Travel at a Natural Pace; Enjoy the Journey

1994 Autosleeper Trooper Campervan

First Trip Delayed

By now it had been our intention to have made our first foray out on to The Winding Way with the campervan. Unfortunately we have run into an issue with the gas supply and we will have to get a man in to sort it.

We have used it as a mobile office for short day trips and it runs well. Some basic maintenance was all that was required, new windscreen wiper blades, top up fluid levels and tyre pressures. A small service will follow shortly to change the oil and replace filters and mechanically that should be it. It belies its 18 years and nearly 200,000 miles.

Big Bus Gets its NameBig Bus gets its Name

The introductory blog entry was written in the campervan, nicknamed Big Bus as the spiritual successor to Alison’s first new car, an (original) Mini. The Mini was nicknamed Little Bus by my sister as we were always ferrying people around in it and the name stuck. So when we got the campervan Big Bus was the obvious soubriquet.

The mobile office day was in the pouring rain and unseasonably low temperatures. Fortunately the van has a gas heater which was sufficient to maintain a comfortable temperature. Unfortunately subsequent tests showed the gas did not get beyond the heater to reach the cooker or the refrigerator; and yes, we had found the isolators switches and turned the gas on.

Gas Supply Problems – a Specialist Job

More extensive investigation suggests that it may never have had a gas or refrigerator service in its 18 years. Gas hoses are dated and ours are from the 1990s! Fortunately it is only the pig tail from the gas cylinder, all the other fixed pipework is copper. It seems we either have a blockage or the isolator switches are not opening – time will tell. Although we can do most of the maintenance work on the interior, or even the mechanics, ourselves; for safety reasons we will use a registered specialist for this gas problem.

It means our planned blog article about our first trip will have to wait. We had planned to have a night in it close to our home just to get the feel of campervan living. Not having the facilities to make the essential early morning cup of tea means that an overnight stays is simply untenable; one has priorities! We are not downhearted. We knew when buying an 18 year old campervan we would need to do some work and probably spend some money as well. Apart perhaps from the refrigerator it does not look as though we are facing any major replacements. We have time to get these things fixed before our planned multi-day and longer trips.

We will also need to get a deflating tyre sorted, it may just be a corroded alloy wheel causing the tyres seal with the wheel rim to leak. That will only be a quick trip to my preferred tyre supplier. Hopefully we will soon be on The Winding Way with Big Bus. I also have a friend who does alloy wheel refurbushment so in due course he will fix them for me; and I will probably get a "How Its Done" article for M-dash Miscellany Magazine. Every problem is an opportunity for a writer and photographer!

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Martin P Wilson (not verified) on 26 March, 2015 - 18:03

As long as we don't have the problems in the Flanders and Swann song "The Gas Man Cometh" we should have the problem resolved on Monday. Or at least we should know what parts need to be replaced.

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