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It would help me and a lot of other owners I suspect if you would please supply details of your front screen change – who did it and what it cost. It must have been a wrench to sell your van.
Thank you for any help you can give.
Keith Pemberton.21st November 2021 at 17:09 in reply to: An unconventional fitting of a Dometic brand new RM 5310 3-way fridge. #3642
Hi again – please read compressor for condensing in my first line above beginning – “My first reason for” Sorry for this piece of carelessness.
Keith21st November 2021 at 17:04 in reply to: An unconventional fitting of a Dometic brand new RM 5310 3-way fridge. #3641
My first reason for doing what I did was that no manufacturer offered a condensing fridge which would exactly fit in the space vacated by my old fridge; in fact there wasn’t even a close fit. So it became a no brainer to buy the latest version of the fridge originally fitted because this was an exact fit.
I should have started my first reply with this information. Of course a new owner can get a suitably qualified gas fitter to make my new fridge operate as designed as a 3 in 1.
We have this problem in the winter particularly when we’re boiling water, cooking or using hot water to wash or wash up. Several members have found that the ‘dashboard panel” rots and is not easy to replace. I have owned my van from new in 2004. My 3 methods of preventing the dashboard from rotting (with for the first 2 the bonus of driving away with a mist free windscreen) are :-
1) Use a Karcher window vac – there are several models available, I bought one with the choice of a narrow or wide blade. It is cordless, easy to recharge and the battery power seems to last a long time. Because of the curvature of the windscreen I use the narrow blade. I wipe horizontally across the top, then beneath this wipe etc using a small overlap. The result is a clear window free of streaks. It’s surprising how much water is collected from a single clearing of the screen. It only takes a couple of minutes.
2) Because our vans have a unique front window off-the-peg insulation screens aren’t a good fit. A tailored to our screen insulation screen is supplied by Silverscreens who measured the window to do this. Their screen (is the one I have) covers both front side windows and windscreen and is a boon when the temperatures outside are low or it’s snowing. We’ve used ours in the uk from November through to May storing it under the shower room floor. It’s bulky and often wet when put away so I hang it up in the garage to dry when I get home. For daytime use there is a drop down central panel if you want to see out. This is designed to give privacy from people walking by if you want it. We get little or no condensation when using it because I suspect the windscreen is warmer with it on than it otherwise would be. This is after all what it’s designed to do.
3) For our previous van the first owner had bought internal insulating screens one for each of the 3 front windows. These worked quite well where they made a snug fit and, once in position there were no runs or drips. But getting a snug fit was difficult because they were held in place by suction pads. After I had removed them condensation quickly formed if the outside temperature was low. These screens were also quite bulky, but at least they were always dry and could therefore be stored more easily.
My best wishes to you for some good winter camping in these unusual times.
Keith15th September 2021 at 13:07 in reply to: An unconventional fitting of a Dometic brand new RM 5310 3-way fridge. #3558
I ran fresh 12v wiring because I didn’t know how to make the existing wiring free of ignition control. It was relatively easy to do.
I am not bothered if there is an extra cost.
In the spring of 2020 lockdown prevented me from having a new fridge fitted by a professional.
I’ve found that I can have the new fridge on for 16 hours continuously on a hot day away from hook-up without a bother. Maybe my 2 x 80 amp/hr leisure batteries are the reason for this. I did the same with the old fridge. For me there is a joy to switching the fridge on and then not thinking about it for the day or whole holiday (weeks). It’s so easy.
There are several advantages to running an absorption fridge this way. I like these. For me it is better than having a compressor fridge.
I’m always looking for the lazy way to achieve what I want, I always have but I think it’s become more pronounced since I entered my eighties. That’s why I chose the name Happy Traveller.
One point in favour of the 2.3l engine is that it was at the time a newer model than the 2.8l and only requires a timing belt etc change every 8 years as specified by Fiat in its work schedule. I believe the 2.8l requires a change every 5 years. This is not a cost that I delay because I want to avoid an expensive engine rebuild if it goes wrong. With our vans’ use I imagine that few timing belt changes are triggered by high mileage.
I’ve been lucky to have my van from new. I am a cautious person and so I have not gone the full 8 years before changing the timing belt. My Exsis was made on the first production run for right hand drive; I assumed a November 2003 manufacture date for the basic van as supplied to Hymer so you’ll not be surprised to learn that my second change (of timing belt, water pump kit, trans belt and tensioner – all genuine Fiat parts fitted by my local garage) was in November 2018. It’s a long job and for what it’s worth for you in Slovenia my UK cost all in was just under £800 including 5 hours labour.
When buying second-hand I would advise asking when the timing belt was last changed and, in particular, whether all the parts were new. For me it’s a false economy with such a long job not to renew all the bits.
Best wishes with tracking a suitable one down.
Hi again Barry
Yes you’re right.
