'Featured Owners' is our new series of blog posts where we interview Go-Pod owners to find out what they've been up to and how they use their Pods, as well as their top tips for new podders.
Our first featured owners need no introduction really - they run a vibrant, helpful & active Go-Pods community on Facebook and are considered 'Pod Royalty' around these parts. It's Suzanne, Ian, Jorge & the Chilli Pod from the Greater Manchester area! Read on below for our interview with them.
Your name & Pod nickname (if you have one)
Mr & Mrs Chilli Pod (Suzanne & Ian) - The Chilli Pod
When did you purchase your Go-Pod, and which model?
We bought a Platinum model Go-Pod back in 2017.
Tell us a little bit about yourself - do you have any unique interests or hobbies?
Motorcycling, gardening, photography, walking, outdoors stuff - and of course, running the Go-Pod Information #Podlife group on Facebook!
Why did you choose a Go-Pod, and what else were you considering?
They’re small, so easy to tow and funky looking. We considered a trailer for our tent, a camper van, a trailer tent and a bigger caravan. We always used to camp and have owned a static caravan in the past.
How do you use your Go-Pod? (Holidays, festivals, home office etc.) Also, do you travel alone or with somebody else?
Mr Chilli Pod and I enjoy weekends away, main holidays and festivals in our Pod. A bit of everything really!
How often do you get away in your Pod?
10 + times a year (whenever I get the chance!)
What is your favourite Pod accessory?
The solar panel has been a Godsend for keeping the battery topped up as our Pod is kept in storage. The best fun accessory has to be the new funky graphic side panels. To be honest, all the accessories we have bought (and we bought a lot) have been invaluable. The exterior gas socket is great and so is the dual fuel heating and and ..... all of them.
What sets Go-Pod owners apart from the rest?
No two Podders are the same. They all love things that are a bit different and they are all a bit different themselves. Everyone I've met with a Pod has a great sense of humour and enjoys life to the maximum.
Favourite Pod-related story (doesn't need to have happened inside the Pod, could be whilst you were away on holiday etc)
We were at a festival and the gas jet went out on the cooker. Nightmare! I tried to relight it but nothing. I figured that the gas bottle must have run out. We were at Uttoxeter racecourse and there is a caravan and motorhome club site next door, so I rang up to see if they had the same gas bottle to swap it out - and they did. Mr CP disconnected the gas bottle and took it to the site office. When he got there, they checked it and there was still gas in it, so he had to walk all the way back with it! He connected it up again and I turned the jet on and it lit straight away. It must have been an airlock. Doh! It was a hot day too. Poor Mr CP.
Top tips for new Podders - what do you wish someone had told you?
If you push the window right open and then pull it back towards you and stop, It will open to the amount you want. I had the Pod for two years before someone told me this. I thought you could only have the window open a little bit.
Want to find out more about the Go-Pod Information #Podlife group, or interested in the Chilli Pods adventures?
Here's a quick run down on some electric & hybrids that 'can' - and how the Go-Pod with it's frugal 750Kg MTPLM could be the perfect partner.
The rising popularity of electric and hybrid-electric cars, originally produced exclusively by Japanese & Korean manufacturers ahead of the curve, have resulted in a plethora of options available to the average person via some of the worlds most well known brands.
At the forefront of this push to change the landscape of the global automotive market is Tesla. The only electric car on sale today that's approved for towing is the Tesla Model X SUV. Not only can it tow, but its maximum towing limit is a substantial 2,270kg.
However, leading manufacturers such as the Volkswagen-Audi Group and General Motors are now pushing out more hybrid & electric models each year as they aim to grab a share of the EV market before Tesla cement their grip on the industry. This means that there are now a wealth of options to choose from when buying a 'greener' car - but there are also a few considerations to make before purchasing, in terms of practicality & reliablity. One such consideration is the vehicles ability to tow without significantly affecting the mileage per tank/charge.
The main issue with towing with an electric car is that the battery packs used to power the vehicles motor - replacing a fuel tank - are extremely heavy, and thus impact the cars towing capacity.
While a 1.2-litre petrol Renault Clio supermini weighs just 977kg, the all-electric Renault ZOE supermini weighs 1,468kg, with the battery pack alone coming in at 305kg. With that much extra weight, the added strain of towing a caravan or trailer would put too much stress on the cars critical safety components, such as suspension and braking. Car manufacturers also regularly market the vehicle with a focus on its driving range - which is significantly reduced when towing extra mass. For most manufacturers, the added complications of preparing the vehicle for UK certification is not worth the time and hassle.
