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Accessories that are a waste of money

motacyclist

motacyclist

Colin
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There are quite a few accessories fitted to our Cali of dubious worth, but I'll kick this off with - mud flaps.

If they actually kept the mud off the bodywork they would be worth having, but they don't. The front ones are not wide enough so they don't stop crud spraying over the bodywork. The rear ones are set too far back so the area in front gets caked and has to be cleaned, while you're doing this the sponge gets covered in crud off the mud flap! :headbang
 
2into1

2into1

Née T4WFA. Now running 2006 LHD T5 SE 130 Manual
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I'm beginning to think App Connect is not all its cracked up to be (Android Auto in my case). It severely limits the capability of the phone and often gets its knickers in a twist establishing a proper connection... Both of which tempt you to start fiddling with your phone when moving. All of the streamed music connectivity benefits are there with Bluetooth.
(if all this is user error, please point me to the thread where I can become a grand master).
 
GrannyJen

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I agree with Peter. App connect is pretty useless to me. As a general sat-nav it's not in the same street as the built in one ... discover or whatever it's called. Music I stream via bluetooth, it needs a lot of intervention which as I only use it when on the move makes it pretty useless.

The POI's are useful on apple maps but again not as good as google imho.
 
motacyclist

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Colin
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I’ve used the app connect with Apple & Android. Nothing fantastic on either.

I think the Android is slightly better as it allows you to use Google Maps and Waze. With Apple you’re stuck with Apple Maps. A lot of people (not just Cali owners) spec app connect rather than sat nav so they can use Google maps, in which case it’s worthwhile. But the Discover Sat Nav is better than most OEM sat nav I’ve used.

As regards playing music, Bluetooth is fine. However, if you use Amazon Music (I do) with App Connect you can browse and select tracks, album, stations and playlists, rather than just skip or replay as with Bluetooth.
 
2020 freedom

2020 freedom

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Regards App Connect... I like it :embarrased

Sat Nav works well for me and the interface for everything is fairly apple friendly, I can get directions and things through shouting 'siri' or by pushing the voice control button on the wheel. It reads my messages or voice mails completely hands free.
 
hotel california

hotel california

18 'till i die....
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On the T5:
Sat nav radio RNS 510 , 2500€ option ....waste of money , a 100€ TomTom does it much better .

Regarding mud flaps , i think they are ok but i have the standard wheels and not pimped my ride with wider wheels ....
 
Steve39

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I really like app connect as well. I use Apple and Android (never been able to stick to just one). The only frustration I have is that Apple is better for music (I'm an Apple Music subscriber but not Amazon music) and Android is better for maps. So I need to be able to plug both phones in!

Google maps is better than any sat nav I've ever used. Which maybe says a lot about the standard of sat navs I've used.

Do feel there's room for Apple and Google to improve their services though, which I'm sure they will.

Most useless option I paid for was the torch behind the front seat. No contest.
 
Lewis

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Love App Connect and all of its features. Would be further improved by allowing Google Maps but Apple will never do it because it’d kill off Apple Maps for in car navigation.

Voice control on the other hand, total waste of money if you have App Connect. Note to new buyers - you don’t need voice control to activate Siri!
 
2haw

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I really like app connect as well. I use Apple and Android (never been able to stick to just one). The only frustration I have is that Apple is better for music (I'm an Apple Music subscriber but not Amazon music) and Android is better for maps. So I need to be able to plug both phones in!

Google maps is better than any sat nav I've ever used. Which maybe says a lot about the standard of sat navs I've used.

Do feel there's room for Apple and Google to improve their services though, which I'm sure they will.

