Paul Johnson called us today to place his order for delivery to Jersey. He wanted to use an inverter in the 12V sockets in his Rapido Motorhome which are DIN sockets. The answer was simple: a Din to Cigarette Converter.
Paul is an ex SupermotoGP rider but looks to be spending more time in his motorhome than on his bike as he’s now recovering from his latest accident. He was calling from hospital where he’s recovering from a whole knee replacement!
From all of us at RoadPro Towers: Get well soon, (and stick to four wheels!)
We thought about starting a RoadPro Hymer Club when these three motorhomes arrived independently at RoadPro Towers, Daventry. In the picture you can see a B544, a Starline 700 and an Exsis, all in traditional Hymer silver.
We fitted a 130Watt Solar Panel to one, a Sterling Battery Maintainer to another and an AVTEX TV to the third.
Three Hymer motorhomes and three happy customers!
We recently supplied this specially made Triple LNB RoadPro Dome for a narrow boat called NB Swamp Frogs.
The proud owners, Robbie and Suzie, can now relax in the evenings and watch Emmerdale on one TV whilst Southampton FC-mad Robbie can watch football, (albeit with headphones) on another TV.
Look out for them on their full time travels and give them a wave if you see them. You can also follow their progress on their own Blog: http://nb-swampfrogs.blogspot.co.uk
At last we have had a show with warm sunshine and clear blue skies!
The Peterborough Show last year was under water but this year, although a windy start, was much nicer than last year.
As we start our new season in earnest it was time for the new tent to be revealed.
We like it, what do you think?
We were really excited when we were asked to fit two Reflex Solar Panels to this classic Carlight caravan. The fact that it’s always towed by a Porsche 944 got us even more hot under the collar. Solar panels were required to allow the owners to go on rallies for longer without having to bother about electric hook-up. The Reflex panels were chosen because their low profile means that they can’t be seen mounted on top of the Carlight. It wouldn’t look right would it?
Both the caravan and car were built in 1985 – the same year that Michael J Fox starred in “Back to the Future”. Coincidence or could this be the first time-travelling caravan?
After an initial roof assessment, it was found that the only satellite system that could fit on this smart IH Oregon was a Kathrein CAP 610. As you can see there was not much room in between the solar panel and roof lights but we managed. That’s just one of the advantages of dealing with RoadPro: unlike many installers, we actually aim to keep the products we supply in stock. It makes life easier for everyone.
Despite the shocking weather, we’ve been lucky enough to have been kept busy with installations at RoadPro Towers.
The “Reflex” range of solar panels is causing quite a stir. Not only are they highly efficient, very thin and around half the weight of a conventional glass panel, but they’re made in the U.K. as well: south Wales to be precise.
These factors make “Reflex” panels ideal in situations where weight is important or when an owner wants their solar panel to be as inconspicuous as possible. The two vehicles shown here demonstrate those two benefits very well indeed.
Collected from the dealer on Wednesday of this week, this lovely Rapido 666′s next trip was from home in south Yorkshire to RoadPro Towers.
Happy owner Vic has been to RoadPro before and knows that he will get a good deal, first class fitting and be looked after in the future which is why he asked us to install a Twin LNB RoadPro Dome and an AVTEX TV.
It looks like winter has arrived here in Daventry and, judging by the weather reports, the rest of the country as well.
If you’re worried about your vehicle getting stuck in these slippery conditions…don’t!! Just get yourself some Winter Tyre Grip and get on out there.
Winter Tyre Grip was reviewed in this month’s MMM and has proved to be very popular indeed. The can is easily stored in the glove compartment, ready for use should the vehicle’s tyres not be able to get enough grip. You can order it HERE.
Here’s a photo of our latest batch of Winter Tyre Grip getting ready to brave the cold.
And here’s a picture showing the artistic efforts of some of the people at RoadPro as they practise their winter driving skills.
One of our first fittings in 2013 probably qualifies for the longest distance travelled for an install. Nicolas wanted to receive TV programmes from ASTRA 3 from his home country: Belgium. Although Astra 3 isn’t programmed into the RoadPro dome’s controller, we can set the system up for just about any TV satellite you can name. So, Nicolas drove his Laika motorhome from Meulebeke, Belgium to Daventry for a new RoadPro sat-dome complete with Astra 3 setting.
