THURSDAY 20 TO MONDAY 24 JUNE
Thursday was our final packing day, as we planned to leave tomorrow morning. We would go via Bendigo, as usual, and then on to Broken Hill to visit John’s daughter. After that, we would “head north”, making it up as we went. It sounded a wonderful plan.
Yesterday, dog had an unhappy outing to the Animal Aid at Coldstream for a bath – they did a good job, and the money went to a worthy cause, even if we ended up with a dog that smelled like coconuts. Better that than a dog that smelled extremely “doggy”.
Most of the gear I was responsible for was already packed permanently in Bus, so I did not have a great deal to do. But John, as was usual, had not been organized earlier and had much to sort and pack – everything from his clothes to the tools he might need. He had a very busy, long and tiring day.
I re-homed surplus fridge contents with M, and turned it off. Earlier in the year, John had vetoed using house sitters ever again, even if we could have found any at such short notice. He no longer wanted “other people” in our house. At times, I thought his various medical travails of the past few years, had altered his mental processes.
Late in the day, John was completing his final tasks. A lapse in concentration saw him draining, then filling the Bus water tank – but, unfortunately with the garden hose in the diesel tank! He realized his error when yellow coloured liquid gushed out of the opening. He then switched the hose to the correct inlet, and filled up the water. Apparently, an argument ensued with himself, about whether he would ‘fess up to all this, or just try to leave tomorrow and hope for the best. He didn’t think there could be too much water in the diesel as the tank had been almost full before water was added. Fortunately, common sense did prevail and he came to tell me he’d “done a terrible thing”.
I couldn’t believe that yet another trip start had been affected by tank filling problems!
However, I could see how the mistake came about. So many previous years of trip preparation had involved draining and filling our van water tanks. It was just an automatic part of getting ready to go. The van water tank inlets had faced onto the “open” side of the parking bay, and of course, it had no fuel tank to fill! Unfortunately, the Bus fuel inlet faced this same way, whereas the water tank inlet was on the driver’s side of Bus, facing the neighbour’s fence. Tired and distracted John was functioning on past memory, rather than current focus.
On Friday, Bus was onto a tilt truck, yet again, and off to the Toyota service centre. Since we’ve had it, Bus had done more trips on tow trucks than independently on the road! We’ve gotta get better at
this motor homing gig.
We noticed, as it was loaded and taken away, that there was water running from somewhere under the back. John asked the service centre to investigate where that was coming from, too.
Saturday morning we were able to go and collect Bus. They had drained about thirty litres of fuel from the tank, before they got clean fuel. So there was more water in there than John had thought. But the water that had run from the back was a problem with the hot water service and Toyota could not do anything about that.
Back at home, John investigated and I did some Googling. We worked out that, when John had connected up the mains water, and turned the hose on hard, the really good local water pressure had blown out a little turn-off gadget in the hot water service. Hence water just kept flowing through the hot water service and out the overflow.
Of course, Truma dealerships were Monday to Friday operations, so we would have to wait until Monday to tackle the issue.
Our motor homing life was obviously not meant to be easy!
I filled in the unexpected waiting time with quite a lot of gardening.
On Monday John was able to drive to Clayton and pick up the needed water service part. But it was for a newer model, and he had some issues trying to fit it. Eventually, at my suggestion, he went to the nearby Sunliner dealership – a place experienced in motorhome issues. They were very helpful – much more so than the Truma agency had been – and the hot water service was then fixed. We resolved to always be very cautious about mains water pressure and Bus!
Perhaps I could write a manual on how not to tackle motor home travel?