So at present, the only Tesla model (and electric car in general) approved for towing is the Model X SUV - starting at an eye-watering £82,700 for the 2020 version, putting it firmly out of the price-range for the average person. However, with Tesla models surging in popularity, and the growing pressure for manufacturers to meet the demand for alternative-fuel vehicles, we are sure to see a number of innovations in this market in the near future.
Hybrid-electric vehicles are another case altogether. There are two main types of hybrid vehicles available - self-charging (meaning that they do not need to be connected to mains supply) and plug-in.
Further along the scale, we have hybrid-electric iterations of timeless classics such as the Volkswagen Golf GTE, with an impressive towing capacity of 1,500kg and fuel economy of 141.7mpg. The hybrid version of the Mitsubishi Outlander boasts the same towing capacity as the Golf GTE, with a slightly lower mpg. Both models are competitively priced around the £30,000 mark, making them accessible to a much larger demographic than with previous models.
With both electric & hybrid-electric vehicles, the weight of the caravan/trailer being towed can have a significant effect on driving range/mpg. For this reason, smaller 2-berth 'Micro Tourer' caravans have become popular with owners for their low total weight & MTPLM, and also their innovative use of space. The Go-Pod in particular was designed to reduce drag when towing at high speeds, and its aerodynamic design also prevents snaking & wobbling.
A final note on the weight of the caravan being towed - as mentioned earlier, the heavier the caravan, the more stress will be put on your vehicles braking system and other key safety components. For electric vehicles in particular, overloading the engine can have serious repercussions as a number of manufacturers note that the powertrain can fail under heavy stress - and so it is important to ensure that your caravan meets your vehicles towing capacity. Choosing a caravan that is fully braked can have a significant effect on your towing experience, as less strain is put on your cars brakes when slowing down.
The Go-Pod runs on an AL-KO braking system which works by compressing a gator at the front of the Pod when your car begins to slow, applying the Pods brakes and bringing the caravan to a more gentle stop than would otherwise be the case without the braking system. This results in a much less stressful experience than with other alternatives - particularly if you are new to towing.
The Go-Pod Standard Model starts at just £10,995.00 including VAT, and comes with all of the essential features you could need. The middle-of-the-range PLUS Model begins at £12,495.00, and includes an airbeam awning, blown-air heating that runs off either mains 240V hookup or the on-board gas bottle, a TV/DVD player, 70w solar panels and all of the features of the Standard Model. The top-of-the-range Platinum Model comes in at just £14,495.00, includes everything from the Standard & PLUS models, as well as a number of significant quality-of-life upgrades and just about every comfort available. All 3 models can be towed by vehicles with an MTPLM of just 750kg - meaning that every car mentioned in this article is capable of towing the Go-Pod.
Do you own a Go-Pod and tow with an electric/hybrid vehicle? Please let us know in the comments - we'd love to hear from you! If you have any questions - please feel free to get in touch via the 'Contact Us' link in the menu bar.
With the recent pandemic grounding most international flights, major changes to the way we travel and holiday seem to be on the horizon. Some will be mourning the loss of their overseas summer getaways but a growing number are embracing the idea of holidaying domestically for the foreseeable future at least - and the good news is, that it’s better for the environment too!
It's been some years since the day of black, soot-spewing car exhausts or air-polluting steam trains churning out endless clouds of smoke - however there are still many ways that we all contribute to, which some consider far worse.
Whether it be choosing to drive to the local store, instead of walking or perhaps unnecessarily having the odd amazon package sent directly to your door - we are all responsible for putting out a bit too much carbon from time to time.
This might leave us to think exactly how much carbon are we putting out and where can we help to make a positive change?
"Graphic via carboncalculator.co.uk"
Well, first of all we need to look at the statistics and figure out roughly how much the average person in the UK is responsible for.
According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change in 2017, it was estimated that the average person in the UK is responsible for producing 9 tonnes of carbon emissions every single year. Of that, roughly 4.6 tonnes are emitted by our cars.
You may be a little shocked at just how much carbon we actually produce and it is evident where we can make some cuts that will benefit the world - and likely our pockets too!
