Caravan - Budget upgrades / updating

Hi, just thought I would make a start on this and will add to it over the next few weeks. Having bought in December 2019, and it going back in for a few weeks for some warranty work, very little use has been had so far due to lock-down! We are new to caravans, and have started out with a 2004 Bailey Pageant.

I will do a review on this at a later date (always good for people to know how well equipment fares with age), but for now will look at sensible upgrades to the van. As with any upgrades featured on this site, for the caravan, at home, or your 4x4, they will all be budget friendly!!

I am going to focus on the following, and over the next few weeks will expand on them. You can either look into these yourself if you think they are a good idea and eager to crack on, or wait until I get round to putting up some pictures and a how to guide.

The list is in no particular order.

Done so far:

1) One thing we found was the windows sticking to the rubbers when being opened. I have purchased some Gummi Pflege and applied to all the seals. This was nearly 2 weeks ago now, so will call in the storage yard shortly and let you know if this has worked. ** EDIT - been through today and the windows no longer stick, and rubbers seem supple, so thumbs up for this one **

2) Fire extinquisher - purchased, not yet properly fitted ** EDIT ** - now fitted

On the 'To Do' list:

1) USB sockets - keep the phones / tablets charged without using the plug sockets

2) LED lights - reduce battery strain

3) Heated towel rail - bathroom heat and dry your towels on rubbish days

4) Radio and speakers - just because

5) Dog lead rail - let the dog roam a little

Number 1 on the 'to do' list has now been looked at, replacing 2 of the 3 old sockets with new USB sockets. This is a nice simple job, no special tools, and no experience needed. Just remember, this is electricity and can be dangerous. If not competent, get someone else to do it (and turn off electric!)

Chose not to replace the 3rd socket as didn't want a nice bright white socket standing out along side the other switches.

Found myself with a couple of willing helpers today, so set 1 going on removal and refit duties. This one fitted fine

But the one near the bunks will need a new back box due to the new sockets being deeper.

You can view here:

Time to get the heated towel rail ordered now I think.......

Back again. After fitting the sockets with USB, I had a thought. If you are away for the day somewhere with no EHU, or power goes down when you are on site, these USB sockets are useless. So, decided to fit a couple connected to the battery. Found an unused 12v supply (was for a 12v TV which we don't have) so pinched the power from there. Sourced a small panel with both a 12v power outlet and 2 USB sockets. Removed the original supply leads, the thinner ones run up to the tv aerial so remember to keep these powered.

Drilled 2 holes for the new sockets

Not showing you how to wire - if not competent in doing this, you need someone who is.

All fitted in, but I forgot the hoover! Job for next time.

You can view here:

Mains socket - this will be power supply for towel rail. View video here:

Found the best place for it in our van

Decided on this rail, due to size, shape, cost and power. (

Was originally looking at a 5 bar square rail, but decided to go for an S shaped one to fit around the shelf.

Got my junior assistant to hold in place while I marked the holes

The screws that come with this are too long, but these work fine

Towel rail up, next job is fit a switch and power it up.

Measure the inside of the dinette seat, the highest point that the switch can go (keeps it away from everything and has less cable in bathroom). And drill a hole just big enough to squeeze the cable through.

For us, the wire on the radiator was not long enough, so purchased a 13A connector.

Before wiring, I drilled 2 small holes in the back of it so it could be fixed to the wall. The cable was held in place with some self adhesive clips.

As with any electrical tips, I will not show you how to wire up, if you are not competent, please get someone to do it for you.

For the power supply, connect to 240v socket, and run down back of cupboard

And run under the lower bunk

Terminate this in a fused switch with the cable from the heater.

And job complete!!

Next on the list is the easy LED light swap....

Well, the LEDs never got fitted!! Now sold the caravan (not for us unfortunately), so may be going back to a trailer tent - may be more modifications to come!

2020 clsdoncaster

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