Straying from the path of righteousness

in Anything that's not Eriba-related. Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:13 am
by Steamdrivenandy (deleted)

Eribas are brilliant but in my case it was the wrong brand and type of caravan, but I was smitten by the look and the cult of Eriba Tourings and nothing would sway me from them. Indeed over 4 to 5 years I even purchased two of the same model reasoning that the newer version would resolve the issues, but did it heck! What made matters worse was that Mrs SDA said that she thought they were too small for me from the start and repeated the advice regularly. Of course that meant I had to struggle on because I couldn't let her know she was right all along

When I started telling her that the new Eribas had sorted out the washroom at last, so that I could actually turn round with the door shut and that a 2013 Troll would cost £22,000 she blanched and banned me even thinking about swapping. However I came across our current van model, which seemed to be an answer to our issues and then discovered that Sussex Caravans did a dealer special that not only looked ten times better than the standard Lunar product, but also contained bits and pieces that brought it up to Clubman/Lexon spec from its mere Quasar roots. In addition the upholstery fabrics were unique to Sussex and chimed very nicely with our taste. Even better it was a 2012 van that hadn't sold so we were able to negotiate a brilliant deal. All in all saving £8,000 on the price of a new Eriba.

The 464 Quasar has a layout that is almost identical to the Trolls that we've had and is only 1.5ins longer, so it's familiar. It's a few inches wider and doesn't have the 6ft 5ins long lounge benches, which means I can't sleep in the lounge area (unless we make up the double) but across the back is a single dinette with fold down bunk if we ever need a fourth berth. That dinette makes up into a 6ft 8ins single and that's become my bed of choice.

The space saved by having an 11ins shorter lounge has been added to the kitchen and bathroom. Unlike the Eribas the bathroom has a proper separate square shower unit with folding doors, not curtains. I've even trialled dropping the gel and I can bend down and retrieve it without the derriere seeking to create a bulge in the caravan wall. The space by the basin and Thetford provides room to dry oneself and get dressed and if necessary there's adequate knee room for those quiet reflective moments.

On the opposite side of the gangway the kitchen has a large area of empty worktop (never known in an Eriba) with a microwave above and an oven/grill below, again never known in an Eriba. There's a hob with three gas burners and a mains hotplate plus a 112 litre fridge as opposed to 70 litres in the Trolls.

The interior headroom is 6ft 3ins and doesn't intrude all round at a lower height as in the pop-tops and I can enter through the door without risking brain damage.

Just to show how good it is we've spent 29 nights away in it since I collected it in June and that includes a 6 week period when I couldn't caravan following removal of a kidney. Over the same period last year we managed only 17 nights away.

OK it's not as iconic as the Eribas and nowhere near as well screwed together but it fits me and now I'm really enjoying my caravanning and surely that's what matters?

Amberley2.JPG - Bild entfernt (keine Rechte)

You see we get cushions too, the contrasting plain olive green ones are not in this shot.

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IMO sSomething needs doing to sort out the plainness of the rear wall and hide the fold-down bunk struts, rather a similar issue to the plain corners up back in Eribas.

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RE: Straying from the path of righteousness

in Anything that's not Eriba-related. Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:52 am
by Aaron Calder | 3.768 Posts

I know what you mean!

On holiday in France this year we met up with friends we'd made on our first caravanning holiday and they had recently changed their caravan. To my shame I can't remember exactly what it was but 'Quasar' rings a bell.

Compared with our Triton I was amazed by the amount of kit that came as standard. At the front, to the left of the door, was a comfortable dinette and to the right a fixed double bed along the left-hand side and beyond that across the rear a generously proportioned bathroom with a proper shower that they told me they used regularly when attending rallies. Facing the door was a (to me) huge fridge with sexy blue lighting from which they produced ice cubes for the G&Ts and alongside it a real cooker with an oven. There was also a microwave as standard. I also saw a sophisticated electronic control panel but could only guess at its functions. My friend told me that he had deliberately chosen a model without on-board stability control as this had been troublesome on his previous van. I didn't even know that such systems existed.

One thing I do recall was that when we originally met in September 2011 he had gulped when I told him what I'd paid for my then eight year old Triton. he also said this year that he'd looked into buying a new Troll but had been put off by what he called the 'ridiculous cost' when the extras he wanted were added.

The next week we moved to another site and pitched opposite another Brit couple with a new van that was similarly appointed. This was unusual in not having a front gas locker and had, I'm pretty sure, an aluminium skin. This one seemed huge inside, had all the extras as standard, even an Avtex TV "whether you want it or not". This van had the electronic stability control system which the owner said he wouldn't now be without. His caravan, bought new in February of this year had cost £20,000.

