Home – and Briefly Back ‘In the Brick’!

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We returned home as OUTLAWS!

Pecuniary Pandemonium; the Subconscious Rejection of a Conventional Lifestyle & STOPtober…

We arrived home to a harsh dose of reality. Having no income, we do our best to save the odd Euro here and there, but we came home to a Holy Trinity of pecuniary pandemonium;

  1. A speeding fine from just before we left, 3 months ago; now transmuted into a Court Summons because, being abroad, we had neither received nor responded to it;
  2. A fine for deducting our tax allowance from our tax return, when we should have left THAT to HMRC and;
  3. A fine for our vehicle tax running out. To be truthful, we had been naïve enough to think that we didn’t need to renew our UK tax while the van was out of the country…

We felt like Bonnie and Clyde – mindful that notorious criminal Al Capone was ultimately brought to justice on a charge of tax evasion.

Still, Mark cut his own hair with the dog scissors. That’s £15 saved! Continue reading “Home – and Briefly Back ‘In the Brick’!”

Killer Caterpillars, Gunmen & ‘Chien Interdit!’ – 10 Things you Need to Know About Taking your Dog to France!

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Are dogs welcome in France?

France is a beautiful, friendly country with plenty of walking, however there are a few things of which you need to be aware if you are planning to take your dog there.

Killer caterpillars, madmen with guns and a few fierce locals are just a couple of the hazards worth considering before you let loose your Fur Baby in France! Continue reading “Killer Caterpillars, Gunmen & ‘Chien Interdit!’ – 10 Things you Need to Know About Taking your Dog to France!”

Blighted Back in Blighty

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Wherever we go, Mr Cock Up seems to be on our tail…

The Course of Caravanning Never Did Run Smooth… but today, Mr Cock Up taught us a very important lesson!

We arrived back in Portsmouth at 18:30 on a golden October evening and were first off the ferry! Marvellous. All we had to do was drive for an hour or so to Verwood, get pitched and relax for the evening.

But the course of caravanning never did run smooth and tonight, we learnt a very important lesson; Continue reading “Blighted Back in Blighty”

Bailey ALKO Axle Problem

It seems that there is barely a week goes by on the Bailey forums where some poor owner does not post that they have had the dreaded Bailey Alko Axle problem and been told by Bailey that it is their fault, because they overloaded their van ‘at some time’.

The axle on our 2-year-old Vigo collapsed and were told exactly that. We KNEW that we had never overloaded our van. As a scientist and former Road Haulage Manager, our knowledge and experience put us in a rather unique position to question Bailey, however.

We put together the information below to support our case and informed Bailey that we would take them to the Small Claims Court and “Publicise our plight via every media available to us.”  We paid for the repair up front to expedite the return of our caravan (I have heard of warranty issues taking months to resolve.) Nevertheless, Bailey eventually agreed to replace our axle free of charge. It came without apology and with careful avoidance of any mention of ‘warranty’ or even ‘goodwill’ which could suggest fault on their part!

I have shared this information with a number of people who found themselves in the same position with Bailey. Bailey’s first stance is always to blame the customer (‘overloading at some time’ or ‘hitting a pothole at some time’) but I am pleased to say that in every case, the axle was ultimately replaced free of charge when the customer challenged Bailey.

Therefore, if you find yourself in this unfortunate position, I hope that the information here will be helpful. My advice is to be persistent. The axle problem is common and personally, I believe that it is something that Bailey should address. I find it difficult to believe that it is the fault of countless careless owners overloading their vans. C’mon Bailey. Play fair. That’s all we ask. Continue reading “Bailey ALKO Axle Problem”