A new lid
Back in March, when we were in France and Bertie was covered in snow, we had a small incident with poor Bertie’s lid. The clear dome atop our rooflight was already slightly brittle with several cracks, trying to lift it with snow on top was the last straw and the poor thing cracked near the hinges. Since then it has been held down, pretty securely, with duct tape. It’s a solution of sorts, we still get light through the roof, but we cant raise it to allow warm air to escape.
The problem we had was that the model of rooflight – the Remi Remistar – is no longer manufactured and spares are as rare as hens’ teeth.
However I remembered someone on a Knaus forum who had a similar issue and ended up having a replacement dome fabricated. Not only that, but after investing in a mould for the dome, he had also had a number of additional domes made to sell on.
I looked back in the forum history and contacted Tony, who still had a few of these available to buy. At £400 it wasn’t cheap. I don’t really know why I would expect cheap, nothing associated with motorhomes ever is. Plus the costs of engaging a plastics firm to make the mould and fabricate the part…
We hemmed and hawed about spending the money. Could we live with not being able to raise the dome? Could we find parts abroad? Could we have a different model of rooflight fitted instead?
We asked for a quote for a whole new rooflight from Apple Campers, who we used to install our new fridge (more about that in a future post). They explained that there are no rooflights on the market that have the same dimensions as the Remistar. So we would have to have a larger rooflight installed, which would mean cutting into Bertie’s roof and repositioning solar panels etc. They had done a similar job recently and it came in at over £1500 in parts and labour. Suddenly £400 did seem cheap.
So we arranged to meet Tony to check out the replacement dome.
With Tony living up north it seemed that our trip to Wales might be our best option for going to take a look at the Dome. We hadnt been able to confirm our rooflight model, and although we were pretty confident that there was only ever one model of Remistar we wanted to be absolutely sure before parting with our money.
Tony suggested a campsite near Chirk where he was planning to meet with friends for the weekend, so we booked ourselves in for a night. We booked in for a night at Foxtail Holiday Park and drove up from mid Wales. It was a smart campsite with good gravel pitches but some building work still in progress. It’s proximity to the A5 made it an easy drive but Paul did find the road noise pretty obtrusive. I slept through it as always.
While we waited for Tony to arrive we went for a walk along the canal which we could really conveniently access from the site by crossing the road a walking up by the Poachers pub.
The canal towpath was nicely shaded which was a blessing in the burgeoning June heatwave and we saw plenty of families enjoying the tail end of the school holidays on their canal boats. Ducks were gliding on the water followed by their broods of ducklings.
We followed the canal through a tunnel and over the Chirk aqueduct – a Thomas Telford construction. It wasn’t the first Thomas Telford aqueduct we had visited on our travels. Back in 2017 we crossed the Pontcysyllte aqueduct and visited Chirk castle.
Although we wandered into Chirk itself we soon overheated so we escaped again to the River Ceirog and had a drink at the Bridge Inn with a great view of aqueduct before we walked home again.
And did the dome fit?…
The answer is yes, we did come home with a new dome for Bertie. It hasn’t been fitted yet. That will be a job for August when we don’t have any other travelling plans. Hopefully we will have a functional rooflight before our next European mainland adventures.