Most useless option I paid for was the torch behind the front seat. No contest.
The torch is a complete waste of 60 odd quid! Used mine once in 2 years.
 
bvddobb

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There are quite a few accessories fitted to our Cali of dubious worth, but I'll kick this off with - mud flaps.
If they actually kept the mud off the bodywork they would be worth having, but they don't.
Whenever you drive on dirt roads, the people behind you will love it that you have mud flaps... They are not there for your own benefit, but for the people behind you! :thumb

We have two:
  1. Our drive-away awning. We only used it once. It turned out we are not the sedentary camping types, we move on after 1 or 2 nights. Then it is just too much trouble putting it up and taking it down, and a waste of space in the boot.
  2. Our striped warning shield for Spain and Italy, to put up on the back of the bike carrier. Never used it. We never take our bikes on longer/far-away trips.
 
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motacyclist

motacyclist

Colin
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Our drive-away awning. We only used it once. It turned out we are not the sedentary camping types, we move on after 1 or 2 nights. Then it is just too much trouble putting it up and taking it down, and a waste of space in the boot.
Well, we’ve never learnt from our mistakes with awnings. Like you, we always move on after a night or two.

First one was when we had our T2.5, soon as we got it we bought a canvas awning that came in a massive bag with another big bag full of poles. Took ages to put up and I had to buy pegs for rocky ground in the camp shop. Took up alll the room in the van. Never used it again, rotted away in the garage loft.

Next we had a coach built and bought a lightweight awning for it at a show. Looked great on the demo but our van was on a slope and we couldn’t get it to sit right. It was too small inside as well. Gave it to my son and haven’t seen it since.

Then we bought a Quechua base seconds blow up tent for the Cali which I thought was quite good but Mrs didn’t like it for some reason (probably ‘cos I bought it without asking her) and that went to our other son.

Next we got a safari room for the wind out awning, and I’ve documented the problems with that on another thread.

Now we have a Kampa blow up awning which is probably the best we’ve had, but last time we used it it got so windy we had to take it down. Of course, we had to erect it again when we got home to dry it out. So I’m not sure we’ll be using it that much, it’s nice to just roll up on your pitch and put the handbrake on, then the kettle!
 
Amarillo

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12 volt kettle.

But it is probably the only accessory we have that has been a waste of money.

The driveaway awning has probably been used for 200 of the last 320 nights. The awning panels for 100 nights (yes we use both together quite often. The solar panels have paid for themselves, the roof topper has kept us snug and warm. Window vents are used nighttime to reduce condensation and daytime to allow the dog to breath. The fridge is always full. We use both the double burner and the Cadac. The loose fitting Jackyards seat covers keep the seats below looking like new, and personalise our van; washing them is easy. The Muji stackable draw boxes are a *perfect* fit under the multiflex, and stack in the driveaway awning or safari tent.

We left the tow bar cargo rack and luggage bag at home, but the cargo rack has been used and will be used for transporting the petrol mower to do my parents' lawn.

We have an unused Brandrup sliding door mosquito net that we have hauled 45,000Km around Europe. But being unused doesn't make it useless, just untried.

What we would like to get:

We position the bench seat in the position it needs to be to make the bed and leave the multiflex in the position it needs to be for the bed. I want to make three plywood boxes with lids to fit in the boot in front of the multiflex, and at just the right height to fit under the made up bed.

We will be upgrading the safari tent to the Thule G3 residence to give us ~30% more awning space when not using the driveaway awning.

I want to permanently fit lights to the awning, powered from the leisure battery.

I want to hardwire the fridge to the leisure battery as the 12 volt socket is unreliable (the fridge often unplugs itself when the sliding door is closed).

Thinking of buying electric bikes and how their 36 volt batteries might be charged by the van's solar panels, and how the battery capacity could be added to the leisure battery capacity.


Follow my blog: www.au-revoir.eu
 
motacyclist

motacyclist

Colin
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Next waste of money in our van - Dynaudio. Maybe it’s my ears, but I honestly cannot hear any improvement over the RNS510 that was fitted in our previous van. It’s louder without distortion, but the other one was plenty loud enough. And we’ve lost the handy shelf on the dashboard.

Had I specced the van myself that money would have gone towards 4motion. The wheels would have paid for the rest!