I have to admit that all this got me thinking and questioning whether I'd made the right decision buying an Eriba. I love their retro looks and general quirkiness and it certainly gets noticed with people coming up to us to ask questions and ask for a peep inside. But is it a case of form over function? Are we making too many compromises and sacrificing comfort and practicality because Eribas look so damned lovely?

This is heresy on an Eriba forum but I'm sure I'm not the only one with doubts particularly now that vans are appearing on the market with radical high-tech construction methods that obviate the need for structural woodwork. And on top of all that, there are so many stories of appalling quality control at the Eriba factory that the traditional superb build quality can no longer be taken for granted.

These are dark thoughts indeed and I'm certainly not thinking of doing anything drastic but I could easily be tempted.

I'll get my coat.

Last edited Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:36 am | Scroll up


RE: Straying from the path of righteousness

in Anything that's not Eriba-related. Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:53 am
by Randa france | 12.954 Posts

Looks very nice too, mate. I can quite understand where you're coming from. If you look up the Forum Blog (free to use for all members) you'll see that my head was turned recently when a mate brought his Bailey 460 up to stand alongside our Troll. A tad bigger than your new baby but still quite a small footprint. Loads of space inside.
I would seriously think about a more traditional van if our wanderings become confined to the UK. Obviously the great advantage of an Eriba is that they are a dream to tow, especially over long distances, easier to store because of their low height and of course they look very cool.

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RE: Straying from the path of righteousness

in Anything that's not Eriba-related. Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:19 am
by Steamdrivenandy (deleted)

There may be dark stories about Bad Waldsee but hang around on CT as I do as a Mod and you'd be depressed by the frequency of tails of poor workmanship on all UK built caravan brands.

None of them show up well and consistently build a good product. Yes they can fit all the latest gear and yes they can make them look relatively flashy inside but they can't get the basics right. The builders despatch unchecked vans to dealers hoping they'll PDI them and sort any issues and the dealers expect the van to have been inspected and rectified at the factory so don't bother to PDI. Result customers get vans with faults from Day 1.

My own van was actually built in Sept. 2011 and we purchased it in June 2013, so it was nearly two years old. It had stood on the dealers forecourt through storm and pestilence for a lot of that time but I'm happy to say that maybe because it was so old they put it through the workshop before I collected it. Still they missed that one handle on the central chest was fitted 1cm off centre and out of line with the other two handles and that a 'Sussex' decal on the offside top left corner of the van was missing. Luckily none of that affects the running of the van so I've been lucky so far.

However my luck ran out on our second trip when I stupidly allowed the cable to drag on a 120 mile journey. The result a burnt out PSU (replaced under warranty and slotted in place in 30 seconds), a burnt out fridge fuse and a burnt out relay in the towing wiring in the car. I'm not excatly sure how an Eribas electrics would cope with a similar stupidity.

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RE: Straying from the path of righteousness

in Anything that's not Eriba-related. Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:58 am
by Aaron Calder | 3.768 Posts

I'm not exactly sure how an Eribas electrics would cope with a similar stupidity.

I am. Been there, done it, got the T-shirt.

P1010747.jpg - Bild entfernt (keine Rechte)

It happened somewhere between the Pyrenees and Tarn-et-Garonne in June 2012 so I probably drove around the horrendous Toulouse ring road system without indicators and brake lights. I didn't know about the damage until I'd pitched at the next campsite and then had to get a local mechanic to come out and repair it so we could continue the holiday. In pouring rain he sat under an umbrella and soldered each and every wire, sheathing them in heat-shrink plastic before wrapping and armouring the joint.

It cost me over 100 but he made such a great job that I've since done one 600 mile round trip in the UK and two further trips to the South of France with it unchanged.

I'm happy to say that the Eriba suffered no electrical misfortunes - so I got away relatively lightly.

Last edited Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:14 am | Scroll up


RE: Straying from the path of righteousness

in Anything that's not Eriba-related. Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:20 am
by Pepé Le Pew | 2.725 Posts

Quote: Randa france wrote in post #3
I can quite understand where you're coming from. .
I can't, I'm afraid.

Our view on this is that we don't have the slightest interest in towing a slightly smaller version of our house along with all its appurtenances behind us.

We come at this caravanning malarkey from a history of many, many nights under canvas and so moving up to an Eriba was - and still is - a sublimely decadent experience in comparison.

The reasons most Eriba owners chose theirs are exactly the same reasons we chose ours. The only other tin snail we considered was a t@b, and that was only very, very briefly.

