't changing vans, as hubby's left hip plays him up now, I did have a shuftie at them but he's happy to carry on using his leg for the time being.:rolleyes:
 
Jan 26, 2010
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Hi Mel- we have the Globecar Family Scout (we spoke to you briefly at Peterborough?). Whilst not considering myself an expert as I am still finding my way around the van but for what it's worth, my thoughts are:

Solar - be very careful who you get to do this as it is possible to knacker the Schaudt power supply unit. I have not got a solar panel for this van (yet) but understand that it is essential that you fit the Schaudt regulator. Without solar, our batteries were still showing 12.4v after Peterborough - we arrived on Thursday a.m. and left on Monday morning.

Reversing bleepers - I fitted some on this van. I used the Dolphin ones which I have fitted previously. The power supply was taken from the wire supplying the reversing lamp which I understand is outside of the Canbus system. I know that other kits are cheaper but I wanted good quality. The kit cost me £75.

Reversing camera - I fitted one at the same time as the reversing beepers. Fairly fiddly but straightforward to fit. There is a grommet under the nearside footwell plastic cover which I used to get the cables inside the vehicle. I fed the cable alongside the vehicle battery and up into the central dash area. Power for the screen came from the cigarette lighter connections as it is controlled with the ignition.

Aerial - we use the Avtex one and find it very good. You can get a FUN discount if you buy from Roadpro.

Gas - I'd be interested to know where you put the filler. The gas locker is only accessible with the rear doors open which could be a bit of a nuisance if you have bikes loaded.
 
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Minxy

Minxy

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Hi Martin, I remember chatting to you both - nice to put faces to some of the Funsters on here!

Solar - yes we've already been 'schooled' in what we should be careful of from Rex (Ludo) so I'll have to hunt out a Schaudt LR1218 regulator.

Reversing beepers - thanks for the info on how you wired yours in, I'll have a shuftie to see if we can do the same as we actually bought a set last year for our car but never fitted them so might use them on the camper instead.

Rear view camera - that's pretty much how we fed the cable on our current Accent, although we came up via grommet behind the driver's seat but as the battery compartment is a bit further forward and has a 'grommet' in it would make a better route so I'll check that out on our new van.

Gas - the design has changed since your van was produced as the gas locker door is now on the end rather than the side so accessing it isn't an issue even with bikes on board so I'll probably put the filler in the locker as I did for our Accent. We've never had any problems with being able to fill up in 6 years of use so I'm not going to put in an external filler and obviously having a second bottle will mean we don't have to do it so often anyway.

How are you getting on with your new 'baby'?

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GWAYGWAY

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Apparently generators are very popular to have with you !! The thing which I've just got round to installing (after a year) is decent loudspeakers for the radio. Next couple of weeks will see the standard Ford radio come out and something nice go in. Need lots of decibels to drown out the generator noise !
My transit had the ford radio taken out and a new one!!!! fitted by the previous incumbent but it is c==p and I want another Ford one to go back in, at least I can use them without struggling with a manual to find hidden sub menus under another sub menu etc. wanna sell it cheap???
 
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Minxy

Minxy

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I'd settle for ANY radio that can receive Radio 2 in the UK wherever we go!
 
Sep 2, 2014
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If you're worried about the reversing beepers being too loud, have them wired as most commercial vehicles are, they are turned off when the vehicle lights are turned on:)

Ron
 
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Not sure how much your van is costing BUT if it is more than £50,000 and you don't have the thatcham 2/1 upgrade safeguard, comfort C&CC will not insure you , in fact C&CC insist on a tracker as well. We discovered this to our cost recently.
 
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Minxy

Minxy

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And a radio (FOC)? Pretty sure every van comes with a radio nowadays
Nope ... it depends on the spec you go for and who's made the van - most UK manufacturered ones do (ie Swift, Autotrail etc) but those from mainland Europe tend not to unless the dealers specify it when they pre-order new vehicles.
 
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Minxy

Minxy

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Not sure how much your van is costing BUT if it is more than £50,000 and you don't have the thatcham 2/1 upgrade safeguard, comfort C&CC will not insure you , in fact C&CC insist on a tracker as well. We discovered this to our cost recently.
Yes, I know but thanks for mentioning it anyway (y) - our van is costing us a fair bit less than £50k so not an issue but we are going to get a Thatcham 2 to 1 alarm upgrade as it will cost no more than a secodn remote key fob!

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bhs

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I am using reversing beeper integrated in reversing light, £1.95 on fleabay, it is not very bright so have wired it to a housing under the van and kept the original reversing lamps.
 
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Minxy

Minxy

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I am using reversing beeper integrated in reversing light, £1.95 on fleabay, it is not very bright so have wired it to a housing under the van and kept the original reversing lamps.
That's the beeping light, the ones hubby's wanting are the type that have sensors in them that tell you how far away from an object you are ... sorry I should have been clearer in my postings! :rolleyes:
 
Sep 2, 2014
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That's the beeping light, the ones hubby's wanting are the type that have sensors in them that tell you how far away from an object you are ... sorry I should have been clearer in my postings! :rolleyes:
Ah, ok ! My old Isuzu 4x4 had factory fitted reversing sensors and a switch to turn them off. We had to turn them off when trying to reverse our caravan or they would drive you nuts!!!!!

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bhs

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I see, I fitted a reversing camera confident I could reverse with ease, trying it out I managed to reverse in to my own car! Which incidentally has reversing sensors front and back, don't rely on them though, they are the increasing pitch type, never sure how high a note I should stop at, perhaps I should practice more!
 

pops

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Hope everything goes well for you Minxygirl with your new van.

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Minxy

Minxy

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Aug 22, 2007
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Update ... ref the alarm, we've ordered a Toad Ai606 and found a local chap who can install it for us, he's been very helpful explaining it all to us and even went so far as to say it was cheaper for us to get the kit off Ebay than through him! We're picking the van up on Thursday and the alarm will be fitted on Friday. :)

Also sorted out insurance and breakdown/recovery today - £365 via Safeguard including 5% discount for the alarm and 5% for the reversing beepers/camera (we've got 14 days to fit them). This is with a £150 excess plus £50 NCB protection excess, so £200 in total. No-one else could come close. :rolleyes:

Getting excited now .... can't wait to get my little mitts on it! :D
 

GaryBDawson

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Hi
You seem to have sorted most things, one of our best and most used add Ons is a Pure water filter, means we drink water direct from the tank . It even takes out the chlorine taste from British water and sorts out all water from around Europe , not cheap bet good and easy to use.

Gary
 

Judge Mental

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Apparently generators are very popular to have with you !! The thing which I've just got round to installing (after a year) is decent loudspeakers for the radio. Next couple of weeks will see the standard Ford radio come out and something nice go in. Need lots of decibels to drown out the generator noise !

What? Mel dont have a generator? Dont believe that!

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