Another trip out in the motorhome but to see friends and relatives this time, the plan was to go to Oxford, Weymouth, Ashbourne and then home.
Arrived in Oxfordshire about 5pm at Cathy’s sisters house after driving through a glorious sunset, parked up on their drive, really pleased to be here as one of Cathy’s brothers was also here from Eastbourne, Cathy has two brothers and two sisters in case you were wondering. Time for a party then! It was a late one, left the house in a mess, it can wait until tomorrow and we rolled, bumbled our way in to the van bed at 3.50am!
Surfaced late morning only to find there’s no hot water in the van, in fact there is no water, no pressure and no sound of the pump, leave the problem for now let’s get some breakfast in the house……..who left the kitchen like this! Tea and toast needed urgently!
A couple of hours later I start investigating why the water system isn’t working, after looking and testing I think there is a water pump problem. Out with the handbook and manual, no pictures or info about a water pump, never mind telling me where it is or might be. Changed the fuse, but it kept blowing. Quickly on to the forums for advice and help, love those forums! especially Motorhome Fun.
In the cupboards now tracing the water pipes from the taps back through the bodywork to the boiler and then towards the fresh water tank. I couldn’t find the pump, my brother in law Richard comes over to help and between us we find the pump inside the fresh water tank. Drain the tank, then we remove the pump, which wasn’t easy, taking photos and note of how it put back together. All we have to do now is find this model of pump and go and pick one up from a caravan accessory shop, oh no, it’s not that easy! Whilst I was ringing the shops in Oxfordshire checking for stock of water pumps my brother in law found the same model on eBay, cross checked and ordered it with special delivery for Tuesday, today is Sunday and they couldn’t do Monday. Supplied by Rainbow Conversions here for £25 incl P&P.
Pump arrived at lunchtime and it looks like the right one, let’s get it on. Read the instructions and guidelines, fitted it carefully & filled the water tank up and turned it on, nothing! How annoying, removed the pump, tested the circuitry including trying to reverse the wiring as it is 12v and the water connections, pressure switch is good, everything seems ok, put it all back together again. Switched it on……nothing! Take 5 minutes out, I called my dad, had a chat, explained everything and casually he said “ you did prime it, didn’t you?” what are you talking about? I said, I now find out that you have to fill the pump with water as part of the installation, hang on, that’s not in the instructions. Well you live and learn don’t you!
How did I fill it with water I hear you ask, I put the pump back in the tank reconnected everything correctly, unfasten the hose clip on the the short pipe that connects the pump to the pressure switch, twisted the pipe upwards and using a pyrex jug poured water in to the pump from the top. The big switch on and hey presto it’s up and running. Tested the system for 10 minutes including the hot water and heating, all ok now. Thanks Dad!
Now we can make our next journey to Weymouth and meet our friends Lesley used to live in the same street as us in Redditch, Worcs but have moved to Weymouth, we left Oxfordshire about 3pm and it’s nearly dark. Got to Weymouth at 6.30pm, and straight to the local pub, great fun and a lovely evening with good friends catching up with each other.
Spent the next two days in and around Weymouth with Lesley and Colin, visiting Nothe Fort, beach walks, a bit of shopping and a curry the next night. A tasty breakfast, white bloomer toasted & buttered, crispy bacon, slices of avacado, poached eggs and tabasco sauce, urmmmm! Lesley does the best breakfasts! time to say goodbye and with love and best wishes we leave for Ashbourne.
Lets go to Durdle Door as it is close by, got there at 9.30am, what a stunning place, what natural beauty, it was windy but a bright sunny day. The ticket machines were out of order, free parking, great! Walked down the hill towards the sea, it is such a beautiful place, just a few people here, admiring the scenery and snapping away. Stayed for a few hours enjoying our time there.
Now en-route to the Cotswolds we need some groceries and I see an Aldi just outside Marlborough, so we pulled in, kettle on, shopping list and chat about plans where to stay tonight etc. I buy bread etc and we have a bit of lunch whilst parked here, then we start checking things on the internet for a short while, an hour and 45 minutes passes, break over, let’s hit the road again.
We find an overnight stop at Chipping Norton on a Certified Site (caravan and camping club), a small site with facilities that we don’t need or use but we pay £15 for the night. We arrived at 6pm and left at 11.30am, it is a lot of money to pay to sleep in a field. We had a morning walk in wintery sunshine and moved off towards Ashbourne.
We need to get our act together as we keep arriving in the dark and after 5pm, now at my cousins’ house in Ashbourne, slept in their house after an evening spent chatting with their children and a meal, and of course a few glasses of wine. We promised the kids they could look inside Pogo tomorrow as it is dark, raining and late now.
The first snow of the year has arrived. Bacon rolls and coffee all round. Kids love caravans and motorhomes, they switched everything on, climbed on to the drop down bed, used the toilet and we played hide and seek, we loved it as it reminded us of what our children got up to on our holidays.
It is only a short journey home from Ashbourne so we left before the snow became worse.
Another eventful trip in Pogo, it seems each time we travel we come across a problem that needs fixing, well we certainly know our motorhome intimately after all these mishaps. One day soon we will use the van without any hiccups!
PS – A week later we got a parking fine for overstaying past 90 minutes in the Aldi car park at Marlborough, we couldn’t believe it. Pay £40 in the next 14 days or it increase to £70! I admit we did stay over 90 minutes but we were unaware of the rules and to be fined £40 for the extra 15 minutes is a bit excessive. I resigned myself to having to pay the fee, a few hours later I googled this problem. Aldi use a parking company called Parking Eye to manage their sites and the advice on the internet was to not write to them but to write direct to Aldi customer services. Quickly composed an email admitting liability, apologising for not understanding the rules and attached photocopied receipts of our regular shopping from our local Aldi at home. Aldi replied 48 hours later and cancelled out the charge. Thank you Aldi, great customer service.
PPS – no drips or water issues on this trip, hurray! so it looks like we have finally resolved the issues and fixed the problem, permanently (fingers crossed)