We hoped it was worth the trip and, apparently, it was as you can see from this e-mail that we’ve just received:
Dear All at RoadPro UK,
A big “Thank You” for the very warm welcome and excellent service earlier
this week in Daventry.
I am very happy and pleased with the purchase of my new RoadPro Sat-Dome,
which you did install for me on my motorhome only two days after my first
phone call to your office in the UK. It was well worth the long drive from
The signal quality of the new sat dome even exceeded my expectations, and
the friendliness and prompt and correct service provided to me by all of you
was second to none.
It was a true pleasure doing business with you.
Thank you once again.
We met Ivan Rock at the NEC Motorhome and Caravan Show in October and, after the show, installed a variety of products into and onto his Euromobil motorhome. Ivan wrote to us as follows:
Thank you for my song sheet, chatting with you & seeing that sheet brought back some happy memories from my youth. However, I would like to extend my gratitude to you much further for making my day at RoadPro such a positive experience. I was a bit sceptical about parting with such a large amount of money but I would like to inform you that we are absolutely delighted with the products we purchased, the quality of the work carried out and most of all, the service by RoadPro.
I said that we would probably wait until Easter before trying out the motorhome but we couldn’t wait and spent the following week making our way up the East coast towards our destination of Edinburgh where we were able to fully test all of our new products. Firstly, filling up the Gaslow system was very straight forward and ensured that we had the much needed heating. It also gave me a new game to play whilst driving, looking out for service stations selling LPG.
Secondly, whilst I can’t accurately comment on the efficiency of the solar panel due to the continual rain, the leisure batteries remained fully charged. However, the weather did ensure that we got a lot of use out of our main investment, the tv & satellite system. With cold, wet weather & a young son, this is an absolute winner. Evening entertainment options are limited with a 4 year old but throughout our journey, the Mecatronic satellite system had no problem finding a signal & the Avtex TV provided both great sound & picture, allowing him to catch all of his favourite programmes on CBeebies.
I will write again after testing our purchases in the French Alps at Easter but in the meantime, we are planning using our motorhome much more due to it’s new lease of life with our products from RoadPro.
It was a real pleasure meeting you.
Our latest dome delivery arrived this morning. This time the unpacking team (led by “Speedy” Lee Faulkner – pictured) broke all records and unloaded and palleted the domes in 23 minutes 11 seconds. We’re going for a sub 20 next time.
We’ll be closed for Christmas on 21st December but look forward to re-opening on January 2nd 2013.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at RoadPro.
Stewart and Angela want to spend more time in their van and decided that satellite TV would be of great use. After going through the different options including the excellent Multimo manual dish they decided to treat each other to an early Christmas present: a RoadPro 40cm Dome!
Luckily we were able to do the fitting on the same day, so, with the dome out of the way on the roof and the AVTEX TV having a built in satellite receiver there is still plenty of room inside the van.
Happy Christmas from RoadPro.
Christmas is almost upon us and most people are still not organised. Unlike Mike Clarke who secretly arranged for a surprise gift for his wife: a Twin LNB RoadPro Dome fitted to his motorhome!
One feed would go into the motorhome and the second feed is to be used to provide satellite TV into the house.
Mrs Clarke was off to Liverpool for a few days and before she came back Mr Clarke had to chop down his wife’s favorite tree to enable a clear line of site from the house.
To sweeten the blow and to make sure Mrs Clarke noticed the dome on the roof we provided a nice red bow. (Mr Clarke had said that his wife would probably not notice the addition of a dome onto the motorhome’s roof – but would notice the tree – or lack of).
Happy Christmas Mrs Clarke. (It’s not our fault about the tree)
David Rogers saw our stand at the NEC Show in October where he picked up our solar panel brochure. After the show he called up and wanted to make a booking for solar panel fitting with free dual upgrade.
We had a slot available which at first he didn’t want to take as it was his birthday. But he changed his mind and decided to come and see us because no-one ever does anything for his birthday:(
After the fitting was completed, our man Tom gave David a birthday cake complete with candles. You can see what David thought of both the solar panel installation and the cake by clicking here.
There are a lot of tyre compressors available that are powered from a 12V socket but, in our experience, many of them at best take a long time to inflate a tyre and, at worst, some of them catch fire!
