Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Let me entertain you - Entertainment in an ERIBA

OK I don’t like starting yet another chapter with ‘unlike most modern UK caravans’ but I will.

Unlike most modern UK caravans an Eriba doesn’t come with entertainment facilities included. I told you it harked back to earlier times.

There is no radio/CD player and no fitted speakers. Neither are there any pre-prepared cable runs and sockets for TV aerials or satellite dish cables. Indeed because of the type of roof involved in a Touring it’s advisable to opt for aerials/dishes that are freestanding rather than roof mounted. 

However this lack of so-called modern facilities doesn’t stop a lot of owners enjoying television whilst using their Eriba. Most Eribas will have at least three mains electric sockets fitted at points in the van within a cables reach of where you’d want to site a TV. And of course these are also useful for radios, laptops, kettles, toasters and electric fan heaters etc. etc as well.
Eriba Tip Just don’t overload the circuits and trip the hook up unit as the site wardens won’t thank you.
Most Eribas also have one or two light fittings that have a 12 volt socket built into the end opposite the switch. These can be used to provide power for relevant electrical equipment.
Eriba Tip Make sure that you’re using specially built caravan/mobile equipment as the type of 12 volt power can be harmful to some things.
You can be nice and tidy and have a TV aerial socket discretely fitted on the outside of your van or even do it yourself. You can route the cable equally discretely inside the van and fit a socket/sockets in a place convenient for your viewing positions or you can just bung the cable through an open window, it’s your choice, but the window thing might lead to complaints about drafts.
TV’s made especially for use in caravans and mobile homes have proved very popular. There are many brands available which can cope with both mains and 12 volt power and have the inbuilt ability to run CDs and show DVDs as well as TV and their cases, screens and internals are built to withstand the hurly burly of caravan/motorhome life. Some will also act as a computer monitor, show photographs from relevant media sources and some will record and playback TV as required. As yet they don’t make coffee but I’m sure someone’s working on it somewhere. 
An Avtex 10 inch Expresso Percolator. Sorry an Avtex 10inch all singing and dancing TV. In our opinion if you have to have a TV in your Eriba this is the ideal size. It just suits the look.
Some owners have fitted aftermarket car radio/CD players and speakers and have made a very neat job of them, although I’m not sure how they manage about an aerial. Others, like ourselves, make do with an ordinary portable radio, although the all embracing steel frame of an Eriba can present reception problems where the signal strength is poor.
Eriba Tip We’ve found that placing the radio on the shelf on top of the wardrobe and therefore outside the vans metal framework provides the best solution. Just make sure you remove it before attempting to shut the roof!
However whatever form of in-van entertainment you choose please be aware that Eribas have a wide slit around their roof which is covered in canvas. Canvas isn’t very good at insulation, heat or sound wise. So please make sure the volume is low enough not to disturb any neighbours who may be upset.
Our Pure Evoke Mio sounds good and the design just matches the Eriba retro mood. Happy sitting on top of wardrobes
You can go the dongle route although we’ve found it relatively unsatisfactory as campsites generally speaking tend to be in low mobile phone signal strength areas and the resulting internet can be interminably slow. 
A tablet computer is ideal for use while caravanning, small package, easy to access, lightweight with all that most people on holiday will need. And rather than give more exposure to the i-Pad here's the much hit upon Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1
 Using wireless (wi-fi) is a much, much better solution providing it is available on site. Availability is spreading fairly rapidly, with some sites offering free wi-fi as a benefit to attract customers and others seeing it as an extra income stream opportunity. For those charging to use the facility the prices seem to vary considerably and in a lot of cases I’m sure that customer take up is being curtailed by high access charges. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry to say but I've been guilty of misinformation. Having acquired an '05 Eriba I've become aware of a little label in a roof locker which advises that somewhere nearby is some cabling for a TV antenna. A check in the manual shows there's also another cabling access point in a bench locker. So from around 2004 there has been cabling available. But I've not heard of any Eriba owner actually using the supplied cabling and the manual is of no help in providing information on how to get at it and what it actually consists of.