With the Coronavirus sweeping across the world this year, it's really unlikely that any international flights will return to a normal standard of operation anytime soon - which although means you amy not be able to go on your favourite trip this year, you may at least actually be doing the world a much needed favour!
"Taking a long-haul flight generates more carbon emissions than the average person in dozens of countries around the world produces in a whole year." a new Guardian newspaper report has found. The figures highlight the disproportionate carbon footprint of those who can afford to fly, with even a short-haul return flight from London to Edinburgh contributing more CO2 than the mean annual emissions of a person in Uganda or Somalia."
If commercial air travel stays absent this year, it could actually reduce up to 6.2% of our entire yearly emissions - that's an extremely radical improvement for a single change. So with that in mind, the conscious thinking, eco-friendly person may well take the stance that they will go on holidays abroad less often, in name of the environmental benefits.
That's all very well of course but it would be a great shame to forgoe having any holidays at all! After all, going away on trips and holidaysare amongst our most pleasurable times of our year and giving them up would be giving up our quality of life. Thankfully something which we don't have to do.
There are many alternatives to holidaying abroad, and the great news is that there's plenty of beautiful places that you can visit within your own borders! Places like the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, Devon, Ireland, Wales & Scotland hold some absolutely breath taking spots which may even make you forget that you're still fairly close to home. And there's no currency exchange to worry about or language barriers to overcome.
"A photo of the Lake District - via the Telegraph,co.uk'
Unfortunately with increased demand, hotel prices may increase as hoteliers understandably try to recoupe lost income. Camping will be the more cost effective option but tents are not everyones idea of luxury.
Many people are already seeking more comfortable options for that eco-friendly getaway.
However, they could really save themselves the hassle by checking out our awesome little 2 berth, mico-tourer caravans - Go Pods!
Go-Pods are probably the most eco-friendly carvans around, being made out of a one piece fibreglass shell - the Go-Pods are extremely lightweight, and economically efficient! Being lighter & aerodynamic (reducing drag) means they use far much less fuel than the average convential caravan or campervan - something which is ideal for anyone shopping consciously this year.
Looking at other alternatives; motorhomes have commercial van engines and so produce lots of emissions, and even campervans use larger engines than the average car towing a Go Pod! So they're definitely a no go in that regard.
One of the benefits of having a Go Pod, is that you will still have use of your car once set up at a camp site - meaning you wont have to take any public transport or taxis, and can safely socially distance whilst away holidaying. No constant unpacking & repacking!
Go-Pods can also be used off hook-up / off grid - with our solar panel upgrade running to a 12v battery, it keeps power going round the pod and even keeps your fridge / freezer cold while travelling! You can connect a gas bottle to your pod so that you can cook and heat up your pod while away, meaning you can be self efficient and use less energy as and when it's needed - it's really an eco friendly adventures dream!
"Photo provided by proud Go-Pod owner, Mike Beach"
Unlike other caravans, Go Pods can be towed by some hybrid cards and they have a MTPLM (Maximum Permissible Laden Mass) of up to 750kg. (That's almost 1 ton!).
Many people have realised lately the adverse affect that petrol and diesel cars can have on our environment, and our health directly in terms of pollution. With the recent lockdown in countries such as Italy, India and the United Kingdom, there has been a noticeable decrease in smog clouds and pollution levels in general. Due to the limited use of motor travel, many animals have returned to previously uninhabited areas and it has to be said that this is one of the few very positive changes to come out of this pandemic.
Going ahead, I'm sure there will be a great deal of people that will want to do their best to keep doing their part. Electric cars and hybrids have usually been labeled things of the future, however it seems that they now well be things of the present.
Caravan owners may be concerned that a hybrid or electric car would be incapable of towing, but this is actually a common misconception that is easily forgiven.
Electric vehicles are still general the most limited at towing, mostly hatchbacks or superminis, however hybrids have now developed to a point where many are capabale of towing up to 750kg or more! This is the same as most petrol & diesel cars,
I'm sure we can all agree that towing will be an essential feature to be included on cars going into the future, especially in the current climate where we can never be sure about international travel. With the above mentioned hybrid & electric cars, you'll be able to tow your caravan - having enviromentally conscious holidays & safe travels.
Go Pods are great for this, being 2 berth micro-tourer caravans they're super compact and light weight - meaning that almost any car can tow them, including hybrids & electrics.