Recently we got a chance to test our new compressor – the same model that was awarded Best Buy accolade by Which Magazine – and it passed with flying colours. We got one of our more “technically challenged” members of staff to pump up the tyre which had deflated completely. She had no difficulty at all using the compressor and from flat to 36psi took just a few minutes. The compressor comes in our SOS emergency tyre repair kit which includes a bottle of tyre repair sealant. A 5M extension power lead is also available which is great if you have a caravan, a motorhome or other large vehicle.
A lot of motorhomes have a reversing camera. Some have two and some vehicles have another one at the front to record incidents. But Dimitris and Julie have a total of seven cameras in their Autotrail Arapaho.
Dimitris and Julie drove up to RoadPro Towers from Dover to have some work done on their vehicle: 2 solar panels, a Sterling battery to battery charger, a Votronic standby charger, a NASA battery monitor, installation of a wi-fi aerial and a variety of 12V sockets.
What about those cameras? Well, there’s one at the front looking forwards and another looking to the rear of the van. There are two in the wing mirrors, two at the back for reversing and one at the back on the inside looking forward. You can see the images on the TV in the lounge (that’s the picture at top left) and you can even, if you know the password, see them on your computer or mobile phone from anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day. All the images are recorded for posterity on a digital video recorder, enabling Dimitris and Julie to relive their motorhome experiences at any time.
The monitor on the reversing mirror only shows the view from 3 cameras at once.
Apart from running a computer support company, Dimitris and Julie also have an interesting website: www.indie-travel.com. Take a look.
Although they really want a sat-dome, some people are put off by the height of our most popular model which is 40cm high. The solution is at hand in our 30cm models which are the lowest sat-domes available in the U.K. 30cm models are popular with boat owners and they’re fine for many caravanners and motorhomers who aren’t going too far away from the U.K.
Recently we supplied this model to a boat builder and, a few days ago, we fitted a twin LNB upgrade to this Burstner Elegance. As you can see, in both cases the height of the sat-dome is not really much of an issue – it’s hardly any higher than the TV aerial on the motorhome and it’s lower than a chimney on a narrow-boat.
There was another show at the weekend just round the corner from RoadPro Towers: The Adventure Overland Show. There was a lot to see including examples of the sort of motorhome that you don’t normally see at the NEC shows. Many of them are self-built conversions but there were also plenty of professionally-made vehicles which would be just the thing for crossing the Sahara or the Mongolian Steppes.
Even out in the wilds though, it’s nice to know that, if you have the right equipment, you can still watch TV. The vehicle in the picture has one of our Kathrein CAP 900 models which guarantees reception just about anywhere you might want to go.
Simon and Joanna Keats – the owners of North Staffs Caravans – asked us to do some work on their Niesmann + Bischoff Arto.
We supplied and fitted the following:
Snooper 9000 (a double DIN model)
Twin LNB upgrade to their Mecatronic satellite dish and HD FTA receiver
All in all, high quality equipment for a high quality motorhome.
Anyone who lives on a narrowboat will know that spiders love to live aboard. I don’t know why that is but there are hundreds of them on our boat and some of them are enormous!
We don’t mind the spiders but walking into a web first thing in the morning can get boring and, at this time of year, when the fruits of the horse-chestnut trees fall to the ground, the lady of the boat gets to work on her all-natural, completely safe spider deterrent: strings of conkers hung around the boat.
Don’t laugh! It works. For more information, contact the spider deterrent experts at RoadPro.
A customer came to us wanting a solar panel that he’d removed from another motorhome put on to his new motorhome. Before doing the job, we checked the panel’s label; good thing too! As you can see, it was a panel designed for use on buildings and with an open circuit voltage of 44V. It had been connected to a 12V regulator which, when we examined it, had heat damage near the input. Fortunately, no other damage had occurred but the mis-match could have resulted in a fire and total destruction of the motorhome. Not really worth it to save £100 or so.
If you are offered solar panels at what seems an amazingly cheap price, check the label and, before you install it, either get professional advice or keep a fire extinguisher handy for when the sun comes out!
Our newsletter has information like this in it as well as special offers, free show tickets and details of all the latest products from RoadPro. To sign up for it, click here.
We never know what we’re going to find when we turn up for work at RoadPro Towers. Today we weren’t surprised to see 3 motorhomes in our yard but, on closer inspection, they were all Swift Kon-Tikis – spanning 10 years – which was surprising!
