Candy Evans

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Auto Campers Leisure Van claims red kettle on trip to Anglesey

The Auto Campers Leisure Van

My kettle went on an unexpected trip to Auto Campers in Berkshire last month.

The little red kettle has a small fan base among dedicated Club members who read my features in Camping & Caravanning – a cheerful prop in the often-beige world of caravan and motorhome testing.

Admittedly, it was rather less embarrassing to receive an email from Steve Wood at Auto Campers than having to contact the Mercedes Press Office and admit I’d left John Barrowman stuck in a Vito. Fortunately the good people at Mercedes managed to extract the CD from the player and return it after that test too.

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Candy Evans

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Candy Evans is Test Editor for Camping & Caravanning. She took a less conventional path into magazine journalism via physics and a decade in computer consultancy, turning to caravanning and writing during a career break as a full-time mum. Her interests are wide and include the Club’s Archive – though she’s careful to wash her hands after checking 1919 editions of the Club’s magazine to avoid lurking traces of influenza.

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Carbon monoxide alarms in tents - yes or no?

The Club's carbon monoxide warning poster

Over the last few months the Club has changed its position on the use of carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in tents. If you’ve followed our deliberations you may remember we were concerned the current European standard (EN 50291) didn’t seem to cover the conditions found inside a tent.

My colleague Ian Hewlett and I met with Leigh Greenham from CoGDEM last year. CoGDEM is the organisation for members of the gas detection industry. It obviously has an interest in selling CO detection systems, but its members are also doing significant research into the efficacy of sensors and alarms, sadly often prompted by loss of life. Leigh was able to share with us some ‘company confidential’ CO alarm testing data that’s not generally available.

In cases like these I tend to use my Jonathan Jones test, named after a friend who’s a professional sceptic. I simply ask myself “Would Jonathan consider this sufficient proof in this case?”

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Candy Evans

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Candy Evans is Test Editor for Camping & Caravanning. She took a less conventional path into magazine journalism via physics and a decade in computer consultancy, turning to caravanning and writing during a career break as a full-time mum. Her interests are wide and include the Club’s Archive – though she’s careful to wash her hands after checking 1919 editions of the Club’s magazine to avoid lurking traces of influenza.

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Shake, rattle and roll on the M25?

The WildAx motorhome at Horsley Club Site

It was almost a throwaway comment from Duncan Wildman of WildAx Motorhomes as he carried out the handover of my latest live-in test vehicle: “We guarantee our furniture doesn’t rattle. We even go so far as to tell our customers to bring the vehicle back to be checked if it does.”
I couldn't resist asking about the cooker, but Duncan assured me that as long as the grill pan was stored properly the rest should be OK, damped by rubber insulating feet.


Perhaps I should learn to be less cynical, but after a fair number of years testing motorhomes and becoming remarkably familiar with their many and varied noises, I wasn't entirely convinced.


I think my most disconcerting test in the past (manufacturer to remain nameless...) was one where the combination of roof rails, sunroof and TV aerial led to a wail at a certain speed on the motorway. Unfortunately this turned out to be at normal cruising speed. It was a little like driving with a distressed small ghost in the vehicle.


So did the WildAx live up to its silent promise on its way to and from Horsley Club Site? You'll need to wait for November’s issue of Camping & Caravanning magazine to find out. Suffice to say, however, I won't be taking it back to the factory...


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Candy Evans

Candy Evans avatar

Candy Evans is Test Editor for Camping & Caravanning. She took a less conventional path into magazine journalism via physics and a decade in computer consultancy, turning to caravanning and writing during a career break as a full-time mum. Her interests are wide and include the Club’s Archive – though she’s careful to wash her hands after checking 1919 editions of the Club’s magazine to avoid lurking traces of influenza.

Read other posts by Candy Evans
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