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THIS MONTH WE CHAT… BATTERYCHARGING // SPRINGTIME EVENTS

★ Star letter ★ This photo from August 1953

shows three generations of caravanners! I’m the baby, with my maternal grandmother sitting and my mother standing.

I’m still caravanning with my husband, 68 years on.

Jacqueline Wileman

The contributor of our Star letter wins a pair of Milenco Grand Aero towing mirrors, worth £50. They’re designed to fit all wing mirrors and offer an outstanding view. For further details and a list of retailers of Milenco products, visit www.milenco.com

6 | JUNE 2021 | www.practicalcaravan.com

WINGING THEIR WAY INTO SPRING

SPRING SEES THE return of migrant birds from warmer climes, and the RSPB has put together a great list of seasonal arrivals to keep an eye out for:

n Chiffchaff One of our earliest migrants to return, you might already have heard this charming bird if your daily walk takes in any southern woody glades – its simple ‘chiff-chaff’ song immediately evokes sunny days.

n Wheatear Another early arrival, reaching our shores in March. Often pauses in bare or short-grass fields in the lowlands, before heading for northern and western uplands and coasts to breed. Males are dressed in blue-grey feathers with black wings, a peachy chest and a black mask.

Females are in more muted shades, but all display the bold white flash on their tail as they take flight.

n Cuckoo This has to be the most iconic of seasonal sounds. Nothing says spring quite like the call of the male bird (pictured above), but sadly, they are becoming increasingly rare.

n Swallow One does not a summer make, but their return in April is a sure sign that spring is in session. Many areas had a poor year for swallows in 2020, so let’s hope that 2021 is better.

n Swift A later returnee, but one of the most popular; their scythe-like silhouette in the air and their noisy parties really do help to get the festivities started.

YOU ALSO SAID… In the latest Practical Caravan (Expert Q&A, issue 438), Dave Marshall asks if the battery is being charged when he is towing. Unfortunately, as suggested in the reply, there is no definitive answer.

Our tow cars over the past 14 years have been BMW 530D, Audi Q5, Porsche Macan S diesel and Porsche Macan S petrol. All were bought new with a factory-fitted towbar and electrics, but not one had pin 10 connected, and this is the connection that would charge the caravan battery or power the fridge.

unusual for pin 10 to be made live in German cars, but other brands might do so, so it is worth checking.

Our concern was to keep the fridge cool on long trips to the south of France, but we had learned to live with the problem by loading the fridge with frozen food. Post-Brexit, the fridge will have to be empty – so I guess that problem has gone away! Peter Gardiner

At my request, Audi did add the connection to the Q5, using a supplementary wiring kit, but despite trying hard, Porsche was unable to source a Porsche-approved kit for the Macan. I understand it is

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