Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Back in Blac, our European Motorhome

It’s been a while since I wrote a blogpost. In truth I didn’t feel much like writing about our travels in Australia. It was as if it was too personal, or, as they say, ‘too close to home’.  

Now we are back in Europe, and I don’t know if I’ll be much better at the writing. Blac has been ‘resurrected’, and we are a few days into some European travels, heading South to find warmer weather. 

I say ‘resurrected’ regarding Blac and by this I mean that batteries (that were removed and left on a charger while we were gone) have been reinstalled, the water tanks refilled, mechanical things checked, general cleaning done (we had to scrub mould off the side!). 

A few days into the trip and a few things have given us trouble: The heating in a cab died, leaving us with just the diesel heater in the back. A ducting hose of the diesel heater became disconnected, blew hot air on a water hose, and burst that hose. And we have a persistent problem of nothing happening when the ignition key is turned on multiple attempts and then it going as if there’s never been any problem. For this we’ve had the solenoid in the starter motor replaced and the battery checked and H’s tried many other things but still no resolution!  

That is a problem with leaving a motorhome for an extended amount of time, things deteriorate and you’re not there to notice or do maintenance. Not just motorhomes but almost anything, shoes left behind in a cupboard have looked fine when I’ve returned a few years later but in one wear they’ve been known to fall apart. 

There are a number of ‘good-housekeeping’ things one should do before leaving a motorhome sit for an extended period. My recommendation is that anybody needing to do this do some research to get things as best as possible for their setup before they go. 

Some things we do: with Blac we take the batteries out and leave them on an ac charger. (Blu has lithium so different allowances on what you can do). If we are leaving our vehicle in a place that might get below zero temperatures we empty all the water out, otherwise we add a little bleach to the water tank, I believe other people use peroxide, the reason is to not have mould, algae or anything living in your water system. Of course, this must be released and flushed out on your return! When we parked Blu my instinct was to pull all the roller blinds closed (stop prying eyes) but H opened them up and informed me that because the mechanism is spring operated we wouldn’t want the spring getting overstretched by leaving the blinds in the pulled out position. Good thinking! And, just like leaving a house fridge, once it’s emptied and cleaned out it needed to be propped open or it might become a stinky fungal mess. Ventilation, if possible, is a good thing. When we left Blac in Brazil we asked our ‘caretaker’ to open it up in dry weather. 

I’m sure there’s lots more tips that could be added to this. As I said, things will deteriorate regardless, you just need to minimise the problems you’ll get on your return. 

And finally, I just have to add a photo to the post. We have been travelling south to find warmer places and, as such, we decided not to bother too much about sightseeing along the route. Otherwise it would take too long to get anywhere! But on Sunday we stopped for a break and decided that our rest stop, in a place called Remoulins was nice so we’d stay the night. As always I decided to find out what was in the area (we had no idea) and soon discovered that just a little way up the road (2.7km by bicycle) was this! The highest Roman aqueduct ever built, still very much intact, beautiful, about 2000years old. It’s called Pont du Gard. It was a truly serendipitous moment!

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