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QUESTION AND ANSWER SESSIONS
12 April 2019
Summary of Discussions
- Shower drain
Some members who had experienced slow draining from their showers had removed the non-return valve. This had improved the flow of water through the drain. However a tight-fitting plug was essentialto prevent a backflow of waste water if this was done.
- Twin water tanks
If problems were being experienced in draining water from twin water tanks, check that the switch over valve connecting the two tanks is not in the off position. There should also be two drain points behind the back door.
Editor’s note: Difficult to provide specific guidance as plumbing varies between vans.
- Sticking Blinds
Blinds could be eased by removing the interior trim and spraying the blind roller mechanism with silicon spray. (Advice on doing so could be obtained from Stephen at Murvi.)
- Van wifi
Numerous solutions were suggested including:
- Portable mifi devices using a data only sim card – An example of a prepaid data only sim card is the 3 (Three) offering commonly referred to as ‘internet with legs’
- Tailored mifi systems using roof or window aerials, modems and wifi boosters
- Using data allowance on phone
- Tyre Pressures
- Some tyre manufacturers will not suggest motorhome tyre pressures, advising use of vehicle manufacturer recommended commercial tyre pressures. These pressures affect comfort.
- Continental Tyres have a comprehensive pressure guide based on axle loadings/tyre sizes – link to guide (PDF)and this web site also provides information https://www.tyresafe.org/check-your-pressures/motorhomes/
- Old tyres are dangerous and should be renewed, including the spare
- The date of manufacture can be found from a 4 digit number on the tyre showing week and year of manufacture. If this is not visible, the tyre might be a directional tyre fitted inside out!
- One MOT station had stated that the van might fail if Fiat-recommended pressures were not being used.This was despite a recommended lower pressure from Continental.
- Age of tyres might be included at a future date in the MOT
- Spare Wheels and Changing Flat or Punctured Tyres
- Fiat had recalled 2007-2010 model year vans due to problems with the lowering mechanism for the spare wheel
- The scissor jack provided was considered inadequate by some members and it was preferable to call the breakdown service, particularly when on the motorway. In one case the breakdown service had refused to change a punctured tyre on the motorway, insisting on recovering the whole vehicle to a safer place.
- Is a spare really needed given the weight saving by not carrying one? It is important to understand the contract you have with your breakdown service, as they would probably expect a serviceable spare to be carried.
Editor’s note: If debating whether to carry a spare do consider the possible difficulty of obtaining a replacement tyre at short notice/in a remote location as a puncture may not be repairable.
- Fiat Radio
One member had experienced an error code on a Fiat-fitted radio which meant that the radio switched off after 10 minutes. This could be cleared by switching the headlights or the ignition on then off.
Editor’s note: Difficult to provide specific guidance as method varies between radios.
20 April 2018
Summary of Discussions
1. Children’s bunks
Murvi were not prepared to retrofit bunks which accommodate children. However bunks (including twin versions) are available from a company called ‘Cabbunk’. These are simple to fit and use the van’s cab swivel seats. (www.cabbunk.co.uk) Videos are available to show fitting procedure.
2. Tyre Pressure Monitoring Systems
a) The Tyrepal system had worked well for one member but not for others, one of whom was now trying a Michelin system.
b) Problems could occur with removing and refitting such systems, including fitting the locknuts for security
c) The factory fitted Fiat system was preset for commercial tyre pressures. Dealers would reset to lower pressures if asked.
d) Murvi advice on pressures seemed to now be to set them at 55 on all tyres.
3. Draughts from Sliding Door
Suggestions to stop draughts included using adhesive draught excluder around the door and foam pipe insulation strips in the gap along the bottom of the door.
4. Webasto Heating System
a) The programming is complex as the system is very sophisticated. It is however well worth understanding, especially the frost protection element. The Club hopes to include an explanation from one of the members in a future edition of the newsletter.
b) Webasto advice if using the van during the winter is to switch the system on when you leave home and only adjust the thermostat.
c) Descaling – the Webasto advice has now changed and white vinegar is recommended instead of citric acid. Also, rather than regular descaling, it should only be done when the drop valve gets stuck. Always use the drop valve when you return home from a trip to help avoid this problem.
d) Video tutorials on all aspects of Webasto systems can be found on the Webasto website (https://www.webasto.com/gb/markets-products/motorhomes/heating-solutions/integrated-heaters/video-tutorial/)
e) There was a reminder from one member who had experienced being flooded to always switch off the water pump when travelling.
5. Restoring Bumpers and Trim
Various suggestions were made including shoe polish, peanut butter and autoglym products. One member had got his bumpers etched and repainted.
6. Bodywork protection
Williams Racing spray on polish was recommended as being quick and effective.