Prior to driving the Elddis Accordo 120 the larges vehicle I have driven is a BMW X3, which was the car we used to tow the Conway Countryman. Okay, we didn’t need anything as big as the X3 to tow the Countryman (it only weighs 750kg), I just fancied owning an SUV. I thought the X3 was a pretty big car, so I was happy it had reversing sensors as standard.
During my ownership of the X3, and the Passat and Astra before that (both of which had reversing sensors) I learned to rely on the sensors as a reversing aid, which is a bit of a bummer as the Elddis Accordo doesn’t have them. The Accordo does have a reversing camera, but I struggle with the wide angle of view when backing up. There are times when it looks like I am virtually touching something with the rear of the van and when I get out and have a look I have loads of room, and there are times when it looks like the back end is miles away and when I get out and have a look I am virtually touching something. Hmmmm……. I just can’t seem to work it out.
I was seriously considering getting reversing sensors fitted to the Accordo, however I don’t know how this will affect the Elddis warranty. The other problem I have is that the wife doesn’t want me (or anyone else for that matter) cutting holes in the rear bumper, and since the motor home is half hers I have to respect her wishes.
Without sensors the reversing aid is my wife, and she is more efficient than any parking sensors. In the past I have found reversing sensors throw a wobbly when they get dirty, get wet or get covered in cobwebs and will give a false signal. I don’t have the same problem with my wife.
The problem I have with my wife as a reversing aid, and never had with reversing sensors, is the volume and the fact that everyone outside the motor home can hear her and I often struggle. My wife and I are the sort of people who like to blend in to the back ground. We don’t like to be the centre of attention and we neither do we like people looking at us, especially when I am shunting the motor home around. Having the wife jump out of the van, run around the back of it, start waving her arms around yelling instructions not only attracts a lot of attention but also gives the wrong impression about us as a couple.
If we are sitting on a campsite enjoying the peace and quiet and a unit (motor home, caravan, folding camper or anything else) turns up and the occupants jump out and start being noisy it instantly makes us think the worst of them. Rightly or wrongly, first impressions count and if you annoy other campers as you first arrive it doesn’t stand you in good stead for the rest of your stay does it?
Anyway, after realising that we started to attract unwanted attention and also potentially annoying other campers before we had even unpacked we decided it was time to think of an aid to help me reverse on to the pitch and make sure I didn’t hit anything (or anyone) in the process.
We considered using mobile phones however we are both on the O2 network but, as you O2 customers will be well aware, the reception is patchy at best and there are loads of places where you can’t signal for love nor money. Based on our experience with the O2 network we knew this idea was not a goer.
Whilst visiting my sister I noticed my four year old nephew running around with a walkie talkie chatting away to one of his buddies, and I had a Eureka moment. Looking back it should have been obvious, but we didn’t think of it. D’oh! Never mind, the decision was made to buy walkie talkies.
I have to admit that I would have like minion shaped walkie talkies like my nephew’s but the quality was rubbish, the range was rubbish and there was too much distortion. Besides, my wife wasn’t too keen on them. Oh well………………………….
I have to admit I have never bought walkie talkies in the past so I thought I would hit my favorite online shop (Amazon) to see what the options were. Wow! The search bought up hundreds of different types. Some were cheap, some were expensive, some were brightly colored, some were plain colored…… where to start? I didn’t have a clue on how much to spend (I obviously didn’t want to spend too much, but then I didn’t want to buy too cheap and have to replace them after 5 minutes either), I didn’t have a clue what brand to buy (I didn’t need/want the premium brand but then I didn’t want bottom end un-branded) and I didn’t have a clue what to go for. What a mind field.
I started reading some Amazon reviews, and then realized it was a pointless exercise because there were hundreds of them. I found one particular pair of walkie talkies with rave reviews and they seemed to be the ones to go for, until I found one particular review (right near the bottom of page three) stating that the walkie talkies were provided free of charge to road test and then write about. Hmmm…… in my experience if people get something for nothing and are asked to review it they will give it a good review, in hope of receiving more free stuff. Needless to say I dismissed it straight away.
The problem is I had to choose something and stumbled across some Binatone and Motorola Walkie Talkies. I had heard of both of these brands and recognized them as reasonable sized players in the telecommunications market. The Binatone walkie talkies were bright yellow, whereas the Motorola was red and black. Neither was understated, which I would have been my preference, so I the decision was made the only way I know how in these situations – on the flip of a coin. I left it to destiny, flipped heads and ordered the red Motorola walkie talkies. I was a bit miffed, as the Motorola were £5.40 more expensive (almost 25% more) but the coin had spoken, and who am I to stand in the way of destiny.
We have had the chance to use the Motorola walkie talkies, and I have to say it is the best solution ever and reversing the motor home is easier, and there are fewer arguments too as I can clearly hear what I need to do, whereas no one else can. We have not had the Motorola walkie talkies long enough to confirm their longevity but first impressions are good as they feel pretty sturdy and well made. Regardless of how long the Motorola walkie talkies last I will definitely be getting more walkie talkies to replace then when they finally do give up the ghost.