Thursday, 27 September 2012

Life in Fifi le Van(2)

Another update on life in the 'van.
Chausson Flash 30

Our motorhome, a Chausson Flash 30 on a Ford Transit chassis, has now covered 6,500 miles since new from April 2012. Mechanically it has been trouble free, with no incidents, accidents, near misses or hair raising moments. The habitation part has had two repairs done, that being:-

- the shower door fold out extension which needed re-gluing and re-affixing
- the habitation door catch (small exterior catch) which needed replacing after it cracked a second time

Both items were seen to and repaired/replaced under warranty at a Chausson dealer in Geldern, Germany, effectively and efficiently at no cost to ourselves.

- Comfortable, no fuss no nonsense 'van. It does what it says on the label.
- Can go for at least 4-5 days before a sani-station is needed, to empty the toilet cassette and waste water tank, and fill up with fresh water. Usage based on two adults. This means you can 'free camp' if so wished.
- The fitment of a 11kg LPG cylinder meaning refilling by yourself at service stations, instead of the hassle with red and blue gas cylinders. We go for 3 weeks before we refill with the tank still reading 20-30% full.
- The fitment of a solar panel, a second leisure battery and an inverter which means you do not need to pay for and plug into campsite electricity. This has saved us a good bit of money and we only plug in when the camp fee includes the usage of electricity. Heating (when needed) is run on Diesel using the Webasto factory fitted heating system - yes Diesel from your fuel tank! Cuts out when tank level reaches 25%.
- Long range 90 litre fuel tank gives 500 miles easy, averaging 29mpg.
- Big fridge with separate freezer. When well stocked with perishables you can go for a week without the need for a supermarket. And we eat hearty home cooked meals, no tins and prepared stuff.

Minor irritations:-
- The fresh water filler cap lock plays up when the tank is filled to max. It appears that a wet water tank cap renders the lock mechanism non-operative. You can close the tank with the cap, no problem, locking it is the problem. Leaving it in the sun for a few hours allowing the mechanism to dry, cures the problem though .... !
- What is termed a Grill, is not quite a grill, it is good for warming and toasting of bread. It warms croissants wonderfully! Well it is French.

The layout chosen by us, rear island double bed and drop down double bed above the dinette (seldom used though), is a treat. The drop down bed however proved the point when one of us was incapacitated and needed the full bed at the rear.
Large garage under that island bed is most necessary when long terming as we are currently doing, touring Europe.
The after market cab window blinds is a 'must have', it gives total privacy whilst still leaving the cab accessible, even though it comes with a fitted cab curtain.

More in due course ....

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