Why not have a look at our gallery page to see some happy podders on adventures of their own?
If you're interested and have any questions at all, please feel free to contact Go Pods on the following page.
With the current situation in the world, an inevitable concern of travelling may undersatndably start forming in our minds. Many people are already considering other options when thinking of their summer holidays. Those who would usually fly abroad might no longer cherish the recyled air of the cabins & doubt the sanitary condition of their hotel rooms. Many of us already choose UK camping holidays and there's no better way to safe holiday, away from crowds. We'd like to share some great tips for any potentially new campers!
Camping can be undertaken in different ways and many start by tenting although sooner or later often yield to the extra comfort of a caravan, camper or micro tourer.
Wild camping refers to setting up your camp outside of a designated campsite but remember for the UK, you can only legally do this in Scotland or certain spots in Dartmoor with a lightweight backpack tent. There are also other spots for wild camping across Europe, however I will be including these locations in more detail on my next blog for Go-Pod.com. (The EU branch of Go-Pods).
Most of us opt for the convenience of campsites and you can choose to be on or off of an electric supply called 'hook-up'.
Being off hook up at a campsite would often be reffered to as a ‘green pitch’ and amongst the benefits is that they're cheaper, seeing as they don't include any electricity. Also a lot of green fields are positoned nearer to the sea, with better views. However, although they can be reserved for tents, many sites will let smaller units like Go-Pods in too, if you ask nicely enough!
On green pitches you still get access to campsite's facilities such as the toilet / shower block, washing up room, etc but you may feel that these communal areas might best avoided for now.
All Go-Pods come with a fully flushable camping loo of course & adding our 'Camping Shower Bundle' you can be fully self sufficient & self isolated anywhere! A popular accessory that's light, packs away small and perfectly compliments the Go-Pods' theme.
Adding a 'Camping Shower Bundle' provides total independence, consisting of a shower cubical tent (that can also double up as your toilet tent and a storage area for chairs, bikes etc), a powerful 12V shower unit that can be recharged form your Go-Pods power supply and a 10L water reservoir for holding any warm water. This really is a surprisingly invigorating camping shower & is easy to use either on or off of the campsite.
Hold on there for just a minute! Did you know that we currently have a great Facebook Give-away running for our anyone who could use a camping shower? And you don't have to own a Go-Pod to enter!
With an RRP of £149.00 we have 3 bundles to giveaway. Just follow the entry procedure shown on the following link for a chance to win a 'Camping Shower Bundle' and if you have any friends with tents or campervans, then please let them know as it will work great for them too. Good luck!
To continue - Go-Pod micro tourers come with a very impressive range of standalone features, meaning you can travel absolutely anywhere and still benefit from good social distancing practices and safe holidays.
Features include a gas powered, twin burner hob that runs off your onboard gas supply for your cooking and hot drinks. Dual fuel blown air heating also works from the gas, to keep you warm when off hook up too.
The ample lighting system incorporates LED, low consumption bulbs for minimal draw from onboard 12V leisure battery which in turn, is topped up by an impressive 100W solar panel that's permanently sited on the roof, to trickle charge the battery.
An external water supply, with built in electric pump to the sink, saves space inside. Many people like to take some bottled water too for drinking.
Every Go-Pod has a compact, flushable camping toilet that’s fully functional and space saving. The loo stores neatly away in its own cupboard under the wardrobe. Use the loo inside of the Pod or combine this with the tent in the 'Shower Bundle' perhaps, for a completely portable bathroom set.
Refridgeration just got cooler with our latest compressor fridge! Its a proper working unit, fully functional and operating solely from your Pod’s leisure battery with no need for electric hook up.
For entertainment, even your flatscreen TV / DVD is LED and works from the 12V system too!
So with all of the above in mind, why not get away in a Go-Pod and holiday safely? It has all of the comforts you need in a compact, micro tourer style that still provides more living space than many expensive campervan alternatives. You really can't go wrong with one this summer!
(Photo source: Sandra, proud owner of a Go-Pod cooking breakfast. Location: Woolacombe, Devon.)
How might the lockdown effect camping & caravanning once lifted?
With COVID-19 sweeping across the world and affecting many of us who would usually be away on camping trips right now, the question begged to be asked is - how will this all effect camping & caravanning once the lockdown is lifted?
