Issue 28 – January 2008

EDITORS COLUMN

Well another year has flown by.
The position of Benimar dealership in the UK is still unclear. The hopes that Vivanti Motorhome Hire were to become dealers by now seem to have evaporated. I have heard nothing from them for over 3 months now.
However, I understand that Benimar exhibited 8 models at the NEC in November and that Nirvana RV were present on the stand and saying that they were to become importers. Up to now Nirvana appear to be a small concern dealing exclusively in Motorcaravans designed for or adapted for disabled people.
I have tried several times by phone and email to get in touch with Mr Sharp at Nirvana, but with no success.
Just before I went to press I managed to contact Easirent a hire company who are planning to import Benimars, see later for more detail.
So at long last we may have an importer again. If you are thinking of changing ‘vans why not see what is on offer.
It has of course been Membership Renewal time and I am pleased to hear that most of last year’s members have re-joined. Inevitably there have been some who haven’t, mainly due to changing their van’s for a Non Benimar. As we have been without an importer for nearly 3 years now that is not surprising. The Members Letters section is mainly letters from some of the leavers.
I am pleased to see that we have details of 4 rallies in this issue, 2 being new ones – A Seaside Rally and a Victorian Rally. Please give them your support

Finally Judy would like to join me in wishing you all a
Happy and Healthy New Year

The next issue is due out by early April Input to me by March 24th please
Ron Smith


 

MEMBERS’ LETTERS

Membership Non-Renewals
Sheila Atkins
Dear Mr Williams I will not be renewing above membership – my husband John passed away earlier this year and I now no longer have a motorhome . We didn’t travel as widely as many of your members, but we enjoyed our motorhoming years, having the Benimar from new and an Autotrail for several years before that. I wish you and the Club many more happy motorhoming years.
Alwyn & Sue Lacy-Jones
Unfortunately, we will not be renewing our BOC subscription as we have reluctantly sold our van. We found that, due to work commitments, we were not getting the opportunity to use it as much as we would have liked and so, instead, have bought a chalet/mobile home in the South of France. With cheap air flights, it means we can get away to the sun for short periods more easily than in our van. Perhaps, when we retire we will return to the life of motor homing as we have certainly loved owning our Benimar. The good news is that it has been bought by a New Zealand family (of seven!!) who have travelled extensively through Europe in it this summer/autumn (following the All Blacks amongst other things) and plan to ship it back to New Zealand when they head for home shortly – so it’s having quite an adventure.
Please pass on our thanks to all concerned with the Benimar Owners Club as we have always been made welcome on the occasions when we have been able to join in at club get togethers. We wish you all well for the future.
Keith Marshall
I’m afraid we will not be renewing our membership as we have changed our Benimar for a new Autocruise.
Best wishes
Sam & Eleanor Black
We will not be renewing membership of the Benimar Owners Club; we have deserted and joined the Burstner ranks. Thank you for the friendship we have enjoyed at AGMs over the years and for the valuable and interesting Magazine.
Best Regards.
Keith & Pat Broughton
Sorry but my membership renewal had slipped my mind as I am about to enter hospital for major surgery. I was going to write and tell you that because a medical condition which effects my driving licence we have had to sell our Benimar with some regret. The long tale of trying to get a reasonable offer went on for some months with us having to accept a large loss on the deal. The excuses given by the many traders contacted were that it was a LHD vehicle, but underlying we felt that the fact it was a Benimar with the poor reputation of service from Spain and the lack of a UK dealer was the main cause. So after a brief spell with the club we now feel we must offer our resignation from the club with immediate effect.
Many thanks to all the friendly members we met at rallies and good luck with the club
Reply from Knaresborough
Graham & Chris Baines
Sounds a bit depressing, but cheer up if you have a Beni.
I know of at least four people now who have been made low offers for their ‘straight sales’. Only two were Benis but similar excuses for the others. Over the months as we have been with friends looking at new vans and been asked what we had, most dealers have said oh yes Benimars are loaded with goodies and good value for money. Out of interest when asked, they have quoted us just as fair a trade in as our chums, so I really do think it’s the straight sale that’s the bug bear.
Cheers all and seasons greetings if we don’t see you before.
READING MATTERS
Harry Hodkinson