Having said that, the discount we got off our van still made it worth the useless extras that were fitted.
 
GrannyJen

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I have Dynaudio...

I never knew what it was.... when I first heard mention of it it was from the dealer telling me I had to listen to Dynaudio....

so I turned up at the showroom expecting to be shown round my prospective new van by their Cali specialist Di Nordio .......
 
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motacyclist

motacyclist

Colin
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I have Dynaudio...

I never knew what it was.... when I first heard it was from the dealer telling me I had to listen to Dynaudio....

so I turned up at the showroom expecting to be shown round my prospective new van by their Cali specialist Di Nordio .......
Can you hear any difference to Albert’s audio?
 
Skylark2.0

Skylark2.0

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On the T5:
Sat nav radio RNS 510 , 2500€ option ....waste of money , a 100€ TomTom does it much better .

Regarding mud flaps , i think they are ok but i have the standard wheels and not pimped my ride with wider wheels ....
If you haven't got it, how would you know?!
 
GrannyJen

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Can you hear any difference to Albert’s audio?
Ever so rarely there's a bit more depth and definition, otherwise, No. I also go long periods with no sound on at all when travelling, and when not travelling I listen through my bose and not through the vehicle sound system so for me it's of no benefit at all.
 
Velma's Dad

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Almost everything bought has proved pretty useful, but that's only because I read up on this forum before buying.

Roof topper has proved a bit of a waste of money for us. I hadn't taken on board how effective the auxiliary heater is, and with a good goose-down duvet we've not really found the need for the topper even in a (British) winter. (But if I was going to the Alps or to Scandi in the winter then I'd certainly pack the topper.)

Don't-leave-home-without accessories for us have proved to be:
- Lightweight (cheapo) internal windscreen blind - instead of the rubbish cloth VW one.
- Pair of levelling ramps. Use them more often than I expected.
- Two little wooden discs that drop into the T5 cup-holders to hold the spring-arms open so you can actually get a cup in with one hand!
- Outwell collapsible kettle. So dinky, but also practical.
- Neoprene multi-pocket wine bottle sleeves.
- Calitop kitchen shelf. We find it really useful in the evenings when the worktop is chock full of stuff.
- Woven Welsh wool floor rug (made to fit). Looks couth but easy to shake off dried mud and crud.
- Inka seat covers. Antithesis of the 'executive' look, but we like the practicality and they're decent value.
- Short strap that clips to dog harness and plugs into the bench seat belt socket.
- Really nice thick (Icelandic) wool blanket for the bench.
- Large dry-bag for stashing and compressing down duvet.
- Small bluetooth speaker. Just upgraded from crappy LS Hive to UE Boom 2.
- Bunch of 'spring coiled' USB charging cables, to avoid wires hanging everywhere.
- Cobb cooker. Love this, wouldn't be without for summer camping.
- Aeropress coffee maker. Already used one at home so not really a 'Cali discovery'.
- A bunch of plastic 'tupperware' style boxes that actually fit neatly on the various rear corner cupboard. shelves. Couldn't tell you the makes, I just trawled round hardware shops with a tape measure until I found ones that are just right.
- Thetford 335 porta-potti. Works for us - enough said.
 
Ricotansky

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- A bunch of plastic 'tupperware' style boxes that actually fit neatly on the various rear corner cupboard. shelves. Couldn't tell you the makes, I just trawled round hardware shops with a tape measure until I found ones that are just right.


Where did you find these in the end? I'd like something like that so that cupboard isn't just full of junk rattling around!


Our most useless item was these clip on drinks holders. They don't fit on the chair arms, so you can only use them on the table, which kind of defeats the point!

http://m.gooutdoors.co.uk/table-cli...obgw0wxXKYWdW_7XdRxoCVTsQAvD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds
 
soulstyledevon

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I bought the washing line which connects into the rail some years back from the club shop.
Totally useless, probably used it once...
 
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