I discovered the hard way about the strip light being connected directly to the leisure battery. At the 12 month point I took my van back to Brownhills for its first habitation service to protect the warranty. At the end of this service the strip light was left on and nobody noticed. Some time later I arrived to collect my van (it was necessary for my wife to be free as well to drive back our car – a round trip of 240 miles -hence not doing it immediately) and did the series of checks I do on my van after a service before I drive away. I found the leisure battery was flat. The panel switch for the 12v system was off. So why was the battery flat? I stayed with the electrician whilst he investigated. Very red faces when he found that this strip light was on. A sinking heart from me when they said “we will not replace your 2 leisure batteries” for we all know that running a battery absolutely flat shortens its life considerably. And that’s why this light is not connected to the engine battery because one’s mobility is maintained when the leisure battery is flat but not so if it’s a flat engine battery.
Hi Barry and everyone else
Thanks for the excellent link, Barry. I shall take my time choosing after talking through my needs (potential and present) with my son.
Returning to my point about the socket (mine is not C line) in my shower room cupboard. Of the 6 Exsis owners I’ve met 3 did not know of this socket. For each when I showed them they found a socket like mine – just a simple socket with a spring loaded cap. When I use it the friction of the cap on the plug keeps the plug in place even when it is slightly tugged.
Wired to my leisure (your habitation) battery are these 2 sockets and all my lights bar one. My test to prove that they are wired to my leisure battery is easier than disconnecting an earth – I merely have to switch off the leisure battery circuits on the control panel Hymer fitted to my van!
Again I can only reference my van but on it the 2 things that work without the control panel leisure battery switched on are the strip light above the side seat behind the driver and the step. The strip light switch is set beside the step switch low down just in through the door on the left. With the first production run of vans this was done so that having been away from the van all day and returning in the dark it would be possible to reach these 2 switches and they would work irrespective of whether or not the leisure battery switch is on or off. This was Hymer’s generous nod to safety. In later production runs a light was fitted above the entrance door which may have allowed them to wire other lights differently for those vans.
I don’t want either to impress or bore anyone by constantly making references to my van. Some owners who are fairly new to their van may not know of the literally huge number of small changes made to these vans as Hymer strove to make them profitable. Thus it’s quite possible that some owners on reading of the 12v socket in my shower room cupboard will think that it could be useful to them and look in vain to find it should it have become part of Hymer’s cost cutting. This would be very frustrating. So I will always when referring to Hymer’s standard fittings on my van make it clear that that’s what I’m doing. It doesn’t mean it’s replicated on their van.
Doubly sorry – for cupboard above please think not wardrobe but the shelved cupboard with the sliding door (where we keep our washbags), etc.
Sorry – switch above should of course be socket.
Thanks for this idea Maldwyn. I’ll be fitting one soon. In case someone doesn’t like the idea of losing this 12v 10amp socket and also doesn’t like the idea of using the van’s engine battery then don’t forget that many of us have another of these switches in our shower room cupboard. Mine’s out of normal lines of sight; and it is run off the leisure battery. In any case it may be more handy than the one in the cab.
Hi again Chris and Susan
Thank you for posting the photos of your van in Glen Coe. We love that particular campsite because you can do a 360 degrees turn and be looking at ‘proper’ mountains all the way round; also because at the end of our eighth decades the West Highland Way offers us walks which we can still manage!
Your biscuit locker looks very tempting!
Keith and Zarita.
Hi Chris and Susan
Zarita and I are so pleased to hear that your full timing adventure gave you an unforgettable and amazing year.
About a month ago we were again in Glen Coe at the camping club site (for 9 nights this time) and naturally thought of you and the joy we had meeting you. We commented that your year was up and wondered what it would be like to re-enter normal life. Did we meet you on your first night? I think we probably did. You kindly showed us the whole of the inside and opened up the boot as well. Seeing your photos of some of your van’s contents makes me think that you must have bought a few items on your trip because in no way could it be said that your van was bulging with stuff when we looked round.
Good luck with settling back into things. Thank you for your postings; they brought a lot of pleasure into other forum readers’ lives.
I’m pretty sure that the hoses in my van connect to the taps by being pushed on and then held there and made watertight by hose clips – one for each tap. I believe that I re-used the originals but if not then I would have purchased replacements when sourcing my new tap at my caravan parts shop.
Hi Ellen Sj
My first attempt to join a discussion on the new site – hope I make it!
I have a very early SK delivered to me in May 2004 with the repositioned windscreen wipers and therefore thought to be in the first batch made. Barry’s description above was exactly how I found my sink/tap set-up to be. Total time taken to remove the sink, find that the tap was faulty and fit a new tap was just over an hour. It took me longer to drive to my local caravan supplies shop to source the new tap and return home than it did to do the job itself.
Hymer quoted cost : over £100. Local supplier : under £50. Job done : over 6 years ago.
I haven’t got Fred’s recommended article so do not know if it’s based on my SK’s sink/tap. It really is a straightforward task. Good luck.