It Pays to read!!
Did you know that if your van weighs over 3050kg different speed limits apply? I didn’t. I only discovered this very recently after motorhoming for the last 5 years. If you top 3050kg then you are limited to 50mph on a two way road and 60mph on a dual carriage way. You are allowed to do 70mph on a 3 lane motorway.
Did you know that you should not use tyres that are over 7 years old? I didn’t, but it’s worth bearing in mind if you only do a small annual mileage, tread may be legal but after it’s 7th birthday the tyre should be retired.
I didn’t know about the Cigarette allowances in France. If you enter France from another country you are not allowed to bring in over 400 cigarettes per person (I’m pretty sure that’s the right figure, but do check). Anything over that figure will attract duty payable on the spot and possible fines. (Webmaster comment – 1000 cigarettes per vechicle)
You can park overnight very close to Chester City centre.
Head for the racecourse a car park is signed just before a bridge over the Dee. Here you can stay for a very moderate fee overnight. There is a toilet block. The park is secured at around 8/9 pm and re opened at 8/9 am.
Very handy if you fancy a week-end visit.
Happy reading to you all


 

EASIRENT – BENIMAR DEALERS

The following has been received from John Kay of Easirent.
Easirent are proud to have been appointed dealers for the full Benimar range. These motorhomes offer exceptional value ranging from the Sport up to Europe. New for 2008 is the Tesseo and the upgraded Perseo. Please ring for a brochure. We also export Benimar Motorhomes to Australia and New Zealand.
Should you decide to buy a motorhome from Easirent we will refund the hire charges you have incurred if you decided to try one before buying. That means a free holiday! Don’t forget we also sell our motorhomes after 12 months. This can be a real bargain with prices as low as £25,000 for a motorhome costing £40,000+
Easirent is an established vehicle hire company who operate over 1,500 vehicles throughout the UK.
All motorhome purchases/ enquiries come through Easirent Liverpool (Head Office)
Address:
The New Strand, Washington Parade, Bootle, L20 1AA.
Tel: +44 (0)151 922 4991 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting +44 (0)151 922 4991 FREE end_of_the_skype_highlighting or
08000 75 80 75
www.easirent.com/motorhomes
What is not clear yet is what level of stock they plan to carry or whether you have to order a new vehicle from the brochure.


 

YORK SHOW RALLY REPORT

Pat and Harry Hodkinson

This years York Show was blessed with mixed weather. When we arrived Thursday we had some sunshine. Friday morning it rained followed by more rain, Saturday and Sunday were fine.
The Benimar club direction signs were excellent (thanks marshals). The club had a low turnout 9 units in all. However we were made more than welcome and had a very good week-end.
The show organisers had put on entertainment each night so the Benimar Dancing Team were able to give a display each night in the marquee (well done Frances and Ray).
The show was of the usual high standard with many companies exhibiting and lots of spares and bits and pieces. (Don’t be tempted to by the £10-00 pan cleaner. It doesn’t work).
The coffee morning was well attended and Ron updated us with the latest on the Benimar UK agency. This is still ongoing so let’s keep our fingers crossed. Colin reminded us to let him know if we have any suitable venues for a club rally next year.
New vans were a topic of conversation, Colin and Ray are getting Autotrail Cheyennes in the near future. A couple of friends we brought to the show bought a new Home Car (part of Lunar group).
The Saturday show was very good with the Batchelors proving that there is life after death and Bobby Davro displaying why his type of humour doesn’t go down to well on today’s TV. He was excellent.
All good things come to an end, and we packed to leave on Monday. It rained as we packed everything away, but we had all enjoyed a good week-end. Hope to see you there next year.
Pictures from York on the back cover – Ed

LEZ

The London Low Emission Zone (LEZ) is being introduced to regulate the use of diesel engined vehicles. Vehicles exempt from the £100 daily charge are those that meet the Euro III and IV emission standard. Motorhomes over 3500kg gvw will have to pay from July 2008 unless they comply with Euro III. After Jan 2012 they must meet Euro IV.
The dates for Motorhomes under 3500kg the dates are Oct 2010.
More info on the Transport for London website www.tfl.gov.uk which has a link to the LEZ website.
The website allows you to input your reg no. and it tells you what date and if you comply. I put mine in and it thinks I am under 3500kg (actually 3850kg) !!!.


 

MOTOR HOME AT LAST

Ray & Carol Beach

Hi everyone I would just like to announce that Carol & I are now the proud owners of an Auto Trail Cheyenne 840D motor home. As many of you know we traded in our Lunar Roadstar at the Peterborough show way back in April this year and its taken this length of time for Auto Trail to build it.

We actually took ownership of the vehicle on the 26th November 2007, at Brownhills Newark which turned out to be an all day event as we had to wait for the work to transfer our sat/nav and solar panel to the new van.

We are pleased with our new vehicle however its still a matter of getting used to the layout and storage areas which I found to be a little disappointing as there’s not as much storage space as there was on our previous van. It comes down to swings and roundabouts, you win some, you loose some.