Recently we spent a few dreich hours at Run Cottage in Suffolk gazing out at these: P1010142.JPG - Bild entfernt (keine Rechte)P1010141.JPG - Bild entfernt (keine Rechte)

It wasn't a Bailey Pegasus convention, though to all intents and purposes it might as well have been. All those bread bins looked the same. Actually, most of them were the same.

We sneaked a peek inside one of them one day when the owners (who were very nice, by the way) weren't there. I thought it was like a shrunken version of a bit of middle-class 1980s Dunroamin suburbia, but hey, that's only me.

I have no issue whatsoever with people who choose to do this. It's their money, and they can do what they like with it. Chacun à son goût and all that.

Now I wouldn't pretend to know all that much about WWBs, but I was left with the overwhelming impression that what these things lacked was a sense of identity and individuality, and had absolutely none of the quintessential and undeniable Eriba characteristic of charm.

So we'll happily eschew an oven, a microwave, a shower and a carpet in our own quaint little tin tent.

And we'll happily talk to all those non-caravanning types who stop and say how lovely it looks and how they've never seen one like that before, because you can bet your bottom dollar that the owners of Bailey Pegasuses don't get that same pleasure.

Last edited Tue Oct 22, 2013 11:23 am | Scroll up


RE: Straying from the path of righteousness

in Anything that's not Eriba-related. Tue Oct 22, 2013 1:46 pm
by Pop540 (deleted)

Hi just worked out who you are, your derriere eriba antics kinda reminded me lol

my own experience started off in a 1200ct Monza as a little nipper, with glass windows, small kitchen, simple but easy to sort
next family up graded to preowned a swift challenger the extra space meant it was blooming cold at approx. 6 am unless listening to fan all night, servicing was a nightmare as the rules were to empty the caravan so an ingress test could be done.
from there was another preowned challenger which was terrible to tow ( I now know why)
before a long preowned swift conquerer this was a night mare, to park and move being a twin wheeler, the electrics always needed rebooting and the water pump required the diaphragm blowing up to 1psi as it seemed to loose pressure and constantly try to fix it self but run the pump at various intervals during the night (talk about haunted)
sure the walk in shower and separate loo was large and but useful??, but to be honest we didn't seem to use it for more that the morning and nightly visits, a lot of space wasted. guess who got to fix the brakes and polish the beast?
the next upgrade was a preowned motorhome, which came straight from the suppliers workshop, we quickly found the lights didn't work, after they fixed that, family picked the vehicle up and it set it alight while driving, luckily managed to whip the battery lead off and kill the flames before too much damage, so that was returned never to return.

this was followed by another p.o swift motorhome that operated flawlessly well apart from the handbrake, I ended up fitting a new hand brake cable, after a scary chase down road, the driver unaware in the small room of the moving motion, the drivers door was whipped open and brakes suddenly applied,to a shout out of small room of oo what you blooming doing?? although flawless compared with previous, was still cold in a morning.

I ventured into tenting world, family had another p.o swift motorhome that was hungry for power, the gas reg failed within a week, and the bed collapsed, the final straw was when the heater wouldn't work, because it needed a lot of power in battery before would switch on, and the equilvelent bip box failed.
this was all fixed then was traded for an preowned auto trial which is designed to be used with very little power..

we upgraded from the tent after many seasons tenting in November -10 seems just a tad cold for air mattress, to preowned eriba (a few years ago), with the past experience of the various repairs with the various preown caravans and mh
we wanted something simple, didn't need to haul water heaters, microwaves, carpets, inbuilt radios, haunted water pumps, spanners screwdrivers or have water ingress associated with many of the old wooden build methods.
the thing I liked about the tent was that on a morning I could see daylight through the fabric and I was never cold so an eriba with pop canvas roof seemed the perfect thing plus it was curvey,
a fridge and perhaps a gas heater would be nice
we ended up with a very nice troll which we love as it suits our needs...
so I suppose we have 'stray on to the path of righteousness'

good luck with your new one, I hope you sort your bland rear lol perhaps a jazzy fabric to hide the struts,
I cant believe how quickly you adjusted to not getting an eriba kiss

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RE: Straying from the path of righteousness

in Anything that's not Eriba-related. Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:19 pm
by Steamdrivenandy (deleted)

Absolutely PlaP and that's how I felt and to a great extent still feel. I did, after all enjoy nearly half a decade holidaying in Eribas so you can't say I didn't try

When I first 'found' the Lunar 464 layout I was underwhelmed, although I recognised its close similarities to a Troll. The interior appeared cold and forbidding and the exterior (like most UK vans) lacked character. I doubt that we would've taken matters any further, though I lusted after a 2013MY 540, but fate had me spot the Sussex special edition version and the ball rolled from there.