We can be sure that once the coronavirus lockdown is lifted, many will be keen to go on camping trips, even those who would usually otherwise have gone abroad! Flights and overseas destinations are probably still going to be considered risky for a good while that's for sure.
Image courtesy of Go-Pod owners Mike & Sue Beach.
Camping / caravanning in turn could be seen as the perfect alternative to international holidays and also as a great way to incorporate a little social distancing while still getting out and about.
Actually if you do happen to have a cough show up - you could even turn your Pod into a portable quarantine station - somebody contact the NHS – Go-Pod caravans may be need rebranding! ï
Having this in mind, most campers are likely wondering whether or not they should be pre-booking pitches ready for summer? Many campers agree that once we have clear guidelines on when restrictions will be lifted, then it would be a great time to place a booking. But why wait? Pitches could suddenly be in short demand so consider booking now, on the proviso that you can cancel with refund or move dates if necessary.
Due to uncertainty as to when the Coronavirus pandemic will subside – many campsites are happy to take bookings on a free cancellation basis but make sure you check with them at the time you book, if a deposit is requested.
Weather-proofing your holiday plans can be the difference between good times or disaster and the Go-Pod sees a lot of people moving up from tent camping for a luxury & comfort upgrade. Whatever the British weather throws your way you’ll be snug, warm and dry in your Go-Pod and when it’s time to move, there’s no drying out worry about. Pure freedom and convenience.
Luckily, the compact 2 berth micro-tourer caravan Go-Pod can be equipped with off hook up facilities like a solar panel, which means finding space at campsites is often easier, as even if all the electric pitches are gone, (and they tend to get booked up first), you'll be self sufficeint & can often happily take a ‘green pitch’ instead. Saves money too!
Scottish visits are likely to be popular and you don't necessarily even need a campsite! As long as you're equipped with the right gear, then you can really push social distancing to the next level by finding a remote spot in the countryside to ‘wild camp’ in. A quarantiner’s dream of course! As Go-Pods are the ultimate road trip option, so once you've finished exploring that area, you can simply wind up the rear stabiliser legs & move on to the next adventure - just be sure to wash your hands first!
There will be more info on camping off hook up in our next blog post by the way.
If you're interested in some accessories that will make it easier for you to set up your Go-Pod 2 Berth Micro-Tourer Caravan out on the go, then please kindly visit our shop page. where you can find many great camping / caravanning accessories.
Jayne & Godfrey Wilkinson collected their Go-Pod from Red Lion on the 2nd August 2019 - and then set straight off on an epic road trip across Europe! This is what they said;
We picked up our new Go-Pod on 2nd August 2019.
We then travelled for a month across Europe, staying in the Go-Pod on a number of campsites in France, Switzerland and Italy, to our final destination on 31st August, the Mani, in the Peloponnese, Greece.
We travelled a total of 3158 km (1963 miles), it was a great trip and the perfect way to travel.
Jayne & Godfrey.
The Go-Pod, being easy to tow & cheaper on ferry costs is the perfect micro caravan for European road trips. Have a look at some of their pictures from the trip below!
Go-Pod owner Christine shares her experiences on bad weather when Podding:
I was in Dorset last September during the big storm that lasted several days.
My Go-Pod felt very stable even though the winds were full on from the sea! I didn't think the awning would fare quite as well so I took it down taken down as a precaution.
I didn't once feel buffeted by the storm and very strong winds although it was a bit noisier!
I also learnt to adapt quite quickly to the much smaller living space. Amazing how little space you actually need. I left the bed down and used it as a sofa during the day. Everything was within reach without me even moving! Tea,wine,food, cooker and remote control!!
Well you can't beat this for both pure genius & determination!
Chris Felton's garage lacked a little height but that wasn't enough to deter this guy from Go-Podding! Here's what he says:
Thought I'd send you a couple of pics showing how I managed to fit it my Go-Pod in the garage.
Stored nice and dry since early October and not due to be let out until April.
A set of 8 inch wheels was the answer and with the aid of a hydraulic troley jack and an air powered wheel wrench I can have them changed in about 15 minutes.
I'm going to try to get in the habit of putting it away each time as it's pretty easy to just roll in and I can keep it out of the weather.
In fact I find myself in the garage polishing it from time to time!
Hope you're well. Chris."
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