The van is Auto Trails first model fitted with an island bed and hopefully I will not have to keep climbing over Carol to get in or out of it. One of the main features I love about our new Cheyenne 840D is the shower and toilet are completely separate which is something that hated on the Roadstar as the shower & loo were all in one. The new Fiat cab lay out is a far cry from my two previous vans. Its got the feel as though you are driving a car and the 3 liter engine is very powerful and much quieter than previous Fiats. There’s lots of other goodies such six speed gear box, Cruise control, Trip computer, A very large monitor which acts as a reversing feature and television.

At the moment we’ve not been anywhere in the new van as Carol & I have other commitments and Christmas is almost here.

In early January 2008 I shall be off to Spain and Portugal in the Cheyenne and I’m sure it will be put through its paces and I shall probably find most of the faults, hopefully not to many.

Anyway that’s enough bragging for now, Carol & I wish you all Merry Christmas & Happy New Year. I may see some of you in Spain or Portugal 2008 if not see at the Peterborough rally next year.


 

MEMBERSHIP

A warm welcome to the following new members :-

Gary & Lisa Smitherman from Orpington
Carol & Gary White from Surrey
Cristoph & Heidi Kurthy from Newhaven
Tom & Mary O’Reilly from Birmingham

Members not renewing for 2008:-
Alastair & Toni Evans
Alan & Marlene Ufton
David & Veronica Sprason
Raymond & Linda Smith
Tom & Barbara Potter
Richard Hall &.Christine Anderson
Steve & Sue Francis
Peter Duff
Keith & Felicity Marshall
Terry & Val Gordon
Alwyn & Sue Lacy-Jones
Ian & Jill Marshall
John & Sheila Atkins
Sam & Eleanor Black
Jamie & Fiona Blair
Keith & Pat Broughton
John Heppenstall & Ynonne Jeffries
Nick & Karen Raven

Members who haven’t renewed (yet)
Stuart & Ann Birks
Leslie & Helen Elliot
Ken & Sylvia George
Ken & Celia Hayward
Roger & Helen Foster
Greg & Liz Parkes
Malcolm & Sarah Shillabeer
Mr Sibbald & Ms Spillane
Ron & Ann Warren

The membership at the turn of the year is 121 (60 couples + 1 single)
Members not renewing – 18
Members not renewed yet – 10
There were 9 new members 1n 2007


 

A CAUTIONARY TALE

Ron & Judy Smith
Just before we left Spain to return home for Christmas ( and to get this issue out) an Irish registered Benimar arrived on site.

They sited their ‘van and plugged into the mains, then went across to the next pitch where their friends were waiting with a welcome drink.

After 10 minutes or so their friend said “What’s that steam coming out of your roof vent, have you left the kettle on?” They went back to their ‘van and opened the door, only to be met with a wall of flames. The fire was quickly put out with extinguishers and water.

On investigation it was found that the cause was a table lamp had been left switched on, plugged in and lying on the dinette seat covered with a cushion (to keep it in place during transit).

In only 10 minutes it had set fire to the seat and cushion and damaged the wall, window, overhead cupboard and a bit of the overhead bedding.

It was a reminder just how easy these things happen. If they had not been adjacent to the ‘van the outcome would have been catastrophic. It was parked close to a large pine tree and other vegetation and could have easily spread to neighbouring outfits.

ALL CAR OWNERS AND CAR DRIVERS PLEASE READ Be aware of new car-jacking scheme.
You walk across the car park, unlock your car and get inside. Then you lock all your doors, start the engine and shift or put into reverse. You look into the rear-view mirror to back out of your parking space and You notice a piece of paper stuck to the middle of the rear window.
So, you shift the gear stick back into park or neutral, unlock your doors and jump out of your car to remove that paper or whatever it is that is obstructing your view. When you reach the back of your car that is when the car-jackers appear out of nowhere, jump into your car and take off!! Your engine was running, you would have left your purse in the car and they practically mow you down as they speed off in your car.
BE AWARE OF THIS NEW SCHEME THAT IS NOW BEING USED IN GLASGOW AND MANCHESTER AND IS MAKING ITS WAY ACROSS THE COUNTRY!!!!!!!!
Just drive away and remove the paper later! It is stuck to your Window and be thankful that you read this email. I hope you will forward this to friends and family especially to women! A purse contains all identification, and you certainly do NOT want someone getting your home address. They
already HAVE your keys!!!
I have been sent this warning and asked that it be distributed widely to alert everyone –
JUST BE AWARE AND TAKE CARE IT WILL PROBABLY SOON ARRIVE IN YOUR AREA
Brian Molloy
Detective Constable
Force Intelligence Bureau
Strathclyde Police


 

WPC 2007

This year’s competition is now closed with a grand total of 13 entries.