Whilst it's true the outline is the same as the ordinary Lunar, I feel that the special Sussex decal treatment raises it above the normal and there are very, very few Sussex Amberleys about. We have stayed on sites since July and spotted two other Sussex branded Lunars, but not an Amberley. So we can say our van is probably rarer than a Troll. Indeed it's actually unique, because in applying the decals a mistake was made and our van has 'Premier Edition' writ on the rear flanks when it should read 'Club Edition'. Small things like that endear it to me. I know I'm easily pleased.

The upholstery finishes that Sussex Caravans chose for their special edition Lunars have improved the interior of the van and make it feel less austere than the standard product in our eyes and the little extras from further up the Lunar food chain add to its visual and visceral appeal.

We can now visit no facility sites and have done, spending 6 days at Broomfield Farm CC with no facilities block (£11 per night) and enjoyed using our own shower and finding there was actually kneeroom when sat on the Thetty. Hot water on tap is a pleasure, Mrs PiB likes that she can warm her cherry pillow in the microwave and she has cooked superb liver and bacon in the oven, among other things. My head has been bump free for four months but I still find myself ducking when I stand up from sitting, even though there's no risk of bashing the bonce, some habits take a while.

Put it this way, if you're not 6ft 2ins and 16 stone you'll fit an Eriba with few issues, if you are then try as you might there'll be constant issues no matter how endearing the vans may be.

P7150802 comp.JPG - Bild entfernt (keine Rechte)

No swirls, no pennants, no bubbles.

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Note the lack of 'Sussex' decal just for'rard of the rear marker light. It should be there to break up the expanse of white. Also note the 'Premier' decal, a mistake but it makes the van unique.

Last edited Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:25 pm | Scroll up


RE: Straying from the path of righteousness

in Anything that's not Eriba-related. Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:37 pm
by Steamdrivenandy (deleted)

I managed to rub through all but two wires. The irony was that early in the trip we were following a caravan at a roundabout and whenever it braked the indicators lit up. I commented to Mrs PiB that the rig had electrical trouble. Little did I realise.......

We were going back to the North Yorkshire village we used to live in, for a party. We pitched in a friend's meadow with power from his stable. Luckily the Green Flag Rescue guy found us with no trouble and patiently joined all the wires and covered it with insulating tape. It's held together fine all summer but I'm looking to sort it properly sometime. Trouble is unlike Eribas UK vans now use pre-prepared looms and there's no handy junction box just aft of the A frame. So it looks like I'll have to fit one and run a new piece of cable from there to the car plug.

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RE: Straying from the path of righteousness

in Anything that's not Eriba-related. Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:45 pm
by Aaron Calder | 3.768 Posts

Who's nicked the windows from the right hand side?

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RE: Straying from the path of righteousness

in Anything that's not Eriba-related. Tue Oct 22, 2013 4:59 pm
by Steamdrivenandy (deleted)

Well working along from the lounge windows there's the wardrobe, then the shower (roughly over the wheel) then a mirror above the wash basin, then the Thetford. Then there's a single dinette back rest.

There's nowhere to put a window in the bathroom as the wall is covered in mirror and shelving and besides it has a decent size skylight. It would be nice to have a window behind both dinette seats at the back but Eriba don't do it up front and I suspect Lunar don't to keep costs down.

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RE: Straying from the path of righteousness

in Anything that's not Eriba-related. Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:22 pm
by Randa france | 12.954 Posts

PiB said
nice to have a window behind both dinette seats at the back but Eriba don't do it up front

Oh yes they do......

Side-Window.jpg - Bild entfernt (keine Rechte)

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RE: Straying from the path of righteousness

in Anything that's not Eriba-related. Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:42 pm
by Steamdrivenandy (deleted)

OK, OK, I know that some have been retro-fitted, although I don't recall ever seeing one on the door side.

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RE: Straying from the path of righteousness

in Anything that's not Eriba-related. Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:15 am
by Aaron Calder | 3.768 Posts

It wasn't a Bailey Pegasus convention, though to all intents and purposes it might as well have been.

I was looking at some of the pictures in the latest Caravan Club Magazine and can see exactly what you mean. Why do they use similar pictures of rows of uninteresting caravans in a field (that could be anywhere) to illustrate sites?

This month there's even a picture of somebody's garden shed to entice people to visit a particular CL.

We'll not be going.

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RE: Straying from the path of righteousness

in Anything that's not Eriba-related. Fri Oct 25, 2013 10:35 am
by Randa france | 12.954 Posts

Against that, Plugs7 took a really great photo of several Eribas, line abreast (or were they parallel parked?) at the Fforest Fields rally.
Can you publish it Paul?

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