The one in the middle has come to us for a solar power installation. We need to finish it today because, tomorrow, it’s boarding a ship and heading for a new life in New Zealand! Bon voyage from all of us at RoadPro
We believe that, in order to be able to advise our customers properly, we need to actually use the products that we sell. Every now and again we go to southern Spain to test satellite TV equipment and this is a picture of RoadPro’s technical guru Mark Wilkinson hard at work testing a RoadPro sat-dome. The picture was taken near the beach at Malaga.
The good news is: it worked exactly as we expected and just as we state on our website and in our catalogue.
In the “battery carrying” event at the recent Lincoln Motorhome Show, we found a clear winner in Chris Davies from Flintshire.
Chris bought not one but two 135Ah Banner batteries from the RoadPro stand and, refusing the offer of a trolley, carried them to his motorhome. When you consider that each battery weighs almost 28 Kgs, Chris is carrying the equivalent weight of a fully grown sheep – and he’s still smiling!!
I don’t know what he has for breakfast but I want some too.
We mentioned in a previous post that the Sky Cycling Team’s coaches are equipped with RoadPro sat-domes. We’ve just found out that the British Transport Police were standing by at the Olympic Games with Command & Control vehicles that sported RoadPro sat-domes along with Internet satellite systems. Here’s some information about the vehicles.
With the onset of the Olympic Games in 2012, BTP had identified the need for a new, bespoke 21st Century vehicle. The CCU was the first to be designed for the BTP in 10 years.
The brief was to provide two tactical silver command units which would be able to handle all civil contingencies and could be easily deployed at large scale public events.
“To enhance ground-level communications and ensure that Silver Command can direct from the scene, we needed communications that could be relied upon wherever the vehicle was stationed,” commented Graham Tillett, BTP fleet manager. “We wanted a mobile office in the truest sense of the word.”
Another happy customer!
Motorhomes have the disadvantage that – unles you tow a car – you have to take it with you whenever you’re away and you want to drive somewhere.
Caravans have the disadvantage of having to be towed everywhere so that it can be difficult to just stop anywhere you like and even stay for a while.
A demountable seems to have the advantages of both without the disadvantages so we were intrigued to see this Ranger turn up at RoadPro Towers. You can get demountables that are almost as big as an average caravan but you need a big American pick-up truck for one of those. This British-made model is – it has to be said – on the compact size but it’s quite big enough to accommodate two people comfortably and it has a shower, toilet and cooking facilities. And, when the living part is demounted, the pick-up bit gives 40 MPG or even more.
It’s fitted with an IPcopter Internet satellite system which the owners use to run their business when they’re away, both in the U.K. and on the Continent.
Chris and Mel from Vicarious Books came to see us today with their brand new Pilote Aventura. They spend a lot of time sur le Continent and so the ‘van is a LHD model which they reckon will suit them nicely.
One additional piece of equipment that Mel and Chris insisted on was an inverter so that they could operate their electric toothbrush. As we know from experience, an electric toothbrush may seem like a simple piece of equipment but they tend to refuse to work when plugged into a standard modified sine-wave inverter. The solution is a pure sine-wave inverter like this one from M-Power which is what Chris and Mel bought and which guarantees whiter than white teeth wherever their new Pilote takes them.
Still at the Shepton Mallet Motorhome Show and the sun is still shining. If you’re not here, where are you?
A sharp-eyed visitor to our stand spotted a mistake on the box of our famous 12V vacuum cleaner – “the only 12V vacuum cleaner that actually works“. Can you see it? If you can and you’re at the show, come along and tell us about it and we’ve got one (just the one) of these unbeatable units to give away absolutely free of charge to the first eagle-eyed visitor who spots it. Click on the pic to get a close-up view.
This morning we got an e-mail from a gentleman whose Crystop automatic satellite was playing up; it wouldn’t find the satellite and it wouldn’t park itself correctly either.
Before we could offer any advice or practical assistance, he sent us another e-mail to update us on the situation: “Re my email about the satellite system not working, well I don’t believe it, had a shower, tried again and it worked. Sorry to trouble you.”
So, if you’re having trouble with your satellite system, before you do anything else, have a shower. If that doesn’t work, try a bath and don’t forget to wash behind your ears.