Those received since the last issue are:-

Vic.org.uk from Pip & Vic

I love surf from anon (postmark Canterbury)

Christmas Card from Pip

Winner will receive a prizelet at the Peterborough Rally

Ron Smith

WPC 2008
This years competition is now open.
Send in the worst postcard you can find on your travels.


 

ODDS & ENDS

JUST REMEMBER
Senior Citizens are really valuable, far more valuable than any of the younger generation!
They have silver in their hair
They have gold in their teeth
They have stones in their kidneys
They have lead in their feet
And, not to make light of things in these days of renewables, they are loaded with natural gas
MISTAKEN IDENTITY
A dog was resting in a campground and an camper was reading nearby on a lawn chair.
“Excuse me, sir, but does your dog bite?” a recently arrived motorhomer asked. The camper looked up over his newspaper and replied, “Nope.”
Yet when the motorhomer approached the animal, it began snarling and growling, and then attacked his legs. After pulling away from the crazed animal, he yelled, “I thought you said your dog didn’t bite!”
The camper muttered, “Ain’t my dog.”
THE GOOD OL’ DAYS
A couple of elderly Campers who’d recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary were sitting on the sofa in their Benimar motorhome, when the wife said, “Dear, do you remember how you used to sit close to me?” He moved over and sat close to her.
“Dear,” she continued, “do you remember how you used to hold me tight?” He reached over and held her tight.
“And,” she went on, “do you remember how you used to hug me and kiss me and nibble on my ear?” With that, her husband got up and started to walk toward the rear of the motorhome.
“Where are you going?” she asked. “Well,” answered the husband, “I have to get my teeth.”
WINNING WAYS
My brother-in-law goes into a restaurant, buys a coffee and sits down to drink it. He looks on the side of his cup and finds a peel off prize. He pulls off the tab and yells, “I WON! I WON! I WON a motor home; I WON a motor home!”
The waitress runs over and says, “That’s impossible. The biggest prize given away was a mini van!”
My brother-in-law replies, “No. I WON a motor home, I WON a motor home!”
By this time the manager makes his way over to the table and says, “You couldn’t possibly have won a motor home because we don’t have that as a prize!”
Once again, my brother in-law says, “No, no mistake, I WON a motor home, I WON a motor home!”
The manager grabs the prize ticket and reads, “WIN A BAGEL.”

Men Are Just Happier People– What do you expect from such simple creatures?
Your last name stays put.
The garage is all yours.
Wedding plans take care of themselves.
Chocolate is just another snack.
You can never be pregnant.
You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park.
You can wear NO shirt to a water park.
Car mechanics tell you the truth.
The world is your urinal.
You never have to drive to another petrol station restroom because this one is just too icky.
You don ‘ t have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.
Same work, more pay.
Wrinkles add character.
People never stare at your chest when you’re talking to them.
New shoes don’t cut, blister, or mangle your feet.
Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
You know stuff about tanks.
A 5-day vacation requires only one case.
You can open all your own jars.
You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.
If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.
Your underwear is £5 for a three-pack. 3 pairs of shoes are more than enough.
You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.
Everything on your face stays its original colour.
The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades.
You only have to shave your face & neck.
You can play with toys all your life.
One wallet and one colour for all seasons. You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.
You can ‘do’ your nails with a pocket knife.
You have freedom of choice concerning growing a moustache.
You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes.
No wonder men are happier!


 

DIARY DATES

See Diary Section

GLENN MILLER FESTIVAL RALLY
At Twinwood Arena
The 2008 event will be held on August 23rd,24th and 25th.
You can arrive to set up pitch on the 22nd and there will be some limited entertainment that night.
Please make your booking direct with TWINWOOD but you MUST quote that you will be with the BENIMAR OWNERS CLUB group.
You can phone TWINWOOD on their new number 01923 282725 or for further details about the event see their Website at: www.twinwoodevents.com
Further details regarding our Designated Club Area will appear in the BOC Magazine and on the BOC Website in due course .
We have always had a superb rally at this event. However, in order for us to have a good Rally Area this year we need to book early, So please put it in your diary and get booking.
Many Thanks. Graham Baines
VICTORIAN RALLY
Roy Gill
I am hoping to organise a rally in Ulverston towards the end of November 2008. The weekend is when we in Ulverston have a Dickensian Festival. The town sets itself up to celebrate the Victorian era, quite a few of the populace dress in Victorian costume for which the winner, be they child or adult win a prize. There are all types of stalls, food and goods. The town centre is closed to all traffic apart from horse drawn vehicles taking part in the parade. There are also brass bands plus the Local Victoria High School who have an excellent “big band”. This band has travelled all over Europe, next year Palace of Versaille in Paris.
I have arranged a venue, about 300 yards from the town centre.
I will keep you posted once I know the finalised date.

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