'We break into this blog on Eribas to bring you some exciting news!'
Our lovely Poppy has moved on and is now a Welsh Poppy (thanks Randa) living near Carmarthen.
This morning she was replaced by Esmerelda, a 2005 Troll 540 with central cabinet type lounge. Externally it's hard to spot the difference, red plastic trim round the mid-rail instead of white, different hitch cover design, different finish alloy stone chip guards on the front, a small square extra vent on the rear roof and a towel rail grab handle across the back instead of two single handles and different design rear light mouldings, but otherwise much the same.
Inside the changes are more noticeable, different upholstery fabric, updated kitchen with round sink instead of square, chromed tap, hob with glass cover. Washroom with electric flush loo and a grey mottled worktop all round and different shelving and lockers plus chromed tap again. Up at the back is the real reason we changed, the central cabinet, with extending worktop, it means we don't need the gurt great table anymore and the bed benches are on hinged supports that mean the end of lifting 2 stone, 6ft 5ins bench tops about, Brilliant!
In fact Esme arrived at Steamdriven Towers at about 2pm this afternoon after a gentle perambulation up the M5/M6 from her erstwhile abode in Bromsgrove. I was gentle with her, rarely exceeding 55mph, because she was a little tail happy. I suspect this was due to the Soplair awning loaded up the back of her interior with absolutely nothing loaded up front to add noseweight. In fact I suspect we were travelling with an almost zero noseweight, a fact that was demonstrated by her desire to sit down on her back end as we manoeuvred her into her parking spot at home with the Reichmover.
The other reason I was gentle with her, and BTW I treat all my ladies with gentility, was that I suspected the tyres were original and checking the code when we got home confirmed they were manufactured in week 21 of 2004, so they're over 7 years old and best advice is always change caravan tyres every 5 years.
I'm also given to understand by her previous keeper that she hasn't been used in 18 months and therefore deserves a good full service.
Having checked through her this afternoon I find we've 'inherited' a pillow, a proper set of boules, a Waste Hog, a TV aerial array and wiring etc, some plastic waste piping, an Aquaroll, a microwave, a nearly empty container of Thetford green, some winter fridge vent covers, an ENORMOUS wheel clamp thing, a full Soplair awning, a green Protec winter cover and lots of bibs and bobs. And of course a Reichmover, something we'd ummed and ahhed about fitting to Poppy but now we have a van already fitted out. OK it's not the all singing version and you have to manually wind the rollers up against the tyres and the roller is the 'old sort' with pebble-dashed finish BUT it works and it's an absolute pleasure to move the van into her spot on the drive. More than a pleasure it's a boyhood fantasy in slow motion, a remote control caravan. Yeah! How cool is that? OK maybe not cool but, no dammit, COOL!
I started moving some of our 'stuff' from Poppy into Esme this afternoon, just a few things, but I'm starting to worry. Our garage was already crowded but I thought when Esme arrived most of the 'stuff' would disappear into her. But with an extra awning and poles, extra Water Hog, the winter cover that's seen better days etc, etc it seems we're even more crowded. I'm already regretting letting our unused winter cover go to Poppy's new owners for £75 as I checked and a new one is £290 or so and on close inspection Esme's cover has a degradation hole on the prow which can only get worse.
One other thing that makes a massive difference to Esme's interior ambience is that she's got carpet fitted that matches the upholstery colour. It not only looks good, but feels good underfoot, however I don't think it's probably a sensible option to use with bad weather and two bearded collies on board. Maybe the carpet is one more thing for the garage.