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Last Updated 16/06/2010 19:29:39
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12-16 June

Finally, things are more or less back in our control.  With the tax disc issue resolved, all we need to get checked out is the Eberspacher - without which we have no heating or hot water.  Not that its critical this time of year, and has been broken for a couple of weeks now and we’ve been getting by with heating up water on the hob as and when we want it.  But it needs to be sorted before we leave the UK, so it might as well be looked at now.

Jason has been asking in a couple of forums if there’s anyone to be recommended in the area, and Graham at Ribblesdale Auto Electrics came up a couple of times.  As they’re only about 35 miles away, they seemed like the ideal people to have a look.  We’d already decided beforehand that if they couldn’t fix things on the day, we’d leave it be and carry on to Scotland, and fix things on our way back south.  But as luck would have it, the problem was eventually found and diagnosed as a knackered control box and a few loose wires!  We’d had some airhorns fitted under the bonnet a couple of weeks ago and ever since then, the Eberspacher hadn’t worked.  Seems like during the airhorn fitting, the heater and its wiring had to be moved around a bit to create space for working, and in doing so pulled the wires out further down the line and also messed around with the controller.  So although it took a couple of hours to track down the problem and as ever, time is money, the actual problem was easy to fix.  We also had them do a service of the unit while they were there, as opinion on this varies wildly but bottom line is we know its not been done for at least as long as we’ve had Moglet, and prevention is better than cure and all that.

Several hundred pounds later, but relieved to have the problem fixed, we decided on the way home from Preston that we’d like to get the guys at Atkinson Vos a nice cake to say thanks for all their hard work.  I know its easy to argue that they’re just doing what they’re paid to do, but they’ve all been very friendly and helpful, and it can’t be easy having a customer living in your yard for 6 weeks, always popping into the workshop and asking ‘Can you just...?’  Plus Jasons’ been able to peer over more than one shoulder while work has been getting done on someone else's ‘mog so as Mr Jones would say, its been educational.  We decided in the end though to buy a cake and I’d have a go at icing it myself.  I found a cake supply shop in Morecambe and bought the necessary icing, and here’s what I came up with!  It took me pretty much a whole morning (most of which was trying to draw the correct outline in the first place) and looks a bit like something for a kids birthday party, but not bad for my first attempt at something like this, I think!  And the guys at Atkinson Vos seemed pretty pleased with it, and most importantly it’s tasty, so we’re all happy :-)

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And just when we thought it might be safe to start thinking about actually leaving Atkinson Vos, the black tank starts to leak!  Because there’s nowhere to easily empty the it, we haven’t used the black tank for the 6 weeks we’ve been here.  Apart from the time I cleaned the bathroom the other day and pumped water through the toilet and into the tank, that is.  Once we realised it was dripping, Jason had to start crawling about underneath trying to locate the source of the liquid - which if you’ve ever looked for the source of a water leak, will know its easier said than done.  In the end he decided to take the tank off and see if he could see a split or any kind of damage.  The tank came off eventually, and it looks like it’s just a case of the rubber seals drying out through lack of use, so Jason took it all apart, gave it a good clean and greased it up, then put it back with lots and lots of silicone.

So, what next?  Well, we’ve booked ourselves a couple of places on a weekend event organised by the good people at Horizons Unlimited (the Hubb), about all things related to independent travel, from first aid to roadkill cooking, publishing your own travel book to heading off into the sunset with a bike and sidecar.  It’s being held a bit shy of Leeds (about 130miles south of where we are now) during the last weekend in June, and we still need to cover around a 1000miles before we head south proper so we can be sure there’s no major mechanical issues going to pop up half way down France.  So, we’re going to disappear tomorrow (17th) and head back to the north coast of Scotland and back again, and get back to the bike show for hopefully Wednesday next week.  Around 1200 miles in a week, by my calculations!

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And here’s the view from our window whilst parked up in the lovely Atkinson Vos yard.